The episode opens with television footage of a fire in a hotel in Shanghai. The news around Narita is that an emergency charter flight is being organised to fly Japanese nationals who were injured in the fire back to Japan.
Togashi has been selected for this significant and high profile flight – but she also been informed that she is to be promoted to a management training position – meaning that she will be grounded. The emergency flight to Shanghai is likely to be her last flight. Everyone tells her that this is a wonderful opportunity for her - but she’s clearly not ecstatic about it.
Amongst the pilots, there is much discussion about which pilot will be chosen to be the co-pilot on this flight. Naito Jane claims he doesn't want to go as he stayed with an ex-wife at the hotel and it would bring back bad memories. Deep down though, all the pilots would like to go although Shinkai freely admits he hasn't got a chance.
Then Shinkai is told that the Head of Crew Division wants to see him. Until then, he had not even been aware of the existence of such a position. The head advises Shinkai that he has been selected by Koda as the co-pilot of the mission – something which naturally causes him to be shocked.
When walking towards the room where the emergency meeting is being held to discuss the next morning’s charter flight, Shinkai encounters Ogawa who is always walking towards the meeting carrying a pile of books. Being the sweetheart he is, he takes half of the pile from her and walks beside her. Can I say this is why I am so confused about his pronoun usage? If he thinks he is so far above her, he would never take the books from her!
Ogawa is as unflatteringly shocked about his appointment as he is. Meanwhile the other pilots are still unable to believe that Shinkai would have won such a plum job rather than them.
During the briefing which is run by Koda, they are advised that there are 8 victims being flown back to Japan. One is a young woman on her honeymoon who has received severe burns – her husband has perished.
Abe reports that the craft will not be ready until 7:30 am but Koda insists that the first schedule of 7:00 must be met as time is of the essence. During the course of the meeting, Togashi is clearly still preoccupied about issues concerning her career and when Ogawa questions her about the best location for setting up beds in the cabin, she does not hear. Koda reprimands her in front of everyone and answers the question on her behalf. When Shinkai suggests that they should also ask Togashi’s opinion as well as it concerns the cabin, Koda snaps that in a situation like this where speed matters, time cannot be wasted on having questions repeated. "If any of you don't like the way I am running this, you may leave. You are all replaceable," he says. The flight time is confirmed for the following morning at 7:00.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Ogawa points out that Koda was not wrong to be so severe, given the seriousness of the matter. Togashi accepts the criticism, knowing that it is justified. Togashi encounters Koda at the lift and the two discuss her proposed promotion. Naughty Shinka is around the corner eavesdropping - at first inadvertently but then on purpose.
Clearly Togashi is hoping that Koda will ask her to stay, but he can only say that such a promotion would be the pinnacle of her career and he could not ask her not to take it. Togashi concludes that as far as Koda is concerned, her promotion is a fait accompli and she should regard this as her last flight.
Troubled by this, Shinkai heads in an opposite direction, encountering Ogawa who is concerned that she may have said something wrong when making her comments to Togashi.
Shinkai is surprisingly sympathetic. I personally thought Ogawa's comments were a bit blunt and verged on the rude side. He advises her that although what she said wasn't wrong, it's possible that the timing was a little unfortunate. They discuss the possible promotion of Togashi and Ogawa again leaves mid-sentence, leaving Shinkai staring after her in frustration.
The following morning, the last preparations are made for the chartered flight. Several seats are removed and replaced with a cot, and curtains hung to shield it from view. The charter flight then leaves Narita, with a crew of doctors, nurses, and relatives of the fire victims. Koda has managed to fly to Shanghai in 2 hours and 50 minutes which is apparently quite amazing. All are very impressed. Koda didn't win the position of Top Cyborg of the Decade for nothing!
Back in Japan, Ogawa and her sister are watching the news reports from Shanghai on the television. Kaori asks if Shinkai is piloting the flight. Ayumi just looks at her, but Kaori guesses that she was right. Ogawa insists that Shinkai means nothing to her, and that he is extremely annoying. It is clear however that she certainly has mixed feelings about Shinkai and her sister obviously knows this as she points out that Shinkai seems to be a nice person. Ogawa looks annoyed. "But he's dumb. There are dumb pilots, you know. He can't even look after himself but he keeps worrying about others. He can' t see things in proportion -- it annoys me just to watch him." Hee heee, Ogawa. We know how you really feel, you don't have to pretend ;)
While preparing for the return flight from China, Shinkai finally plucks up the courage to ask Koda why he was selected for the flight when clearly he was the least qualified. Koda tells him bluntly that previously when he selected an excellent co-pilot, the pilot cracked under the pressure due to nerves and was not able to perform well. His (dubious) rationale was that Shinkai is only an average pilot and therefore would not be so nervous as he had nothing to prove.
He also makes the comment that Shinkai's more average skills as a pilot make it easier for Koda to plan. Shinkai is understandably offended by these comments but Koda says bluntly that if he doesn’t like it, then he'll never select him for another flight as there are plenty of other average co-pilots from which to choose.
I actually question this explanation by Koda. He must genuinely feel that Shinkai is up to the task. There is no reason why an "average" pilot feels pressure less than a "skilled" pilot in circumstances like the Shanghai rescue mission. He must know that Shinkai is reliable, compassionate and a good pilot – there is no way someone like Koda would risk the welfare of the patients and the success of the mission by picking someone who was not up to it.
The patients are placed on board but as the plane is taxiing down the runway, the most critically injured patient suddenly awakens and becomes extremely distraught when she discovers that her husband has perished in the fire. Togashi requests time to settle the patient down as it could be dangerous to fly while she is unsettled. Koda gives her five minutes. Although Shinkai protests that five minutes isn’t enough time, Koda says that it will have to be as there are other victims on board.
Togashi tries to comfort the increasingly hysterical burn victim who accuses her of not understanding how she feels if she has never been married. Togashi handles this accusation well and explains very calmly and sympathetically that although she has never been married and of course cannot understand how it would feel to lose a husband, she has also experienced the pain of parting from someone she loves very much (presumably the impassive Cyborg sitting in the cockpit). When the victim protests that she would rather die, Togashi tells her passionately that she must live to keep the memory of husband alive.
When the patient finally settles down, the plane takes off. I am not sure why Koda and Shinkai were able to hear all of this except for plot purposes, but they can. Oh well.
On return to Japan Togashi accompanies the victims to the hospital. Before Koda leaves the plane, Shinkai wants to know why Koda isn’t waiting for Togashi to return given that it is her final flight. Cyborg says in his cyborgy way that every flight has different crews and that she will be replaced. The old "no one's indispensable line".
Shinkai protests (rather sweetly) that nobody can replace Togashi just as no one could replace Koda. To be fair to Koda, I genuinely believe that he has Togashi's best interests at heart from a career perspective and doesn't want to pressure her into passing up on a promotion. Koda tells him not to waste time assessing others but to reflect on his own performance that day. He also orders him not to interfere with what is really Togashi’s decision to make.
Shinkai goes to the CA section to look for Togashi. Shinkai brushes off Fukaura's gushing enthusiasms when she asks if he could tell her about it over dinner. Shinkai turns her down flatly yet again. Too funny. I'd pity her but she's mean to Ogawa so no pity from me! I read in a Chinese review somewhere that it's quite refreshing to see a Kimura character turning a girl down flat. Usually he would play it in a sort of angsty-confused-embarrassed-wishy-washy way but in Good Luck he's just plain not interested.
Late that night Togashi returns to the office building to find Shinkai fast asleep in the lobby. He asks her not to quit cabin service. "Today's flight made me think we need you on flights." He tells her somewhat awkwardly that he wishes that she would keep flying with them forever. She listens to him, says that she needs to take the considerations of the company into account as well as her own wishes. I believe she is touched by his words though. Shinkai commits something of a faux pas when he says that she is like the "mother" of them all – although Togashi to her credit is not offended.
Shinkai then goes for a lonely dinner. When Ogawa passes by in her motorcycle, she spies Shinkai’s four wheel drive parked outside. She parks the bike and enters the restaurant to find a miserable looking Shinkai sitting there mixing something in a bowl.
She asks him why he is so glum, startling him so that he tells her not to scare him like that. She glares at him, walks a few metres away to sit at a nearby table and asks reasonably how she is supposed to start a conversation and asks with exaggerated politeness – "Excuse me sir, but why the bad mood?”
When he tells her that she annoys the hell out of him, she accuses him of still being angry. [In the English version he says "You really piss me off", the Chinese version is 妳真的很煩 - you're really a pain]. I'm not sure why she thought he was angry in the first place, but he tells her that he's not angry and says that she's the one that has come in and sat on the other side of the restaurant.
Oddly enough even this little exchange doesn't perk him up and she goes and sits across the table from him.
When she orders two deluxe plates of okonomiyaki, she doesn't say anything and she asks if he's going to ask her: "Are you going to eat that much or something?” That elicits a smile from him and he does ask that question but clearly Ogawa is not quite sure how to handle this subdued Shinkai.
When she comments that he is acting a little dark, he claims that he is not acting any differently and she says that he normally can't stop talking for even a second.
That seems to provoke him enough for him to exclaim that she should talk today but she tells him she's not talking but that she's there to eat. I suspect in a further attempt to provoke him out of his mood, she blithely piles some more food on the hot plate and steals some of his food.
He demands: "What kind of woman are you?” It is not entirely clear whether this comment is aimed at the fact that she continues cold-blooded eating, that she steals his food or that she appears to be making no effort to comfort him. At any rate, she tells him that she is not going to be all "ladylike" for him.
The two eat in silence for a while and it appears that even Ogawa's presence is enough to comfort Shinkai because he starts to talk in her and confide in her about why he is so subdued. He tells her that although he flies planes with hundreds of passengers, he felt that today's flight was more stressful – that it seemed heavier.
When Ogawa says that she understands his sentiments, Shinkai looks startled. It's not entirely clear whether he is startled that she understands or he is surprised that she isn't mocking him. Ogawa quite seriously tells him about her impressions when adjusting seats on planes and thinking about the different passengers and what their experiences must have been.
“In one plane you can always find joy, hope and love. And then on the same ship you see sorrow and parting. Everyone’s life is different – so you can never change how their trip will be. But when we’re preparing the plane – I always hope that everyone can have a nice trip …. “
This rather eloquent declaration by the usually surly Ogawa clearly moves Shinkai deeply and he stares at her for a long moment until she looks a little embarrassed. He tells her that sometimes she says the "most amazing things". He then continues and tells her that if she always spoke like that she might be more popular / have more guys chasing after her. [In the English version he says more popular. In the Chinese version, he says 妳啊偶爾也會說出好話嘛。 如果妳多說點 正經話比較受男人歡迎了 - you occasionally say nice things. If you said such decent/appropriate things more often, you would definitely be more well-received by guys.]
She glares at him and tells him that he should quit while he's ahead. [In Chinese, she says 不用你多管閒事 - don't go on about such trivial things]. They clearly are both back to their normal selves as they argue with each other about the fact that Ogawa has put more things on the hotplate and is stealing his food when he ordered it. As the scene fades out, you receive the distinct impression that she has successfully drawn him out of his melancholy and comforted him.
The following day, Togashi turns down the promotion even though the chief of crewman looks appalled and demands to know if she wants to be condemned to hanging out with young CAs serving drinks and smiling at passengers for the rest of her life.
When she tells Shinkai her news, he is happy and she tells him that she will keep flying until the day Shinkai makes Captain. Again there was a bit of weird suggestiveness as Togashi whispers in her ear and teases Shinkai that she loves him. [In the English version she says loves. In the Chinese version she says. "我喜歡你" which can mean I love you or it can mean I like you.] Shinkai looks shocked rather than flattered and although we're told it's a joke, something about Togashi makes you think that perhaps she's only half-joking.
I'm not a fan of this particular complication and am glad that it isn't pursued any further in the series. Shinkai and Togashi would not be a well-suited couple at all. In a scene that would be amusing if it weren't for the fact that I am violently opposed to any suggestion of a romantic relationship between these two, Shinkai sits where he is still looking baffled about Togash's words.
Things are better when Togashi meets Koda in a hallway and tells him that she looks forward to the fact that she will continue to fly with him. Koda looks as happy as a man who is really a cyborg could look, but he tells her that he feels the same way.
Comments: I rather liked the development of the storyline between Togashi and Koda. In terms of whether she did the right thing – realistically though, does she really want to be serving coffee and drinks when she's old? Although they do "fly" together, the cabin attendants and pilot occupy separate rooms for much of the flight so part of me fails to see how there is much difference between being grounded and not being grounded.
I loved the further warming up of relationships between Ogawa and Shinkai. It just gets better and better every week – it's so touching the way they seem to bond over food like that. I very much like the fact that these two people notwithtanding their antagonism do trust each very much and confide in one another and are able to provide comfort to one another when required. Ogawa knows exactly what she's doing when she provokes Shinkai out of his funk and I think he knows what she's doing too.
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