morning. ozu and kato come in for work. ozu notices the female students' short skirts and asks why they are so short. kato is shocked, but ozu explains he is just concerned, as a teacher. kato is surprised. ozu's showing signs of improvement.
ozu mentions the short skirts again, but he will not tell the students off, cos it's better that way. kato's fooled by him, again. then ozu turns serious and tells him the boys have resumed training.
flashback of the night before, at the gym
principal's office. sano, the senior teacher, reports that the boys have resumed training, against orders. he complains the teachers have no power, and asks the principal to ban them from using the gym
(you will have noticed by now, i never use shikamatsu when addressing the principal, cos it would confuse the identify of the parent and daughter in this synopsis - so shikamatsu always refer to the daughter, unless in the context of a conversation, someone is addressing the principal)
sano blames ozu and wants him to hear the decision from the principal. shikamatsu is very willing to run and get ozu, but the principal stops her. he wants her to decide, cos one day, it'll be her running the show. shikamatsu says she doesn't have what it takes.
ozu's classroom. he's reading a newspaper during a test on financing. haruko asks for help on the question on the board. ozu confesses he's not sure himself, and hence asks the question to get the students' opinions. haruko says they don't have the experience necessary to answer it. ozu says this will prepare you for the future, so you will not get into debt. you have another 15 minutes to complete the test
imoto is still flying paper planes out the window and not doing the test. but he's got his sports bag. and so do the rest of the team.
training time. boys missing. ozu and kato sitting on the bench. kato is wondering if the boys will ever turn up. sano and shikamatsu come up and sano wants her to tell the boys they can't use the gym. shikamatsu cannot decide. sano says it's her call, since her dad, the principal, has given her the decision to make.
the boys enter, ready to play.
ozu throws imoto a ball, but imoto avoids catching it.
imoto: it's none of your business. kato's our coach.
ashikaga goes over: you chaps are very disrespectful. even if he's not your coach, he's still your teacher. and he's been the one waiting for you at the gym.
imoto: well, nobody asked him
ozu is cool. he tells kato to go ahead and coach.
sano wants them to stop
akimoto wants ozu out, but he ignores akimoto. so he aims a ball at ozu. ozu ducks down, and kato gets it instead, full in the face. he falls because of the shock. unfortunately, on his way down, he hits his forehead against the bench, making it worse.
ozu checks kato, he's fine, so he asks him to carry on, and leaves.
sano admonishes akimoto for using force on the teachers. akimoto says, "so what?" and threatens sano. sano screams...
ashikaga had run after ozu: you should be the one coaching them
ozu: they don't need me
ashikaga: so you go, just like that. is this right?
ozu: no matter. so long as they are training
sano goes to see the principal on this new matter. the principal asks shikamatsu about it. she was present, so it's yet another ball in her court. again, she says she's not capable of handling it. her father reveals the truth behind his decision to make her deal with these issues: they (the students) are like her own children
ozu goes to visit okubo's father at his company. it's true, he's broke, and the bank employees are there harressing him to pay up.
in the teachers room, kato wonders where ozu went, and why he had to get the boys back. then he suggests to the lady teachers to go for a drink. yokomori says she'll go if he pays. so he pulls her over and whispers "ask ashikaga to come along and i'll pay"
but ashikaga has other plans. as she is about to leave, yokomori picks up a call for her. on the phone, she answers in the affirmative and then leaves. yokomori then tells kato the person on the phone sounded like ozu
poor poor kato
ashikaga meets ozu at the sports bar. he gets the drinks for both of them, which discomforts the tom-boy ashikaga. she's not used to nice treatment from men. ozu tells her she's mustn't get so uptight, and compliments on her nice-sounding name. she says it's no different from other people's names.
ozu begs to differ. he says "Myu" is very pleasant on the ear. he then asks about her "sword" (some japanese martial art sword, she carries it with her all over the place, esp during basketball training. in fact, she took it with her when she first caught ozu alone in the gym late one night)
ozu asks if she has trained. nope. that's her late father's. he's impressed (as a father of a daughter, he's hopeless. yet this father had such an impact on her daughter)
he recalls her words at their first meeting, when kato was drunk. she had told kato not to make fun of strangers
ashikaga reveals her past. that she's a substitute for a horse. her dad loved to gamble on horses. once, his favourite broke a leg and was put down (not so nicely put, racehorses can't race anymore once they break their legs, so they are killed). shortly after, she was born. so she was called Myu, short for the horse's name, Myu- something (the other two words mean iris and indigo, but i have no idea what is the romaji pronounciation/spelling).
ozu says that's a great story. he tells her she's a great girl. anyone who likes her shouldn't be afraid to ask her for a date. (implying kato???)
ashikaga changes the topic and ask him why he asked her out.
ozu comes to the point. he needs a favour from her. to arrange a friendly match for the boys. he had been to see okubo's dad. the banks won't lend anymore, that why. (why? because anytime now, okubo's going to have to drop out of school)
ashikaga understands: you're a good man
ozu: that's why i need you to arrange the match before they disband
back at kato's place, the boxes have been stacked up neatly right down the middle of the room like a partition. ozu grumbles, when yokomori pops up beside kato. ozu wonders what the 2 of them were doing behind the wall. they weren't doing anything, cos kato likes ashikaga. unfortunately, he's not even made it to square 1 after all this while. zero dates
ozu says that's not true. he was out with ashikaga, and had a great time.
kato is furious ozu had dated ashikaga
ozu says she even put her head on his shoulders, even though he told her it's not nice to do that in public. "she even caressed my hair"
kato is now ballistic!
ozu then says: if only that was true
kato realises he's been fooled again. (i have a feeling i have to type this phrase quite a few times in this drama. together with the boys' "none of your business")
ozu confesses it wasn't a date. he need ashikaga to help with some basketball matters. then tells kato to follow him. to where???
shikamatsu is still dazed from all the responsibilities forced on her. she is waiting for sano to come out of a meeting. when he does, eh tells her there'll be a board meeting tomorrow, so she had better make up her mind, as she is to succeed her father.
she'd rather not be principal, ever.
ozu, kato and yokomori are looking at her portraits of the boys team. so that's what they went off to do.
ozu: imoto. team captain. good with 3-pointers (ie. can score long-distance baskets, which are 3 points instead of the usual 2-points)
kato: he's not very motivated.
ozu: as captain, he's got to take the initiative. right! let him come up with the training plan. give him more responsibility. it will also build up his management skills.
next portrait: matsuzawa
yokomori: he's fought with a teacher in his previous school
ozu: for him, his strong point is courage. he will make a good general. he'll play guard (that's a defensive position)
ozu notes that his pic is the most detailed drawing of the lot, and yokomori distracts him with the next pic.
nagase has played basketball before, but he's timid
yokomori: that's cos he's always bullied
ozu: then let him play in defense. as a guard. train him, imoto and matsuzawa together. with the more aggressive players, he will learn to be more aggressive.
kato: this is not bank management
ozu: it's the same. you need to be able to manage the people
ozu: if he is properly coached, he can be an outstanding center. he has the strength and the control
kato: but he's never played basketball before
ozu: then he's got to do more running and skipping. back to basics. even if he's fed up, getting mad, he's still got to do it.
looking at okubo's pic, he is suddenly reflecting back on his own situation.
shikamatsu is still in school, undecided, until her growling stomach reminds her it's time to go.
gym. training in progress. ozu pops in
haruko and okubo are practising. ozu asks if he's enjoying himself. okubo says, no. haruko overrides him, saying "you were enjoying it"
ozu then asks okubo if he thinks the boy team has a chance to win. okubo doubts it. cos he's stopping school soon. ozu reminds him he's got 2 more months.
ozu: can i teach you something?
okubo: the way you speak, it makes them (the other boys) mad
ozu: what about you?
okubo: please teach me
ozu teaches okubo a basic technique for self-training. bounce the ball against a wall and catch the rebound. pretend the wall's another player.
ozu leaves. as he leaves, okubo reveals his mobile subscription was from his mother. even though he does not know where she is, he could communicate with her through that. but now...
ashikaga pops in and announces a friendly match tomorrow - both teams will play
next morning. sano announces to the teachers there'll be a meeting to deal with akimoto's use of force on kato. the team will be disbanded for real. he asks shikamatsu for assent. she's caught off guard again. she hasn't made up her mind yet, if ever.
ozu checks out kato's injury. he whacks it, causing kato to scream with pain. he even tears off the teensy bit of plaster. it's not serious, lah.
in the gym, okubo is training real hard on ozu's advice.
sano and ozu discuss the situation. ozu feels the injury is minor. no need for the drastic measure. sano disagrees. he wants them to get what they deserve. after all, they are not even good players. ozu does not want the board to decide what's best for the boys. sano says not just the boys are messed up. others in the school are too. ozu guesses sano's referring to ozu. sano says, "every teacher in school"
kato had an affair with a student
myu because of some punishment (word is unclear here)
yokomori because of theft
so no one is qualified to teach
even himself. he was teaching basketball in his former school. he scolded a slack player, and was stabbed. when he was stabbed, the player even told him that if he was hospitalised, then they would not have to train. before that, i had treated the students as if they were my own. now, i keep the distance. they are but guests.
in shikamatsu's class, she is threatened by akimoto to keep the boys team. she runs out, crying. ozu's the only one in the teachers room. she asks him to help her. and he tells her he needs her help too.
so that's why they are in kato's place. he needs help to organise his boxes. he gets out his wine to drink and think with shikamatsu
kato's coaching, with ozu's tips from the last night. however, he's puzzled with okubo's training method. (bounce ball at wall, catch rebound, repeat)
while moving the boxes, the 2 teachers talk. she's bothered by having to make a decision on the boys team. ozu asks her to let them stay till year end. (2 more months). it's not for them, it's just that imoto had once called him a ghost. he hopes that imoto will explain why, one day.
shikamatsu tells ozu she's scared, really afraid of them. and the thought that they are to be treated as if they were her own kids, "i don't understand at all!"
the boys are training, kato's practising throwing the ball with okubo and that's hard work!
kato returns home late, aching all over!
but he is pleasantly surprised by the new look of his home. no more boxes! thanks to shikamatsu. she's the organizer. she likes to organise things. if only she could organise herself.
ozu brings out the wine, 1981, her birth year.
ozu stares at her, disconcerting her. he tells her she's not suited to school, more to family. she's embarressed. kato comments that the two are like acting in a romantic drama.
ozu's pretty popular with all 3 lady teachers by now, as you can see. his only opposition are from the guys, kato and sano.
ozu says the team's got to be disbanded, so kato's got to tell the boys. ozu will step down as coach. shikamatsu apologises, as she has no other choice.
friendly match, boys team. ozu comes in with yokomori. she asks, why her. ozu says he'll be thrown out if he came in alone, so asks her to pretend they are dating. yokomori asks what's to her advantage, so ozu invites her to drink wine.
boys team tactics aren't working. sano and shikamatsu come and watch too.
the teachers are puzzled why they are playing again. he tells them it's because of okubo leaving. they want to win one for him.
the boys are losing badly. but they are not disheartened. they want kato to give them some strategic advice, but he has no ideas. they ask ashikaga, who tells them to ask ozu. he will teach them.
the boys don't want him, except nagase. he has seen how ozu helped him fend off the bullies. he runs to ozu and asks for his help.
ozu remains quiet. he wants the others to agree too.
akimoto tells ozu to stay out of it.
then okubo tells akimoto it's ozu that's been coaching him.
now, ozu gets up and gives them a team tactic to use.
they put it into play. as the opposing team shoots and misses, imoto immediately runs towards the opponent's basket. okubo secures the rebound, passes it to matsuzawa, who throws it down the line to imoto, who makes the easy layup (no defense)
they start to improve their play, and reduce the deficit.
at the end, they still lost by a large margin, but they did real well in the last quarter.
ozu remains silent. now is time for the announcement.
shikamatsu cannot bring herself to speak.
so sano does it. he scolds the team for being delinquent, the disgrace of the school.
shikamatsu now speaks. "don't say that. they are my children. if you don't listen to their hearts, how can you know what they are thinking? even as teachers, there is much we don't know"
to the boys: since you want to play, i will be there to support you.
she walks out. drama over.
kato tells her that's the wrong door. she has to come out and walk the other way.
kato and ozu at the bar. 2 things kato can't understand.
1. why sano said what he said at the gym
2. why ozu left first
(as for myself, i don't understand either!)
kato's mobile rings. it's okubo. for ozu.
ozu takes the call, but okubo does not speak. he's crying silently from a public phone booth. he hangs up
ozu tells kato to contact imoto and the other boys
he goes to okubo's home. there are creditors outside, but the house is vacant. father and son, they've fled. then the 4 boys turn up.
imoto thinks they might have returned to their hometown, but ozu thinks otherwise. that's when the boys realised ozu knew this would happen, and even that okubo would leave tonight (right after the game) now they realised how much okubo wanted to win, why he trained so hard. they also realise ozu's for them. they truely ask him to be their coach.
now that they want to train, they don't have a complete team. the boys feel the loss of okubo. in practice, akimoto's no longer defiant. he trains enthusiastically.
matsuzawa's dad is in the principal's office. he wants to know what's the situation with his son and a teacher, yokomori. he was told about it by a student's parent.
the teachers want to find out more before taking any action.
he threatens to take his son out if it's true
ozu turns up as he was about to leave. it turns out he recognised ozu as a former banker. now that he's teaching, he insults him (for being in this loser school). ozu keeps quiet.