The latest episode of “Terrace House” was like a cup of hot cocoa: sweet, heartwarming and the perfect thing to lull me into a peaceful frame of mind.
Peppe’s story about his orange-flavored first kiss must have intrigued Haruka because she’s definitely showing some interest in him. After an exchange about her visit to the Pokemon Center in the Nihonbashi district (“Did you get a Pippi doll for Peppe?”), the two get cozy downstairs in the playroom while testing out a Pokemon Nintendo Switch game. Haruka mentions that Peppe should take her to a cafe that will make her feel like she’s in Italy. But then, before I had a chance to get comfortable with the idea of these two together, Peppe and Emika start making plans for a beach day at a speed that feels as if someone put a shot of Bailey’s in my hot cocoa. Or two shots.
Emika and Kaori grab lunch together and launch into a discussion about boys, specifically Kaori’s ex and Shohei. After last episode’s heart-to-heart, Kaori is ready to reignite her torch for Shohei, but it looks like it’s too little, too late for him as he’s setting his sights on Emika. After her flirtatious invitation to grab a beer, Shohei is smitten and admits to Ruka that Emika is really cute. Her type is someone “with life goals,” though, so over a soba-noodle lunch, Shohei tells Emika he may have seemed unmotivated before, but when he has a crush on someone, he works hard to impress them.
Peppe’s original manga is due to be published by a major company soon, so he’s moving on from his mentor’s studio and focusing on his own work. He practically glows while telling his roommates that he can’t wait for the moment he sees his books on sale at an actual store. “I’m working so hard to get to that point,” he says, adding that he might even cry tears of joy. Later, we see him reviewing pages with his editor and it was cool to get glimpses of the stories we can look forward to reading in Peppe’s comics. Since he’s writing about romance, Peppe’s editor asks if he’s had any luck with dates on “Terrace House” yet. Peppe doesn’t mention Haruka at all, but he is excited about his beach date with Emika, which is great for her because she’s made it very clear that she wants to fall in love with someone in the house and now she has two men to choose from.
Finally, it’s all hands on deck as we see Ruka make progress this episode. He stops by the Marvel-themed bar in Shimokitazawa to talk to the owner about working there. The owner is amused but takes it in stride when Ruka reveals that he wants to be Spider-Man, going as far as to say it would be good for the bar if Ruka really does become our friendly neighborhood wannabe web-slinger. Later on, Ruka gets lessons in the kitchen from Haruka, who shows him the proper way to peel an apple without hurting himself, and Peppe, who helps him whip up some arrabiata pasta for Shohei and Emika. He’s even taking the initiative to start English lessons with a very patient teacher. (Side note: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if he picked up his teacher’s Scottish accent?)
All in all, the vibe of the house feels a lot lighter with the roommates all getting along. However, the possibilities of romantic entanglements are stickier than a spider’s web.
Alyssa: In the last scene, Shohei is chilling on the couch with what looks like a script. Does that mean he’s going to be in another soft porn film?!
Tom: Looks like we are getting a sequel to “Virgin Concerto.” Will he ever show a scene from his movie to the house? A friend of mine asked me, “Is it true they filmed two members making love in front of everyone else in the house?” This show’s reputation is spinning out of control.
Alyssa: Emika’s leather newsboy cap is back. It’s a bold choice considering the obviously warm weather.
Tom: Emika is trying so hard to make her hat her thing. She definitely bought it full price at Zara and needs to justify the price tag.
Alyssa: Ruka’s mom sent him a big bag of tarako (salted cod roe) sauce packs after seeing his broccoli pasta. It’s like the muggle equivalent of a Howler telling him to learn how to cook like a proper adult.
Tom: Two things about Shohei and Emika’s date: First, I love that she dressed up while Shohei didn’t bother changing out of his pajamas. Second, I am obsessed with the fact that Emika obviously knows Shohei has no life goals and was trolling him by saying she likes a man with a plan.
Alyssa: Ruka and Emika went on a date to eat seafood far from Tokyo, but there is so little chemistry between them, I almost fell asleep.
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 (FOD) and air on Fuji TV on Tuesdays.