Episode 8 of Kuragehime, “Million Dollar Babies” (ミリオンダラー・ベイビーズ), begins with Kuranosuke ransacking a storage room for stuff to sell. Considering the sort of people the Amamizukan caters to, it’s no surprise that the particular room in question is full of the same stuff collected by a fetishist: cups of all sorts. While everyone else thinks the newer and cheaper looking cups are cute, Kuranosuke focuses on the older antique cups that might fetch a high price at the flea market.
Meanwhile, Keiichiro notices how his son Shuu is distracted, and orders the driver Hanamori to reveal what’s going on. Hanamori refuses to divulge any information out of loyalty to his friend: until Keiichiro bribes him with the Bentz cars, and an offer of adding a new one to the retinue of cars has Hanamori eagerly offering the services of his friend Sugimo-chan, a private investigator, to find out everything going on between Shuu and Shouko. Sugimo-chan follows the two everywhere in plain sight, but it takes a sneeze-induced misdirected call from Hanamori for Shuu to figure out that they’re being followed.
At the flea market, it turns out that Kuranosuke’s reading of the market is wrong, as people are more interested in the cute jellyfish dolls that Tsukimi made on a lark rather than the antique cups. At least he’s flexible enough to go with the flow, so he recruits the rest of the Amars to help out make more jellyfish dolls. Incidentally, the Amars couldn’t recognize the dressed up Tsukimi either, so Shuu shouldn’t be blamed too much for being unable to recognize her. Anyway, Tsukimi’s design inspirations and Chieko’s superior sewing skills results in an unexpected windfall.
Back at the Amamizukan, Tsukimi remembers how her mother would say that she would make a wedding dress for her when she grew up while browsing the leftover cloths from the jellyfish doll making sessions. The memories prompt her to put on some of the lacy white cloth as a pseudo-wedding dress, but Kuranosuke witnesses this, taking his breath away. Unfortunately, Tsukimi can only imagine herself in a very unflattering light and goes into a panic. When Kuranosuke hears Tsukimi’s story about her mother’s dream, he thinks of his own mother’s dream of filling a closet clothes from all over the world, and he is motivated to create jellyfish-inspired wedding dresses for the public with the Amars’ help.
Incidentally, Kuranosuke had also collapsed out of lovesickness for Tsukimi that he doesn’t realize is lovesickness after seeing Tsukimi in the pseudo-wedding dress. The Amars besides Tsukimi discover that Kuranosuke has fake breasts while trying to figure out what’s wrong, but their conclusion is that Kuranosuke is just using fake breasts, not that he’s a man. While some might think that this points to their general cluelessness, I wouldn’t use this as an example of cluelessness: the Amars are outcasts that would be rather sympathetic to a flat-chested woman trying to fit in using fake breasts, and they would be the last ones to think less of anyone for trying. OK, so it’s something they make fun of, but it probably endears Kuranosuke to them as being more like “one of the Amars”.
Finally, the title of this episode is obviously a reference to the American movie Million Dollar Baby.