Taiho Shichauzo file 3

Koi no Highway Star
[Love's Highway Star]
Product Number
BES-1045 (VHS), BEAL-696 (CAV)

Natsumi slowly wakes up, still wearing the headphones she fell asleep listening to. As she gains consciousness, she looks at the clock, only to make the horrifying discovery that she overslept.

At work, Miyuki is changing into her uniform. Yoriko comes in, being her usual snoopy self, and asks where Natsumi is. ``She overslept like she always does,'' replies Miyuki, continuing to dress. Yoriko picks up the appointment book she dropped pulling out her uniform and takes a look. Miyuki isn't pleased with her snooping, takes back the book and then realizes that she has to respond to an invitation for this weekend; it's already Thursday. After she runs off Yoriko grins and thinks to herself, ``This weekend? Respond? This is suspicious.''

Natsumi comes rushing in to the locker room and is greeted by a grinning Yoriko. ``Do you want to know?'' asks Yoriko when queried about her laugh. Of course, her words about Miyuki set the rumor mill at the department going in high gear.

Nakajima walks into the office only to be greeted by a group of coworkers who want to ask him something. He is ``saved'' from answering by Natsumi who runs by, grabs him by the neck and drags him up to the roof. There, she and Yoriko proceed to question him about this meeting with Miyuki this weekend. He claims ignorance of this, so they tell him to do something about it. After further encouragement to ``be a man,'' he agrees.

Later, Nakajima walks past the garages, trying out various ways to ask out Miyuki. None seem to be exactly it. His contemplation is brought to an abrupt halt by Miyuki's appearance. He comes out of his distraction by noticing a new motorcycle in the garage. Miyuki tells him that it's Natsumi's. She is surprised when Nakajima says that he thought he'd find her here. When she asks why, he says it's nothing much, but Natsumi pops up and insists that it is important.

Miyuki begins wondering about the bike, but Natsumi corrects her; it's something Nakajima himself wanted to ask. He begins, brokenly, to ask Miyuki out, but has trouble even beginning. She comments that they are both acting strange. Yoriko pops up at this point and explains, to Nakajima's dismay, that he wanted to ask Miyuki out on a date since he heard that she was going to have an omiai. Continuing for Nakajima, she asks if this weekend would be convenient. When Miyuki asks, Nakajima confirms the invitation. Since he's asking about this weekend, she is is sorry but has to to decline. Nakajima just stands there pole-axed.

The rest of the department, gathered outside the garage to listen, are also disappointed at this reply. Miyuki then asks who said that she had an omiai, and blame immediately falls on Yoriko. She tries to get out of the situation by acting cute and stupid, but her coworkers don't let her off this easily.

Saturday, Natsumi drops Miyuki off at the train station for her trip. It's for a class reunion. Miyuki is a bit worried, but Natsumi says not to. Miyuki then mentions that that Nakajima hasn't heard much of this, and Natsumi figures out the real reason Miyuki is worried, even though she says that's not it. She tells Miyuki that she'll take care of things. Miyuki thanks her and heads off.

Natsumi then stops off at Nakajima's place. She explains that it wasn't an omiai this weekend, but this doesn't bring him out of his funk. She then invites him out to party (she knows a great place) and to try out the motorcycle. Since he's still depressed and distracted as they are riding, Natsumi gives his bike a bump, and races off, touching his competitive spirit.

After the race, they stop at a small shrine (Shioyamashi-jinja). Natsumi prays aloud there, while Nakajima does so in silence. When she is done, Natsumi suggests they go off and buy an amulet for Miyuki. She suggests a token of love, ``It'll be the perfect thing to give.'' Nakajima isn't so sure about this idea.

Miyuki meets her friends in a hotel. They all comment on how the others are all so grown up now. Now at Houkoudera temple, Natsumi explains that Miyuki is going to a high school reunion. The mention of guys there unsettles Nakajima, especially the idea of an old boy friend. While Natsumi and Nakajima have this conversation, Miyuki is having dinner with her classmates, including a fellow named Kido.

Natsumi finally gets Nakajima to admit that he doesn't like the idea of Miyuki sitting next to a fellow from her past. At this, she suggests that they head off to the ryokan the reunion is at. They race off on their motorcycles, blowing right past a couple of guys who were already racing. Meanwhile, Kido has asked Miyuki away from the tables and, while they are alone, says he has something to say that is a bit embarrassing. It's about something that happened a while ago., but Miyuki doesn't remember what, though Kido does.

Breaking the intimate setting Kido returns the 300 yen he's owed her for the past 3 years, then turns to leave. They both grin and Miyuki comments that this is just like him. Natsumi and Nakajima have arrived at the ryokan. They talk to the proprietor and find that the name of the town and ryokan are exactly right, however there is no reunion like Miyuki's going on here. Natsumi then realizes that it's actually the town of the same name in Chiba prefecture that Miyuki went to (quite a distance from here). On hearing this, Nakajima falls over as though dead.

Miyuki returns to the dinner table to find that her friends are talking about their boy friends and dating. They ask Miyuki if she's dating anyone. She denies it, but they figure she is and that it's a guy from work. Talk then turns to weddings and what makes a good man. This whole conversation doesn't leave Miyuki with the most settled feelings.

Elsewhere, Natsumi reassures Nakajima that things aren't all bad. They're sitting beside the ocean drinking (and Natsumi has had quite a bit). As she tries (forcefully) to get him to drink some more, the camera pans up into the night sky.

Miyuki says good bye to her classmates at the train station. They promise to meet again, and the subject of boy friends comes up again. On the train back, a contemplative Miyuki draws the face of a tall guy in the mist on the window, then smiles.

It is raining the next morning Miyuki finally returns home. She finds yesterday's newspaper in the mailbox and wonders why Natsumi didn't take them in (they live together). Yoriko comes up and asks about her trip. She also wonders where Natsumi and Nakajima are. Just then, two motorcycles come up the street. Yoriko is surprised to find Natsumi riding with Nakajima. Stunned is a better description for Miyuki. She drops her newspapers at the shocked realization that those two spent the night together.

The next day at work, Natsumi and Nakajima are the topic of conversation. The chief walks past a pair discussing this, and suggests this isn't the best topic; after all, Nakajima and Natsumi could have had night duty. Yoriko steps in the door, laughs, and says that she should be able to explain things.

Miyuki is working on a motorcycle in the garage. Natsumi paces back and forth behind her, and after a bit says she has something to talk to her about. Miyuki replies that she understands, ``you just intended to cheer up Nakajima-kun. I'm not worried.'' She then proves this wrong by overflowing the reservoir she was filling. When Natsumi points this out, she starts to run off to get something to wipe it up, only to trip over hose lying there.

In the medical room, Miyuki puts a bandage on her injured forehead. She comes out, only to meet Nakajima; both are embarrassed. He asks if she tripped. She replies that it's probably because she's coming down with a fever. He hopes it's nothing serious and thanks her for the gift she brought back from her trip. She replies that she bought some for everyone, apologizes for being in a hurry and runs off.

Nakajima sits, dejected, on the roof. Natsumi tells him he shouldn't worry since Miyuki lied about the gifts. When Yoriko comments that this whole thing is interesting, Natsumi rounds on her, blaming her for the mess her friends are in. As Nakajima continues to be depressed, Natsumi grabs him and drags him off to the garage where she tells Miyuki that he has something to tell her. She then orders Nakajima to tell Miyuki his true feelings.

Nakajima is reluctant to, despite Natsumi's encouragement. They both stop short upon hearing Yoriko's voice: ``Nakajima, Fight! We're all behind you. Take courage.'' She's standing there in the garage door with half the department behind her for encouragement and observation. Nakajima is horrified while Miyuki is silently furious. Natsumi tries to apologize; this wasn't what she intended at all. Miyuki asks to be left alone and runs off, passing the chief as she heads away.

After this incident, things are a bit tense at headquarters. When Miyuki and Natsumi head out on their patrol that afternoon, everyone breathes a sigh of relief and relaxes.

On patrol, Natsumi asks Miyuki about her cold, but Miyuki says she's ok. Talk then turns to recent events. Natsumi says she understands about the troubles. Miyuki replies that sometimes she doesn't even understand herself. Anyway, when someone falls in love, they need to think things out for themselves. But, necessity and love are both good goals. Natsumi is surprised at this speech, and Miyuki replies that she probably seems a bit strange.

No sooner have they finished this discussion than the light turns green. Before they have a chance to start, a motorcycle crosses in front of them, running the red light. The partners set out in pursuit. The motorcyclist tries to lose them but Miyuki does her usual good job of keeping on his tail. Finally, he does make a tight turn in front of a drop-off, that the car has a bit of trouble with. As they slide toward the edge, Natsumi uses her feet to provide a little extra braking. Unfortunately, there's a cat sleeping in their path. Just as they're about to hit it, Nakajima sails through on his bike, grabbing the cat and saving it.

As Miyuki and Natsumi catch their breath after this close call, Nakajima comes back to see how they are. While Natsumi laments the condition of her formerly new shoes, he asks Miyuki about her fever. He feels her forehead, takes off his scarf and puts it around her, telling her to take care. After Nakajima heads off, Natsumi starts to criticize him, but Miyuki stops her, saying that it's ok. She smiles, holding the scarf.

Back at police headquarters, the Chief is printing something from his computer. He calls Miyuki and Nakajima up to his desk and presents them with the orders he just printed. It's the schedule for a date that they're to go on together. Miyuki immediately salutes, agreeing, ``Yes Sir!'' while Nakajima just stands there with his mouth hanging open.

Miyuki and Nakajima meet outside the train station (just like the plan stated). He is reading the plan, and more then slightly nervous. He asks if the could act this way today. She smiles, replying she'd like that too. The two head off on their pre-planned date: going to a movie, shopping, having dinner and such. As they proceed, the entire much of the department seems to be clandestinely watching the two. The various watchers report back to the Chief and Natsumi on how things are going.

Miyuki and Nakajima sit down on a park bench that Yoriko and Natsumi have under hidden observation. Miyuki returns his scarf, thanking him and saying that she washed it. He thanks her and gives her something he got specially for her. It's an amulet to ensure safe driving. Natsumi is crushed that it wasn't something to declare his love. Nakajima explains that she has to do a lot of driving in this job and doesn't want her to come to harm. He continues, saying that even though they were ordered to do this, he had a wonderful time. Miyuki thanks him and says that she greatly enjoyed it too. He's a bit surprised at this, but both seem happy at this turn of events. Natsumi is disappointed that they made no open declaration of their feelings.

This tender moment is broken by a beeper going off (both for Natsumi and Miyuki). It's the chief calling Miyuki up. He apologizes, but says that there's an emergency in front of the train station. Miyuki hangs up and explains to Nakajima, ``It's work.'' He gets up to go with her but she tells him to wait and yells out toward the bushes, ``Natsumi, you should be here? Let's go!'' Natsumi hears this, vaults the bushes and runs off with her, leaving the listening headphones with Yoriko. Nakajima watches the partners run off together on yet another patrol, and Miyuki's words run through his mind. She'd like to be asked to do something like this again.

After the closing credits, we see that Miyuki has kept the amulet Nakajima gave her and has it tied to the key of her patrol car.