Ep 4 – “A Man’s Path” / “Otokomichi” (男道)

Masami Hirukawa is a portly low-level police officer who, despite calling himself a family man, accepts bribes in the form of cash and women from a local yakuza group. His favorite prostitute is Maria/Harumi, the protagonist from the previous episode. Masami even purchases a house for his family using this money. However, Masami squeezes the group a bit too much, and they send their boss–oyabun–Makabe to deal with him. Makabe informs Hirukawa that since the leader of the local group is his friend then he will have no objection paying an extraordinary amount as all of his friends are. He reminds Hirukawa that “his friend” gave him money to build his house and, if Hirukawa is not his “friend” then his house just may have to burn down. Makabe punctuates this point by extinguishing his cigarette on Hirukawa’s forehead. In desperation, Masami dons dark clothes and a ski mask and begins robbing helpless local families. Makabe gives him stimulants for his courage. Hirukawa attacks a family whose daughter walks in. While not shown, it is implied that Hirukawa rapes her–a significant point given later episodes. As he walks alone on a deserted road afterwards, he cries out for help, begging someone to “stop him.” Suddenly, he is attacked by Lil’ Slugger; however, unlike the other victims, he is not incapacitated, and instead chases after his attacker. Masami then arrests Lil’ Slugger, who awaits questioning by Ikari and Maniwa.