Master of the Craft!
This episode hit me like the train from Inception! There was like, 10% of things I expected to happen but the other 90% took me by surprise! First of all I did not expect the kiss to happen so soon! I mean, sure there was an inkling that we would get something early on given the ‘L’ question but surely that could have come after another thing Kairi did? Then again with how ‘open’ Yuri is I guess it had to be something extreme like a kiss to finally get her to start asking questions.
Next, I did not anticipate things going dark so soon. That’s what the kids these days call serious tones in stories – dark! And just like Gentleman Jack they chose the route that is less thorny in that though they mentioned our very own AKB, it was the other kind of Idol industry that they went after – The Gravure Idols, or more specifically in this show, the Junior Idols. Everyone that knows of this side of Japan must have had certain questions about it and the show does touch upon it, albeit lightly.
Yeah, I wasn’t expecting the way things turned! And this is not all…Seriously you all, remind me never to be on Kairi’s bad side! Jesus Christ that girl is scary! And she wasn’t even in anger mode! I can only imagine when she is pissed enough for it to show on her face! The person at the receiving end would probably surrender their lives!
Even the Stalker story seemed to have changed, that is if what we heard from this episode was more than speculation and spite! Add in the little details we learned of Kairi’s mysterious life, especially her past and yeah, this seems like it is going to go ways I did not think it would. Speaking of, this reminds me that we know nothing of value about Yuri too other than her current present self!
So much we have yet to discover, so much we have yet to learn about our girls and they too about each other and their feelings. But one of them has started to shape their future and love life from this episode and she is so good at the chase she has already overcome the first hurdle.
Let’s see what that is, shall we…
Before the title card even appears, we are already slapped in the face with those writers gloating ‘You didn’t see that coming?’. And by that I mean that as Yuri steps out of her apartment door, she meets none other than Kairi, who is also stepping out of her apartment door! That’s right, they are next door neighbours! Watching this episode the first time around I was laughing at all the simple clichés in this first half of the episode and there were a lot!
But then thinking back on it, Kairi did show up in quite unusual times in the first episode, like when Yuri was moving her stuff in, or when she got sick and Kairi came over! There was probably more clues in the dialogue but not a full speaker, I must have missed them! For now I won’t think of anything bad about this. I mean, Kairi is an estate agent and if the apartment next to her was free, she might as well get a woman her age to live in it, right?
And it’s not like she forced Yuri on it, Yuri had the right to refuse. But there is the question of how a student like her can afford an apartment like that, on her part-time job! I mean no housing prices are as crazy as Dublin prices but still! I have a feeling that this has to do with Kairi but I will have to wait and see.
Speaking of Kairi, she plays dumb about not mentioning the fact that she lived next door and while Yuri has a pause at that, she lets it go. Kairi of course doesn’t waste time in starting to chase that dream! And by that dream we know by now that it is to get Yuri to be her wife! Hence comes the title of this post – Master of the Craft! Either Yuri is such a good person for being able to put up with all her advances or Kairi is that good at reading people and seeing their breaking point which she can keep going for until that limit!
Before the opening card, she has playfully pinched Yuri’s shoulder with her finger and leaned on said shoulder, has held Yuri’s hand as they go off to their daily lives and in addition to the physical, she goes for the verbal attack when she says that her days are about to be that much better if she was to start off the day with the sight of Yuri! Yuri of course takes this all in, albeit with a slight nervousness. Yuri is not stupid. She has intuition and can see where this is going but she is that good that she is letting it go on, I mean, no foul done no spoil, right?
But while we are still on this opening part, there is another subject that has been nudging me and I have a feeling it will come into play later on. When Yuri first wakes up, she loses some time stating at her hanging under wear. Sure the first time it because she was thinking back on what Kairi had told her in the first episode about their primary school and the strawberry panties but then after she brings back the rubbish (she had taken it out on the wrong day! Aren’t you glad Kairi lives next door?) she still looks at them and I have a feeling she is thinking about something – something I have been thinking about since the last episode but just like Yuri, I will leave it be, in case I am wrong.
Later in college, Shiho and Tomomi are looking up the Junior Idol business when Dick comes trolling in to give us his insight on the matter! Understandably as he is more likely to know more about that than the girls themselves but the writers hit the presumptuous in the face by having him be a batter for the Anime world as opposed to the Idol world, though really, isn’t the industry at hand the middle ground where Music Idol Fans and Anime Fans meet? Unless of course he is a super Anime Otaku that likes 2D girls more than real ones but that can’t be seeing as he is dating Yuri!
Either way, he asks why they are looking that up when Yuri drops Kairi’s name and how she used to be a Junior Idol. Junior Idol isn’t literal! Well, it is and kind of isn’t. Is as in they are juniors, like u-17 at lost. Isn’t because it is a special type of industry. Go look it up of you want to know more!
Back to the story, Dick gives us the laydown on how those industries work, even name-dropping AKB and making it known that it is actually worse in the Music Idol industry than it is in the Gravure Idol industry! Which, unless you have been living under a rock, we should know about, especially lately when the information has begun to go public. Currently, there are multiple cases with the NGT48 girls and why you have not been seeing a lot from them!
That industry is rotten! But some of us knew this way back then. Mostly because it has to do with Yukirin in my case but even then, any person should have had background thoughts on things that go bump in the night!
And there I go, rolling off topic as usual! I really need medication for this condition!
Anyway, while it was an aww moment seeing Yuri defend Kairi some during this scene, when the girls tried to look her up on google, I kind of got mad at her because she is the one that brought up Kairi’s name in both cases, first when Dick asked why they were discussing Junior Idols and next when Shiho and Tomomi asked her for Kairi’s family name so they could look her up!
Like, come on Yuri! I thought you were a better person than that! I guess though that it is not unexpected. You are only human. No matter how goo we all are, there is a streak of darkness within us all and temptation is worse thing to resist. Still, I hope you confess this Kairi because it is not good!
Speaking of Kairi, we finally get to see her in her office and yeah, just as I suspected she doesn’t get along well with her co-workers. Not in the sense that they are always at each other’s throats but more like back-biting and fake smiles, which usually comes with the territory of being extremely good looking or popular. But Kairi is not blind to this fakeness! Her being in the Junior Industry actually prepared her for real life in ways that other girls wouldn’t be.
She knows how to read people. Which will play into the next time she meets Yuri and her friends but here, while it was kind of clear to see in episode one, she has seen some shit and knows how the world and people work. This episode actually made me fall in love with her character and she is now my favourite character in the show. She has a lot of skeletons in her closet and in this episode some are going to be revealed, but a prayer to the person that does that! They will need them!
Later in the night, Kairi goes to visit Dick’s place of work before she goes off to hers and here the first thing I wasn’t expecting happens. She finally breaks up with him after all this time. Like, girls, I thought you should have left him the moment I saw him in the first episode. But I guess that is the goodness in you so I will forgive you. Besides, you finally did it. Even if it was after you found out that he said he has no girlfriend and not only that but that he broke up with her. Yuri decides to finally break things off for good! Meanwhile you would think Dick would be begging for forgiveness and all that but all he did was shrug and start taking selfies!
At Yuri’s place of work, Kairi comes visiting for the first time and plans to have dinner there. The place is full though but luckily, Yuri’s lecturer is around and he has a table all to himself so she asks him if her friend can join him and the two seemingly strike up a promising connection. The way Kairi adapts to him strengthens the point I was trying to make of her being way more mature than her years given what turn her life took. I have a feeling that going forward her and the teacher are going to be close.
Kairi waits until Yuri is finished so they can walk home together afterwards and the advantages of that is not lost on either of them. Strength in numbers and given what kind of girl Kairi is, I am pretty sure she has her own stalkers so having someone to walk home with in the middle of the night is the type of security either needed but now have! After a short stop at the convenience store, and Kairi finding out that something happened between Yuri and her boyfriend, the two head on home and Kairi finally invites Yuri to her home.
I am ready…
Inside Kairi’s home, things start slow, almost sombre, with little nudges to said skeletons in Kairi’s closet. This happens as the girls talk about the teacher and after Kairi tells that he paid for her meal and wondering if it was okay, Yuri doesn’t see a problem with it given that she trusts him. Kairi then goes on to say that it isn’t unheard of anyway, that girls do take advantage of elder gentlemen like that getting them to buy the stuff (in exchange for something in some cases) to which Yuri is quick to ask if Kairi does things like that too!
Am I the only one thinking that Yuri is in a kind of detective mode in regards to Kairi? I mean, she probably doesn’t mean it in a bad like, like she is suspecting Kairi of something, and more out of curiosity but still…
Anyway, all Kairi says in response is ‘no comment’, in regards to if she was into that kind of stuff with gentlemen. That to course means to me that she is hiding something and so grows my interest in her and love for the depth of her.
Yuri then goes on to tell the story of the Teacher and his wife who is in a coma after an accident, a coma she’s been in for many years apparently but that the Teacher spends his free time talking to her at the hospital hoping speaking to her will wake her up one day.
Yuri is touched by the love the Teacher has for his wife. Being that faithful and dedicated even when he doesn’t know if she will ever see the light of day again. This point here is worth to keep in mind for either party. If this series does turn out to be a surprise and take a really serious direction, this might play later into the Teacher’s arc and probably Yuri’s life views. But that is a less likely route. Secondary, Yuri has scored major points in her favour in the eyes of Kairi and we will be seeing this soon after.
That being said, we are in Kairi’s apartment, with just the two of them! This is basically a lion’s den! Yuri is a frikkin deer in a Lion’s Den! Things are not going to end so innocently like that! And so the lion strikes in the form of Kairi going to her bedroom and bringing out the famed Strawberry Panties – Her favourite treasure!
You know what else Kairi learned in the world of Gravure? It’s how to fish! She knows how to navigate the territories, what tools to use for the most effective result and dear Readers, does she put those skills to good use!! Seriously, even I was impressed! I had the same basic picture of what was going to happen as the scene played out but even then she totally side-wiped me!
Like, so, she comes back to the living room and presents the panties to Yuri! Too embarrassed, Yuri tries to snatch them back but Kairi isn’t having it and keeps them out of reach as Yuri chases after her! Somehow they end up in the bedroom, laying on the bed, with Kairi topping Yuri and the two breathing into each other’s faces!
Like, I so did not expect them to end up in the bedroom! I mean, yes, I saw the teaser for this episode but I didn’t think it would happen like this! For crying out loud they were in the living room! I expected the topping but I thought they would trip on the couch not make it all the way to the bedroom!
God Kairi, you really are a Master of the Craft!
So great to see her use, what should have been the worst part of her life, to her advantage. I expect she has a lot of tricks still left up her sleeve and Yuri, girl, if I were you I would take this girl because you are in for the ride of your life! The experience she has you won’t find anywhere!
Anyway, after some playful name-calling (Yuri calling Kairi a pervert and Kairi all but agreeing to being one) they two end up in the bedroom, with Kairi topping Yuri, like I said. The atmosphere quickly changes that the Dublin weather would be jealous! The two stare at one another in silence for some time. Kairi with love and adoration and Yuri with surprise and a bit of trepidation.
Yuri breaks cuts the tension but saying that Kairi can keep the panties if she thinks so highly of them. She then strikes up some lame excuse about doing reports and Kairi lets her go, whispering a good night to an already exiting Yuri. And once again the love in Kairi’s voice and face is plain to see! She really loves Yuri! And also once again I am surprised by her restraint! I seriously thought she would go that extra mile seeing as she took things to the bedroom but no.
Meanwhile outside her door, Yuri looks like she just came out of the shower! She is sweating bullets and really, you can’t blame her! That was one hot…situation to find oneself in. I also have the feeling that she hasn’t had sex yet or even if she has, she is still a stranger to many a feelings. Kairi is waking these feelings up inside her and from what she thought about the bedroom situation, where she thinks that Kairi was ‘kind of hot’, we can all agree that Yuri is finding the power of YURI!
Me thinks too that Kairi just scored major points here with Yuri. She made her first impact in the bullseye area. I mean she already has points from the last episode but those were all light weight.
The next day at college Kairi is waiting for the girls when they get off for their break. Things once again start light, also to note, when Yuri notices Kairi, she practically runs over to her all happy to see her to the point that I expected her to give Kairi a hug. That she did not but Kairi did not waste an opportunity to touch her arm. And also as if trying to not give anything to follow away, Kairi finally shows some interest in the girls when she takes a hold of Tomomi’s arm (and Yuri’s) as they walk to their usual spot.
On the way things take a face-heel-turn! It starts with Kairi mentioning that she had met their Teacher and that he had paid for her dinner. The girls show a bit of jealousy, all in playfulness of course, and Shiho says that if Kairi is involved, they have lost the battle. Tomomi though thinks otherwise saying that there is no chance of that happening and when Kairi wonders why, she says that Kairi hates men. She asks why again and the Idol issue is dropped!
The world comes to a standstill when Kairi asks if they looked her up on the internet. Tomomi and Shiho are guilty because they did just that and they do apologise. Meanwhile Yuri is also guilty because she is the one that gave up Kairi’s family name for them to look it up in the first place. Kairi for her part is all smiles but you can tell she isn’t pleased!
The world releases a breath as the subject turns to Dick and the friends finding out that Yuri had broken up with him. Interestingly, the girls seems to be happy for Yuri. But Kairi has a reaction at their approval. You will miss that small reaction the first time around but the camera does turn to her and shows it clearly but without contest many will miss it. After all, we are all on the Dick-hating wagon because we know what kind of a player he seems like but these two are supposed to be Yuri’s friends. That’s not the kind of reaction they are expected to give and dear Readers, they are about to pay the price!
And hence comes another direction I wasn’t expecting! Those girls really did the worst mistake in their lives trying to un-earth Kairi’s demons! I think from this reaction we have to expect some heavy stuff down the line because girl, is Kairi pissed!
Once again showing her maturity and great skills of reading people, she pieces the puzzle together and starts to tear into Shiho and Tomomi! The first attack is asking them if they follow Dick on the LINE social app. She asks them to get their phones out and show Yuri Dick’s timeline. The two are shocked! Nay, everyone is shocked! Even I am shocked!
And that is only the beginning! Kairi tears into so fast I was like, that escalated quickly! We obviously need subtitles to get everything but Kairi was implying that Tomomi and Shiho were OK with Yuri breaking up with Dick because they wanted him for themselves. Also implied that Yuri’s stalker was female because the tactics were more of a Hater than an admire in order to wedge a rift between her and Dick perhaps?
Yeah, the even almost came to blows and in the end Tomomi and Shiho took off their friendship rings, leaving them there on the table and walking away. Essentially breaking off their friendship? I doubt it seeing the previews but still, they refused to show their phones to Yuri so I guess they are guilty. And if they are, it kind of explains why Kairi, a lesbian(?), seemed to not be taken with them! Did she already read them and what type of people they were just from their first meeting?
So yeah, I most certainly wasn’t expecting that turn of events! But we are not done yet!
The heaviest hitting moment comes later that night while Kairi and Yuri and are at Yuri’s place (I like this deviation, one night drinks at Yuri’s, the other night at Kairi’s). Starts out with Kairi apologising for earlier and promising to apologise to Tomomi and Shiho the next day. She does let us know that she has those moments meaning that I should be prepared for her to go off again later on. Yuri forgives her because she too was a bit at fault and kid of the catalysts for all this! If she hadn’t given up Kairi’s name, they wouldn’t be in this situation.
Anyway, things go completely serious when Kairi gives us a glimpse of her complicated past. It starts out with her saying that she is probably more broken a person that Yuri’s friends and goes on to tell Yuri about all her Idol life and she does go deep! We really need subtitles for the complete picture with this scene too but she does go there!
What’s worse, that wasn’t even the reason why she moved when they were young! It was because her parents divorced, and her Mother married a different man! That divorce most definitely had something to do with Kairi but when Yuri asks if her father ‘did something’ to her, she once again gives the ‘No Comment’, just like earlier on the episode.
Kairi’s Demons run deep, and I can’t help but love her even more!
Yuri being the person that she is, really, anyone would, even I found myself getting mist-eyed, even not being a stranger to such stories, Yuri ends up crying for Kairi and what she had been through! Seriously, I wasn’t expecting such a heavy scene so early on! Like, this series is 10 episodes or something, right?
I was expecting Kairi to make some joke to lighten the mood but she instead got Yuri a box of tissues and sat close to her to comfort her with an arm around her back. She is once again taken by Yuri’s endless kindness, how she thinks of other people like the Teacher and now Kairi. Like seriously, I can totally see Kairi would totally be in love with her.
Kairi goes on to say that people had a darkness within them, she too but that Yuri is that good and that she knew ever since that moment back then. ‘Strawberry panties’? Yuri asks. ‘Strawberry Panties’, Kairi answers. She then says that if it is too embarrassing for Yuri, she can given them back, since they have met again now. But I have a feeling, them being a treasure, they can’t just be given away! Like Indiana Jones taught us, you have to replace the treasure with something and in this case another treasure! But what treasure could Yuri possibly give Kairi now?
A KISS that’s what!!!
A kiss?!! So soon?! I literally got so caught off guard I found myself shouting into my screen! But then after my sense got back to me, I realised that they were wearing the same clothes that they were in the promotional photos and the trailer! Something else I so should have seen coming but I totally missed!
I frikkin love this series!
Of course it was still the same shitty J-Drama/K-Drama type of kisses, which I never understood! You don’t have to give tongue to make a compelling kiss! Your lips are still touching so why the hell don’t you do it right! You can kiss properly with just your lips and your mouth closed! Why do they not make that little bit of effort!
Ah well, it is still a ‘kiss’ so I‘ll take it!
As expected, Yuri’s doesn’t take things well, though to be fair, she took them in better stride than most! After the kiss Kairi confesses that she was broken since childhood and while it wasn’t what I was expecting, I expected her to say that she had loved Yuri since the ‘Strawberry Panties’ (it’s a time period now), the fact that it is not what we got makes it better actually because I like surprises. And for Kairi thinking herself broken just because she loves another girl gives more weight to the matter at hand so I am all for it.
Sadly, this is where Yuri reaches her limit and she tells Kairi that she can’t do it before distancing herself from Kairi. But even as she says it she is hurting as we see a tear slip down her cheek. She probably feels bad for hurting Kairi, even as Kairi takes the rejection like a champ, again, surprising me, as she just agrees and gets up, collects her things and leaves.
And no, I am not going to ignore the lilies that obscured Kairi’s exit or the way Yuri touched her lips after Kairi left, totally thinking about the kiss!! Things are changing between the two. No matter which way the road leads, they have chosen a path now and there is no going back. Sure Kairi hasn’t come out yet declaring her love but really, what more does one need after a KISS!!!
We shall just have to wait for the next episode to find out because even though the episode is not over, nothing that happens next matters that much! Though I guess it was another subversion because when the next morning when a box came for Yuri in the mail, I thought for a second that the Stalker had struck again! Now, while that is not out of the question, the thing isn’t such a big issue that she received, and we have seen it in the trailer and the teaser for the next episode.
Someone sent her sex toys!
And that is the end of this episode! Like, okay, I have already said it but this wasn’t the episode I was expecting at this point in time! I have to re-evaluate my opinion on what this is going to be like because there seems to be some deeper issues touched upon in this series that I was not expecting! And we have yet to delve into other characters! Will they also bring their own political issues? We shall just have to wait and see.
My conscious just won’t leave me alone after all. I will wait until the end of the series but anyone finds anything, do comment away…