Just as the viewership began preparing for a love triangle between Haruka, Risako and Ruka, the gang started playing romantic musical chairs. When all was said and done, Haruka and Risako found themselves in competition once more, just over a different boy.
On their way to a driving range, Haruka asks Shohei who Ruka is interested in. Could she be probing Shohei out of self-interest? Last we knew, Haruka’s affections toward Kenny had waned after their unexciting date and she had shifted her attention to get between Risako and the cherry-cheeked Ruka. According to Shohei’s intel, Ruka admits that he gets along well with Risako, but hasn’t said outright if he’s feeling something more.
Suddenly, Haruka changes her tune. She starts to see Ruka as a “puppy” who is too young to date and Kenny, dear Kenny who she had previously written off, he’s now mysterious and intriguing. Out of the three boys, Kenny makes her the most nervous and it’s only until recently that she was able to say good morning to him. She says it makes her “super happy” that she’s feeling more comfortable talking to him now.
At the driving range, Haruka teaches Shohei how to perfect his swing and does the classic date move of getting physically close to a person under the guise of teaching them a new skill. Too bad there’s no romantic spark here, though. Rather, the pair have a nice friendship going with Haruka teasing Shohei, saying that his form is “fantastically horrible” and even resolving any lingering grudges over the tempura incident from several episodes ago.
The next day, Haruka and Ruka go on a breezy date, taking the convertible out to visit Haruka’s ojisan (older man) buddies at her favorite car shop before chomping down on steaks in Meguro. At the restaurant, Haruka gently interrogates Ruka with personal questions about his love life. Ruka squirms a little when she asks, “Would you like to fall in love?” but at least she gets him to confess that his relationship with Risako is “complicated” and not entirely platonic.
Later on, the roommates gather the “playroom” to watch the first episode of their season of “Terrace House” together. You can feel the awkwardness through the screen, nobody seems to enjoy watching themselves on TV. Shohei can’t take it and runs out for a smoke, Kenny and Ruka are hot on his heels.
With the men gone, Haruka and Risako finally get some juicy details out of the reserved Kaori. Who is she into? Well, she’s pretty interested in Shohei and wants to get to know him better. Good thing they have a date coming up soon.
But wait, that isn’t the only bit of gossip that’s revealed. The conversation shifts from Shohei to Kenny, with Risako saying that watching the first episode reminded her that he “struck me as so mature at first.” She sees Kenny as someone she can depend on and feels comfortable talking to about her future. Hold up, wasn’t Risako confessing her love for Ruka with the “date me” bomb just a few weeks ago? Then Haruka chimes in that she still thinks Ruka is cute but lately, she’s been finding Kenny a lot of fun to talk to. Risako tries hard not to stare daggers as Haruka says, “I have the most fun when I’m hanging out with him” and that she wants to go out with him more.
Back in the women’s bedroom, Kaori and Haruka have a tete-a-tete to figure out how Haruka can ask out Kenny without Risako around. Risako already feels some distance from her two senpai (elders), so these two teaming up against her is a bit unnerving. When the ladies join the other roommates on the roof for nighttime drinks, they share a colluding look and successfully orchestrate a moment for Haruka to invite Kenny to another concert.
Although the rooftop scene started out with all the roommates gathered and joking around, at the end of the night, it’s the new love triangle that’s left behind and my head is spinning from the switcheroo.
The Japan Times is 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 and Fuji TV on Demand on Tuesdays, and will air on Fuji TV from July.