Saikou no Rikon – Episode 4 Synopsis

Episode 4: It’s time you admit it. I’ve observed from way back that you don’t love me! You only love yourself!


Mitsuo learns from Chihiro, one of Ryo’s girlfriends, that Ryo and Akari have yet to register their marriage. She says Ryo does not belong to anyone so he is not committing adultery and it is okay even if Mitsuo likes Akari too. Mitsuo agonises over how he should tell Akari about Ryo’s deception as the two of them stand by the canal in the falling snow. In the end, he attributes his feelings of helplessness as something typical for him and bids her goodbye.


At that same moment, Yuka is having drinks with Junnosuke after being left behind at the cinema by an annoyed Omura because she turned up a little late for their movie date. Junnosuke is a part-time worker now but thinks things will work out one day. Yuka disagrees with his careless attitude towards life. “I grew up seeing Mt Fuji so I don’t really care for small details,” Junnosuke says by way of explanation. That is very much like what Yuka says of herself and she does a double take. The two of them hit it off very well when they discover that they are both from Shizuoka Prefecture. However, when Yuka wakes up the next morning, she is shocked to find herself in an unfamiliar bed. Noticing Junnosuke asleep on the floor in the same room and the long tee shirt she is wearing, she freaks out. It turns out that Yuka is in Junnosuke’s family home.


Yuka returns home in time to see Mitsuo checking his scalp with a mirror. He scrambles to put away the mirror and shut his laptop when he hears her enter. Curious to know what he is doing, Yuka approaches him with a gleam in her eyes and climbs on top of a chair to get a better look. She gleefully makes him sit down on the sofa and proceeds to take coins out of her wallet. Mocking a depressed Mitsuo who has developed partial baldness from the stress that has accumulated, Yuka puts a 500 yen coin, which matches the size of the circular bald spot, in his hand. A trip to the dentist makes Mitsuo more miserable when Nana tells him the patch is slightly bigger than the 500 yen coin and threatens him with further hair loss if he cannot detach himself from his troubles.


On the other hand, Ryo emerges from the hotel where he spent the night with Aki. On his way home, he comes across an old married couple at a park and makes small talk with the husband. Ryo says he is not married but lives with someone whom he feels relaxed around and cares about very much. He wants to do all he can for her and to be together forever. He also knows it is not good to continue lying to her. Back at home, Ryo pretends that he is going through a difficult period because of the upcoming graduation work exhibition. He hands Akari a hot spring trip pamphlet because she had said that she wanted to go somewhere, and tells her to choose a place that she likes. Akari happily thanks him.


Sometime later when Ryo is in the professor’s office with Chihiro, Chihiro smugly declares that she knows where his house is. She has even seen his wife’s face. Or rather, the woman who carries herself as his wife, she amends, likening his situation with Akari to imitation crab meat. When Ryo neither reacts nor comments, an emboldened Chihiro says she is content to be the number two woman in his life since she does not like being the main love interest. Ryo receives an incoming call as she is about to expound on the merits of being number two. Chihiro goes to pick up his mobile phone thinking that the caller is Akari. However, she sees an unfamiliar name, Mitsunaga Shiori, on the screen and is hit by the realisation that she is not the only paramour in his life. Tracking Shiori down to the clothing shop in Nakameguro where she works through Facebook, Chihiro makes a purchase as a customer. At the same time, she takes the opportunity to recommend Akari’s aromatherapy massage salon to an unsuspecting Shiori and passes her a discount coupon.


That night, Mitsuo returns home just as Yuka is about to go out for a meal. He asks if she is dining with the person from the golf driving range. But when she enquires if it is better for her to say who she eats with, he responds that she does not need to. Before Yuka leaves, she informs him that she is going to the pro wrestling match with Aiko next Saturday and will also tell her about their divorce then. She cannot resist pointing to her scalp and saying “Take care” before closing the door.


Mitsuo, who is not in the mood to prepare a meal, visits Kingyo Cafe to have dinner. He is so self conscious about his bald spot that he has taken to going about with his hand covering it. Ryo is there learning to wrap gyoza under the supervision of Tomoyo. Left alone with Ryo after his sister goes to prepare food for him, Mitsuo abruptly asks why he did not submit the marriage registration form. Although he acknowledges that it is none of his business, he still wants to know where the paper has gone. Ryo nonchalantly says he has it with him right now and then takes it out of his jacket to show Mitsuo. The names of Ryo and Akari are written on it and dated 11 November 2012. Ryo says the date was chosen so it would be easy to remember. But on that day, Akari developed a fever and he had to head to the ward office alone to find the reception desk. Then, he received a phone call from an acquaintance asking him to help put up ‘lost dog’ posters and join in the search for a missing pet dog. That made Ryo think of the dog he had during his childhood. He thought he could go to the ward office again with Akari when she was better. So when he got home and saw how happy she was, he did not have the heart to tell her about it.


Mitsuo cannot understand Ryo’s story. Not that Ryo himself can. Ryo does not feel that he has done Akari wrong or feel a sense of guilt. At this, Mitsuo cannot keep from bursting out, “Then why did you fill it in?” Ryo says it was because Akari wished to get married. This is when Akari arrives at the cafe. Mitsuo quickly takes the paper from the table, folds it up and stuffs it under his armpit. Forced to sit with it clamped between his arm and body, Mitsuo suddenly asks Ryo midway through dinner if he does not want to go to the toilet. Rising from his seat, he pesters Ryo. However, Ryo is slow on the uptake and misses his meaning. Tomoyo comes over to tell Mitsuo to go to on his own. “I’ll go. But I won’t be responsible for whatever happens,” he promises. Unfolding the paper in the toilet, he stares at it and then emerges with purposeful strides only to discover that Ryo and Akari have just left the cafe. And now the marriage registration form is in his hands!


That weekend, Yuka goes to the pro wrestling match with Aiko. She intends to break the news at a meal after that. However, Aiko has prepared a hot pot for dinner and tells her to call Mitsuo so they can eat together. Mitsuo comes over to Aiko’s house and discovers that Yuka has still not told her about their divorce. At first, he silently suffers through the dinner conversation on pro wrestling. But after a while he drags Yuka into the kitchen and demands to know when she will say it. She explains that she has to wait for the right opening, and they go back out. As the time ticks by and Yuka seems to make no move to do so, he impatiently signals her to come into the kitchen again. Yuka is bidding her time to change the topic from pro wrestling to divorce even though Mitsuo cannot fathom how she will do that. Letting out an aggrieved sigh he complains that this is all because she and Aiko went to watch pro wrestling. Yuka says she wanted to make Aiko happy. Realising that they had raised their voices, Mitsuo hushes her up. In any case, Aiko has fallen asleep at the table and did not hear their argument.


Mitsuo gets Yuka to go back home while he stays behind with Aiko. He wakes her up to get her to sleep in bed. Aiko wishes he had gone with them to watch pro wrestling despite his lack of interest because there are not always opportunities to go out together. Remembering something, she gets up to pass him a gift from the wedding ceremony of someone’s grandchild to bring back and use. A photograph taken of Mitsuo, Yuka and Aiko on that occasion is also enclosed. As Mitsuo looks at it, he recalls how Aiko was so happy even though they were at the wedding of a complete stranger. He guesses it must be because he and Yuka did not hold one of their own. Yuka had actually wanted a wedding ceremony, but he thought it would be pointless and a complete farce at that time. He tells Aiko that he is sorry. She starts to close the door to her bedroom when he calls out, “Grandma, Yuka and I … …” But she interrupts what he is about to say. “I’m really glad to have Yuka. I can no longer carry you on my back when you cry.”


The next morning as Mitsuo gets ready for work, he is reminded of the marriage registration form in his jacket’s breast pocket. Just then, Yuka comes out of the bedroom to give him an aloe plant. She was told that it is effective when pulverised and applied to the scalp. When she moves away to the kitchen, Mitsuo quickly thrusts the paper into the pocket of his brown jacket hanging above the sofa in the living room. Yuka says she bought the plant from a florist that she passed by. But Mitsuo feels that she has put him in a fix since he must now return her favour. “You can say thank you. Isn’t that what’s usually said?” she asks him. On his way to work, Mitsuo spots Ryo cycling in the neighbourhood. After chasing Ryo down to inform him that he has the marriage registration form, Mitsuo stuffs his hands into his jacket pockets and realises that the paper is in the other one. So Ryo asks him to throw the paper away. If he has the intention to submit it, he will fill in another form. Mitsuo cannot believe what he is hearing and says that he feels sorry for Akari. Ryo, who appears to have heard about Mitsuo’s divorce, wonders why Mitsuo would recommend marriage.


Meanwhile, Yuka, who has decided to celebrate Junnosuke’s sister’s birthday by making her favourite cabbage rolls, returns home with bags of groceries after having lunch with him. Coincidentally, cabbage rolls are also what Mitsuo is preparing. Yuka disappears into her room for a moment and hurries back out with the groceries just as Mitsuo tries to tell her that he has made the cabbage rolls to thank her for the aloe plant. But she does not hear him. He follows her to the entrance to find out where she is off to, and she says she promised to make food. He seems to slump against the wall after she leaves.

That same evening, Shiori arrives at Akari’s salon for her appointment. She remarks with a smile in her voice that the lavender oil scent reminds her of a male acquaintance who smells of it, and confides that she has felt as if he is her boyfriend on several recent occasions. However, he seems to be a man of many mysteries and does not talk much. So she suspects he has a girlfriend. Akari happily shares that she is married and going on a hot spring trip with her husband. At this moment, Ryo comes back home and Akari excuses herself to see what he is looking for. The name Ryo catches Shiori’s attention. She looks up and catches a glimpse of his face through a small gap in the curtains. By the time Akari returns to Shiori’s side, she finds her sobbing quietly. It is clear what the source of her pain is. Shiori later tries to say something as she is about to leave, but Akari gets a word in first. “You’ll find a great person again,” she gently tells her.


Akari keeps Ryo company as he eats dinner at home. She appears to be in good spirits despite what happened earlier and chatters about making a sandwich for him to bring to work tomorrow. That prompts her to get up and check the fridge. But she freezes when she sees the hot spring trip pamphlet that she has stuck on its door. Wondering why Akari is standing motionless in front of the fridge, Ryo comes up to her. She tells him in a hard voice to forget about the hot spring trip because she doesn’t feel like going. Then she pulls the pamphlet off the fridge door and dumps it into the dustbin. In the next moment, she apologises. He merely nods in understanding and goes back into the living room.


On the other hand, Mitsuo is agonising over the number of hair strands he has dropped when Yuka returns in an unusually cheerful mood. She has brought back boxes of food including cabbage rolls for him. Only then does she notice that he looks withdrawn and slightly annoyed. When she asks what is wrong, he sourly lectures her about the origins of the word teddy in the teddy bear she received as a present and is attempting to humour him with. He refuses to tell her why he made cabbage rolls even though she asks and snubs her food because they are leftovers. After she clarifies that she had set it aside for him, he picks on the fact that she made it elsewhere but not at home. “It doesn’t matter to me who you ate with,” he adds. Their ground rules say “Freedom to love” Yuka reminds him. Since he believes these are leftovers of what she made for some male stranger and he does not mind it, she thinks he should eat it. Irritated that she is making things difficult, he raises his voice and speaks meanly to her. He did not in the least think the bad combination of food she made for the good-for-nothing male stranger were leftovers, but even if he did, it does not bother him. He just does not want to eat it. Yuka points out that he could have simply said that he has no appetite. As if spoiling for a fight, Mitsuo blames her for starting this by over-interpreting what he said. Could it be that she is conscious of what he thinks? She shouts at him to shut up.


Yuka explains that she wants to please him but he takes the effort she puts into preparing food for granted and will not even bother to praise her. Mitsuo makes the mistake of trying to defuse the situation by saying he will eat the food but his manner of speech offends her so much that it sends her into a tirade and she throws one of the boxes of food on the floor. It has been a long time since she has come back home in such a good mood that it made her feel warm and fuzzy inside. She wanted to let him know and share it with him. But it was all wishful thinking on her part. He looks down on her while she just wants to be the first person who comes to his mind. Yuka had never experienced love and liked someone very much until she made Mitsuo’s acquaintance during the earthquake. She would think about him a great deal but try to convince herself that love was a diversion in life that she should not take because she knew their personalities were completely different and there were things that made her angry all the time. And yet she found him interesting, honest but serious and gradually started thinking of their lives together. One day, they would be like a married couple if they had children. However, he said he did not want kids when she told him about it.


Mitsuo’s beloved bonsai crashes on the ground as Yuka starts throwing the items on the bookshelf to the floor. Emotions flicker on Mitsuo’s face but he wisely keeps quiet. Yuka says she realised he loves being alone and does not want to lose his own freedom. At the same time, she has wondered when he would make up his mind to have a family and care about family. Every time she has fun, he would come to her mind. Before she can carry on, Mitsuo jumps in to assure her that he understands, prompting her to snap at him. He suggests that they have a child. In fact, he does not dislike kids. The timing was not right so he ended up saying that. They can get married again, even hold a wedding ceremony, have children and become a family. But the reaction on Yuka’s tear-stained face is one of disbelief.

“What were you thinking when you said that?
Is it the feeling when doing sales?
Like shall I make you a hot coffee?!
Let’s have a family. Are you kidding?
It’s for your own reasons!
It’s time you admit it.
I’ve observed from way back that you don’t love me!
You only love yourself!”


Yuka dashes out of the house and continues on even when she realises that she had grabbed Mitsuo’s brown jacket by mistake. She notices Akari sitting by the bridge brooding, and invites her to go and eat ramen together. At the ramen shop, Yuka and Akari agree to go to the karaoke bar after their meal. Then, something totally unexpected falls out of Mitsuo’s jacket when Yuka knocks it to the floor as she reaches out to get a refill of water. Out of curiosity, Yuka unfolds the paper. It is a marriage registration form with the names of Ryo and Akari on it. Her eyes widen in shock and she turns to Akari who seems to be in a stupor.

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About jadefrost

This blog contains information and musings on current and upcoming Japanese dramas but is not intended to be comprehensive.
This entry was posted in Fuji TV, Saikou no Rikon, Winter 2013 Dramas and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Saikou no Rikon – Episode 4 Synopsis

  1. rootabega says:

    Oh, wow….
    What an amazing episode, and what an excellent synopsis to go with it.
    I’m not a native Japanese speaker, and I can only read at the elementary level (much rifling through a dictionary has to make up for the rest), but when I heard that sentence-ending “wake” come out of Mitsuo-san’s mouth, I was sure she would bring his precious bonsai plant crashing down on his head. He’s lucky the floor took the brunt, if you ask me.
    Simply a brilliant, tour-de-force performance from Ono Machiko. She deserves the top acting prize of the year for this scene alone. Of course, a totally non-deserving ex-moderu, ex-gravure bimbo will win instead, but in my estimation, Ono-san has already carried off the palm although it’s still only February.
    This is damn fine television.

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