Nino and Recruit’s first date!
Sure we all thought the Lambo, fancy dinner, champagne, and karaoke with the Prime Minister’s wife would’ve made a great date, but walking for 12 kilometres (or 7.45645431 miles) to the mouth of a river is so much more fitting for Nino and Recruit’s growing relationship. There was no opening monologue this time around, but Halfadeckshort made some really insightful ties in his review between the story and the monologues – particularly the grass boat which Nino set sail down the river. We pick up with the grass boat again which also gives us an opportunity to see a more candid and raw Nino, and just the tiniest glimpse to her past.
I’m not sure why Nino chose Kou in the first place to be her lover but she’s starting to see a side of him that she can really fall in love with. Considering how calm and collected she’s been since the start of the season, it’s refreshing to see her show some normal girlish tendencies when on a date with a guy you think you just might be falling for. Recruit’s considerate actions surprised her, but she still managed to keep her composure without disclosing to Recruit what she was feeling (aside from the blushing – which could mean a number of things. And blushing has to be one the hardest things to suppress).
The other bit of Nino we see – and probably the more important instance – is her reaction to the grass boat she’d set adrift last episode. When she finds it caught in some signage and garbage, Recruit notes how far it’s come along but Nino only sees that it didn’t make it to the sea. This reaction and her reaction to when Recruit asks about her past gives us the slightest hint of disappointment or pain that Nino might have experienced before. As her lover, Recruit wants to uncover this mystery and learn more about Nino. In the meantime, however, he does what he can for her, forging the river to free the grass boat. He achieves this not by his initial attempt to reach out and force it loose, but by getting caught up in the river’s currents, falling, and freeing the boat through the waves of his fall. (I wonder if that’s a foreshadowing metaphor…)
We’re also introduced to two new characters this episode: Stella and Maria; two females who are associated with Sister in one way or another. First Stella: The deadly cute girl from the orphanage Sister ran in England. It’s unsurprising that Stella is proficient at combat; and it’s hand-to-hand combat so it’s not like Sister was irresponsible and let children play with guns. And despite the predictability of how her one-on-one spar with Recruit would turn out, it was too much fun to watch. Stella’s attitude when it comes to being the Big Brother (she’s been there one day and she’s already established her own triad Under the Bridge) on the other hand is a little scary; I guess Recruit will have to keep in line when Stella’s around lest he risk his neck with insubordination. (I wonder if Stella will get a new name as well now that she’s living Under the Bridge…)
Two: Maria. What is it with the women Under the Bridge? First Nino with her bluntness and calling out Recruit when he’s wrong, then Stella with her three-hit-combination KO, and now Maria and her derisive comments as an expression of her affection? If that’s what she says when she likes you, I can’t imagine how she treats someone she sincerely dislikes. We didn’t learn too much about Maria though it seems Sister is not impervious to her remarks – which might imply that he’s got feelings for her. I have to admit that Maria’s cruel behaviour paired with her kind smile and pretty face distracted me from the fact that she runs A FARM Under the Bridge. (What an idiot I’ve been, getting my milk from the convenience store…) Though I suppose it’s not so unusual to see a farm in an urban area. In the small city I live in, they’re trying to legalize backyard chickens so people can have fresh eggs.
I didn’t get the gag contest this week. …Not that I got it last week either.