Sanctuary – J-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

Episode 3

Episode 3 of Sanctuary opens at the Koku Stable where Kunishima and her boss observe the other wrestlers practice. Komatora is fighting Shizuuchi. Shizuuchi with his non-dominant hand though, because he was too strong for his opponent. Koku calls Shizuuchi a true monster which leaves Kunishima shocked.

Meanwhile, Ensho and Mr Ogawa discuss the situation with their problem child, Oze, and how he lacked the real motivation to fight. Enya challenges Oze for a few sets of fights and ends up beating Oze every time. Oze is frustrated because he cannot win against Enya even once, while Enya claims that not doing shiko well was the reason for his failure.

Enya believes that Oze’s sumo wrestling is like a dot and he needs to connect them, which is only going to be possible by practicing the shiko. Enku is Enya’s subordinate who is upset that his mentor is more focused on helping Oze when it was he who worshipped at Enya’s feet. Kunishima seems to be curious about the shiko exercises herself but tries to hide the fact from her boss.

That afternoon, Oze rests in the park where he runs into Shizuuchi, who is still looking at the tree. He offers a cigarette to Shizuuchi but the latter isn’t used to smoking which makes Oze laugh. On his way back to the stable, a male admirer of Engaku asks Oze to deliver a gift to the sumo wrestler. Instead of delivering the package to Engaku though, Oze opens it up and is shocked to see a love letter and cheesy underpants in the package.

Oze’s mother gives him a call asking for 500,000 yen for his father’s treatment. She is in the hospital bed with a man who is fondling her breast while her husband is on life support. She is sure that Oze will bring the money to her because he loved his father a lot. Oze is going to, but he hatches a weird plan in order to make money. He snaps fetishized photos of Engaku’s nipples as well as making a video of him in the shower. Oze offers the photos and the video to Engaku’s admirers in exchange for money.

Oze is about to transfer the money to his mother when he gets a call from Nanumi asking to hang out. He cancels the transaction and meets Nanumi over sushi at a very expensive restaurant. Oze complains that the sushi is pretty average in comparison to what his father made back in the day when they still had the restaurant.

Ensho has a drink with Enya and mentions that he was paying a lot of attention to Oze which could hurt Enku. He states that Enku had joined the stable because of Enya but the latter claims that he wanted Enku to stop chasing after him and for him to come up with his own game. At the sushi parlour, Oze and Nanumi eat to their heart’s content and they leave to go back home.

On the way, two Turkish men try to sell some ancient stone necklaces to the pair. When Oze asks for one, Oze buys it unwillingly. The men see the money in Oze’s wallet and steal it, while Oze drops Nanumi to a taxi and tries to pay for the ride. He is shocked to find his wallet missing and the two men having fled. He is dejected on his way back to the stable and thinks back on how the money could have really helped his dad had he used it wisely.

That evening, Nanumi pulls out Oze’s wallet, which is full of money, from her purse. Back at the stable, Ensho yells at Oze because Engaku’s photos are now all over the internet. Engaku is far from angry at Oze. In fact, Engaku is disappointed that Oze did not make him look cooler in the photos. Oze transfers 250,000 yen from his savings to his mother’s account and asks her to use his savings on his father’s treatment. He warns her against using the money for her own benefit and asks about his father’s condition. He pushes himself harder in the wrestling ring and thinks about Enya’s comment about his wrestling being a dot.

Meanwhile, Kunishima is looking up information about the shiko exercise online when she gets a call from her former boss. He asks to meet her to chat but Kunishima claims that she will make it back to the political news team. She tells him that he needed to face her every day at work for lying and making her have an affair with him when he had a wife and a child.

Nanumi is upset that Oze has been ignoring her texts. Meanwhile, Oze is practising in the park nonstop to be a better fighter for the sake of his father. The wrestlers in the stable are shocked to see Oze up early in the morning, practising his shiko. That day, Oze asks to fight Enga and finally beats him for the first time, impressing Kunishima. Ensho gives Oze his ring name and calls him ‘Enno’.

Oze makes it to the tournament but is still behaving in a cocky manner. He smokes inside the waiting area while the other wrestlers prep for their fight. Shimuzu greets Oze and tells him that he now worked as an usher for the tournaments after he fled the stable. Shimuzu states that this is his way to stay close to sumo wrestling, something that he’s always been very passionate about.

Kunishima makes it to the tournament and waits for Oze’s fight. Oze is prideful and does not bow to the referee which pisses him a little. During his fight, Oze competes with a wrestler named Inokoshi. Oze’s attitude problem sets off the referee and the usher. He somehow manages to defeat Inokoshi which infuriates Ensho’s enemy, Inushima.

Oze creates a scene in the ring after winning the match and blurts out that he’s from Ensho Stable. Ensho is pissed at Oze and chokes him for his attitude. Afterwards, Oze watches the next fight where Shizuuchi defeats his opponent in a matter of seconds.

That night, Inokoshi visits Ensho Stable and asks Ensho to have Oze resign immediately.

The Episode Review

Oze’s character really makes me sympathize with him and he really could be the underdog that shot to fame by the end of this season. It is possible that his pride and cocky attitude could lead to his downfall but he seems like a simple guy who dearly loves his father. I want to see Shizuuchi and Oze bond because it seems like they could really help each other.

Oze could help Shizuuchi finally recover from his trauma with his goofy personality and Oze could really learn from Shizuuchi’s sumo wrestling skills in the episodes to come.

From the get-go, Nanumi seemed like a bad person to me and here she is, a thief who plotted with the two men and stole Oze’s purse. I am sure Oze will have his feelings hurt by her in the end and eventually learn that his fixation on breasts and good-looking women are what ruined his chance to help his father.

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Expect a full-season review for Sanctuary later this week!


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