Last time on Pin to Kona (ぴんとこな), Ichiya (Nakayama Yuma) had a complete breakdown, tears including, on stage in the middle of his big break. That . . . is a fail not even a newbie on stage would be capable of – Ichiya should have gotten his tears out well before he hit the stage, realizing the play’s significance to his own situation during practice. He might have even asked to be excused from the performance beforehand, forcing an understudy to act in his place. I find this weird incompetence that the writers have foisted on Ichiya disconcerting, though I guess the show of emotion might draw sympathy from some of the audience.
Anyway, Ichiya ran off and they had to cancel the performance. In the real world, that would be enough to end his career except . . . except if he has a strong patron. Enter Yuna (Yoshikura Aoi), who wants to continue being that patron. She approaches Chiba Ayame (Kawashima Umika) at school and warns Ayame not to see Ichiya again.
To her credit, Ayame at least understands the situation (finally!) and that she can’t press her own claim on Ichiya when he’s so dependent on Yuna. So, she says that she won’t see him again.
But Ichiya is missing, and one reason Yuna approached Ayame was because she thought Ichiya had gone to Ayame after the performance. That doesn’t seem to be the case, and even Kyonosuke (Tamamori Yuta) is desperately trying to make contact with Ichiya. It’s actually quite sweet how worried Kyonosuke seems to be about Ichiya – perhaps this is a point from which the plot can make some more interesting developments?
Even though they are both worried about Ichiya, Kyonosuke and Ayame don’t do the running around Tokyo looking for him thing (even though, in dramas, this always seems to work). That’s a shame, because Ichiya is at this moment on a bridge looking down ominously.
But Kyonosuke does take positive steps, asking his father to allow Ichiya to be in one of their plays. You know, I think I missed the part where Kyonosuke became Ichiya’s buddy. Is this all for Ayame’s sake, or does Kyonosuke feel some sort of genuine bond with his rival (to be sure, he seems not to interact much with the other young kabuki actors).
But like I said, they way Ichiya ran off was a career-ending move, and Kyonosuke’s father agrees with me – refusing Kyonosuke’s request on those grounds.
Kyonosuke appeals to Kanjiro (Yamamoto Koji) next, but while Kanjiro certainly did good work boosting Ichiya’s confidence, it’s tough to gauge what influence he might have beyond that. Anyway, isn’t deciding whether Ichiya will ever get to work in kabuki again sort of academic until they figure out where he is?
As it turns out, Kanjiro is putting on an independent play (I guess it’s easier to put on a kabuki play than I thought), and he’ll put Ichiya in it. So, Ichiya’s career has a second life, and only now does Kyonosuke say that he’ll bring Ichiya back. I guess he needed the role as a bait.
For some reason, Ayame visited the right place, but wandered off before even checking if Ichiya was there or trying to see him. I guess she’s taking her promise to Yuna seriously, but isn’t that promise moot if Ichiya never takes the kabuki stage again? I really didn’t understand this at all, but there was a worthy punchline to it.
At least Yuna is a perceptive villain – at any given point she’s had the right suspicions about Ichiya and she’s always been a few steps ahead of Ayame.
Of course, Yuna was the last person Ichiya wanted to talk to.
Kyonosuke finally gets mobilized . . .
. . . as Ichiya looks at the package Ayame left in his mailbox – the evidence of how she followed all his achievements over the years.
Ultimately, it falls to Kanjiro to convince Yuna’s father to give Ichiya another chance . . .
. . . and it’s Kyonosuke who gives Ichiya his next visit.
While Ichiya’s dejected behavior after his epic failure is realistic, I still find it tedious to watch him like this.
I totally approved of Kyonosuke’s attempt to literally drag Ichiya back to Tokyo, the fact that the last bus had already left and he was forced to stay overnight at Ichiya’s grandfather’s house was even better, . . .
. . . and then the fact that Ichiya left the next morning before Ichiya even woke up made me chuckle.
And of course, the reason Ichiya had to go alone was because he had to talk to Yuna’s father, who will do Kanjiro the favor of letting Ichiya have one more performance – but only one.
Continuing to annoy me, Ayame refuses to see Ichiya and looks entirely cheerful about it. If this is going to be her attitude, I really, really, really hope she doesn’t get either Ichiya or Kyonosuke. Frankly, I think Kyonosuke should be offended by her lackadaisical manner after he’s done so much more to bring Ichiya back.
When she said that she was envious of Kyonosuke and Ichiya because they’re tied together by fate, my only thought was that somebody has to already be shipping this pair, right? I’m not the type to ship anything (not into romantic stuff), but at this point, even I’m rooting for Kyonosuke and Ichiya to get together, since the only alternatives are Ayame and Yuna.
Since Ichiya has already moved out of Sawamura house, he was planning to spend the night at a mange café. Instead, Kyonosuke . . . Kyonosuke arranged for him to stay at Kyonosuke’s own home, and when they get there and Kyonosuke describes Ichiya as sadistic (Do-S), Shizu (Enami Kyoko) responds that the two of them make a great combination. My . . . this relationship is getting warmer by the minute!
Will the father of the house approve of the pair?
In practice the next day, Ichiya still lacks passion and Kyonosuke sees the vacuity of his rival’s performance.
Will Ichiya snap out of it in time for the performance? What will cause him to do so?
And really, that’s practically the only thing in play for this entire episode. Will Ichiya at least come out of it a better person?
Well, we know two people who aren’t on the path of self-improvement:
Those two are made for each other.
As for the rest, at least we got a play at the end.
So, the first half-hour of program time or so was a painful, slow, and tedious grind as we watched Ichiya moping. Suddenly, though, things got remarkably interesting in the last third of the episode, though you’ll have to forgive me for not saying how – serious spoilers and all that. This would have worked better as a half-hour episode rather than an hour-long one.
Ayame is getting to be a truly annoying character in terms of the unrealistic way she acts. I’m not so sure I’m going to like the Ichiya that comes out of this episode – we’ll have to see. Really, the only good character in all of this is Kyonosuke, so can we get an episode that is just about him and has nothing to do with Ichiya, Ayame, or Yuna? I’d really like to see that.
Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going into the Kyonosuke-Ayame phase of things. Now, there have been cute moments between the two, but I need more than cute moments – I need a less predictable plot. If this really devolves into who Ayame chooses in the end, I swear I’m going to be merciless.