Kiriki Tsukasa (Nakajima Kento) decided to pick a fight with the baddest boy in Hiroshima, Danno Hidenori (Nikaido Takashi), in the last episode of Bad Boys J. Sirens interrupted the fight, but the members of Gokurakuchou are under no illusions – the hammer of BEAST is going to come down on them, and soon.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 000Bad Boys J Ep 04 001Bad Boys J Ep 04 002

Tsukasa managed to get Danno fired up – something no one has been able to do in quite some time. Good for the members of BEAST, but bad for Gokurakuchou.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 003

Danno’s new intensity has even put a twinkle in Nakai Kaori (Itano Tomomi)’s eye:

Bad Boys J Ep 04 005Bad Boys J Ep 04 006Bad Boys J Ep 04 007

But BEAST’s hostility toward Gokurakuchou leaves the group’s second-in-command Kazu (Morita Myuto) with a little problem. He’s a longtime friend of Gokurakuchou’s Youji, Eiji, and Hisao.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 008Bad Boys J Ep 04 009

So, Kazu makes a last-ditch attempt to convince Youji (Iwamoto Hikaru) to abandon Gokurakuchou since Danno only wants to fight Tsukasa.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 011Bad Boys J Ep 04 012Bad Boys J Ep 04 013Bad Boys J Ep 04 014

I think you can guess how this conversation goes.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 016Bad Boys J Ep 04 017Bad Boys J Ep 04 018

Meeting with Eiji (Fukusawa Tatsuya) and Hisao (Watanabe Shota), Youji is clearly looking for some support . . .

Bad Boys J Ep 04 021Bad Boys J Ep 04 022Bad Boys J Ep 04 024

. . . so they give him some.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 025Bad Boys J Ep 04 026

But what I don’t get is this: why do they think they can keep Tsukasa out of it? Danno doesn’t even want to fight them, and with thousands at his command, he’ll have his people scouring every corner of the city for Tsukasa.

As we get another pensive scene with Youji and Kazu . . .

Bad Boys J Ep 04 027Bad Boys J Ep 04 028

. . . and another redundant scene with Danno and Kaori . . .

Bad Boys J Ep 04 030Bad Boys J Ep 04 031. . . I come to the conclusion that this episode isn’t actually going anywhere – it’s just one big holding pattern to delay the confrontation between Danno and Tsukasa, to milk it for what it’s worth.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 032Bad Boys J Ep 04 033

The trio, trying to protect Tsukasa, takes on Danno and BEAST first. That leads me to another question: what about the rest of Gokurakuchou? Have all the other members abandoned the group, were they wimps, or were they told to stay home for this fight?

Bad Boys J Ep 04 034Bad Boys J Ep 04 035

You might be wondering where Tsukasa is. Well, he’s visiting his favorite café, still simultaneously chasing and shying away from Kumi (Hashimoto Nanami).

Bad Boys J Ep 04 036Bad Boys J Ep 04 037Bad Boys J Ep 04 038

Kumi gets a much more substantial part than she has in earlier episodes, since she overheard the plans of the trio to protect Tsukasa, and it seems like she wants to protect him, too.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 039Bad Boys J Ep 04 040

As a result, with the other guys dealing and receiving damage . . .

Bad Boys J Ep 04 041Bad Boys J Ep 04 042Bad Boys J Ep 04 043

Kumi resolutely avoids telling Tsukasa anything.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 045Bad Boys J Ep 04 046Bad Boys J Ep 04 047

Unfortunately, he finds out from others who enter the café, and Kumi is left to ponder her own feelings and motives.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 052Bad Boys J Ep 04 053Bad Boys J Ep 04 054

So that’s good, at least – there seems to be some movement on the romantic front. While there’s a chance that Kumi will get some much-needed character development, it’s also possible that this was just a plot device to delay Tsukasa’s arrival at the fight.

The rest is all . . . the usual stuff.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 057Bad Boys J Ep 04 058Bad Boys J Ep 04 059Bad Boys J Ep 04 060

Will Tsukasa be able to defeat Danno, or will this whole thing drag on for another episode?

Bad Boys J Ep 04 061Bad Boys J Ep 04 062Bad Boys J Ep 04 065Bad Boys J Ep 04 066

Either way, there’s no indication from this episode where this series is going. It’s just another fight. Does Gokurakuchou have any future anyway, when the rest of the group doesn’t show up for a battle like this?

Bad Boys J Ep 04 068Bad Boys J Ep 04 069Bad Boys J Ep 04 070Bad Boys J Ep 04 071

Tsukasa is willing to defend friends, but he’s only contending for supremacy by accident, still stumbling his way to the top.

Bad Boys J Ep 04 072Bad Boys J Ep 04 073Bad Boys J Ep 04 074Bad Boys J Ep 04 075So, I have to say this episode was a disappointment because it mostly ended with things in the same state as they were in at the end of episode three. Worse, it was the same situation as we’ve seen in the last three episodes – they spend the first part of the episode setting up the fight, and the second part fighting. I think we’re overdue for an episode that doesn’t end on a fight.

It’s impossible not to contrast this series with Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou, since they share the same time slot and producer. In Bakaleya, the fights did not occur in a predictable pattern, and there were episodes where there were other sorts of plots. After four episodes, I’m beginning to get nervous about lazy writing in this series.

The main source of my irritation is, of course, the fact that we still haven’t gotten a sense of direction in the series. It would be one thing if Tsukasa was aiming to get the top – if that was a goal for him – but he’s not really interested in that. In fact, his only clear aim is to win Kumi’s heart, so is this ultimately a romantic comedy that somehow got mixed up with a gang war? I don’t understand why we should be interested in all the fighting. Yes, it is well-choreographed, and yes, Tsukasa is defending his friends, but otherwise his character makes it all seem pointless. If only he could convince his friends to abandon the whole Gokurakuchou thing, the world would be a more peaceful place and he could focus on what really matters – Kumi.

If it sounds like I’m scratching my head, puzzled, it’s because I am. If you have a different take on this episode and the series so far, please comment below. Maybe I’m just looking at this episode from the wrong angle.