Whew, I’m so glad that this wasn’t the usual parent against the kid’s dreams sort of situation because of business inheritance and all that jazz. Instead the tension that had formed between Chihiro and his father was mainly caused by his own fears of disappointing his father for being unable to keep promise of his childhood dream of following his footsteps and becoming the next head of the school. That was why he was having such a hard time breaking the news to him. His father however was patient with him, that even after he had learned through his client about Chihiro’s debut, he didn’t confront him, but rather waited for him to come to him to tell him about it. And then once he did, he told him it’s okay for him to do that– except his tone as misinterpreted by Chihiro, who had thought his worst fears had been realized and ended up having a breakdown. And it’s sad, because Chihiro honestly thought he lost value to his father if he retired from dancing.
But the most important part of their interaction was when Chihiro’s father realized that his silence was being taken the wrong way, and a grave misunderstanding that was unfolding before his eyes. Though Chihiro’s father is a man of a few words, he didn’t leave him hanging when Chihiro broke down. They had the much needed conversation of how when he was little, Chihiro valued his dance lessons together because it was the precious little time he he was able to have with him. And because his father has always been a busy man, Chihiro had become accustomed to referring to him as his Master, the one who teaches him dance, as opposed to being his “father”. That’s why I was really glad that not only did he acknowledge that he was the one who was not looking at Chihiro’s true self, but he assured him that no matter what, he wholeheartedly supports pursuing the path of an idol. It was really a nice bonding moment between father and son, and we got to see more of that with Chihiro continuing his morning practices, and his father gifting him a fan he painted himself.
Lastly, it was so funny to see Banri and Akira freak out over the possibility of Chihiro suddenly quitting just after they debuted. I liked that Chihiro had also tried to take the initiative to apologize to them after dragging them out of his home for the way he had acted the day before. It’s always nice to see characters take the initiative to right a wrong when they realize they had acted out unfairly to the others.
This week sMiLea Productions crew went off to do some promotional filming in Hawaii! Admittedly the first half of the episode was a bit of a snooze fest since it was just a photo session, but the second half turned otu way better than I could have expected. It was greatly entertaining. I still can’t believe they actually left Banri behind in Hawaii after they lost track of the time hiking before their flight (NOT A GOOD IDEA FOLKS, DON’T DO THAT!!!!!). I was like, “Oh no. WHERE’S BANRI?!?! OH MY GOD. BANRI?! DID THEY REALLY LEAVE WITHOUT HIM!?!?! OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BANRI WAS FORGOTTEN!!!!!”
The poor kid, my god– talk about a nightmare scenario of being suddenly being forgotten by your group and stranded in a foreign country, with no money and your phone dead. I know I said I was hoping for this kind of development, where we can see Banri overcome his fear of interacting with others, but I never expected it to to pain out like this!!! He was certainly forced out of his comfort zone, as he needed to speak to others. He did chicken out from doing a street performance (so he could try to earn money) at first, though understandably so, but was swept into it after some street musicians he had passed by earlier heard him singing, and encouraged him to do so. Thanks to their help, he was able to earn a nice chunk of money. Though they had told him to keep it, he didn’t feel like it’d be right, so it looks like he went out to eat with them instead and got some help back to the airport afterwards. Fortunately he didn’t need to worry about the flight costs because as soon as Lin landed, he made arrangements to reserve a seat and give Banri access to the lounge so that — either way, that would’ve been at least 7 hours until he landed.
At the end of the day, this experience helped Banri find some courage and was finally able to face and thank his fans after having initially ran and hide when two had approached Akira and Chihiro earlier on. Was this a cheesy way to go about it? Yes, but at the same time, I think this kind of crazy scenario was actually the best way to force Banri out of his comfort zone, and have to adapt and put himself out there. Not to mention it was entertaining to watch, so I’ll give them that.
Besides Banri’s unfortunate predicament, I must say, the English dub for this part was part of the highlights. It was absolutely hysterical in the best way possible. The local musicians were trying to help him out, but the intensity of their tone had me cracking up so hard. “SING KID”, “SMILE”, “YEAAAHHH CROSSFIRE” – ABSOLUTELY GOLDEN I TELL YOU.
Last but not least, it was an unexpected but a pleasant surprise nonetheless to learn that Maoto had actually lived in Hawaii for some time (that’s why he has a house there). That was why they had actually mixed the Hawaiian word “Le’ale’a”, (which means to “to have fun”) into their agency name, ‘sMiLea Productions’, as their vision is ‘Bright smiles and being happy’, and I think that was absolutely an awesome idea, and an endearing one too!
The ED Song [A.P.P.L.E.] was sung by JAXX/JAXX this week, which was a real treat to listen to. It’s a great song!