28 March 2016

Itsuka Kono Koi wo Omoidashite Kitto Naite Shimau Episode 10

Final Episode! 

Oto goes back to square one but is it really all the same? Just like Ren who went back to his hometown in Episode 5 and came back being all emotionless, will Oto have the same fate? 

Nope. Oto's a strong one but she'll need just a little support and Ren provides much more than that and more. 

After the news of Oto’s injury, everyone frantically rushes to the hospital. Nara was at the police station and comes back to the hospital asking for Oto’s whereabouts. She’s worried about Oto but she also wants Oto to prove the “thief’s” innocence because no one at the police station would believe her. Ibuki angrily tells her Oto is still unconscious and he also won’t hear her out on her story. But Ren does.

Ibuki finds Oto’s Mother’s letter and tears up as he reads her mother’s wishes for Oto to be happy. Then he finds another letter which Oto had recently written to her mother. While he’s hesitating on reading it Kihoko walks in. He wonders what would have happened if he were the one to have found Oto’s letter and whether he would have done the same as Ren. Kihoko assures him a normal person wouldn’t have done what Ren had. And because Ren did that for Oto, Ren is the chosen one. That’s my opinion though. Kihoko also assures him that whatever the content of the letter is, Oto had chosen Ibuki. Ren overhears this. And because of this, Ren decides to keep his distance from Oto. 

Its morning and Oto finally regains her consciousness but when everyone visits her Ren leaves before seeing her. However, he only left after he heard she was laughing albeit it was a tough decision for him still. In other words he made sure she was healthy and well before he left. He didn’t leave to give Ibuki and her alone time though he’s going to settle the case for Nara at the police station, which happens to be the exact same time Oto is worried about the minute she wakes up. Kihoko was the first one to realize that Ren went to settle it for her. Awwwww. Kihoko is so smart! Meanwhile I think Ibuki’s realized he’s not the one for Oto. 

Nara and Mr. Thief relay their gratitude to Ren and tells him when they went to visit Oto she had already left the hospital. Oddly, it doesn’t seem like Ren had visited Oto recently because it’s news to him that she was discharged.

Ibuki sends her home but he gets nobler than that. He’s setting Oto free. He lies to her saying he doesn’t love her anymore and wants to break up with her. When she tells him she’s decided to choose him, Ibuki replies, “Love isn’t something you decide. It happens without a warning.” He apologizes for exploiting her kindness. Oto cries knowing this is his way of loving her, to send her to Ren. She cries at his kindness. He wants to wipe her tears with his hands but holds himself back.

I like that he’s walking proudly towards the sun unlike previous episodes where he’s crumbling to his knees in the middle of the night on the exact same path.

Later Oto receives a phone call and answers as “Hayashida” Oto. 

Konatsu is all healed from her traumatic experience during the tsunami. Happier than her about her recovery is Haruta though. I’m just glad Konatsu is no longer Ren’s responsibility. Ren, you’re free to go too!

She’s preparing for the children’s play and Haruta helps her. Konatsu tells him, “You don’t need to lie to me or should I say I’ll take in all your lies and truths and believe them…and then one day you’ll be able to be honest.“ Haruta sniffles in a corner but he’s too embarrassed to reveal his face so he grabs a lion head and puts it over his. He pulls her in for a hug and she rests on his shoulders.

This time Haruta properly tells her, “I love you, Konatsu.” He uses the lion muzzle to nuzzle her nose.

Laughing she removes his costume and now he kisses her for real.

It’s a month later and a lot has changed. Ibuki’s brother started to respect him again because he’s found a new way to convince his father the benefits of keeping the companies they bought instead of firing all the employees. His dad is also starting to recognize his abilities.

Kihoko finally got her proposal in a proposal and she brightly accepts it on the spot. Her gulping down a drink like this reminds me of when she got her (project) proposal accepted for the first time at her old work place. That was also the first time I found her lovable.

Sabiki also seems to have a girlfriend. He's got a handmade bento and there's a heart shaped seaweed in there. Aw! It was cute how frantic he was to close that lid when he saw the heart. 

Only Ren and Oto are left. But Ren still hasn’t seen Oto and when he does go looking for her, she’s already gone. Oto’s Foster Dad passed away and she had decided to quit her job to move back to Hokkaido to care for her aunt. While she’s packing she shreds her letter she had written to her mom. In the letter she tells her mom her life in Tokyo: it’s hard work and she doesn’t earn much but she’s grateful for the simple things she has and the simple thankyou’s she gets.

Oto is sufficient with just the memories of her love, like this one: “On a bus running through the city late at night, sitting on the third seat from the back are a mover and a care worker. ‘You’re working hard.’ ‘You are too.’”

Oto’s letter continued: “Sometimes I wonder is this world something beautiful or something frightening. Maybe it’s all mixed together. That’s why you won’t find nice things unless you look for them. Switch scenes to Ren looking at the box of white peaches**. There was a person who taught me that. The view I saw alone and the view we saw together were completely different. Mom, I have a favour to ask you, please lock away my love. You know, just like you said I would, I met a person I fell in love with. Oto opens her canned peaches. I fell fully in love.”

She finishes the peaches and even drinks the sugary water to the very last drip. I hope it’s not expired. And is this her way of ending her love? 

She wants to tell her six-year-old self she won’t be alone when she grows up because a truck driver will appear before her, bringing her lots of canned peaches and when he’s given a candy, he’ll crunch it down. Sort of like telling a child a Cinderella story but instead of having Prince Charming, it’s Mr. Mover.

Hey isn't this the picture Ren took when he was waiting for Oto at the end of the last episode? Does that mean she heard his voice message?

Ren runs through the rain and is all drenched when she arrives at Oto’s apartment but everything has already been emptied out. Ren calls Oto and I’m so glad she picks up. She tells him she’s just going back to where she started and nothing has changed. She’s quite curt to him. When she wants to hand up, Ren blurts out he’ll meet her at that family restaurant on Monday at 6 because there’s something she hasn’t responded yet. Clack. Oto hangs up.

Hey it’s snowing at her end. Notice the coat she’s wearing though because she changes it in the next scene to the coat she wore in Episode 1. She still has that coat?

Monday at 6pm at the family restaurant. The moment she sits down, she calls over the waitress and only orders coffee for herself with no intention of eating with Ren or even bothering to ask him if he’s ready to order. Oto remains mostly emotionless when she answers Ren’s questions about her auntie. Oto also mundanely complains about her apartment, her job, and Tokyo in general. 

Ren tries to change the topic by ordering food and he orders the exact same thing again from their first dinner – or that’s what he thought he did. Oto peevishly reminds him it was with tomato sauce instead of demi-glace but when Ren wants to change the order, Oto finally cracks a smile and tells him to forget it. She’s slowly returning to the Oto we’re all familiar with as she admits she got lost at Roppongi Hills. Ren advises her not to look up there otherwise people would know she’s non-native. Oto’s arguments goes like so: Sasuke always looks up when he’s hungry but he’s also a Tokyo-ian. And then they argue who Sasuke resembles, Oto or Ren. These two are good at talking about anything. When she catches herself from laughing too much, she tries to stop herself by lying that it’s not funny.

On the topic of Sasuke, he promises to bring him to her but she makes up all sorts of excuses highlighting the inconveniences but Ren doesn’t care; he only worries that he’s bothering her. But nope. Oto confesses she’s touched by his gestures.

Oto: I’m happy. Of course I’m happy. I’m extremely happy right now that you came. You know Auntie told me to stay in Tokyo but I couldn’t. She can’t live alone. And there’s also Ibuki. Because he’s so kind I can’t return to Tokyo. I will live here. Mr. Mover, I love you. I love you. I really do. Did she switch to her dialect? (It's interesting when they switch to their dialect because it means their emotional)

Oto then asks him to send her pictures of Sasuke so she can stare at them and sleep well. I think she'd be better of with Ren's selfies. Ahem. 

The waitress brings their food but she brings them the wrong dishes which happens to exchange out the demi-glace with tomato. They both laugh at how lucky they.

While he’s cutting the meat for her, Ren tells her, “You’re not back to where you started. The you I met back then and the current you are completely different. As someone who did their best who lived by doing their best it may not be visible to the naked eye but such things leave a mark on the heart. On your heart, on the hearts of those you’ve met, on my heart. Hokkaido isn’t far. I’ll come many times. There are roads after all. And I’ll take them by car or by train and we’ve yet to follow through with our plan to go to Aizu. I want to show you Lake Inawashiro. I want you to try my grandpa’s daikon. As long as there are roads and plans with a little luck we’ll meet again.”

Oto smiles, cries, and nods, agreeing to his plans.
Ren: Me too. I love you too. Their third confession. Third time’s the charm?

It’s snowing again (while it was raining in Episode 1). This time he takes her hand in his and they run to the truck. There’s a pause as they hold each other’s gazes and so Ren decisively moves in for a kiss. Hey, their first kiss (that Oto forced on him) happened in this truck too. 

Now they’re shy. Later when she tells him to take her back home she points him to a different route and he thinks it’s a shortcut but nope it’s the longcut. Heh.

The last scene of the drama:


A beautiful ending to the drama but it’s not an amazing ending. (Honestly I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with any ending to a drama I love.) It delivered what I expected but it’s also that lack of surprise that made the ending slightly lacking for me but after understanding the grander themes of this drama I’ve realized this ending was the perfect fit for Ren and Oto.

Before I get on with my essays (^^) I do like the happy endings for all the other characters. I never realized how they paired off Konatsu and Haruta under the theme of Truth and Lies. Kihoko gulping down that drink reminded me of when I started loving her. And thank you show for not forgetting to give Sabiki some love.

Mom and Oto’s Letter

Oto’s letter to her mom was a reply to her mother’s: she remains the girl that has the strength to push through life; she’s met many people and lived the way she wanted (for most part); she was lonely but then she met Ren; she’s properly fallen in love; she’s left a mark on his heart and he to hers as well. But Oto rips up her letter because she thought she had to give up the life her mother had wanted for her. Even so Oto was grateful she had the memories of her love. (But obviously we know Oto has more than just memories for her ending with Ren.)

When Oto mentions “something beautiful or something frightening” she’s referring to that sky she saw when she was six. That "someone" who taught her to find nice things she needed to look for it was Ren. I'd reckon Ren didn’t exactly teach her, Ren was the “nice thing” Oto was looking for. From Episode 2 onwards it was always Oto looking for Ren: she would wait for him every day and night at the subway exit. 

Since Oto went through all that to find Ren, I think Ren deserves to go through curves and bumps just to find Oto this time. At 24:40 while Oto was narrating, “You won’t find nice things, unless you look for them” the scene switches to Ren looking at the boxes of canned peaches. That's the moment Ren decides to look for Oto, his “nice thing”. However, Ren still has it waaaaay easier finding her compared to Oto finding him. If Oto’s cold attitude was to get back at Ren for what she's been through, I think Ren deserves it.

As for more proof of whether Oto heard Ren’s voice message I think it’s in the line “The view I saw alone and the view we saw together were completely different.” I think the latter view she was referring to was that sunrise Ren had mentioned in the voice message. 

Transportation and Hope

I think I’ve finally got a hold of why there was so much focus on transportation in this drama.

There’s a saying, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Ren’s last blurb captured this saying perfectly. There are plenty of ways to a destination, it’s just whether one has the will or the hope. This drama is all about finding that hope and persevering until the very end. For Ren, Oto symbolized that hope and he’ll chase after her using whatever means he can, whether it be cars, trains, buses, or trucks. This gives an added importance to why this drama was set in Tokyo because it's a city where you can easily walk past three subway stations; there are ample of ways to arrive at the same destination as long as there's a will. Tokyo is a place of opportunities, there isn't just one way to achieve your dream and that's the theme of this drama: finding hope in a seemingly hopeless city. 

With that analogy, I really like the last bit Oto added in the drama where she told Ren to take the detour over the shortcut. I thought it was just a cute scene but it meant to highlight the long way isn't always a setback, it can actually bring more joy. The stipulation though, is you’ve gotta have a will, which is why the final scene of the drama is that purple flower growing in the pavement, a symbol of will (and hope).

[Extra thought] Actually all the characters in this drama took the long way to happiness. But then again is there a shortcut to happiness? When it comes to ourselves, we'll always think we have the harder road, while for others we'll think they have the easier route. It’s all psychological; every path has its thorns. Even if a shortcut does exist, will a shortcut to happiness make us appreciate the happiness more? I think not. Here 's another question: is it the goal that matters to you or the process?

So instead of thinking whether you’ve taken the long way, short way, tall way, fat way, skinny way, it just happens to be your road to happiness. Embrace it. 

Cinderella and Oto

The Cinderella theme is obvious especially with the pumpkin chariot peach truck and Prince Charming, it’s just the drama reversed its story.  Oto doesn’t want a Prince Charming, she wants her simple guy. Oto lost her shoe when she ran away from home, well forget that shoe, she doesn't want to use it to find Prince Charming, she’ll just wear Ren’s slippers. Clearly then, the ending is also reversed. For Oto, instead of living happily-ever-after in her palace with her Prince Charming, she’s not living in her palace anymore (i.e. Tokyo), she’s going back to her not-so-evil-stepmom. And finally, it’s obvious she didn’t choose the Prince Charming(s), she chose Ren, the charioteer.  

It did keep one part of the ending though: it’s a happily-ever-after. It definitely is. There’s no way they’d break up. These two have loved each other with barely anything to hang on to. She can love him just by staring at her peach can and he can love her just by staring at the sunrise. Their first phone call and text message happened nearly after seven years of knowing each other. They don’t even have proper pictures of each other, they only have flower pictures. There’s nothing they can’t talk about – actually they can talk about nothing. Finally, they've already confessed for the third time! Third time's the charm, right?

Home and Love

A home is made of love and the drama emphasizes the reverse being true as well: love can make one feel at home. The Boss had said something along the lines of a home isn’t a physical place but a place of memories. It’s the emotional attachment to the place that makes it a home; it’s the existence of love that makes one place home. Then there’s Kihoko’s philosophy about love being made up of clothing, food and home. And finally Oto’s Mom had defined love as a place to return to no matter how lonely that person is. Love is home and home is love.

Oto and Ren, in a sense, are homeless, but the drama begs to differ. They do have a home and it’s made of the love they share. Despite their long distance relationship, their love for each other provides them with comfort and safety and that’s really what a home simply is. So I guess they do "live happily ever after" in their home sweet home. 

Last Comments

If I hadn’t decide to recap this, I’m not sure I’d catch half the stuff I did. Maybe I over-analyzed but the drama did nothing randomly. If this was any other drama I would have rolled my eyes at another typical romance tagged drama that gets our OTP falling in love at first sight with very superficial reasoning but this drama made me believe in their love even though the probability of this couple existing in real life is next to zero . 

This is the first drama that made me love its parts more than its whole (and I do love its whole by the way). I love picking at its parts. I’ll admit though that sometimes my brain is so obsessed with the details I’ve felt emotionally detached from the drama as a whole at times. It’s certainly not that my heart doesn’t love this drama (it does!) but my brain just loves it a whole lot more. 

Credits to Sanashi (for subbing) and Cubical Noses (for timing).

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