This episode of Holmes of Kyoto tries to tell us the message that we shouldn’t keep our feelings hidden for too long. How long will it take for Kiyotaka to finally start opening himself up?
Japanese title: ビスクドールの笑顔
‘I always thought if I didn’t say I wanted something, it wouldn’t hurt to lose it.’
It’s New Year and the staff and friends of Kura are all wearing kimono to celebrate the occasion. Aoi looks very beautiful in her outfit, and Kiyotaka suits his kimono all too well. Akihito looks like a god in his more formal getup (swoon). It’s so cute how he’s still chasing after Yoshie, too. And AGAIN, he didn’t realise when he was being a third wheel, but luckily Seiji was there to stop him from getting in the way. The pair then heads across the road to Yata-Jizo and Aoi almost gets caught up in romantic thoughts (so cute!) before asking Kiyotaka to teach her about the Raku Tea Bowls.
Sometime later, Kiyotaka takes Aoi to a very unique cafe located underneath a chocolaterie. It has a very romantic atmosphere, and Aoi is sure that he could easily get any girl if he just brought her on a date here. He begins to talk to Aoi about his relationship with Izumi and how he never really thought about having a girlfriend. He just went with her because she confessed to him and was curious. However, he says that maybe he might now be interested…come on Aoi! Don’t be dense!
The couple then bumps into Kiyotaka’s grandmother Tsubaki while leaving the shop, and she invited them to her beautiful house. She shows them a (creepy) Bisque doll which matches the doll kept at Kura. She was given the doll by Seiji back when they were married, but it seems that it has been moving around and crying tears. It turns out it was Tsubaki’s husband, who is upset at the fact that she is treating this doll with care. This doll represents Seiji’s feelings and care for Tsubaki, as their divorce 5 years ago was partly because he felt somehow responsible for her falling gravely ill 5 years into their marriage. She has been with Yoshio ten times longer than she was with Seiji, so she decides to give the doll back to Kura.
It is here that Tsubaki says something very important to Kiyotaka and Aoi, which is to always be honest about how they feel. As Aoi is looking at the doll, she finds herself imagining her and Kiyotaka as the couple… come on Aoi, take Tsubaki’s advice!!
The scene where Aoi doesn’t know what a ‘fresh’ is is one of the cutest misunderstandings in the series. I would guess that many of the people reading this review also wondered what a ‘fresh’ was, too. Having spent 6 years living in the Kansai region, I couldn’t help but laugh when I originally read this scene. ‘Fresh’ is simply coffee creamer. It is called ‘coffee milk’ in standard Japanese, but in the Kansai region, it is simply called ‘fresh’ (which is quite amusing as long-life coffee creamer is not actually fresh).
Tears to Smile
This chapter actually has a different name in the book. The title of this episode was ‘The Bisque Doll’s Smile’, but the chapter in the book was actually ‘The Bisque Doll’s Tears’.
Places Which Appear in Episode 10
This temple, also known as Yata-Jizou, is located right at the entrance to the Teramachi covered shopping arcade, on the Sanjo side. This is close to where Kura is supposedly located. One of the first things you’ll notice at the temple is all the red lanterns which have the names of people and organizations which have donated to the temple. On the right, you will see some rocks which have been neatly adorned with bibs. This are Jizo statues, a bodhisattva of, among many things, travelers and unborn babies. The Jizo statue in the main hall is known as the scapegoat Jizo and can kindly take on your suffering on your behalf. The o-mamori (amulets) of this temple are handmade little Jizos. They are very cute and popular with visitors from all over the country!
This is a real chocolaterie in Kyoto! You can check out the official website here. I have never been there personally, but you can be sure that I will at some point!
Let’s Start the Appraisal
Aoi seems to be slowly coming to terms with her feelings with Kiyotaka, and there is a lot of implication that he may be open to the idea of a girlfriend. The anime seems to be implying Kiyotaka’s feelings a lot stronger than in the book version, and it isn’t a bad thing. However, the story has to be careful not to turn into one of those ‘will-they-won’t-they’ stories. In terms of the mystery aspect, this episode seemed a little week to me. Sometimes Kiyotaka’s hypotheses are too on point with so little evidence that it’s a little ridiculous, especially as it was solved by Kiyotaka being able to read into the feelings of Tsubaki’s husband Yoshio. However, I really loved the story of Tsubaki and Yoshio. The pair loves each other very deeply, but Yoshio is not the honest type. Although it may seem a little strange that he wouldn’t make his feelings clear to his wife, they are an older Japanese couple and it isn’t that unthinkable. If you think about it, it was actually quite cute how Yoshio eventually started to moved the doll on purpose thinking that Tsubaki may get rid of it. This episode may be one of the more forgettable episodes of the series so far, but it marks a possible turn in Kiyotaka and Aoi’s relationship.
Let’s see what happens next episode, which is about Valentine’s!
Don’t forget that we will be here each week with a preview of the next episode. You can check the stills gallery from Episode 10 here.
Holmes of Kyoto
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast