We have reached the halfway point and for a show that has managed to move relatively quickly, this episode felt very slow. There was some movement, which is always good, but it was missing that punch that it usually delivers.
Episode 8: A sudden first date
Unable to get in contact with Kotoko’s dad, Kotoko and Naoki go to Naoki’s house. They’re greeted by an upset Yuuki, who’s complaining that his room is gone again because of Kotoko. Before they can even ask what he’s talking about, Irie-mama comes outside and explains that someone signed the lease to their house the day before Dad was supposed to sign. Naoki doesn’t seem to be buying his mom’s story though as she says that until they can find a new house, Kotoko and her dad will stay with them.
Kotoko feels like she will be burdening Naoki, but Irie-mama says it’s fine since they’ll be family soon and says she knows about the kiss.Yuuki gapes in shock, asking his brother if it’s really true. Naoki doesn’t deny it, but he looks at Kotoko accusingly. Kotoko denies being the source and asks Irie-mama how she knows, but she doesn’t tell.
Back in her old room, Irie-mama asks how Kotoko’s relationship with Naoki is going. Kotoko says she has the wrong idea; even though they kissed, the two have never even held hands or been on a date. Well there’s no time like the present and Irie-mama tells her that scoring a date is her new mission. That’s a lot easier said than done.
Kotoko finds out that Satomi and Jinko told Irie-mama about the kiss. Kin-chan happens to overhear them and is outraged that Kotoko and Naoki have kissed. He asks if Kotoko is still planning to give up on Naoki, but Kotoko honestly answers that she can’t. Aww, Kin-chan looks so sad, but he accepts it and leaves.
Satomi says it’s better for Kin-chan to move on since Kotoko can’t give up on Naoki and she has a lot of obstacles in her way. That discourages her even more, since Naoki has been as unreceptive to her feelings as she’s been to Kin-chan’s.
All the same, Kotoko hides out in front of Naoki’s department, spying on Yuko and Naoki, only to run into Sudo, who’s doing the exact same thing. I think Sudo’s crush on Yuko would be cute if he didn’t look old enough to be her dad.
Kotoko realizes he likes Yuko, but since any time someone figures something out they say it way too loud, Sudo tries to keep her quiet. He accidentally twists Kotoko’s bad ankle and send both of them toppling. Sudo lands on top of Kotoko, right in front of Naoki and Yuko. Never one to pass up an opportunity, Yuko says that the rumors about Kotoko giving up on Naoki for Sudo must be true since they’re together like this in broad daylight.
Kotoko quickly tries to clear up the misunderstanding, but Naoki says that it has nothing to do with him. But then he adds that he’ll go to the movies with Yuko on Sunday. Not that it has anything to do with Kotoko. Nope, not at all.
Of course, Sudo and Kotoko can’t accept this, so they plan to spy on the two and ruin their date. Satomi and Jinko think it’s a bad idea, but Kotoko can’t just let it go. She asks them to keep quiet about it though, since she doesn’t want Kin-chan to know.
Kin-chan is already two steps ahead though; he’s bugged their table and is listening from a storage room. He’s only able to catch a few words though, so he thinks that Kotoko really is going on a date with Sudo. He tries to figure out where the date is based on the places he heard and turns to his aniki at the restaurant for help
Kotoko’s dad apologizes for not being able to find a house and burdening Kotoko to be around Naoki again. He’s been looking for a house, but every time he’s about to sign the lease, someone else signs before him. Irie-mama’s contacted every real estate agency in Tokyo, so I doubt you two will be moving out any time soon.
Kotoko thinks about Yuko and Naoki’s upcoming date and tells her dad it’s fine. She’s in love with Naoki and even if he isn’t returning her feelings, she doesn’t want to give up. To do something half-heartedly isn’t like her and she realized that after leaving how much she values these feelings. She assures him that even if she gets hurt, it’s better than not doing anything and regretting it later. Dad realizes that it’s futile to argue with Kotoko and says she’s too much like him. Can we get more Dad and Kotoko scenes? I totally love them.
Sunday comes and Kotoko is getting ready. She spends time picking out outfits, putting on make-up, and doing her hair. Um, you do know that you’re not the one going on a date today, right? Thankfully, she does and she thinks wistfully about what a date with Naoki would be like. Putting on make-up, wearing nice clothes, a romantic movie, going shopping, and a high-class dinner would be the perfect date.
Sudo and Kotoko meet up and spy on Yuko and Naoki from a distance. Sudo asks if Naoki is quick with girls. Kotoko says he’s not good with them at all, but Sudo says that’s because it was her. Sudo’s words almost seems true as Naoki compliments Yuko’s clothes, much to Kotoko’s shock.
While Sudo and Kotoko are busy being the worst spies ever, Kin-chan’s teacher takes him to an erotic theater, saying that obviously Kotoko and Sudo will come here and then go to a hotel in Ginza. Kin-chan’s determined to keep that from happening and stations himself outside the theater. You’re going to have a long wait Kin-chan.
Sudo and Kotoko sit behind Yuko and Naoki at the movie theater, pretending to be an old couple. Whenever Yuko tries to make a move by leaning on Naoki or holding his hand, Kotoko manages to thwart her, using a magazine to block her head and throwing popcorn on her. Good job, Kotoko.
After the movie, Yuko and Naoki go grab some tea and she asks Naoki what his ideal type of girl is, catching Kotoko’s attention. Kotoko looks over eagerly as Naoki says that his ideal girl is beautiful, with a great body, and smart. Oh, and she has to be able to cook. In other words, Kotoko’s complete opposite. Sudo tries to comfort her by saying that there’s definitely something good about her, pointedly looking at her chest, but Kotoko doesn’t want his sympathy.
Yuko and Naoki decide to go shopping next. Sudo and Kotoko watch from outside the store and Sudo gets a nosebleed when he sees Naoki zipping up Yuko’s dress. Naoki picks out a necklace for Yuko and Kotoko sighs in envy; she’s lived with him for so long but he’s never given her anything. They both start to freak out at the skinship between Naoki and Yuko as Naoki puts on the necklace, but Kotoko admits they make a good couple.
It’s only when a bicyclist almost runs over Yuko and Naoki saves her that Kotoko decides to give up. She doesn’t like seeing Yuko and Naoki together, and if they both like each other, there’s nothing more she can do. Sudo tries to persuade Kotoko to stay, but she only wants to go home.
Unfortunately, Kotoko bumps into a man while leaving, making him splash his drink all over his shirt. Angry, he throws the rest of the drink on Kotoko and asks how she plans to pay for his expensive shirt. Kotoko apologizes as Sudo offers to pay for the dry cleaning, but the man says that won’t nearly be enough. He looks over Kotoko, saying there are other ways to pay and starts to drag her away. Kotoko thinks that this must be her punishment for trying to ruin someone else’s date, but Naoki comes to the rescue.
He says his shirt is obviously cheap, riling the guy up even more. He tries to hit Naoki, but he easily dodges all his punches. Hilariously, Kotoko and Yuko squeal together on the sidelines at how cool Naoki is before remembering they hate each other and separating.
Naoki takes a tennis racket from a passerby and tosses it to Sudo. He says he knows they were following them all day and tells him to take this chance to impress Yuko by showing how cool he is. He grabs Kotoko, only giving Yuko a small apology, before running off. Tennis racket in hand, Sudo the Demon emerges and he takes on Angry Shirt Guy, though Yuko looks less than impressed.
Naoki and Kotoko run off in sloooooooooooow motion, which I guess would be romantic if this didn’t happen.
Naoki helps her back up (still in sloooow motion), grabbing her hand, and they keep running. And running. And running. And running. Kotoko can hardly believe she’s running with Naoki and wishes time would stop right now.
They finally reach a river and stop running, completely out of breath. Kotoko asks Naoki if she knew she was following him. They were so obvious he noticed them as soon as he arrived at the meeting spot. He had thought Kotoko and Sudo were really dating until he saw them and realized Sudo was in love with Yuko. You know, for a guy who can easily deduce other people’s feelings, you sure are dense about your own.
Kotoko apologizes for following them and tentatively starts to say she’ll accept it if Naoki really likes Yuko, but Naoki cuts her off, asking if she wants to go somewhere. Of course she does, but everything she wants to do are things Naoki already did today with Yuko. Even if they did go to dinner, Kotoko can’t go anywhere with that big stain on her dress.
They end up walking around town. Kotoko runs off when she sees the bridge, amazed by the sight. She’s so excited that she belatedly realizes that Naoki is nowhere to be seen. She runs around, trying to find him with no luck. The sun’s setting when she wanders back to the river and she wonders if Naoki has played a trick on her again. If so, that is the worst trick ever.
Luckily, Naoki shows up, bearing food since they couldn’t go to a restaurant. It’s only a hamburger, but Kotoko thinks that it’s better than any food from a fancy restaurant.
Naoki says that he’s never experienced trouble before. But ever since that day she gave him the love letter, every day has been nothing but trouble and frustration. He feels like Kotoko is a trial that was given to him and because he panicked at the first trial given to him, he was trying to run away from it.
But he thinks life is more interesting with problems and thanks her. Aww, Naoki’s so awkward, he can’t even look at her when saying thank you. Kotoko doesn’t really understand what he means and tries breaking down his words, coming to the conclusion…that he wants to marry her. Lol, baka Kotoko.
He only meant that he’s not bothered by living with her. She asks if that means he doesn’t hate her. Naoki: “I have trouble being with you, but I don’t hate you.”
Kotoko’s so overwhelmed with joy that she starts crying. Naoki’s words of comfort: “Your face will get dirty.” At least he gives her a handkerchief.
Meanwhile, Kin-chan’s still waiting at the porn theater, wondering where Kotoko is.
As Kotoko cleans up at home, she thinks that her first date with Naoki was nothing like what she thought it would be. But more than when they kissed or when he had carried her, she felt much closer to Naoki.
Her happiness is short-lived however, when she overhears Naoki’s parents accepting his decision to move out.
Thoughts: And the emotional rollercoaster continues.
I have to admit that everything else about this episode felt kind of flat. It seemed like all the important stuff happened at the beginning and the end and all the fun stuff in between, wasn’t really that fun. I liked watching Kotoko and Sudo ruin Yuko and Naoki’s date, but we could have at least seen Naoki and Kotoko have an actual date. It didn’t even need to be that long; we could have fit a short montage of them going to an amusement park or something instead of having Kotoko running around looking for Naoki.
I’m willing to give the show a little leeway because it is adapted from a manga, but that whole scene with the Angry Shirt Guy and the running away really made me cringe because it was so cheesy and so awkwardly handled. Maybe I’m being too harsh on this episode (there were plenty of cheesy lines in the last episode and I was totally swooning over that), but I just wasn’t feeling it.
Despite my griping, this episode wasn’t a total loss. I’ve really been enjoying Naoki’s development over the last few episodes, and while I’m all for jealous stares and big gestures, if Naoki’s still oblivious to the fact that he doesn’t mind having Kotoko around and not accepting of his growing feelings, then we’re back at episode six. Heck, you could even say episode four. So I was pleased that Naoki has not only accepted that Kotoko has become an important person in his life, but managed to convey these feelings to Kotoko. The saying goes actions speak louder than words, but with someone as slow as Kotoko, words can’t hurt. These two have been crossing wires for a while now, so it’s a nice change to see them on the same wavelength for once. Well you know, until that twist at the end.