kato is shocked to find ozu moving in with all his stuff
in school, ozu is served by yokomori. he tells her she's not his secretary, but she says if he returns to the finance world, to take her with him. ashikaga is also impressed with the saviour of the boys team. she remembers him saying to imoto "it's not time to give up"
ozu tells kato that he did that at the spur of the moment, and wasn't really serious.
at the principal's office, he explains that while he told the boys he would coach them, he also understands they have to be disbanded as punishment, so he will rescind his word immediately. he says the boys won't mind (cos they know a teachers words have no power). the principal asks "do the boys want it". he says, "who knows?"
ozu teaching class, and fields questions.
matsuzawa: you said we couldn't throw the coach up in the air. why not? after all, the team has been disbanded.
ozu didn't answer him
akimoto: you can't order us around
ozu: if you don't want to be ordered around, then take the initiative.
matsuzawa: we told you the last time, not to bother us
ozu: see you after school at the basketball court
boys team leave the class.
ozu is at the court, where the girls are training. ashikaga thinks he's there to coach the boys, but ozu explains the team was disbanded. so he's just "there"
he casually mentions that imoto is a gifted player. she asks him how he knows. he tells her he had played up to high school, then stopped in order to prepare for the world of finance.
matsuzawa calls yokomori for a movie date. she advises him to go home.
ozu waits patiently. his phone rings. yokomori called to tell him where the boys are.
he goes to the park and sees them playing basketball, but does not make his presence known to them, and leaves.
back at kato's place, he is given a list of house rules. right away, ozu turns the tables on kato's rules. since one of the rules is privacy of possessions, kato cannot move his boxes around! in fact, kato has to cook for him!
ozu finds imoto alone in the computer room. he shares with him about their similar situation (divorce) and how both imoto and his own daughter called him a ghost. he asks imoto if it means he is a dead person. imoto says, "go look in the mirror"
arts class. matsuzawa gets rejected by yokomori before the whole class, cos he's not a basketball player anymore.
ozu sees nagase, a member of the boys team being bullied. he goes to defend him, and says as a member of my team, he is under my protection. the bullies leave.
ozu waits alone again at the court.
ashikaga: kato, come on out!
kato: how did you know? you love me!
ashikaga: idiot! i felt someone staring at me
kato: it's a great feeling, no?
kato: then let's change the feeling. how about a drink?
kato: we can watch and talk basketball...
ashikaga: i want to keep ozu company
kato: you are falling into his trap. he said he didn't really want to be the coach.
ashikaga: that's what you hope
the team is at the video arcade. they find out nagase was saved by ozu from being bullied.
the 2 teachers wait in vain.
at home, ozu offers imported wine to kato (he's not a wine drinker). so he drank, then realised ozu wants him to pay for it, and it costs a bomb. in this way, ozu gets out of having to pay kato rent!
school: a parent wants to take a member of the team out.
ozu offers financial tips to the teachers
just then, he gets a call from his banker pal, who needs him urgently. but he does not go immediately. finally, he's got value, so he figures his friend can sweat it out for awhile.
he is waiting for the boys team, alone.
the other teachers are all at the sports bar, even though ashikaga would have preferred to keep ozu company.
the principal checks on ozu at the court.
kato slimes ozu at the bar. except for ashikaga, the other teachers are against ozu. not teaching material at all.
the principal explains why akimoto is so defiant. he was spoiled by his parents, so he is very selfish. ozu explains why he did what he did - he just didn't want them to give up in defeat. the principal tells him that he and the team are very similar.
ashikaga is lost in her thoughts, so the others think it's because she is in love with ozu. she denies it. the more they accuse, the more she denies, until she suddenly declared out loud she likes ozu, surprising even herself. she explains it's admiration, and tries to laugh it off. kato is dejected.
ozu is about to go off for the day, when a boy enters. okubo's the one transferring out. ozu finds out he has to leave school because his father wants him to find a job. his father's company won't last the year out, and they are broke. his mother has left home, and even his mobile subscription has been cancelled. come winter break, i will return to my hometown
ozu: where will you find a job?
okubo: my father cannot support me financially
ozu: you won't be able to play basketball anymore
okubo: this jersey was given to me by my mother. she wanted me to play well
ozu: how about this. would you like to stay on and play until the 2nd semester?
just then, the door opens and akimoto enters.
akimoto tries to bluster his way around, but ozu's on a mission and cannot be stopped by mere words. so akimoto threatens violence. ozu is not afraid, but he also understands the boys have made their decision. he leaves
he calls his banker friend and accepts his offer to get back into the financial world.
the teachers are again at the sports bar after work. discussing coolness vs passion in teaching. the senior teacher, sano, is the epitome of cool, and he reasons that you need to keep your calm in dealing with students all day. ashikaga disagrees. kato supports her to gain her approval.
in fact, he's so passionate, he goes out to find the boys team and asks them to resume training. but they know he's not doing it for them, but for ashikaga, cos he mentioned her name no less than 5 times. they leave kato.
at Koyo bank, the pal briefs ozu on the problem. some big deal
that went wrong. the 3 men in the room were responsible for the fiasco, cos they did not get the approval from the top. next month, there's a government audit and it's all going to come out then. they are looking for a quiet solution
the boys are talking about how okubo has to work in hokkaido
ozu advises the bank on how to cut their losses. to pick up any assets and stop lending. he catches his own reflection on the table, and stops - he thinks about okubo's dad's situation, when banks stop lending out of fear of mounting losses.
okubo wonders what it would be like to win a game for once.
at the bank with his pal, they discuss his recent career turns.
his pal apologises for the U-turn.
ozu: the school is a terrible place to work in. the students are
pal: at home, my kids are the same
ozu: they are so self-centered
pal: it's good now you can leave it all behind
ozu: still, i got to know some basketball boys. the other day, i
watched them play their final match. i never thought that when
they lost, they wouldn't be sad and dejected. they were still
laughing and joking.
pal: that's the way it is these days, with kids
ozu: so i said i will be their coach and asked them to train with
me. because i saw myself in them. when i was sacked by the bank,i
was just like them. still arrogant, and laughing it off. so i
cannot not care about them. i want to start afresh with them. but
they have no interest in training. i even went to look for them,
but was rejected.
pal: let bygones be bygones. come back to the bank right away. you
never lost. start afresh. don't talk anynmore. let's drink up.
ozu didn't drink
ozu: they may turn up. they may turn up for training.
ozu: among them, there are a few who want to play
pal: don't bother with these delinquents
ozu: i said i'd wait for them at the gym
pal: forget it
ozu: i guess i'd better get back to the school
ozu: i'm leaving
pal: but you're coming back to the bank? you'll be back?
ozu: shimaya. (pal's name) sometimes, you have to serve others,
even at the expense of yourself. i have said to those kids i will
wait at the gym for them
it's late at night, but ozu's back in school. there's a light from
he walks in, but it's empty. he regrets his promise, cos the boys let him down. he turns to leave, and notices the towels around the bench. all 5 of them. so they were there.
ozu could visualize them playing earlier that evening
he regrets not having been there when they came to play (at the
bank) but he is glad they have kept theirs to keep playing (and not give up)
he was walking out, when the changing room door opened. the boys
had gone for a drink
the team eyes ozu.
ozu: just remember one thing. don't leave your wet towels on the
floor. you might slip and hurt yourself
imoto: we are not playing because of you
ozu: then why? (he knows why, but he wants to hear them vocalise
their purpose - without purpose, why do anything at all?)
imoto: none of your business. keep of the court. get out
akimoto: get out!
ozu thinks: whatever it takes. as long as you return to the game