These episodes were awesome. Seriously. The drama was on a confused and downward slope in episode 4, and I was so ready to write it off but episodes 5-6 has given me everything I ever wanted from an unambitious but highly enjoyable romantic piece: our playboy acquired some personality and instantly got even more attractive, our heroine got her act together (partially) and became more relatable (that or her consistent good-naturedness and hilarity just grew on me), there is some actual development with side character’s story lines AND we had a glorious shower scene.
[warning!:gratuitous capping of Hiroto ahead. Oh, and Japanese cleavage]
Oh my god, it’s Sailor Venus! Hello there, what happened to your nose.
Anyway, Sakura runs into her brother and his girlfriend who is really sweet but looks like an AV model, and they’ve run away from their hometown, located in the countryside (which also explains Sakura’s lifestyle somewhat). The only fact I register about Sakura’s brother is that he still hasn’t got his shit together and is getting allowance from her.
Hiroto comes by to apologize for standing up Sakura and conveniently stays for the night. Sneaky.
Sakura’s brother unloads on Hiroto for dating someone who is so much older than him and questions his intentions.
At night, Hiroto and Sakura discuss siblingship and Hiroto mentions with that he doesn’t have siblings he can depend on.
Sakura reaches out to cover his hands in comfort and I LOVE that split-second of stillness and sincerity on his face, as though he is bracing himself to continue with his game even though it’s clear he wouldn’t mind if any of this, and especially the comfort, was real.
“But even when you do this…it turns me on.”
Characteristically Sakura breaks out into nervous giggles and they go for their usual awkward attempts at intimacy and they are so painful to watch every single time I don’t even know if I want them to make out anymore.
I’m spared second-hand embarrassment by pesky brother getting it on with Sailor Venus next door. Sakura yells at them to go to a hotel if they are going to do it in her house.
Next morning Sakura wakes up looking like Baba Yaga and Hiroto has a laughing fit over it.
I actually think they would’ve made for an adorable couple if they just stopped being so goddamn fake around each other.
Hiroto dashes off to practice right away. Please tell me Harumakun’s who are perfect the second they step out of bed exist in real life.
The meta on the blanket says: “Laughing at your sleeping face is just fine.” It is! So stop being fake!
I realized I never capped Choko-chan assaulting, kissing Rintaro.
Ugh, the scumbag husband confesses to have fallen in love with Shima-san and that’s why he has been so adamantly against her having affairs with random men. Is this show really going to try to justify an affair with your friend’s husband? I give credit for Shima to try to put an end to their non-sexual but still clandenstine encounters but it’s pretty clear her feelings are more complicated about him than they should be.
Sakura catches them coming out of the hotel together and freaks out.
But Shima insists with her amazing cleavage that nothing is going on and Sakura believes her (yay for Sakura being a great friend).
Hiroto stares affectionately at the ridiculous picture of him and Sakura. Seems like that oyaji-gal is really starting to have an effect on him.
We get a scene with the most akward ensemble of people at Sobar. Everyone is ill at ease in this weird romance quartet, except Sakura who is too busy trying to look cute for Hiroto.
But everyone’s attention shifts to brother and Sailor V pretty quickly, as Sailor V calls brother inadequate and shameless for trying to borrow money from his sister.
Brother has a nice talk with Hiroto, admitting that he’s been trying to run away from himself by escaping to Tokyo and that he should man up and go back.
Sakura encourages Sailor V to forgive brother if she really loves him and support him no matter what.
This scene was significant because: 1) we find out Hiroto works a rather less than glamorous job at night to pay the bills 2) brother and Hiroto bond over good ethics and ask each other to take care of Sakura.
Rintaro tells Chiyoko he is not really into dating her because she is like a little sister to him (hey, that’s hot!) and Chiyoko yells at him that it’s because he is in love with Sakura (drama logic). Rintaro vehemently denies it.
Brother tells Sailor V they will go back and he will try his best and thankfully we are done with their less than entertaining storyline forever.
On the day of Hiroto’s competition he is approached by some thugs and gets beaten up because he’s ditched Momo (she is the Princess of the gangs? cute).
Sakura comes across the scene and fights to protect Hiroto with with her typical Sakura fierceness.
Thugs are chased away by security and Hiroto and Sakura adorably collapse into each others arms. If I wasn’t shipping them already, this would be the moment.
Hiroto asks Sakura not to ever put herself in danger for him ever again.
But then he has no qualms about putting himself in danger as a career choice and goes ahead with his performance.
This scene reminded me of Anna Karenina, when Anna was watching her beloved Vronsky in a horse race and was almost fainting from worry.
To my surprise, Hiroto actually wins first place. Sakura must have been even more surprised because she faints at the announcement.
He carries her off, gorgeously, like the Prince of Sexy Buttocks that he is, but falters midway.
There is silence for a moment and then we hear Sakura’s distinct snores.
How do you just drop dead and fall asleep? I WISH I COULD DO THAT. But hahaha, Hiroto is so smitten with her ridiculousness.
Episode 6 begins with Rintaro pestering Sakura in the morning like always.
He pleads with her to pretend to be his girlfriend so that his mother would leave him alone. Sakura tells she will absolutely not do it (concerned for Hiroto and his discomfort with their closeness) but caves in after Rintaro employs puppy eyes and the argument “oh, but all the things I did for you.”
I’m clearly on the Sakura/Hiroto ship if the prospect of Sakura/Rintaro pretend date doesn’t excite me in the slightest.
Hiroto goes to see heartbroken Chiyoko and they proceed to play around in bed like completely normal, innocent siblings.
Miki is very dejected about her job prospects, or lack thereof, and girls decide to take her out to a Host club.
This is not a face of person who is enjoying their Host club experience.
But then, I can’t really blame her. Those poodle-haired hosts are pretty scary.
Thankfully, Shima has the good sense to pick out the least poodle-haired boys for their table.
Miki is approached by a Johnny (he is a Johnny, right? God, he looks familiar but I can’t remember where I’ve seen him). He tries to make her comfortable by doing a depressing personality test on her but surprisingly(not!) just ends up making her cry.
Hiroto and Rintaro meet at the only place of random meetings in this drama – Sobar, and Rintaro questions Hiroto about his connection to Chiyoko and his attempts at concealing it.
Hiroto tries to get out of it by saying he hasn’t been hiding it, *not really*, and that Chiyoko is his step-sister and he is pretty estranged from the family.
My heart goes out to Miki. The worst thing about her marriage is how lonely it must feel for her. Forget the fact that they are not having sex, THEY DON’T EVEN COMMUNICATE PROPERLY. If there is one aspect of problematic relationships that pisses me off more than anything, is when one partner builds a wall around himself/herself and refuses to do anything to address or fix the problems. And this is so selfish on Miki husband’s part – she obviously can’t just leave him but he is doing absolutely nothing to make it bearable for her.
Aw, Rintaro and your mainpain at the sight of Hiroto and Sakura flirting in front of you. Love it! Keep it going and I might yet ship you with Sakura.
Shima is not really into having sex with the young boy from the host club because Miki husband’s words keep ringing in her head. Well, that boy was kissing her rather awkwardly but otherwise – ugh, don’t listen to him. Why would you listen to someone who is at best a heartless coward or at worst a cheating scumbag?
Hiroto and Sakura take a shower separately, presumably in preparation for some sexy times.
And if you think it’s finally going to happen, think again. Not only is it painful for Sakura, it is also a complete fantasy/dream on her part.
There is a change in Hiroto it seems, for he hints to his father that he might reconsider taking the position at the company. Look who all of the sudden wants to get serious about life. How boring! Moving on.
Rintaro dresses Sakura up for their pretend date with mom and she looks lovely, or at least lovely enough to bedazzle Rintaro into a stupor.
Sakura attempts to be all well-mannered and coy but fails spectacularly. Mom is not mad though. She loves it because it reminds her of herself!
Hiroto asks Chiyoko not to reveal to Sakura the reason why he approached her in the first place and I get the sense that he asks her not because his intentions have become more serious as of late but more because he simply doesn’t want Sakura to feel hurt.
Chiyoko is angry that everyone is falling for Sakura and storms out of the cafe, conveniently running into the other half of the quartet on their pretend date.
Hiroto sees them too but remains concealed from Sakura, electing to roll his eyes at Rintaro instead.
I think Hiroto is getting frustrated by their quartet situation as much as I am.
Sakura apologizes to mom for pretending to be Rintaro’s girlfriend but explains that she did it out of good intentions. She knows it’s hard but asks to wait patiently until Rintaro falls for someone and naturally feels compelled to marry. Mom admits she knew Sakura wasn’t his girlfriend from the beginning, since Rintaro likes feminine or proper girls and the like, just not someone like Sakura or mom. Really? Mom doesn’t know her son that well, it seems.
The Johnny runs into Miki (or stalks her) and asks for 10 mins of her time.
Yay, Miki gets her own smoldering Johnny! This is straight-up like a panel from some shoujo manga.
I don’t know if Shima is paying him or he just feels philanthropic but he showers her in complements and offers her a part time job.
Loved this confrontation between Rintaro and Hiroto. Fujiki Naohito did a great job of portraying Rintaro’s vulnerability.
Rintaro pieces out the connection between Hiroto and Chiyoko and demands that Hiroto break up with Sakura like normal lovers before she finds out the truth. Hiroto says he doesn’t have to take orders from him and that if he wants to protect Sakura, he should just date Chiyoko (or she might just slit Sakura’s throat in the night?).
Sakura feels bad about concealing her pretend date with Rintaro and spills everything.
Hiroto also has something to disclose. He admits that he has been lying to her all this time.
He was so protective of keeping it a secret from Sakura for fear of hurting her, yet he is telling her himself? I think he really is in a weird place where he wants something sincere between them but also not nearly in love with her to be afraid of ruining whatever they have between them now. I do think they would have made for a good couple, their age difference and circumstances aside, because they both seem to be honest, mature and level-headed when it comes to relationships.
I love how I am constantly thrown in for a loop in regards to Hiroto and Chiyoko’s relationship (and I’m not even being sarcastic). At first, it’s like – they must be siblings! They are both gorgeous and clearly have a history but they are not romantically involved. Also, Hiroto drops by Chiyoko’s house like it ain’t no thing and there is clearly some deeper connection between him and Chiyoko’s dad. We go from that to the angst-ridden scene of Hiroto kissing Chiyoko’s back and unless this is an ode to I Love My Younger Sister, there is no way in hell they could be related. The water turns ever murkier however, when we find out from Rintaro that they share the same last name and come from the same family. So they are in fact a pair of smoldering, practically incestuous siblings? We think we finally figured it all out and watch them frolic in bed with bated breath and revel in all the inappropriate sexual tension (well, I certainly did), only to find out a few scenes later that they are actually step-siblings. Great move on your part, show! Now I can ship them completely guilt-free (not that I felt much guilt to begin with…) It’s pretty obvious they are not the *most* innocent step-siblings in the world but the question is, will the show really steer them into romance territory as unabashedly as I wish it would? Well, we will find out! (or we already did this week and I just haven’t caught-up yet. Shhh, don’t spoil me).