Saturday, April 27, 2013

Last Cinderella Episode 2 Recap

Episode 2: The Great Reversal of Love and Life! The Younger Man is a Prince?!
  Sakura is really bad at the walk of shame—she's jumpy and nervous and keeps trying to hide her face, which only draws more attention. It's pretty hilarious. 
  She passes a moving truck on her way up to her apartment, then gets hit by a door as someone is opening it. That someone is Rintaro, who's incredulous to realize that they'll be next-door neighbors. He gets especially touchy when he realizes she's in the same hideous outfit she wore to the go-kon, and that she stayed out all night.
  Miki prepares breakfast for her family while enduring the insults of her Mother-in-law. MIL decides she's going to take the kids with her when she leaves for a few days, a plan which they only accept because she promises to buy them anything they want. 
  Kohei is excited to do whatever he wants for the weekend, and as he heads to work, he checks his phone to see if Shima has called. He flashes back to the night before, when she put her number in his phone. While he's distracted, he walks right into a pillar, that just so happens to be waist-high. HAHAHA, serves him right!

  Somehow, Rintaro manages to force Sakura into doing most of the box-carrying, while he enjoys a beer. She talks like an old person (literally using phrases an old person would say), then starts sighing about how exhausted she is and how it's lunchtime already. 

  They go to Rintaro's favorite bar for lunch, and Rintaro manages to twist things so that Sakura is suddenly the one treating. You know, because he's helping her out so much by giving her advice. She tells him about Hiroto, and he decides that it's some kind of fraud. In the middle of the conversation, Hiroto calls, and Rintaro makes Sakura answer. Then he grumbles about her aegyo attitude with Hiroto. (Quick question: does kawaii work the same way here? As in that flirty, cutesy manner? Or is there another Japanese word that's closer to aegyo?)
  Sakura goes outside and tells Hiroto that she just doesn't think it will work because of the age gap. Before he can say anything, she hangs up.
  The next morning, Sakura and Rintaro leave for work at the same time. He's annoyed that she wants to walk together, citing his worry that she'll ruin his image, and repeatedly tries to shoo her away. 
  When they get to the salon, Hiroto is waiting. Rintaro hovers for a bit before Sakura makes him go inside. She explains that they can't date, and that he should find some girl closer to his age. She wonders what he likes so much about her that he wants to date her, and he answers that older women are more interesting than younger women. She tells him to go find some other older woman then.
  That night, Hiroto mumbles about how frustrating Sakura is while he's with that naked girl. (Seriously, she's always naked.)
  Sakura tells Miki about her night with Hiroto during a yoga class taught by Shima (who is hilariously strict with them for goofing off). They discuss Hiroto's age and realize that they could have kids close to his age. In fact, Shima would have a 24-year old if she'd given birth at 20. This just makes Shima angry, and she pushes Sakura even harder. 
  A junior stylist assumes Rintaro is the type of person who doesn't want kids, but Rintaro corrects him and says that he does want kids, because he doesn't want to be lonely when he's old. He doesn't want to get married though. The younger stylist brings up Sakura, and Rintaro says that kids are out of the picture for her, since she doesn't even have a man. Besides, she's practically an old man herself.
  Shima assures Sakura that now that she's had sex again, her hormones will kick back in. Miki and Sakura ask about Shima's new man, and then chide her for having an affair at her age. Just then, Kohei calls and Shima leaves. Miki wonders if she should just have an affair, since it's probably what her husband is doing. (She says this not as though she really thinks he is, but more like a it's reason behind his disinterest in her.)
  There are repeated moments at the salon where Sakura comes up in Rintaro's interactions with others. It happens again when Rintaro is styling Chiyoko, and she finds out that Rintaro is now Sakura's neighbor. 

  Hiroto sends Sakura endless text messages. And while she doesn't reply to any of them, she's clearly happy to get them. At work, Rintaro listens while a customer teases her that she must have a secret boyfriend, due to her new level of cheerfulness. He watches as she checks her phone all day to read Hiroto's texts.
  Later, he tells her she looks like a schoolgirl, checking her phone all day. He grumbles some more about Hiroto, and then calls her an effeminate old man schoolgirl. Hahaha!
  That night, Shima and Kohei meet up in their hotel room while Miki searches through her drawers for a silk teddy. However, Kohei ends up apologizing to Shima for being physically unable to seal the deal. 

  He gets home to find Miki modeling the teddy (Kohei drops his briefcase in shock), and he tries to just get in bed. She keeps pushing, and he asks if it's okay to be with only one person for 20 years. (The answer is YES, dummy.) He jumps under the covers and poor Miki ends up grabbing some blankets to go sleep on the couch.
  Hiroto complains to Chiyoko about how stubborn Sakura is. He asks for more money and instead of taking the few bills Chiyoko hands him, he grabs the wad she left in her wallet. Haha. She tells him that she needs him to step up his game and talks about how Rintaro's last  girlfriend really hurt him.
  Chiyoko's mom comes home and wonders why Hiroto isn't staying for dinner. There's a palpable iciness between them, but it's nothing compared to the hostility with Chiyoko's dad. (I get the feeling Chiyoko and Hiroto are siblings, but they have different family names, so maybe they're actually step siblings. I'm sure this is one of the story lines the drama is saving for later, since the relationship has never been made clear.)
  Hiroto goes to the bike park to work out his anger. 
  As Rintaro and Sakura leave work together, she notices Hiroto. The men size each other up as Rintaro leaves, and Hiroto asks Sakura to eat with him (again playing with his lip). She initially refuses, saying that she's meeting friends, but then she relents and offers to go for a drink.
  Shima tries to comfort Miki as she cries over her husband's latest rejection. Eventually, Miki asks about Shima's new man, and she admits that they haven't slept together yet. She's decided to look at it as a long seduction, and Miki decides that that will be her attitude as well. The doorbell rings, and Miki goes to answer it, thinking it's Sakura. 

  But it's not. It's Kohei, who has brought flowers for his wife. Shima comes over to see what's taking so long, and her eyes bug out when she sees Kohei. His reaction is the same. Miki introduces them, and jokingly asks Kohei if he bought her flowers because he's having an affair. *Crickets chirping* He finally recovers and laughs that that would be impossible.
  While Miki gets dinner ready, Shima and Kohei try to decide what to do, especially warning each other to keep the secret. Miki runs in and asks if Kohei shouldn't be seeing Shima. Because she's a fitness instructor, of course! Hahaha. Shima and Kohei decide that it's not really cheating, since they haven't actually had sex yet. (Sorry, but it's still cheating.)
  Their attempts to be secretive while acting normal cause them to act hilariously more suspicious as they talk. At one point, they even duck under the table (what? why?) to swear that their brief affair is over, all while Miki is in the kitchen. She comes in and surprises them, causing them to hit their heads on the table, and they pretend they're just looking for Shima's ring. Before leaving, Shima gives Kohei a whispered warning to never betray Miki and tells him to erase her number.
  Sakura and Hiroto drink at a trendy bar. Some of his friends show up and ask if she's his onee-san (big sister). This ruins the mood, and when Sakura and Hiroto leave, he apologizes profusely for his friends. She tells him that she's 39, and she's just grateful they didn't call her mom. She apologizes and leaves. He halfheartedly tries to get her to stay, but then just rolls his eyes at how difficult she is.
  Rintaro sits at the bar and his bartender friend asks if he's going to get a girlfriend. He drinks, lost in thought. 
  Sakura cancels with Miki and then heads to the batting cages, where she misses every ball. However, Rintaro, in the next cage, hits every ball. He hears her muttering and turns to bicker. Then he warns her about the ball that's coming just in time for her to duck out of the way. 
  He asks if she ran away from the kid, but she answers that she ran away from herself. She's decided that trying to bridge a 15 year age gap is too much, but she needs to get back into dating. Preferably someone closer to her age. Rintaro tells her how to correct her stance and she's suddenly able to hit the ball.
  As they walk home, she gets a text from Hiroto. Rintaro assumes that he's asking for money, but Sakura says that he still wants to date her, despite their age difference. Rintaro says that she shouldn't let a guy with such unique taste go to waste and reassures her that she's a beauty. "You're a beauty and mature. You've just gotten used to being hurt and giving up, haven't you?"
  In the morning, she calls Miki to tell her that she's decided to give Hiroto a shot. Miki's kids come home, trailing MIL behind them. Kohei explains that MIL will be staying with them for the next little while, offering no further explanation.

  Hiroto and Sakura go bowling (where she trashes him), play tennis (where he trashes her) and play basketball (where they seem to mostly just play around). Then they have ice cream. Sakura is bumped by a kid and gets her ice cream all over her face. Hiroto wipes it off, except the ice cream on her nose, and then laughs at her. 
  On the bus, Sakura tries to give up her seat to a woman with a kid and a stroller, but a young punk takes it instead. Sakura confronts him, and it escalates into a huge scene. Everyone, including the woman with the child and Hiroto, acts embarrassed for her and the woman quickly gets off the bus when Sakura finally forces the punk to move. 

  Sakura and Hiroto walk in a park and she apologizes for creating a scene. He tells her she was impressive, but she complains about the punk calling her an old hag and a geezer. They stop under a cherry tree. Hiroto pauses to pull a blossom out of her hair and then surprises her with a kiss.
  I really like Sakura's personality. Although she feels that she's awkward in social situations, I like that she's willing to stand up to the small injustices in the world. I think this is mostly due to her age—she's mature enough to not care if other people dislike her, but she cares about people in general, and other women specifically. Like the girl being pressured to have sex in the last episode. She's not afraid of confrontation, but she's not obnoxious about things, either, even if she is a little childish in the heat of the moment (she tends to stick her tongue out at the men she's telling off). 
  I honestly think that this aspect of her personality provides an interesting dichotomy for Hiroto. I think he's attracted by it, but also embarrassed by it, because he's still at an age where most people worry too much about what people think about them to notice a sketchy situation and act upon it. I like that he's not really spending time with Sakura because he likes her, but that he's doing it out of a sense of responsibility to Chiyoko. In most dramas with a similar setup, the guy undertaking the bet seems to enjoy the chase, but Hiroto holds back, and only engages as much as he needs to. I think that will change soon, possibly with a situation involving his family(?). I mean, he has to come to genuinely like Sakura for the tension to really build, right?
  I also find the situation with Rintaro interesting. I don't get the impression that he's so much in denial about his feelings for Sakura, but that he's still not emotionally ready to connect with her in that way. That's why I think he's okay with encouraging Sakura to date Hiroto, despite his pangs of jealousy. And maybe he figures that things won't get serious between them, so when they break up, he'll finally be ready to step in and step up. Ooor, maybe I'm just reading too much into things. 
  I'm glad that Shima called things off with Kohei (although I don't think that's the end of their relationship, yet). I think she's realized how personal cheating actually is. I mean, it's one thing when you don't know the injured party, and you can pretend that you aren't actually hurting anyone. But when you're confronted with the fact that the injured party is one of your best friends? It's hard to ignore the fact that cheating is not so simple, nor is it innocent. And it's still cheating, even if you haven't had sex. Besides the physical relationship, there's also emotional cheating, which is still wrong.
  Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. I'm excited to see where things go from here. And I think there's a lot of great stuff coming our way in this drama.

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