Everyone does sports for the coveted prize of a single day off.
The company is having a sports-day style competition, where everyone at the company, no matter the title or pay level, competes. The winner gets a whole day off, free of charge. This totally breaks a lot of labor laws and ethics codes, but it’s pretty funny regardless. Everyone (naturally) gets very competitive for this glowing prize, so we see several different factions at work.
Retsuko is teamed up with Haida and Fenneko, and is determined to laze out on her day off. Even though the sports she has to complete are sometimes out of her league, she rushes through on pure perseverance. Her rival this time is not Ton, but Tsunoda, who is determined to have an instagram-worthy day off. They do share a moment together, where they talk about how they would celebrate, where Tsunoda’s first reaction is to call Retsuko’s ideal no-contact day dull– but then even she caves that the idea of doing the bare minimum sounds heavily. They agree that they will compete with each other well, even if they both want the prize. It’s a nice moment of empathy.
On a more basic level, it’s fun to see what the office-style competition is. From tossing paper into the watsebasket to speed typing, it’s all things that they all do in the office, just amped up to eleven. That was probably the most fun I had with it, seeing which sort of zany activity they would all do next.
Considering how Retsuko kind of tends to accept her fate on a lot of things, I liked the ending. She looks after Haida and accepts her loss this time around, not even being able to place on the top three. However, that doesn’t stop her drive. While she isn’t able to get a day off this year, she goes to the yoga studio so she can start training for next year’s competition. I thought she’d be much more upset, so seeing her turn that loss into motivation is pretty good. Although now that I think about it, Retsuko accepting her fate that she’s going to be at the same place in the same job next year is a little dismal to think about. I know the property itself won’t let her move on, but have some more courage, Retsuko!
Karoshi culture is a hell of a drug, isn’t it?