Kinou Nani Tabeta/What Did You Eat Yesterday? - Episode 9 (Recap)

I apologize for being a week behind, but like Shiro in this episode, I had to go to a wedding. Actually, I had to be in a wedding, which if you have ever been a bridesmaid, you know is a LOT of work. It was a whole weekend of labor—even before the wedding because I had to take out the breast pads in the bridesmaid dress because it made me look like I had four breasts, and I made cookies ahead of time as part of me convincing the bride that it wouldn’t be a good idea for us all to bake cupcakes together as a wedding day activity.

So here I am a week behind in the recap, and forcing myself to do so before watching the new episode. Weddings (and funerals) really make you take stock of your life. This one has Shiro's wedding experience causing us and him to think about his relationship with Kenji in a different way.

Episode 9

This episode opens at a wedding reception. Shiro is standing with the bride and groom and being introduced to the bride by the groom.

The bride is surprised when she meets him because she knows that he was an apprentice with her husband, meaning they are the same age. She clearly can’t believe that this love of a man is the same age as her husband and is even more surprised when her husband teases that he’s single.

The second that the age comment gets spoken, the single women in the background start tuning in, and as soon as they hear he’s single, they are all over him—introducing themselves and handing him their business cards.
Anyone would feel a bit uncomfortable, but we all know that Shiro feels awkward at best with strangers, so this is especially painful for him plus he’s hungry.

He looks across the room and a bunch of men talking amongst themselves and eating, noticing that they all have wedding rings on.

We switch to Kenji, who is having drinks with his boss, Hiro. This is not a regular hanging out though because it’s clear the boss is here to confess to Kenji that he is having an affair with one their customers, specifically one of Kenji’s customers, and, worse still, his 14-year-old daughter caught him. Kenji has no time for his self-pity though, especially when he complains more about getting caught than about the trauma this probably caused his daughter.

She even ended up telling his wife only because she was acting odd, and his wife wanted to know what was wrong. As Kenji expects, he denied everything, saying he was just shopping with a client but  is now worried that if something happens in future, he won’t be believed. Kenji tells him to just stop cheating on his wife, but Yu complains about the loneliness of marriage.

Back at the wedding, Shiro has finally snagged some food (the best thing about weddings if you can get any) and found a quiet corner to sit and eat.

He’s enjoying the food when he hears the couple to some other guests about how picky they were about their rings, but they didn’t spend very much and got them engraved and everything. He stops eating to look at his empty ringless hand.

However, before he can really think anymore, one of the women who had earlier bombarded him with so many questions comes by and sits next to him. She’s been clearly looking for him, and he's too polite to ask her to go away; you just don’t have an excuse not to talk to people a weddings. (Sometimes I just hide in the bathroom for a break)

After the opening credits, we are back with Kenji and Hiro. Hiro is whining to Kenji that he has to talk to him because he can’t tell any of the others at work. Kenji initially sounds sympathetic. He tells him that he understands being so lonely that you think you can’t stand it.

He even admits to having cheated and lied in the past. However, he also tells Hiro that he can’t side with him on this because he believes that his boss has everything. In his opinion, if Hiro doesn’t want to be lonely, then he needs to treat his wife better.

Shiro finally makes his way home, completely depleted from the wedding. He flops down on sofa, having that debate many of us have when we are exhausted but still hungry: Should I get up and make something to eat?

His hunger finally overrides his exhaustion, so he goes into the kitchen in a horrible mood to see what he can scrounge up. He finds a nearly empty bottle of ketchup and decides to make, Naporitan/Napolitan.

He eats with great enthusiasm despite the dish’s simplicity because he is so hungry, but once his hunger is assuaged, he looks at the fairly empty table and thinks that he used to eat like this all the time when he lived alone—making simple dishes high in carbs and maybe a side dish of boiled vegetables.

He acknowledges that he makes much more of an effort because Kenji lives with him now. He smiles thinking about him, looking at his chair and thinking about how dear Kenji is to him.He seems to realize that he’s being sentimental and snaps himself out of it, telling himself that they reason that Kenji is just good for his health.

Kenji comes home a little later, surprised to see Shiro home. He’d assumed Shiro would go out for drinks after, but Shiro says he’s too old for that after weddings. He’s about to sit down with Kenji, when he hears Kenji's stomach.

Shiro’s upset because he thought Kenji was going to be eating with his boss (we all know he would’ve made more food if he though Kenji was coming home to eat), but Kenji says he didn’t have much appetite to eat with his boss. Shiro immediately starts thinking of what he can make, telling Kenji that there is some rice and kiriboshi daikon left. While Kenji excitedly goes to wash up, Shiro doesn’t merely heat up rice, but he makes Ochazuke with kombucha and seaweed and serves that with the kiriboshi daikon on the side.

Kenji is super excited when he comes back in to find a meal rather than just leftovers (but really we all know that Shiro doesn’t merely make leftovers). I love them in the kitchen together; they are both so happy. It’s not just that they like to eat, but Shiro loves cooking for Kenji and Kenji loves eating what Shiro makes for him.

While they are eating, Kenji confesses that he had a difficult time with his boss. He almost slips and tells Shiro about the affair, but he doesn’t. He just says that he likes eating at home best anyway, getting a smile from Shiro. Shiro asks Kenji about his upcoming birthday and asks Kenji if he would like to get matching rings for his birthday present. Now Shiro, you can’t look like this and ask such a question:

And not expect the response to be this

Shiro smiles a bit more before realizing that Kenji has stopped breathing. He jumps up and starts pounding on Kenji’s back, and finally Kenji starts talking, but it still is a bit of blathering. Kenji is shocked and so happy, asking Shiro why now what is making him want to do this.

Then Shiro throws cold water on his enthusiasm by telling him that it would be good to have a ring so single people will leave him alone.

This turns Kenji into an immediate mini gangster, he continues to eat and talk like he wants to beat someone up. He’s all like, they were after you again at the wedding, right? This makes Shiro backpedal a bit, telling him that it really wasn’t that bad. Kenji doesn’t believe him, but his excitement over getting the rings can’t be suppressed. There is a problem though, Kenji doesn’t know his ring size and neither does Shiro. But this isn't a problem to Kenji. We all know what he's thinking here. RIng shopping!!

Shiro, trying to avoid what he has to know is on his partner's mind, suggests that Kenji go himself to pick out a ring, and then Shiro can just wear his when he goes to weddings, but Kenji is having not having any of that. Shiro doesn’t want to go get rings together because of the attention that will bring, but Kenji takes charge, telling him they can't share rings because their fingers are completely different and that all the single women will know that he’s a faker if he wears a ring that is too loose. He sets date and time for them to go pick out rings together in a voice that will brook no nonsense.

The next scene takes place at the law office with Shiro’s boss staring curiously at her computer. She asks their office manager, Shino, whether the client list is complete.

Her son wonders why she looks like that because it doesn’t feel to him like they have less clients. However, she’s only commenting because all of their clients in the last month have been divorce cases. Shino says this makes her feel like she should never get married. Shiro smiles, assuring her that there are happy families, and look at that face. It's the face of a person in such a  family!

Their boss talks about how people can be happy with people or single although she admits that sometimes it’s lonely eating by yourself. Osamu insists that he’s jealous of Shiro because he gets to eat whatever he wants, but Shino gives him a hard time because they all know he’s sulky because he wants to eat junk (and his wife probably doesn’t let him). While they bicker, Shiro’s boss turns to him saying she recalls that he does have someone with whom to eat. He freaks out at first, of course thinking that she knows about Kenji, but he sheepishly doesn’t deny it. She tells him not to be shy and be happy that he has someone.

At the jewelers, Kenji is in his element. He’s finally narrowed it down to two rings, and he struggles to decide, but he’s having so much fun and so excited.

Shiro is, of course, on edge. He just isn’t the type to call attention to things anyway, and this is a very public display. He practically jumps out of his skin when the salesperson asks him about his choice.

The scene is interesting because of the different angles but the way we see the two and their reactions separately and together sometimes in the same shot.

Shiro believes that Kenji is milking this whole situation, something which the Kenji admits. But he wonders when if not now he should be enjoying himself. And when they are offered free engraving, he seriously (back to that scary gangster voice) insists on getting both their initials and his birthdate on them.

When they are trying on the rings for size (Kenji is a 25 and Shiro is a 14), another couple comes in, making Shiro skittish. Kenji notices and asks the salesperson if she gets a lot of gay couples. Shiro is not as embarrassed at this as I think he would’ve been at beginning of show. He also just smiles benevolently when Kenji snuggles up to him in store just so happy with their order.

Kenji cannot stop smiling when he’s at work the next day, and Hiro gives him a hard time. He doesn’t understand what the big deal is, but Kenji seems like he’s floating on happiness. He suggests that Hiro give his wife a present, but Hiro thinks that will raise suspicion if he gives her something now out of the blue. He also complains that his wife is hard to please and would make him return whatever he got. Kenji looks surprised at this because he claims that he’d be happy with anything (but is that true, Kenji? How long did it take you to pick those rings?) His boss says that he’d be happy if Kenji were his wife, and Kenji says he doesn’t want him for a husband. But his boss means that Shiro must really be happy with Kenji, which makes Kenji smile.

The next scene starts is shot from inside the (empty) rice bin. A shot of Shiro’s horror that he’s actually allowed them to be out of rice (which is exactly my expression when I realize I've run out of onions).

He must quickly think of something else, which for many would be a problem but not for him because he has all the ingredients to make minestrone soup, turnip salad, and pasta with mushrooms in a creamy garlic sauce. He uses the leafy tops of the turnips in the pasta, a great addition.

Kenji loves this meal and says it makes him feel like he’s in some café in Europe. Shiro comments that it makes him realize that pasta doesn’t have to be sad, which makes Kenji surprised. Shiro tells him about the pasta dish he made for himself, but Kenji exclaims that he loves Shiro’s Napolitan, but Shiro comments that he just stuffed it down because eating alone is boring. Kenji is busy eating, but Shiro pauses and looks at Kenji with such love probably comparing this pasta meal to the one he had alone.

He pauses so long that Kenji stops to see what he’s doing, which embarrasses Shiro. It does make him remember that the rings have come in, and he’s about to hand them to Kenji when Kenji jumps up and yells for him to stop. He precedes to talk about how this really should play out with him breathlessly anticipating if this is going to be the night and pretending not to know and the kind of reaction he will have once he finishes eating.

Shiro just looks at him like he’s crazy.:D

After dinner, Kenji stares at his ring while Shiro brings in something hot to drink. Shiro sits and puts on his ring, too. Kenji tells him that he loves him and promises to keep the ring safe. Shiro laughs, telling him he better since spending that much on rings was a big deal for him. But Kenji is talking about something much more serious. He assures Shiro that he won’t lose the ring, but he wants to be clear about what he means: “Shiro-san, I’ll keep you safe. I’ll keep us safe.” I'm not going to lie. I teared up.

During the closing credits, Kenji sashays (really, this could be a textbook version of sashaying. I wish I knew how to do gifs!) into the living room waving his ring around and wishing Shiro a good morning. That is until he realizes that Shiro isn’t wearing his ring to work. He calls him a monster, but Shiro reminds him that if he wore it to work, he’d have to talk about his sudden and secret wedding and that he also knows Kenji was planning on wearing his to work either because he cuts hair (which doesn’t make sense to me, but whatever). Kenji is now so sad, wondering when they can wear them, maybe at home? Maybe to bed?


We get a lot of recipes in this episode. Each time Shiro cooked something, I thought "Oh, this is the recipe for the episode," but we get three meals. I'm thinking that maybe because the first two were quick meal staples that they didn't want to count them. I'm glad we got to watch the steps though because it gave me more ideas for recipes and ways to cook things.

It is also great character development because we can literally watch Shiro go from being pissed off to relaxing as he makes the Napolitan, but we also get to see how eager he is to make something nice for Kenji even though we all saw how tired he is when he came home.

We also get more of Kenji. He sometimes seems to be flighty, but I'm thinking this may be because we see him in contrast with the supremely controlled and stoic Shiro. However, Kenji is brave and firm. His boss wouldn't confide in him if he thought Kenji was flighty or unreliable. He talks to him seriously about his marriage, and you can tell that even though Kenji cheated in the past, he's full of regret. You know that he is also jealous of his boss and the fact that he can talk so openly about his family, even get married, with absolute freedom, so he doesn't have patience for any of his complaints. To him, his boss really does have everything.

His comment to Shiro about keeping them safe was completely heartfelt. If Shiro wasn't madly in love with him before (and we know he is even though he can't speak the words), he'd be heartless if he didn't fall in love with Kenji at that moment.