“No matter how crazy, I think imagination has the power to change reality.”
This drama surely likes to toy with our emotions, and it surely knows how to make us suffer in anticipation. I’ll give you that, NigeHaji.
After we’re denied a Tuesday hug between the reconciled couple at the end of episode 8, i waited a week for the drama’s “tomorrow” to come so Hiramasa can return to Apartment 303 and fulfill their pending skinship. But work gets in the way and keeps him up all night the following day, and the following day, that his one-liner message “I’ll be back tomorrow” intensifies to “I’ll come home today!” and ends up a burning “Today, I’ll definitely come home for sure!!” Haha, give the poor guy a break and let him hug his wife already!
We can easily sense his desperation when he rides a taxi home that night, runs down the steps to look up to the balcony, beams like a kid upon seeing the lights are still on (at 2 AM), and runs back home… only to find the dinner is uneaten and Mikuri has fallen asleep on the couch. Aww, the look on his face…
He leaves for work extra early in the morning so he can be home on time. And when he does, Mikuri isn’t the only one excited to greet him at the door. In fact, i think we viewers rejoiced more at their long-awaited hug, which got pushed back till the following Tuesday. But instead of having that week’s share on that night as well, Hiramasa suggests that they save it up for later and that they revise the contract again, this time to include a clause for their lovers status. Erm, Hiramasa-san, why are you still being this strict?
Mikuri doesn’t voice out her objection lest the pro-bachelor would retreat back into his shell. She does muse if he has feelings for her, though. Huh? I thought their last phone was already quite open and telling, but maybe a confession of feelings is a necessary confirmation for her, especially since there’s possibility of him liking her as the first closest person to a girlfriend in his life. The more when she spots him walking with a pretty girl into a shop yet receives a text from him saying that he’s at work and will come home late, which smells like an affair when she’s trapped in this thing called “system”.
But then, nothing works better than a jealousy to lurch the romance forward: Mikuri blurting things she didn’t mean to say out loud, which prompts Hiramasa to admit liking her more than an employee, at which she brings up his lie and the misunderstanding it’d cause, the perfect catalyst for him to confirm if she’s jealous. DOH! Mikuri rightfully calls him an idiot, and he actually dares to snigger at that.
Hiramasa: “From now on, even if it’s not Tuesday, can I hug you?”
Mikuri: “Any day… any time… even until morning.”
Hiramasa: “Will you stay with me? Till morning.”
It finally dawns on him that “What we needed wasn’t a reconstruction of the system. It was to ell each other our feelings… Our true feelings.” and the next thing we know, they’re sitting side by side on the bed.
A short rewind reveals that the invitation was uttered on a whim, cuz now he’s pacing around thinking what they should do to pass the time — sudoku? wii? robohon? — and naturally decides against any of it. On the other side, Mikuri is aware that Hiramasa may not take the lead and is content even if they’re just sleeping through the night. They end up engaging in an icha-icha session when Hiramasa dashes out screaming “What a disaster~!” and kicks himself for being a coward (also for returning the booster to Hino-san. Heh). Thankfully, it doesn’t take long for him to pull himself together this time and head back home with a new resolution to never run away for a dear one again.
My question is: Did they? Or didn’t they? 😏
NigeHaji, however, chose to somewhat spoil these giddying moments by intercutting those scenes with the imminent retrenchment at 3I, with Hiramasa’s file making it to the list. First off, i don’t know how Numata-san has the power to choose who to let go. Secondly, i can’t fathom how the higher-ups could agree to dismiss the company’s top performer. It’s logical to choose the low-performing ones, but there are other things to consider like their current status and savings. Hino-san was initially on the list, but after eavesdropping that he’s just completed 10 out of 35-year mortgage, Numata-san swapped him with Hiramasa (just because he’s in a contract marriage and is financially able to hire a wife?). Still, won’t it be 3I’s loss to lose its key staff?
Nevertheless, that’s the decision they’re going with, and Numata-san is the one to break the news to Hiramasa. He receives the axe in stride yet is quick to fire up his computer to look for new placement and has since been busy spending his free time in front of the computer and making numerous phone calls. One finally goes through, for which he prepares some papers. He then asks Mikuri out for a dinner and takes her to a really fancy restaurant for their first date (i love how backward their romance is, hee), though his uncharacteristically prince-mode only unnerves her. What’s hiding behind those happy smiles? It is…a proposal. But before we can squeal properly, he pulls out his customary calculation sheets (arghh, not those damn papers!!) specifying the value of real marriage. Puzzled Mikuri asks what’s his reason for registering their union and simple Hiramasa readily states retrenchment. Augh, this baka!
Ever since these two are getting closer to each other, the only question i have in mind is what will happen to their work contract. That Mikuri won’t get paid for doing her duties as a real wife is a given, but i’m still curious as to how they’re gonna approach the issue since she is quite particular about it. There’s even a scene where she wonders if she could do housework as hard and diligent if it isn’t paid for. I was pleased at Hiramasa’s initiative but disappointed with how he went about it (“You were laid off… so you’re proposing?”).
Seriously, whenever i thought there’s a breakthrough, it turns out to be anything but. He was almost too calm at the downsizing news but i thought he had it figured out; who would have thought he would use marriage as the escape plan? No wonder this didn’t sit well with Mikuri. She refused to be taken advantage of, to “help out” for free, that it’s no surprise she refused to be the victim of exploitation of love. I get it, though Hiramasa doesn’t seem to.
Despite some squeal-inducing moments and stepped-up skinship, episode 9 and 10 were quite tedious. I appreciate it touches on things like labor issues, fair compensation, sharing housework, working mothers, and single adults to name a few that sometimes it feels more relatable than a slice-of-life drama, but some of the proceedings were too dull or the conversations too deep for my comprehension, even with subtitles. Especially those around Yuri-chan. Speaking of whom, these two episodes were arguably hers. That she excels at work is no secret, but instead of appreciating her resourcefulness, the male higher-ups still feel the need to throw shade at her relentlessness and associate it with her singlehood. She’s usually cool about it, but this time the snide gets to her.
Her loveline with Kazami also develops fast. The latter admitted to liking Mikuri, but figures that his ‘like’ is different from Hiramasa’s. Mikuri has also officially stopped working for him that he can openly court Yuri-chan. Which he does, though he’s a lot less forward and a lot more cautious at it given his playboy image. These two connect with each other on a deeper level that their relationship feels mature. Yuri-chan seems troubled by their 17-year age gap though she’s obviously flustered by him too. Particularly following the night he double-kabedon’ed her to cover her tears.
It’s possible because it’s Kazami, huh?