A Pleasurable Encounter in ‘Naked Dining~Love, Life and Liberation~’ Episode 1-2

Naked Dining

How do you release stress? In this hilarious but heartfelt drama, two men get bound together by promises and fresh beginnings. Find out more in ‘Naked Dining‘. 

Naked Dining

Ep 1: A hilarious encounter

Ichijou is a simple man. He works diligently at his job. He helps his coworkers avoid their boss’ wrath rampage and has solutions for every problem that can arise in their office. Everyone is in awe of how he balances his hectic work schedule and continues to have a healthy life and sound mind. 

As he comes home from his exhausting day, the first thing that he does is prepare his dinner. Although what he’s cooking is technically just instant noodles, he is meticulous with putting the soft-boiled egg on top of the instant ramen as well as cutting and cooking the vegetables. 

While other people of his age committed to their careers and jobs manage their stress by playing sports, shopping, drinking out, or singing karaoke, Ichijou considers his way a bit more unorthodox than most… because while he does love to eat a nice meal after a long day… he enjoys the food… naked!

Ichijou begins to strip his clothes off one by one as the scent of the cooked ramen fills his apartment. When he finishes taking all his clothes off, he sits down and starts devouring his meal. For Ichijou, there is a liberating feeling that comes with focusing on nothing else (not his work, his stressors, not even the feeling of his clothes touching his skin) but the sensation coating his tastebuds. He releases all the stress and sweat of the day as he eats his precious meal. 

After having his dinner, he washes up and tends to his mail. He notices a time capsule letter from his grandmother who died a year prior. In the letter, the grandmother tells him that she found some of his belongings in the closet and wants him to visit sometime. He also notices that there is a key inside the envelope. 

Meanwhile, in a more rural town, a man named Mahiro delivers crates of fresh produce to a vegetable shop.

Back to Ichijou, he is seen again in his normal habitat in the office, working tirelessly to finish all of his responsibilities. Albeit the day is Friday, he resorts to working overtime to ensure all of his deliverables are finished. It’s already bright outside when he gets out of the office. He remembers the key her granda gave him. He takes the train to their hometown. 

When he gets off the train, he ponders that his grandmother probably realizes how badly he needs a break from his monotonous and stress-filled life, which is why she gave him a key. 

When Ichijou finally arrives at their old house, he takes his time to get re-familiarized with the place. He realizes that electricity hasn’t been cut off. As he observes the kitchen, a fond memory of his grandmother cooking delicious dishes for him comes to his mind. He softly whispers to her and the house that he is finally here. 

Ichijou gets curious and rummages through the boxes he found in the rooms. He discovers his old toys and bags from his childhood as well as the globe his grandmother gave him in elementary. He sees an encyclopedia and begins to read it. HE falls asleep reading, surrounded by memories that are old but dear to him, nevertheless.

He wakes up and hears something outside the room. He gets a hold of a broom and quietly tip-toes to catch the culprit but instead falls on top of him as he is propelled out of balance. 

The culprit, Mahiro introduces himself as his grandmother’s friend after they awkwardly get off the ground. Ichijou tells him that he is the grandchild. 

Mahiro tells Ichijou a few stories about his grandmother: how he taught her how to cook, how he gave her seasonings that came from various places in the world, how the grandmother felt as if she was traveling the world through her cooking as she knew she couldn’t physically afford it anymore, how she never got tired of trying new things, and how she taught him so much, too. Ichijou looks remorseful since he never had the chance to come home when his grandmother’s knees got bad. 

Miki apologizes for barging into the house and talking nonstop. He is about to start running away when Ichijou notices his bleeding hand. Mahiro gets caught off guard by the care Ichijou shows. After putting on the band-aid, he gets out of the house and immediately sits in his car. He asks himself to get a grip. 

Back at the house, Souta finds a handwritten cookbook made by his grandmother. He checks out a recipe and takes his bicycle to the produce ship to get some ingredients. To his surprise, Mahiro is there to help. He also gives him couscous from Tunisia. Ichijou looks visibly intimated by this as all he ever cooks is instant ramen. However, Mahiro tells him to at least give it a try. 

Souta follows the instructions in the cookbook although his skills are lacking. He finishes his creation: couscous salad with harissa sauce.

He takes off his clothes and takes a bite of his obra maestra. He is happy to note that the food is not too spicy. However, his heart stops beating when he looks to his side and realizes that Mahiro is standing outside and has a clear view of him eating… naked! 

 

Watch  ‘Naked Dining~Love, Life and Liberation~’  on GagaOOLala!

Naked Dining

Ep 2: An embarrassment of pleasures

Back at the office, Ichijou is stressed out of his mind. His uneasiness is reflected even in his usually impeccable work ethic. 

Meanwhile, Mahiro looks back at the past few days and tries his best to block the memory of a naked Ichijou out of his mind. He is distracted enough that the plastic potatoes he is organizing are already bursting at the seams. 

Mahiro comes back to  Mizuchi’s (Ichijou’s grandmother) house to clean it. He remembers the times he shared with the lady and the stories about Ichijou that she told him. He specifically recalls how she was a firm believer in soulmates and that if you are destined to be the remaining half of the other, you will inevitably meet one day. 

Ichijou decides to come back to the town again, now in incognito attire to try and find Mahiro. They miss each other when Ichijou suddenly bolts out of the store as Mahiro drives in. 

He is now back at his grandmother’s house trying to figure out how to have Mahiro talk to him in private. Desperate to reach him, he opens the cookbook of his grandmother’s and picks a recipe. He calls the Mahiro’s produce store to get ingredients delivered. 

While waiting, Ichijou plays with the globe. When he hears sounds from the front door, he takes a deep breath and welcomes Mahiro inside acting as if nothing out of the ordinary happened when they last saw each other. 

Ichijou awkwardly asks him to teach him how to cook them. Simultaneously, he makes them tea and hypes himself up to ask the question he has been dreading inside. Mahiro on the other hand is busy introducing him to the ingredients: the vegetables which are a staple in Mexican cooking as well as the tasty tortillas.

Finally, Ichijou asks him if he was surprised to see him the other day. He lies and tells him that he spilled tea and was just drying his clothes. Mahiro nods, telling him that that is what he thought. 

Mahiro softly brings up the subject of Mizuchi’s order that will only be delivered next month. Ichijou looks surprised, especially since his grandmother died last year but Mahiro replies that the order was made before she died and it is delivered only once a year. 

Ichijou asks if he can cancel the order as the house might not stay as theirs anymore. Mahiro sullenly nods to this. Mahiro changes the subject to try and lighten up the mood. He suggests buying the other ingredients they need, discovering they don’t have the others for the recipe but Ichijou backtracks and tells him it’s no need. 

Mahiro realizes that Ichijou never wanted to cook in the first place. He is visibly disappointed and is about to leave but Ichijou tells him that he can pay for the vegetables. Mahiro looks offended. He tells him that these vegetables mean more to him than the few dollars that they are worth to Ichijou. 

Inside, Ichijou is shocked by the encounter. He quietly flips through the cookbook and realizes that the countries from which the dishes are from are the countries he promised to take her grandmother someday. He realizes that through the cookbook that his grandmother made, even if they don’t have the chance to travel together anymore, they can still visit the world through the taste of the food, even just in memory. 

Ichijou rushes to apologize to Mahiro. He knows it is late but he at least wants to see the world through cooking just as his grandmother did. Mahiro tells him how he and Mizuchi worked on growing the coriander when she was still alive. Ichijou confesses that he is a bad grandson. Mahiro tells him that he can still change.

Mahiro offers him a gardening glove and the two start working. 

Catch up on ‘Naked Dining~Love, Life and Liberation~’  available to stream on GagaOOLala!

 

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