Good things come to those who wait and, after patiently waiting through two episodes, I finally got to see what I show up to “Terrace House” for every week: roommates going on dates.
After initially laughing at his idea, Risako headed out with Ruka to see the newest “Detective Conan” movie, part of the long-running children’s anime series about a man-turned-boy who solves crimes with his friends.
Risako continues to indulge Ruka’s child-like persona by getting pancakes before the film and seems to find it adorable that she has to explain to him what the word “plain” means. (“‘Plain’ just means it’s a basic flavor.”) After the movie, the pair returns home and Risako is pretty thrilled with how the date went.
Despite falling asleep for 20 minutes during the flick, she says it was fun and isn’t annoyed in the slightest that Ruka dragged her out to a kids’ film. The other members poke fun at the pair for not holding hands or even sharing their popcorn. Pretty rookie mistake to buy separate buckets, if you ask me.
While their romance is heating up, so is Ruka’s temperature. He contracts a fever and it’s Risako who ends up taking care of him by bringing apples and okayu (rice porridge) to his room and buying him medicine. It’s a sweet moment and almost felt like I was watching a second date — albeit one with a thermometer instead of a stack of pancakes.
Ruka’s fever must be worse than we think, though. He reveals to Risako that he had a dream about her and when she tells the rest of the group she gets a mixed reaction. Some feel it’s cute while others feel like Ruka needs to be careful about leading people on. I felt like it was another example of Ruka’s charming personality and him winning over the ladies with his naive nature without even realizing it.
Meanwhile, Shohei and Kaori’s first date takes place at a cozy restaurant in Sangenjaya. It felt more friendly than flirty with Kaori asking about his intentions for the date and Shohei explaining that he just wanted to talk with her more. In the end, it’s a success and date No. 2 is planned for a bar called Chawari.
And like any classic “Terrace House” date, they spend most of the time talking about food, including the revelation that Kaori has never had tamagokake-gohan (raw egg mixed with rice and soy sauce) before. The commentators implore viewers to give the dish a try, continuing the show’s reputation as a low-key foodie program with screams of “umai!” (“delicious!”) and close-up shots of food whether they are out at a restaurant or cooking at home.
With Haruka and Kenny getting close with one another over a guitar in the previous episode, it looks like everyone has found their soulmate. Then — shock! — Ruka throws a wrench in the works by saying he wants to get to know Haruka better? After some coaching from Shohei, he makes his move.
The last scene of the episode shows Ruka waiting for Haruka in Tokyo’s Yoyogi neighborhood to help her bring a guitar home by car. The two get in the vehicle and speed off, while viewers are left wondering if nurse Risako is already left behind in the rearview mirror.
Itadakimasu! A ‘Terrace House’ food primer:
Tempura: After last week’s “tempura incident,” the commentators bring up this dish again and proclaim that tempura is one of the “three pillars” of Japanese culture. It’s essentially shrimp, vegetables or anything in between that is covered in batter and deep fried. And while delicious, I agree with Shohei that you would get sick of it if you ate it every day. (There, I said it!)
Okayu: Often called congee in other parts of the world, okayu is rice porridge that is most often eaten for breakfast. In Japan, however, it’s known as the go-to dish to eat when you’re sick. Think of it being the Japanese version of chicken noodle soup.
Tamagokake-gohan: Sometimes referred to as TKG, tamagokake-gohan is the most basic dish imaginable. Often served for breakfast, it’s simply a raw egg on top of rice mixed with soy sauce. If it’s good enough for Kaori, it’s good enough for all of us.
The Japan Times will be posting weekly recaps of “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.” Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. New episodes of “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020” stream on Netflix on Tuesdays, on Fuji TV on Demand (FOD) from June 11 on Tuesdays, and will air on Fuji TV from July.