After two pretty uneventful episodes, finally I’m seeing light! It’s not just some development between Etsuko and Orihara, but Etsuko is finally closer to her Lassy dream after hitting a rough patch in her career.
Here is a quick recap of Jimi ni Sugoi : Episode 8-9
So after Hongo-sensei gave his blessings for Etsuko and Orihara, she shares this good news to Seshimaru who is just as happy about their developing relationship. However, she wants to know another thing and that is if Etsuko and Orihara have gotten intimate, ehem. Taisho immediately acts fatherly upon hearing that and Etsuko goes on defensive by saying that they are not dating properly yet to do that and Orihara seems busy lately.
Busy it is, Orihara has been checking out different odd jobs each day, noting them with interest, and he even interviews them. Seshimaru tells Etsuko that based from her experience, relationships fall apart when one of them is too busy to care. So she tells Etsuko that no matter how busy they are, they should still have time to meet and connect. Etsuko feigns disinterest and tells Seshimaru that she and Orihara are adults, their hearts grow fonder when they are apart, haha. Alone in her room, Etsuko is clearly rattled as she laments that she haven’t heard from Orihara lately.
At work, Kaizuka hands Takehara a new galley and Takehara looks shock after seeing the author’s name. Nonetheless, the perfect choice to handle the said galley, or shall I say author, is none other than Etsuko. The author is Sakuragawa Aoi-sensei, who according to Takehara, hates people who do things half-heartedly so he tells Etsuko to proceed with more care than always.
Despite trusting the galley to Etsuko, Takehara still seems uneasy that every time Etsuko would fuss over something in the novel, Takehara would run to her side to check and comment, and even when Etsuko is not saying anything, he would hover near her making sure that everything is okay. Well, the reason Etsuko is quite fussy is because the heroine in the novel is quite popular, that type where men falls deeply in love and will do everything in her bidding, something that Etsuko says she never experienced.
Until she gets that fated phone call from Orihara who invites her for lunch. Etsuko decides to use the tips she learned from the galley on how to make men fall deeper. When she arrived, she excitedly ran to Orihara, but she recalls a line from the galley and instead of saying how much she wanted to see Orihara, Etsuko changes to topic and asks if there’s iced coffee in the restaurant. Orihara says that there’s iced coffee latte, which seems the same, but Etsuko corrects him and tells the difference between an iced latte and cafe au lait. She stops midway, recalling another tip from the galley that women shouldn’t display their intelligence, which is so dumb in my opinion. So Etsuko shuts up and when Orihara asks where she learned it, she says that she learned it from the barista book she was proofreading the other day.
Speaking of the book’s author, Sakuragawa-sensei, she’s having a meeting with Kaizuka and co. about her book’s cover, she was given three really tacky book covers, and glad to know that she rejected them all. She walks out of the meeting and heads to Proofreading department where she looks for Takehara, the two hug like lovers separated by some drama, and calls him Sean. Sean?!
Well, Etsuko and I share the same opinion because she’s more gobsmacked that Takehara is called Sean than seeing the two locks in a lovers embrace. Etsuko adds that she has no idea that Takehara used to be an editor and Kaizuka says that Takehara was once known as a hot-blooded editor. Takehara used to be in charge of Sakuragawa-sensei where his life changed drastically. As it happened, Takehara and Sakuragawa were lovers, she accused him that he only likes her because he wants the manuscript, but Takehara denies it and says that he likes both Aoi and her talent. However, Sakuragawa doesn’t believe him and the next thing we see, she chases him with a knife and stabs him. What the?! Sakuragawa only has one thing to say and that is the prove of her love, wait, what again?!
Kaizuka tells Etsuko that fortunately, the wound is only 3mm deep, meaning that Sakuragawa really have no intention of killing Takehara but just to inflict pain. Yeah, but that was still insane. After that, Takehara left the editorial department while Sakuragawa stopped writing for Keibonsha so it’s the first time in 10 years where she writes for them again.
The next day, Etsuko is entrusted to do the second revision of Sakuragawa-sensei’s work, and it’s surprising because the first and second revision should be done by two different people. Etsuko checks her first revision and notices that Sakuragawa have heavily edited her galley based from Etsuko’s proofreading making the second revision so different from the first. While doing the second revision, Etsuko also checks with Sakuragawa-sensei about some facts from her current novel about a couple who decided to die together.
Their argument is quite long but it was funny as well. In her novel, Sakuragawa-sensei insists that when the couple died, they should be surrounded by an unpolluted snow, meaning there’s no footprints whatsoever, which will be impossible since they couldn’t have reached the place without leaving footprints, and it was earlier mentioned that the snow have stopped. Etsuko gave a weird suggestion that the suicidal couple jumped from a helicopter, in that way, the snow will remain unpolluted. Kaizuka interjects on why two people who wanted to die will be arriving by a helicopter, but Sakuragawa-sensei loves Etsuko’s idea and she even adds that for that to be possible, the two lovers could have been high jump athletes so it would make sense that they can jump that high. This is such a weird novel.
Anyway, Sakuragawa-sensei and Etsuko really jive together, they visited some places mentioned in the book, and Etsuko even cooked for sensei when she noticed that she’s feeling ill after writing nonstop.
At Keibonsha, Kaizuka is scoring points from Morio when she asked him if she can use quotes from Sakuragawa-sensei’s previous novels as caption to the jewelry collection that they’ll be featuring in Lassy. Kaizuka says that it’s actually good since sensei’s novel for Keibonsha is her comeback novel so it’ll be a great publicity. However, Sakuragawa is indeed ill, so ill that it’ll be impossible for her to make final revisions on her current novel and add those new additions like the helicopter ride and high jump thingy.
Takehara and Etsuko visits Sakuragawa-sensei and she agrees that she doesn’t want her novel to end in such a half-hearted manner, so she tells Etsuko to wait for it as she will finish her work in full force. The next thing we see, Sakuragawa-sensei dictates the contents while Takehara does the writing, this is so sweet.
Later on, Takehara gives Etsuko her own copy of Sakuragawa-sensei’s novel, this time with a plain cover, and Etsuko learns that sensei have been released from the hospital and she’s as tenacious as ever. She also wants Etsuko to be the one to proofread her next novel and Etsuko gladly accepts.
On to Orihara, he shows Kaizuka his latest novel idea but it’s not the usual fiction he writes, it’ll be a documentary-type which features people doing odd jobs that were often overlooked. He tells Kaizuka that it’s what interests him now and he wants to write about it. More on Kaizuka, he goes drinking to some posh bar with Morio and he decides to ask her to date him, but Morio tells him that she’s not in that mood right now, she doesn’t want to be in a relationship since she learned that she’s in love to that person who was close to her, but they separated. Oooh, so she’s finally revealing her feelings now?
Speaking of feelings, Etsuko and Orihara aren’t properly dating yet and even in her dreams, Etsuko feels the frustration.While Orihara is now living with his dad, Hongo-sensei, and he looks genuinely happy to be eating breakfast with his son.
At proofreading department, Etsuko is coming nearer to her Lassy dream when Takehara announces that Lassy will be borrowing some of the proofreaders since their own proofreaders came down with a flu. Of course, Etsuko volunteered and together with Yoneoka, they head to Lassy to do proofreading. While there, they overheard the staff meeting where the ed-chief assigns Morio to do the opening section of their next issue. Morio is surprise but she takes on the offer.
Night arrives and Etsuko and Yoneoka congratulates Morio for being entrusted to do the opening section. Morio is happy but she also has to take into account the netizens’ comments saying that Lassy’s contents are recycled so she has to be careful in writing the opening section. Yoneoka thinks that being proofreader is probably good then, since the society couldn’t even care about their existence. Etsuko says that it sounds sad and fruitless, like all their hard work has been for nothing.
Nothing it is, when Katano, the assistant-ed-chief arrives, Etsuko approaches her to confirm something and says that the model’s character setting is not consistent, but Katano cuts her to say that those things are not needed since most of their readers just skim through the rest of the magazine and wouldn’t really pay attention to those kind of inconsistencies. Katano also adds that Etsuko should just do her job as a proofreader and that’s to check the names of the stores/brands instead of trying to appeal that she has editor-like qualities. Wow, someone is in a foul mood. Well, Katano goes out to take a call and Etsuko is peeved, she says that she said those things not because she’s trying to show-off but because it bugs her as a reader since we all know that she reads Lassy page by page.
Etsuko goes home to find Tako enjoying an oden and invites her for a drink. Etsuko complains about the company’s newsletter that shows Kaizuka’s solo picture with a smug grin while holding Keibonsha’s monthly kid magazine, which became a hit and Kiritani-sensei’s story is getting rave reviews. In that newsletter, Kaizuka proudly shares the story of struggle between him and Kiritani-sensei to publish his story for the magazine when it was not just him and Kiritani-sensei but also the proofreading department who did the work. Moreover, Etsuko, Yoneoka, and Fujiwa even cancelled their important dates just to finish proofreading the novel by morning.
Anyway, since a “thank you” from Kaizuka seems alluding, Etsuko changes the topic and asks Kaizuka if he’s there to talk about being rejected from Morio, haha. Kaizuka is shock that Etsuko knows and she tells him not to underestimate the ladies of Keibonsha. Everyone knows that he got rejected since he’s stupid enough to confess his feelings in a bar near their office. She tells him to try again, after all, Morio just broke up with her boyfriend. However, Kaizuka tells her that it’s not the reason and tells Etsuko that Morio has realized that she has always liked that someone close to her whom she just separated. Etsuko becomes quiet because she knows that it could only be Orihara.
The next day, Etsuko is still at Lassy for proofreading and unfortunately, she have overlooked the spelling of a certain brand called “cremona”. The said brand always had their name written in lower case but they just started having their brand written in capital/upper case. Etsuko apologizes for her mistake and asks that she’ll apologize to “CREMONA” as well but Katano tells her that it’s no use even if she comes along and tells her to just do her job. Frankly, the mistake is still in the galley, haven’t been printed yet, so what’s the fuss?
Well, Etsuko goes home, feeling bad, not just of that “cremona” mistake but also being constantly told lately how their existence as proofreaders is mostly ignored, which is weird since they still take part of the blame. Etsuko goes to work the next day, looking a lot less than her usual perky self. As a proof, she even forgoes fashion and wears a really plain outfit that it hurts my eyes. The receptionists are in shock to see plain Etsuko and Seshimaru has to email Yoneoka to tell him about it. Takehara and co. goes to Lassy to check on Etsuko and sees that she’s wearing the plainest and dullest clothes she has, hair unkempt, and without a hint of make-up. Even Fujiwa comments that she looks rather plain.
Not just looking plain, but instead of talking back when the proofreader’s are somewhat insulted by that Katano, Etsuko just invites Fujiwa for lunch. During lunch, Etsuko opens her bento to find just rice since she forgot to put food on it so Fujiwa has to share hers. Orihara overhears Takehara and co. earlier and he fairly has an idea why Etsuko is looking lifeless so he tells her that they have to talk later. However, Etsuko has to reject his offer since she knows about Morio’s feelings for Orihara, but Orihara insisted that she cancel whatever plans she has since they have to talk.
Well, Etsuko and Fujiwa have finished their tasks for Lassy and in the last-minute, Etsuko decides to remove the post-it notes she placed with comments. Morio approaches her, thanks her for her hard work, and confirms if she has date with Orihara. Etsuko immediately goes in defensive and tells Morio that it’s definitely not a date, just a work talk. Morio asks what’s wrong with her today and tells her that if there’s anything, then she can talk about it with Morio, but Etsuko just tells her that it’s nothing.
She goes back to the proofreading department where she sees some random items given by her co-workers- so sweet- to perk-up her mood. Later on, she goes to some rooftop deck with Orihara, which overlooks the Tokyo skyline, and he points a certain playground to Etsuko. He tells her that there are certain workers who does spot check to make sure that every play area is safe for kids, and since then, the said playground has been accident free. He also tells her about the workers who checks on the screw in bridges, the workers who changes gravel every night in train tracks, and so on. Those jobs that were usually overlooked are not only the contents of his book draft, he tells her that these men do those ordinary and thankless jobs, but those are awesome jobs that are greatly needed. Very much like Etsuko’s job, people might not care about proofreaders, but they do an awesome job to make sure that each novel published will be spotless and checked.
Etsuko thanks him for his good words and Orihara wants to tell her something more, which feels like he’s gonna ask her to date him, but Etsuko has to stop him, she says sorry and asks him to wait. So she left Orihara and heads straight to Morio’s place, who had a conversation with Kaizuka earlier, so she fairly has an idea why Etsuko wants to see her. Morio admits that she did have feelings for Orihara, but those are really little feelings, just something that she felt because she got close to him for some time. She adds that if she really likes Orihara, then she would snatch him herself. Besides, Morio tells Etsuko that she likes her better than Orihara, haha. Morio says that she has always admired Etsuko since high school.
More crying from Etsuko ensues and when she has a chance to look at herself in the mirror, she got a huge shock of her life. Morio is more shock that Etsuko is shock to see herself so plain when she’s been like that since morning. Etsuko wants to cry some more after seeing her present self so Morio puts a scarf around her neck to add a dash of color to her grayish ensemble. Etsuko checks herself and says that while her outfit is still not up to her standards, her energy is regained just because of a scarf.
She bids Morio goodbye and heads back to Lassy to redo her galley and put on those post-it notes that she fails to do earlier. While at Lassy, Takehara visits her and says that he’s relieved to see Etsuko so unlike her self that morning. Takehara shares that there’s a department meeting each week and the company’s president greeted him with, “Takehara, it’s been a while!”. Etsuko thinks that it’s rude that the president fail to notice Takehara when they meet each week, but Takehara says that he’s actually happy since it could only mean that the president hasn’t been checking on him because there has been no major mistake in the proofreading department.
Ersuko was allowed by Takehara to go late to work the next day and she’s back to her lively self. She even place a cute thank you vase on the middle table for her co-workers to see. As she begins her work, she notices that her pen case is missing so she heads to Lassy to retrieve it.
At Lassy, Katano notices that Etsuko still proofread some words that she was told is not needed. One of the staff says that Etsuko must be trying to appeal since she wants to work as an editor when the lights came off and came back, and it was revealed that it was Etsuko who turned it off. She asks if they thought that having the light on is something natural, or if they think that the train running and electricity are working fine because that’s the way it is. Well, they are wrong, the electricity and trains are working properly because there are people who checks them to make sure that no untoward incident will happen. Just like them, the proofreader’s, they are usually taken for granted and while she’s sure that there are readers who just skim throughout the magazine, there are also readers like her who reads page by page, word by word, and will eventually notice inconsistencies. So she wants to protect the magazine from those and tells Katano that she counts on them for the final check.
Well, the Ed-chief heard Etsuko and tells everyone that proofreader’s are great. Katano says that if they will include those that Etsuko points-out then they’ll run out of time (probably for printing) and while the Ed-chief agrees, she points out one of the galleys where Etsuko points-out that the scarf feature had the same caption as the one in Lassy’s issue 5 yrs ago, which solidifies her claim that she really pays attention to everything in the magazine.
At Hongo-sensei’s place, he finished reading the draft of Orihara’s book idea and tells him that it’s interesting. Hongo-sensei notices that he’s not lively and Orihara says that it’s because when he asked Etsuko to date him yesterday, she interrupted him and told him that she was sorry. Hongo-sensei laughs at this and asks if the sorry meant no. Orihara says that it’s not really a no since she told him to wait, and Hongo-sensei tells his son to just shut up and wait until a woman’s mind has been settled. Wise words from dad and it must be a sign since Orihara receives a text from Etsuko asking him to meet her.
Back at Lassy, Katano seems to be in a more cheerful mood as she praises Morio’s opening essay proposal, titled: “Small items that will make you go back being yourself”, which probably has Etsuko and the scarf as an inspiration.
Later on, Etsuko and Orihara meets and before she can say that she wants to date him, she receives a call from Morio, who excitedly tells her that Ed-chief wants to meet her and that she’ll be transferred to Lassy.
Frankly, I’m at this point where I have given up any hopes of a love story between Orihara and Etsuko. I have accepted that this josei drama is more about being a proofreader than Etsuko’s love life so I’ll be thankful and even grateful whatever they decide to throw in for the final episode. I decided to just enjoy Etsuko’s proofreader’s journey and while it’s not entirely interesting as a career, it’s an eye-opener since I’m not really familiar how much work proofreader’s do.
Although I find Etsuko’s sudden depression a bit weird, I sympathize to her frustration of being ignored and being treated as editor’s lackeys. But when she took the job as a proofreader, it’s not like she wanted to gain recognition as a proofreader. I mean, Hongo-sensei loves to tease her that being a proofreader is her calling, and there was also a time when she refused to have her name printed on a book since she wants her name to be printed first on Lassy; these could only mean that being a fashion editor is her goal so what’s the fuss when being a proofreader is not as rewarding as she hopes it would be? In the first place, she’s only using her proofreader job as a stepping stone to her Lassy dream so why care if they are being ignored? I guess it’s because she suddenly have a deep love for her job or as a courtesy to her co-workers, but her fellow proofreader’s couldn’t care less about others opinions so it’s really just her, haha.
Speaking of the proofreading department, their workmanship is really cool. I would love to have co-workers like that who uplifts you when you feel down, and a boss who will give you permission to go in late after seeing you work hard late, haha.
As for Morio, she’s obviously starting to enjoy her job, judging from her smiles, and I feel bad that she rejected Kaizuka though I’m not expecting that she’ll date him either. I really don’t want to comment on her acting, but when she try to look happy, it looks so force that she’s probably wondering how she looks.
Anyway, one more episode to go and I’m keeping my hopes down, all the spark I’ve seen between Etsuko and Orihara in the first few episodes is now gone. After all, this is about a proofreader and not just about Etsuko and Orihara so let’s see what is in store for us.