Episode #6 "Black Shadow" (kuroi no kage)

Aired: January 17, 1999

Note: In this episode, the three runaways finally find a place where they can settle down. Or did they? Hiromu and his cronies are still in hot pursuit of them. And while Yoshimori and Kahori are able to find jobs in their new town, poor Shiori is unable to attend school, and thus she doesn't do much of anything at all.

Synopsis The episode begins with the runaways walking out of the Hachinohe train station. Hachinohe is somewhat of a fishing town. They go eat noodles. Shiori is curious as to where they are headed to. After lunch, Kahori says to Yoshimori "We really have no idea where we're headed." He asks Shiori if she likes the sea. She says yes, so they decide to find a place to live in Hachinohe. They go out shopping for various household items. Back at the apartment , Yoshimori announces that he'll have to do manual labor in order to make a living in this town. Shiori says that he'll now become "sakanaya san," or fish shop worker. Kahori decides to get a job also. They also decide to find a school for Shiori.

Yoshimori is working at the fish factory. At lunch time his co-workers become envious of his lunch, which was prepared by Kahori. "That lunch looks like your wife loves you," one of them remarks. He just smiles and eats a few bites of his bento. The opening credits roll.

Kahori has found a job at the noodle place that the three of them were at the previous day. Shiori has nothing to do, so she watches some kids play dodgeball. The ball rolls her way, and she picks it up and makes an impressive throw. The kids approach her and begin to ask her questions, but as soon as they find out that she's new to town and doesn't go to school yet, they all leave. Shiori stands there for a moment, a bit stunned. After work, Yoshimori finds Shiori drawing in the sand. She is drawing the blue bird. He asks her if she found any friends yet, but she just says that she played all day.

It is perhaps the next day, and Yoshimori finds out that the board of education will not accept Shiori without some kind of proof of age. In order to do this, they would have to contact her school in Kiyosumi, and Hiromu would instantly find out. Yoshimori and Kahori discuss what they should do, while Shiori plays on a playground structure. Yoshimori doesn't care whether or not Hiromu finds out. But Kahori doesn't want Hiromu to know. They both admit that they are running away from everyone back home. Kahori leaves to go back to work, so no decision is made as to what to do about Shiori. Shiori comes over to Yoshimori and calls him "papa," because "ekichou san" isn't appropriate any longer. He smiles, and the two run off to play.

It is night, and Hiromu's two cronies are hot on the trail for the runaways. They call Hiromu and tell him that the three probably headed towards Morioka. The speed off in their truck, as Hiromu gives them more instructions. The elder Watanuki is eating dinner at the house, and he overhears Hiromu's conversation. "Why don't you give it up?" he asks Hiromu. He is worried that the whole town will find out what happened, and Hiromu's chances at becoming mayor will become slimmer. He also thinks that this incident will hurt his company's development plans for a resort in Kiyosumi. Hiromu promises that he'll fix everything though.

Yoshimori is hard at work. Kahori leaves for work, leaving Shiori at home. Kahori runs into the landlord, who is concerned that Shiori isn't going to school. The lady says that last year, a similar situation occured, and it turned out that those people were runaways who ended up leaving without paying rent. Kahori assure the landlord that they wouldn't do anything like that. Shiori overhears their conversation. Later, Kahori goes to the bookstore to find some schoolbooks for Shiori. During the day, Shiori spends some time watching some children playing at a nearby school. At night, Yoshimori lays in the bath and listens to Kahori tutoring Shiori. Later, Yoshimori reads to Shiori and she falls asleep.

Back in Kiyosumi, Miki returns to the noodle shop from a delivery, and finds Hiromu is eating there. He asks her if she loves Yoshimori. She doesn't deny it. Hiromu then announces that he will never forgive them for running away. But he will also keep Kahori. Miki disagrees with what he says. "But why?" she asks, "She picked Yoshimori over you." He doesn't listen to her. As he leaves the shop, he tells Miki to bring Yoshimori back and marry him. "If you don't want to, it means you don't really care," he adds.

Yoshimori receives his first paycheck. He goes for a walk along the docks, and hears a harmonica playing. It is Shiori, who is sitting on a boat by herself. He tells her that she can have anything she wants for dinner, since he just got paid. Shiori decides to eat hot pot at home. That night he calls his dad. Miki has come over to Tadashi's house. Yoshimori still doesn't tell his father his whereabouts. After a brief talk, Tadashi hands the phone over to Miki. She is very excited to be speaking to him. Then her eyes become a bit glazed and watery, and she hands the phone back to Tadashi. He gives Yoshimori some final words of advice, saying "You haven't made a life yet. You're still travelling."

That night, Kahori and Yoshimori are discussing what to do. Shiori is supposed to be asleep, but she is awake and listening to the two speak. Kahori is telling Yoshimori that even if he grovels, Hiromu would not forgive them. Yoshimori responds, saying "I don't care about us, but we have to think about Shiori." Kahori begins to explain that she can teach Shiori herself, but Yoshimori says that he just wants Shiori to have a normal childhood. Shiori lies in her bed with a sad look on face, thinking that Kahori and Yoshimori are fighting over her. Early the next morning, while Yoshimori and Kahori are asleep, Shiori sneaks out of the apartment and goes to the public phone to make a call to Hiromu. He talks her into revealing their whereabouts, in exchange for his forgiveness of Kahori and Yoshimori. He also instructs her not to tell Kahori about their conversation. "They'll fight again. You don't want them to fight anymore, do you?" he asks.

The next morning, Hiromu arrives at Kiyosumi station. He intends to take the train to Hachinohe. He runs into Tadashi. "It's dreadful having your wife stolen by another man," he says. "But if those two are living happily, I want to see it...and I might forgive them. Might, mind you." As he boards the train, he says that if Takafumi were alive, Tadashi would never forgive Yoshimori for what he did.

The three runaways are eating breakfast. Shiori is clearly not in the mood to eat. She suddenly wants to go out and play with Yoshimori and Kahori. She becomes a bit frantic, then begins to cry. The two adults wonder what is wrong with her. Shiori then admits that she had called Hiromu and told him their whereabouts, and that he was coming to get her. Thus, this would be their last chance together. She mentions the promise Hiromu made about forgiving them if Shiori went back to Kiyosumi. "You fight about me...you're better off with me," she cries. "No! We want you with us. We need you with us. Always and forever!" Yoshimori counters. Yoshimori and Kahori quickly take action, hastily packing their bags.

Hiromu's cronies have arrived in Hachinohe, but they are having trouble finding exactly where the three are staying. The three runaways are finished packing, and are now running down the street. Shiori realizes that she left behind her all-important star map. Yoshimori runs back to fetch it. He is just in time, as the two cronies have reached the apartment. He retrieves the map and catches up with Kahori and Shiori. About this time, Hiromu arrives in town. He meets up with his two cronies, and they tell him that they were too late. They mess up the place. The three runaways board a boat. Shiori has a downcast look about her. Kahori and Yoshimori have blank stares.