The cringy antics of the “Terrace House” members slowly killed my will to watch to the end of this episode. And yet, somehow I made it through Kai’s expletive-laden stand-up routine about the miserable lives of Japanese business men, Hana getting caught spying on Ryo and Vivi, and Vivi’s numerous mentions of Ryo’s natural musk. Tupas should thank his lucky stars he only made the briefest of appearances this week.

After witnessing Ryo’s undeniable chemistry with Vivi, Hana knows she’s in for a tough fight to win him over, so she calls for reinforcements and some much-needed advice from her pro-wrestling colleagues, Jungle Kyona and Konami. The three ladies go out for a boozy night in Ginza, where they discuss how — even though they are the girliest of girls outside of the wrestling ring and all they want is for someone to give them a big hug — men are turned off by their professions. Hana tells people she “took over the family business” (her mother was also a wrestler), Konami says she “works in entertainment” and Jungle Kyona tries to avoid talking about her job completely.

As for helping Hana with her Ryo problem, Jungle Kyona teaches Hana a little move she uses at gōkon (singles’ parties) to see if someone is interested in her: Sit next to the object of your affection, take a sip of your drink and place your glass close to theirs. If your crush moves their glass closer to yours, they’re (maybe) interested. Hana declares this trick to be “so erotic!” but that doesn’t stop her from eyeing Ryo’s glass of water at dinner the next day. The producers indulge us with multiple awkward shots of Hana putting down her cup and nudging it closer to Ryo’s.

Speaking of Ryo, apparently he smells good. Like, really good, because Vivi won’t stop talking about it. While Hana is desperately trying to nail down dinner plans with Ryo, Vivi is sniffing his wrist and wearing his hoodie. I assure you, he is never getting that hoodie back. After dinner, Ryo and Vivi get closer on the couch where their flirty interactions go from coy to blatant. “I’ve always been straightforward,” says Vivi, and she is not wrong. Her flirt game is strong, and she goes as far as to tell Ryo that she doesn’t want him to go out to dinner with Hana. Hana also can’t hold back when it comes to her feelings and keeps sneaking peeks at the pair from the second floor, but Ryo notices her, serving us the cringiest moment of the episode and the clincher for Ryo to decide he has to turn down Hana’s date.

All good in the hood: After a lot of flirting, Ryo (right) lends Vivi his hoodie on 'Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.' | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT
All good in the hood: After a lot of flirting, Ryo (right) lends Vivi his hoodie on ‘Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.’ | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT

Ryo invites Vivi to the playroom but it’s very much occupied by Hana and Kai. Hana needs to drop kick her crush on Ryo ASAP, because Kai is clearly a better match for her. Not only does he patiently listen to all of her romantic woes, but he tells Hana, “I think you look hot. You’re cute, you’re funny, you’re everything. If someone doesn’t like that about you, why should you care about that person?” in English, making her giggle and cover her face with a pillow (remember that move from Episode 21!?) in embarrassment. It’s cute enough to make me want to forgive Kai for his terrible stand-up.

Just when Hana seems to be cheered up by Kai’s Western wooing techniques, Vivi and Ryo enter the room and kill the mood. To save face, Ryo says they only came up to see what Kai was up to but no one is fooled. Kai takes the opportunity to ask Ryo what his priority in life is, to which Ryo says basketball, not Vivi or even “visket” (like Vivi and basket, get it?) as the commentators joke.

The next day, after finally getting officially turned down by Ryo, Hana takes the hint that he’s just not into her. Vivi offers her a warm hug and a Leonardo DiCaprio movie session, but it’s in Emika’s one-armed hug where Hana finds some comfort and ends up in tears, yet again.

Lean on me: A heartbroken Hana (left) is comforted by roommate Emika on 'Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.' | ©? FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT
Lean on me: A heartbroken Hana (left) is comforted by roommate Emika on ‘Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.’ | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT

All the single ladies (and lads)

Tired of dating apps and waiting for the right person to magically appear in your life? Japanese singles have an alternative method for meeting their next fling or the person of their dreams — gōkon. These matchmaking parties, at which Jungle Kyona utilizes her drink trick, can range from casual group hang outs with friends of friends to more formal affairs with name cards and ice breaker games, from fun to downright uncomfortable. No matter the set-up, one thing is for sure — the alcohol will be flowing. So, even if you don’t find someone to put a ring on it, at least you might end the night drunk in love.

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.

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