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Ikemen Desu Ne (2011) Episode 3 Recap
The emotions get all twisted up with this episode, where some people discover feelings, others battle them, and still more juggle them against other responsibilities.
Yuki and Shu walk into the hall to see an uncharacteristically comforting Ren admonishing Mio not to cry. She sniffles and nods, as Ren explains it off to the other two as nerves coming out after her emotional performance. Shu eyeballs Ren, partly not buying the story, partly looking askance at the intimacy of the scene earlier.
Ando gets the same story when he comes in with a swarm of reporters (crooning “Wonderful! Marvelous!”), and he sends Mio off to fix his make-up before the interview. In the dressing room, Mio gradually gets herself under control. A sympathetic Rina says they can cancel the interview, but Mio’s against giving everyone trouble. She’ll be fine.
Ren comes in, “What do you mean, ‘fine’? Skip the interview. Go find your aunt and get the details.” Mio looks grateful. There’s one problem, though: how to get her past the reporters? Disguise her as a girl, of course!
Rina sneaks them into Nana’s dressing room (saying she’s friends with the stylist there), just as the stylist himself, Toru, comes in. He’s weirdly into Ren, but Rina picks a fight and they head outside to thrash it out (Ren stares at them all the time like they’re both idiots, heh). He turns around to find Mio in a dress and long wig, looking every inch a girl. When she catches him staring, he quickly turns his head away, but continues to flick glances at her. Stunned, he gets out, “Whoa…she really is a girl.”
He heads out of the room and bumps straight into the Reporter Trio, who look gleeful at their good luck. Katsuragi Ren in Nana-san’s dressing room! Are they dating, perhaps? Just at that moment, Mio heads for the door, unaware of the reporters.
Ren’s trapped between the two, then makes a split decision. Grabbing Mio’s hand (she stops for a moment as her heart races), he yells “Run!” They race off down the corridors, with the reporters snapping photos from behind. Two reporters fall behind, but Mio escapes out of the glass doors just in time. Ren turns back to find Nana, who just missed witnessing the escape. Which is when the reporter puffs up to them and sees them together, with Nana wearing a similar dress to Mio’s.
With an “I’ll leave this to you” Ren stalks off, as Nana hears the Reporter’s story. She’s skeptical, especially as the only photo they’ve got is a blurry one of the pair running, taken from behind.
Mio goes to meet with Aunt Sakuraba Shigeko(Imori Miyuki) , who’s artistically sobbing into a napkin. The little nun buys the whole “I wanted to take care of you two, but I was so poor I couldn’t” story, and assures Aunt of her forgiveness. Unfortunately, Aunt doesn’t have many details about Mio’s mother; her brother, the twins’ father, had eloped with her years ago. That’s all she knows.
Back in the dressing room, Ren breaks the news of Mio’s dead mother to the other two. Yuki takes this as the reason why Ren and Shu were so close to her, relieved that his wild fantasies weren’t true.
To help out his little bandmate, Yuki arranges the surprise ‘Congratulations’ party for her at their house. Mio looks stunned and grateful at everything they’ve prepared: banners, decorations, food. She even bursts out laughing when Ren’s piñata refuses to open and instead falls right on his head.
The band plays together, taking pictures and watching fireworks, and Mio is struck by Ren’s sudden smile for her (aaaand…I wish he hadn’t. Yuta-kun, I like your acting here, but have you ever heard of dental work?). She puts her hand on her heart, thinking, “My heart is beating really fast again. What is this?”
Later, she and Ren sit alone on the grass, and she sighs at the pretty view of the stars. Ren replies matter-of-factly that he can’t see well in the dark, so she describes them to him, and finally tells him the rest of the story: she and her brother had always thought of their mother when seeing the stars. When her brother got into A.N.Jell, he’d wanted to attract his mother’s notice. That’s why she agreed to stand in for him, but now that she knows the truth, she’s going to confess everything to Ando. “It’s too risky to continue pretending to be a man, and besides, I don’t like deceiving people. I’ll be lonely, but I’ll go back to the convent. Tonight, I’ll say goodbye to A.N.Jell."
Ren looks less than happy at this news, but only says, “It’s your life. You can do whatever you want with it.” Mio goes over to help Shu clean up, and he watches her sadly, murmuring, “Even though I am looking only at you, who are you looking at?” He approaches her closely, taking both her hands…and dumps a tray in it, to take to the kitchen. Haha.
That night Mio thinks over Ren’s smile, and the way he’d made her heart beat. She fingers her phone, where she’s stored the photo of the four of them together. In his own room, Ren leaps for his phone when it beeps, but it’s only his mother, wanting to meet up.
The next morning has Mio and Ren nervous as they’re called into Ando’s office. Mio’s just mustering up her courage when Ando bursts in with big news: her solo debut has been decided! Huh?
Ando’s got a song, recording studio, press conference, publicity, all planned out. It’s costing millions of yen, as he half-threateningly tells Mio. She just sits there unable to say a word. As for the song, in fact it’s going to be one of Ren’s. “There’s no turning back now, Mio. We’re putting A.N.Jell’s future into your hands.”
He’s called out to deal with a Ren/Nana reporter scandal, and the two are left behind. Mio: “What…what should I do?” Ren: “If you want to sing my songs, then stay. If you don’t, then quit.” Despite his indifferent attitude, though, it looks as though he wants her to stay; he even starts rearranging his song to suit her vocals, then frustratedly crumples it up when he thinks about her leaving.
He’s interrupted at this exercise when he gets a text from Mio, saying that she’s going. This sends him into something close to alarm, and he immediately calls her to get her whereabouts, and sternly instructs her to stay there. He zooms there in his car, to find Mio once again in female gear, waiting in Harajuku.
Ren leaps out and lays into her for leaving without saying anything to him (and then tries to take back the last words)…but she innocently explains that she’s just going to see Mother Superior. This takes the wind out of his sails and he only mutters an offer to take her there.
He keeps sneaking glances at her in the car as she’s once again in a dress and wig, with a sparkly hairpin to boot. Mio’s in a good mood being a girl again, sharing her real name (Miko) and prattling on about her pretty hair and pin. Of course Ren would rather die than admit that it suits her, so he just points out that it’s all fake, anyway.
Put out, Mio yanks out the pin, and breaks it. She’s upset, more so at the ‘fake’ comment, which gets to her. Ren seems to sense this as they arrive at the church. Holding her back, he asks, “Are you planning to give up on singing? Even if you have to lie or be a fake, what does the real you want to do?” He realizes that this smacks of caring, and quickly brushes it off by reminding her to meet up again in 2 hours.
Nana’s busy with a photoshoot when Rina sneaks over to return Mio’s borrowed dress. She distracts Toru with a conciliatory hug, then quickly hangs the dress up. But Nana’s eagle eyes spot the A.N.Jell stylist, and she recognizes the dress as the one worn by the girl in the photo. Attack!
She sidles up to Rina just as she’s about to leave, and coyly mentions “that incident that Ren told me about”, making it sound like she knows everything without actually going into detail. Rina falls for the story, assuming that the Ren-Nana dating rumors are true: “Ren probably already told you about it, but please keep it a secret. If the fact that A. N. JELL's Mio is a woman was to be exposed, it would be a serious problem, wouldn't it?” Agh, stylist! Would it hurt not to spill everything?
In the chapel, Mother Superior is quick to understand Mio’s predicament. Surprisingly, her advice is almost like Ren’s: each person has their own God-given purpose. “Your purpose…the thing that you really want to do for someone who is important to you. Think about these questions, and look into your heart.”
At the home, Yuki comes in wondering where on earth Mio and Ren have gone. Shu overhears and makes the connection that they’re out together somewhere. Not happy news.
Ren, as a matter of fact, is whiling away his time by strolling around when he spots a street stand that sells pretty hairpins. Thinking of Mio, he picks up a 500 yen pin and pulls out his wallet to pay. The thing is, he’s only got large-denomination bills and he gets recognized suddenly by a mob of grandmas, so he thrusts 10,000 yen at the seller and runs off with the pin. Heh.
He gets a phone call – from Nana. She meets him in a garage, and flat out tells him, “I know the truth about the woman that you ran away with at the television station.” Ren only asks for the photo proof, but she says smugly that she doesn’t have it; just the fact that he raced here to see her is proof enough. Ren scoffs – then snatches off her right shoe and tosses it over a building. Ha!
He sets off across a playground with Nana hobbling desperately behind, until she gets a basketball in the face. She ends up with a bloody nose and scraped elbow, but it gets worse as she’s recognized. People swarm up to her, snapping photos as she tries to shield her face. It’s a little pitiful, as Ren sees. He huffs in exasperation, but walks right in and drapes his jacket over her and leads her out of the crowd.
They sit in his car, with Nana a little more apologetic and uncertain of how to address him. The only way she knows how, though, is the usual: “Buy me a band-aid.” Once he’s gone, though, she presses her hand to her heart and wonders why it’s beating so hard.
Mio wanders around by the designated spot, wondering when Ren is going to show up. She calls – only Ren’s left his cell phone in the car. Nana sees the caller ID and picks up: “Ren can't go over now. He’s with me, so he’s not going.” And poof goes my smidgen of sympathy for her.
Mio stands there, heartsick but not knowing it. And she’s in trouble now: she left her male clothes in the car, and she doesn’t know Harajuku. Luckily, she has her phone, and calls Shu, pretending to be out shopping and asking for advice on men’s clothing stores. Shu spots an opportunity, and proposes an outing instead. Guiding her on the phone, he takes her to a burger joint, ice cream shop, and clothing boutique. At each of the spots, Mio gets special ‘deals’ – which is actually Shu following behind her to pay the rest. Aw. It’s a sweet date.
Finally, Shu follows her on the street as she gushes about the fun she had. Shu has one more ‘surprise’: “Just turn around and walk straight.” Mio obediently turns and makes her way through the pedestrians, with Shu craning his neck as he watches her get closer to him. Just as she’s about to see him, though, she gets a call. It’s from Ren, ready to pick her up. With only a slight hesitation, Mio turns right around and walks off, leaving poor Shu stranded and heartbroken.
As they’re about to go, Ren hesitates, then makes his offer: if she wants to go back to being a girl, he’ll tell Ando on her behalf. Mio asks why he accepted her as a member; which part of her was it? Ren replies: “Your voice. I thought, this is the ideal voice I've been looking for. Your debut song, which I wrote, it can only be sung by you.”
Mio’s reply is her changing back into her male attire: “Please let me use my voice to sing the songs that you write.” Ren warns her, “If you can’t sing them well, you’re fired.” Ha, how typical. In the car, Mio spots the pretty pin and assumes it’s Nana’s. Ren puts her right, trying not to sound like he cared about her. Mio’s happy, and even scoffs at his insistence that it cost him 10,000 yen; she’s seen the sticker and she doesn’t believe him, lol.
Ando’s having a meeting with Misuzawa Reiko, reluctantly breaking it to her that Ren absolutely refuses to work with her. He’s confused as to why she’s insistent on Ren, but she says it’s only because she admires his music.
Ando’s suddenly called away by a press explosion on the Ren-Nana rumors. Nana compounds this by walking in to return Ren’s jacket, looking innocent as you please. Ren, though, immediately gives a grimace when he sees her. Good to know she isn’t fooling him.
Nana’s still after him, though, and coyly proposes: “Since there’s already such a fuss, we could go ahead and date for real. If it's us, we could enhance each other's image too. What about it? I could let you date me.” Umm, glad to know that the universe still revolves around you, Nana.
Ren’s in much the same mood as he flatly rejects her (“Not even if I died”) and walks off to run into Mio. But Nana’s got a trump card. She texts him with a threat to reveal all to the reporters, pouting to herself that it’ll teach him to belittle her.
Ren stops short. Urgently, he asks Mio if she wants to stay and be a man and sing his songs. Without hesitation, Mio nods. Ren’s jaw tightens, then he wheels straight around for the lobby, where Nana’s standing poised to talk to the reporters.
He walks straight up and pulls her into a kiss, which sends the reporters into a frenzy. Watching from behind is a heartbroken Mio. She thinks, “Mother Superior, my heart feels like it’s breaking. This pain…what is it?”
And here we go with the angst. Get ready for some anguishing love triangles, folks. It’s the whole ‘I’ll break your heart to save you’ thing, although I don’t think Ren’s in touch with his feelings for Mio yet. Still, I’m glad there’s no attachment to Nana either; my favorite part this episode was where he tosses away her shoe. It’s going to be fun watching those two spar, barring poor Mio’s broken heart. And a note to the music director in this episode: what was going on in the poignant scenes? The music was jarringly loud. Good episode nonetheless, with solid emotional development. Now how will Ren actually find out if he cares for Mio? On to Episode 4!
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