The Donbros, minus Tsubasa of course, are enjoying some nagashi somen at Donbura. While the others enjoy this opportunity for all of them to spend time together, Tarou points out that they are missing Inu Brother. The others realize that they still don’t know who he is even though they’ve fought alongside him for 30 episodes.
Jirou is surprised since he thought everyone knew Inu Brother was Inuzuka Tsubasa. The others scoff at the idea, but Jirou explains that he smelled the same scent from when he fed Inu Brother some dog food and when Tsubasa walked past him one day.
Tsuyoshi says that is absurd. He has spent a lot of time with Tsubasa, so he would’ve figured it out by now if he really was Inu Brother. Haruka agrees that it is impossible. Master Kaito just quietly laughs under his breath.
Anyway, Tarou believes it is time they actually found Inu Brother’s true identity.
Next day, a Hitotsuki wanting to be thin begins rampaging downtown. The Donbros arrive at the scene to battle it. Tarou tells Tsubasa to come to Donbura afterwards. But Tsubasa is spacing out, unable to concentrate as he continues to remember seeing Tsuyoshi with Natsumiho.
The Hitotsuki manages to teleport away using Seaick Power. Tarou, Haruka, Tsuyoshi and Shinichi head back to the café to wait for Inu Brother. When customers with actual dogs come in, Haruka immediately thinks one of them is actually Inu Brother. But Tarou thinks they’ll have to be a bit more forceful with Inu Brother next time.
Meanwhile, aspiring musician Inui Ryuji is busking downtown, hoping he can join a band. He feels a bit discouraged, especially since his girlfriend Shoko, the only one who appreciated his talent, has left him. He still hopes to be able to see her again one day.
Nearby, the Donbros arrive to take on the Hitotsuki. But Tarou is more concerned with capturing Inu Brother. He lassos Inu Brother in order to drag him back to the café. But the Hitotsuki delivers a Landick Power attack at them, sending Inu Brother flying off the side of the walkway bridge
Inui Ryuji breaks Tsubasa’s fall to the ground. Forced to dehenshin, Tsubasa is teleported back to where he came from. The others see the knocked-out Ryuji on the ground, next to Inu Brother’s glasses, and they immediately assume he is their teammate.
The four of them head down just as Ryuji regains consciousness. Ryuji has no idea what’s going on at first, but he assumes they are a band who wants to scout him. He is excited that someone is finally interested in him, but when the Hitotsuki begins attacking people nearby, he finds out these new friends aren’t a band.
Ryuji puts the glasses on and follows the others’ lead as they henshin with the Donblasters.
Tsubasa wonders what’s going on with the others. But he walks past his updated wanted poster and is shocked to see he now has a one million yen bounty on his head. He assumes the others now want to turn him in to the police so they can collect the reward money. But at the same time, he doesn’t blame them for doing so.
Tsubasa realizes his glasses are gone and hears the commotion nearby. Ryuji gets knocked back toward him by the Hitotsuki, forcing him to dehenshin. Tsubasa picks the glasses up and henshins himself, joining the others to drive the Hitotsuki away.
The Hitotsuki transforms back to his human body when he walks past a katsudon restaurant. He goes in to eat many bowls of the delicious dish even though he is intent on becoming thin. The waitress, however, says she likes men who love to eat. The young man is encouraged by her sweet words and he now no longer desires to be thin. The Hitotsuki leaves the young man’s body.
Over at the stadium, Tsubasa speaks with Ryuji to explain to each other what happened. Ryuji is happy he got a chance to be a hero at least once. Especially when he’s been unable to catch up to the dreams he’s been chasing. Add to that his girlfriend Shoko leaving him too.
Tsubasa says Ryuji should take over as Inu Brother then. Tsubasa thinks to himself that if the others believe Ryuji is Inu Brother, then they will stop going after him when he does eventually return as Inu Brother.
At Donbura, Master Kaito serves the Donbrothers a special lunch to celebrate the team finally coming together. The Donbros want to welcome Ryuji, but he puts on a cool 1991 personality which excites Haruka, Tsuyoshi and Shinichi.
Outside the café, Tsubasa asks to speak with Tsuyoshi. They head to the park and Tsubasa asks how Tsuyoshi met Miho. Tsuyoshi explains that he once went to the parlor Miho worked at and came back every day to confess his feelings to her until she accepted them.
Tsubasa remembers how Natsumi used to cut his hair as well. He becomes even more confused about the situation.
Just then, Miho is approaching them and Tsuyoshi is excited to finally introduce Tsubasa to her. Not wanting any trouble, Tsubasa runs and hides. But Ryuji suddenly comes running up to Miho thinking she is his Shoko-chan. Tsubasa is shocked, but he can’t watch Tsuyoshi and Ryuji going at it as a police officer recognizes him. Tsubasa has to run once again.
Tsuyoshi and Ryuji head to the café to tell the others to help resolve their love dispute. But Tarou says they must keep their personal issues outside of the team.
Tsuyoshi and Ryuji head back to the park to duel. But Miho comes and makes clear that she is Tsuyoshi’s wife. She sets up a mat on the ground and Tsuyoshi uses her legs as a pillow while she cleans his ears with a dandelion.
Ryuji is beside himself. And that leaves him open for the Hitotsuki from earlier to take over his body. He begins to approach every woman, thinking they are his Shoko.
Tarou, Haruka and Shinichi arrive and Tsuyoshi tells them the Hitotsuki is actually Ryuji.
Tsubasa comes across the scene and the sunglasses pop onto his face. He sees that Ryuji has become the Hitotsuki and vows to save him. He henshins and joins the others, much to their surprise since they thought Ryuji was Inu Brother. Jirou also arrives, a bit annoyed they started without him.
The Donbros hop into small-sized Toradragonjin and Onitaijin to finish off the Hitotsuki for good.
Ryuji is back to busking and he is shocked to see the real Shoko appear in front of him. She apologizes for leaving him and they share a tight hug.
Tsubasa thinks Ryuji should get his eyes checked, but he is happy Ryuji has found his happiness. As for himself, he is resigned to the idea that he will be forever alone.
That evening at Donbura, the others are disappointed that they still don’t know Inu Brother’s identity. Tarou says it’s okay and that they’ll know whenever the time comes.
Tsubasa walks into the café and orders a lunch set. Tsuyoshi congratulates Tsubasa on finally having a bounty put on him. Haruka says they are rooting for him.
Hmm… so I’m not gonna lie. This wasn’t the episode I was expecting or even wanted, to be honest. I was sincerely expecting the big clash to happen this week. Or something big and dramatic. Or finally some kind of confrontation. Anything.
But we got nothing. =(
now that Tsubasa knows who the other Donbros are, what’s the endgame for this story? I guess it’ll have to do with a climactic event regarding Natsumiho and the Juto. But, I dunno. It’s Episode 31, after all. And at the very least, I was hoping for some bigger movement here.
I think the biggest reason I was less than enthused this episode was the very first scene. What was the point of Jirou mentioning that he thought Tsubasa was Inu Brother? I was absolutely ready to scream at the TV at that point because I would not have accepted that be the moment the Donbros learn of Inu Brother’s identity.
Jirou just tells them? WTF?
They don’t believe him anyway. So what was the point? Just to give Jirou something to do this episode?
That first scene also brings about the disappointment that Tsubasa is again excluded from the group. We’re more than halfway through the season. The next season’s trademark has already been revealed. But Tsubasa is still an outsider. I think most people are eager to see the complete Donbro team enjoying nagashi somen or going to the local pool together.
And at the end when Tsubasa walks toward the sunset saying he’ll always be alone or a stray dog. Like, that would be an interesting story to tell. But I don’t know that the show has done a good job laying the groundwork for it. Yes, he’s a fugitive. Yes, he’s looking for his Natsumi. But before the Juto sucked Natsumi into the portal, Tsubasa was a happy guy.
If the show wanted to present the idea that Tsubasa’s life has collapsed since then and that him just wandering about and living on the run is a representation of him being lost in life and whatnot, they have not done a good job at all. Especially when Tsubasa is gone for episodes at a time and barely interacts with anyone else.
Tsubasa’s major screentime has been with either Sononi and Tsuyoshi. With Tsuyoshi, the scenes are merely playing with the fact that they’re in love with the same woman, possibly. Which of course sets-up the eventual clash between the two. (I’m definitely lowering my expectations for that now!)
And with Sononi, they also play with the idea of love. Sononi having been learning about human love and feelings and all that. And seemingly caring of Tsubasa and his predicament. And hopefully setting up Tsubasa moving on from Natsumi to Sononi. lol
Otherwise, Tsubasa has been absent and kept apart from everyone. Like, I’ve mentioned if it’s actually because Totaro has a lot of other work outside of Donbros, so he can’t be on the show every week. I dunno.
Tsubasa wants to keep himself a secret from the others so as not to disrupt the Donbros’ good teamwork so far. But when neither he nor the others have been too interested in coming together before this episode, it kind of rings a bit hollow.
I am like struggling to write anything negative about the Donbros. I hate myself for doing it. But I think because I know Donbrothers is capable of much more and the way that I’ve enjoyed its refreshingly atypical style, it makes me more disappointed and regretful.
It’s not Revice-level doom and gloom yet of course. Far from it. And my high expectations are definitely working to burn me once again. But I guess with every episode that Donbrothers pulls itself back from actually moving forward, the more that discouraging feeling grows. I hope the show can put a stop to that soon.
I still enjoyed the episode, relatively speaking. But, I mean…
Non-CGI Donbro of the Week
Anyway, lots of great physical suit shots this week!