Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi: Ep 2
I love Mahoro. I feel like this episode was more moving than ep1 even though it was shorter.
Yes, with episode 2, it is confirmed that each episode will cover a different odd-job that Tada & Gyoten will do. You may notice that episode 2 is shorter than episode 1 (first episodes usually have a longer airing time for the premier or whatever) but I think that the short episode length is part of the beauty of Mahoro. Since there is a limited amount of time, Mahoro must create a simple and succinct yet moving story arc for each episode. It has to introduce and develop new characters that we can empathize with even though we will probably never see them again in the rest of the drama. There is an attention to details and brevity that makes Mahoro a pleasure to watch. In other words there is no nonsense scenes that you just want to skip because every minute counts!
Anyways, Tada & Gyoten accept a job to find a random model that was in an old karaoke music video. The customer who wants to find her is convinced he is in love with her and just has to see her in person. Actually this sounds a bit typical, like in those jdramas where the detectives have to reunite someone with a person they are searching for, blah blah blah. I’d say Mahoro takes it beyond the cliche by adding in a more realistic feel. It turns out that the model in the video became a hostess, then an AV actress, and then turned to drugs. (Note: There is a “mature” scene in this episode but you can just fast forward through it real quickly if you’re not comfortable with it. It is only 1 scene.) She is also way older than she used to be in the music video. She is not the ideal woman that the customer thinks she is.
(I don’t know what the customer and the woman’s names are so I will refer to them as such O_O)
Tada is thrown into a moral dilemma as he ponders whether to tell his customer the truth about his idol. I didn’t quite get a feel for Tada’s character in the first episode, but now I see that he is much more cautious than Gyoten is. He is concerned with the consequences of his actions and considers how they will affect others. In this case, he decides that it is better not to tell the customer the truth. Instead, he tells her that the woman wants to meet him, but only once because she is married and has children. In actuality, the customer meets the woman’s daughter who is her spitting image and pretends to be her mom for his sake. The customer is so relieved to see that she is happy and well-off that he earnestly breaks down crying. Even though this SOUNDS like a cliched “happy ending” kind of thing, IT’S NOT. I don’t know how to explain it, but somehow it goes beyond the cliche. For one thing, the actor playing the customer was great so his breaking down crying didn’t feel overdramatic. Also there is this feeling you get that even though it seems like Tada doesn’t have an enviable job, he can still make someone happy through his work.
There is also a great moment with Gyoten, when he is drinking and smoking with the actual woman the guy was looking for. She jokes that she can’t let him see an old woman who is now an alcoholic. Gyoten honestly tells her he thinks she did good, especially because she raised her daughter well. Somehow this is the best moment to me because it’s that kind of feeling you get when two strangers are being incredibly honest with each other. Gyoten is very accepting of the woman and sees her best side, despite her past.
Anyways Gyoten is also a lot of fun to watch. He’s not exactly impulsive but he is the kind of guy who doesn’t care about boundaries and is willing to take the initiative to do something. His straight-forwardness can come off as being outspoken in certain situations, but earnest in others.Gyoten is a really good balance with Tada because he can help Tada make quick decisions, and Tada can help keep him out of trouble.
This episode is not as obviously humorous as episode 1 is, but still has random moments that make me chuckle. I didn’t talk much about the bromance in this post but YES, it is still there and I love Tada & Gyoten’s interactions. Oh, and did I mention I LOVE Gyoten’s name for some reason? Anyways, overall this is the perfect drama to watch on a weekly basis because it is short and mellow yet has a lot of substance.
^GIF credit HERE.
Here’s the cute ending song: