Now that it’s summer vacation, Rin is the one to take Daikichi’s place as the early bird—watering the bellflowers and ‘hopping’ the loquat seedling. Although the bellflowers aren’t yet flowering, Daikichi convinces her to visit Oji-san’s grave site before the O-Bon festival. Despite being downgraded from father to nephew (it’s a complicated relationship) their visit encounters an anomalous twist when they discover a recently-deposited flower within an inkwell vase. Of course the implications can only point to the over-worked manga artist, Masako.
Disregarding reservations to approach Masako, Daikichi eventually confronts her simply to give notice about their plans to visit the grave—rhetorically inviting her to view Rin, even if in secret. Though unbeknownst to Rin, Masako observes from the bushes—confirming Daikichi’s mention of her resemblance to Rin, and also noting Daikichi’s close likeness to Souichi. Meanwhile Daikichi is relieved at Rin’s unchanged vivacious attitude after briefly observing a familiar, yet fleeting vacant look, most likely brought about by her closeness to Souichi.
With the image of bellflowers still fresh on her mind, Rin proposes a visit to Oji-san’s previous home during the walk home. Though the house has switched hands to Daikichi’s uncle, the two are allowed in, however the familiar garden has now been removed. Rin is obviously disappointed with the absence of Souichi’s beloved garden, but her infectious optimism encourages gratitude for the bellflowers transplanted to Daikichi’s home.
It has been fantastic to have episodic sequences simply illustrating Rin’s progression as she is now seven-years-old. And it now appears that Rin has taken Daikichi’s place as the ‘working man’—at least until summer vacation ends. Daikichi’s decision to visit Souichi’s grave definitely came with mixed feelings because of the close relationship between Oji-san and Rin. After seeing the vacant expression mirroring the innocent and lonely encounter in EP 01 (seems like forever ago), I was fearing we’d have to start over from the beginning! Fortunately the effects were temporary (maybe she was putting on her best impression of Daikichi in the morning ^^)
The contrast between Daikichi and Masako can also be easily ignored, however there is a very distinct opposing details associated with each. Where Daikichi has given up work in order to become a more successful father, Masako buries herself within her work to avoid confronting the mistakes of her past. Even her boyfriend/co-worker is being distanced because of her push for excessive work. In other words, Daikichi’s got it right—he’s even got cake-buying down ^^
Next time: Yukatas! as Daikichi, Rin, Kouki and . . . where’s Kouki’s mom? Probably putting on the spice as next episode looks promising!