We’re getting subtitles for the remaining episodes of SHARK’s first season just as the new season begins (thank you, Hakuchan!) so, let me try and get through these ASAP so that I can start on the new season. Not that I think that the next three episodes aren’t going to be fun, mind you, but my curiosity is fully mobilized in wondering what sort of storyline they’ll build around the new cast and how they’ll transition from this story.

At the start of this episode, Mizuki (Hirano Sho) tries to listen to the song from his rival in the Castaways. I guess it was an attempt at bravery in the face of the cataclysmic realization of his lack of comparative vocal skill, and . . . he fails this particular test of bravery. It doesn’t take more than a few lines of the song before he ditches the headphones.

SHARK Ep 10 000SHARK Ep 10 001

Back at headquarters, Mizuki takes revenge on Shinobu of Castaways by drawing all over his image on the cover of Indies Press. Hmm . . . I’m not sure this is an adequate way to get revenge, but the rest of the band got a laugh out of it.

SHARK Ep 10 002SHARK Ep 10 003

Ichika (Yamashita Rio) is not so sanguine about the situation, though. Walking in utter depressed, she breaks the news that their début is in jeopardy because a director at the record company has nixed it.

SHARK Ep 10 004SHARK Ep 10 005SHARK Ep 10 006SHARK Ep 10 007

Mizuki immediately resolves to head to Wonder Records to straighten this out, or at least to find out why the director is against their debut.

SHARK Ep 10 009SHARK Ep 10 010

Once we see the director, it’s all too obvious why – she’s Mizuki’s old manager. She’s the one who fed him all that stuff about how wonderful he is, and then dashed that illusion when he refused to go along with her plans.

SHARK Ep 10 011SHARK Ep 10 012

Whatever she says here, she clearly still holds a grudge against Mizuki (not that it hurt her career – she’s clearly done well), and judging from the way he takes a step back and stays silent throughout the meeting, Mizuki doesn’t know what to do about it. Other people in charge have agreed to SHARK’s debut, and she’s the only hold-out.

SHARK Ep 10 013SHARK Ep 10 014SHARK Ep 10 015

On the way out, she throws another jab directly at Mizuki, saying that they’ve completely lost to Castaways.

SHARK Ep 10 016SHARK Ep 10 017

Well, it’s tough to see how they’ll convince her, and Mizuki doesn’t want to talk about what happened between him and her, so what can they do?

SHARK Ep 10 018SHARK Ep 10 019

Ichika remembers that Kai (Hamada Takahiro) was working on a new song, and wonders if the success of the song might compel the director to change her mind. After all, whatever her feelings towards Mizuki, she’s not going to be able to pass up a real opportunity to make money – not if she wants to keep her job.

SHARK Ep 10 020SHARK Ep 10 021

Kai says the music is done, but he’s having trouble with the lyrics. That’s not true, of course – the lyrics were written by Kazuki (Fujii Ryusei) before he died. In private, Kenzo (Iwamoto Hikaru) calls Kai out on this little lie, and says Kai hid the lyrics because Kazuki wrote them for Ichika.

SHARK Ep 10 022SHARK Ep 10 023SHARK Ep 10 024

Kai admits it, saying that he was worried that if she heard the lyrics, Ichika would never be able to forget about Kazuki.

SHARK Ep 10 025SHARK Ep 10 026SHARK Ep 10 027

Kenzo takes him to task for not being a proper leader for the group, and more pointedly for not admitting his own feelings for Ichika. Because Kai feels guilty about it because of Kazuki, he can’t confess to Ichika.

SHARK Ep 10 028SHARK Ep 10 029

Enough of all this serious stuff! Time to check in with Mizuki at the burger joint, where Kaede (Kawaei Rina) continues to supply him with food on credit. Her advice comes free.

SHARK Ep 10 030SHARK Ep 10 031SHARK Ep 10 033

Kaede also mentions that she’s been seeing Ichika standing around in a certain spot at odd hours. Mizuki decides to check it out for himself, and sure enough, she’s standing there thinking about Kazuki. So much for Kai’s attempt to make sure she forgets the former lead singer of SHARK.

SHARK Ep 10 034SHARK Ep 10 035

As you’d expect, Mizuki manages some sage advice here.

SHARK Ep 10 036SHARK Ep 10 037SHARK Ep 10 038SHARK Ep 10 039

Seeing that Kai was having trouble with the lyrics, Teppei (Kamiyama Tomohiro) decided to write some up. Seeing that, Kai decided to admit that he had been holding back Kazuki’s last lyrics, and that made Teppei very angry.

SHARK Ep 10 044SHARK Ep 10 045SHARK Ep 10 046SHARK Ep 10 047

Prepared for this, Kenzo broke it up . . .

SHARK Ep 10 048SHARK Ep 10 049SHARK Ep 10 050

. . . and Mizuki handed Kai the guitar so they could get the song sorted out.

SHARK Ep 10 051SHARK Ep 10 053SHARK Ep 10 054

They play the beginning of the new song with Ayumu (Matsumura Hokuto )’s keyboard intro (with fingering carefully hidden from view). But before they got to the main body of the song – where Mizuki would start singing – they switched to a montage sequence with piano playing in the background.

SHARK Ep 10 056SHARK Ep 10 057SHARK Ep 10 058SHARK Ep 10 059

And this seems like a good place to break away from the summary. The question for this episode seems to be how Kai and Ichika deal with the legacy of Kazuki.

SHARK Ep 10 062SHARK Ep 10 063SHARK Ep 10 064

It’s something they’ll have to work out together.

SHARK Ep 10 065SHARK Ep 10 066SHARK Ep 10 067SHARK Ep 10 068

And it won’t be easy.

SHARK Ep 10 077SHARK Ep 10 078SHARK Ep 10 080SHARK Ep 10 082

Fujii-kun is getting some great posthumous scenes in this series.

SHARK Ep 10 085SHARK Ep 10 086SHARK Ep 10 087

Ultimately, Mizuki has his own demons to deal with.

SHARK Ep 10 094SHARK Ep 10 095SHARK Ep 10 096SHARK Ep 10 098

This was a very, very slow episode. The subject matter – the legacy of Kazuki – is a subtle and purely emotional issue that would have been best played out alongside some other subplot. There was definitely time in this episode for more ground to be covered in other ways.

In terms of acting, this was an episode where Hamada-kun’s character shouldn’t have been as distant as he has been in previous episodes – should have come off as less calm and cool – but that didn’t happen. The result felt a bit wooden. Obviously, Yamashita Rio-san didn’t have any problems displaying her feelings, and that was critical to this episode. Hirano-kun did a good job with his scenes, especially the beginning and the end where he tries to listen to the Castaway song, but also with little touches of tension and humor along the way, including during and after the meeting with Kazuki’s former manager.

I hope there’s more action in the final two episodes, though.