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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

"Wakako Zake" drama season one: Episodes three and four recaps

 Air Dates: January 8th to March 26, 2015 at 11:30 pm, Thursdays on TV Tokyo
 Theme song "The future scenario is up to you" by Charan Po Rantan

Main Cast:

 Rina Takeda as Wakako Murasaki
Kinuwo Yamada as Mii-san
Mizuki Watanabe as Abe-san
Yoshihro Nozoe as Taisho
Kenta Kamakari as Aoyagi

 That video above sees to be the only promo one for this season so will just leave it for all of these recaps. Already a third of the way through the series and it does help the the episodes are only a little over 22 minutes long. Been learning quite a bit about Japanese foods watching this series along with cultural tidbits and some new or less common words. One new word for me is....

 Masu: It's a small, square wooden box that at one time was used for measuring rice. These days it's used more to catch the overflow of Sake when it's poured into it's small glass or cup, so far have seen it used in every episode.

 If nothing else least you can say a new word has been learned. Actually have discovered what many things are in this drama that I took for granted, perhaps will have a post at the end for all of the new words I've learned. Enough of the gabbing and let's get to episode three which is titled....

Monkfish Liver in Ponzu

 Tough day at the office for Wakako as she was reamed out by her boss Okada. What made it worse was that the error on a project wasn't Wakako's fault as she had a colleague help her out on it but that person sheepishly kept their mouth shut. What better way for Wakako to raise her spirits than to enjoy a fine meal in a Izakaya, knew that word but it had been eons since I've seen it used. Monkfish is what Wakako was craving so it's off to a new restaurant to try a dish.
 There are four varieties of the fish, the one eaten in Japan is caught off it's coast but it's mainly found in the Atlantic. The word Ponzu in the title refers to the sauce you have with the monkfish, the Izakaya chosen by Wakako was Uosada. We saw this small eatery in the first episode and it'll be the place Wakako frequents the most. Needless to say the monkfish prepared for Wakako was second to none, so far every dish she's eaten has been perfect.
 But at the restaurant there was a minor incident which made Wakako reflect back on the mistake at work. The bill for a pair of customers was added up wrong and they ended up questioning the total tab. The owner fixed things up and apologized profusely to the other customers. This made Wakako aware that any person can make a mistake, she herself had wanted to berate her worker for his error. But after witnessing the minor incident Wakako had a change of heart and sat back to enjoy the rest of her meal and of course Sake.

 That scene lasted only a little over twelve minutes which meant that there ten more to go. It's exactly one month later and Wakako returns to the same Uosada restaurant. Title could have referred to two meals as the selection this time was the old standby Sashimi. This is the scene where I discovered what the word Masu means. It wasn't a unique Sashimi recipe, Wakako just had wanted something basic that night but the owner Taisho made a special order just for her.
 Seems Wakako had gone to the eatery more then we knew as the owner and staff know her well and have taken a liking to her. This episode didn't seem to introduce as many new dishes for us but was just as enjoyable, watching Wakako eat is so much fun as she really gets into it. Especially drinking Sake as she loves the alcoholic drink and knows exactly what the temperature should be with each meal she eats.
 These recaps will usually be short which is why I can fit two of them into one post. There's an announcer who on occasion describes some scenes, could swear it's the same one from the food drama "Shinya Shokudo", hard to recommend a drama more than it's first season though all are good. Final few screenshots are for the Uosada restaurant, all of the eateries in the show are real and the final minute or two are promos for the places. After the pics is the recap for episode four.

 Episode four: Zaru Tofu

 Another tough day at work for Wakako, wonder why as she seems to be the most efficient worker in her office. She was late creating a report, the cause of it was being unable to find the reference materials she needed. They had been organized in a different spot by her boss Okada and how it was done left something to be desired.
 Once again Wakako needs a good meal to raise her spirits but has no destination in mind. She starts walking the streets of Tokyo but wasn't paying attention and before she knew it was lost. Didn't look like a nice part of the city either but Wakako noticed the lights of a small Izakaya and wondered why a place could be so hidden away. Her stomach was growling so it's time to check out a new eatery.
 Weren't many people in the restaurant but the main focus inside the place wasn't of Wakako but a trio of three women in their late twenties. They were having a reunion as these days the friends don't see each other that often. In an odd way it was really enjoyable watching them banter back and forth, usually Wakako is on the screen 98% of the time but this trio had to be on screen at least 1/3 of the show and it was a highlight.

 But back to Wakako and she was having a hard time deciding what dish to order. The owner ambled over and suggested the zaru tofu, he made it unique with organic soybeans. Wakako is always up for trying something new and took his suggestion, needless to say the meal was prepared perfectly. Of course the choice of drink for Wakako was Sake, with tofu it needs to be warm. She guzzles the drink so often yet we've never seen her a bit tipsy, kind of hoping we do before the series ends.
 Another learning experience for Wakako with the soybean tofu, perhaps she should have kept a journal on all of her Izakaya visits as that would be an interesting read. The meal was a success and while eating Wakako also is able to deal with her problems at work better. She's decided to take it upon herself to reorganize the office reference books and we did see at the end her boss finally complimenting her on a good job. But the highlight of the show for me was the trio having their reunion which such a fun watch and it almost seemed like it was ad-libbed.

 Sure most viewers enjoy reading shorter recaps, I like them this length myself. They're shorter but a lot of things do happen, hard to describe someone having fun eating and drinking. Will space these recaps out a bit, think the next pair will be on Friday as I'm planning on zipping though this series and to start on the other two seasons. The Izakaya visited by Wakako in this show was Hidamariya, recommended if you're in the Nakano section of Tokyo.

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