“Fated partners are made.”
After NigeHaji cut episode 6 right when Hiramasa kissed Mikuri, the waiting time till the next installment felt so long i ended up rewatching that episode for who knows how many times. I looked forward to where they’d go from there, and these contract spouses got even cuter in episode 7…until the ending happened. Which made me go from “LOOOL Hiramasa-san, what are you doing~” throughout the hour to “AAARGH Hiramasa-san, what are you doing!?!?” at the eleventh hour.
I think push-pull is a perfect description of their relationship, especially when the man is as unassertive and cautious as Tsuzaki Hiramasa. It’s almost a given he would avoid the topic until confronted that we didn’t get to the cute parts until the latter half the episode. Despite Mikuri’s determination to stop expecting something from Hiramasa and keep it a strict business relationship, the kiss utterly bulldozes her guard, leaving her happy yet confused. If it were done by someone like Kazami, it’d probably be easy to brush it off as a deliberate and calculated move; when it’s the serious Hiramasa, however, it becomes really hard to figure out the meaning.
The more when he stays out all night on the following hug day to shirk the weekly lovers time. Or hands a month-late birthday gift. We viewers know better (that Hirama is kicking himself for not remembering, then scouring through the department store and even calling her parents for gift ideas), but Mikuri doesn’t. She lights up when he says he has something to say, and baffled when it’s about her birthday, she can’t help taking it the wrong way — that he regrets the kiss and gives the ‘bonus’ as a compensation. Still, she takes the chance to ask about the kiss anyway… through a text… which takes him three freaking hours to reply… with an apology. That isn’t what she’s after, but when the exchanges seem to go nowhere, she suggests that it is an acceptable extension of their skinship.
That settles the issue and eases the tension, so when the another Tuesday rolls in and the IT guy needs to work overtime, he closes in to hug her first and tells her to not wait up for him — the deadly combination that literally floors her and sends her to cloud nine. Gyah~ Those gentle words also successfully top her most impactful phrases ranking (whose top 10 are mostly his anyway). Thereafter, Tuesday becomes the day both look forward to. And despite believing that as a pro-bachelor he shouldn’t let his feelings develop, his apartment becomes such a warm place he looks forward to returning that he eagerly googles the right timing for their second kiss.
And when the opportunity comes, he moves in for the kill, albeit as tentative as ever. Everything is heading toward the right direction, but of course he has to ruin the charged moment by backing down at the last moment, when Mikuri has given a green light for them to bring their skinship to the next level. Like, augh~!! Stop making it a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kinda progress, you baka!
This time, the rejection serves as a huge blow to her ego she wishes the ground would swallow her up. So, when the news of her mother’s injury arrives, she jumps at the chance to escape. Ha. NigeHaji properly prepares sensible reasoning behind every big decision, even for Mikuri’s runaway, huh? Others may see it as a marriage tiff, but the wife isn’t confident she can return to Apartment 303. If anything, i wonder if Hiramasa senses what it means since he doesn’t seem that affected by Mikuri’s disappearance — he buys simple lunches although she stocked bentos up for him at home. However, it isn’t until the half-drunk argument between him and Kazami that the metaphorical bulb finally lights up over his head, spurring him to re-evaluate what has happened thus far, especially that night, and ponder about Mikuri’s possible feelings in those moments.
In retrospect, episode 7 had a really nice flow and development despite the bum ending, whereas episode 8 was rather slow and a little angsty despite the rewarding ending. Hirama’s propensity to beat around the bush and then let Mikuri have the last word on nearly all of their couple issues can drive you up the wall at times. I am itching for him to man up already and sincerely thought he had overcome that wall after those midnight texts, after the weekly hug becomes enjoyable instead of obligatory, after he’s floored by her cuteness. That he found her unbearably cute was already telling, the more when he was this close to admitting he was in love with her, which in turn made the last-minute rebuff, when they’ve gotten that far, extra upsetting.
But then, the separation was a necessary cooling-off period for both parties, especially for the husband to get it together. It took him long enough, but at least he acted on it. That heart-to-heart phone call at the end of episode 8 made all the pain worth it. I loved it that Hiramasa decided to come clean on his own accord — about his feelings, fears, and obliviousness to Mikuri’s feelings as he’s getting too caught up in his own emotions. I also loved that this time, it’s Hiramasa who’s having the last word — for them to meet and have their Tuesday’s hug. Ahh, it’s impossible to stay mad at him for too long, after all… 🙂
As the couple spends their time away from each other in episode 8, NigeHaji uses this downtime to address side issues in the workplace and at home. Numata-san’s ninja snooping skills works not only for other’s private affairs but also the company’s, although he’s forced to not leak it to other workers. Meanwhile, in Tateyama, the women in Moriyama family are seriously discussing the struggles of working mothers, the expectations society place on women, and the ideal situation where spouses share domestic chores. Seriously, housework should be a shared responsibility, not a girl thing!
If Yuri-chan became Numata’s drinking buddies in the last two episodes, she hangs out with Kazami more in these two episodes. Her impression on him has also changed that his nickname goes from “warui ikemen” (bad handsome guy) to “namaiki na oikko” (cheeky nephew). Hmm…
“While excited like a little kid, I waited impatiently for tomorrow to come.”
Off to watch episode 9~
Since when Yassan knows about the contract marriage??