How would you rate episode 7 of
Buddy Daddies ?
Community score: 3.8
How would you rate episode 8 of
Buddy Daddies ?
Community score: 4.0
This pair of episodes breaks Kazuki and Rei open to their emotional cores and sets them on a path to realizing what’s important in their lives. Plus, we see the return of Rei’s murder suit.
“After Rain Comes Fair Weather” centers on the genuine parental stress response of “Dear God, I need a vacation” and frames it around Kazuki’s emotional avoidance. Tired of doing all the household tasks while Rei plays Morio Kart, Kazuki leaves Rei and Miri at home to “get a pack of cigarettes” and decides not to come back for a while. When I saw the preview for this episode, I thought we’d mostly see another comedic excursion as Rei quickly adjusts to dad duties without Kazuki. There’s a little bit of that, but the primary focus is Kazuki processing the death of his wife.
We knew he was leaving money behind in Kyu’s café, but it wasn’t immediately clear who was supposed to pick it up. We find out in this episode that it’s shame money that Kazuki is leaving for his sister-in-law, Karin. He hasn’t spoken to her in five years, but his little drunken outing is the perfect opportunity to clear the air. While Kazuki’s mini-vacation and feelings are deeply relatable, his discussion about his wife’s death wrung every tear out of my heart. If you have lived until this point and not experienced an emotionally devastating loss, be grateful you’ve been spared thus far. Alternatively, if you have someone you love more than anything, you have probably thought about what you would do and how you would feel if you lost them. Kazuki’s emotions are stunted because he fears that allowing himself to genuinely care for someone will lessen his connection to his wife. He also isn’t ready to accept a world where he lives happily without her.
Plenty of movies (and other forms of fiction) involve watching a character accept loss and “move on” to live a fulfilling life to honor the dead. It’s a well-worn concept, but there’s something about Kazuki admitting he’s scared that just tore me up. Some of this is likely unintentional emotional manipulation, seeing that this episode decided to set a conversation about dead spouses in a beautiful garden of hydrangea, my wedding flower. Thanks, P.A. Works!
Despite how emotionally satisfying I found episode seven’s conclusion, I admit I’ve gotten ansty for something outside the cutesy family comedy each week. You can imagine my excitement when episode eight opened with Rei in his murder suit, but this episode isn’t strictly about a hit job. Like the previous episode, this is about Rei realizing what he wants in life against the backdrop of assassinating a former teacher and putting him in a car with the psychotic hitman Ryo Ogino. We’ve seen Ryo a few times now, including a taut moment with Miri, but this is the episode where he reveals he keeps a little journal with all his victims’ final words.
Rei is tasked with choosing between allegiance to his father, the head of the assassin organization and a patriarchal sunovabitch who sees Rei as little more than a necessity for continuing their assassin lineage, and the glimmer of happiness he has with Kazuki and Miri. Like Kazuki’s episode, “discovering I have something I want to protect,” isn’t new by any stretch, but Buddy Daddies has done an excellent job up to this point of immersing the audience in its family dynamic that I can’t help but want to see Rei happy. Of course, we can see the end-game set-up from a mile away. Rei’s betrayal of his father will put Miri and Kazuki in danger as he seeks to eliminate Rei’s “unnecessary” emotional ties. We’ll likely get a big face-off between Kazuki, Rei, and Ogino soon, with a kidnapped Miri on the line. Buddy Daddies isn’t paving any new paths here, but it continues to work within its genre effectively, so long as you’re not too cynical about it.
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