Sunday, May 19, 2013

Last Cinderella Episode 5 Recap

Episode 5: Feelings Start Running. . . ! The Shocking Destination of Love!! 
  Sakura heads home and gets a call from her mother telling her that her younger brother Satoshi is coming to stay with her. She passes a couple debating whether it's too public a place for a good old makeout session—he says no, she says yes—and tries to sneak past. The man starts chasing after her, which scares her a little until she realizes that it's Satoshi. And his girlfriend Rie. The show makes a point of the fact that she has big breasts. *Eyeroll*
  Satoshi explains that he and Rie, after dating for 2 months, have decided to elope. In the middle of their conversation, the doorbell rings. Despite Sakura's best efforts to hide Hiroto, Satoshi manages to get him in the building. 
  Hiroto apologizes for standing Sakura up and Satoshi proceeds to give both Hiroto and Sakura the third degree. Sakura is saved by the ringing telephone, and the only person I suspect can shut Satoshi up—their mother. Sakura tells her mom that Satoshi will stay for a little bit and she'll send him back. Satoshi warns Hiroto that if he's not serious about Sakura, he should just end things now. They start an Othello tournament.
  Miki sneaks home late and finds out that the chain on the door has been locked. She knows MIL is responsible, but Kohei says she wouldn't do such a thing.
  After the Othello match, everyone goes to bed. I'd say it's awfully nice of Sakura to give up her bed to the brother who came to mooch off her without warning. But it's probably so Rie would be more comfortable. Sakura and Hiroto sit next to each other awkwardly on their sleeping mat in the living room.
  Hiroto tells Sakura that he envies her relationship with her brother, since he doesn't have siblings he can rely on or who can rely on him. (Which isn't saying that he doesn't have any siblings, btw.) Sakura takes his hand and he tells her that makes him feel a bit frisky. He tries to initiate things, but then Rie loudly tells Satoshi to stop nibbling on her ear from the other room. Sakura and Hiroto laugh uncomfortably, then he says hearing those things just makes him friskier. Sakura pounds on the door and warns her brother that if he wants to do those things, he can just go to a hotel. "Whose bed do you think that is, anyway?!"
  In the morning, Hiroto snickers as he watches Sakura snore. She wakes up and tries to cuddle awkwardly, but he just laughs and tells her he has to leave.
  At the salon, Chiyoko apologizes to Rintaro for the kiss and gives him a ticket to a baseball game. A really really good ticket. The junior staff speculate that it's because she's in love with him. (Except the guy who's in love with Chiyoko, but he's just in denial.)
  Satoshi takes Hiroto along with him to find a job, but has no luck. He asks Hiroto if he's just after Sakura's money. 'Cuz it wouldn't be cool if Satoshi had to split his allowance. Or something like that. 
  Kohei stalks Shima at the gym and follows her to the hotel where she's going to meet a guy. He meets her outside the elevator and tells her she can't do this with someone she doesn't love. They argue on their way out, where Sakura happens to be passing by with a coworker. They hide and watch Shima tell Kohei that it's none of his business, and he yells at her that she's very important. And not just to Miki, but to him to. 

    Shima: Are you trying to say you love me?
    Kohei: I do love you. If it weren't for Miki, I'm not sure what I'd do. 
    Shima: Good. Can I tell Miki that.
    Kohei: . . . 
    Shima: I don't need lip service from you about Miki. I guess you can treat me to a round.

  Sakura heads to the bar in a daze. When she doesn't start a fight or even acknowledge Rintaro, he figures something is wrong. She asks if there's a reason to be friends with the husband of another friend, using the examples of Girl A and Girl B, although everyone knows immediately who she means. Barkeep and Rintaro say that they're having an affair and Rintaro advises Sakura to speak to Shima and find out what's going on.
  The next day during yoga, Sakura acts weird while Miki talks about Kohei's obvious mother complex, which she saw confirmation of the night before. When Miki leaves to get some water, Sakura confronts Shima, but Shima swears there's nothing going on between her and Kohei.
  Hiroto waits as Chiyoko shops, and he stares at pictures he took with Sakura. Chiyoko asks if he's getting too chummy with Sakura and pouts that he doesn't compliment her dress more. (In her defense, it IS a great dress. And it looks fantastic on her. No, I'm not at all jealous. *cough cough*)

  Sakura heads to a shrine to get a charm for Hiroto's tourney. While she waits, she gets a call from Hiroto asking about Satoshi's job hunt. She acts all aegyo and hangs up, then turns and sees the horrified football team behind her.
  Kohei continues his stalking, and Shima takes him to a cafe. She gives him a list of local doctors specializing in ED and tells him to go see one. She tells him that she always wanted kids, and her husband did too, but it wasn't easy. They suspected that they had infertility issues, but they were both too afraid to do anything about it. Then things became awkward and they ended up divorcing. She regrets that doing nothing changed her whole life, and she admits that she doesn't want the same thing to happen to him. 

  She asks for this to be their last meeting and tells him that they were caught by Sakura and that they were lucky it wasn't Miki. He says it's okay, since they don't have anything to feel guilty about. Shima pointedly asks "Can you say that honestly?" When Miki cleans out his pockets that night, she doesn't find a receipt. 

  Rintaro enjoys his seat at the game, and is unpleasantly surprised when Chiyoko joins him. She never says it's a date, but I'm pretty sure he's caught on to her intentions.
  Sakura and Hiroto eat at the bar. Rie joins them. Then Rintaro and Chiyoko come in and Sakura says they look like a father and child. Rintaro tells her she has no room to talk. Haha. Satoshi comes in and complains about not being able to find a job. He asks Sakura for some money so he can get a proper suit and look respectable. As he yammers on, Rie suddenly stands up and slaps him, silencing the room. 
  She yells at him for relying too much on Sakura and for not taking responsibility for his own life. She storms out and Sakura asks Satoshi to follow her, but he stubbornly stays put. She grabs her jacket and chases after Rie, smacking Satoshi on the back of his head on the way out. 
  Satoshi confesses to Hiroto that he feels lost in the mass of people in the city. Coming to Tokyo made him realize that he's just been running from himself all this time and he doesn't really fit in. Hiroto asks him to keep him company for a bit. 
  Rie apologizes to Sakura for her outburst and for throwing off Satoshi's life, but Sakura tells her that for the first time he's been making decisions for himself. She asks her to try to stick it out a while longer if she really loves Satoshi. Rie makes tea. It's hilarious that she knows where everything is kept in Sakura's house better than Sakura herself does. Especially now that it's clean.
  Hiroto takes Satoshi with him to his part-time job at a packing warehouse and asks him to keep it secret from Sakura. He explains that BMX doesn't pay the bills, especially since he's been in a slump since he won at 19 and then injured himself. Satoshi says it must be nice to have a dream and Hiroto points out that Rie is his dream. He offers Satoshi help in getting a job at the warehouse, but Satoshi refuses, saying he knows he needs to go back home and make a life for himself there. 

  Chiyoko asks Rintaro when their next date will be, and he's surprised to find out that she considers the day's events as a date. He explains that he just sees her as a little sister and that their age gap is too great. She runs out after accusing him of being in love with Sakura, a sentiment Barkeep echoes when he asks about Chiyoko's reaction. Rintaro flat-out denies any feelings for Sakura.
  Satoshi asks Rie to go back to Fukuoka with him while he tries to make something of himself. She agrees, they become amorous again, and Sakura yells from outside that they need to get a room (of their own, preferably at a hotel).

  At the BMX meet, everyone comments on how exhausted Sakura looks. She explains that she couldn't sleep because she was so worried about Hiroto's performance. She goes to find a bathroom, but instead comes across Naked Girl's friends beating up Hiroto for dumping Naked Girl. She interferes and is able to hold them off until some event staff come up and scare the thugs away. 
  Hiroto gives her a back hug and sighs that he's glad nothing happened to her. He gently scolds her for rashly jumping in and says he doesn't know what he would have done if she'd gotten injured.

  Despite his injuries, Hiroto performs well and wins first place in the competition. Sakura is so excited she passes out. Her friends all surround her and Hiroto rushes over and scoops her up in his arms and carries her away. He stops, leans his head close to her for a moment, then turns and says she's okay—she's just sleeping. Suddenly we can hear her snores. She mumbles in her sleep that he did a great job and Hiroto grins and holds her closer.
  Rintaro visits the bar and Barkeep shows him a newspaper article about Hiroto's win, complete with a photo of him carrying Sakura. Rintaro laughs that only Sakura would attend her boyfriend's big meet but sleep through it. 
  He then pauses when he reads more of the article. While Hiroto uses the family name Saeki professionally, his real family name is Ogami—the same as Chiyoko's. Not only do they have the same family name, but they're both the children of the president of Ogami Corp. Barkeep points out that they acted like they didn't know each other after Rintaro's "date," and remarks how strange that was and if Sakura knows.
  Well, if you're like me (and Deeno) and thought that the ending of the last episode was uber-creepy, just think how much creepier it is with this revelation. Maybe those who understand Japanese better than I do already knew that Chiyoko and Hiroto really are siblings. I mentioned that it seemed that way earlier, but was willing to pass that off as them being step-siblings. (Which is still a possibility. A possibility that is only slightly less gag-inducing, mind you, because it's pretty clear they were raised together.) 
  I also mentioned that I wanted Chiyoko to be actually crazy, and I got my wish there. Her crazy is showing up more and more. I wouldn't be at all surprised if her insanity was caused by Hiroto in some way, and I'm pretty sure he also gave her that scar. The scar and the crazy probably happened at the same time. Honestly, the more I see of Hiroto, the more I dislike him. He slightly redeemed himself with his genuine concern for Sakura in this episode, but it was only a small tick upwards for him. I was pleasantly surprised that he has an actual job, too. 
  Other than the creepy incest thing happening here, a thing that really bothers me in this show is how light it is on the comedy aspect. It's pretty full of stock characters and cliche plot points, but the premise really had some promise. A woman who has a hormone imbalance that causes her to start growing facial hair and also has a sudden reawakening at the same time? This show was ripe for some awesome comedic moments revolving around those developments. (And it could have done it in a way that wouldn't have been insensitive to people suffering hormone imbalances.)
  Instead, it has followed the well-worn path beaten by hundreds of shows before it. It's a noona romance where the younger man paves the way for the more mature (and so much hotter) love interest to finally make his intentions known. Plus we have the ever-present divorcĂ©e and the ignored housewife suddenly questioning her marriage that seem to be staples of these types of dramas. (Especially Renai Neet.) Unfortunately, Last Cinderella has no real sizzle to make these stories feel fresh and interesting. 
  In checking out the production team, I learned that the PD is the same who did Kekkon Shinai (which I absolutely love), but he also produced Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu and Sunao ni Narenakuti, both of which I also found quite disappointing. I liked them okay, I just felt that there could have been so much more to the stories. There were just too many missing elements for me to really love them.
  I'm not saying that I dislike this drama. I enjoy watching it, I do. But lately I don't get very excited over each new episode like I did at the beginning. The chemistry between the actors is still quite good, especially between Shinohara Riyoko (Sakura) and Fujiki Naohito (Rintaro). I also like the chemistry in the friendship between Sakura, Miki and Shima. I don't really feel much between Sakura and Hiroto, though, and that's very disappointing.
  Hopefully, things will pick up in the next few episodes and I can go back to loving this drama again. I've watched bits of unsubbed episode 6, and it looks like there are plenty of funny and cute moments, especially with Sakura and Rintaro. There really hasn't been enough interaction between those two in these last two episodes. Please be as awesome as I think you will be, episode 6. I'm counting on you.

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