Mar 23, 2023

"Zero's Tea Time": Two Guys Flirt in a Restaurant, Probably.


The promo to Zero's Tea-Time shows two guys in a restaurant together, no doubt on a date.  Enough gay potential for me to investigate further.

It's a anime with 6 episodes, each 15 minutes long (including a 5-minute intro).  Netflix keeps track of everything you've watched, even for a few minutes, since the beginning of time, and apparently I watched 3/4ths of the first episode.  But I remember nothing about it, so I'm going in fresh.  The two guys in the restaurant scene is from Episode 3, entitled "Time 3."

A blond guy serves tea, shoots a gun, brushes his teeth (chest shot), types into a computer while sitting in a dark alley.  

He or another blond guy makes eggs at Coffee Poirot ("Amuro Toru"), then shoots a gun ("Private Eye"), walks down the street in a business suit ("Furuya Rei"), plays baseball ("Tomisiro").  Apparently he has four personas: they all appear together as "Zero!" 

You think the intro is over?  Nope, the four personae appear again, one at a time, doing their individual tasks, and Detective Conan (the boy-detective who apparently appears in every Japanese anime ever produced) invites us to "enjoy a slice of Amuro Toro's life."   So this episode is about the barista persona?

Scene 1: Furuya Rei (Business Suit Persona) drinks coffee at a red light while telling a woman on the phone that the case is closed, thanks to Detective Mouri.  Ugh, slow camera pan of her caressing her legs in the bathtub!  She pauses to caress her boob and bring a rose petal seductively to her lips.  This is straight porn!  But I sat through the entire 5-minute long intro, so I'm sticking with it.

She wonders if he is going to give up "following him," now that the case is over?  Nope, he's even more intrigued by the "sleeping Kogaru." 

Scene 2: As Rei walks up to his apartment, the woman seductively gets out of the bath tub, wraps a towel around herself, and notes that she's having trouble falling asleep at night. He suggests: not taking a bath before bed, no cell phones or laptops, and no alcohol: try Ume Kombucha instead. During the suggestions, the camera lingers on her legs as she drops the towel and puts on lingerie.  Boy, was I mistaken!  This is all disgusting horny hetero male gaze dreck!

Scene 3: The porn over, Rei gets on his computer and pulls up a photo of a smiling older man with his arms around two teenage boys, one blond, both looking angry.  His dad and brother? Then some military guys clowning.  He apparently falls asleep.

Scene 4: Four guys in suits tell him "You're late."  Rei, now named Zero, wakes up at 5:00 am, in bed (partial chest shot).  He goes to work at the Cafe Poirot and complains to his girl coworker that he didn't sleep well.  She suggest Ume Kombucha.

Scene 5:  A motorcycle cop tries to pull over a suspect, and is so surprised to see a standard Detective Conan shadow-being villain that he crashes.  Rei/Zero, now Hoodie Guy, rushes to the rescue.  Wait -- he's not performing first aid, he's stealing the cop's motorcycle!  He apprehends the shadow-being, ties him up, and calls the police.

Scene 6:
Kazami, a black-haired guy in a business suit, reciting longitudes and latitudes into a cell phone.  He enters the Dondi Tea Shop; there are no free tables, so the host asks if he can share Rei's  So, not on a date, just strangers who happen to be sharing a table. 

Kazami states that the police are looking for the guy who stole the cop's motorcycle to chase the shadow-being villain yesterday.  He's suspicious because Rei knows too much about the case.  But they are distracted when the waitress appears: Kazami orders the extra-spicy curry.  The waitress warns that it's extra-spicy, but he'll lose face if he says no now.  

When their food arrives, Kazami is shocked that Rei adds potato to his curry: it enhances the texture and flavor. 

In order to impress Rei, Kazami tries to add red fukujinzuki to his extra-spicy curry.  Rei suggests sour white rocio instead. But it's still too hot!  He reaches for the water, but Rei warns that it won't help: the capsacin that creates the hotness is oil based, so water will just make it hotter.  Always wait until you are finished to drink.  

They finish.  Kazami, suffering, red-faced, his ears smoking, drinks a whole pitcher of water.   He says "I'm sorry you had to see me like this.'  Wait -- I thought they were strangers?   Rei chuckles.  

Five Minute Closing Credits:   A white-haired little boy appears as a constellation, then gradually becomes human.  Rei in a business suit walks down the street, then goes home to cry on his futon, while the singer tells us to "Find your truth."  He then plays the guitar, stares out over the ocean, and closes his laptop. 

What Did I Just Watch?  Tips for falling asleep at night and eating spicy food, a naked lady taking a bath, and a guy trying to impress a stranger in a tea shop, maybe with gay text or subtext intent.    I didn't really see a story, or even part of an ongoing story.  I'd better watch some more episodes.

Episode 4: A shadow-being has been stealing things from TV star Yoko's dressing room.  Rei chases him across the set of a game-show obstacle course.  Then a little boy asks the teenage girl he's crushing on to teach him how to ride a bike, but she pawns him off onto Rei.  At first he rebels, but Furuma gradually wins him over.  No tips, but no naked ladies, either.

Episode 5:
  Scary-looking FBI agent Andre Camel has come to Japan to track down the Black Organization (probably mentioned in an earlier episode, or somewhere else in the Detective Conan Universe).  He drops into the Poirot Cafe, and is shocked to see Rei, his arch-nemesis. They discuss coffee, sandwich ingredients, and the American custom of taking coffee breaks ("Lazy jerks!  I'll bet you get to work later than 6 am and leave earlier than midnight!)  

Later, Andre is upset because his car almost got trapped when the street was closed off for a fireworks festival.  But he gets to see the fireworks.  Rei watches, too, and is depressed. Next, Rei meets a dog.

What Did I Just Watch?  So these are just brief slice-of-life anecdotes, not really connect to any ongoing plot?  Or maybe you have to be an expert on the Detective Conan-verse to understand how they fit into an plot arc that extends across multiple mangas and animes.  Coming into the party late, I'm a bit bewildered.  

Beefcake: Glimpses of Rei's body, but totally overwhelmed by the luxuriating gaze at the naked lady.

Gay Characters: The restaurant scene still strikes me as the two guys flirting.  

Will I Keep Watching:  If the lady keeps her clothes on.

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