After two lackluster episodes, I was counting on episode ten to change the game and it did not disappoint. This episode was everything I wanted and more. *Sigh* One episode a week is not enough.
Episode 10: Confession on a Snowy Night
The parents are heading out of town to attend a friend’s vow renewal ceremony leaving Kotoko and Yuki home for a day. Irie-mama and Kotoko’s dad are a little worried if they’ll be ok, but Kotoko assures them she has everything under control.
Surprisingly, Kotoko manages to cook a decent meal and even Yuki admits it’s good. But he’s barely taken two bites before doubling over in pain. Yuki gets worse as the night goes on and Kotoko, unable to reach anyone else, calls Kin-chan for help.
She assumes Yuki has food poisoning, but Odawara (Kin-chan’s aniki at the restaurant) points out that it must be something else since Kotoko isn’t sick. He advises her to take Yuki to the hospital and Kin-chan says he’ll look for Naoki.
Jinko and Satomi hear about the situation from Kin-chan and go meet Yuko to see if she knows where Naoki could be. She tells them where Naoki works and Kin-chan, who’s been running around the area, goes to the restaurant. Luckily, Naoki’s working and once Kin-chan tells him what happened to Yuki, the two head to the hospital as fast as possible.
The doctor tells Kotoko that Yuki’s condition is serious and could be fatal if he doesn’t get surgery right away. But because Yuki’s a minor, he needs a family member’s aporoval for the surgery, leaving Kotoko at a loss for what she should do. Naoki and Kin-chan soon arrive and Naoki approves the surgery, assuring his brother that everything will be alright.
Kin-chan decides to leave, since the restaurant is busy, and Kotoko thanks him for helping her. Naoki is also grateful to Kin-chan, even going so far as bowing to him. But Kin-chan can’t let Naoki slide so easily. He calls Naoki selfish and rips into him for not staying in contact with his family. What if something had happened to Yuki? He understands that Naoki must have a real reason for moving out since he left Osaka to live in Tokyo, but if there was another situation like today, and Naoki couldn’t be reached, it wouldn’t only hurt him, but his family as well.
Kin-chan: “A man can’t live by himself. It’s important to say what you’re feeling or what you’re thinking to the people around you.”
For once, Naoki has nothing to say and he mulls over Kin-chan’s words as Kotoko steps out to call Irie-mama. She informs her about the surgery and Irie-mama says they’ll come back right away. There are no more trains running to Tokyo, so they try to hitchhike a ride back, though they’re not having much success.
Naoki steps outside and places a hand on Kotoko’s head, pulling her close. He thanks her for being there for Yuki and Kotoko, who’s managed to keep it together this whole time, bursts into tears. She hugs Naoki, saying she was scared and he comforts her, saying it’s all right now.
The operation is successful and though Naoki wants to stay overnight, they don’t allow guests in the ICU. The doctor tells Naoki that he should be grateful that Kotoko acted so quickly; his illness could have been fatal if he wasn’t taken to the hospital right away.
Since it’s late at night and snowing, Kotoko has no way to get home, so Naoki takes her to his apartment since it’s close by. Kotoko’s in shock as she enters Naoki’s apartment, taking in every inch, causing Naoki to snap at her to not look around. She can barely hide how happy she is that it’s only the two of them in his apartment and asks if Yuko’s been here before. Kotoko’s the first person he’s had over here, only making her smile more.
She insists he take a shower first to she can tell Irie-mama about the surgery. While waiting, Kotoko is giddy over the fact that she is spending the night alone with Naoki, only to freak out when she realizes that there’s only one bed, though she can’t help but imagine that something might happen. Bow chicka wow wow. Kotoko: “No, I shouldn’t be thinking like this right now.”
When she goes to shower, Kotoko does what every girlfriend does and starts poking around in the bathroom, looking at Naoki’s soap, shampoo, and towels. She picks one of the towels up, inhaling it’s scent before passing out. Naoki hears her fall, but decides it’s best not to check on it.
Naoki’s ready to sleep when Kotoko comes out and though Kotoko says she’ll sleep on the floor, she gets mad when Naoki says that’s how it should be. He says he was kidding and tells her to sleep on the bed, but Kotoko’s not comfortable with that either.
She ends up pestering Naoki all night (“can you turn on a light? are you cold?” ) until he decides to climb into bed with her so she’ll keep quiet. Lol, Kotoko keeps staring at Naoki, even though his back is towards her as if she’s expecting him to attack her. She reprimands herself for thinking of doing something like that when Yuki’s in the hospital. Still, she wonders if Naoki isn’t trying anything because he doesn’t think she’s attractive.
As if reading her mind, Naoki asks if she’s depressed because he’s not trying anything. He says he doesn’t want things to go the way his mother hopes; if she finds out Kotoko slept at his place and something happened, she would control him for the rest of his life. He has a point; you already see what happened when she found out about the kiss.
He didn’t tell his family where he was living because he didn’t want his mom to invade anymore. If she knew where he was, she would make a spare key and be there all the time, cooking him three meals a day and moving out would have been pointless.
He left home because he wanted to figure out what to do with his life. If he had stayed at home, he would graduate from college and take over his father’s company like his parents wanted, but he didn’t know if that’s what he wanted to do.
Kotoko reminds him of how he said that he finds life more interesting when he’s facing a challenge. She’s relieved that she’s not the reason Naoki moved out and he says that’s extreme, even for him. Does she realize how hard it is to live alone? But he feels guilty now because his decision could have cost Yuki his life.
Naoki: “You were always the one who was causing me trouble. But today I was the one who caused you trouble.”
Kotoko says this is only one thing that she could do and Naoki can do everything since he’s a genius. She realized today how fragile a human life is and that one small thing could make a curable illness incurable. Naoki thinks back to how the doctor said Kotoko’s quick acting saved Yuki’s life and admits he was scared too. He had believed that their lives were decided by God and there was nothing they could do.
Kotoko thinks that if Naoki became a doctor, he could change that because he has so much potential. Naoki says that even with so many possibilities in front of him, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what he wants. He could do everything up until now because he was bored, but now that he’s busy, he’s slowly figuring out what he’s interested in and what’s important to him.
He trails off only to hear Kotoko snoring and he turns over to see that she’s sleeping. “You’re always like this at important times,” he sighs while watching her sleep. Seriously, why are you two never in sync?
Kotoko’s gone by the time Naoki wakes up in the morning. She made coffee and left a note explaining that she went to the hospital to see Yuki and thanks him for talking with her last night.
The parents finally make it back to the house, looking worse for wear. They assume Kotoko’s at home until they notice that dinner and the first aid kit are still sitting out. They see that Kotoko’s not in her room and Irie-mama jumps to the conclusion that Kotoko must have spent the night at Naoki’s apartment. The dads are skeptical, but when is Irie-mama ever wrong?
Naoki goes to the hospital later, but both Kotoko and Yuki are sleeping. The nurse (cameo by Sato Aiko) says that Kotoko has been entertaining Yuki all day. She says his girlfriend is cute and that Kotoko reminds her of herself when she was younger. She starts daydreaming, half-mumbling “Irie” before snapping out of it and excusing herself. Haha, I guess Kotoko will never change.
Naoki looks around the room and sees the decorations Kotoko has hung around the room and the snacks and clothes she brought for Yuki. Kotoko wakes up as Naoki stares at her and she tells him that Yuki is recovering well and will be able to leave soon.
Naoki asks to talk and the two move to the roof. Naoki says that she’s always saying she loves him, but asks if she’s ever thought about his feelings. Kotoko says she already knows that he has no interest in her. He calls her an idiot and walks towards her. “That’s not true,” he says, pulling her lips towards his…
…And then Kotoko jumps up from her dream, shouting “The second time!” Okay, you got me that time Director-san, I’ll admit it. She sees Yuki staring at her, asking if she woke him up and why his face is red, fretting that he’s sick again. Aww, I like Mother Hen Kotoko. He waves her off, saying he’s fine. Kotoko spots the flowers and Yuki says Naoki brought them, but he went to school already.
After Kotoko leaves to find a vase for the flowers, Yuki pinches himself and realizes what he saw wasn’t a dream. He woke up when Naoki came in and saw him kiss Kotoko while sleeping. Naoki didn’t say anything when he saw Yuki’s shocked face,only placing a finger to his lips with a smile before leaving.
We see Naoki leaving the hospital as Kotoko comes back to Yuki’s room with the flowers in a vase.
Thoughts: Best. Episode. Ever. Or maybe I should say yet, since we still have six more episodes to knock out. But besides all the OTP skinship we got (hugging! kisses!), I’ve got to talk about Kin-chan, who despite only being in one-third of the episode, had a pretty big impact.
Kin-chan has proven to be a man of his word as he’s always around when Kotoko needs him. Not only that, but he told Naoki something he needed to hear, not as a rival, or even a friend, but as someone who could see that Naoki needed help sorting himself out. Too bad every time Kin-chan does something awesome, it ends up driving Naoki and Kotoko closer together. Is this drama really only sixteen episodes? I feel like Kin-chan won’t get enough time to develop his own love line. Nooooo, he deserves a girl with all of his awesomeness.
But more than that, I liked Kin-chan’s speech to Naoki because it was about time he was brought down a peg or two. Yes, we’ve seen him squirm a little bit before as a result of pushing people away, but this is the first time he actually had to deal with serious consequences. His reasoning for keeping his distance from his family is valid; his mom is beyond invasive (though to be honest, this is the meekest incarnation yet) and his need to do some soul searching is understandable, but people aren’t flipping mind readers. If you don’t tell them clearly, they’re not going to understand and we get stuck with the ridiculous misunderstanding in episode nine or dire situations like in this episode.
I’ve put up with Naoki’s subtle ways of reaching out to others because I thought he was too socially awkward to do it any other way, but now I think that he never really cared. It might have been a throwaway comment, but in episode eight, when Naoki tries to tell Kotoko he doesn’t hate her and she doesn’t get it, he initially says it’s fine if she doesn’t get it. He does correct her, but that makes me think that’s his attitude towards everyone; if they don’t understand, it’s their loss, not his. Almost losing Yuki really shook him, and it’s obvious that it made him start re-evaluating his relationships based on his conversation with Kotoko. I really want to see Naoki become someone that can build bonds with others and though he still has a long way to go since he also suffers from man-child syndrome, a common affliction among male leads in dramas, as long as he doesn’t revert (so help me, I will have to break something
or someone if old Naoki resurfaces), there’s hope for him.