Kinou Nani Tabeta/What Did You Eat Yesterday? Episode 3 (Recap)


Bad news: There isn’t a new show subbed this week, but I’m not complaining because the subber promised to come back to subbing next week. I’m just thankful for subs in general for a Japanese drama, and then I found out that the subber’s first language is Finnish! Makes me feel like a slacker.

Good news: This means that by doing the recap of episode 3 this week, I will be completely caught up since I’ve been a week behind. I will actually be able to do recapping while a drama still airs, which I know is more popular with people. This also means that I will probably eat less this weekend. This show makes me cook a lot more than I would usually now that I live alone; I even made sure I had the ingredients to make lasagna this weekend because the previews to the next ep show Shiro making lasagna.๐Ÿ˜‹



Episode 3

This episode opens with Shiro arriving at a lovely house surrounding by trees. He doesn’t seem to be happy or excited about being here, more like resigned. It’s his parents’ house, and his mother immediately comes to entry way when he announces his arrival.

She is clearly happy to see him, but there is an odd vide in their relationship. She seems to be trying to be careful with him, and he seems to feel sorry to her. I wonder at this because from earlier episodes, she seemed very supportive of him. His relationship with dad appears different.
His smile for his dad is genuine when he sees him. Very benevolent.

He has brought eclairs to share for dessert from a bakery a friend told him about, and they are super fancy. His mother thanks him, but then says she can’t help but think his thoughtfulness is girly, and we can tell by the look on Shiro's face that this--this is the reason why he doesn't like to come home. His mother loves him but is always so sad and strained and reading things into everything he does.



Note: I thought everyone was supposed to bring something when you visited someone’s house for dinner. And when I visit my parents, I actually stop on the grocery store on the way there, call my mom, and ask her if she needs anything. I never thought of it as a gendered behavior at all. It made me wonder whether Shiro's mom would think this was gendered behavior if he weren't gay, or if everything is colored by her knowledge that her son is gay, and she’s still trying to make sense of it. 

No wonder Shiro seems so awkward in his parents’ house. At dinner, the awkwardness continues. His dad seems to be obviously eating, but his mom and Shiro attempt conversation over the food even though they are both uncomfortable. His mom even asks Shiro about his boyfriend (which makes his dad cough a bit over his soup). Finally, his mom says what’s on her mind.

She tells Shiro that she has decided that she is going to accept him no matter who he is, gay or criminal. What?!?! Now I know, she is trying to be supportive, but my face was the same as Shiro’s here.

Those things are not equivalent and to think that the thing she could think of that was just as bad as being gay was to be a criminal makes her support even worse than silence.

After dinner, Shiroe eats some eclairs with his dad, and they, too, seem to be having a mundane conversation about Shiro being in good health until his dad comes out and asks him what kind of woman would do it for him—as if he just needs to find a certain type of woman that would tempt him enough to return him back to heterosexual land.

What I find interesting is that Shiro is able to still smile at his dad.He seems to treat his dad more like a child as if he can't expect more from him than what he gets. He finds both family members troubling, but he seems to respond worse to his mom.

He must find such visits painful because he clearly loves them very much, and they aren't hateful people. They just don't get him or seem to really have listened to him deeply at all.

When he goes home, Kenji is waiting up for him. Kenji can tell something is wrong, but he’s obviously nervous about bringing up Shiro’s parents.  When he finally directly asks about the visit Shiro is noncommittal with his silence (and mood) causing Kenji to ask if something’s happened. Shiro starts to talk to him about it, but something stops him, and he quickly changes his mind, going to the kitchen. We just see Kenji’s sad, worried face before we get the show’s opening song/credits.


After the opening credits, we see Shiro with Kayoko at her apartment. They are cutting up cabbage to make coleslaw. Obviously, there was a special on cabbage at the market!

They are talking about how Shiro’s parents know that he’s gay, and she thinks that must be a weight off his shoulders, but he complains that he just wishes his mother would not act so weird around him. He wishes that she would act the way Kayoko and her family reacted as if it weren’t a big deal. 

Kayoko wonders if that is a good comparison since she’s really an outsider. She admits to him that she’s not sure if she would be that calm if her own daughter came out. However, before they can talk more about this, her husband Toshiro arrives.

But he is not alone. He has asked the members of his tennis club to come over, and all five troop in after him. My gut response was, “Oh no. Surprise guests!” I always hated surprise guests, worried that I hadn’t something hot for them all to eat, so I felt immediate relief when Toshiro tells his wife that he ordered pizza. She also has that huge bowl of coleslaw that they were making, so . . .

But poor Shiro. As the introvert he is (takes one to know one), he is trying his best to get out of there. I don’t like meeting strangers either! And so many of them at once! But Toshiro insists that he stay. 

And right when I think that it can’t get any worse, it appears that he has a special reason that he wants Shiro to stay. One of the members of the tennis club is gay, and he wants Shiro to meet him because he thinks that they can be friends!! UGG. I was dying of second hand embarrassment. I actually had to stop the video and walk around for a minute before going back the first time I watched it.


Thus, not only does he out Shiro—and we know how Shiro feels about people knowing that he is gay--but he also acts as if he’s this great friend basically setting up a playdate for two grown men. Frankly, the guy is good looking, and Shiro isn’t completely immune to that, but the whole scene is a bundle of embarrassment, especially since the guy seems like a creeper and just stares at Shiro in a morose way.


They all squeeze together in the tiny living room to eat pizza, and Kohinata decides that he is going to talk to Shiro, which clearly Shiro doesn’t want but can’t get out of.  Not only does the guy want to talk to him, but he decides to confide in him about the troubles that he has with his adorable, young boyfriend (who seems from the description like a brat to me).

Shiro just sits there wondering why this guy is telling him this story. Look at Shiro's face. It's how we all feel when random strangers confide in us at events and gatherings their life stories.

However, Shiro becomes my hero once again, calling out Koshinata for forcing him to listen to this story, accusing him of just telling this story to brag that he has a sweet young thing waiting for him at home. 

What I can’t tell is if there is any truth to the story, but Koshinata uses this timing to abruptly ask Shiro for his number, so they might have dinner together some time as friends anyway. Shiro seems to be caught completely off guard by this and agrees. Oh dear. I have a bad feeling about this.

Shiro goes home completely annoyed by Koshinata and the disruption to his afternoon. He rushes in looking in refrigerator trying to think of what he can make for dinner with little time. He decides to make a quick chicken and tomato sauce dish, considering what he has, making a meal with it, some leftover vegetables, and the coleslaw.

This is this episode’s recipe. Over dinner, he and Kenji discuss the food (Kenji doesn’t cook but is very aware of the combination of flavors like I said in previous post), and the fact that Shiro will be going to the park with his client so she can see her son. Shiro’s still annoyed with himself that he’s giving up free Saturdays to help her, but Kenji just finds it adorable. 

He also adds that he doesn’t have to worry since he knows that Shiro has closed off that chapter in his life. Shiro would be relieved by this, I think, if Kenji didn’t go on to say that going out with this woman is much better than if Shiro were to go and hang out with gay men. Oops. Both Shiro and I immediately flash back to him giving Daisaku his phone number.


Their dinner is interrupted by a phone call from Shiro’s mother. There is something wrong with his father. We hear what Kenji hears—information about treatment, a hospital visit, a date in December (it’s getting cold out in this ep, so I’m assuming it’s late October or November at this point), and something about the food pipe. Kenji looks worried, and his worry increases when Shiro hangs up and looks fairly shocked. 


They go on eating their dinner in silence until finally Shiro shares that the doctors found cancer in his father’s esophagus during a checkup and that he’s going in for surgery in December. Kenji looks like he wants to cry, but instead he asks if there is anything he can do. Shiro just smiles and says everything is fine and to keep eating dinner. 

Of course, it’s not fine. The next day after making the bento boxes for his trip to park and one for Kenji to take to work, he goes to look up how long it will take him to get to the amusement park. Instead, he searches for survival rates for esophageal cancer. 

Kenji finds him staring in distress at the phone but pretends that he doesn’t notice. He quickly lightens his expression and begins to gush about the lunch boxes.

We see Shiro at park with his client, Imada. She is nervous and dressed like she’s in a spy movie, which makes her really obvious much to Shiro’s chagrin. It gets worse because when she sees her son, it takes all of Shiro’s strength to keep her from running to him.

She makes such a commotion that her ex-husband notices and takes his family in a different direction. Shiro finds a place for them to sit and have lunch where they can observe the ex-husband and his family eating lunch. Imada is sad, but Shiro distracts her with his fabulous bento box for a while. 
However, when she sees her son and his step mother interacting so closely with each other, she just starts wailing.

Meanwhile, Kenji is on his lunch break at work and is about to eat the lunch Shiro made for him. His boss plops down with his own obviously store-bought items and looks longingly at Kenji’s food, saying that his and Shiro’s relationship are relationship goals. This makes Kenji curious though. He asks his boss about his marriage. His boss and his wife have been married awhile from the looks of it.
He talks about how they don’t talk about much unless it has to do with the kids and is important, but Kenji thinks about this with a longing look. He remembers the times when he knew something was wrong, but Shiro wouldn’t share. He says that it must be nice to talk about important things. Shiro’s stoic nature must be another reason why Kenji is not secure in this relationship. I don’t think he feels needed by Shiro, which means that to him Shiro could easily just walk away.

We go back to the park. Imada is thanking Shiro for the day. She seems a bit embarrassed, but she is also grateful because he is the only person who actually listens to her, including her own family.

Their discussion makes him think back to the times recently when Kenji clearly wanted to help him and how he kept acting as if everything is okay. However, Imada's comments must have impacted him because when he sees Kenji that night, he asks his partner if he can talk to him if something happens to his father. Kenji immediately tears up, but agrees, obviously so happy that he is needed.

We close the episode with them smiling at each other while washing the dishes; they have made a breakthrough as a couple.

Comments

Once again, I wonder how long they have been together. My first thought was how could they be as close as they are and not have had these conversations, but then I realize that Shiro is definitely the caregiver in this relationship and often there is no one supporting the caregiver in a family even if the caregiver is the most loved. Shiro appears to be a bucket of strength and self-containment, but we see his weakness in his awkwardness at the tennis club gathering and in his relationship with his parents.


From Kenji’s perspective, he’s wonderful and strong and sexy and near perfect. And he may like being that person for Kenji. Also, I can see Shiro being concerned about whether Kenji can actually be emotional support when Kenji is so emotional. I’ve known people that I thought I could count on for a shoulder only to end up comforting them when I was the one who needed comfort. But I don't think Kenji will be this way. He is very perceptive to Shiro's needs, and I think he'll be a rock.


As a fellow introvert, I feel for Shiro. Some will wonder how an introvert could be a lawyer or any kind of job where he has to talk to people all the time, but I relate to him. I have to do things publicly all the time, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it and/or don't have mild to severe panic attacks. In the situation with the pizza, I would've been trying to get out of eating with all those people, too, even for free food. And being put in such a situation with Kohinata is really nearly unbearable.



RANT: Why? Why do people do this? People really think this is a good idea. I get if you are at a party and someone says, I just visited California, and you use that as part of a connection when you introduce them to someone else if that person is from California. But what Toshiro does always makes people feel awkward. This used to happen to me all the time. Friends and acquaintances in college would say that they knew a guy I might like and would ask if I would mind meeting him, but it always turned out that really the only reason why they thought that I'd like the guy was because he was also a black person not because we actually had anything in common.

The Phone number exchange: I'm going to post here my response to Mahong's concern about this in the comments on last week's episode (since we were watching one week ahead). I wrote this, "I think Shiro is just awkward when he's not in lawyer mode. He is one of those people who can't think of a reason not to take the number without being awkward. If he says no, it will look like he's thinking too much about it, especially since they both have said they're in relationships. He can argue well as a lawyer, as I said I love how he nailed the guy for telling the story merely to brag about having a young cutesy boyfriend, but I think he feels that the only reason to say no is if he believes the guy is hitting on him, and he doesn't want to think that or have the other guy think he thinks that."