Friday, April 20, 2007

Hitohira 04

Episode 4 didn't thrill me as much as the others, but it shows us that this is not a simple, predictable show. The characterizations begin to broaden. Nono is not just the sweet sempai eager to help Mugi. And one time on stage does not make Mugi an actress.

Sorry I'm late with this post. Real life intervened. Full summary after the first set of pics.

Mugi got 42 on her Japanese test. She tries to hide the test from Kai, but he shows her that he got a low mark, too. They feel a bond and shake hands. But Mugi is actually pretty good in Japanese. She just wrote all the answers down wrong.

Chitose comes in to return a notebook to Mugi and loans her a book on acting she read a long time ago. Mugi says she is skipping drama practice. Everyone is shocked except Kayo, who says that's what Mugi's like. Chitose says Mugi has gone bad. Mugi imagines herself as a biker chick saying she won't go to club because it's boring.

Kai says Nono will kill her. Mugi says she knows, and they smile together about skipping practice. The older three club members come in. Katsuragi says they seem to be in love. Nono congratulates them and says she hadn't noticed. Risaki tells her brother he moved unexpectedly fast.

Chitose says good morning to Katsuragi. He says it's afternoon. Kai tells his sister they're not lovers, and anyway she shouldn't just barge into someone else's classroom.

Risaki grabs Kai to drag him off the practice. Mugi pretends to have a fever and says she thinks she might be getting sick. Nono gets very close to her and tenderly holds her chin and offers to take her to the clinic. Mugi says it's not that bad. Nono says such half-hearted acting wouldn't fool anyone, and drags her off to practice.

They run. They do speaking practice while the exhausted Mugi rests. Mugi thinks how amazing Nono is, despite her normal appearance. She suddenly found out she was losing her voice, but can still be as strong as this. They practice ad-libbing a role, for when they might forget the script. Mugi is very hesitant in her part of a waitress, but Nono says it's very apt, like an overseas student from Asia. Mugi tries to run away. The others go after her, but Nono praises the roile: "Very interesting. A waitress who runs away."

After they catch her and finish practice, Mugi is exhausted again. The head of the Drama Club, Sakaki Mirei (played by Yukino Satsuki) comes by and greets her pleasantly. Then Nono is there, saying coldly: "If you try anything with one of our kids, I'll kill you." "I was just saying a few words." ""You're shameless, spying on our rehearsal like this." "Shameless? Don't be ridiculous. You were practicing in the open courtyard." Mugi tries to sneak away while they're arguing, but Nono catches her and tells the head of the Drama Club that Mugi has the ability to get into the top 50 in the class. Mugi, not being much of a student, is incredulous, but Nono says they have to beat the Drama Club in every way. When Mugi talks back to Nono, Katsuragi comments that she is really growing up. Then Nono says they all have to get into the top 50.

We next see the club studying history together by doing dramatic readings from the textbook. Nono says it will help them remember. Mugi says it's a bit embarrassing. Kai says it will bother the neighbors. Katsuragi says they all have to obey their president, Nono. Risaki calls him an idiot, and we soon see why. Nono praises his attitude, then orders him to strengthen his stomach muscles by stooping against the wall while he drinks his tea. When he objects slightly, she repeats what he said: that her words are absolute. When Mugi says how impressed she is, Nono gets Risaki to do it, too.

Mugi asks something she has wondered: why do you hate the Drama Club so much? Kai is coming in and tries to get away. Mugi apologizes for asking something strange. Risaki says they were all originally members of the Drama Club. Kai complains that Risaki dragged him in without telling him. She apologizes, saying she didn't know how to explain. Nono says it was really she herself deciding whether to go on acting. Katsuragi says they admired Nono and wanted to help her continue. Non says it isn't exactly hatred. She knows Sakaki-san (the Drama Club president) is right, but it's a matter of her decisions about her own life.

Walking home from Risaki/Kai's house, Nono asks Katsuragi to escort Mugi. She says her own route home is well-lit all the way, so she'll be all right. She runs off, telling Katsuragi not to become a wolf. Mugi realizes she's alone with Katsuragi, and thinks of Chitose will kill her. Katsuragi asks what's wrong, and she says her heart is fluttering. He says she's been working hard. She asks: have I? He says the whole club can attest to it. That makes her feel good: she has been doing her best. She is determined to do even more.

Mugi says Nono is really something. Katsuragi says she wasn't always like that. She didn't even like acting. Mugi asks who was the "important person" who got her into it. It was the Drama Club president, Sakaki Mirei. But she opposed Nono acting after her throat problem, and Katsuragi and Misaki supported her.

At home, Mugi is studying hard, despite being so tired. She picks up the book on acting that Chitose loaned her and reads: The stage is a place of dreams. Meanwhile, Nono is in a park practicing, with her strained voice. Mugi thinks how great Nono is.

It's the day when results are posted, and Sakaki says that the Drama Club will get their club fees if they all don't get in the top 50 in their year. Risaki says with a smile that it's impossible for her. Nono is 6th. Mugi says how smart she is. Kai says that smart people are all weird.

Sakaki comes 2oth. She says to Nono that's good, and that it has nothing to do with the bet anyway. Katsuragi comes 25th, which surprises him and delights Chitose. Risaki thinks about what's possible and impossible, and that what's impossible can't be made possible. She blandly makes her way to the front and grabs the results list and tosses it to Kai and rushes away.

Nono goes after them, with glowing red eyes like a monster. "If you don't come out, I'll kill you." "She'll kill me if I do," thinks Risaki. Nono comes into the classroom where Risaki is hiding and calls out loudly, then her voice breaks as if in pain. Risaki rushes out to help Nono, but Nono grabs her and says: Gotcha.

Chitose and Katsuragi hear Risaki scream. Katsuragi says nothing can stop an angry Nono and burns incense to Risaki's spirit. Mugi and Sakaki are sitting waiting. Sakaki says the idea of them all getting in the top 30 was ridiculous. She wonders of Nono is stubborn or stupid. Mugi tries to ask if Sakaki and Nono can't be friends, but Nono shows up with Risaki, still looking for Kai.

Later, in the club room, Nono says that during the summer they will go off and stay together for intensive training. They can't just do a second-rate job because it's a student performance. And Nono will train Mugi all summer. Will Mugi work hard? Risaki and Katsuragi say that personal taining with Nono is hell, and they don't know if Mugi will survive. Mugi faints. Then we see Nono in a doctor's office, hearing that her throat condition has worsened.