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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Erika Toda: "Gakeppuchi Hotel" drama episode two recap

 Also goes by the title Hotel on the Brink

Air Dates: April 15 to June 17, 2018 on NTV 10:30 Sunday nights    Episode rating: 6.1%

Main Cast:

Erika Toda as Sana Sakurai, GM of the struggling hotel
Takanori Iwata as Naoya Ukai, guest who is the GM of a prestigious hotel
Ikkei Watanabe as Masao Tokisada, hotel's deputy GM
Kosuke Suzuki as Akito Tanzawa, hotel office worker
Minami Hamabe as Haru Horai, assistant newbie chef
Tomoya Nakamura as Ryuji Eguchi, gambling hotel chef
Ryo as Kozue Edagawa, hotel's bartender who drinks on the job
Daichi Saeki as Yozo Hattori, hotel employee who doesn't seem to have a position
Mari Nishio as Naomi Yoshimura, hotel roomkeeper
Chad Mullane as Pierre Tanaka, foreigner who is the hotel's bellhop

 Big ratings drop for this show, first episode was over 10% and this one was just 6.1% so perhaps it was going up against some popular special show. Ratings shouldn't have gone down as this was a better show than the first one and have a feeling each one will continue that tend.

 No need to rehash many details from the first show as that recap is the above post. At the end of the first episode the young hotelier Naoya had quit his position at the esteemed Baliston Hotel to work at the struggling Grand Inversao. He's appointed himself as the co-deputy GM to the fury of Masao who currently holds that position. That's all fine with the hotel GM Sana who though a hard worker feels she's slightly over her head running a hotel.
 Perhaps she won't be with the help of Naoya who has grand plans for the place. First off he's ordered the hotel closed for a few days to do renovations and to go through the old lists of customers. A mini celebration is planned for the grand re-opening but that's going to cost some cash to the hotel which has a massive debt of 270 million yen. Naoya says to borrow some money from their bank but that's easier said than done. Not all of the details have filtered out yet but it appears Masao has been siphoning some $$ from previous loans plus he has some secret deal set up with the hotel's loan officer, all of that is unknown to all except to the auditor Akito.
 The staff is going through the old client files to decide who to invite and what they had enjoyed the most in their previous visits. It's been decided to hold a three day 'Fantasy Cake Party' for the
re-opening and it was an idea that's going to be handled by the new pastry chef Haru. Her mission is to find the ingredients for an 'Origem' cake, that word means origin is Portuguese.

 One of the minor characters is going to have a turn in the spotlight for each show, for this episode it's the bellhop Pierre who you can see above and more on him later. Also you can see above that Masao is intent on driving Naoya out of the hotel, he's scheming to make the fair be a big flop though in the end he fails badly at it. His two cohorts Akito and the head chef Ryuji are only partially on Masao's side, feel as though they want the hotel to be successful like it once was.
 Haru is one eager beaver and though she can't find the recipe for the Origem cake it doesn't keep her from trying. She wasn't around when the original chef had created the cake so she tries baking them by trial and error with almost all being errors. Haru creates 30(!) cakes and hopes that one of them will be the correct cake.
 She asks Naoya to be the guinea pig and try all of thirty cakes. He's not sure what the cake should taste like either but tries giving them all a taste. Naoya doesn't quite get through all thirty as he passed out from overeating! The head chef Ryuji had been quietly watching the action, though he doesn't want the fair to be a huge success he points out what cake is the Origem one and the main problem for the fair has now been solved.

 The hotel is now looking dapper and it's time for the grand reopening, all of the faucets in the rooms were reinstalled thanks to Naoya who can do it all. All of the cakes and other Portuguese foods were a huge hit but especially the Origem cake which sold out on each of the three fair days. The first day that left one customer in tears who was a sixteen year old girl named Akane.
 She arrived late on the first day, she ordered a piece of the Origem cake but there was only one left. However two customers wanted the final slice so when the two waiters were wrestling to get it for themselves the cake dropped to the floor meaning no one could have that final slab. Though slightly in tears Akane said she would be earlier the next day as she was craving a piece of the cake and she did arrive on time the following day.
 Her waiter was the bellhop Pierre who took a liking towards Akane and treated her like a Queen. This time around there was plenty of the Origem cake left but when Pierre served her the piece Akane broke down in tears and fled the hotel. But not before Sana and Pierre caught up to her, Akane couldn't explain to them quite yet why she couldn't eat the cake but promised to attend the final day of the fair to finally quench her appetite for Origem.

 Above are Masao and Akito talking about the hotel critic Mikita who had been invited to the fair. Masao feels sure the critic will give the food a bashing in his next article which will bring Masao one step closer to being the hotel's GM. That plan luckily backfires as the critic was on hand for the final scene with Akane and ended up giving the hotel a rave review.
 Akane did arrive the next day but there was no need for her to explain why she had left the hotel the day before in tears. The staff had gone through all of the guest's files and letters, they had found out that many years ago Akane had a celebration with her parents at the hotel when she was accepted into a fine elementary school. Of course the famous Origem was served at that occasion and it brought back some fond memories to Akane. Not all were happy though as shortly after that time both her parents had perished in a crash and her last happy moments with them had been at the hotel.
 Though the staff appears inept most of the time they're really not, they worked hard in finding out about Akane's past which truly impressed her and the hotel critic Mikita. It was a double celebration for Akane, it was about the time for her birthday so the staff made a banner for it with the flip side of it congratulating her for entering a prestigious high school. Not a teary ending though it was on Akane's part, things seem to be looking up for the hotel but will they be able to keep the momentum going for the actual opening?

 Not a must watch or at least not yet but I'm really enjoying this drama. So much that I've already watched the next two shows but won't do the recaps on them for a few days as would think many of you are having withdrawal symptoms from the lack of Idol posts. Those next two shows are even better than this episode and I'm looking forward to the remainder of this series. Would ahve liked to have included promo videos for the episodes though they're only at the NTV site.

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