It was a good episode. I am happy that they didn’t drag out Sawaki’s betrayal as that actually would have bogged down the show which is going at a nice pace. Such a nice pace that it really, really, really, really sucks waiting a week between each episode. I must say that I really don’t know what to make of the Asahina siblings. I think that Yoko genuinely likes Toru, but at the same time she lies and contrives so she can be together with him. And Asahina? At this point his character is just so ambiguous. How does he really feel about Toru? Well, after this episode, you have to wonder. I think their relationship might have started out innocent enough, but I think it has warped over the years and become twisted on Asahina’s side.
Sawaki is all depressed over the events of the previous night. Yes, she might have handled the situation a little better. Due to her losing this job, she won’t be going on the graduation trip. Ono encourages her to think of a way to make amends for her lie. Meanwhile, Toru is NOT happy. It could be that he’s more on edge than ever thanks to Sawaki’s betrayal or it could just be his normal, irritated self. Personally, I do think he is snapping more thanks to the previous night’s events. His programmers’ interfaces for the projected file project all fail. To him, they are too plain and boring. There is only 4 days left until D-day and he orders them back to the drawing board. I must say that I was horrified watching this scene as Toru is literally sliding their laptops off of a table. Such a waste of money and perfectly good technology.
While Toru is rejecting all the interface ideas, Yamagami is working hard to buy a place the size of a gymnasium to host the servers that will be required for such a large databasing project. Asahina goes to the annoyed Toru and tosses him a drink. Toru wonders if he handled the situation wrongly. Asahina tells him no and to do things his own way like normal. He then has Toru look at the Next Innovation wall. Those are all people who admired Toru. The younger man looks at the wall lamenting that he doesn’t remember most of them. Asahina then says that half of them couldn’t keep up and the other half disappear eventually. Toru then comments that it’s a wall of bitter lamentations then. We then get to see how Asahina and Toru met.
Toru quit the IT company where Asahina worked saying that they didn’t understand how the numbers he gave them equaled success. Asahina then quit that job to follow Toru. They started out in a basement room with the goal of achieving what big IT companies achieved in 30 years in only 5. And they did it. Toru’s program hit 10 million and they opened their company up to the stock market. The stock sold higher than expected landing them a huge starting investment. They then moved out of their basement room into their present company, making sure to take their wall with them. It’s kind of weird to see the more childish, excited side to Asahina. It is a contrast to the more staid personality he has now, but one thing hasn’t changed—his blind belief in Toru (although the reasoning and desire behind the belief might have changed).
Toru later hands some information over to Yasuoka when he sees Sawaki’s business cards in the trash. He picks one up and Asahina wonders if it was really a good thing to get rid of Sawaki with Fujigawa liking her so much. Toru says as they are working with the public’s personal information, how good would it look if it was discovered there was a fraud in the company? Well, Toru does have a valid point there, but Asahina seems disappointed by this. I really do think he likes Sawaki in some way, just not quite sure how. Asahina then asks about Toru’s and Sawaki’s past, but Toru has no recollection of her name or face. Asahina then leaves saying “poor thing,” and I believe that’s in reference to Sawaki and NOT Toru. This makes Toru pause and consider those words. He then flashes back to what Sawaki said earlier. Just where did he meet that girl?
Sawaki is working at a gas station part time (I think she’s covering for Kuga who had something else to do and couldn’t work at that job). And just who shows up? Toru! Sawaki does her best to keep her face hidden from him while she pumps his gas and wipes his windows. Just when she works up the courage to try to face him and talk to him, the car is fueled and Toru is pulling out. When Toru glances back he sees Sawaki and recognizes her, but just drives away.
At the restaurant, Yoko is suffering thanks to Nogi’s jealousy. The man intentionally bumps into her while she is transferring food from the oven to a soup pot. The food and Yoko falls to the floor and Nogi scolds her for her carelessness as ingredients aren’t cheap. Yoko says that it won’t happen again as she has two steady hands. Nogi leaves and Yoko looks down at her burned arm. What an ass. I mean, isn’t she supposed to be the head chef? Then why is she letting Nogi bully her? Anywho, Toru comes to the restaurant and gazes longingly at the table he’d searched two years for. He then notices the OTHER table he’d been looking at. He rushes into the restaurant to demand question how Yoko could take his tables away that he’d searched for two years for. Nogi comes out and says that Yoko should concentrate on interior decorating and leave the food for him. She’s got the tables, so that means chairs now, right? It’s kind of weird that the feisty Yoko who would bicker back in the first few episodes is gone.
Sawaki is gone with her part time work and is about to go home when the manager stops her and asks if she has any accounting experience since she is smart. He needs help with the books, but cannot afford to hire an accountant. He then gripes about how inefficient and unhelpful the bureaucracy is. This gives Sawaki an idea and she immediately begins questioning him about his thoughts on a system like Toru’s. she then goes home and after going through a whole binder of information, decides to conduct a survey of 300 people. Looks like Sawaki has found her way to apologize for lying to Toru. She immediately goes out and begins her survey and it is NOT easy. She even gets hit on by a trio of high schoolers (so randomly funny).
At Next innovation, Toru is still upset by his creative team’s interface designs. He’s had enough—HE will design the interface himself. This worries Yamagami, especially with Toru’s current attitude and belittling of his employees. Ashahina assures Yamagami that everything is fine as Toru is probably designing a brilliant interface. LOL. He just had to add that “probably” in. Toru immediately sets to work and keeps working while everyone goes home. Sawaki is just as dedicated with cataloguing her initial surveys, though she is worried how long it will take her to get a full 300 the way she is working. Yasuoka comes to work and notices Toru is still there. He looks at his watch and is shocked to see that Toru has been working 32 hours straight without taking a break. He goes up to Toru’s office and in a really cute scene, basically kicks him out of Next Innovation for a breather. LOL. And Toru actually allowed himself to be kicked out!
While walking and stretching and contemplating some issues with speed (I kind of know what he’s talking about since I have a wee bit of background in technology and programming, but will spare you the tech details), Toru comes across Yoko. The restaurant is closed for the day while they conduct research. They both comment on just how bad the other one looks. Yoko then proposes they get away from computers and cooking for half an hour. Meanwhile, day two of Sawaki’s surveying is underway. As she is asking an elderly woman about problems with the ward office, banking, etc., a policeman comes by and wonders if Sawaki is conning the old woman. Sawaki immediately assures him she isn’t when the old woman exclaims that she lost her bank book. Thus, poor Sawaki is arrested. It’s not like she had the bank book on her person, so what gives?
Toru and Yoko sit near the water and Yoko comments on how great the coffee tastes and smells. Toru reminds her its supposed to be a half hour with no talking of cooking. Yoko says that he was the one who bought it for her. She then says that Toru can make her smile just like always. They had two hours together and those two hours were wonderful. Toru leans in closely to study her face, but he just can’t remember anything. You can see that this hurts Yoko, but she shakes it off and the two return to Next Innovation. Toru shows off his really cool (and really complicated interface). This amazes everyone. It’s fast and blows the competition out of the water. When they comment on Toru doing all this himself without their help, Asahina tries to smooth things over and Toru just laughs. It’s more of a fake laugh. He then proceeds to kick everyone off the project. Ouch. Asahina has a worried look. Ara? I thought he liked the arrogant and forceful Toru?
Asahina goes home and trips over a collapsed Yoko. She was too pooped to go any further than the door and fell asleep. Yoko, knowing Toru’s mood, asked if Asahina had a difficult day. He agrees that he did, but Toru made an awesome display of his power. Asahina says he’s the one who set the stage, but his happiness is tempered when Yoko calls him a great number two. She then asks if Toru really can’t remember anything. Asahina explains that Toru has prosopagnosia (read the article at Wikipedia and you can understand a little more about Toru’s actions in regards to others) which is what makes him unable to recognize faces and associate memories with people. Asahina asks where Yoko met Toru, but she refuses to tell her brother. She leaves and he takes off his glasses and looks at his reflection in the mirror. Looks like he’s sad about the good number two reference.
Sawaki is calmly eating at the police station when Toru shows up. She flinches away and backs into a corner. The policeman asks Toru is he knows Sawaki and he says “a face I have longed for.” The policeman then explains that Sawaki started talking and just wouldn’t shut up, that’s how they knew to call Next Innovation. Toru says that Sawaki may be a liar, but she did work for his company recently. The officer that arrested then confesses the old lady found her bank book in her purse. Toru and Sawaki then leave and she apologizes to Toru for inconveniencing him as she told them to contact Asahina. Toru replies that since it’s 1 AM, he’s the only at the company and he was only there performing trials on the file system. Sawaki again apologizes for disturbing him. Toru then stops and has her get in the car.
The two go back to Next Innovation and Toru uses Sawaki as a guinea pig for his interface. Sawaki thinks its really cool and she gets it somewhat, but she just can’t handle how complicated it really is. She has such a hard time making it work and navigating it. Toru cannot believe this. What an idiot Sawaki must be. However, her inability to use the interface gives him an idea and he starts all over again. After much trial and error and testing, he designs a very simple and efficient interface. I really do like this stretch of scenes as you get to see the bubbly Sawaki and Toru interactions which are always fun. And even though Toru complains about how useless and stupid Sawaki was (doing her survey that way, etc.) she is the only one who really understood the problem—the interface is for the general public to use. This pleases Sawaki. She just really wanted to help Toru out with this. Like earlier, she gets him coffee and straightens out his desk. Sawaki Chihiro’s profile comes up and he asks if that was her. She says it really wasn’t and apologizes all over again for lying. When the basic design is all set to go, Toru then kicks her out. Ahh, typical Toru, but not in a mean way or anything. After she leaves and he puts on the finishing touches, he goes downstairs and notices she wrote where to find his mother on the wall. That girl.
Toru and Asahina go to meet the bigwigs from JI Tech (a leading company joining the race for the file system). They arrive and you can see so much gluttony among the people. The drinks, the luxurious foods. Toru is less than pleased. They don’t think very much of Next Innovation, but they are helping them get the foothold they needs since JI Tech is highly reputable. They hand over the contract which Toru angrily slaps in a plate of food. He won’t use such methods as his little company is much better than theirs. He then leaves and Asahina isn’t happy. He is displeased. They need JI Tech’s connections to get this done much easier. Toru doesn’t care. They will do things his way as he doesn’t operate like that (he agrees it was partly a power display and partly because it goes against his ethics).
Asahina follows Toru to his office and talks about Next Innovation becoming a first class company and this makes Toru pause. What is that? Asahina then sees the new interface and is unhappy. What happened to the flashier, higher tech one? It was much better to display their prowess in front of the government officials and such. Toru then points out who would be using it? The common people. Thus this new interface is a perfect definition of high tech in its ease of letting anyone be able to use it efficiently. Toru then looks at his partner and wonders if that is really what Asahina has been dreaming of all this time? For the first time in their partnership, Toru is disappointed with Asahina. Why? Well, if you go by what Asahina says, then he cares about making a big splash and profit.
Sawaki then gets a call from Next Innovation. She heads in and wonders if Toru forgives her. No, he doesn’t. But for the time being he needs her help on this project. This makes Sawaki really happy. Toru then goes out and reintroduces Sawaki the intern, only he doesn’t know her name. We finally learn that her name is Natsui Makoto. This shocks everyone. Why a different name? After rehiring Natsui, Toru then goes to the staff members he slighted and put one in charge of debugging and the other in charge of colors and other design aspects. Toru then vows he shall never design alone again. Awww. This is all because of Natsui, isn’t it? She helped him understand the need of more heads and a bigger picture so you don’t lose sight of your goal (although Natsui has already figured out that besides wanting to help people, Toru is doing this to find his mother). Toru gives Natsui her new name cards with her real name. This really makes her happy. He finally remembers what happened and how he met Natsui, but unfortunately he cannot recall her at all from that time. And this comes right after the girl confessed how horrible she felt all this time for not being able to bring Sawaki and Toru together. Toru sees how this hurts her and as the elevator opens he says it’s a medical condition. Sawaki doesn’t catch this and just says everything is fine.
Yamagami is not happy with Toru’s rejection of JI Tech, but for whatever reasons, Asahina stands by Toru’s decision and says that they will make money no matter what. That…doesn’t sound right. Meanwhile, Toru meets with Yoko who has made him dinner. He wonders if he has hurt her with not being able to remember. This surprises Yoko. What brought this up? Toru says nothing, but we all know its Natsui’s hurt at Toru not remembering the past. We then learn that Yoko and Toru met on a train and hit it off. They agreed to meet one year later in the same place. Toru remembers this and says he did go back. Did she? Yoko says no, but then she says she lied and that she’s been waiting for him all of this time. She then kisses him which Natsui sees. Ahhh. I really think Natsui is better for Toru than Yoko.
We end this episode with Asahina staring at the wall, hitting it and then saying its disgusting before walking away. Uh-oh. And the previews! Can’t wait until next week.
Sorry for the wait and I hope you enjoy. What are your thoughts on this episode and the Asahina siblings? I am loving Toru’s and Natsui’s relationship (I was wondering if we’d learn her real name before the end of the series). They are so natural together. Sure Yoko and Toru have chemistry, but it seems that he has more chemistry with Natsui and she is actually helping him grow (as he is her) as a person. I don’t think Yoko can really do that.