Auntie Yuriko comes home to find Haruka lying on the couch while on her cell phone. Auntie Yuriko says it’s so boring these days with girls just texting their boyfriends on Line. She describes how back in the day, you’d have to sneak out to a payphone in order to talk to your boyfriend away from the nosy ears of your family. And when the guy’s family picked up, you’d have to quickly hang up and run away from the phonebooth. Haruka thinks that’s so Showa.
Anyway, Auntie Yuriko has some imagawayaki for Haruka. While Auntie goes to wash up, Haruka gets up to sit at the table.
Meanwhile, one of the last phonebooths in Japan is about to get picked-up and removed. But a Hitotsuki suddenly springs out to stop the workers.
As Haruka gets a text message from Hanamura wanting her back, she and the other Donbros get teleported and henshined over to the scene. But they find none of their attacks land on the Hitotsuki who doesn’t seem to have a physical form.
When the workers who came to take the phonebooth away leave, the Hitotsuki disappears. Haruka notices a young woman inside the phonebooth, but the Donbros get teleported back to where they came before she can approach her.
Auntie Yuriko is taken aback when Haruka suddenly pops up in front of her at the table. But Haruka leaves just as quickly and hops on her bike to head back to the phonebooth.
Haruka asks the young woman if she’s okay. The young woman is surprised Haruka can see her and she excitedly introduces herself as Sagiyama Minako. Minako also talks about all her likes and hobbies and Haruka thinks she’s nuts.
Minako asks if they can be friends. Haruka says sure, but really just wants to get out of here as soon as possible. She tells Minako that she has to run and that they’ll see each other next time.
When Haruka arrives home, she realizes that Minako has taken that promise to heart as she suddenly appears in the living room. When Auntie Yuriko doesn’t seem to see Minako, Haruka comes to the stunning realization that Minako is a ghost.
Minako says she’s got to go now as this is the time that her Shinzo-san is supposed to call her.
As Minako disappears, Haruka leaves to follow her back to the phonebooth. Minako is sad that Shinzo has not called her again today.
Haruka brings Minako to Donburi to ask Shinichi and Tsuyoshi for advice. They think she’s just playing a joke on them since they initially can’t see Minako. But the guys unexpectedly find they can catch a glimpse of her as long as they hold their breath.
Haruka thinks that’s an odd rule. But anyway, Haruka explains her situation. They figure that her connection to Shinzo has prevented her from moving on. They had been pen pals before they started talking on the phone every day. As she did not have a phone at home, she would wait at the nearest phonebooth for Shinzo’s call. And on the day they were finally supposed to meet, she died in an accident.
Haruka says she’s tried to search for information on Todokoro Shinzo’s present whereabouts, but she’s had no luck. Tsuyoshi thinks that name is familiar though.
Haruka shows the boys a sketch she drew of Shinzo based on Haruka’s personal image of him.
Tarou walks into the café and Haruka falls in love at first sight, thinking he is Shinzo. She then feels the same way for Master Kaito when he approaches her to ask if she would like anything to drink.
Tarou puts his hand through Haruka’s body. She playfully calls him a perv.
Tsubasa comes in to Donburi hoping to enjoy a lunch dinner, but Haruka falls for him as well and gives him some hearteyes too.
Next day, Sonoza approaches a young man who is laughing while enjoying reading Hatsukoi Hero. Sonoza asks to let him read it if it is funny and the guy hands him the manga before running away.
That evening, Haruka visits Minako at the phonebooth to ask about her dates with Tarou, Tsubasa and Kaito. Minako doesn’t seem very happy and she tells Haruka about her day.
First up was her date with Tarou. While they were walking in the park, Tarou refused to stop and smell the roses. Then they sat and ate about 30 onigiri together. Tarou liked her big appetite and decided to take her skydiving like she’s always wanted.
Next was her date with Tsubasa. As they sat peoplewatching in the park, Minako thought the dog that walked by was so cute. Tsubasa decides to give her a treat. He henshins and lets Minako pet him all she wants.
While she enjoyed both dates, she feels like she can’t really relate to either of them as people.
Finally, Minako says her date with Kaito was the worst. He had arrived at the park looking like an Elvis prince on a white horse motorcycle. But when the moms and kids came to fawn over him, Minako decided he was just a player.
Minako admits that today helped her realize Shinzo-san is the only one for her. And she will continue to wait for his call. Haruka can’t help but feel sorry for her.
Next day, Tsuyoshi informs the others that he’s actually found Shinzo-san. His name was familiar because he met him during one of his client visits and was able to find his business card. Shinzo was able to confirm that he does remember Minako. In fact, she was his first love.
The problem now though is that this older Shinzo is very different from the young, manga-ready image Minako has in her head of him from 50 years ago. Haruka has the solution though.
At 6pm, Minako is shocked when the payphone rings. It is Shinzo. The Donbros have Shinzo call Minako from the café and they are able to speak for the first time.
The Donbros watch as Minako apologizes for not being able to answer the phone all those years ago. She had been struck and killed by a truck. Shinzo assures her that it was not her fault.
Suddenly, the workers again arrive to take the phonebooth away. That triggers the Hitotsuki to emerge from Minako once again to protect it.
The Donbros henshin, but are still unable to land any hits on the Hitotsuki. Tarou understands that until Minako is ready to move on, the Hitotsuki will not have a physical body.
Jirou arrives to help, but Murasame pops in to challenge him upon Mother’s orders. They battle until Jirou is able to drive him away using a Ninnin Alter.
The Hitotsuki quickly embiggens and the Donbros hop into Don Onitaijin. While they try and hold it off, Minako and Shinzo continue their conversation. Minako asks about their date. Shinzo apologizes that he won’t be able to make it. Minako understands, considering it’s been such a long time, after all.
Minako says she is sure he has become a great man in that time. Shinzo says he has never forgotten her and he believes they will be able to meet each other again one day in a bright, happy place. Minako says she looks forward to that day.
The Hitotsuki suddenly freezes up and the Donbros see that now is the perfect time to make their move. With a peach finisher, the Hitotsuking fades away.
The Donbros hurry back to the phonebooth. Haruka says she hopes Minako will be able to find peace. They watch as she smiles back and thanks them before she is able to finally pass on.
Next day, the phonebooth is taken away without any problems. Haruka watches it and is happy that it confirms Minako was able to move on.
Just then, Haruka gets new text messages from Hanamura. She decides to call him herself and when he picks up, she immediately tears into him. She says it’s time for him to just give it a rest and at least call her, like a man, instead of spamming her Line. Unfortunately for Haruka, it is Mama Hanamura on the other end of the line.
I enjoy this show so much. Everything is so fun and funny. How else can I describe it?
Donbrothers has been unexpectedly lighthearted with a nice, personal touch. There’s some nice heart in this episode, like many of their episodes and it’s something that Donbros has done from the beginning, I think. I always go back to Episode 5 as a perfect example of how this season does things different, but in a great and refreshing way.
This episode was I think 2/3 non-fighting scenes. No action. Just character stuff. And I quite enjoy that. That’s not to say the actions scenes weren’t exciting. Because they still were. Both Sentai and Kamen Rider have continued to do well in trying new things with their action sequences in recent years.
I first thought the Hitotsuki was born out of the phonebooth, all Ryusoulger-like where inanimate objects can also have minus feelings. That would’ve been interesting as well. But I think they went in the better direction with our ghost friend. Hehe.
This episode made me think about how a season of Sentai or Kamen Rider where the cases of the week were the heroes helping ghosts move on would actually be a great idea. Would be opportunities for some fun, but also deeper and emotional stories.
I’ve talked about how Donbros has been like a soap opera in the way it’s told its serialized stories. And sometimes, it’s even looked like a K-drama. And this episode is certainly the most K-drama-ish of all. I loved it!
They were able to pair some truly hilarious moments with some heartfelt and emotional ones. Like Haruka’s always funny commentary and her first realization that Minako was a ghost. Or the initial meeting between Minako and the boys. And then the dates themselves. So randomly funny. (Though Tsubasa letting Minako “pet” him like that was very sus. As was Tarou sticking his hand through Minako and her liking it. Lol)
Then the sincerely sad and emotional moments. Like of course Minako’s tragic death and the sad end to her love story with Shinzo. It’s a familiar premise. But not necessarily something you’d see, or at least, expect as the MOTW plot of a Sentai. But I think the show was just able to do a great job of making it an engaging story you care about on its own, while effectively bringing in all the Donbros into the story as well.
That fleeting moment of the five Donbros all in the same room together though! I am really eager to get the big reveal. I guess they’ll save it for the big midseason climax where they’ll probably get a new toy when all six of them finally meet.
My expectations are through the skyscraper’s roof! Lol
Anyway, another really wonderful and enjoyable episode of the Donbros. Just keep it up please! I know I might be setting myself up again. But I think because the season has just been good vibes all around, it’ll be easier to forgive a potential shortcoming in story. Though, I must admit, there’s really not a clear endgame here lol And that’s okay because everything else is very good. Plus, the season’s refreshing change of pace as well.
Non-CGI Donbro of the Week
The best non-CGI Donbro moment so far! Actual interaction with another person! Though again, Tsubasa letting Minako pet and stroke him like that was very sus. I guess he’s been missing Natsumi A LOT lately. 😏 lol kidding not kidding