At the end of the last episode of 49, and again at the start of this one, Kagami Dan (Sato Shori) – or, more accurately, Dan possessed by his dead father (Possessed Dan, as I will call him, as opposed to Real Dan) – asked the most popular girl in school, Minaduki Mana (Nishino Nanase) to go out with him.

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This is much to the dismay of Sawamura Shogo (Teranishi Takuto), who was also aiming to become Mana’s boyfriend. Is this going to be the start of a continuing rivalry between them? Anyway, Shogo seems confident that Mana will turn Dan down.

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But Shogo has the whole gym saying “gomennasai” – in other words, rooting for a rejection . . .

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. . . and that might have forced Mana’s hand – she accepted Dan’s proposal. Now, is Takami Sachi (Yamamoto Maika) just plain shocked at this turn of affairs, or is she disappointed because she’s interested in Dan?

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Okay, that’s about as much as  I can take of treating this like a love square drama!

Inoue Satoshi (Jinguji Yuta), save us!

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Oh wait, maybe it’ll be Sachi, who knocks into Dan as she runs after yet another instance of being bullied.

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Sachi stands by the pool looking like she’s going to try to drown herself . . .

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. . . but we already know that she’s a bit too strong-headed to be the suicidal type. Instead, she was looking for a way to test a theory. With Dan coming up behind her, she threw him into the water!

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Aside from the obvious fact that Sachi is incredibly strong, we also find out that she’s wondering what’s up with Dan. She points out that Real Dan had almost drowned in a river on an elementary school field trip, and as a result became afraid of water and avoided the pool at all costs. There’s no way Real Dan should be able to swim, but Possessed Dan sure can . . . .

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She explains all of this to Satoshi . . .

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. . . and asks Possessed Dan directly: “who are you?”

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Wow! I didn’t think we’d get to this point so quickly! Will he confess the truth to them? That would make things so much more fun, I think (it’s not like we don’t have enough characters running around who don’t know that Dan is possessed by his father).

Dan’s internal monologue points out that young people are willing to believe things that adults would dismiss, so maybe the smile on his face is there because he knows he can tell Satoshi and Sachi the truth. The bonus of that is, when Real Dan comes back, these two will at least be prepared to ease the transition.

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After the credits, we don’t know how that poolside conversation ended because the scene is back at the Kagami house (Ah! Suspense!). Dan wakes up late and complains that no matter how much sleep he gets, it’s not enough.

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He finds out that Real Dan’s sister (Possessed Dan’s daughter) goes to an art school and basically stalks her. Wow, they really are keeping us in suspense! This is a totally different topic.

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His curiosity leads him to wander into a studio . . .

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. . . where they’re waiting to paint a nude, and think he’s the . . . the subject. Umm . . . this isn’t really necessary, is it?

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The real subject is locked out . . .

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. . . and we get something either reminiscent of a certain scene of Evangelion or Austin Powers, depending on your cultural context.

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It earns him some money, but I’m not sure this is kosher . . . am I misreading this series? Maybe this series is more of a comedy than I thought it was, in which case such a comic scene wouldn’t be a waste of time, but rather a key feature.

Well, I’ll forgive the writers if the money turns out to be plot-critical. They made sure to show us that he got it, so now it’s a Chekov’s gun thing (if there’s a rifle shown hanging on the wall in act one, it absolutely must go off in act two or three).

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Dan walks in to his room to find two visitors:

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And his mother is clearly pleased to see her son actually has friends (though she’d probably be shocked to learn that her husband is the one who has these friends – and her husband also just had their son pose nude at an art school).

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Anyway, when she leaves, they break out with it – it looks like he still hasn’t told them anything, but they still demand to know.

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Well, they sure have him cornered now.

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I can’t resist giving it away because of what happens next (and because it’s still early in the episode) – he tells them the truth, then says “just kidding”, but it turns out they had hypothesized that Dan’s father had possessed Dan all along (lol)!

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As Satoshi explains – then Dan and his father got into the accident together, the magnetic waves from their brains came together . . . and their DNA. Umm . . . I didn’t think stuff like that could happen that easily. But hey, I’ve already suspended disbelief enough to allow for the ghost of a dead father to possess his son – am I really going to object to a pseudo-scientific explanation for it now?

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The clincher, though, and the reason I had to mention it, was that Satoshi said that the synchro-rate was 100% and then Sachi said it was just like Evangelion. So that early scene at the art school really was inspired by Evangelion! It was a direct cultural reference! Okay, I forgive the writers for that scene now.

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I am really getting to like these two – Satoshi and Sachi. Will they turn out to be the best sidekicks I’ve seen in a drama yet? We’ll eventually find out. I got a real laugh when they proposed that they should use polite speech, rather than informal speech, with Possessed Dan since he was actually Dan’s father.

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Since Satoshi was the one providing Real Dan with the photos of Mana, he explains why Dan’s father is trying to hook his son up with Mana.

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But the planned date doesn’t happen – Mana leaves him waiting in the dark on the bridge close to her place. I hope the fact that she wasn’t serious about the date isn’t too much of a spoiler. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it? She tells someone on the phone (I won’t give that away) that the record for someone waiting for her is 3 hours and 31 minutes, so it’s clear that she’s gone with this ploy before. Mean, yes, but 3:31 is less time than Ayame waited for Ichiya in Pin to Kona, right?

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So, will Dan break the record? What about Ayame’s record?

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The scene jumps to a morning scene at school – the next day. Dang it – suspense again!

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He’s asking Sachi why she doesn’t tell a teacher about the bullying, then offers to be her ally.

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She rebuffs him, though, pointing out that it would only cause problems when his son takes over his body again (geez, it’s tough to figure out how to write sentences about this drama sometimes!). Sachi notes that Dan is weaker than she is, and wouldn’t be able to hold up against the bullying the way she can.

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Dan’s father despairs at how weak his son is, but Sachi says that he’s weak but kind. Probably the first good thing anyone has said about Real Dan.

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Okay, things have been too serious for too long now.

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Time to bring in the Yasui team! (Or Kentaro crew – I think Kentaro crew has a better ring to it). As usual, they carry him off to the gym . . .

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. . . where they beg him to join their club for just one game so their club can continue existing.

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I’m not going to describe the details of the scene – you’re just going to have to watch it.

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Best line is when Dan says they don’t have to beg since he’s their kouhai, but one of them says “it’s okay, we don’t have any pride.” Everything around that line was brilliantly funny, too.

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One disappointing thing – the music. The music really didn’t support the comedy of the scene very well.

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So, will Dan finally join the basketball team? You’ll have to watch to find out!

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And what’s he going to do about the Mana situation? Just keep standing on that bridge?

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Oh, and what about this scene?

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You know what?  These are always the least interesting and most frustrating scenes in the drama, mainly because Dan’s mother’s character isn’t at all likeable.

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Next, we find out that Yasui Kentaro-kun’s character (Yashiro Kenta) is a good deal-maker and Possessed Dan is a tactical genius. I’m not going to tell you why, though.

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There is a scene between the two rivals, by the way:

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Okay, all is well with the series. We got some surprises – especially with Satoshi and Sachi figuring out what was going on – but the bulk of the episode was occupied by two situations we already knew had to be dealt with – the basketball club guys had to ask Dan to join the team, and Dan had to face some form of rejection at the hands of Mana. As a result, this felt like a slightly less innovative episode of the drama than usual.

The acting was still great, though. There were plenty of brilliant screenshots to spare. Shori-kun continues to show solid acting chops and we got great stuff out of Jinguji-kun, Yamamoto Maika-chan, and the entire Kentaro crew.

In terms of pace, even though this episode felt slightly slower than the first two, they still managed to pack a ton into it. Consider the fact that I wrote more in this review than I usually do for an hour long episode, and this is just a half-hour.

As far as looking for an innovative episode, the preview of episode four makes it look totally off-the-wall. How crazy will it really get? I guess we’re going to find out!