Shinichi gets kidnapped by some goons after they see him henshin. The goons demand Shinichi hand something over, but Shinichi has no idea what they’re taking about. That’s when their boss comes walking in to say that they’ve got the wrong guy. This isn’t the Shirai he is looking for.
Just then, a van comes crashing into the warehouse. The driver tells Shinichi to hurry in. Shinichi breaks free of his ramen noodle ties and the driver speeds them away to safety.
The driver, Shirai, explains that the goons are members of the Matsui-gumi. And Shirai is a previous Saru Brother.
Shinichi heads to Donburi to explain what happened and Master Kaito explains the mechanics of being a Donbro. There have apparently been at least 5000 people who have been entrusted with the power or being a warrior. But not all actually become Donbrothers. You only become a Donbro when you fight a Hitotsuki.
That’s why Shirai was not actually a Donbro as the power disappears if it is used the wrong way.
Tarou had no idea about this and commends his otomotachi as being quite special.
Downtown, the Juto’d Detective Sayama attacks an Anoni and begins to suck it up. Mother tells Murasame to help the Anoni. But Murasame first asks what he was created for in the first place. Mother says that is a nonsense question and orders him to proceed.
Just then, abunaiJirou appears and challenges Murasame. As they battle, Detective Sayama eats the Anoni up and leaves.
Mother tells Murasame to use an Avatar Change and uphenshins to AbareKiller. Jirou does the same and uphenshins to KibaRanger. They send finishers at each other, but Murasame takes this opportunity to retreat.
abunaiJirou says he senses sorrow in Murasame.
Meanwhile, Shinichi walks into a ramen shop where he runs into Shirai. The shop owner asks Shinichi what his order for today is and he chooses soy ramen with extra bamboo shoots.
The shop owner quickly gives Shinichi an empty bowl and Shirai is confused as Shinichi seemingly begins eating.
Shinichi explains that he has no money, so he can only eat imaginary ramen. Shinichi says he is always filled up thanks to the immense power of imagination. Shirai thinks he’s an interesting fellow.
The two of them head to a rooftop where Shirai admits that he did use his powers for his own benefit like cutting the line for an idol’s autograph or winning a track meet using Saru Brother power.
Shirai does not understand why he should risk his own safety to fight monsters instead of just enjoying the power. He asks why Shinichi fights for no reward. Shinichi says that’s a good question, but it just feels natural to do it that way.
Shirai says he will finally take action to deal with the Matsui-guma once and for all.
Back at Donburi, Haruka looks through Kaito’s photobook which he is now selling at the café. But Sonoza comes in and kidnaps her.
Sonoza explains that reading Hatsukoi Hero has given him a strange feeling in his chest and he wants moar! He doesn’t know what it means, but he wants Haruka to sit and write more volumes immediately. Haruka realizes he does not recognize her as a Donbro.
Haruka says she’s already retired, but Sonoza insists. Haruka ends up being flattered and gets a bit cocky that her “genius” has even touched a Noto’s heart. She decides to give it a go.
Shinichi accompanies Shirai to the Matsui Family’s popular ramen shop. They head to the back of the shop to talk some more.
Turns out Shirai used to work here and Master Matsui even treated him like his right-hand man. But Shirai began fooling around as a big monkey, so he fired him. In retaliation, Shirai stole Master Matsui’s prized possession, the autograph of movie star Tetsu who had loved his ramen so much.
Shirai returns the autograph and in exchange, Master Matsui gives him a pot of the family’s secret sauce.
Later, Shirai explains to Shinichi that he will use this secret sauce to start his own ramen empire. But when he tastes it, he realizes it is a fake sauce.
Master Matsui barges into Shirai’s home saying the returned autograph is actually a fake. Shirai admits he sold the autograph years ago when he needed money.
The two begin arguing, but Shinichi tells them to calm down and try to cast away this greed they have. He wants them to use their imagination to help. He flicks their forehead and they are transported to a desert. Shinichi describes the scene and says there is a bottle of water that only one of them can drink. Master Matsui says he will no longer ask for the autograph so long as Shirai allows him to drink the water. Master Matsui grabs it and runs.
Shirai acknowledges Shinichi really is good. He realizes his life could’ve been different if he had used his powers for good instead. He asks Shinichi to teach him the way. How can he fight and not be afraid. Shinichi asks why does one need a reason.
Shirai suddenly turns into a Hitotsuki and thinks fighting Shinichi will give him the answer he needs.
Back at the secret manga studio, Sonoza is unhappy with Haruka’s new pages. He does not feel a darned thing in his chest while reading them. Haruka cannot believe she now has a Noto editor.
Haruka gets back to the drawing board, but grows incredibly frustrated. The glasses pop out in front of her and she is transported to the scene without Sonoza even noticing since he is so engrossed in the manga.
The other Donbros appear and join Shinichi to fight off the Hitotsuki. Shinichi acknowledges that Shirai does have a strong resolve if he was sure in fighting him. The Donbros combine into a mini-version of Don Onitaijin and finish off the Hitotsuki for good.
Shinichi visits Shirai at his new ramen cart. He orders an imaginary bowl and Shirai happily serves him a bowl with extra imaginary bamboo shoots.
A very interesting episode! I might not be as excited or amazed as I have been, but it’s just another example of Donbrothers just doing things so differently that you can’t help but enjoy it.
I mean, this episode was basically all-talking with just a few minutes of actual suited action sequences. Just the bare minimum toy commercial scenes for the week with the rest of the episode about an actual plot.
The major developments out of this episode were definitely learning about the 5000 power holders who did not become Donbros and getting to see more of Shinichi’s profound skills in action once again.
Also, Sonoza being an otaku. Lol What random moments. But a fun pairing with Haruka. The show has really flipped the script with the Noto. It’s almost odd and awkward considering they were introduced as these mysterious, ominous figures. But instead, they’ve become sort of these cute, soft-hearted goofballs.
Okay, not necessarily, but you get what I mean. Lol They’re not as threatening as they initially seemed to be basically. And getting them more interactions with the Donbros has opened up more fun possibilities like what we have here with Haruka and Sonoza.
Elsewhere, I didn’t realize Jirou had not gone back to normal yet. That’s very interesting. Of course, another nice instance of the season’s serialized nature. But also weird since you’d think the Donbros would check up on him maybe lol
The little tidbit of Jirou sensing Murasame’s sadness is very interesting too.
Though of course, they haven’t been too eager to find Inu Brother and his true identity. So I guess it’s just their personalities. (Seriously though, is Totaro really that busy that they can’t squeeze him in to more episodes? Lol)
Also loved seeing the mini (regular!) sized Don Onitaijin. And not in a virtual CGI world too. It’s so weird seeing the a mecha suit not in a mini-Tokyo set and actually regular sized. Of course, knowing that the suit is regular sized to begin with. Lol
But anyway, the episode was all about Shinichi and his odd, but effective ways. Imaginary food and all. And seeing how his contemplative personality fits in with his big responsibility as a Donbro.
Overall, another enjoyable episode. And another great example of Donbrothers really trying something different and very refreshing.
Japanese Lesson to Myself for the Week (lol)
Again with the lost in translation title! Hehe.
So “gokudo” (ごく and どう) is another word for the yakuza. And seeing the episode, that of course fits. So they wanted to find a play on words with “ramen.” But again, it probably makes much more sense and is a lot more punny in Japanese rather than having to directly translate it to English.
I’ve decided to just go with “The Way of the Ramen” because it sounds cooler and can also apply to Shinichi’s story as well. I dunno. Lol I apologize to the writers of the show for butchering their titles. 😊
Non-CGI Donbro of the Week