When we last left Suga Mizuho (Honda Tsubasa), she had approached emotionally fragile Sugawara (Nozawa Yuki) and discovered that he was the one responsible for angry, stalkerish notes sent to Setouchi (Suzuki Airi). More importantly, he bullied the main tragic figure of the story, Origuchi Haruka (Mizuno Erina). Will this help Mizuho piece together what happened to Origuchi?

Piece Ep 07 000Piece Ep 07 001

Sugawara said he tormented Origuchi because she defended the gym teacher, Miyamoto, when Miyamoto seemed to never waste a chance to touch Setouchi.

Piece Ep 07 002Piece Ep 07 003Piece Ep 07 004Piece Ep 07 005

Not only that, but Sugawara also happened to see Origuchi visiting Miyamoto, leading to all sorts of suspicions about what they might be doing together.

Piece Ep 07 006Piece Ep 07 007Piece Ep 07 008

When Mizuho brings these Miyamoto-related issues up with her fellow investigators – Yanai (Matsumura Hokuto) and Setouchi – Yanai pushes back against he idea vehemently, saying that it’s nonsense. After all, he still has a place in his heart for Origuchi, and can’t believe that she would do such a thing.

Piece Ep 07 009

I have to say that Matsumura-kun’s acting here was a bit off – somewhat incongruous with how his character has behaved so far. Even if we disregard behavior in previous episodes, his reactions felt forced.

Piece Ep 07 010

Setouchi also doubts that Sugawara’s word can be trusted on this issue . . .

Piece Ep 07 011Piece Ep 07 012

. . . but Mizuho insists on following every lead.

Piece Ep 07 013Piece Ep 07 014

They head out to Miyamoto’s place with Yanai still resisting petulantly.

Piece Ep 07 015Piece Ep 07 016Piece Ep 07 017

Setouchi notes that Mizuho has changed, and that she likes the new Mizuho better.

Piece Ep 07 018Piece Ep 07 019Piece Ep 07 020Piece Ep 07 021

I feel like we haven’t been given a sufficient catalyst for the change, though. Apparently the search for information about Haruka itself had brought about this improvement in Mizuho’s personality? It seems like the change occurred at the instant she took the case – she decided to take an interest in someone else and to interact with others, and that’s it. It’s not unrealistic, but if this is all the character development we’re going to see in her, I’m not going to be ahppy.

Piece Ep 07 022

Meanwhile, Narumi (Nakayama Yuma) continues to brood. Really, this is quite irritating. The more they show him like this, the more I despise the character. If that’s their plan, fine, but it’s hard-going for Yuma-kun’s fans, I think.

Piece Ep 07 023

Sugawara decides to do a bit of character development of his own – breaking with his absolute focus of getting into Tokyo University. Are we going to see more of this character later, or is his part essentially over?

Piece Ep 07 024Piece Ep 07 025Piece Ep 07 026

The three investigators arrive at Miyamoto’s apartment, bracing themselves for what is bound to be a rather uncomfortable conversation.

 

 

Piece Ep 07 027

They find he’s not home, prompting Yanai, who we’re certainly getting to see another side of, to propose going home.

Piece Ep 07 028Piece Ep 07 029Piece Ep 07 030

But then a young boy appears, followed by Miyamoto:

Piece Ep 07 031Piece Ep 07 032

The atmosphere remains awkward when they get inside . . .

Piece Ep 07 033Piece Ep 07 034

. . . and even worse when the kid reacts then Mizuho mentions Haruka’s funeral.

Piece Ep 07 035Piece Ep 07 036

Clearly, the kid knew and liked Haruka, and his father had kept the news of Haruka’s death from him . . . until now.

Piece Ep 07 037Piece Ep 07 038

They postpone the revelations, with Miyamoto promising to pay a visit to Haruka’s parents to pay his respects.

Piece Ep 07 039

Well, all sorts of interesting information comes out here. Did Miyamoto really have an affair with his student, Haruka? Since we’re only in the middle of the series, that seems unlikely, so what was really going on? What light can Miyamoto shed on Haruka’s character? Who will be the next piece of the puzzle, now that we have visited almost all of the people we met at the funeral in the first episode?

Piece Ep 07 040Piece Ep 07 044Piece Ep 07 053Piece Ep 07 055

I’ll leave the answers for your enjoyment, as usual. I will mention that it involves a crayon drawing . . .

Piece Ep 07 074Piece Ep 07 081Piece Ep 07 085
. . . and a painting:

Piece Ep 07 086Piece Ep 07 087Piece Ep 07 093

After some of the bumpiness in the early minutes, I felt that Yanai’s character got fleshed out a bit better, and more well-rounded. Matsumura-kun showed some of his youth, though, as he acted younger than Mizuho and Setouchi even though he’s supposed to be older. That’s not a problem as long as they keep it consistent from here on out. It certainly seems like a sharp break from the way he was acting in the first half of the series, but I like this better. He’s already played cool and quiet characters in his previous two dramas, and this change allowed him to show a different face.

As for the rest, everything just kept chugging along. We got a few notable revelations, and that’s the least we should expect from each episode. Aside from the change in Yanai’s character, the acting was unremarkable, and the plot continued to follow the pattern set ever since Mizuho decided to take the Origuchi case.

My main disappointment is the misuse of Narumi. It wouldn’t have killed them to write in some activities for him to do except for lazing around at home. It’s not necessary for those activities to have anything to do with the main plot, but they should give hints – or even red herrings – about his character. Instead, our top-billed actor seems to have very little to do, and the writers are filling in the spare time by making the plot move at a crawl instead of putting more meat on it. In the later episodes, they had better give us a very good reason why Narumi had to be inert all this time.

Advertisements