Later at a photoshoot, Kalen is in a new gyaru wig that is actually cute. Mika, her new manager, notices that Ayu has a newfound confidence, which prompts her to ask Ayu if she has a new boyfriend, which she denies.
Meanwhile, Masa is being a dick again, yelling at his staff about giving Ayu more promo for her debut. When then see a Shibuya Crossing billboard for Ayu’s debut single, “poker face.” On the recreated single cover, Kalen is very much giving Tomomi Itano with the ducklips.
Two schoolgirls see the billboard and are excited for Ayu’s debut. AXELS are standing behind them and hear their excitement. They then begin to wonder if they can beat Ayu. Risa goes to Sho to express her group’s concerns. He says that everything is fine, angering her. She then tell him that she’s jealous of Ayu because she has Masa supporting her.
After leaving Sho, Risa sees Ayu in the A Victory lobby. She tells Ayu the opposite of what the schoolgirls earlier said, saying that they said how ugly she was and that they didn’t like her. Risa then pulls Ayu’s single out of her purse and breaks it in front of her, telling her that she will not lose to Ayu. Ayu, displaying her newfound confidence, tells Risa that she won’t lose.
Masa sees this encounter. Then Reika pops up. She suggests that Ayu is using Masa to sell records. She then reveals that Risa went to see Kurokawa in an attempt to beat Ayu. She also suggests that it was Sho’s idea. Rika tells Masa that everyone is out to beat him, and that he can make people do crazy things.
Next is a bar scene, where a bartender is playing Shiina Ringo’s “Koko de Kiss Shite.” The issue with this is that that single was released in 1999, a year before the current scene in the drama.
Sho expresses concern over the current situation and tells Masa that he let Risa see Kurokawa. He then tells Masa that he now hates him over what Masa has become as of late. The two end up punching each other, with Masa telling Sho he has to put more on the line to promote AXELS.
The next day, President Ohama calls Reika into this office. It’s revealed that both Ayu and AXELS are flopping in terms of pre-sales, with AXELS trailing. He gives Reika money to give to Sho to buy back AXELS’s CD. At first Sho declines, but then he remembers what Masa said during their fight. He agrees, joining Reika in her plot to destroy Masa and Ayu, and in effect lift up AXELS. He then kisses Reika.
On Ayu’s debut day, she performers “poker face” at Velfine, with Kalen lip syncing to Ayu’s vocals.
In the end, AXELS debuts at #18, while Ayu debuts at #20. President Ohama plays the video of Masa saying that Ayu would debut at #1. Masa says that Ayu will still sell a million copies in her debut year.
Later, Reika reveals that Ayu and Masa are dating to President Ohama.
Ayu apologizes to Masa for failing to reach expectations. They decide to take the next day off to go to the beach. Of course a rainbow appears during their happy couple time!
That night, Ayu tells Masa about her father letting her almost drown. She tells him not to let go of her hand. They then have sex, or so it is implied. When they leave the hotel the next day, Reika sees them.
Second single time! President Ohama had another buyback plan for AXELS single. The single comes in at #20, as does Ayu’s. The two are tied, but Masa says that Ayu is gaining momentum.
Promo for the third single is discussed. It’s difficult to get on music shows, so Masa suggests that Ayu goes on news shows and talk shows instead, in an effort to show her personality. This is idol-like behavior. She appears on these shows and she refers to herself in the third person, leading people to believe she’s stupid.
The third single rankings are AXELS at #50 and Ayu at #9. At a celebration for Ayu’s success, Masa announces that she’ll release her debut album, “A song for xx”, on January 1. President Ohama arrives at the celebration, and has his assistant read negative online comments about Ayu, including that she’s stupid. Masa counters, saying that he’s booked Ayu on the radio show “All Night Japan”, with the title “Ayu Isn’t Stupid.”
There is then an “Ayu Isn’t Stupid” campaign to promote her radio appearance. The campaign looks stupid and she looks stupid in it.
At the radio apperance, Ayu is nervous. Mika is concerned, but Masa isn’t. During one segment on the show, Ayu listens to people on the street talking about how stupid she is. She replies that she is stupid, stupid enough to follow her dreams. She then alludes to Masa, saying that she’s met someone that makes her believe in her dreams. And for a moment, Kalen actually looks like Ayu.
Ayu’s debut album, “A song for xx”, debut at #1, selling over 1.5 million in its first week. In reality, while the album did debut at #1, it sold 1.5 million total, not in its first week. The chart positions for Ayu’s second and third singles in this drama weren’t real either.
Ayu’s album topping the charts has several people bothered. Sho cries. Risa confronts Ayu and asks if she can set her hair on fire. President Ohama worries that Masa will take his job. But then Reika appears with a gift for President Ohama: photographic proof that Ayu and Masa are dating. These photos are sure to create a scandal.
For those of you that want to watch it as well, the subbed verison is available here. Again, special thanks to Blitz Fansub for subbing the drama!