This episode of Yorozu Uranaidokoro Onmyoya e Yokoso (よろず占い処 陰陽屋へようこそ) picks right up from the ending of the last one, where one of Abeno Shomei (Nishikido Ryo)’s old friends suddenly shows up at his door. That friend, Makihara Hideyuki (Suruga Taro), immediately proceeds to tell all sorts of things about Shomei – that his real name is Abe Yoshiaki (though that means the kanji is read the same way as his assumed name, and I’m going to continue calling him Shomei), that they were neighbors and childhood friends, that Shomei was the well-educated scion of a wealthy family, and that Hideyuki taught him judo.
This was all in front of probably the largest group of people ever to be in Shomei’s store, so Shomei immediately drags Hideyuki off so they can speak in private – before Hideyuki tells everybody everything.
Shunta (Chinen Yuri) still takes a dim view of Shomei, and the new information from Hideyuki sure hasn’t changed his mind about the false psychic. His mother raises a good question, though – if Shomei was from a wealthy family, why did he come all the way out to their town to open a store?
Back at school, Shunta’s teacher Tadano Michiko (Kurashina Kana) gets a task from administration – assess whether it is appropriate for Shunta to be working at Shomei’s shop. Since the whole community has been wondering whether Shomei’s shop is sleazy or not, Michiko’s decision on the subject will probably have wide-ranging influence.
She wastes no time telling Shomei about her intention to investigate his practices, but he’s . . . unimpressed. He even antagonizes her by questioning her teaching methods, which put Shunta to sleep.
Incensed, she tries to drag Shunta out of the place, but bumps right into Hideyuki. Shomei’s old friend has brought in a new client – Miyauchi Natsuo.
Suddenly, Shomei is all smiles and gets his divination board out. Natsuo wants him to find her grandmother’s will.
She tells them the rather curious story – her grandmother decided that whoever found the will would inherit all her wealth, but if no one finds the will by October 27th, the inheritance will be donated to charity.
Since learning that, Natsuo’s relatives have been turning everything inside out in their treasure hunt, but haven’t found it. The deadline is approaching.
Natsuo isn’t particularly concerned about the wealth, but her mother is the youngest child of the five possible inheritors, and has been severely maltreated by the others. If one of the elder four were to win the inheritance, it might give Natsuo’s mother even more emotional distress.
Natsuo’s uncles and aunts have already hired detectives who failed, so Natsuo figured that she should try something different.
As usual, Shomei rejects the case as something beyond him, but then Natsuo sings his tune – the inheritance is worth 100 million yen, and she promises to compensate him generously.
Road trip confirmed!
But before that, dinner. Hideyuki is totally stalking Michiko now. This . . . could get irritating.
Interestingly, Shomei asks Genjiro (Sugi Ryotaro) what he thinks about the will – an unusual show of respect for the old man’s wisdom.
Genjiro seems to inspire people to take a different approach to things. For instance, when he’s alone with Michiko, the teacher reflects that maybe Shomei was right – maybe she’s not really cut out for teaching. Genjiro consoles her, pointing out that he likes her better now that she’s working with students rather than just doing research privately.
Some things will never change . . .
. . . but Shunta shows himself to be an unusually considerate son, wanting to buy lipstick for his mother because she’s trying to save as much money as possible and applying cosmetics sparingly.
On Sunday, Michiko drives Shomei and Shunta up to Natsuo’s grandmother’s place.
The inside has been utterly trashed by Natsuo’s uncles and aunts. And presumably her mother, too, of course.
Michiko rather overthinks things. Seeing prime numbers circled on a calender, her mind jumps to encryption (which is based on prime numbers) instead of simpler explanations. In deduction, it’s important to remember Occam’s Razor – the hypothesis with the fewest premises/assumptions should be preferred. The idea that Natsuo’s grandmother was a master of encryption is a rather big assumption.
In the process, she reenacts the scene (including the music) in Galileo where the detective of that series figures everything out, with the notable exception that the equations floating above Michiko’s head are from chemistry and thermodynamics, while in Galileo they would be physics equations.
Shomei diffuses her excitement by pointing out that the circled days on the calendar are lucky days.
Rather than necessary focusing on the hunt for the will, Shomei seems to be interested in little details which might give him clues to Natsuo’s grandmother’s thought process.
He also gets some of the inheritance-seeking siblings to open up.
This is excellent, since we don’t know why he’s interested in certain items yet, but we’ll find out in the final reveal. It heightens the suspense and once again shows that this is a legit mystery series in the old Holmes/Agatha Christie style.
The four unpleasant siblings lock Michiko and Natsuo in a barn, which Shunta eventually frees them from. Confronting Shomei, the four challenge him to show them his powers.
And he does – sending them all, including Michiko and Shunta, on a wild cat chase.
Meanwhile, Shomei went to an onsen – one that he knew Natsuo’s grandmother also had a connection to based on items with the onsen’s logo in the house. He was questioning the people there (charming them first, of course).
In desperation, everyone except Shomei starts digging up the house’s yard. I think you can guess how successful this random search will be.
Michiko finds Shomei relaxing and eating something sweet. He sure enjoys taunting her.
We know that Hideyuki is infatuated with Michiko, but this scene was strange and out-of-place.
I think you get the gist of the episode. So, how will Shomei manage to resolve this case?
Will he really find the will and hit a huge payday, or is there some surprise in store for everyone?
The solution was good and entirely fair. It was theoretically possible for the viewer to figure it out before Shomei revealed the answer, but it would have taken a spark of genius to do so. The motive for the unique will was also reasonably justified.
The writers handed the resolution phase very patiently – a bit slow, it might be argued – but I thought that the effect was good. They found an interesting way to include Ayukawa Tamaki (Kashiwagi Yuki) at the end, though their failure to develop that character so far doesn’t make me too hopeful – seems like an afterthought. The scene with Shunta’s family at the end was totally brilliant.
Nishikido-kun’s acting continues to be solid and, besides the writing, continues to be a highlight of the series. Chinen-kun is still a fair fox-like sidekick, though he had marginally less of a part in this episode. Kurashina-san’s character – Michiko – is so changeable that it’s hard to assess her acting. Is Michiko supposed to flip like an on-off switch, or is it just that Kurashina-san has trouble acting subtly? On the bright side, she was somewhat more tolerable in this episode than in the first two.
I’m still enjoying this series. It’s still on the path to become the best mystery drama I’ve reviewed.