ozu returns to the bank, and led into the board meeting
he states his condition for returning. the target of restructuring the bank, will be to improve the situation for their current clients.
the chairman immediately agrees. he had already decided it beforehand.
ozu then goes to shimatani's, his pal's, office, to get an update. things look bad for the bank
the teachers look at ozu's notebook. ashikaga feels ozu's not a bad teacher, if he can leave such details for kato. shikamatsu knows, but can't say anything. neither does kato. then yokomori tells them she's got champagne. from ozu, for celebrating their future win.
ashikaga: isn't that supposed to be kept for when he gets promoted to the bank's CEO?
sano figures kato might know. kato denies it. kato even says they (the team) don't need a traitor like ozu. sano then surmises that kato would return the notebook to ozu. kato closes the book, slamming it down. yokomori asks him to throw it away. they urge him to tear it apart. kato hesitates. shikamatsu, stressed out, cries. they figure she's in the know too, so they ask her to tear it. she confesses.
ashikaga explains it to the team
the team turns up at the bank with ashikaga.
bank pal is with ozu. things look bleak. might as well sit and wait for things to crumble. ozu says that's nothing. in school, it's the same. but the teachers continue to do their job. pal agrees. there's not much time left, but we can still work.
the visitors are ushered into ozu's office. ozu introduces them to his pal. then he brings them to dine at the executives' lounge. it's also his first time there.
ozu tells them it's only a matter of time before such perks are taken away, with the state of the economy.
he asks why they are here instead of in school. ashikaga says they skipped classes. ozu admonishes them. ashikaga says they are here to apologise to him. matsuzawa is likewise. ozu says he does not like teary farewells. matsuzawa says he is always saving face. mikami says that ozu didn't really want to go back to the bank. imoto asks ozu to come back and watch them play in the competition.
ozu has an urgent matter to attend to. so he gets up. imoto is angry ozu does not answer him. ashikaga tells him they really want him back, but feels ozu's out of their reach. imoto says they will win it for him, so please come and watch the game. ozu remains silent, and leaves.
ashikaga and the team are reprimanded by sano in the principal's office. it's bad enough playing truant, but they shouldn't disturb ozu at the bank. they have to stop relying on him, but depend on one another to win the competition.
the principal metes out the punishment. they must win the competition! yes! everyone smiles.
ozu doing his final packing. he moves out the following day. he wanted to give his wine to kato, but kato wants them out. he does not want any reminders of ozu.
ozu tells him it's not a girlfriend breakup situation. kato feels it's practically the same.
about to leave, ozu tells kato he knows ashikaga's weak point. kato is eager to find out.
ozu: blow into her ear
kato wonders how ozu knows this. then he gets it. he's being tricked for the last time.
ozu really leaves now. tells kato he's grown up. says when he first saw him, he's like a little boy. his last instruction to kato is to take care of the boys. ozu said when he was playing, he left it all behind when he went on to university. and never returned to basketball. he asked kato not to let the boys give up now.
separate lives for ozu and his boys now. each working hard at their respective goals.
finally, the bank plans are ready. at hudson hotel, where ozu is staying now, he meets with his bank pal to go to the bank to make their presentation. ozu sees yokomori, all nicely dressed up. she's there to remind him the competition is today. ozu can't make it, but asks his driver to send yokomori to the competition arena first. yokomori comments that ozu always excel in whatever he does. as the pal looks on, he realises that ozu had gone back to banking for the sake of the boys team. ozu asks for 5 minutes delay, to just sneak a peak at the boys
kato is with the boys. he preps them for the game. tells them the weak points of the opposition. tells them to go out there and wipe the opposition out.
likewise, the opposition coach tells his boys his tactics. knowing the koin team has no substitutes, he orders his team to injure them. it's ok to foul out, cos they have many players.
the game starts, and the opposition makes the first basket. but the boys are no pushovers now. the fouls begin. ozu watches from the spectator stands. he recalls his time with them, then leaves.
as he leaves, he sees okubo. ozu recalls the times he had with okubo. okubo is now working for his dad. okubo's dad had seen the notice in the papers and told him to go and give the team his support.
okubo asks why ozu's not inside, watching the game?
pal comes in and asks ozu to go
the team's getting hurt now
ozu explains okubo's dad's situation to his pal. that when times were good, the banks lent freely. but when times got bad, the banks recalled the loans and bankrupted okubo's dad. so they had to leave their home in the middle of the night, to avoid creditors.
pal: so this is the type of people you're fighting for in the bank?
ozu: yes. he's the innocent victim
pal: you've really changed
pal (to okubo): he'll be with you in a while
pal (to ozu): i can handle it by myself. i shouldn't rely on you everytime.
the pal's going to shoot a '3-pointer' for ozu
matsuzawa's finally knocked out. kato says, even if there's 4, they'll play on. imoto says even if it's only one, they'll play.
then okubo turns up. he shakes matsuzawa, tells him ozu's watching them. they look up and see ozu in the stands. that did the trick. matsuzawa got up.
yokomori takes out the champagne to encourage the boys.
ozu's pal does the presentation by himself.
shikamatsu comments to ozu that kato's a real coach now.
ozu: hardly. if he is, he would ask them to go for the fast break now.
sure enough, kato urges his team forward and they make the fast break.
ozu: that's just coincidence. if he's a real coach, he would urge them to defend now.
and kato does just that.
even sano's there to give his support
the boys team are catching up. even sano's caught up in the excitement.
3 points apart now
ozu's pal is facing stiff opposition for his 'idealistic' plan. but he explains that the bank has already lost the trust of their clients. he feels the new plan will allow them to regain that trust. he explains that they cannot just look at the bottom line, at their own interests, but to see the big picture.
sano analyses the situation. the boys are tiring, so kato must stay calm. he should call a timeout to give the boys a break. shikamatsu runs to tell kato the advice. kato calls timeout.
as sano, shikamatsu and ozu were all together in the stands, the opposition coach assumes it's ozu's interference, and complains to the umpire, threatening to boycott the game.
the umpire stops the game, and declares koin lost through default (by reason of ozu's 'interference')
but the boys are not downhearted. cos by inference, their coach is back.
then the other team's captain asks his coach to let them win the game properly. the boys then resume play, without their coach's permission. kato goes to ozu and tells him, now, the boys won't give up. kato asks him to go down and coach them. ozu says he didn't teach them. they taught him.
the band which stayed on, continues to play for the teams.
ozu: the team i coach must win.
he's down on the sidelines now, shouting instructions. the other coach is speechless at the turn of events.
ozu's so excited, he takes off his overcoat
now, even the other coach is involved. even sano's calling the shots
down to the last 2 seconds. it's 97-99 in favour of the opposing team. then imoto makes the shot: 100-99 with no time left on the clock!
even the opposing team captain is willing to shake imoto's hand at the end of the game.
their coach goes over to ozu, and says: it was a great match. you've won.
but ozu tells him: the winners are the boys
all the players are lying flat on the ground.
now the teachers want to open the champagne, but ozu stops them. not yet.
next spring (note spring blossoms, sakura)
the boys are back, and so's a new bunch of basketball recruits. the new players have bad attitudes, reminding the boys of the way they were. they smile.
someone walks into the gym. you can't see his face yet. who is it?
yes! it's ozu!