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Ikemen Desu Ne (2011) Episode 5 Recap


It’s pretty clear now (to everyone, really) which way the feelings lie. Which is just as well, as we can move on to the emotional repercussions of Mio’s disguise now.

Episode 5

Yuki tells Mio not to cry – because he’s going to take her out for a party. They end up at an arcade, where Yuki encourages Mio to cry all she likes (while eating spicy food) and scream all she wants (in a horror show). By the time they’re done, Mio’s happy and laughing again. The last surprise is a special one – a ride on the bus. Yuki explains that it’s empty at night, and he rides it whenever he feels alone. Gradually, your feelings return to normal. He adds, “It must have been difficult for you…so if there’s anything I can do, I’ll do it for you.”

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Later, after Mio has fallen asleep against his shoulder, he says, “When the bus reaches the end, I will resolve my feelings too. For this short time, let me…like you.” Aw. It’s more poignant when you consider that now he thinks he’s gay.

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Mio’s tearful exhibition has left Ren and Shu both disturbed and both jealous. Mabuchi, meanwhile, wonders what is to be done about Mio’s new feelings; what if Shu starts to return them?

Ando is prepping for Mio’s first music video, to go with the song she just recorded. Nana has volunteered herself to star in the video alongside Ren; they’ll play a couple, while Mio will be the main character nursing a one-sided love for Nana.

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She’s cutesy as usual, and Ren is in return more surly than usual. When they leave, Ando taps his fingers on his desk thoughtfully. Those two do not look like a pair of lovers to him. Curious, he wonders, “Why is Ren doing everything she says?”

That night when Mio returns home, Mabuchi sits her down with some advice. In the interests of damage control, he’s come up with ‘pressure point therapy’. As he tells her, there are pressure points for everything, and the one for emotions resides in the tip of the nose. Therefore, anytime she feels her emotions welling up, she should control it by pressing on her nose. This, of course, just makes her look like a little pig, but Mabuchi privately thinks it necessary to keep Shu away. He leaves with a reminder about tomorrow’s MV shoot and an offhand remark about Ren’s birthday.

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Ren himself is composing when he receives a text from his mother, pleading to meet up. His face looks conflicted as he remembers: little Ren had sat alone in the apartment on his birthday night, lighting the candles by himself. He’d waited up for his mother, but when she came she was drunk and only told him to go off to bed. Ouch.

Mio encounters Shu in the kitchen and asks about the birthday. Shu replies that Ren never revealed it publicly; his mother had “hidden his birth from the world”, and had left him soon after. Mio’s face saddens as she considers this connection with, both of them in effect motherless. Seeing the expression on her face, Shu hastily reminds her that Ren has Nana now. This reminder jolts her out of it, as expected, and she leaves firmly cheering herself up. Alone, Shu wonders, “Was I jealous just now?” I’d say yes.

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Mio remains determinedly cheerful as she accosts Ren with the first aid box. The scrape on his arm from the mountains hasn’t healed, and he fusses as she rips off the bandage to dress it. She good-naturedly ribs him about his timidity, and he returns with a riposte about rabbits that bite – like her. They end up with their faces close, and the proximity sets Mio’s heart beating. Quickly, she makes her pig face, which only riles Ren up further; he thinks she’s now making fun of his pig chase. “The rabbit’s imitating a pig now…Pig-Rabbit!”

The next day is the MV shoot, and Nana’s wangled herself a kiss scene too. Mio excuses herself to the dressing room, where she longingly admires Nana’s sparkly wardrobe and hairpins. Pulling out Ren’s hairpin, she reminds herself, “This is all I need.” Nana enters at this moment and assumes Mio’s handling her stuff. Mio starts to claim it as hers, but then quickly saves herself by saying it’s for her sister.

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Nana senses another opportunity to toy with the clueless Mio and prattles about how Mio looks just like a girl and would look so pretty in girl’s clothes, holding up dresses all the while…which is when Ren stomps in angrily. He drags Mio off with him by claiming that his scrape needs dressing again, and the closeness between them sends Nana into a jealous mood.

At the shoot, then, Nana decides that instead of the fake kiss setup, she’s going to make it real. Ren’s eyes widen and Mio looks stricken, even as the director applauds the realistic performance of the leads. Mio makes her pig face again, trying to hold her feelings again (and making Ren think she’s fooling around.)

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At home, Auntie is getting phone calls from debtors wanting to claim their loans back. She comes upon Shu and Yuki arguing over restaurants to take Mio out to, endorsing Shu’s choice. Alone again, she spies an A.N.Jell mug, wondering how much it will fetch…

Ando is meeting with Misuzawa Reiko, now urgent about arranging her song with Ren. Ando asks if they’re related somehow, but she denies it, and switches the subject to talk about the copyright. The songwriter (Mio’s father) had had children, and she’s trying to find them. I can see this turning into a bone of contention between Ren and Mio.
Back at the shoot, Nana picks up the hairpin in the dressing room. She’s just holding on to it, but when she spots Mio searching frantically for it, she smoothly pockets it. Nasty girl. Spotting another opportunity, she grabs Ren and almost forcibly takes him and Mio out to dinner.

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They stop on the way for sparklers, and Nana and Mio have a moment to themselves on a bench. She takes out the pin and asks Mio to fasten it in her hair. Of course, when Mio protests that the pin is hers, she just points out how odd it is that a man is so insistent on a hairpin. Faced with this, Mio can only capitulate.

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In the store, Nana is unsuccessful in getting Ren to buy her the firecrackers; he only says that he spends money on worthwhile things, not junk. He spots Mio by the stuffed animals, and immediately picks out her namesakes – a little pig and rabbit. She pouts, and he waves them at her, going, “Looky, looky! Pig-Rabbit-Chan!” They get spotted by an employee, who gets overcome with giddiness and whisks the animals away to be packaged. Nana, however, has spotted the camaraderie between the two and grits her teeth.

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She gets her revenge at dinner in a restaurant, as she has Mio take pictures as she cuddles up to Ren. At the last one, she turns his head so that they’re kissing; horrified, Mio takes off for ‘the bathroom’ and Ren shoves off his unwanted girlfriend. He’s angry at her constant needling, but she shrugs it off, “For some reason, Mio irritates me and makes me want to bully her. She seems so quiet, but she's actually someone who lies easily. She actually said my hairpin was hers and tried to take it from me.” She pulls out the hairpin, but Ren recognizes it and puts her right: “I bought that for her with 10,000 yen.”

Ooh, burn. Nana remembers him saying that he’d never buy junk, and her eyes narrow at the implication that Ren considers a small hairpin for Mio worth buying for 10,000 yen. Ren, having snatched away the pin, leaves the restaurant and finds Mio sitting by the riverbank trying to cheer herself up.

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She hesitantly confesses that she’s lost the pin, and immediately Ren gets a gleeful look on his face. He pulls the pin halfway out of his pocket, prolonging the moment by huffing at her carelessness. He looks so happy anticipating giving her back her gift…until Mio declares that she doesn’t need it anymore. Incredulously, he asks, “You mean you’re giving it up completely?” Mio: “Yes. I have given it up completely, without regrets.” Ren: “Is that so? You really, really don't need it?” Mio: “I really really really don’t need it.”

Haha, Ren’s face totally falls at this and he turns away, muttering “Idiot…”. He gets a sudden text from his mother, pleading to meet up at her hotel room. Mio picks up on his anger and hurt, immediately guessing that it’s his mother who’s the problem. With his back to her, Ren confesses: he’s spent all his birthdays alone, lighting the candles by himself…”After all this time, what is she trying to do?”

Mio says softly, “Maybe she wants to celebrate it this year.” Ren snorts, but his face is tentatively hopeful as he walks off, and he thinks for a while over the text.

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Having gone home, Mio embarks on a new quest – how to make Ren smile today. (She seems to realize that this has a lot to do with Ren and her heart, but she doesn’t think further about it). She decides a cake is just the thing, and enlists Shu to find a cake shop that’s open this late.

Ren slowly makes his way to the hotel room, straightening his tie and clothes in the elevator before finally pressing the doorbell. His mother emerges from the doorway, saying that she was waiting for him, and at this hope breaks out on his face. He follows her in, smiling….and then sees a reporter. His mother didn’t want to celebrate his birthday after all; it was just to grant an interview to publicize her new song. Oh, that has got to hurt.

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Crushed, he flatly refuses and walks out, smiling bitterly to himself. He goes straight to the agency to work in his studio, but Mom has followed him here to plead with him about the song. “I’m putting everything I have into this song. For this reason, I’m even willing to let people know you are my son.” Wow, that’s very gracious of you. Ren bitterly shoots back, “You love that songwriter that much? So much that you would abandon your own son?” But Mom has a heart only for herself, saying that it’s because of him that she lost something important to her.

Ren stands up, angry that she’s only trying to act like a mother for her own benefit; does she even remember what day this is? “You shouldn’t even have given birth to me.”

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He leaves the room, but the camera pans around to reveal Mio, who’s heard everything. She follows him as he struggles to control his tears in the bathroom, then to the studio where he tries to forget everything in composing. Outside, she wonders, “What can I do for Ren?” She spots him finishing a bottle of water…and gets an idea!

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Mio sneakily replaces the water when he’s not looking, and a flickering fluorescent light as well, running back and forth from a convenience store. Ren begins to notice, then works it out. He remarks loudly, “I feel like drinking some milk right now.” Sure enough, he catches her in the act of placing milk cartons on the desk.

He suddenly thinks that she may have heard everything, but she distracts him by wanting cake. Unfortunately the cake shop is empty, and they head off home, walking together across the lawn. Ren has worked out by now that Mio had wanted to give him a birthday cake, and accosts her with it. She starts to apologize, but he cuts her off: “It was the best birthday I ever had.”

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Mio thinks back to the face he had when he confronted his mother, and the contented face he has now. In the last minutes before midnight, she steps up to him and puts her arms around him. “The director of the orphanage used to say this to me on my birthdays. Today is the very important day that you were born. Thank you for being born. Ren-san, happy birthday.”

She smiles as she leaves him, but as soon as she turns her back she makes her pig face, whispering, “I’m also thankful that Ren-san was born.” Shu materializes from behind the shrubbery, where he’d witnessed the hug; but as usual, he melts away into the background.

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Ren gazes after the departing Mio, pulling out the hairpin…and prepares for surgery. The patients? Pig-san and Rabbit-san.

Mio enters the bedroom that night and spots something odd by her bedding – it’s a Pig-Rabbit! Ren’s sewed on the pig’s nose onto the rabbit’s face, and pinned Mio’s hairpin on its ear to boot. Mio realizes (by the pin) that it must be Ren, and squeals with happiness at her new toy. Ren clocks her reaction stealthily from his bed and smiles to himself.

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Trouble is brewing the next morning, however, as Nana stomps into the agency building with her bitch face on. She walks right into the men’s bathroom, accosting Mio sneezing at the sink. Mio sputters that this is the men’s room; Nana: “So why are you here? You are a woman.”

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She drags Mio out by the shirt and lays into her: “Pretending to be a guy... how long do you intend to keep lying to everyone? Not only that. Could you possibly have fallen in love with Ren? Answer me, Mio!”

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The three A.N.Jell boys walk in to see Nana slowly backing Mio up against the balcony railing. Helpless, Mio pleads, “Mother Superior, somehow, please lend me a hand!”

Conclusion

Well, Nana certainly seems to be the catalyst for a lot of things. I’m disappointed that there isn’t a lot of character development or involvement going on; I would have like to see Shu’s role expand a bit. Granted, even in the original he was a passive heartbroken figure, but at least he got to have some conflict. Right now it’s Mio and Ren who are getting all the attention, and while that’s a good thing for their relationship, it makes the outside interference (eg Nana) feel a little artificial.


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