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Ikemen Desu Ne (2011) Episode 4 Recap
Ooh, the shenanigans begin! Mio likes Ren, Shu likes Mio, Ren likes Mio but doesn’t know it yet, and Yuki is just a cute ball of confusion. Lots of dramatic potential, but funny too.
Mio watches the kiss heartstruck and the reporters go crazy…except that we see that they aren’t actually kissing. They’re actually snapping retorts back and forth with their faces one inch apart, heh. Although I do detect a smidgen of disappointment in Nana’s face?
Shu comes up to see the spectacle and knowingly eyes Mio. She’s trying to hide the tears that are falling from her eyes, and Shu gives her an out: “You must be one of Ren’s fans. He has a lot of male fans too.” He points to the park in front of the agency, where hordes of fangirls cry at the news that their idol’s got a girlfriend.
Mio brightens up at this excuse and repeats to herself, “I’m Ren’s fan. I have to be happy at this news.”
Nana reverts to being her usual self in the office, although I think disappointment makes her extra mean today. When Ren brushes off the ‘kiss’, she snaps back, “Well, from now onwards, you have to listen to what I say. I decide when we break up. If you ever make me angry, I'll tell the truth about Mio.” Nice to know you’re still with us, Nana.
Yuki gets the news and decides that he wants a girlfriend too! He daydreams…and his girl is Mio in a dress. He slaps himself out of it, chanting, “Idiot, idiot, idiot…” Toru comes up to him, also crestfallen at the loss of Ren, but switches sides soon enough and prepositions him. Yuki refuses, but Toru slaps a hand on his shoulder and intones, “Yuki-kun, I can see it clearly. You're one of us.” Horrified, Yuki runs away.
With her new resolution to be happy, Mio joins in the ‘Congratulations party’ enthusiastically. So enthusiastically, in fact, that it ends up putting Ren in a worse mood. “You’re smiling in such a carefree manner. Who do you think I’m doing this for?”
Ando arrives, pleased to see everyone gathered here for an important announcement: Aunt Shigeko has had her house burned down, and will be staying with her nephew for now. Okay, how much will you bet that it wasn’t a real fire?
Anyway, they figure out that Aunt can take Mio’s room – but since they’re still opposite genders, Mio is going to have to room with someone. Uh-oh. There’s an awkward silence all around, which Ando takes to mean refusal. Fine, then, Mio can stay with him! He’s got a sauna too, where they can sweat it up together…
Horrified, Mio blurts out that she’ll share a room – and points her finger at Ren. He’s the only one who knows her secret (or so she thinks), so it’s safer. Ren himself reluctantly agrees. Mabuchi and Rina prepare Mio with a gift – of a Taser. It’s a ‘just in case’ item, which Mio accepts solemnly.
She comes into his room with all her stuff to set up. Oh-so-casually, Ren asks why she chose him: “Shu is nicer than me and Yuki is funnier.” She matter-of-factly replies, of course, that he’s the only one who *knows*. Hahaha, poof goes Ren’s “maybe-she-likes-me” face.
Mio encounters Shu in the kitchen, where he’s pacing around disturbed at this new development. Ruffling her hair, he reminds her to come to him if she ever feels uncomfortable. It looks like it may be true; despite all of Ren’s huffing that she’s a jinx, it’s a bit awkward as they prepare to sleep.
Mio settles down (with the lights on, as per Ren’s instructions), just as Yuki goes off into his own fantasy: “And the first night begins…” In this version, Mio and Ren struggle to restrain their passion before finally giving in. (LOL).
Uncomfortable, Mio gets up to get a drink, and pauses by Ren’s bed. Clutching her Taser, she thinks of how distant he is to her now….and sets off the Taser. She ends up collapsed right on top of Ren. Which is how she finds herself in the morning, to her shock. Ren sleepily opens his eyes and then has a freakout to discover Mio sitting on his bed. Methinks he protests too much, no?
He’s still sour at breakfast, as Aunt brings them trays of tidbits. Mio’s reminded that today’s her father’s death anniversary, but she has her first recording session too. Aunt offers to go in her place instead.
At the agency, Ren notices Mio’s nerves and tells her: “Is this the time to be nervous? This is already your song.” She barely has time to cheer up before Nana walks in with a big bouquet of flowers for her. Mio thanks her nicely, but Nana silkily wonders why a man is so happy to be getting flowers. She brushes it off by glomming on to Ren and asking for a drive after her party.
In the recording studio, Mio gets going with the song, which is about longing for a departed lover. She’s not getting the right passion or intensity, though, and Ando insists on taking a break. So in the meantime, Ren decides to cheer her up by taking her to visit her father’s grave. Nana gets fobbed off with Mabuchi, ha.
She leaves Ren with the car and goes up the mountain with her Aunt. But someone’s already at the grave – Misuzawa Reiko, decked out in black. Laying a bouquet at the grave, she says, “I want to sing your song one more time. That is my last wish.”
She passes Aunt and Mio on the way, and when they see the bouquet it gradually dawns on Mio that the woman could be her mother. She turns and runs down the mountain, but there’s no one around, not even Ren.
He’s currently flaked out on a hillside, enjoying the air…until he sees a huge pig coming right at him. With a scream, he runs for it. (Hey! Where’s the buildup? Where’s the funny? This scene’s iconic, dammit!) He makes it to a stream, where he bitterly derides his decision to come here. Taking out his phone angrily, he types in “I’m lost on the mountain.” He’s about to add “that’s what it feels like” when the battery dies. Ouch. Welcome to Twitter.
The news predictably causes mass panic, and even reaches the news on TV in the mountain village, where Mio hears of it.
She’s worried, since it’ll be dark soon, and sets off to find Ren. Coming upon a fork in the road, she wonders, “Which one did he take?” There’s dung on one of them, so the finicky Ren would have taken the other. At another fork, she takes the road without a beehive (“He’s really a scaredy-cat”), and on the last one notes the spot where he’d fallen in the mud (which is literally a man-shaped depression in the path, heh). Since he’d want to wash immediately, that means water!
And sure enough, she finds him by the stream. He plays it cool, even when she teases him about the pig. He’s a little surprised and even impressed to hear how she found him, and she cheerily tells him, “I found you by thinking of you.” Flushed with her success, Mio gets set to lead the way back.
Only…they end up lost in the dark. Haha. While Mio doesn’t falter, it’s Ren who gets progressively edgier, skittering at every rustle. “That…wasn’t a rabbit, was it?” Mio snorts that rabbits are cute little things, but Ren knows better: “You’ve never been bitten by a rabbit, have you? They look gentle, but when you get close they hurt you. Just like you.” Haha. The big guy’s scared by rabbits.
They end up flopping on a grassy bank to wait for dawn. She mentions how everyone’s worried about him, and how he has so many fans, including her. Ren: “What are you talking about? You're not a fan. You are a special person who sings my songs.” Mio looks teary at this confession, and hastily changes the subject to the stars. Ren only remarks that he can see just the moon.
She continues with tears in her eyes, “My mother is no longer around, but I still have a star that’s very important to me. It’s bright and strong, and somehow gentle too. I want to watch that star. But it’s so far away that my hand would never reach it.” By this time, she’s no longer talking about just the star, but Ren unwittingly gives her his answer: “Why don’t you try praying again? If you don’t give up, your dream might come true, right?”
Mio starts to sob quietly as she replies, “But there are some dreams that can’t come true.” In the growing light, Ren looks suddenly closer at her face…and a car pulls up, and Nana hops out. Ren’s mood immediately sours, and he takes her phone to Tweet about his rescue.
Nana pulls Mio aside and puts on the ‘hurt girlfriend’ act, saying that Mio’s cutting into her limited time with her boyfriend…
So when Ren invites her to drive back with them, Mio elects to stay back at the village, using her aunt as an excuse.
The next morning, she awakens with her feelings still in a mess. Just then, she hears a car outside, and immediately her face lights up. She runs outside smiling, but stops short to see Shu there. He clocks her disappointed expression and notes, “You thought it was Ren?” But he drops the subject as Mio thanks him instead for caring so much about her. He replies, “You’re a very important person to me…because you’re a member of A.N.Jell.” You know, you might get the girl if you don’t sabotage your confessions every time.
Shu tells her that if singing the song is too much for her, it’s okay to quit. Mio, though, is determined.
When they get back, Mio nervously gets into the studio. She starts the song, and this time her memories and feelings for Ren spill over in tears, and the listeners are blown away by her passion. She ends the song in actual sobs and runs out of the room.
Shu runs after her and finds her on the walkway. She sobs, “I’m sorry. My chest hurts, and my tears won’t stop. I don’t want everyone to see this face.” Shu says, “Then I’ll hide it for you” and pulls her into his arms.
Ren and Mabuchi spy them from the doorway. Ren looks angry to see them like that, but Mabuchi holds him back, “I told her to "put the feelings of thinking about someone" into the song, so does it mean Mio likes Shu?”
Mio spots Ren over Shu’s shoulder and takes off running again. Ren tries to go after her, but is held firmly back by Shu, finally showing some intensity.
Yuki, too, spots this from the stairs. He comes up to her later as she sits alone on a bench. She thinks, “Is this what it means to like someone?”
Unusually serious, Yuki tells her, “Don’t cry. If it were me, I wouldn't do anything that will make you sad.”
Whoa, Yuki gave me a surprise right there. So far he’s been a peripheral character, but it looks like it might change. This episode had its good and bad points, mostly to do with the editing. About the pig scene: I get that it’s a remake and that they have limited time, but they have to do something, I don’t know, more with the scene. It’s important narratively because it gets Ren lost in the woods, but here it was just so meh; whereas the original satisfied the narrative purpose and was flipping hysterical to boot. On the other hand, I like the rearrangement of Mio’s song. The intervening outing with Ren really gets them alone and lets her feelings develop into an almost-confession; so when she goes for her second try at the song it’s so much more intense. Now I’m curious about Yuki’s big confession. On to Episode 5!
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