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Our newsfeeds lit up this week about something rather sickening. Was it COVID-19? No. We’re talking about the titular “Bottled Beer Incident.” But before we dive into that, we have to welcome some new faces.

Toshiyuki Niino, aka “Shachō” (Boss), wastes zero time in chatting up the ladies, despite having moved in only an episode ago. On Tupas and Emika’s last night in the house, he engages in some light banter with Emika about sparking a connection and heading up to the playroom together, but Tupas politely, yet firmly, puts his foot down. “Don’t you dare,” he says as the roommates giggle. After the happy couple moves out the next morning, Shacho makes plans with Hana to have dinner at a seafood restaurant that very night. “I’m not emotionally prepared,” she jokes, but she looks excited.

Immediately after that conversation, Shacho asks out Vivi. She laughs at his blunt invitation but takes it in her stride, telling him she’s free for dinner but she needs to be home early — all while awkwardly scrubbing the dishes and avoiding eye contact. Just like that, the new guy has two dates booked. I guess you can’t be a boss without being a go-getter. (His introductory bio says he’s been single for a month.)

After the opening credits, we see Shacho on date No. 1 as he meets up with Hana and whisks her off in a taxi to the restaurant Citrus for gluten-free food, non-alcoholic drinks and icebreaker questions. Shacho compliments Hana on her looks, saying she’s beautiful with or without makeup, before launching into a speech about his company and the services it provides. Once the date wraps up, Shacho pays without letting Hana even see the check. “I’m in my 30s. It’s not a financial burden for me,” he says with total confidence.

We’re just starting to get to know Shacho, but it’s time to add some new members to the mix. First up, we see a young woman (with very visible shoulders, as the panelists point out, as if that’s risque), dropping off her cat at a friend’s house before her big move to “Terrace House.” This is 24-year-old Yume Yoshida, who has a rather unique resume. She works as an OL (meaning “office lady,” a blanket term for women who work in offices and do secretarial work) at a tech company.

 

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When she’s not in the office, she’s turning heads as a swimsuit model — think Mayu from “Terrace House: Opening New Doors.” Yume also mentions that she does lots of livestreams, but doesn’t exactly clarify what that means or what it entails.

Next we see a boy FaceTiming his older brother who bestows some valuable advice for finding love: hit the ground running. This young man turns out to be Shion Suzuki, a student and model who is on the shyer side. The 22-year-old went to an all-boys school and hasn’t had much experience with dating, but he says he is looking for a woman who is “considerate and practical.” Well, that seems reasonable!

 

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Unfortunately, Shion’s debut gets immediately overshadowed by Yume, as Hana and Vivi have a hunch that Shacho will be head-over-heels for her. “They’re a perfect pair,” Vivi says.

Later that day, Shacho and Kai come home and meet Shion, who modestly tells them that he is a 186-centimeter-tall fashion model, before Hana changes the subject to something much juicer: Yume’s physique. “She’s slender with big boobs,” Hana announces to Shacho, who confirms that he is indeed “a boob guy,” as casually as someone would say they prefer red wine over white.

Back in their shared bedroom, Shacho and Shion agree that Yume is by far the hottest girl in the house — despite the fact that Shacho hasn’t even seen her yet. But his expectations are high, solely “based on boobs.” What a gentleman. Meanwhile, Kai holds firm in carrying a torch for Hana and it looks like he might have a better shot now that Shacho is distracted.

Later, while everyone is gathered in the playroom to watch “Terrace House,” Shacho finds an excuse to leave before the opening credits even finish. He positions himself in the kitchen under the guise of doing work, orchestrating a meet-cute moment for when Yuma, his destined love, enters the house.

That’s when it happens: The Bottled Beer Incident. The show’s producers give us not-so-subtle close-ups of Yume’s chest as Yume and Shacho share a bottle of beer, passing it back and forth while they have a friendly chat. Suddenly Shacho realizes he has a live audience — Hana, Vivi and Kai are all watching from the stairwell. The interlopers crash the kitchen date and everyone talks for a bit about Vivi and Ryo’s ongoing “will they, won’t they” situation before heading off to bed.

Back in the studio, the panelists are grossed out by the fact that two strangers are sharing a beer, but they are also sickened by Shacho’s drinking style. When it’s only him and Yume, he puts his lips on the bottle, but when the housemates show up, he tries to tip the beer into his mouth without touching the bottle. The thought of Shacho putting his lips on their beers sets the panelists off and they even rewatch the scene several times to scream their disgust. “That was a horror scene,” You says. Yama-chan, cutthroat as ever, says that Shacho is “spine-chillingly creepy.”

Now that everyone has become acquainted, some more than others, time will tell as to who will end up with whom. But at least for now, Shacho is ready to chase his dream girl, Yume.

What is kabedon?

At the end of the episode, Shacho says that when the moment is right, he is going to kabedon Yume. But what exactly does that mean?

Kabedon, literally meaning “wall smack,” is a cliched move that’s performed more in Japanese movies and television shows than in real life. Typically, in an attempt to seduce a woman, a man will pin his conquest to the wall by hitting one hand against the wall and then leaning in for a kiss.

The move can be seen in countless anime and manga, and the gesture even has a Wikipedia article. There are plenty of kabedon clips on YouTube with millions of views each, so perhaps Shacho will join the ranks.

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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