Rec.


     This episode picks up the morning after Aka’s and Matsumaru’s argument, at work Aka has problems concentrating at her job, and Matsumaru feels down about what happened and realizes he must apologise for what he said the night before. Matsumaru gets confused about how to do it and a can’t figure out how to bring it up. Things have never been worse between Aka and Matsumaru and at they are barely even speaking to each other even though their living together. Matsumaru asks Aka if it’s time she moved out, and that if she needs money he would lend it to her, Aka responds by asking him if that’s his true feelings?

     Matsumaru tells Aka, yes, that’s how he feels, so she walks out the door to leave for work and then calls him a jerk. At work he’s really down on himself, so one of his buddies suggest they go out after work for a guy’s night out. Matsumaru and his friend get drunk and they end up running into Aka and her coworkers whom are having a party at the same bar, they make a real scene of themselves. But, Matsumaru’s friend tells everyone that they are drinking away his work problems, at that moment Aka understands that she never realized that he was having problems at work.

     Later at the party Matsumaru thanks everyone for their advice and encouragement about the work problems, but he also tells everyone that it’s not only work problem bothering him, he says he took his worries out on the girl he loves. Aka says that it’s OK and that you don’t need to say sorry. As Matsumaru and his friend leave the bar to head home, Aka is standing outside waiting for him, and she asks him if they should head home together? To his friend’s amazement, Matsumaru runs to Aka and hugs her, Aka’s manager pulls Matsumaru’s friend away to give them time alone.

     While walking home, Matsumaru asks her why she chose him?, and she tells him it’s for all the caring and support her gave her when she needed it. Then Matsumaru finally asks Aka to be his girl friend, Aka accepts his offer, and they kiss. When they get back to Matsumaru’s apartment he holds open the door for her and lovingly gives her a welcome home greeting, and Aka replies, I’m home, and they enter the apartment together. well, that’s all for this series.

     Well, episode 9 brings us to the end of Rec., Rec. was a kind, gentle, loving, and sometimes funny look at two young adults trying to trying to make a budding relationship work out. While this is still anime I felt that this love story was quite a bit more believable than your typical anime romance, Matsumaru was your typical everyday young Japanese salary-man, and Aka was a typical young Japanese woman trying to get into the voice actress field, no magic, no giant robots, no harem, no love triangle, just two young people trying to find their place in the world. But, in the end this show was about communication or a lack of it, most of Aka’s and Matsumaru’s problems could have been solved by saying “I love you, or I want to be with you, or you make me happy when I’m around you”

     This episode begins with Aka making a dinner date with Matsumaru, her treat, she’s finally getting paid. Later, Aka finds out that she’s getting a leading role in a two season anime spin off for the adult game she voiced earlier. At work Matsumaru latest proposal gets turned down because it lacks punch, and he told to give it more work.

     Later in the day, more of Matsumaru’s ideas gets rejected, and his boss decides to go with one of his coworkers ideas of the new project, he is very depressed about the situation. Aka has to make an appearance for a radio interview program, and this makes her late in meeting Matsumaru for dinner. On his way to meet Aka for dinner Matsumaru buys some flowers of Aka and then he waits at the restaurant for her. Later, Aka has to go meet a big name anime film director, she tries to call Matsumaru but can’t get a signal.

     After waiting a long time at the restaurant for her, Matsumaru has to order dinner or leave, so he leaves and starts walking home. The weather turns bad and it’s starts pouring down rain, Matsumaru’s work stuff gets ruined and the flowers for Aka take a beating. When Aka gets home she tells him how sorry she is about missing their dinner, but that doesn’t go well, Matsumaru is very pissed off.

     Aka senses that something other than her being late is bothering him and she tries to get him to talk about it, but he won’t say anything. She tells him that she’s happy being with him but he still very depressed and walks away from her. Whats really bothering him is that as her career takes off, he feels that he’s pathetic at his job. Well, that’s all for this episode.

     Well, another episode Rec.  where longing, misunderstandings, and lack communication affect Aka’s and Matsumaru’s relationship. In earlier episodes we were shown that both Aka and Matsumaru both like (or love?) each other but they just beat around the bush about it, and this causes problems, they are not school kids anymore they should be able to just say it. Matsumaru’s job is getting him down lately, well welcome to the life of sales and marketing, I did this for a while in my youth, and it’s a dog eat dog field, what have you done for me lately is the rule of thumb. With only one episode of Rec.  left maybe they’ll iron out their problems or maybe not, remember this is anime, it can sometimes take one hundred episodes to say “I love you“.

Well, the following events could only occur to a nice guy in a anime series.

     This episode picks up with both Aka and Matsumaru hard at work at their jobs, one night they decide to have dinner at the restaurant were they first meet. Just as they are walking in, Matsumaru runs into the same girl (Tanaka) that stood him up on the night that he and Aka first meet, she demands that Matsumaru join her in a drinking session, and Aka is not very happy about this. Note- (Tanaka also works for the same company as Matsumaru, and she is in a higher position than Matsumaru)

     When they start drinking, Tanaka starts bitching and complaining about how the guy she was meeting could not be satisfied with her, the most desirable woman in her department, Aka starts getting annoyed about her complaining, and rips on her every now and then. Then Tanaka tries to feed Matsumaru some Yakitori, but Aka gets jealous and stuffs his face first. Later, Tanaka gets so drunk she can barely walk and Matsumaru hails a cab and says he has to take her home and that Aka needs to head home because she has to be at work early, this really pisses Aka off.

     Aka goes home pissed off, and when Matsumaru gets his coworker home she tries a drunk seduction on him, saying things like “please help me take my shoes off, please help me to bed”.  She also tries to get to him by asking him since he once liked her enough to ask her out if he was going to give up so easily, and then she practically throws herself at him. After awhile, Aka tries to call him but as he’s answering the phone Tanaka starts to get sick and he has to ignore her call, after dealing with that Matsumaru tries to call Aka but the battery in his phone dies. Matsumaru ends up spending the whole night taking care of Tanaka, and he never goes home, Aka wakes up and sees he never returned home. The next morning Tanaka wakes up looking good, and poor Matsumaru looks and feels like shit.

     As Matsumaru and Tanaka are walking to work Aka is waiting for them, she brings Matsumaru a change of clothes and walks away very pissed off. Tanaka asks Matsumaru if he and Aka are living together, and he tells her yes but Aka might be so pissed off that this time she might leave him for good. Later, Tanaka grabs Matsumaru’s phone and she calls Aka and tells her that nothing happened between them last night and then she hangs up on Aka. Later, Tanaka takes Matsumaru out for a drink as an apology for what happened last night, but she ends up getting drunk again but this time Matsumaru brings her to his place were Aka doesn’t take too kindly to her advances on Matsumaru, and this night Matsumaru ends up with two girls in his bed, but unfortunately for him he’s not in it with them. Well, that’s all for this episode.

 

     Like I said earlier, only in anime could something like this happen to a nice guy like Matsumaru. He decides to take Aka for dinner and drinks to the same restaurant were they first meet, as their walking up to the restaurant Aka tells Matsumaru that this makes her feel nostalgic even though it’s only been a short while ago (can anyone say hot anniversary sex for Matsumaru), but what do you know his old crush shows up. What happens next, only an anime guy could screw up like this, leaving your current girl alone (who’s probably in the mood) to help the girl who treated you like shit earlier and will probable treat you like shit again later.

     Get some brains Matsumaru, put Tanaka in a cab, give the driver her address, and go home with Aka and get some, But oh no, he’s too nice of a guy to think properly. By the grace of the gods, Tanaka straightens the situation for him, (can anyone say hot makeup sex with Aka) but what do you know, instead of going home to bliss with Aka he screws up again by going out with Tanaka and letting her get drunk again.

     I think that Matsumaru was pretty foolish by leaving Aka alone to take Tanaka home, the only time I could justify taking her home is if you don’t have a current girlfriend, then go ahead and take her home and get some, and then dump her afterwards in return for how she treated you earlier.  

    In my opinion, things like this make the Rec. anime interesting, it can’t be like this in RL in Japan, or can it be, judging by the current birthrates in Japan, their not even getting enough to replace themselves, so it just might be like that. Either they are too wrapped up in work, school, or anime too get some, or getting some just isn’t high on the priority list for them. 

  

     Well, this episode picks up a few days after Matsumaru’s and Aka’s fight, and Aka been living at her management firms office. She gets sent on an assignment for the chip campaign, and Matsumaru gets assigned to go along to represent the ad firm too, neither of them has seen each other for awhile.

     On the train ride to the promotion site, Aka and Matsumaru never say a word to each other even though their sitting right across from one another. At the hotel the promotion crew has dinner and drinks together, but Aka excuses herself and leaves almost right away, when Matsumaru and Aka’s agent are alone she tells him about how Aka’s been doing and that she thinks that Aka really doesn’t want to find another place to live. Later Aka and Matsumaru think over what their relationship meant to each other, then they run into each other in a mixed onsen (hot spring) and just as they are about to confess their feelings to each other, one of Matsumaru’s work colleagues shows up forcing Aka to leave.

     Later Aka learns that she’s been accepted for a year long TV role so she’ll only be able record the chip ads in advance, meaning that since she still likes Matsumaru she’ll see even less of him. Aka’s agent sees that Aka is about to cry leaves her alone in the room. 

    At that moment, Matsumaru runs into Aka’s agent and she tells him about what happened and that he should go see Aka. When he enters the room and sees Aka they have an uncomfortable short moment of silence then they straighten out both their work and personal issues, and just as their about to ?  the agent comes in and tells them that fixing work and love problems are her speciality. Then at the end of the episode Matsumaru tells Aka he misses her and Aka agrees to move back in with Matsumaru. Well, That’s all for this episode.

     Well, in this episode Aka and Matsumaru were forced to come to terms with what they feel about each other, when Aka asked Matsumaru last episode if any girl would do he didn’t answer her at that time. But, this time he was able to tell her that just any girl wouldn’t do and it has to be her. Also, in the last episode Aka asked herself if she was just using Matsumaru for room and board or did he mean something more to her, and she admitted to herself that she doesn’t know if it’s love or not but when she’s with him even the bad times feel a lot better. In my opinion most of their problems would have been solved if they would have told each other how they felt earlier, but I guess that’s why I like these type of romantic comedies.

 

     This episode picks up with Aka and Matsumaru continuing the ad campaign for the chips at a shopping mall, they are forced to take a break when a live TV show will be filming on location for about 10 minutes, Matsumaru tells Aka that she should be seen if she wants to become more popular.

     After they goof around by the TV shoot,  they going crashing into the live television broadcast causing a large commotion and they end up on live TV. Back at his office Matsumaru is busy offering his apologies to his boss, but it looks like it turns out OK because their getting a huge amount of orders after the TV show debacle. The snacks are selling like crazy, Aka’s all over the Internet, and the TV show thing is being played everywhere. Matsumaru is given a job well done by his boss, and Aka gets a minor guest role on a anime show, it looks like things are looking up for both of them.

     Later, Aka’s agents tells her not to worry about everybody seeing her panties on TV, because it got her a chance to do some good work, but she needs to worry because if she doesn’t do a good job on new roles her reputation will slip and she won’t be give a chance at new roles. With the growing success of both Aka and Matsumaru they become much busier and don’t get  a chance to see each other much, even though their living together. On Sunday morning they get into a little bit of a fight and Aka tells Matsumaru that she’ll be moving out once she earns some more money.

 

     Later, as Aka’s walking to work, at first she blames the problems on him, but then she admits to herself that she might have been using him for her own gain. Aka has problems at her job and the entire crew has to take a break, her agent sits her down for a talk. Her agent asks if it’s boyfriend trouble, and again Aka denies she has one, her agent tells her sooner or later she has to be truthful with herself, if she wants to breakup she has to do it. Aka tells her that she doesn’t want to breakup, and both Aka and Matsumaru are in a quandary about whether or not their relationship can be repaired. Well, that’s all for this episode.

     Well, the issue of Matsumaru and Aka status is coming to a head, it’s really a confusing situation for both parties. When Aka asks Matsumaru if any girl would have done the trick it really made him think about what he thinks of her, and Aka’s realization that she might just be using him for room and board shakes her up too. In the end I think that they both come to understand that they need each other, but neither of them knows how to repair the damage done.

     Well, this episode begins with Aka practicing lines for a job which doesn’t go very well, it turns out that the job was for an adult H-game, she asks her agent if there’s any better jobs out there. Later, during coffee her agent tells her that over 10,000 people take schooling for voice acting every year, and that her company only hires 1-2 new people per year so she should be glad for the work. She Also tells Aka that at her current point in her career she doesn’t have a choice between good jobs or bad jobs.

     Aka’s agent tells her she needs to get used to sex scenes so she should get her boyfriend to help out, but Aka tells her that she really doesn’t have a boyfriend, so then next thing you know is that Aka is renting a hentai anime to watch back at the apartment. When Matsumaru gets home Aka is embarrassed about the tape and hides it from him.

     Later on, Matsumaru jokingly tells Aka since it’s so cold they should sleep together, Aka remembering what her agent said about a boyfriend says yes lets sleep together. While they are in bed Matsumaru gets a little confused, should he go slow or be aggressive, he doesn’t want to ruin it and end up making no progress in their relationship. Matsumaru finds the tape and he thinks that Aka desires aren’t being filled and just as he’s about to ask her, she breaks down and confesses about her job and the problems she’s having, oh well.

     After he helps her practice for her job, she does just fine the next day, but she confesses to her agent that it was just dumb luck. She says that the director like her shyness in her acting, but she tells her agent that she really was just shy and that she needs to work harder. But, her agent says that’s part of the job, creating illusion, creating fantasy from nothing, and that her boyfriend must have helped her, that embarrasses Aka. Poor Matsumaru, he was a big help but not in the way he wanted. Well, that’s all for this episode.

    

     Well it’s been a hell of a long time since I visited this series, I should have finished this months ago but I got tied up with other things. So seeing that each episode of Rec. is only one half the length of a normal anime episode I’ll try and finish the series within two weeks, but you never know, work commitments might crop up and get in the way.

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     This episode begins with Matsumaru and Aka getting used to living together, Matsumaru wakes up late for work and walks into the bathroom while Aka is inside, he gets called a perv and he tells her to lock the bathroom door, and they both admit that they are used to living alone. On their way to work Aka worries that if they arrive together it might draw suspicion to their relationship, but before they can spit up Matsumaru’s coworker sees them together but he’s not suspicious. At the first public event of the campaign Matsumaru ends up in a mascot suit with Aka doing the voice work, they don’t seem to be drawing a lot of customers. Finally after two days work, Matsumaru and Aka are rewarded by getting a lift from a little girl who says she just loves the comercial. Aka is brought to tears because the little girls remembered her voice and her lines, on the way home from work Aka shines with happiness. That’s all for this episode, Below are some screen shots.

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     Even though each episode of Rec. is only twelve minutes long it still is able maintain three ongoing plot-lines with a fair amount detail. The first plot line is Aka’s budding career as voice actress, this anime shows that not all voice actresses start off in anime but most have to work very hard just to grab a minor role. The second plot line is how Matsumaru’s job as a advertising salary-man can also be frustrating. And the third and most important plot line in Rec. is the budding relationship between Aka and Matsumaru, this relationship is at times funny, frustrating, and touching. Even through both of them are adults their are not really comfortable with the current state of affairs, living together as a couple but not quite lovers. Sex or the thought of sex is just under the surface, in the first episode they had a one night stand in a moment of weakness, no let me rephrase that, they came together that night because at that moment they needed the physical closeness/connection to ease their loneliness. Now both are attracted to each other, bumping into each other like moths and then backing away like their afraid of touching the light again. Well I look forward to seeing how the relationship develops, in the end they are just a lonely girl and a lonely boy when put together each one gives something to the other that they lack like, friendship, kindness, and human companionship. 

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