One lesson this drama teaches me is not to jump to conclusions before hearing the other person out. There’s always a reason behind everything, no matter how hurt, betrayed, or livid it made you feel at that moment (of revelation). It ain’t easy, but running away doesn’t solve the problem either. And when the other person wants to explain the situation out, it doesn’t hurt giving him a minute to do so. Cuz, chances are, your negative premature judgment may change. At least that applies to this drama.
After flipping my lid at Takane, i was so close to do the same to Kiyomiya toward the end of the fifth episode, although i was mostly angry at/disappointed in Junko. Technically, she (and we) had all the rights to rebuke Takane for what he said he did but not Kiyomiya for what he seemingly did. Takane deliberately misled himself, Kiyomiya was misunderstood. Whereas Junko…is positively in the wrong; the reason for her action is straightforward: to protect herself and her ego. And that’s unfair to both men.
Instead of an expected turn of events, i guess i just didn’t expect that to happen this soon, or to unfold that way, because i was in anticipation of what’s coming after Kiyomiya’s invitation and was really pleased with where things were going in that episode UNTIL the twist occurred and shattered all of the nicely built up giddy moments. It was BAM! and everything went poof~ I know it was sort of too good to be true, and if 5-ji Kara 9-ji Made aims to make Junko/Takane the endgame, there must be something that makes her turn away from Kiyomiya. Still, that wasn’t it.
The reveal is shocking and definitely hints at him being a complete jerk who plays with Junko, but i was willing to suspend my judgment until hearing him out. He seems a genuinely nice guy who goes beyond cheering her dream; he does something to make it happen. When she failed to do so on her own merit thanks to someone else’s intervention, he offers to bring her over with him. Would he do that when he already has a spouse there? Unlikely. My safest bet was he’s divorced, although it seems off for him to still keep pictures and the wedding ring with him if that’s the case.
I would’ve never looked back either had he really two-timed her. Hearing the truth, however, made me root a lot harder for him and wish he were more assertive. That’s the one trait he’s seriously lacking. Forcing his way isn’t his style, but Junko is keeping her distance and with Takane on her heels, he should feel the urgency to clear the air sooner than later. Junko/Kiyomiya are pretty much the thwarted couple not by fate or circumstances but inaction: she likes him; he likes her; and what stands between them is this unexplained misunderstanding. Hopefully it gets cleared up before she completely crosses over, because i can’t see why she won’t come running back to him feeling a lot badder than when she misjudged Takane. I mean, it’s frustrating to see her cutting Kiyomiya out despite her firsthand knowledge of what happened when she refused to hear the other person out. If anything, if extracting herself from the murky situation is her intent, she should tell him clearly and squarely — she accepted his offer anyway.
I’m with Ashikaga Kaori in this matter. The subject of interest in her case is Takane, but the point remains the same: if she has no intention of pursuing the relationship further, stop leading the man on! Takane is not one to listen to anybody, so it’s not entirely Junko’s fault that he continues to pop up next to her, yet she doesn’t cut him off completely either — agreeing to go on a date with him, proposing to start as friends first, etc. The most glaring example is when she throws herself at him.
THAT was obviously a rebound, and while i mainly hated Junko for taking that route, i felt really bad for Takane for being used when he’s being sincere and somewhat naive. He’s under the wrong impression that she likes him back, so i can’t fault him for seeing that move as a green light. Nevertheless, as much as i wonder if marriable monks aren’t conservative when it comes to bodily pleasures, i was relieved to note that he at least has strong self-control. It was the wrong moment and condition (her eyes were legitimately sly during that scene) i couldn’t squeal even when he flips her around and takes the lead instead. Sorrynotsorry.
Seeing how clingy and happy Takane is in the little things, it was surprising to learn that Junko isn’t his first date. Did his previous dates undergo the bridal training and his stalkerish behavior as well? Despite revealed in light humorous way, the news still makes her pout. Heh. Takane, however, continues to revolve around her to make his affection known, as if it ain’t obvious already, in his own misguided way. He prepares and recites the date agenda, he tries out literally everything beforehand, he shows up at the meeting point seven friggin’ hours ahead of time (“It’s a cardinal rule for the man to be there early.” — yeah, but you’re overdoing it!), which can be adorable or creepy especially if she’s not the least bit interested.
Furthermore, he keeps on ingratiating himself with her family, treating them as his own, that it’s natural to be gradually moved by his persistence and sincerity. The more when he goes to great lengths to gather information about her late grandmother when preparing for her memorial service. Does he go all the way for any other service he’s in charge of too? Cuz doing all of these just because it’s Junko’s family feels a bit contrived. Regardless, that seems to do the trick, all while i was screaming at her to let Kiyomiya talk. Give the poor guy a chance too!
At this stage, the other two suitors have stepped out of the picture, although it was odd for Show to have Mishima kiss Junko only to let it pass as a drunken mistake and then show shots of him making moony eyes at her still. What a pointless plot device. Oh well, i truly wish Show gave the side characters their own stories instead of linking everything back to Junko (and the uneven triangle). Particularly regarding Arthur-sensei (Hayami Mokomichi) and Miss Momoe (Takanashi Rin), the most interesting beta couple.
It’s refreshing that he is never weirded out by her BL-obsession and intrigued by it instead. The way the makes the grand princely gesture prior to offering himself to be her partner for the special event she’s dying to go to was downright amusing, that’s the only way to enter her bubble anyway, and the best part about it was how much he’s enjoying himself. He’s been a tease since the start so these otherwise cringeworthy lines/reenactments may come naturally to him as well.
Am i the only one who finds him more charming than Takane? Hee.