House of Five Leaves 4
All right it’s official, Masa and Yaichi are made for one another. I didn’t quite get the vibe beyond sex last episode, but those two are in full lovey-dovey mode this episode. Masa’s interest in Yaichi, Yaichi’s pseudo-tsundere personality, Masa saying he wants to know Yaichi’s “Character”, and then Yaichi saying that he liked Masa better when he was dumb are all proof that these two are head over heels in love. Also, let’s face it, Yaichi wears a pretty purple robe on top of his fabulous pink kimono. [/Yaoi spoilers]
The episode opens with a flashback of how Yaichi met Matsu. While Matsu was injured on the run from the authorities, Yaichi hid him and even had himself stabbed to cover for him, pretty serious for a first time meeting. Back in “present day” Masa has been let go as a bodyguard for the Oomiya family after his complete failure in protecting Yutarou. Masa asks Ume if he can come with him when he goes to see elder the next day, since he is worried about Yutarou.
Yutarou is fine but his kidnapping obviously doesn’t sit well with Masa who confesses to Yaichi that he doesn’t know whether he can send his earnings from the kidnappings to his family, even though he needs to. Yaichi says there won’t be another job for a while so he should; he then proceeds to get Masa a job at the brothel that he is a bodyguard for, though the Madam wishes to observe him for a while to see if he’s useful.
Masa asks Yaichi why he kidnaps; he doesn’t believe that Yaichi is in it for the money. Yaichi coldly rejects his conversation and after Masa leaves comments that he preferred Masa when he was dumb. Masa learns living in a brothel isn’t easy when he tries to sleep only to find a lady in his bed. Masa pulls a Masa move and ends up huddled in the corner with his swords and blanket, a lonely night for Masa. The women are all curious about Yaichi as well but know he doesn’t like it when people pry.
Yaichi asks Masa if he wants to know about his background or his character, to which Masa says his character. Masa has conversations with both Matsu and Otake (the latter of which is now sleeping in his home) about Yaichi, to which they both answer that Yaichi did them a big favour in the past. The episode ends with a flashback of the time when Yaichi proposed the first kidnapping to Ume.
Yaichi seems to help people on a whim. Now whether or not this is because he then expects them to stick by him is still to be revealed. The way he helped Matsu was above and beyond, especially considering Matsu was an obvious criminal. Since Yaichi also did Ume a solid favour apparently the only person in the Five Leaves who doesn’t owe him is Masa. Unless you count the dumplings he bought him in the same league as Matsu’s favour.
So, turns out that I was completely wrong about Matsu’s history with Yaichi which is pretty sad considering this episode was out when I wrote the previous post. I think that Yaichi is interested in Masa because he is a kind and caring samurai, a lot like what his bodyguard, also called Yaichi, was like. Masa was very clever to peel back the first layer of Yaichi’s onion this episode. He caught on that Yaichi only gets annoyed when his past is mentioned, but not when any other type of information is.
The illness that Masa is hinted to have this episode is quite worrying. I tried to find information on a disease like that in the Edo period but I couldn’t find anything. However, this does set up the way that Masa can end up owing Yaichi. The secret samurai didn’t show up this episode, and more and more I’m starting to believe that he is part of some authority that are going to become the antagonists of the series. Masa’s obvious fear of the very forward women of the brothel was hilarious to watch, so was Yaichi drinking tea from a light blue cup while wearing pink and purple.
The small character interactions are the best parts of this show. The scene where Yaichi told Matsu to stay to have tea with him and Masa before going to get the tea, and then returning to find Matsu gone but still only bringing two cups anyway is one of those moments. Yaichi knew that Matsu would be gone, but doesn’t mention that he knew he would leave; just that Matsu is “like that.” I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode, especially considering Masa’s apparent illness; I just hope that this season’s best bromance can pull through.