Synopsis: Episode 2
One day at school, Sakamoto happens to witness someone being threatened to hand over money to a group of punks. The guy’s name is Kubota, one of Sakamoto’s classmates. When Sakamoto talks to Kubota, he begs Sakamoto to rescue him, as he has no cash left if the punks come back for more. “I have some idea.” Says Sakamoto, with confidence, but just what does he have in plan to save his meek classmate?
The opening scene shows Sakamoto up on a tree delivering food to “bird-san,” apparently some kind of bird who nestles on a treetop in the school premises. Unfortunately he realizes that bird-san is not home today. Instead he finds one of his classmates, Kubota, on the ground, with some punks who are taking his lunch money.
Kubota says it’s impossible to find any more cash to keep him out of the punks harassment. Sakamoto suggests him to make cash by working after school. Not only he suggests a part-time job, Sakamoto also works alongside Kubota at some first food chain. Sakamoto always has a strange way to show his kindness; this is a perfect example.
On the first day at the job, Sakamoto is assigned to order-taking. Soon enough, ladies queue up and the line gets longer and longer, as the rumor breaks out wide. Kubota is initially assigned to a cleaning assignment in the back of the store, but soon, requested to help bagging fried potato at the front, as the store gets busier than ever.
In the beginning Kubota was grumpy about working his ass of, just because he needs cash flow to get away from the bullying, but, once he realizes how fun it is to work and get rewarded, he starts putting more energy and effort into it.
On the first pay day, Kubota mentions to Sakamoto that he might want to try straight perm but he is still on the fence. (Does he care about his curly hair? Surprise…)
Kubota asks Sakamoto how Sakamoto is planning to spend his first salary, and Sakamoto replies he plans on updating his circular protractor. The frank and candid conversation shows that their friendship is steadily developing.
At the store front, Sakamoto and Kubota are working their shift. The group of three punks from the first episode arrives at the store, orders food, and after some hesitation, one of the three, Atsushi (the other punks call him Acchan) looks up at Sakamoto and says, “…and I’d like a smile, to go.” Sakamoto returns a cold snigger. Acchan is ecstatic and the group happily leaves the shop. I’m seriously worried about you Acchan…
After they left, another group comes in. Ah-oh. These are the punks who bully Kubota. They notice Kubota working in the front, then figures out that Kubota is making money through the part-time job. They make Kubota meet with them at a nearby park after work, and of course, attempt to steal his money. Kubota, this time, resists. His sense of pride developed through the job experience. He fights to protect his earnings from the punks. Sakamoto pulls up at the scene on his bicycle. He makes a claim that he needed to deliver the muddler, straw, and such, which was not packed in the bag of food the punks had bought. Sakamoto uses those items in a creative way to thwart the punks.
Surprisingly, he doesn’t finish, and intentionally let Kubota takes care of the rest. Kubota launches his very first attack on the punks! He can now utilize his experience he gained from the real-world job. He successfully chases the punks away. And then, he tells Sakamoto this: “What I really need to protect is not my money, or myself, it’s my pride.” Well said, well said, young man.
Actually, Sakamoto is not listening to his speech. He’s already on his bicycle ready to get back to work, but, right before he takes off, he complements Kubota by saying his attack technique is not polished but not too bad. With his words, the unusual friendship between the two teens become solid.
In the later part of the story, a pretty girl rocking twin tails named Aina, who sits in front of Sakamoto in the class, gazes Sakamoto in a dreamy look. Sakamoto too intently stares back at her. Actually, Sakamoto is not trying to be romantic, he’s just trying to read what is written on the black board behind her.
Aina wants Sakamoto to be her boyfriend, so, she tries a series of love-winning techniques she found in a teen magazine. Unfortunately none of these techniques work on Sakamoto and she gets frustrated. For one thing, Sakamoto doesn’t disclose basic information. When she asks if he is right handed or left handed he replies that he is ambidextrous. When she asks for his first name he doesn’t give it out. She even withdraws a bit to get his attention, but Sakamoto doesn’t seem to care a tiny bit.
At last, Aina pulls out a “Kokkurisan” game card. Kokkurisan is a popular game, like a witch board, you get to ask a spirit a question and the answer appears on the table. Despite her anticipation, two other girls nearby butt in to play, letting Sakamoto get away.
The two girls are obviously here to thwart Aina’s plan on winning Sakamoto’s heart. One of them asks the spirit a question “Is Aina malevolent?” Frustrated, Aina pulls the coin by force to NO bracket. In the following question, all three participants leave their finger off from the coin. This is bad. It is believed that if you do that, the spirit gets mad and haunts anyone of choice. This time, the victim is Sakamoto. He speaks Kokkurisan terms and orders those three girls to build a shrine gate right at the moment.
The three girls hastily build a gate structure using whatever they can find on the spot, and through this project Aina and the two others build a cooperative relationship which soon develops to a friendship. Satisfied with their work, they offer a sincere greeting to haunted Sakamoto, and leave the school. Sakamoto, left alone, speaks to himself “Validation completed…” and closes the magazine which belongs to Aina.
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