Kinou Nani Tabeta/ What Did You Eat Yesterday? Episode 4 (Recap)


I would like to thank kinounaniresource for subbing this drama. It really is a boon to have someone do quality subs for a Japanese show, especially because subs are so few and inconsistent. Remember how there were no subs last week, and I thought I’d be able to catch up? Well our fantastic subber actually subbed two shows this week, so it looks like I will remain a week behind. Sorry to people who want recaps at the same time as episodes get subbed.


Episode 1

We open with Kenji coming into the darkened living area to find Shiro scrubbing a pot in the kitchen. It’s clearly the middle of the night, so he looks worriedly Shiro. 

Shiro just comments that the bottom of a pot was scorched, so . . . but when Kenjie reminds him that he needs rest because his dad’s surgery is the next day, we know why Shiro is up. He clearly can’t sleep from anxiety. Kenji convinces him to go lay down, but before Shiro goes to bed, Kenji gives him a small towel to give to his mother. 

He says he thinks of all the times she will need to wash her hands in the hospital and wanted her to have something nice. Shiro is speechless, and Kenji thinks maybe he’s pushed too far. But Shiro convinces him otherwise, thanking him sincerely.

The next day finds us at the hospital while Shiro and his mom say goodbye to their dad as he’s going to surgery.  


His mother looks really strained. The surgery is planned for ten hours, and his dad has reserved a private room. His mom looks happy about it now although she admits that she thought the whole idea of a private room was pretentious when she first heard about it. They sit together in silence. 

The following scene is both sad and funny. Sad because his mother is so worried and scared that her husband is going to die. She even asks Shiro to stop working and pray for his dad to any god he cares to; it doesn’t matter. 

It’s funny because she keeps popping up like a bunny with her mini freak outs, and Shiro is so surprised by these. I get the feeling that she never acts like this. She talks about how this illness has made her really think about the fact that he could die and she’d be alone. Shiro goes to give her tissues, and she thanks him, saying that she usually carries a handkerchief with her but today of all days she has forgotten. She just doesn't feel like herself. 
He remembers the towel and gives it to her saying that someone gave it to him for her. [Someone, Shiro? Grr.] I think his mom usually would probe more, but she is only focusing on her husband and thanks him telling him to thank that person. 
What also seems to be a revelation to him is how much his mother loves his dad. The look on his face seems to denote how he must have never really thought about it.


We get the opening credit here and come back Shiro and his mom talking to an exhausted doctor. He tells him about the difficulties of the surgery because they had trouble finding a good intestine to use to transplant from the one place to another. However, he says they have found one and that it will take four more hours. 
At first Shiro’s mom is annoyed by and fearful of the doctor’s attitude, But Shiro has to remind her that the doctor is probably tired and frustrated, too (a ten hour surgery?!?!) but that the message they have to hold on to is that his dad will be ookay.

We next see them at home. They seem to be taking a break from hospital. His mother looks at her husband’s empty chair and talks about how seeing her husband’s favorite place makes her think about him not being there anymore and how living together with someone makes that person special to us. We can see how this conversation is really making Shiro think, but I don't believe that his mind is just on his parents.


Shiro’s father comes out of surgery, and the first thing he says is that he slept well. They get him settled and take some time to eat something. Shiro’s mom talks to him about the recovery and asks him to come visit. She promises to make tempura again for him, but Shiro reminds her that his dad isn’t going to be able to eat oily foods for awhile. He does ask her what her secret is to her tempura. He loves it, but he can’t make it like hers. I love the way she thinks she thinks about it; you can tell that Shiro gets the way he thinks about food from her. 


Then finally, she says the secret is spontaneity. She also indicates that he probably can’t make it because he doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in his body. I love Shiro and Shiro’s look at this insult, but I’d have to agree with mom about this.



Shiro goes home to find Kenji bringing in the clothes that were drying outside. Kenji immediately starts ironing while Shiro goes into the kitchen to put away the groceries he brought. 

He notices all the recyclables bundled and the clean dishes in the sink and realizes that Keni spent his whole day off cleaning. He comments on this to Kenji who just says that no one wants to come home after a hard day to a messy house. Aww, Kenji. He really is a bundle of love and very thoughtful. He hesitantly asks Shiro about his dad and looks so pleased when Shiro tells him that his dad slept well.
I don’t think it’s just about the good news but that Shiro actually tells him. I hope Shiro relies on him more.

It’s Christmas Eve, and Shiro’s colleagues discuss the holiday. Osamu complains that Christmas is no longer fun after having kids because it just feels like an obligation. His mother says that she enjoyed writing to him as Santa when he was young, but he swears that the only people who actually enjoy the holiday are single people. They all turn to Shiro, who is working and minding his own business—most likely trying to finish everything so he can go home promptly at six. They ask him if he’s planning to go somewhere special since it’s Christmas Eve, and he looks so nice. They are so eager that he’s embarrassed and responds that he isn’t. None of them buy it, and each of them probably has an answer to Shiro's mystery life persona in their minds.


Shiro goes to the market and is pleased that canned tomatoes are on special. He clearly has something special in mind for dinner. When he leaves, he sees children playing with a man dressed up like Santa. He thinks about his mom talking about how living with someone makes them special to you and her comment about him not being spontaneous. He smiles to himself, thinking, “I was spontaneous that day.”


We get a flashback to three years ago. Shiro is at a gay club telling a friend that he’s never been to a gay club before. It’s obvious. He doesn’t look nervous or anything like that. He’s actually smiling more than usual. It’s just that he also doesn’t fit in. He’s dressed like it’s business casual Friday at work. He’s talking to his friend about this and says that he never went to a club because he wouldn’t know what to say if someone tried to hit on him, but his friend pretty much tells him the harsh truth: No one is going to hit on him because he just doesn’t seem to be the type.

Shiro looks surprised and looks like he’s about to ask about this when some other guys show up to talk to his friend, Maa-Chan, and tells him that a Kenji is around. This makes Shiro's friend excited, so he tells Shiro that he'll be back. Shiro looks around the club and himself, noticing for the first time that he really doesn’t fit in and wishes he was at home. 

His friend shows up with Kenji, who is clearly tagging along to meet this friend's boyfriend. He says he can't wait but will pick him out because he knows this guy's type. Kenji sees Shiro and clearly falls fast but restrains himself because he realizes that Shiro is his friend’s boyfriend. I swear that surprised me because Maa-Chan and Shiro did not exhibit the dating vibe at all. In fact, Kenji and Shiro have more chemistry, although I don't think Shiro is aware of it, when they meet than he has with his boyfriend. Shiro's voice over states that the way they met was ordinary. He remembers that Kenji complimented him on his award shirt. However, we can see that Kenji has stars in his eyes meeting Shiro, but who wouldn't at that smile?


They don’t see each other again for several months until Shiro goes in for a haircut and gets a new stylist, Kenji. Kenji is clearly very happy to see him. He asks how he’s been and asks about Maa-Chan because he hasn’t seen him in awhile.
Well, apparently neither has Shiro because they broke up pretty soon after the club meeting. We can see how happy Kenji looks about this, but Shiro can’t. After that, because they live close to each other, they start hanging out just as friends. We get a montage of them meeting for coffee and having dinner together. Kenji is obviously in love. Shiro? I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t seen him in the other episodes, but he is very animated with Shiro unlike with anyone else in the entire show, so we know they are close.

They seems to be have been hanging out for awhile when we see Shiro coming into the shop to get a haircut and listening to Kenji talk about having to stay with his boss because his apartment is ruined. The people upstairs let their tub overflow, which soaked through the ceiling. All of his things are ruined as well, and he doesn’t have enough money to rent a new place.  He feels bad staying with his boss. Shiro comments on the bad timing being so close to Christmas. While talking about how he really doesn't know what he's going to do, Kenji leans Shiro back to wash his hair and covers his face. Thus, Shiro doesn’t see Kenji's expression when Shiro suggests coming to stay at his place. Kenji is shocked and looks like he’s going to have a stroke. I don't blame him for that either.
Present day Shiro's voiceover says smugly that in that moment he was spontaneous. Take that, Mom! ๐Ÿ˜

That was three years ago, and we see Shiro walking home but gazing through the snow into the window of the hair salon at Kenji laughing with a client.

He smiles to himself and heads home.

He is making a feast for Christmas Eve. We get three recipes for this episode. We get to watch him make sauce for lasagna,


assemble the lasagna

and make the herb-crusted chicken

as well as the Mentaiko-sour cream dip that Kenji loves to spread on French bread.


When Kenji comes home, he is really excited to see dinner and the fact that Shiro added wine and isn’t concerned about calories. He brings home a cake to share for dessert as well. I have to say that I would LOVE to cook for Kenji because he really appreciates the food so much. 

As I’ve said before, he really notices how everything goes together and the care involved. He loves looking at the full table of food.


Shiro asks him is it okay that hey have this meal again when they had the same thing last year. Kenji replies that he likes the idea of tradition, and this meal makes him think of Christmas. Shiro just smiles, but we are taken back to their first meal in the apartment together. Turns out that this meal was the welcome meal that Shiro made for Kenji when Kenji first moved into the apartment; we even see his luggage to the side. Kenji can’t believe that he cooked all of these dishes himself. Now we know why Kenji picks this meal every year.

While Kenji cleans up after dinner, Shiro calls his mother. They talk about his dad for a bit, and then Shiro takes a deep breath and then awkwardly tells her that the towel he gave her is from his boyfriend. Finally. He even tells her his name—a big deal since she’s clearly known that he has been living with said boyfriend. She says his name thoughtfully, but her expression is unreadable.


We close the episode with the two of them beginning to eat the cake and Shiro trying to convince Kenji that they should split only one of the slices and save the other to eat later.While Shiro watches Kenji he admits that Kenji isn’t his “type” but then admits for a life partner, he is the right choice.


Comment

No wonder Kenji feel insecure. If I was dating someone for three years and knew that his family didn’t even know my name . . . I would feel insecure, too.


Also, now I know why Kenji said in previous episode that he wouldn’t like if Shiro were hanging out with gay men because this was how they got together—just hanging out and now they are something more. He fell for Shiro nearly immediately. Why wouldn't others? I mean, look at that face!


I did empathize with Shiro at the club though. I'm that person. I know how to dress for official events, but I always seem dressed wrong for what cool adults do, and when some friends tried to give me pointers about how to flirt and mingle in such a setting, I just look like I have tourettes. It's painful for everyone involved.