On June 13, “M Ai Subeki Hito ga Ite”, the drama based on the rise to fame of Ayumi Hamasaki, starring Kalen Anzai as Ayu, returned with its fourth episode, after going on hiatus due to coronavirus.
This episode starts off in the President Ohama’s office. He, Masa, Sho, and some other A Victory staff are reading the lyrics to “poker face.” There are two sets of lyrics, those written by Ayu and those written by a professional songwriter. President Ohama praises the professional songwriter’s lyrics and bashes Ayu’s, with a number of staff agreeing. Masa then reveals that he’s switched the lyrics, and that they are in fact praising Ayu’s lyrics. He then announces that he intends to debut Ayu on April 8, 1998. We then see Ayu recording “poker face”, featuring another struggle vocal from Kalen.
Recording director Yamamoto is feeling our pain and asks Ayu to take a break from recording, and then questions if she’s even trying to sing. He also wonders if Masa’s intuition is off with Ayu. Ayu then thinks about how she can’t sing how she wants to in front of a microphone.
Back at A Victory, Sho announces that his girl group will be called AXELS and have a club vibe. President Ohama notes their trendy gyaru look, comparing it to Ayu’s pale look. Sho says he intends to debut them in the summer, but President Ohama says they’ll debut the same day as Ayu, in an effort to build hype. Masa and Sho agree to this competition, with each vowing to win.
Masa then announces he’s going to spend a billion yen to promote Ayu’s debut, to the shock of everyone in the meeting. President Ohama angrily questions this, but Masa says he’s willing to risk it all for Ayu.
In his office, Reika questions Masa’s risk. She says she doesn’t care if he loses, as long as he’s still there. She then says she sees their future family and thanks Masa for divorcing his wife. She asks him to go with her to meet someone that night. He tells her he didn’t divorce his wife for her and that he needs to focus on Ayu. This angers Reika, who begins twitching and talking about how everything is about Ayu now. She then grabs a pair of scissors and cuts a picture of Ayu. Reika points the scissors at Masa and says he doesn’t want to make her mad. He agrees to go with her that night.
We next see Masa, Reika, and her parents having dinner together. Her mom says Reika told her Masa got divorced. Her parents thank him for marrying Reika. Her mom then brings up her eye, and Reika tells her to stop talking about it.
There is a flashback to Masa’s wedding. Reika confesses her love to Masa and wishes him luck with his marriage. Later at the reception, Reika tries to tell Masa to stop drinking so much because he’s drunk, but he knocks her over accidentally. She then falls down the stairs. The champagne glass she was holding at the time broke and damaged her eye.
When Reika gets out of the hospital, Masa visits her and her parents and apologizes. Her dad doesn’t accept, but Reika asks him to. Masa then promises to be her missing eye. This makes her happy.
Back in the present, Masa reveals to Reika’s parents that he got divorced because his wife didn’t like him working so much. Reika’s dad says he hopes Masa learns from this and uses it in his marriage with Reika.
Sho apparently is now regularly sleeping with Risa. In bed, she asks why Ayu is getting a billion yen promotion while her group is doing a club tour. He thinks the tour is a good idea, but she questions his logic.
The next day, Ayu meets Team Ayu, the team of A Victory staff that will make her a star. Their first task is the “poker face” photo shoot (complete with that shiny baby blue top and knot hairdo). The shoot isn’t going well and Masa fires the photographer in a rage.
Reika confronts Ayu in the bathroom and tells her that Masa has a bad temper these days because of her. Reika also warns Ayu not to get in her way, as they are preparing to marry.
Ayu goes back to the studio to record “poker face.” Once again, Yamamoto tells her to take a break due to poor vocals. During this break, Mika, Ayu’s new manager under Team Ayu, tells Ayu that everyone is working hard to make her a star, so she must work hard too.
At Velfine that night, Masa tries to convince a TV producer to let Ayu on his show “Sing Sing”, but the producer says that his primetime music show is only for established stars.
The next day, Ayu is once again recording “poker face”, for the 31st time. Masa appears, hears Ayu, and says to take a break. He then tells Ayu that he wants her to express her true emotions, like she put them in the lyrics, instead of trying to sing well. He wants her to sing like she’s singing the song to the person she wrote it for. Ayu then thinks to herself that “poker face” is a love letter to Masa.
Ayu tries again, and everyone is amazed by the change. Masa thinks to himself that he can now feel her emotion, and that whoever she’s singing the song to can as well.
Masa then takes Ayu to Tokyo Dome and tells her that someday she will perform there, but she must continue to sing like how she did earlier, no matter how many people are in the room. A rainbow then magically appears in the night sky over Tokyo Dome. CHEESE!
The next day, President Ohama tells Masa and Sho that top producer Kurokawa Makoto, will evaluate Ayu and AXELS and lend his support to one of them, allowing them on music shows.
That night, upon hearing that it will snow, Reika tells Ayu to meet her on the roof of A Victory to tell her something very important about Masa. While Ayu is on the roof, Reika locks the door, trapping Ayu.
After letting her freeze for a bit, Reika comes out to tell Ayu the very important information about Masa: his favorite food is fried chicken. The build up to this though! You would think she was going to say something really big, like he has a secret child or something!
The next day is the evalution. Kurokawa praises AXELS’ music, dancing, and look. He criticizes Ayu’s pale look and then her music, because once again, she can’t sing. Reika comments on her voice to Masa. Suddenly, Ayu collapses. Masa and Mika rush to her, and discover she has a fever. President Ohama calls her unprofessional for getting sick on such a big day, and Masa agrees, yelling at her. This saddens Ayu and delights Reika. Masa says Ayu is do her job perfectly, no matter how she feels, to which President Ohama agrees. It’s then announced that AXELS will perform on “Sing Sing.”
Before leaving, Kurokawa says he think AXELS would’ve won even if Ayu wasn’t sick. He then says that the industry rumors of Masa being blinded by his love for Ayu must be true.
Masa and Ayu are frustrated by the outcome, but they are determined to take this frustration and turn it into energy to push them forward.
President Ohama tells Sho that Kurokawa liked Risa and that he should take her to him to seal the deal. Sho doesn’t like this idea and says it’s too much. President Ohama disagrees, saying that she may want to do it.
Sho tells Risa this plan, and apologizes and says it’s too much. Risa, however, agrees to go see Kurokawa. She goes to a driving range with Kurokawa, where he fondles her and tells her how talented she is. She’s very uncomfortable, but let’s it happen. He then asks her out for drinks at a hot springs. When Risa leaves Kurokawa, Sho is waiting for her. She runs to him. They hug as she cries.
Masa and Ayu go to “Sing Sing” to beg the producer to let her on. He asks Masa if they are dating, to which he says no. The producer then says Ayu is responsible for this, saying that she looks innocent but is rotten. He then says that she’ll never sell, angering Masa to the point that he tries to attack the producer. Ayu then realizes that she is to blame.
She takes these emotions and writes the lyrics for “YOU.” During this writing process, the song is playing over a montage of Masa being an asshole in the name of Ayu.
Ayu realizes she can no longer keep her feelings from Masa. In a letter, she confesses her love, telling him that she’s liked him since they first met, and that her feelings for him are what keeps her going. She also says that he will never love her back, so she is giving up on her feelings. She does want to continue their professional relationship though.
Masa reads the letter in the form of a fax. Upon finishing it, Reika enters his office in wedding dress.
Ayu’s main wig in this episode is quite nice. I’m confused though as to why they didn’t explain her going from a short hairstyle to a longer one.
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!