In Priceless (プライスレス), Kindaichi (Kimura Takuya) finally got the idea that I was hoping he would get – the one that would pit him up against his old company in a way that would prove that he deserved the company presidency more than Toichiro (Fujiki Naohito).

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With Toichiro deciding that Miracle Thermos would no longer make thermoses because they couldn’t get enough profit out of it, Kindaichi decides that there’s a chance for them to take the thermos business.

The morning after he has this brilliant thought, there’s a guest waiting for him – Hirose Ryoichi (Kusakari Masao), the father of Kindaichi’s girlfriend Yoko.

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At first, Kindaichi pulls away to confer with Nikaido (Karina) and Moai (Nakai Kiichi), afraid of what Hirose might want with him. Moai suggests apologizing for ignoring Yoko, and taking the two or three punches that are no doubt coming.

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As it turns out, Hirose doesn’t even know about the relationship between Kindaichi and Yoko (though there was evidence in the last episode that he saw hints of it).

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Instead, he wants to offer 10,000,000 yen (around $120,000) for the hot dog stand. He’s representing a group that plans to turn it into a franchise. Really, though, this seems like an investment in Kindaichi.

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Meanwhile, Toichiro rolls out his plan for the reinvention of Miracle Thermos, changing its name to Miracle Electronics:

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At least one members of the audience is unimpressed . . .

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. . . doesn’t bother to stay for the question session . . .

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. . . and heads back to his office. He’s Noumi Minoru (Kagawa Teruyuki), and he’s looking for the next big thing. If he recommends something in his articles, consumers rush to buy it, trusting in his judgment.

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He hasn’t found anything for the upcoming issue, though. I think we can see where this is going.

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After Kindaichi and his team watch their hot dog cart being packed into a truck . . .

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. . . they have to decide what to do with the money. Nikaido wants to split it 40-40-20, with Moai getting the short share (she’s never really liked Moai).

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But Kindaichi decides that he’s going to take all of it.

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Without giving them a chance to object, he heads to his former company and asks Toichiro if he can use the thermos factory for a month, now that it’s not being used by the company.

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Toichiro looks to his accountant, who quotes a price of 5,000,000 yen – half of the money Kindaichi got for the hot dog cart.

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He takes the offer, leaving Toichiro with a sinking feeling:

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Next, Kindaichi heads to the factory to ask its manager whether they can produce a thermos for the remaining money.

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The short answer is yes, but it depends on the type of thermos. As you might guess, Kindaichi wants only the best, but because it’s still a prototype, the estimated unit cost is high – 30000 yen per thermos. How can they sell a thermos that costs around $400?

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Well, Kindaichi isn’t going to worry about that. He just wants to make the best thermos in the world. Such a big kid!

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After a brief scene between Hirose and Yoko, and another bit of anger from Toichiro (he seems to think work and smiles don’t mix) . . .

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. . . the Kindaichi team talks about setting up their thermos company.

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Kindaichi and his benefactor meet, and Hirose shares a little anecdote about the founder of Miracle Thermos (Kindaichi’s father, though Kindaichi doesn’t know that).

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Kindaichi and Yoko bump into each other in the lobby, and that turns awkward fast.

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But Kindaichi is clearly in his element when leading the workers to complete the design of the perfect thermos.

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The trouble isn’t with making it, though. It’s about selling it. Will Kindaichi’s thermos be a success?

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Will going from shop to shop to try and get people to display it work, especially after they learn about a cost overrun (which always happens) leading to a sticker price of 60000 yen instead of 30000?

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And even if it does work, what about the evil duo in charge of Miracle Electronics? What is the manager pressuring Enomoto (Fujigaya Taisuke) into? Priceless Ep 06 099Priceless Ep 06 100Priceless Ep 06 101Priceless Ep 06 111

Does Toichiro look a bit less worried and a bit more satisfied here?

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This was an uncomplicated episode centered on a very concrete conflict. And while there was a nominal conclusion, the story of Kindaichi’s thermos certainly doesn’t end here, and will continue into episode seven.

Previous episodes contained delightful surprises, and unfortunately I have to report that except for the very beginning, this episode lacked those touches. The story was very tight and the pace was good, but they needed to get through some very definite and predictable events.

On the bright side, Kimura-san brought solid energy to his role. It wouldn’t have worked out, though, if not for the wonderful skepticism Karina-san conveyed through Nikaido. Her dismay at losing the chance to secure her share of the hot dog stand winnings was essential, as were her subsequent attempts to bring order to Kimura-san’s project.

I think the final verdict on this episode will partly depend on what happens in the next one.

Thanks to Rollins for the English subtitles.

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