Episode 2

Koda tells Shinkai that a violent act will lead to instant dismissal and he releases Koda, glaring at him angrily. In the background, Ogawa looks on in concern.

Rumours fly that Shinkai has given Koda a bruised nose! Togashi speaks to Koda and tells him that Shinkai’s punishment is too harsh. A grim Koda retorts that given he even has the authority to dismiss Shinkai - he has very high standards and expectations for pilots and Togashi is in no position to interfere into his work.

When Shinkai leaves the building in a huff, Ogawa trails after him in a cutely comical fashion.

When he tells her to go away, she says she’s heading in that direction anyway to go to the hangar.

It’s clear though that she was waiting for him. She tells him to apologise but Shinkai refuses to apologise to a "cyborg" and strides off.

During his week of suspension Shinkai is clearly bored, hanging around his apartment staring up wistfully at planes. He sees Mee Sook embracing a young man on her flat and assumes that "Sho-chan" has returned.

In the hangar Abe asks Ogawa if she has heard that Shinkai was suspended. Ayumi feigns unconvincing disinterest and goes home. There she finds a note from Kaori, asking her to go and pick up the laundry. As she returns home she passes by a solitary Shinkai sitting on the grass looking out at the water and the planes.

Shinkai notes a group of children trying to fly a paper aeroplane. He explains the aerodynamics to the doubting boys and demonstrates. Ayumi looks on. He teaches a group of small boys to make a paper aeroplane and you can tell that she is moved by the enthusiasm and knowledge with which he speaks. She clearly makes up her mind to go and speak with him although the scene is interrupted by a pink-clad Fukaura who rushes past to attempt to comfort Shinkai and yet again ask him out.

Ogawa attempts to sneak away without being seen but Shinkai sees her and runs up to her. Fukaura demands to know who she is – is she is girlfriend? Ogawa replies that she is no one and when Shinkai introduces her as a mechanic at ANA, Fukaura wants to know how a mechanic and a pilot could have become acquainted. In a rather amusing scene she demands to know if Ogawa is attempting to win Shinkai's affections while he is depressed and vulnerable, saying that Fukaura is happy to admit that that is what she is intending to do and that she intends to become Shinkai's girlfriend and eventually his wife. Shinkai looks flabbergasted and protests that Fukaura is moving a little too fast while Fukaura ignores him and declares that a match between a pilot and a mechanic would never work anyway.

Ogawa scornfully rejects the notion of dating Shinkai and then to add insult to injury says that he isn't a pilot anyway – that a pilot who does not fly is not a pilot. She walks away, leaving Fukaura to marvel at her unfeminine ways

This clearly hits too close to the bone for Shinkai and he also walks of alone, rejecting Fukaura's invitation to eat. He does his cute Gomen gesture again, too. Love that!

Ogawa returns home, still fuming about her encounter with her 2 co-workers and her sister looks quite baffled at her state of indignation. In quizzing her, she suspects that Ogawa appears to like this pilot and might even be jealous – something which Ogawa of course rejects violently. She fumes about "showy pilots flirting with flight attendants" and Kaori finds it interesting that Ogawa should discuss men at all given that she normally doesn’t do so.

Shinkai returns to his flat, and sees Mee Sook arguing with her boyfriend whom she calls "Daisuke" and not "Sho-chan". She grabs the fire extinguisher in the corridor to throw at "Daisuke", and when Hajime (in a spirit of public interest) stops her from doing this because she shouldn’t misuse the fire extinguisher, says to him "Keep out of this, Sho-chan!" and goes back into her flat. To his disgust, the tussle with Mee Sook has squashed Shinkai's dinner. Yes it's been one of those days for poor Shinkai.

His period of suspension over, Shinkai reports to the dispatch room only to be advised by Azumi that his shift has been replaced by Azumi himself. Finding all his flight assignments cancelled on Koda's orders, Shinkai storms into the Audit Room to protest.

Koda asks him if he flew during his week of suspension. "You could have flown as a passenger. Even if you're on the ground you're still a pilot. What have you learnt during your suspension?" he demands, and when Shinkai answers "There was no way I could learn anything even if I wanted to." Koda extends the suspension. As Shinkai demands to know why, Koda tells him that suspension seems to do him no good and that he will raise Shinkai’s poor performance to the directors to make him part of the ground crew because of his poor attitude. Shinkai heatedly declares "I joined this company to fly. I'll hand in my resignation rather than be sacked!"

He has another discussion with Togashi who remembers the way he drinks his coffee even though they have only known one other for a month. This naturally leads to a discussion of her job and the fact that although she has experienced some bad things over the course of her career (for instance, she was previously touched on the butt by a customer and got angry), she remains in the job because she likes it.

There is a slightly odd interplay between the two as Togashi appears to be fishing for compliments when she mentions: "That no longer happens anymore". Shinkai asks: "You no longer get angry?" She says, "No, passengers no longer try to touch my butt" and then he says something like: "But you're still sexy" and then apologises for being a bit tacky. My view is that any hint of romance between these two just wouldn't feel right. It's not an age thing so much as a chemistry thing - with Takeshi it works, with Shinkai uh uh.

Anyway, the gist of this conversation is to let Shinkai know that one doesn't drop out of a job because there are "bad bits" to it.

Koda is seen courteously requesting Ogawa Ayumi to check his plane as the third engine makes noises as it lands. This is clearly establishing that there is some connection (as yet unexplained) between these two. Some of the fans at Running Board were convinced that there was bound to be Romance between these two. Good god no.... kill me now. I suppose the usefulness of the scene is that it shows that Koda has a softer side and he can be polite and respectful even to those beneath him.

The flying crew gives Shinkai a farewell celebration at a local pub called the Eagle. All present make disparaging remarks about Koda. Each has a story about his strictness. He stopped talking to one flight attendant when she dropped a cup of juice on a passenger, one complained that Koda criticised her for having overly thick make-up. He is clearly not popular with anyone. A little while later, Purser Ota arrives and ensures that those flying the next day do not touch any liquor and then a group of mechanics then arrive, Ogawa among them.

They sit at a separate table. Although Ogawa and Shinkai are conscious of each other (sneaking cutely furtive glances), they both feign indifference even though their gazes are constantly drawn to the other. I don't know why people always complain that these two don't like each other. Just becuase they don't have their hands all over each other - the way they're always sneaking looks at one another is just as sexy if you ask me.

When Ota and Shinkai encounter one another in the toilets, Shinkai expresses admiration for his constant amiability and professionalism. Ota explains that he was previously grounded for 2 years in the Complaints Centre, dealing with complaints about cabin crew. A drunk customer complained about him and Koda was the captain of the plane. Working in customer service for two years enabled Ota to obtain a better understanding of what customers require from the airline, but he still resents Koda for his unfair handling of the matter. In a pointed comment to Shinkai he mentions that although he considered resigning, he felt that to resign was to admit fault and he was and remains determined to prove Koda wrong. He thanks Shinkai for the short time they worked together.

When he leaves the bathrooms, he encounters Ogawa who ignores him. When he demands; “Back to ignoring me again?”, she speaks to him coldly and says that she looks down at him. She tells him that he can't have loved flying that much if he can give it up so easily. Ouch Ogawa. Talk about hitting where it hurts ....

This clearly provokes something in Shinkai who runs after her to say something and then changes his mind. Although cruel, the comment appears to have reached Shinkai in a way that Togashi's and Ota's comments did not so perhaps it was necessary.

The next day Shinkai visits his family and receives even more lecturing care of his grouchy (but lovable) father. When Shinkai advises his father of his intention to quit, Ryoji says, "What, after all you said when you left home? At sea, the captain's responsible for everyone's life. Does your lot abandon ship before anyone else?" Shinkai leaves without saying goodbye.

As dusk falls, he looks longingly up at an aeroplane passing overhead and probably reflects on all the lectures he had received from everyone he knows.

There is quite an interesting moment in the hangar when Ogawa is performing maintenance late at night on a plane and Shinkai comes to her to talk to her. Surprisingly, he is not angry at her for her words at the Eagle. Despite the antagonism the two feel, it is clear that he feels that he can speak quite frankly to her. He tells her that her words the night before hit home and anyone would be disappointed in him. He realises that it would be wrong to walk away from flying which he loves so dearly. He has made up his mind to apologise to Koda as he wants to fly until the day he dies.

Ogawa although at first abrupt with him – he fiddles with items in her toolbox - listens to him and is surprisingly encouraging. She also tells him that one of the reasons that she became a mechanic was because the parents of a good friend of hers were killed in a plane crash.

The scene also demonstrates Ogawa's commitment to her job. She scolds him for touching her tools, not because she is being a bitch, but offers an explanation. He can't mess with her tools - in a hangar if they lose even a screw, they must find it again. Again, Shinkai instead of being angry accepts the reprimand for what it is and his innate sense of rightness knows that she is correct in her discipline. Ogawa finally tells Shinkai that she must go back to work – but she is uncharacteristically polite about it. Shinkai isn't offended and takes his leave, apologising for interrupting her and then pauses to tell her to be careful not to catch a cold as it is very cold in the hangar.

The next day, Shinkai "apologises" to Koda and begs that Koda permit him to fly again. To Koda, nothing should be more important than to ensure that he is controlling the ship. Shinkai disagrees and maintains that he does nothing wrong because a pilot's task is also to save the lives of passengers.

Koda advises Shinkai that he is flawed and that he would like to dismiss him but that his recommendation that to the directors’ board that Shinkai be dismissed was rejected. The rationale was that given that ANA has spent much time and effort training a pilot, Shinkai is required to repay this through working. Accordingly, Shinkai is to be reinstated and his next assignment is to Hong Kong. Shinkai doesn't really care about the reasons – he's just relieved that he's back on board.

As a member of the audience though, we find out through a conversation between Togashi and Koda that in fact Koda did not bring Shinkai’s case to the attention of the directors which suggests that Koda isn't quite the cyborg we might have all thought he was ………… or is it the old Cyborg With The Heart Of Gold storyline?

On the flight to Hong Kong, Naito Jane permits Shinkai to read announcements to the passengers, something Shinkai does with great enthusiasm and pleasure.

Comments: Another great episode. More information about the characters and who they are. It's pretty clear that Koda has a heart of gold and that there's more there than just cyborg. At first I thought that Shinkai was a little bit silly – resigning so hastily but it makes sense in the context of his character. He's that sort of person – impetuous and heedless. He acts first and repents later. Of course I love the blossoming quasi-friendship between Shinkai and the prickly Ogawa.

Shinkai is a people-person and can talk to many people, but you will see that when he talks with others he is usually talking about situations or about other people's problems. It is only with Ogawa that he really talks about himself and how he feels. He is not afraid to show his vulnerable side to Ogawa which in a way is odd because she is the person who mocks him and is rudest to him – but I think he realises that below that grumpy surface is a person who genuinely cares about her fellow man and also cares about him in particular. Even her extremely offensive comment that she looks down at him - this would not have been the case if she didn't in someway care about him and his fate. It is an inadvertent disclosure that she cares.

In relation to the concept of the pilot saying: "Good luck" to passengers inflight, I don't know about you but that would kind of freak me out. I mean what are they trying to say??? What's luck got to do with anything? It sounds cute as a catch phrase for a jdorama but please pilots, don't ever say it when you're flying a plane where I'm a passenger!!!

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