My Neighbors the Yamadas (synopsis - Page 5)
YAMADA FAMILY CHRONICLES
Takashi comes home exhausted from the office. He is starving and wishes for something to eat. However, all that is available is a banana and a dorayaki (red bean cake). He refuses to eat this, but ultimately accepts it, having no other choice. She brings him a cup of tea, and she joins him at the table. Mr. Yamada eats his dinner while his wife watches television.
I'm lonely too
The Autumn dusk
Since Matsuko is sick in bed and is unable to cook, the rest of the family takes the opportunity to order out. Matsuko crawls out of bed requesting the menu, she is not going to miss an opportunity to eat a meal without cooking, no matter how sick she is!
GOING MY WAY
Shige is putting up posters for the croquet tournament. An officer tells her she cannot put it up in that particular place. "Why?" she asks, "it is merely over an electoral poster for this particular candidate."
Shige volunteers in clean up work at the park. Her male childhood friend also volunteers there. She is upset he is working on HER side. She divides the park by drawing a line on the floor using a stick, and tells her friend not to step on HER side. She hasn't changed in sixty years.
Matsuko comes up with a plan for not sorting her trash for recycling: she wants her family to distribute it in several different public trash containers so that the volunteers will do the sorting for them. Her family is disgusted and refuses to participate with this plan. Shige, being a volunteer herself, is most upset and chases Matsuko, hitting her with a broom as they run.
THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
Two children walk up to Shige, asking if she saw a ball going into her yard earlier. She presents two balls, a new one and an old beat up one. They tell her theirs is the old one. She feels she should reward their honesty and gives them both balls. Minutes later two other boys walk up to her and ask her for a ball they lost yesterday. She tells them she did not see anything. They, however, are sure this was the house.
Shige, guiltily, tries to get Nonoko to go to the two first boys and request the ball for her. She refuses.
Matsuko points out the sign of an accident as they walk down the street. Shige feels sorry for the crumpled traffic guard, then for a potted plant that was nearby, then for the parents of the kids involved, but never for the "motorcycle gang" that crashed.
As she walks across the street a kid in a motorcycle almost runs her over.
Shige and Matsuko discuss the littering and the noise made by a motorcycle gang in the neighborhood. Shige is set scold them, but Takashi gets home as she is about to walk out. Being a man he is chosen to do this, although he is not too happy about it. He puts his construction helmet on and steps outside.
As he walks out of the house the animation style becomes more realistic and menacing. He walks near the motorcycle gang and is bullied by them. He is on the motorcycle's spotlight, but his wife and mother in law come to the rescue banging on pots and singing a song:
This water bitter
This water's sweet. . .
The menace is seemingly gone, and the animation style goes back to the same degree of stylization as the rest of the movie. Shige tries to persuade the leader of the gang to use his presence and strength for justice. If he scolds litterbug or public nuisances then others will like him. He however decides against it, and chooses to leave so the old lady will stop bothering him.
Takashi was unable to do anything against the menace.
Takashi imagines a scene where his wife and mother in law are kidnapped by two thugs on motorcycles. Noboru and Nonoko run after them crying, but are left behind. Takashi steps out into the shadows and comes out as the "Masked Rider" on a scooter. He follows the thugs and they shoot at him. The bullets all miss due to his evasive driving. The "Masked Rider" overtakes the thugs, shoots the guns from their hands, and rescues the two women. The children reach them and there is a tearful reunion. The "Masked Rider" looks proudly at the scene.
Takashi sits on a swing in the park late at night. His construction helmet slips between his hands to the floor.
A grasshopper trapped
Under a warrior's helmet
Takashi is upset that his wife asks his about the umbrella he forgot at the office instead of about him.
Some days later he proudly displays an umbrella as he walks into the house. That particular day, however, he had not taken his umbrella to the office. . .