Pursuing The Owner of ‘Minato’s Laundromat’ Episodes 1-4

The emotional tug-of-war commences between two men of different ages.

‘Minato’s Laundromat’ tells the story of a middle-aged businessman who leaves his corporate job to run his grandfather’s laundromat. There, he meets and befriends a high school student named Katsuki Shintaro. However, their relationship becomes complicated when Shintaro discovers that Akira is gay.

 

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. Read at your own risk!

 

Episode 1: Minato’s Laundromat is Open

(Image: GagaOOLala)

In the scorching heat, Minato runs his beloved coin-operated laundromat, which has been cherished by the community for three decades. After recovering from a health issue he faced while working at a company, Minato took over the business when his grandfather retired. As Minato focuses on his work at the garage, a customer informs him about a broken washing machine. While fixing it, Minato realizes the customer is his ideal type, but underage. Offering juice due to the broken AC, Minato receives a box of cookies as gratitude later. They exchange names, and Minato playfully reveals his dislike for sweets, suggesting something that pairs well with alcohol next time. Seeking solace from a large family, the customer, Shin, finds comfort at Minato’s laundromat. After, Minato finds a flushed Shin outside the closed laundromat, suffering from heatstroke. He takes Shin to his house to care for him, and they discover a shared love for swimming. As Minato tends to Shin, his heart races, so he steps away under the pretense of the AC technician’s arrival. Returning with good news about the AC, he surprises Shin with the next volume of his favorite manga. During their conversation about dating and complimenting Shin’s good looks, Minato accidentally reveals he’s gay.

Two weeks after Minato’s revelation, Shin returns to the laundromat. Minato opens up about his feelings, jokingly expressing that he was hurt when Shin left abruptly. Suddenly, Shin firmly grasps Minato’s wrist and confesses his desires, but wants to take things slowly and be friends first, pertaining to a previous conversation they had. Minato agrees, even though his heart races with Shin’s touch. They continue hanging out, and Shin brings food that pairs well with alcohol at night. Despite Shin’s clear signals of interest, such as compliments and hand-holding, Minato finds himself pulling away, causing frustration for Shin who promises to try harder. Minato is at a loss knowing that what he’s feeling for the high school student could be love.

 

Episode 2: Maybe Closed Next Week

(Image: GagaOOLala)

Shin arrives at the laundromat and asks to cook deep-fried aji fish at Minato’s place, he almost gets swayed but due to Shin’s clear crush on him, Minato tells him he can’t. Shin insists on going to Minato’s place as friends, but Minato suggests bringing the food to the laundromat instead. Shin becomes upset and sulks, declaring that he’ll eat the food alone. At school, Asuka playfully teases Shin about his text messages with Minato about their plan to hang out but Shin remains cold to him. Minato and Shin savor hotate later, cooked on the charcoal grill Shin brought from home. Shin opens up about wanting to become a doctor due to a past swimming injury and Minato admires his ambition, suggesting studying at the laundromat instead of his house as a joke. Their playful banter turns into a lively tickling session. Shin encounters Asuka while leaving Minato’s laundromat after, and although Asuka assumes he likes guys, Shin remains unfazed by the accusation.

Minato feels a pang of jealousy when he sees Shin walking on the beach, arm in arm with a girl one day. Later, the same girl visits the laundromat and introduces herself as Shin’s sister, revealing that she knows Minato is the person Shin likes. Shin’s sister has misunderstood their relationship, but Shin doesn’t see it as an issue. He asks Minato if he likes or hates him, expressing his desire to hear him say he likes him but Minato playfully pushes him away and insists that he will never say it, no matter what. Minato brings up their significant age difference, but Shin remains resolute in his attraction toward him. Shin tries to kiss him, but Minato scolds him, advising him to focus on his studies. Shin playfully complies with Minato’s request and teases him about his racing heart. Later that night, Minato reflects on how Shin has a strong hold on him. Minato’s friend suddenly calls and invites him to a reunion party, mentioning that their former teacher, Sakuma, will be present. This triggers memories of Minato’s school days when he had feelings for Sakuma, as a kiss between them is shown.

 

Watch ‘Minato’s Laundromat’ on GagaOOLala

Episode 3: Say Goodbye To Any Stain

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Minato is lost in thought about the reunion party when Shin surprises him at the laundromat. Shin tries to distract him by mentioning a forgotten item at the laundromat, and they go to return it to Granny Uta. However, instead of Granny Uta, Asuka emerges from the shop, revealing himself as her grandson. As Shin and Asuka engage in a staring contest, Asuka realizes that the “Akira” Shin was texting refers to Minato. Shin feels down after Asuka declares his love is unrequited, so Minato tries to cheer him up by buying him croquettes, and they spend time together by the beach. Minato opens up about his past crush on his former teacher, Sakuma, who was also the advisor of the swimming club. He suggests that perhaps Shin is going through a similar phase of confusing his feelings for love. However, Shin becomes angry and declares that he likes Minato. At school, Shin asks about Asuka’s relationship with Minato. He tells Shin that they would sometimes go to the public bathhouse together, leading to a humorous daydream in Shin’s mind where he kisses Minato there.

Minato attends the reunion party and is relieved that Sakuma couldn’t come. He visits the school and reflects on his conversation with Shin at the beach, where Shin confessed feelings that had been growing for ten years. This leads Minato to wonder if they had met before. Shin anticipated that Minato would be at school, so he goes there to find him. Taking advantage of already being there, Minato suggests that they explore the swimming pool area. Shin requests more details about Sakuma, and Minato shares a bitter memory of kissing his teacher on the school rooftop during his graduation. Minato admires Shin’s bravery in expressing his feelings, but he emphasizes their age difference and Shin’s future as reasons they can’t be together. Shin persists, wanting confirmation that Minato truly dislikes him, and shows his jealousy towards Sakuma. In another attempt to kiss Minato, they both accidentally fall into the pool, resulting in laughter and playful banter between them. Minato and Shin dry themselves at the laundromat, and Minato questions the meaning of “ten years” that Shin mentioned before but Shin insists that Minato should remember it himself.

 

Episode 4: A Summer Storm Approaches

(Image: GagaOOLala)

The laundromat is closed for the day after Minato catches a cold. He hilariously dreams of Shin undressing him and kissing his neck so he decides to sleep off his developing feelings for Shin. Meanwhile, Shin grows more concerned upon seeing the “closed” sign at the laundromat and receiving no response from Minato to his texts. Asuka playfully asks when Shin started liking Minato and teases him about the possibility of Asuka liking Minato too. Shin ignores Asuka’s teasing, and the next scene shows a young Minato crying at the laundromat while a boy watches him through the window. Asuka and Shin visit Minato’s place, and with Asuka’s loud voice, Minato opens the door but is surprised to see Shin there as well. Minato quickly tries to close the door, but Shin holds it, expressing his concern and wanting to take care of him. Asuka pushes his way inside, causing the self-conscious Minato to retreat to his room. Shin insists on taking care of Minato, causing Asuka to leave and making Minato panic because he is not prepared to be alone with Shin yet. Shin waits just outside Minato’s room, and Minato opens the door slightly for Shin to check his temperature by touching his forehead. Shin prepares porridge for the sick Minato, whose heart is touched by Shin’s kindness.

Minato quickly recovers and resumes his routine at the laundromat. When he confronts a thief, Shin comes to the rescue and helps apprehend the culprit. Though Minato is safe, Shin is upset that he hurt his hand when he had just recovered from the flu and because he came late after being preoccupied with making food at home. Minato feels a tightness in his chest when he sees Shin on the verge of tears. In the heat of the moment, Minato tries to kiss Shin, but they both stumble and fall on a table. Realizing what could have happened, Minato tells Shin to go home. The next day, Shin shares the incident with Asuka, demonstrating it humorously in front of their classmates. To celebrate Minato’s recovery, Shin throws a party with Chinese food and party hats at the garage. Despite initially refusing, Minato attends the school event in disguise. Shin wins a race with Minato’s support, and Minato offers to treat Shin and Asuka to juice. However, their attention is caught when Minato’s former teacher, Sakuma, calls his name. Sensing the tension, Shin instinctively holds onto Minato’s sleeve.

Minato finds himself gradually drawn towards Shin due to his persistent pursuit. However, a meeting with Minato’s past love has the potential to complicate their developing relationship. Will Minato continue to deny his growing feelings for Shin? And how will they overcome this new hurdle?

 

Watch ‘Minato’s Laundromat’ on GagaOOLala

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