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Ikemen Desu Ne (2011) Episode 8 Recap
Solid, fun, fast-paced episode. Our OTP is hampered by having to conceal their relationship, but manage to have many cute moments anyway.
Mio looks wide-eyed at Ren, as he tells her that he’s fine with her liking him. She’s worried that she’ll cause trouble by liking him, but he reminds her that he has lots of fans who do the same, remember? Mio breaks into a happy smile, and Ren has to smile back.
They walk back to discover Rina, Mabuchi, and the remaining two boys waiting by the van. Yuki immediately gasps, “Mio … is so cute!”, as Shu looks askance at the two of them.
Mabuchi suddenly gets a phone call from a furious President Ando. The Reporter Trio are seated in his office, spouting some nonsense about Shu’s girlfriend – they say that she’s Mio. What the hell is going on? Mabuchi sputters in panic, then seizes on a way to cover his ass. “It’s not Mio! Shu’s girlfriend is Mio’s twin sister Miko.”
Everyone gets a surprise at this, but Mabuchi insists that this is the only way to head off a press scandal. In fact, Shu and Mio can give the interview now. She looks first at Ren, who says reassuringly that she should go, “It’s fine as long as Shu answers all the questions.” Shu grasps Mio by the wrist, and looking straight at Ren, clarifies, “From now on, you’re my girlfriend.”
They head into the office, and Shu holds the reporters back from interrogating ‘Miko’. Ando privately takes Mabuchi aside to hiss threats in his ear; there had better not be any more secrets, or Mabuchi is fish food.
Meanwhile, Shigeko meets with Misuzawa Reiko, and comes right out and asks if she’s ever had children; twins, perhaps? The implication is clear, but Reiko says only that she has a responsibility for the songwriter’s twins. Without explaining why, she says that she plans to give the children half of all her assets. Shigeko’s eyes practically turn into money signs at this, and she holds back a gleeful smile.
Back at the office, Mio changes back into a boy and gratefully thanks Shu. But the dear thickhead is worried most about his ‘girlfriend’, thinking that she’ll misunderstand once the article comes out. Shu hastily says it’s okay, then asks about her talk with Ren. Happily, she tells him that she confessed to Ren, and he didn’t even mind.
Mabuchi sighs in relief at home with Ren and Yuki, then remarks offhandedly that this will lose Shu lots of fans. In fact, Ren lost a lot of them too, once the news broke that he was dating Nana. Ren’s face totally falls at this, as though he hadn’t considered that he’d ever lose fans. Yuki rubs it in by saying that all the fans have shifted to him and Mio now. Ren continues to fret over this, even when Mabuchi reminds them that they’re working with superstar Geun tomorrow.
Ren checks it out in his room, signing into the A.N.Jell fan forums. It’s true – Yuki and Mio are far more popular now. He scrolls down the screen to see a curious new fan signed up – called Pig-Rabbit. He half-laughs, thinking, “Did she take it seriously when I talked about my fans?” Then a thought strikes him: “Wait a minute. If she’s a fan, does it mean that she can also change her mind very easily?” Haha, I love how he takes this SO utterly seriously.
Mio happily finishes her registration process in her own room, when a notice pops up for an “Entry Quiz”. Ren types on his own computer, tapping his fingers. “Okay…How much do you know about Ren? Answer on a scale of 1 to 10.” He waits on tenterhooks for the answer…and his eyes bug out. 5?
He taps in the next one, “How would you rate Ren on an ikemen scale?” (Ikemen = good-looking). He leaps up in his chair at the answer: 4! The next, “What is Ren’s level of tolerance?” has him slumped in despair by the answer – 2.
He’s practically chewing his nails by now. “This is bad. If this is the case, her feelings will change right away. Right. Everything will depend on this next question.” Mio gets it: “How much do you like Ren?”
He waits, wondering why on earth he feels so darn nervous, and gulps as the answer comes up – 100! Instantly he’s up and dancing around the room with the Pig-Rabbit in glee.
The band goes off the next day for their photoshoot, and walk up to meet their superstar guru – JANG GEUN SEOK!
The band is properly awed to meet him, and Mio in particular sees him surrounded by a sparkly heart (lol). He comes forward to meet her, and stops curiously, looking closely. He remarks that she’s really popular in Korea, and then adds, “You’re cute.” The A.N.Jell boys all bristle at this, and get even antsier as Mio and Jang Geun Seok continue to act close all throughout the shoot. Jang Geun Seok ends up with his arm around her in nearly every shot, with Mio melting into a fangirly puddle every time. Ren in particular grits his teeth, saying, “Damn! So what did the 100 points mean?”
When the shoot’s over, Geuk Seok pulls Mio in for a hug, and whispers in her ear, “I don't know what the situation is, but it must be difficult pretending to be a guy. Mio, don't worry. I'll keep your secret.” He leaves, with a knowing clap on Ren’s shoulder.
That night at home, Mio pops into Ren’s room and sees him working on the song arrangement. He’s cool, still jealous about her closeness with Jang Geun Seok, when her phone rings with a call from her aunt. Shigeko’s seen the tabloid photos of Shu and Miko, and wants to know what it’s all about.
Mio goes to meet with her aunt and spills the whole story, about how she took her brother’s place to fulfill their dreams of finding their mother. Shigeko in turn tells her that Misuzawa Reiko wants to meet with her. She goes to the hotel to meet her, and both end up surprised as they recognize each other; Mio knows her as Ren’s mother, and Reiko knows Mio from A.N.Jell.
Reiko tells her that she knew the twins’ father very well; in fact, he wrote the song that she’s singing now. Mio realizes it’s the one that Ren must be rearranging, but her focus is on something else. She asks Reiko if she knew anything about her mother; Reiko denies it, and asks that she keep this conversation and what she knows a secret from Ren.
Ren himself is working on the arrangement of the song, and fingers the original copy. He goes online to look up the songwriter Sakuraba, thinking that this is the man for whom his mother abandoned him.
Nana gives an interview on her relationship with Ren, ending up annoyed that she has to fudge a whole lot of details, because, well, there is no relationship. Toru, the ever prescient, suggests cooking a meal for Ren and documenting that.
So she shows up at the house where the boys are lounging, lugging two big bags of groceries for spaghetti. Ren immediately tries to get her out, but she as usual pulls out her Mio card to get them to participate. Only, of course, her idea of cooking is to get the boys to do it. They end up chopping and slicing while she takes photographs for her blog, griping that they don’t look happy enough. Ren: “Unlike you, we’re all honest people.” Haha.
She sits down to the completed dish, sweetly thanking them for the meal as though it was their idea. Behind her Yuki whispers to the others that he added a whole bunch of spicy red bean paste. Shu confesses that he added vegetable juice, and Ren smirks to himself. They watch in anticipation as Nana prepares to eat – and Mio bursts in. Nana immediately senses something off and offers the dish to Mio. Mio accepts happily and prepares to dig in, to the horror of the boys.
At the last moment, Yuki shoves her aside and says that he’ll eat it all. Eyes closed, he takes a bite and immediately clutches his throat, looking accusingly at Ren. Ren turns away and confesses: he’d added an entire tube of wasabi. Haha, and ouch. That must have been a heck of a bite.
Since the spaghetti was obviously bad, Mio offers to cook instead, and expertly whips up a batch of pancakes. Yuki goes gaga over her skills, which has Ren grumpily butting in to do it himself. Nana watches as Ren and Mio work over the pancakes together, and Shu silently gazing at them both.
Spying yet another opportunity to stir the pot, she pulls the tabloid out of her purse and waves it at Shu, wondering innocently why he and Mio don’t date for real. They’d go very well together. Mio blurts out, “Nana-san, please stop that. Shu-san already has someone he likes.” This, of course, creates an awkward silence until Shu makes up an excuse about going shopping for some tea. He heads to his car, pausing when he opens the trunk.
There’s a bag in there, containing a box of women’s shoes. On their ‘date’, Mio had paused by a shop window to gaze longingly at a pair of red heels, and Shu had secretly bought them for her. Because she’d run off to Ren, he hadn’t go the chance to give them to her, and now he fingers them sadly. Nana comes up, and he hastily stuffs it away. She warns him that Mio and Ren seem to be getting along these days; something might really happen between them. “Being the good guy to the end, that's the saddest way to end a story.” Shu heads back indoors, but she stays outside to call Mio.
So the boys are startled when Nana drags Mio back in, and Mio is wearing that same pair of red heels. Nana clarifies that the shoes were in Shu’s trunk, and ok look, they fit Mio perfectly. Ren and Shu get what’s going on, and both their faces freeze. Mio apologizes, but Shu leaves the room. Ren has had enough and tosses Nana her purse, yelling at her to leave. She reminds him yet again that she knows Mio’s secret, but this time he calls her bluff and says that he’ll reveal her true nature then. “No matter what happens to A.N.JELL, I'll do anything to protect it.”
He drags her out, only to see Shu driving off with Mio. Ren is furious to see them together, and doesn’t say a word as he stomps back inside. Nana stands there, put out, wondering why everyone is worried about Mio. “Why can’t it be me?” Could it be because you’re a spiteful manipulative hag?
Shu and Mio end up talking beside a bridge, facing the sunset. Shu admits that he had wanted to give the shoes to his girl, but didn’t have the courage to do it. Mio encourages him to go ahead and confess to her; she’s sure that the girl won’t refuse him. Shu smiles a little hopefully at this, and uses the moment to ask for a favor: his parents were worried about the press scandal, so he and Mabuchi are flying over the next day to tell them the details. Would Mio come? She nods enthusiastically yes.
At home, Ren is perusing the tabloid interview in an increasingly bad mood. The two had talked about their first meeting, their first date, their first kiss, all of which seems horrifyingly realistic to Ren. He frets, fighting the urge to call Mio right away, then caves – only to find that she’s left her phone in her room. He’s about to leave when a red envelope catches his eye.
It’s the photo of the twins with their father that Mio got from Reiko. This is interesting; Ren would recognize the man as Sakuraba the songwriter (and to him, homewrecker). But just as he gets it out, Mio and Shu come back, and he sneaks out again. Yuki looks suspiciously at the two of them going out alone, but decides that it’s okay since Shu already has a girlfriend.
He decides to take a shot at Mio too, and hilariously deepens his voice to invite her to a date…only, she’s gone. He flops onto the couch, thinking, “It’s hopeless.”
Mio pops into Ren’s room that night say goodnight, and mentions that she’s going to meet Shu’s parents tomorrow. Ren takes this as the obvious – that she’s meeting them as Shu’s girlfriend, and flips. She ends up confused that he’s upset that she’s going, and he huffs that she’s completely impossible and doesn’t understand a thing. Spotting the tabloid, he picks it up to drive in his point. He pitches his voice high as he reads Mio’s portion, all about what she likes in Shu. Mio insists that it’s all true, anyway; Shu is a nice, kind guy. He goes on to read about wishes, “I want to see the biggest star in the universe someday…you even told him that?” She protests that she’s Mio now, but gets kicked out anyway.
She slumps in her room in despair, exacerbated by the fact that she has a secret from Ren too ( the fact that the “Miss You” writer was her father).
The next morning Shu and Mio reach the airport, where Mabuchi suddenly receives a ‘business call’ and has to duck out of the trip. The lame excuse is for the fact that he’s switched teams now and wants the two to have a romantic vacation alone. Ren sees him dancing around the corridors of the agency and hears all about the clever plan to let Shu and Mio’s relationship develop.
He hesitates in the corridor, then remember’s Jang Geun Seok’s parting advice: “Ren, if you don’t hold on to that angel tightly, she’ll fly away.” He races off.
Misuzawa Reiko is having another conference with Aunt Shigeko, and has spotted a hole in Mio’s story. “Mio said his sister is somewhere far away, but if she’s dating Shu, isn’t she in Tokyo? Is there something the two of you are hiding from me?” Shigeko casts around for an answer, and instead comes up with a question: “What about you? Are you the mother of the twins? Otherwise, it would be really unusual to give away half your assets, right?”Reiko sighs and answers that yes, she and Sakuraba Takumi were lovers; however, the twins are not hers.
Back at the airport, Mio is not as happy as she should be, and Shu picks up on that. He tells her to be honest with him, just as he is going to be with her: “Why don’t we date for real?” Mio stammers that they both have someone they like. But Shu raises a point, “Mio, the person you like, does he really understand you? Does he cherish you? If it were me, I'd cherish you... more than anyone else. The one I like…is you, Mio.” He says that he’s not rushing her; he wants her to try liking him. If she wants to try, then meet him at the flight…and he leaves.
Mio sits alone, thinking, “Mother Superior, my heart hurts. Ren-san is a faraway star that's out of my reach. But Shu-san has always been at my side.” Time ticks on, and she grips her ticket tightly. Just as the last boarding call comes, she stands up and starts to walk…and the intercom comes on again. “Pig-Rabbit-sama, please come to the nearest window.”
Mio runs to the window, just as Shu does a distance away. A small jet in the sky spouts smoke, drawing a pattern in the sky, of a single huge star – Mio’s wish. Shu’s face falls as he gets the significance of this, and he boards the plane alone.
Ren waits nervously in the parking lot, wondering if Mio will come or not. He hears her coming at last, dragging her bag behind her and smiling all over her face. She tells him she was so happy to see her wish. He replies with a shrug that it disappeared almost immediately, and she says that it will always be there in her heart. Ren nods at this, and remarks, “Of course, I got 100 points, didn’t I?”
Mio looks startled, but then even more so as he tells her, “I give you 100 points too” and hugs her. They hold each other, smiling, then Ren says, “Listen carefully, because I’ll say it only once.” Putting his lips to her ear, he whispers, “I like you.”
I really like this episode now that the funny shenanigans are back. Seeing Ren hopping around in jealousy is so entertaining to watch. Plus, how great was Jang Geun Seok’s cameo? Unfortunately, Shu gave his confession too late as always. He seems to enjoy playing the white knight behind the scenes, never working up his courage to be honest with the girl he likes. I can foresee trouble up ahead, though, as parent issues rear their head. For Mio and Ren, the other’s parent is their own homewrecker, and it’s going to be a nasty surprise for both when they find out. I have faith that the drama will handle it well, though; it has a nice low-key touch that focuses on character development rather than the melodrama of it all.
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