Room of King – 愛や I need ya

by mo on 01/10/2009


Three sketchy realtors in an office the size of a matchbox trick 9 unrelated people into sharing a ridiculously nice apartment, with the quasi-guarantee that whoever they determine deserves to become “king” gets to keep the place at the end.

The nine characters are:

Mizushima Hiro: A sometimes-employed florist, sometimes (seemingly randomly) in France, but also the glue that keeps the 9 potential kings together.

Suzuki An: An OL (bank worker, in particular) who gets scouted out by a strange pair of thumbs (this guy has faces on his thumbs… wtf!?) to become a sort of B-rated idol. Can’t really sing, can’t really act, but nonetheless attracts a few otaku to her pathetic gigs. Just as cute-because-she’s-realistically-awkward as she was in 2003*.
“Stand Up!”

Igawa Haruka: Gynecologist who looks like a street-walker. Has a posse of prettyboys at her clinic.

Watabe Atsuro: MAJIMAX, a stylist who is always late to everything, and often drunk. Struggles with some Gundam-related project in the first couple episodes, and later his assistant quits on him. Often drunk and brooding.

Itao Itsuji: A cook who talks to horses. Like, that’s where he gets most of his recipes, by talking to his horse.

Ishino Mako: Single mom who ran away from home to be a mom at Room of King. More into nabe (Japanese cooking pot) than anyone I’ve ever seen or heard of. She and Itao Itsuji are a budding romance of strange obsessions and food.

Fujisawa Atsushi: fat recluse who spends a lot of time doing some tech stuff on laptop, though camps outside for several days (with laptop) and goes to the African Savannah during part of Episode 9. He eats bunches of bananas at a time, in contrast to the nabe that everyone else is downing.

Hirayama Hiroyuki: Magician in training, failed film producer.

Ookura Kouji: #1 recluse artist who isn’t found to be living in the house until the last episode or two. Oops!

Top three moments of the show:

3) Episode 6: The single mom is in the kitchen, preparing breakfast for the residents of the Room of King (everyone is still there at that point). Everyone expects nabe, since that’s what they’ve eaten for the past 37 meals or so… so one of the three at the table, the stylist (in the purple shirt) ironically asks, “Nabe again??” to which housewife mom says, “No! You don’t eat nabe in the morning!! Here you are, cheese fondue” to which stylist replies to the florist on his left, “don’t you not eat cheese fondue in the morning either?”


2) Episode 7: Everyone has bailed on the Room of King idea — they’re all depressed and have gone their separate ways. Except for the recluse artist (he never cared about anyone else in the house anyway) and Mizushima the florist… (glue, remember)? The artist is going through the fridge in what is probably his usual fashion, taking one gulp of milk from the bottle here, a handful of something else there, and is generally GROSSING THE FLORIST OUT with his habits. After scolding him for a bit they continue with their conversation, florist oblivious to the second best moment of the show, when artist takes a single stick of Pocky out from the box (WHY was the Pocky in the refrigerator??), takes a small bite off the end, licks the rest of a chocolatey part of the Pocky like a popsicle, and STICKS THE POCKY BACK INTO THE BOX, chocolate side first.


1) Episode 2 (ish?) No screenshot due to hardware failure. The OL-turned-idol is in some fancy-shmancy store, when a robbery occurs and she’s held at gunpoint by the perpetrator. She doesn’t want to die, and there is a massive crowd at the scene of the crime. Suddenly, an old woman fights to the front of the line, “let me past!! I’m the mother!” The police are like, “it’s the mother of the victim!”… but no, “I’m the mother of the perpetrator!! Don’t do it, honey!” Uh… okay… and then, another guy (the cook!) shows up, and says, “I’m a relative too!” who is it now? “I’m the cousin!” “of the victim?” “No, of the perpetrator!” and he sings a heartwarming song, inspired by his horse, which persuades the gunman out of committing the crime. Then he comes out and the cook realizes he’s got the wrong guy — they’re not cousins after all! Um….what?!

I haven’t given away any of the actually important parts of the show (like who ends up being King), so I recommend you go watch it. Cute theme song (Ai need by Kimaguren), fast-paced at only 35 minutes per episode, perfect to finish up during a sick day in bed with your head throbbing and fever soaring (me yesterday).

Notes on 2003:

The year my favorite crazy drama ever, Manhattan Love Story, was aired.

The year Suzuki Anne was in Stand Up!!, another crazy awesome show.