Sûpâ no onna (1996) - full transcript

Goro's supermarket is not doing well; the rival "Bargains Galore" threatens his business. A chance encounter with Hanako, an energetic woman he knew in grade school, results in big retail and life changes.

This film is about a supermarket.

By a supermarket, we mean the ordinary
run-of-the-mill kind in your neighborhood

- the one you go to for
everyday groceries.

It does not include the 'Big Stores' which
sell everything

from food to clothes and electric

Get your groceries here!

'Bargains Galore!'

Opens today!

Rock-bottom prices!

'Honest Goro'

Where's my brother?

He's still at home.

Boss! Please wake up!

Goro! Get up!


What's the matter guys?

What's the matter?

The grand opening of

'Bargains Galore', that's what!

I'll go over and take a look.

Discounts you wouldn't believe.

They could crush us.

If it's gonna shut down, it'll shut down.

Hell of a time to be drinking!

Get going, for God's sake.

This is a matter of life and death.

Bread, 30% off.

Eggs, 58 yen.

These are a bargain!

Boss, look.

What! Everything in the freezer case,
50% off!

And, over there.

For every purchase over 3000 yen,

a free bottle of mineral water!

What'll we do?

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

You mean we're not going
to do anything?

Nothing we can do about it.

Then, I guess I'll be heading back.

'Jumbo-size ice cream, 188 yen.

One per customer. Offer limited

to the first 1000 customers'.

Sorry, we've just run out.

Thank you.

What? How come?
What a scam!

Sorry, but we're sold out.

Thank you.

Says here, 'The first 1000 customers'!

Just a pack of lies.

Sorry, but we're sold out.

Thank you and please come again.

The store just opened.

How can you sell 1000 cartons
in one hour?

You're making fools of us?

We have just sold our last one.

Thank you.

I don't believe this!

Oops, I'm sorry.

Is that you?


Wait a minute, you must be...

Yeah, me! Hanako!
Same class, sixth grade!

Hanako Inoue!

Still alive and kicking, hey?

You too, Goro...
Remember that dance we did at school?

Sure do.
You were the princess...

And you were the raccoon.

I sent you a telegram on your wedding.

'Wish you every happiness.'

The cheapest message they've got.

How's the marriage?

My husband died.

So did my wife.

Wow... my sympathies.

And my sympathies to you.

So you've come back.

Uh-huh. I'm back.

Any kids?

I've got one at college.
Studying about livestock.


No wonder we're getting old.

Look at all the space up here.

You could park a small car.

Aw, shuddup. Look who's talking.

Brings back memories...

What are you doing here?


So what do you think of this store?

Oh... let me see.

Great prices, huh?

If they're selling something that costs
100 yen for 50 yen, that's a bargain.

But it probably cost 30 yen
in the first place.

Hey, you've got a point there.

A housewive's know.

Here, take a look at this.

It says, 'Beef, 50% off.'

Now, take a good look, see?

Hey, they've raised the original price.

A housewive's know, okay?

Now, the lights they've got here.

They make everything look red.

Hanako, would you do me a favor?


Let's go to one more store.


Supermarket 'Honest Goro'

How about this store?

This store?

This store stinks.
Won't last much longer.

What? How come?

One in my neighborhood went out of
business. Looked just like this.

Just like what?

Just like this.

What do you mean by 'just like this'?

Well, just like this.

Trash on the floor.

Trash? Where?

Their uniforms are dirty.

The labels should be facing the shopper...

The meat's loosing color.

Pink juice oozing out...

Whoa! A live fish-tank!

What can they be thinking?

What's wrong with that?

I dunno.
I've never seen anything like this.

That shopper over there. She's pulling
spinach out from the bottom.

She does not trust this store.

If the store we just left a while ago is
an example of a 'bad' supermarket,

this one here is 'hopeless'.

I'd just love to see who runs it.
Real stupid, I bet.

This is my store.

Forget what I said.

Too late.

The opening of 'Bargain Galore!' must be
tough on you.

Yeah, tell me about it.

Take the fight to them.

Uh-uh. It's no use doing anything now.

Ah, you're hopeless... I would've fixed it
so no one shopped over there.

How would you do that?

By filling everyone's fridges up.


Will you use your head for a minute?

Before they opened, you should've had
a big sale.

People would've bought everything.

With full fridges, who's gonna buy more?

You're smart.

Housewive's know.

- Good luck.
- Leaving?

You drive me crazy.

Feel like teasing you like I used to.


Don't let that scumbag 'Galore!' get
the better of you, okay?


We pay attention to
the customers' needs.

We pay attention to
the customers' needs.

We strive to greet customers
with a smile.

We strive to greet customers
with a smile.

We strive to make profits.

We strive to make profits.

Let's go, go, go!

Let's go, go, go!

Sir, your car is here.

Mr. Mujina, sir.

So, how are they?

Probably worried about why you're here.

Your sales figure yesterday?

Just over a million yen.

Oh, no, you shouldn't, sir.

Keep it. You always keep us
well informed.

As you know,
my store has just reopened.

The problem is, we're only
a stone's throw from each other.

I am all for avoiding needless rivalry.

Let me get right to the point.
How about selling me your store?

Our store?

Your store is a loser.

There's no future in it.

Then, why do you want to buy it?

I meant that there's no future as long
as you people run it.

With me in charge,
the store will take off.

Why don't you sell us your store?

You stole all the workers and customers
away from our Dad.

Got some nerve coming over here.

Look, you're a babe in the woods.

You're not cut out for business.

How much did you ring up yesterday?
A million yen?

You're hopeless, you know?


Wanna fight?
You're on!

Well, I've said what I came to say.

Don't be sorry later on.

All right, let's sell!

Absolutely not!

Once we go bankrupt,

They'll get it for a song.

We haven't lost it yet.

You're not cut out for business.
We always save your butt.

Okay... please, a year then.

Let me try one more year.

Face it. How much did you
bring in yesterday?

A little over one million yen. But...

Other stores make four
or five times that.

Please! I'll make 'Honest Goro' the best
supermarket in Japan.

Your head is always up in the clouds.
You've got to look at reality.

Just wait and see.

I'll turn 'Honest Goro' into the best
supermarket in Japan.

Rock-bottom prices, eh?
The son of a bitch.

You're pathetic, you know, eating alone
at a place like this.

It's for families and couples.

So where's your girl?

Here, you can eat alone and not be
damn conspicuous.

You forget you're lonely.

I know the feeling.

Those fast-food places...

Year, they're really sad.

You really know this stuff.

I'm single, too.

My sympathies.

Want a drink?


'Bargains Galore!' tried to buy
my store today.

Turned'em down flat!

Said I was going to make 'Honest Goro'
the best in Japan.

You know, I think I'm not cut out
for this business.

I'm not having any fun.

I think it's a great business.

What's so great about it?

It's fascinating...


Let's say there is this housewife

She comes to the store.

She has not yet decided what to buy.

What is the first thing she does?

She stocks up on the things she's out of.

Potatoes, onions, tomatoes...

That's why the vegetable section
comes first.

Yeah? Is that right?

Listen, this is important.

While she is throwing the vegetables into
her shopping basket,

she gradually gets excited.

Like foreplay.

She's nearing climax when she spots
that fresh snapper.

She wonders, 'Should I make beef stew
or sukiyaki or bouillabaisse tonight?'

Don't forget the garlic toast.

Partial to one-pot meal plan, isn't she?

C'mon, that's the ideal family dinner!

The whole family around a steaming pot...
like a dream.

Yeah... it's a dream.

She's not just buying fish or meat
at a supermarket.

Right. She's creating happiness
for her family.

'Look at the dinner I made'.

Delicious, and for so little.
A perfect family portrait.

Hanako, I think you're lonely.
Want me to look after you tonight?

Aw, be quiet! Your supermarket doesn't
excite the housewife.

It doesn't talk to you like

'How about this to make
your family happy?'

Come on, straighten up.

Watch out.

I'm gonna make us number-one!

Here we are.



Well, I'll be going now.

Aw, don't go yet.

Is that a 'butsu-dan'?


Can I pray for your wife?

What was her name?


She looks like a nice person...

Goro must have been a pain.

Hey, take your hands off!

Let's excite the housewife.

Idiot. Chizuko is watching.

Men! Aren't they just awful, Chizuko?

Let's go get some stuff and make
sukiyaki for us.

With you?
No thanks. I'm going home.

Aw, stay a little longer.

Get off, will ya?

Then, destiny must wait...


Potatoes, yams

70 yen...

tomatoes, 6 for 100 yen...

cabbage, 10 yen each...

Hey, what are you doing?

Oh, it's you.
I'm doing a little research for you.


Here, take a look.

I'm looking.

Here's their weak point.

Weak point? Where?

They haven't finished stocking up.

Okay. So?

They are slow in the morning.


Are you really a manager?

Why not have 'morning sales' and pull
their customers away?

Ever heard of 'green receipts'?

'Green receipts'?

To show you get 3% off in the mornings.

What is it?

How the hell do you know so much?

I like supermarkets.

It'll be perfect.

Come work for me, Hanako.

In your store?

Why not?

You flirt too much.

Well, I won't. I promise.

Then... why me?
I want you near me.

Aha! You're flirting again.

No. It's that you make me wanna try
harder at my job.

Welcome to our store.

Welcome, everyone.

Well, 'Honest Goro' spying on us, hey?

As you can see, business is booming.

This is how pros run a store.
You guys are amateurs.

Better sell fast.

Once I get your store,
nothing can stop me.

None of that cut-throat competition.

I can set prices as I please.

Yup, it's gonna be perfect.

You just going to stand there
and take that?


Where's your pride?

It's just that...

When do I start?

You're hiring me.

You mean...

I can't stand that old bastard.

He's wiping out the competition so
he can mark prices as he wants.

A housewife can't ignore something
like that. Fight him.

But, have you ever worked?

As a checkout girl, I'm top class.

That's great.

Well, Boss, let's get going.

The goods are unloaded from
the trucks here.

Then put on carriers,

and enter the store through these doors.

This is the 'backyard', the heart of
the supermarket.

All the fresh produce is handled here.

What's this?

A trolley.
Part of the assembly-line operation.

Assembly-line operation?

I can't see it.

Well... we have some highly skilled
workers, so...

So, what?

Well, they don't like conveyor systems.

Ah... artists.

So, that's how you wrap things.

The goods are packed, weighed,

priced, put on a trolley,

and sent out to the store.

That's why there are no doorsills.

Humm... makes sense.

People, meet our new Chief
check-out lady.

Hi, there!


Back to work.

Hang on, why throw them away?

They're yesterday's leftovers.

Don't waste them.

Use them in our lunch packs.

Fry it again, and sterilize it.

No problem.

Pork loins, 680 yen;

apple juice, 158 yen;

broccoli, 150 yen;

Egg soup, 98 yen.

It comes to 3,272 yen.

From 5,000 yen,

that's 1,728 yen change.

Thank you.

Have a nice day.

Chief, this is a cabbage, isn't it?

No, that's a lettuce.
A cabbage...

This is a cabbage!

What do you know?

Kids today?
The parents should be horse-whipped.

Yeah, you're right.

2,462 yen, please.


Hold it a second.

Can I put these back?

Um... I'm not sure...

They've already been rung up.
Sorry, Ma'am.

Please leave them.

I'll take care of it.

That's 16 yen change.

Thank you.

I've set the food budget to
2000 yen a day.

I understand.

Please come again.

Hey, you're way out of line.

But the lady was happy, wasn't she?

Never mind.
Just do as you're told.

Oh, no! What a mess!

That's gonna be hell to clean up.

You'll have to pay for this.

Are you all right, Ma'am?

Here, take this carton.

Why, thank you.

You don't like any piggy's meat,
do you sweetie?

Ooh, here's some moo-moo-meat.

Sorry, ma'am, no pets allowed.

Please tie it up outside.

Why should I?
My Meg is very quiet.

Hey, she's a politician's woman...

I'm very sorry,
we have sanitary regulations.

Meg is not a pet. She's my baby.

Get out of my way.

I've got some shopping to do.

Can't let you through.

If you want to shop here,
obey our rules.

It's not fair to the other customers.

How dare you talk to me like that?

Like hell I'm gonna shop here!

It stinks!
Get your ass out of my way!

What you've done?
That woman is...

You made a mistake here.

The receipt says 980 yen.

It should be 680 yen.

The label here says 980 yen.

Perhaps I can help.

Okay, come with me.


The special-offer sign is still on.

You're absolutely right.
Our mistake.

We'll take care of it right away.

Sorry about this.

Is this the first time?

No, happens all the time.

After special-offer sales.

Did you tell the meat people?

Oh, no.
Why not?

Those guys are really scary.

Not if you go together.

Um, excuse me.

Excuse me.

I think you forgot to change
the steak prices.

Look, we've got our hands full here.

Hey, come on.

We're the ones that get yelled at.

Couldn't care less.

People will buy meat at special prices.
Sales will drop.

The manager won't like it.

Okay, already... Hey, Gori!
Change the prices back.


I owe you one.

Got a minute?

Uh-huh. I'm busy.

That's a fine chunk of meat.

Japanese beef?

Highest quality Kobe beef.

Don't see much of it at the checkout.
It's not selling.

What did you want?

We've had complaints and I thought
you should know.

'My steak had fat an inch wide.'

'Shoulder loin wasn't all shoulder loin'.

'The Japanese beef was costly but

Is it really Japanese beef?'

Trying to pick a fright?

No. These are shoppers's comments.

Amateurs should shut their traps.

We mix our meats, so what?
Like they say, folding screens

and businesses fall flat on their backs
if kept straight. You like meat so much?

Open up, Chief!
Let me out!

Is she all right?

Yeah. Just letting her cool off.

Chief! Open the door!

What the...? The bitch!

Good beef even sounds good.

Just put up with it.
You knocked his beef and his pride.

Kobe beef is costly.

What if you don't sell it all?

It's a loss.
A loss?

We throw it out.

Then, we lose money.

You'll have to cover that loss.

So what do you do?

We bump up the prices on
our regular meat.

Raise the price of regular meat to keep
the Kobe beef on the shelves!

That's outrageous!

The meat people have their reasons.

You know, the customers like you.

Who cares?
They don't like the store.

Can't you take a compliment?

You should've used a cart, Sir.

But there weren't any.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Come here quick!

Would you look after him?

Goro! The carts are all gone.

Not 'Goro', 'General Manager'!

The customers leave them in
the parking lot.

Never mind how they get there.
Hurry and get them.

Me? I'm busy now.

Aw, forget it!

Told you, I'm your boss.

You idiot!

Thank you.

May I take this now?

Excuse me, sir.
That basket belongs to our store.

Okay, take them all!

Here are the carts.

You've got a real attitude!

I'm sorry.

What crap are you selling here?

I'm sorry.
Is that all you can say?

Some liquid leaked out of this pack and

ruined my clothes!

I'm sorry.

Hold it, you're using a dirty rag!

Can you believe this!

How can you let fish drips stain
your clothes?

I tell you, we can't have this.

What about the drips?

Why do our fish leak so much?

'Cause they don't sell.

Why not periodically repack them?

It's none of your business.

It is my business.

The customers' complaints come to us.

That's your job, to apologize nicely.

Fresh fish, no complaints.

What? you're saying my fish
aren't fresh?

Well, one fresh snapper.

What's it for?

For sashimi later on.
Why not now?

'Cause it looks so good.
We keep it on display and then...

So you sell it just as it goes on the nose.

Watch it, kid.

Take it easy, Chief.

What's this?

Cold salt water.
Firms up the flesh.

Needs more salt.

What do you think?

Yeah. More salt.

Are you all right?

Hello, welcome.

Welcome to our store.

Hanako, you're turning all the pros
against you.

Hey, we get the complaints. We've
got to let the backyard guys know.

Please watch your step.
It's very slippery here.

Hi! How are you?

Those guys have pride.

Don't antagonize them.

Our store can't do without them.

Hi there!

Get your bokchoy here!
Ten-yen each!


You gotta admire him.

He doesn't like to throw away

Now, there's real pro!

Probably stocked up on
too much bokchoy.

Does it all the time.

Come get your bokchoy here!
Only ten yen each!

Promise you won't laugh if I make
a suggestion?

You're bad news.
Telling the pros what to do.

Oh, don't be mean.

I'll need your help in an experiment
tomorrow morning.

Good morning.

Write down ¥198, cross it out,

and write ¥129. Perfect.

Kiyochan, put these on.

Okay. Before we close.

No, no. Put'em on now.

What? Before we open?

It's an experiment.

Instead of throwing out the leftover

lower the price now and sell them.

Think that'll work?

That's 31 yen change.

Thank you, come again.

Thank you.

Hanako, got a minute?


She took one!

She took one, too!

It worked!

Let's celebrate tonight!


Who'd ever guess?

You lower the price a bit,

and they start selling like hot cakes.

You're amazing.

And you thought Hanako was useless.

Yeah. Down-right stupid.

Another thing.

When we sold off all our lifeless

the entire section glowed.

Eh, Mitsu?

Especially tomatoes and green peppers.

Yeah. Green peppers and tomatoes...
they sparkled.

We sold more tomatoes and
green peppers today than usual.

Shelves filled with quality goods

speak for themselves.

Business life never ceases to amaze.

Let's drink to that!


A carton of eggs, 28 yen,

one carton per customer.

Great buy!

Should be 88 yen! And they left out the
'First 1000 customers only' part.


Eggs at 28 yen a carton!

I'm truly sorry.

Even at 88 yen, it's below cost!

What can I say.

What will happen with eggs at 28 yen?

A stampede.

God! We'd run out before noon!

Let's order more eggs right away.

What's a supermarket without eggs?
Can't risk our reputation.

Okay, you're in charge.

Right. Let's go.

Top-line goods are supposed to run out.

Why make a fuss?

But that's...

Then put up a sign saying

we made a mistake.

The people believe in the flyers.

It's be fraud.

It's all my fault.

Just order more eggs, please.

Chief! The customers are already
lining up!

One pack per customer.

Line up, please!

Got one, got one!

Hurry, hurry!

Don't push!

One pack per customer, please.

Didn't you already get one?

Come on, it was somebody else!

One last time, then.
Thank you.

The eggs!
Any minute now.

And, if we run out?

We hand out coupons.

One per customer, valid for a week.

That's it!

Chief, the eggs are here.

Here are the eggs.

Please don't push.

One per customer.

No pushing.

Don't shove.

Thank you.

Remember, you got them
at 'Honest Goro'.

One to a customer, please.

Calm down, please.

Get in line, please.

Don't push.

Thank you.

One per customer.

That's it!

Please stay in line.

We've been had!

We're sold out.

But here are some egg coupons.

These are good for one week.

One pack for 28 yen.
'Honest Goro' keeps its word.

28 yen for a pack.
Valid for one week.

We keep our word.

Liars! I hate supermarkets!

Coupon's good for one week.

The first three months were
a great success.

It's only a matter of time before
'Honest Goro' collapses.

We're on a roll; let's make money.

Use whatever means available.

Sell good imported meat as
Japanese beef.

Call it Japanese beef and you can
double its price.

Then take 30% off.

We still make 40% profit.

Look, new neighbors.

Potential customers.

Sorry to barge in.

Here, let me help you.

We're from 'Honest Goro'.

We're in the neighborhood.
Please drop by.

We'll be waiting.

You're in good shape for an oldie.

College track team.

Take a look.

Our territory... in a radius of 1km
from the store.

Here's where our customers come from.

You know, it's the customers that make
a supermarket.

The egg incident taught me

how scary that can be.

Take a look.

Thousands of people living here...

all wanting the best they can get for
their hard-earned money.

No wonder the customers are
dead serious.

No wonder they look for things that are
better and cheaper.

Supermarkets that can respond
to that, survive.

Supermarkets that can't, die.

You wanted to make the best store ever.


Best in what? Size?

Not possible.

Also impossible.

Then, what?

How's this? Put yourself in
the customer's shoes.

Turn it into the most shopper-friendly
supermarket in Japan!

How do I do that?

Let's find out what the shopper wants.

Find a suitable post for me.

Deputy Manager... will that do?

How are they?

And please, be honest.

Well, just look at the crumbs coating on
this pork cutlet...

So thin, it sags.

Macaroni salad, a yen per gram
is the limit.

One yen?

Keep trying, okay?

Supermarket take-outs must taste good,
when cold.

This tastes kind of gooey.

This rice ball tastes funny.

Funny? In what way?

Sure this is cod roe?

Yep! Genuine cod roe.

Can't be.

This is... grainy.

Hmm. She's right.

It is grainy.
Where do we get these from?

From Tsurukame Foods.

Let's check this out.

Hello. Anybody here?

Anybody home?

I don't think so.

It's grainy.

We're only doing what you asked.

What are these white granules?

You will take responsibility if we're sued?

Uh... well...
You're mixing, aren't you?

No... that is...

What are you mixing?

Smelt roe, isn't it?

Oh, hell...

How much?

About 10%.

But everyone's doing it.

Look. We don't want to deceive
our customers.

Consider our supermarket as
your own storefront.

Think that you're making rice balls for
customers, not for us.

Please, make rice balls using
genuine cod roe.

But the cost...

That's up to you.

But keep it low.
For the sake of everyone.

And, we'll do our best to sell them.

What if they don't sell?

Competition is never easy.

What, you'll go somewhere else?

Let's try out best.

It's good.

Now, this is cod roe!

She says it's good.

Hear that?

We did it!

Thank you, thank you.

Don't cry.

It's my first time to come in direct
contact with a customer.

I'm really touched.
Thank you, thank you.

'Honest Goro'



Never knew corn could taste so sweet.

Did you put sugar in?

Don't be silly.

Fresh corn is sweet.

Picked just this morning.

An idea from one of our customers,
from a farm.


It's an experiment, hey?

I wouldn't mind doing it every day.

How's it going?

Bring me a lunch box.

Here you are.

I can put anything in here?

It's like a buffet.
You can fill it as you like it.

For how much?
We're thinking 680 yen.

That's cheap!

Well, cheap is good.

But these are made with left-overs.

I don't think that's going to satisfy
any one.

I got the idea from a customer.

Why don't we hold a sale with 10% off
everything we sell?

Now, it won't work.

Nobody gets excited unless it's
at least 30% off.

How many items do we carry right now?

I'd say about 6,000.

For how many have we given
discounts to?

Oh, maybe 200.

Then, the remaining 5,800 items have
never been marked down, right?

Who would miss a chance like that?


How's it going here?

Very well, thanks.

We're selling things that...

we don't usually sell

The sale's a big hit.

10 kilograms of rice, 4572 yen.

One saucepan 1782 yen,

one medium size frying pan, 2682 yen,

one large-size frying pan, 5552 yen.

Hello, how are you?

Big rice bags, all gone.
More frying pans!


The sale's great.

Hanako's got more business sense
than the Boss.

A lot better...

Yes, how do you like it?
Thank you.

A real good buy on pots and pans today.

Good morning.

What are you doing?

Repacking yesterday's left-overs and
changing the date.

What for?
I don't understand.

We're repacking the fish and putting
today's date on.

Here, look at the date on this.

That's today's date all right.

We don't want to be a part of
this scam...

but it's the Manager's orders.

What if nobody buys it today?

I guess we put a new date
on it tomorrow.

Then, what's the label for?

What if someone gets food poisoning?

You'll be held responsible too.

Well. We can't let this go on.

Please. I have a motion.

Go ahead.

I want the practice of repacking

Keep that big mouth shut.

I can't.
This concerns everyone.

Nobody enjoys repacking.

Why? Because it's a lie.
We're deceiving our customers.

No we're not.

The date tells the day it was packed.

If we repack it, it gets a new date.

You believe that?

Damn right, I do.

If that's what you believe,
then explain it to everyone.

What's wrong with it?

All supermarkets do it.

It's something you pick up in
the store business.

You've heard it... business and

folding screens won't stand if they're...

What is that?
The company motto?

Well, I don't buy it.

Fooling customers can't be good for
business in the long run.

It'll kill our reputation.


These part-timers are local

They all have families.

When they go home, they have to
fix dinner. Yet...

I have never seen these women
shop here.

Why? Because they don't trust
the store.

Honesty is the best policy.

I think everyone agrees.

All right. Let's put it a vote.

Repacking is a company policy.
Those opposed, raise your hands.

Excuse me.

I don't want to repack things.

How can I explain it to my kids?

Can I say something?

We should quit making dishes out
of leftover stuff.

This is wrong.

We want to make things for the
supermarket we can be proud of.

Who wants to make a boxed lunch with
yesterday's pork cutlets?

Gee, that felt good.

Did you see the Manager's face?

And you really put him in his place.

Not me. She was terrific.

I saw Hanako holding the fort
all by herself,

and the words just came out.


Can I see you?

You want to get me in trouble?

What's wrong?

Come on, repacking is part of the trade.

You put them in an awkward position.

Who's side are you on, the pros or
the shoppers?

A supermarket exists for the shoppers,
not the other way around.

I get your point, but...

No, you don't.
Yes, I do.

Then, hurry up and make it official.


That our policy is to sell only
fresh goods.

But that's...

That'll offend the pros again.
How come?

You're questioning their professionalism.

Oh, come off it.
That pained look again.

Why hesitate so?
Don't be afraid of offending them.

You're hurting their pride.

Where's your backbone?

It's not easy being a boss.
You think you know everything.

I was only trying to save your butt.

Don't do me favors.

You're feeling smug because
the summer sales was a hit.

What does it mean?
What's what?

Oh, is that the problem?

You're sulking.

I'm not sulking.

You should like a egotistic bitch.


I don't have to take this. I quit!

I've had it up to here!

That woman, she's...
What can I do with her?


Hanako here?

She hasn't come here yet.

Did she call?

No, we haven't heard from her, right?

Strange, that...

Wonder what's happened.

The rice balls are doing just great.

General Manager...

There's a phone call for you.

Sir, a phone call.

Huh? Phone?
Yes, sir.


Hanako! Thank God!

Thought I'd never see you again!
Where are you?


What are you doing up there?


There was a storm.

I saw it on TV. So?

Lots of apples fell.

Saw that, too.
Get to the point, will you?

Well, there are three types.


One, too bruised for anything but
apple juice.

Two, some minor damage.

Three, no damage.

So you...

Right. I ordered a pile from type two
but I need your okay.

Get as much as you want
and come right back.

I'll head right home.

What am I going to do with you?

Good to see you back.
You missed me?

Idiot. I came back for
the supermarket.

Don't get excited.
Hey, cut it out.

Leave me alone, okay?

Take you home?
The apples?

Don't worry.

Great to have you back.

Leave my shoulders alone.

I know!
Let's go to my place and...

No way.

How about a Hotel?

I'm not sleeping with you, fatso.

Hey, that hurt.

Pervert. Men, you're all alike.

Okay. I'll go home and sleep alone.

Yeah, let's go home.

I'll get you a cab.

Take care.

What about the Hotel?

Now what?

So, your husband?

Left me for another woman.
He got cancer.

She sent him back.

I took care of him... no choice.

Eventually he died.

End of story.

This bed stuff. It's sport...
nothing else, okay?

Well, coming or not?

Wait. We really gonna do it?


Because... There's this little problem
with... 'freshness'.

I'm not all that fresh myself.

Wow! Yours' an encyclopedia!

Forget about freshness.

Uh-huh. No good.

No, no, I'm sorry...

Okay now.

No, no it won't work.

Can't help laughing.

I'm sorry.

That's all right.

You know,
you're not aggressive enough.

Nice of you to mention it now.

Yeah, I'm sorry.

You're probably right, though.

Since my wife died, I tend to hold back...

Mine had cancer, too.

Did all I could.

I let her do everything she wanted to.

Went to theater... opera...,

even Europe.

Near the end, I was always at her side.

When I couldn't take it any more,

off to the driving range to smash
golf balls.

Couldn't see the balls for the tears.

Know what though? At her funeral, I felt
content... because I had done everything.

Let's do all we can.

For the store.

It may lead to our funeral, but at least
we'll look happy for having tried.

Hmm. Why not?

Let's give it all we've got.


Good morning.

Good morning.

I have something important to tell all
of you, so listen carefully.

Starting today, there will be a major
policy change.

From now on, we are selling only
fresh food.

Therefore, we will discontinue
the use of leftovers,

and also the practice of repacking.

Wow, look at the color of freshly
ground beef.

Should look this good.

Who told you to make ground meat
out of meat this fresh.

Sorry, but these orders came
from the boss.

What the hell does he know?

I'm the boss around here.
I'll tell you what to do, not him.

What's the matter?

Didn't sell, hey?

No one comes to a supermarket
for fresh fish.

They buy fish else where.

What do we do?

Just throw them away.

It was good in the old days.

I heard you once owned a fish store.

What happened to it?

It was land speculators...

Then, Goro offered me this job.

I didn't mean to stay in a supermarket,

but hell, it isn't easy getting
a place of my own.

Wait until New Year's Holidays.

Fish stores are closed then.

People will come here to buy fish.
That's our chance.

We'll just hang in there until then, okay?

Look at the vegetables from the other

Notice that each store has it own way
of cutting them?

Take the celery here.

This one is cut straight across.

But this one is cut at an angle.

Or, the cabbage.

Look how stalks are cut differently.

And, how about this bokchoy?

Take a look at the cut on the end.

Never saw this before.

What are the cuts for?

They cut it by mistake?

But this one has
the same cut marks, see?

I wonder what they're for?

Don't have a clue.


What is it, Mitsu?

I may be wrong, but...

that's to stop bokchoy from growing.

Plants grow even after they come
to store.

I get it! That's why the side of
this bokchoy bulges out.

The cuts were made to prevent this!

I think so.

Mitchan, you've been studying.

Good for you, Mitsu!

Good morning.

Thank you for coming. The supermarket
'Honest Goro' is now open for business.

Great turnout.
Looks like the flyers worked.

What's this?
Still stocking shelves?

I'll go and take a look.

Today's special is 'Stew Fest'.

Try our fresh ingredients, all at
marked down prices.

The shelves are half-empty.
Hurry up!

This is no time to be making
5000-yen steak.

Aw, shuddup.

Work on the cheaper meats and
ground beef first, will you?

Hey, watch out!



Hurry it up!

I'd like to, but the Chief has to do all
the important stuff himself.

Can't you do it?


But in this business, us youngsters
must know our place.

Oh, good grief.

People are pouring in.
Step on it!

Can't do.

Why not?

The Chief won't let anyone touch
the sashimi.

Damn. The "Pros" are holding us up
big time.

The pros, huh?

Yeah. They hog all the major work
and won't let anyone else touch it.

We've got these trolleys
but can't use them.

They hate assembly-lines.

Well, you tell them off.
You're the boss.

You know I can't.

To start new traditions,
get rid of the old.

Have you no guts?

I can't.

Think. What do you expect from
a supermarket?

Fresh goods, reasonable prices...

Hey, who's store is this anyway?

Good prices, and things sell.

And the turnover of fresh foods keeps
the shelves full.

So you've got to keep the backyard
in top gear churning out fresh goods.

Then, we need that assembly line, Goro.

It's the store's engine.

But you can't have the pros...

The part-timers can do it.

Take a fish: one person chops its head,
skins and fillets it, make the sashimi,

packs it, weighs it, and labels it.

Too hard.

Then train them.

Making sashimi... it's not a big deal.

Who's going to train them?
The pros.

No way!
How come?

They won't do it.

I'll ask them.
Nothing wrong with that.

You're crazy!

Listen, making sashimi is my job.

They aren't ready yet.

Mackerel sashimi, maybe,
but never snapper.

You can teach them.

You learn by watching the master.

I learned by working as an apprentice.
That's how you do it in this business.

I'll be blunt.

We don't need mastery in supermarkets.

Just conveyer-type skills.

I'd like you to teach the part-timers.

I want that assembly line working!

The hell you do!

I'm a fish expert.

I won't work in a fish factory.

Don't get me wrong.

I'm not saying that being a pro is bad.

Just that it doesn't go well with

If you're serious,

open your own shop, or become a chef.

Oh, yeah? Then I quit. This is just
a fish corner in a cruddy supermarket.

You're not even an expert
in a cruddy store.

An expert wouldn't buy costly stuff
that doesn't sell.

And that fish tank!
What's the point of it?

It only feeds your ego!

Drain the water, and take the tank out.


What the hell...
Getting rid of the tank.

The hell you are!

Shut up!

What the fuck!

You want this?
Here! I'll do it for you.


We better start work now.
The store's opening soon.

He won't budge.

Good morning.

Okay, Kinchan, show us how.

We're going to try it.

Show us how to make sashimi.

Um, but...

You don't trust us women?

We've been cooking since
you wore diapers!

Now, Kinchan, come on!

All right.
First, stand correctly.

Face the cutting board.

Get a hand-width between you and
the board.

Put your right foot slightly back.

Now, this long knife is for sashimi.
Use the entire blade.

Quit yapping!

We don't need pricey meat!

The cost on regular meat
goes up to cover

the loss on the costly Japanese beef.

Forget Kobe beef, and our problems
are solved.

Now what? It's none of your business
what we carry.

A supermarket is for everyday meals.

It's stupid to have costly steaks
occupying the best shelf.

Put the cheap cuts there instead.

I'm getting out of here. No bloody
amateurs tells me what to do!

Something you're not telling us?

Say that again!
Now, now.

Calm down, you two. Time out.

You got troubles?

Regular pain in the ass.
Bet she can't tell pork from beef.

Meat scraps ready?

Yeah... sure.

I'll take this block of 'gold'.

This is Kobe and... that's imported.

You picked it.

Takes a crook to know one.

You slice it and it becomes
Japanese beef.

No one can tell.

Even the pros.

Mix the imported with the Japanese,
and the beef around the innards.

Kobe beef.

Ah, an expert.

And I get the real 'stuff'.

That pesty bitch...

Better watch her.
She's pretty sharp.

How've you been?

Is he here?
In our best room.

The head of 'Bargain Galore!' has
a favor to ask you.

I want you to know I envy
'Honest Goro'

for having real pros like you.

Good pros make good supermarkets.

So, imagine my astonishment

when I heard that a Deputy Manager,
a woman,

is meddling in your affairs.

I started out like you.

I know exactly how you must feel.

How about it?

All of you, come and work at my store.

You mean all the workers abandon
'Honest Goro'?

That's right.

If all of us leave, 'Honest Goro' will fold.


Mr. Mujina will let you know.

Until then, it's your job to round up
your staff.

I'm here to get meat scraps!

I must say, that suit you.

You look better.
Better than the real you.


Okay. Let's order five of each.

For the big battle at X'mas time.

X'mas sales, year-end bargains...
It'll be war!

Whether we win or lose...

Think only about the customers.

Yeah, you're right.

Come right away.

That meat dealer and Chief are...

Stealing the meat!

That bag?

Let go!

Thief! Thief!



Takechan, go to the entrance
and keep watch.

Give it back!

Let go! I said, let go!

Hey, you!


Wow! Goro!
That's fantastic!

College judo team.

I'll pay for this tomorrow.

Okay. Is this it?

Goddamn fool!
Ought to be ashamed!

Sorry about this. He threatened me
so I had to tell the truth.

You can go.
I'll deal with you later.

Leave the damn thing here!

You criminal.

You may end up in jail.
Naturally, you'll never get a job again.

Please give me a chance...

Save the crap!

You must have been dealing in scum
for years.

Yeah? well, what about the Manager?
He's dirtier than...

The Manager?

Well... uh... um...

Spill it, or I'll turn you over to the cops.

He's been getting kickbacks...


When the top brass do it, so do...

Just shut up! Get out of here,
or I'll kill you!

I'll let you know later what we decide.

Fire me if you dare.

Can't run this store without me.

We've got Take and Gorilla.

They know nothing about mixing meat!

They don't need to mix.

You'll lose your edge.

We don't want an edge.
I want a decent business!

The ground meat I bought here
looks funny.

You using some kind of drugs?

To prevent discoloring?

We're using no such things, right?

I bought this yesterday, and it's still
the same color. Now that's fishy.

Why do you laugh?

What's so funny?

So, what's the joke?
Yeh, tell us.

Please excuse us,

But some stores grind days-old meat.
Now, that turns gray in no time.

We make ours with fresh meat,
so it hold its colors.

So this is the real ground beef.

The real thing.

It does have a nice color.

And I'll grind it for you on the spot.

I'll have some then.

Me too.

Well, what do you know!

Hello, how are you?

Hi, there!

You're shopping here for a change.

The green onions looked too good.

I'll use some in my sukiyaki, tonight.

I'm picking up things for curried rice.

Pork cutlets for me.

Hey, I made those!
No kidding!

Doesn't it feel great to shop
at your own place?

Have fun!

What do you think I just saw?

Yeah, what?

The part-timers are shopping right here!

The part-timers are shopping right here!


Oh, you're hopeless.

Those women represent our customers.

They've accepted this supermarket.

That's a milestone. Get it?

But the sales still aren't good.

They'll go up, you see.

You're right to push freshness.
I know we're right!

Hi, how are you?

Some croquettes?

Just fried and piping hot!

Full of ground beef.

80 yen each!
Check'em out, folks!

This is a cabbage, isn't it?

That's a lettuce, you wimp.

Today's young people!
Their parents should be horse-whipped.

Hi, how are you?

Our sales reached 4 million yen.

It's still way below par.

Be 5 million soon.

Hello, how are you doing?

Hey, don't you feel the staff are more
motivated now?

Get your yellowtail sashimi here!

Straight from the harbor!

Everybody looks more alive.

The credit is yours.

Oh-oh. The sauce. What a mess!

So, let's celebrate tonight,
just you and me?

No way.
How come?

If I sleep with you, I'd be known
as your woman.

What's wrong?

How can the Boss's woman
keep working here?

Who'd give a damn?
No, I'm serious.

Everyone would resent me.

I'd hate to quit because of that.

Mujina, Sir!

We've got a problem.
What is it?

Sales at 'Honest Goro' are going up.

The numbers of customers, money
spent by each of them...

Let them grow.
We'll just take over everything!

'Bargains Galore!' has come to us again

with their best offer yet:

the store and the property for
10 billion yen.

They'll also take all the employees.

Tempting, eh?

You can't be serious!

We'll look after you in our real estate

If you are going to sell us off to
'Galore!', fire me first.

Now, now.

No way I'd go into real estate.

I can't sell off my employees and run off
to save my own ass.

It's not as if you're really
selling them off.

They'd be better off working for a big
store like 'Galore'!

Eat your words!

You know what a scam that place is!

It's true that our standard was
once very low.

But our people came to realize this.

We listened to the customers,
churned out new ideas;

kept on trying harder... We are becoming
a 'real' supermarket.

We'll get our customers back.

At this rate, we'll become a 2-million-yen
business in two years.

And soon, we'll open more branches.

We'll be the goose that lays
the golden egg.

But you guys are so greedy for a quick kill.
You're trying to sell that goose for nothing!

At least give me until New Year's.

The X'mas and New Year's sales...
If we can't get the customers in,

okay, I'll give up.

So, please... think it over.

They turned me down!

Don't know what's good for'em.

What now?

Just have to play rough.
Round up everyone

and get the hell outa 'Honest Goro'.

Excuse me.

It's been a pleasure working for you.

What's this?

My resignation.

I'm switching to 'Bargains Galore!'

Guys, soon 'Honest Goro' will
go bankrupt.

I'll say it again.
'Honest Goro' is doomed.

It will be absorbed by 'Galore!'.

You'll all be out of jobs.

And you know how tough it is to find
another job, the way economy is right now.

However, I met with 'Galore!'s Boss
a couple of days ago,

and asked him to take all those willing
to come with me.

He promised he would.

The majority of you have already
agreed to leave.

I'm giving you one last chance.

Come with me now.

Don't come begging to me
after they collapse.

It'll be too late.

Those coming with me, step over here.

This is your last chance.

Those coming with me, over here now.

Wait! He's lying!

Nobody has decided to sell just yet.

The owners will decide after the results
are in from holiday sales.

There's still time for all of us to pitch in
and save 'Honest Goro'.

Isn't that right?

She's absolutely right.

I did a little research on 'Galore!'.

Frankly, their level is the same
as ours was a year ago.

'Galore!' is a mere discounter of
poor-quality goods.

Have you ever been to the place?

They don't care about freshness.

And the people there aren't even
aware of it!

All they do is scream, 'Low prices!'.

Because 'Cheap' is about all
they can say.

Isn't that pathetic?

And that's how you'll end up

if you go work for 'Galore!'.

You people have ideals.

Kiyochan's vegetables are a hit now.

Remember the rice ball fiasco?

Takechan, you haven't forgotten

how happy you made those women

with your fresh ground beef.

Shinchan, it must've been tough throwing
away your sashimi day after day.

But 'Honest Goro' is turning into
a fantastic store.

You see, 'Galore!' is feeling threatened.

That's why they want to take over
and get rid of us.

So they can sell junk at higher prices.

I am staying right here.
Even by myself.

I'll stay with you.

I'll stay with you, too.

I'm staying, too.

Thank you, Mitchan.

I'm not going either.

I don't care how big that other store is.

I'd rather die then work at a place
with vegetables that shitty.

Thank you, Kiyochan.

I'm retiring and starting my own
sashimi restaurant.

Good for you!

But before I do,

Got to teach these birdbrains
every damn thing about fish.

That'll be my parting present.

Thank you, Shinchan.


Excuse me!

Are we ready for the toast?

To our new manager, cheers!


Chief brought a truck to the delivery bay.

What's up?
Stealing the...

Stealing what?
All the meat!

We won't have anything left to sell
tomorrow. Hey, Hanako!

With nothing to sell, that'll break'em.

It's a freezer!
The meat'll freeze!

We haven't far to go.

Hey! Open it up!


Goro! Help!



Whoa! Stop!


Someone's been kidnapped!
Follow that van!


A woman's locked inside.
She'll freeze to death!

Hang in there, Hanako.

Help me, Goro! Help!


A kidnapping!

A woman's locked in a freezer van!

It's heading for the harbor!


Help me, Goro!


Hanako's in the freezer, stop!

Shut up!


That's the van!

Hear me?
Pull over to the left now!


Hell. Didn't they say pull over?


Hanako, don't die!


I'll pay you back later...

Move up, move up!




She'll be fine now.

Oh, good.

Thanks to your husband's quick thinking.

You'll be okay.
Quick what?

Your husband warmed you up
with his body.

His body?

He held you snug and then gave you
a warm bath...

Exactly what you needed.

College hiking club, y'know?


You took my clothes off?


Your husband gave you a bath.
He saved your life.


A small misunderstanding on their part.

Besides, your freshness wasn't as bad
as you thought.

Aw! Don't ever speak to me again!

There you are!

Your wife's asking for you.

Hey, I've got a great idea.
Who do you think these people are?

They're fishermen.

They fish even on New Year's day!

Hmm, so?

Aw... What do you mean, so?
Use your head!

Why don't we buy all the fish they catch
on New Year's day?


Will you use your head?

On the New Year's day,

no store carries fish.

I get it!
Our store will be the only one...

with a boatful of really fresh fish!

Hanako, you're one in a million!

'Fish Caught New Year's Day!'

Good morning.

Let's go over the greetings...

Hello, nice to see you.

Certainly, ma'am.

Just a moment, please.

Thank you for waiting.

Thank you very much.

A Happy New Year, everyone.

This New Year will be our best yet.
I feel it.

Yes, sir!


For the happiness of our customers and for
'Honest Goro's prosperity in the New Year...


A Happy New Year to you.


Hello there.

Where are the customers?!

Find some!
Yes, sir!

Er, where?