Just when our couple were starting to become closer, distance once again breeds misunderstanding. But it’s not like that will stop Kotoko right? Right?
Episode 9: Time to Give up My Love
Naoki moves out, not even saying good-bye to Kotoko. Kotoko doesn’t know what to do now, since Naoki didn’t reveal where he was living or where he works.
Kin-chan’s thrilled to hear Naoki has left, seeing it as a sign of defeat. Satomi can’t help but agree; if Naoki liked Kotoko at all, there’s no way he would’ve moved out. Kotoko wonders if Naoki is avoiding her, even though he said he didn’t hate living with her.
Kotoko goes to Naoki’s department like usual with Satomi and Jinko in tow. But she can’t even see him there as two students inform her that Naoki’s gone to work. Naoki is keeping his workplace a secret from people in his department as well, so there’s no way for her to see him.
Unable to see Naoki at school or at tennis practice leaves Kotoko in a funk at home. Yuuki is also depressed that his older brother isn’t around.
But have no fear, Irie-mama is here! She’s found out where Naoki works and asks Kotoko to come with her to spy on him. Yuuki overhears them and asks to come as well.
The three sneak out to the restaurant where Naoki works in disguise, but he sees right through them. He’s less than pleased to see them and asks why they came. Irie-mama says the only reason they came is because they can’t visit him at his apartment, but Naoki doesn’t take the bait and just tells them to order something and leave.
Naoki manages to leave work without anyone noticing, but Kotoko’s just happy to be able to see his face. They decide to leave, but Irie-mama sees that the restaurant is looking for a waitress and says this is Kotoko’s chance.
Kotoko applies on the spot, but unfortunately, someone’s beat her to it. Three guesses who.
Ugh. Kotoko asks Yuko how she knew Naoki worked her and she says cryptically that “he” told her, leading Kotoko to believe that Naoki told her.
Kotoko goes home and tells Irie-mama that she wasn’t able to get the job. Irie-mama quickly picks up that it must be because of ‘that woman’ and pulls out a picture of Yuko. What kind of connections does Irie-mama have? Is she a gangster?
She tells Kotoko not to worry; she’s done some research on Yuko and she’s not Naoki’s type at all. Yuko applied to the job because she knows Naoki’s not interested and desperate (though Kotoko points out that it doesn’t make her that much different from Yuko since she did the same thing). Irie-mama assures Kotoko that Yuko is no match for her, based on her motherly instincts, and wielding a knife, tells Kotoko to drive her away. Irie-mama is definitely not someone I want to cross.
Kotoko tells Satomi and Jinko about Yuko working with Naoki, and Satomi points out it’s strange that Naoki told Yuko where he was working, but kept it from his family. They wonder if Yuko is the reason Naoki moved out since she was the only person he told about his job. Kotoko immediately shoots that down; Naoki said he doesn’t hate her after all. Satomi: “This may sound very cruel, but ‘I don’t hate you’ and ‘I love you’ are totally different things.” Don’t crush our hope Satomi!
Still, Satomi has a point; unless something major happened, what other reason would Naoki have to leave his nice house?
Kotoko goes to her dad’s restaurant, saying she only came to eat, but Dad knows she’s upset about Naoki. Even though Irie-papa said it had nothing to do with them, Dad also thinks it’s strange that Naoki moved out right after they came back. Kotoko wonders if Naoki hates her more than she thought, but instead of feeling sad, Dad asks her what she’s going to do about it. He grabs her nose, reminding her that she was the one who said she was going to do her best no matter what, so she might as well stop whining and keep at it. Kotoko feels encouraged by Dad’s words and leaves in a better mood.
Kin-chan, who was listening in the back, tells Dad that he might have said too much since Kotoko’s having a hard time, but Dad says Kotoko isn’t a kid any more. He shouldn’t have to tell her what to do, but until the moment that she really needs him and he needs to protect her, he’ll be waiting for her. Dad: “That’s what being a parent is.” He tells Kin-chan to not worry about other people and quickly become a man so his own parents won’t worry about him.
Kotoko works up some courage to go see Naoki at work only for it all to come crashing down when she sees him working with Yuko. She decides to approach him after he’s finished working, but she still can’t catch a break as Yuko leaves with him.
Kotoko follows them to find out where Naoki lives, continuously telling herself that they’ll separate soon or that they live near each other. But when she overhears Yuko asking Naoki what he wants for dinner and sees Yuko’s surname on one of the mailboxes of the apartment building, she has no choice but to assume that Naoki has moved in with Yuko.
The next morning, the family is shocked by Kotoko’s raccoon-like appearance. She insists nothing’s wrong, but she isn’t even bothered by Yuuki teasing her and skips out on breakfast. When she tells Satomi and Jinko about Naoki living with Yuko, she confesses that she ended up waiting outside the apartment for three hours, but Naoki never came out, so there’s no doubt he’s living with Yuko.
Kotoko is so depressed about Naoki that she becomes a zombie, walking stiffly and hunched over, oblivious to anything and anyone, including Naoki.
Realizing something’s up, Naoki goes to tennis practice, but Kotoko has stopped going. He uses a meeting with Yuuki to see if there’s anything going on at home. Yuuki tells him about how Kotoko hasn’t been eating and is more absent-minded than usual. Naoki doesn’t say anything, but he’s obviously worried.
Kin-chan cooks a bunch of food for Zombie Kotoko so she can cheer up and Satomi and Jinko encourage her to eat and get over Naoki. After all, he’s not the only man out there. But Zombie Kotoko
only wants brains still has no appetite and she leaves to sulk some more.
Kin-chan wants to confront Naoki, but Satomi points out he can’t since as an employee of the school he’d get in trouble for assaulting a student. Satomi and Jinko say they’ll take of Kotoko which is when they see Zombie Kotoko pass out in front of the cafeteria.
The doctor informs them that Kotoko is fatigued and malnourished, but her condition isn’t severe. She says that Kotoko must have suffered a severe psychological shock to pass out.
Kotoko’s collapse is the tipping point for Satomi and Jinko and they go to confront Naoki, pushing aside everyone and anything in their path.
They lose their fire though when they finally meet Naoki and he asks who they are. Satomi:”You have an IQ of 200, but don’t remember us?” Ha, even though Naoki remember anyone and anything after seeing it once, he discards unnecessary information. Now I know you’re a robot.
They accuse Naoki of having no respect for Kotoko’s feelings since he’s secretly living with Yuko. They ask that if he really doesn’t have any feelings for Kotoko, then he should tell her so she can get over him and stop suffering. Now that he understands the situation, I’m sure he has something up his sleeve.
Kin-chan takes Kotoko home and before she goes in reminds her that he’s always there for her. It seems he wants to say more, but he leaves it at that and tells her to get better.
Kotoko mopes in her room, unable to get the image of Naoki and Yuko together out of her head. She recalls how hard her friends have been trying to cheer her up and wonders what she’s doing.
The next morning, Zombie Kotoko is finally gone and Kotoko tells herself to be strong so she can stop worrying her friends. But just as she’s made up her mind, she runs into Naoki who asks to talk.
Kotoko asks about how he’s been living, assuming that he’s being pampered by Yuko’s family. Unable to keep her feelings in anymore, Kotoko says that it’s a great thing to be in love with someone. Even though her love for him was one-sided, she was able to put effort into many things because she loved him. Thanks to Naoki, she was able to get into college, and though it didn’t mean anything to him, it was a big deal for her.
Naoki asks her to get to the point and Kotoko says that though it’s frustrating, she wants to be happy for Naoki and support him if he loves Yuko, though her pained smile says otherwise.
A high school girl shows up with Yuko,interrupting the conversation. She recognizes Kotoko and says she looks like an idiot just like she heard. The girl, Ayako, heard about Kotoko from Naoki and Yuko, her older sister. Ah, so that explains the attitude.
Kotoko assumes its because Naoki’s living with their family, but Ayako clarifies that Naoki has been tutoring her for Tonan University’s entrance exam. She came to the campus today for a tour with Yuko and Naoki. Kotoko cries with happiness, freaking out Ayako and Yuko.
Letting Ayako and Yuko go ahead, Naoki asks Kotoko if she still stands by what she was saying earlier. Kotoko quickly takes it all back, asking him to forget she said it. He tells her before leaving that he moved out so he could be alone, so there’s no way that he would be living with anyone.
Sudo shows up looking for Yuko as usual and he tells Kotoko that he was actually the person that told Yuko about where Naoki works and helped Naoki get a job. Kotoko realizes she misunderstood Yuko since she didn’t specify who had told her.
Kotoko asks Sudo to treat her to a meal, happy that Naoki’s still available, but she can’t help but wonder why Naoki moved out.
Ho-hum. Not exactly the most exciting episode; there were definitely some good moments, like with Irie-mama and Zombie Kotoko, but other than that there wasn’t anything new going on. Since the plot depends on our OTP getting together, most of the good stuff comes from them interacting, so when they’re not interacting, everything else is really boring.
Remember how I said that this is the first time I thought Kotoko can function without Naoki? I take that all back with the appearance of Zombie Kotoko. She did bounce back, but look at what she went through to get to that point. Surprisingly, though, I wasn’t irritated with Zombie Kotoko because I could understand her feelings this time. It does feel like she’s getting jerked around by Naoki, who says one thing and does another, so she’s never really sure where she stands with him. Does he hate her? Does he like her? Does he just like messing with her? She can’t figure Naoki out so she does what she can to make sense of his actions, but because Kotoko is Kotoko, this inevitably leads to the wrong conclusion. Even though Naoki didn’t reveal the real reason why he moved out, at least he took action to clear up the misunderstanding, which is more than what he would have done a couple of episodes ago.
Episode ten should be better since there’s this to look forward to.
Yes Kotoko, I’m excited too.