Saraiya Goyou – House of Five Leaves 9: an admirable man

June 17, 2010

The resolution of Matsu's situation leads to some new problems.

Episode 9 of House of Five Leaves begins with the resolution of Matsu’s captivity. Yagi’s assistance becomes troublesome. We also get surprising insight into Masa’s family, and a mysterious stranger starts asking about Yaichi.

Masa can act cool under pressure.

Masa is successful in rescuing Matsu, but Yagi is revealed to be the new police station chief. Matsu investigates him at Yaichi’s request, but Yaichi seems to have more information about him. Yaichi informs Masa that Yagi is the next target, and to stay away from him. Now Masanosuke has a face that can be read like a book, so I understand why he wants Masa to stay well away from Yagi. In fact, if I were ever to form my own gang of kidnappers, I would probably make it a standing rule to not get chummy with the chief of police. But I don’t understand Yaichi’s decision to mark Yagi as the next target. Isn’t that just courting disaster?

Ume gets Matsu to open up.

After his rescue, a humbled Matsu is more open with the other gang members. In particular he has a conversation with Ume, in which Matsu admits that he has been hostile towards Ume because Ume is a better parent than he was able to be. He also admits that he finds Ume’s devotion to his daughter admirable. This actually caused me to re-evaluate Matsu’s actions in the previous episode. When Ume said he was trying to leave the gang, Matsu got up, announced that he would never return, and left Ume’s restaurant. At the time I thought Matsu was being motivated by a desire to keep gang business secret. Now I think it might have been his way of helping Ume’s family escape further involvement with criminal activity.

Unexpected Akitsu family drama.

Sachi Akitsu

Masa’s little sister Sachi arrives in town without warning. Apparently she has run away from home because her other brother plans to marry her off to someone not of her liking. Sachi follows Otake out of Ume’s place, and she comments that Otake is so beautiful that she is too good for her brother. Otake responds that she isn’t the sort of woman that Sachi should admire. I was struck by the line, not only because there was a sadness in Otake’s voice as she said it, but because it was interesting that Otake would refer to the type of woman that should be admired so soon after Matsu had commented that Ume was an admirable man.

Otake's beauty is easilly admired, but what of the person within?

Sachi decides to stay with Otake for a while. She says she wants to learn somethings from Otake “as a woman.” Masa gives Sachi the hairpin he had noticed in Matsu’s shop last episode. Matsu gave it to Masa as a way of thanking him for freeing him from captivity. When Masa hands Sachi the pin, however, he simply says that it is from Matsu. The startled reaction from Otake and Sachi make me think they believe it was given because Matsu is interested in Sachi. This scene is effectively a cliffhanger. I hope Sachi’s fascination with Otake means we will get a lot more information about Otake, as she has so far remained quite a mystery.

This guy's arrival looks like bad news.

This episode was surprisingly full. In addition to the plot lines about Matsu’s rescue, Yaichi’s suspicions about Yagi, and Sachi’s arrival, we have a very brief scene in which a rough looking character is asking for information about the guy who sold out the Bakuro gang (Yaichi).

Sorry this episode’s review took so long. I watched the episode, but was having difficulty getting decent screencaps, and then forgot I hadn’t written up my thoughts.