Episode 5: No, never say an affair is impossible. I’m sure this desire is somewhere in all men. I’d have an affair if I could!
Akari and Ryo are not an official married couple … … For a moment, Akari had been totally dumbfounded that her marriage with Ryo was not registered. Then she and Yuka adjourned to a karaoke bar where Yuka sang on and on until they were asked to pay to extend the session. In front of the karaoke bar, some male university students tried to pick them up. On the other hand, Ryo, who had gone out to search for Akari because she did not come back, chanced upon Mitsuo. Mitsuo told him that Yuka had gone missing with the marriage registration form and asked him to come along for the search. That was when they witnessed Yuka and Akari getting picked up in front of the karaoke bar. Mitsuo attempted to drag Yuka home but she did not want to and was about to go off with the students when he tried to put a stop to it and ran after her. However, he fell because of the icy sidewalk and was brought to the hospital with three broken ribs.
Nana comes to visit Mitsuo at the hospital. He tells her how he does not care about his divorced wife’s love life but felt compelled to act that day because she was being picked up by eight students who seemed to be from the judo club. In his opinion, being hit on by guys like that is the start of misfortune. The reason being their connection to adult videos on married women. If he did not stop Yuka from going off with them, there would be no turning back for her. Nana wants to know what Mitsuo and Yuka quarreled about and guesses that Yuka still likes him. But Mitsuo does not think so. Just then, Yuka enters the ward and the air gets charged with subtle tension.
Nana decides to leave because she just came to check on Mitsuo even though Yuka assures her that she is only here at the request of Mitsuo’s grandmother and will be gone after settling his discharge. The man in question is not ready to be discharged since his CT scan has not been done and he does not trust the doctor’s all-clear. After Nana leaves, Mitsuo whines to Yuka that bad things have kept happening to him ever since their divorce. First his lower back, then his finger and now his ribs. Is he putting the blame on her? Yuka points out that he got jealous and fell down on his own accord. He maintains she had a part to play in it because he went to look for her. Not that she asked him to. An agitated Yuka stresses that there is no way they can get back together again. With a tone of resignation, Mitsuo says he is reflecting on his past behaviour. Before Yuka leaves the ward, she tells him to channel these feelings of contrition to the next person.
After his discharge, Mitsuo visits Kingyo Cafe where he happens to see Ryo. He asks if Ryo has spoken to Akari about the marriage registration form. Yuka had passed it to her so she must know everything. However, Ryo says Akari has not mentioned anything to him. He sounds unperturbed when he remarks that he will be in a fix if Akari gives up on him, prompting Mitsuo grumble that he would be getting what he deserves. How can Ryo speak of the matter as if it were someone else’s problem. At that, Ryo assumes an attitude of seriousness as he declares “I love Akari.” It is not much use professing that to Mitsuo though. In fact, Mitsuo probably secretly wishes to be like Ryo, “I’d never say don’t even think about an affair. I’m sure this desire is somewhere in all men. I’d have an affair if I could!” But he furiously shakes his head in denial when Aiko appears and asks if he wants to fool around.
At that same moment, Akari is standing in front of the ward office with the marriage registration form in her hand, torn between submitting it and leaving matters as they are. In the end, she folds the paper and puts it back into her bag.
Aiko recommends a hot spring inn in Atami which is effective for bone fractures to Mitsuo. Hearing this, Ryo brings up his intention to go to a hot spring with Akari, so Aiko suggests that the two couples go together. While Ryo appears happy to be with Mitsuo, Mitsuo protests that they have not reached the level of family friends yet to go to a hot spring together. In any case, Aiko asks Mitsuo to bring Yuka to a hot spring once in a while or she might walk out on him.
Hearing about the trip from Mitsuo, Yuka agrees to go to Atami as a post-divorce holiday since they did not even have a honeymoon.
Meanwhile, Ryo is reassured when Akari, who said that she did not want to go on the hot spring trip earlier, has a change of heart after an encounter with Chihiro. Chihiro was lurking opposite the house trying to contact Ryo when Akari went out to throw the rubbish. She reacted to Akari by fleeing but dropped her hat in the process and had to turn back to retrieve it from Akari who picked it up. As a parting shot, Chihiro had disdainfully called Akari pitiful. However, Akari merely put on a smiling face when she came back into the house and asked Ryo which hot spring they would be going to. And then, she took out her treasure to show to him. It was an old photograph of her happy parents on their honeymoon.
On the day of the trip, Mitsuo, Yuka, Ryo and Akari borrow the car from Tomoyo and drive out to Atami. Yuka who is soaking in the hot spring with Akari, advises Akari to register her marriage. However, Akari says she is happy even if things remain as they are because she loves Ryo. Yuka is horrified and reminds her that Ryo lied to her. Akari says this is a part of him which makes her inclined to let things go. He means no harm. Meanwhile, Mitsuo moans to Ryo that he is bound hand and foot even though he is divorced. The quandry in married life is the boundary which can generally be seen, but in divorced life he cannot see the bottom and does not know how deep it goes. It is a doomed situation and he is a desperate person. In fact what he needs now is not a hot spring but a purification at a shrine. As he complains about finding the hot spring trying, Ryo suddenly says “I’m not carefree. I’m a boring fellow. I never wanted to be this sort of person. But that’s who I am.” When they emerge from the hot spring, Yuka calls out to Ryo and relays Akari’s words about being happy even if things remain as they are because she loves him.
In the privacy of their room that evening, Ryo gets down on his knees and apologises to Akari. He wants to fill up another marriage registration form after they return from their trip and asks her to go to the ward office with him this time. Akari holds back her tears at Ryo’s proposal and dives under the bed cover to hide her emotions. The two of them break this news to Mitsuo and Yuka over dinner, and request that they be their witnesses. While Ryo is away from the table getting a drink refill, Mitsuo asks Akari if she can forgive Ryo. This earns him a jab in the side by Yuka who hisses that he should not say unnecessary things. Akari smiles and replies that she does not doubt Ryo.
Before Ryo leaves for work the next morning, he tells Akari that they will stop by the Hamasakis house after he returns from work that evening and go to the ward office together. He proceeds to spend the day notifying his girlfriends of his intention to register his marriage and to stop seeing them. Chihiro initially reacts coolly to the news. After all, she will not see Ryo after she graduates and she was the one who had made advances at him. However, she wants to know what he feels for her. Is it purely physical? When he says that it is not like that, she asks if they can continue meeting. He cannot because he does not want to split up with Akari, prompting Chihiro to vent her anger by tossing his art supplies.
Aki is less charitable to Ryo. She scoffs at his ability to be a regular husband since the longest he has been with a woman must be a couple of months. An assumption that Ryo does not contradict. That is the kind of person he is, someone who adeptly passes over his women without any feeling. But none of them resent him because they know he will never be happy. Ryo says it will be different this time. Things will go well with Akari because he will change. In response, Aki tosses her cup of steaming tea at him.
While waiting to go to the ward office with the Ueharas that evening, Yuka meets Junnosuke for a dinner date. But she spends the entire time complaining about Mitsuo. This irritates Junnosuke who pointedly tells her that he does not want to hear these things. In fact, he does not want her to talk about other men. He is hinting at his seriousness about her. Perceiving this from the way he Junnosuke looking at her, Yuka quickly calls out an order to the waiter before Junnosuke can say anything. On the other hand, Mitsuo is so bothered to see Nana on a date at Kingyo Cafe that he can barely concentrate on wrapping gyoza. Nana notices he is in a sour mood that is different from other days and wonders if it is because she is here with a man. She offers to immediately cancel her dinner plans but Mitsuo says he has an appointment later. Moreover, she will not enjoy dining with him. Nana thinks that she will have fun since he is not the usual guy. They decide to go on a date the day after and Mitsuo is thrilled.
Akari’s younger sister, Minori, comes by to visit her after going to Disneyland with her family. Spotting the old photograph of their parents during their honeymoon, Minori accuses Akari of treating their mother coldly and turning a blind eye to the fact that their father was a philanderer who had many women. That must have been why their mother was always crying when they were children. Akari does not want to talk about it, but Minori continues on with the observation that Akari is the classic case of a troublesome woman who likes good-for-nothing men. “You don’t wish to speak to mum because you don’t want to admit that the two of you are very alike.” Minori gets up to leave. It makes her angry to see Akari live in such a stylish neighbourhood in Tokyo, play the part of a good woman and speak like a Tokyoite, she says. Minori’s visit upsets Akari’s calm.
Sometime later, Ryo returns home and fills up the marriage registration form once again. Akari shows some reluctance but eventually starts writing hers. Then, she notices that Ryo’s chest looks as if it has been scalded and asks what happened. He dismisses it as nothing important and says he will tell her later because the Hamasakis are waiting. Seeing Akari silently shake her head, Ryo decides to come clean. He told a woman he sometimes meets that he wants to breakup because he wishes to marry Akari and be with her forever so she threw a cup of tea at him. However, he assures Akari that is all finished. He will change. This earns him a hard slap in the face. Next, she makes a grab for the marriage registration form to crush it up but he stops her and places it beyond her reach. “Let’s get married and be happy,” Ryo desperately tells her as she stares angrily at him and finally replies that it is no longer possible.
Akari says she is the one in the wrong. This is not who she is. She is a different person from the one he knows. Akari reverts to speaking in her native dialect as she finally reveals that she is not insensitive or oblivious to his carryings-on. She knew everything but she did not ask and put up with it by turning a blind eye. But in truth, when he was outside sleeping with other women, she would visualise him spreading a woman’s legs and female hands on his waist. It was galling and bitter for her. She would cry like her mother and plead with fate to let her off. One day when she was a third-grade elementary school student, her mother brought her to see her father who was sleeping in another woman’s lap. On the way home, her mother hugged her tightly and said with tears streaming down her face that she had been cheated, betrayed. Her marriage was a failure, a misfortune. This sickened Akari who thought her crying mother a pitiful person. While she liked her father a little less, she grew to hate her mother. She believes that instead of developing a dislike for Ryo, she will grow to hate her ownself because she actually is the same emotional and jealous type of person as her mother.
“Each time I see your face,
I’d think of you making love to another woman
and I won’t be able to forgive you.
I’d grow to hate being by your side,
hate living in the same house.
I’ll be like that woman.
I’ve become like that.”
Akari asks Ryo to return the marriage registration form to her but he refuses. The tears on her face are mirrored on his and she wonders why he is crying too. When he tries to reach for her, she steps backwards and yells at him not to touch her. Then she pounces on the paper in his hand and crushes it up as he stares at her with a defeated expression.
Ryo walks out but stops to look at the wedding rings he had bought. He turns around to stare at the house and seems about to head back. But at that moment, Aki calls. Ryo picks up the phone. She wants to know if he can meet. His demeanour undergoes a transformation as he asks where she is, and tosses the wedding rings into the canal with an air of indifference.