Episode 7: I’ve decided to say goodbye, but I feel a little sad. But when I secretly want to see you again, want to speak to you a bit … …
In the morning, Yuka speculates on what future lies ahead for Akari and Ryo. Ryo had fervently hoped to reconcile with Akari, but she refused and said it was over between them. In the end, they each went their separate ways. Mitsuo tells Yuka that it is not good to gossip about others. She thinks it does not matter since their circumstances are similar. He retorts that theirs was because of a personality clash while the Ueharas was because Akari was cheated. But he appears ecstatic about the situation. Could he be hoping to get back together with Akari after her breakup, she speculates. Mitsuo keeps a straight face and does not respond. Then, Yuka confides that Aiko saw her together with Junnosuke and mistakenly believed that they were having an affair. Yuka, who feels that she cannot go on hiding the truth any longer, suggests that they break the news to Aiko.
And so, Yuka visits Aiko with Mitsuo. Mitsuo tells his grandmother that the scene she saw was not what it looked like. Yuka is not that sort of person. Just as he is about to talk to her candidly about their divorce, Aiko cuts him off. She had sensed from their mannerisms that they had been hiding something, and now she calmly asks if they have divorced. After hearing that it took place two months ago, Aiko responds that when she divorced, no one would forgive her and she thought her parents were awful for not empathising with her. But now she understands those feelings. Nobody will accept the divorce of a dear child or grandchild. Mitsuo tries to explain that they chose to split up because it felt right, but Aiko calls the two of them fools and flatly declares that she will not hear of their divorce.
The next day, when Yuka is about to start work at the laundry shop, she is told by Satoko that she will be fine today because a male employee is coming from the head office. So Yuka has no choice but to remove herself to Kingyo Cafe. Aiko calls out to her for help with the hair dye. While Yuka goes about colouring her hair, Aiko gently apologises to her for the anguish she must have felt living with a person she has divorced. “You didn’t say it out of consideration for me. I wish I’d noticed it earlier.” Tears well up in Yuka’s eyes and she replies that she is to blame. She was the one who suggested divorce because she could not be a good wife. Aiko asks Yuka if she would reconsider the divorce one more time. Sometimes, things that are important will come late whether its love or life. Just like canned food and the can opener which were invented close to five decades apart.
On the other hand, Ryo calls Mitsuo out that night. Ryo is staying at an internet cafe because he has not been able to mend his relationship with Akari and return home. Since Akari will not even open the door for him, he is forced to ask Mitsuo for help. Seeing Ryo like this, a concerned Mitsuo takes him to see Akari. He starts to tell her that Ryo is in great pain and looks sallow. She impassively says there is nothing more to talk about and tries to close the door on them. But Mitsuo will not let her. Ryo has no where to sleep and only this coat on him. Akari is angry at Mitsuo for being meddlesome. Nevertheless, she reluctantly lets Ryo come inside.
After Mitsuo leaves, Akari apologises to Ryo for not letting him into the house even though they rented it together. She suggests that they get ready to tidy up their relationship. Until that is done, she hopes they will be matter-of-fact about it and also separate and sort out their stuff. Ryo envelopes her in a back hug and then gets down on his knees. Taking her hands in his, he declares that he does not want to break up with her. But Akari merely looks at him, her face devoid of expression and says this disgusts her. She decides to sleep in the salon that night.
Meanwhile, Yuka tries to talk to Mitsuo about their relationship by using the canned tin and can opener analogy. It does not quite come out the same way as Aiko had said it. Rather then stopping to listen to what Yuka is attempting to get at, he takes her words literally as she mentions them and brings both canned tins and can opener to her. When she says this is not what she means, he jumps to the conclusion that they have run out of cat food. An exasperated Yuka tells him to forget what she said.
On another day, Yuka and Akari come across each other at the supermarket. The two of them drop in at Kingyo Cafe and engage in a lively discussion about Mitsuo when Akari makes the observation that Yuka and Mitsuo are slightly similar in some ways. Citing their divorce as evidence that this is completely untrue, Yuka asks if Akari does not think Mitsuo weird. Every year on New Year’s Day, he would make a note which he would not let her see but she would peek at it while he was out. Akari has a knowing look on her face even though she tries to feign ignorance. When Yuka calls her out on this, she guesses that it is his list of top ten favourite animals. Yuka crows at the news that Mitsuo has been at this for 10 years and thinks it is dumb. She also lets on that he sleep-talks. In fact, he had a happy look on his face as he talked in his sleep last night about Sasazuka being good and something about a red sofa. Yuka wonders why Mitsuo, who had dated a woman like Akari, would marry her since the two of them are clearly different. She must have been a mistake.
On the other hand, Junnosuke calls Yuka out to see him. He wants to know why she is still living with Mitsuo if they have divorced. She explains that she cannot tell her family and she also has to be at the laundry shop. Junnosuke takes out a piece of paper and hands it to her. It is a marriage registration form which he has already filled up with his particulars. A shocked Yuka says he must be mistaken about her. She is bad at housework and unrefined in her behaviour. He cuts her off. She is the one who is mistaken as he sees her as easygoing. Yuka tries to put him off by telling him how goldfish left in her care in elementary school died because she would forget to feed them, and how she has to tip Baby Star snacks into her mouth to eat the broken bits at the end. None of this bothers Junnosuke. In fact, he gets the impression that she is treating him like a fool. Yuka knows what he is like and acknowledges that they are quite well-matched … …
Mitsuo is on his way back home after buying food for the cats when he sees Junnosuke and Yuka standing outside the laundry shop. He quickly turns around and hurries down the stretch he had come from but drops the plastic bag of cat food. However, before he can retrieve it, he spots Akari standing by the canal, lost in thought. In the next moment, she notices him and walks off in the opposite direction. Mitsuo chases after her to ask about Ryo, whom he had seen walking with a large bag, but she catches him off guard when she mentions his top ten list of favourite animals. As they walk together along a stretch of Nakameguro, Mitsuo comments that the canals here will be lined with cherry blossoms in spring and there will be lots of people drinking and partying. But he hates cherry blossoms. Cherry blossom season is the time he would walk with his head down. He finds the flowers scary. Akari shares the same sentiments.
As Yuka and Junnosuke take a stroll, she tells him that she loves cherry blossoms. So does Junnosuke. When Yuka got married and came here to live, she was delighted to discover that she could see the flowers from the house. She thinks the happiest thing is to see cherry blossoms with people who enjoy their beauty too. Junnosuke suddenly declares that he will make her happy. Yuka stops in her tracks. With a resolute look on her face, she turns back to him. Putting the paper back in his hand, she declares that marriage is impossible. He is not the one even though he is a nice guy. She will not develop a liking for him just to be happy. In response, Junnosuke crushes the marriage registration form in his hand. Throwing it at her, he yells that she is an old hag. Then he breaks into a wobbly smile which she returns. Yuka picks the paper up and hurls it back at him, calling him a stupid brat. The two of them part like this … …
At that same moment, Akari is about to go off in search of a bar where she can drink alone. Mitsuo calls out to her, wanting to tell her about the only time in his life when he hit somebody else. It was after he graduated from university and worked at the zoo. Being a zookeeper had been his dream when he was in elementary school. He had a female colleague called Tamaki whose son died in an accident. After she returned to work following a month’s break, their department manager came over to her. Grabbing her by the arms as she stood, he told her she must hang in there, do her best. From his seat, Mitsuo saw her shoulders tremble. The next instant, he realised that he had punched the department manager. Addressing Akari now, he admits that he knows it is better if he keeps his thoughts to himself and not say unnecessary things, but he goes ahead anyway to tell her to hang in there, to get back on her feet again. Tears glisten in Akari’s eyes. Mitsuo apologises and starts to walk away. This time, Akari uncharacteristically expresses her gratitude to him and even invites him to join her for a round of drinks.
At home, Yuka deliberates calling Mitsuo. She had come across the plastic bag of cat food on the street after parting ways with Junnosuke but saw no sign of him. Just as she finally makes the decision to dial his number, she hears him open the door. Diving for the sofa, she pretends to read a book while he settles down into a dining chair. “Konno-san smiled. Smiled for the first time in a long while,” he says to no one in particular and grins to himself. Yuka hides behind her book.
The next morning, Mitsuo wakes up to find Yuka preparing breakfast. When he goes to the bathroom, he does a double take as he takes a look at the washbasin and then the face towels. On his way out of the bathroom, he glances into her room and notices that the bed has been neatly made. This situation unsettles Mitsuo but he makes no remark about it. Over breakfast, Yuka is unusually cheerful and mentions that the new male employee is very capable so she can trust the laundry shop to him. She sees Mitsuo off from the balcony when he leaves for work and he returns her wave awkwardly.
Yuka spends the day shopping for groceries to make a hamburger steak for Mitsuo and packing her belongings into boxes. When that is done, she settles down to write a farewell letter to him.
I’m surprised at myself for writing this now. I realise it’s been such a long time since I’ve called you by your name that I can’t really remember and feel a little nervous. I’ve left the house. Were you shocked when you saw the room? I think it’s odd for us to go on living together. It has been some time since our divorce. There’re some difficulties although I can’t explain it well. Lately, when I looked at you, I’ve felt strangely restless. I’ve tried in my own way to dispel it or to try hard to return to normal but neither have gone well. I’ve said that you’re weird. However, I might be the weirder one. I’m not good at adjusting to many things. I’m incompatible with the person I love and yet I can’t love the person I’m compatible with. I’ve never once agreed with what you’ve said or done but I love you. Didn’t we go to watch a movie before, the one where I was 10 minutes late? As I crossed the road and saw you standing at the appointed place, it made me happy to think that you were waiting for me. I wanted to look at you for as long as I liked. I love stealing glances at you and I often had chances to do so because you’re shy and wouldn’t really face me … … Everytime I peek at you, I would naturally be in high spirits. I came as a bride to a home where cherry blossoms can be seen, to live with a person who hates cherry blossoms. But I’ve always been more demanding of your attention than you imagined. Although it’s a little different from tolerance, I could feel how good it would be to make myself comfortable in your lap. As if I were a cat sunbathing for a day. Maybe I’m like the third cat living in this house. Thank you for the delicious food, warm bed, stroking my head while I lay in your lap. There’s no substitute for the happiness of looking at you. It was my decision to divorce, but I feel a little lonely. If I want to secretly see at you again or speak to you a bit, we’ll meet again somewhere … …”
Yuka pauses as she comes to this part of the letter. Erasing the last few words, she tries to continue writing but falters. She gathers the pieces of paper together and tears them up. Then, she reaches for a sheet of rough paper and writes a short note in place of it.
The first thing Mitsuo notices when he returns home is that Yuka’s shoes are missing. Next, he sees her empty bedroom. He finds the note Yuka had written on the table. All it says is “There’s hamburger steak in the fridge. Heat it up and eat. Your ex-wife.” While he is standing in front of the fridge staring at the plate of food, the doorbell rings. Snapping out of his daze, Mitsuo opens the door to discover Ryo outside. He tells Ryo that he is tied up, but Ryo misinterprets and offers to help. Pressed by Mitsuo to explain his presence, Ryo asks if he can stay over for a while … …
im in tears while reading this escpecially at yuka’s letter to mitsuo!
arghhhhhhhhhhhhh somehow its frustating but im loving the drama!
thank you soooooooooooooooo much!!!!!
I fekt exactly the same. Yesterday I was watching the raws and suddendly my eyes were filled with tears just the way Yuka was talking, and I could feel it even if I couldn’t understand it. Thank you so much for doing the synopsis, it’s a torture that there is no subbed new episodes yet.
Thank you for the thorough recaps on all the episodes :)!
Like you guys I was also tearing up 😦 Kind of feel like Mitsuo is in his own little selfish world, but then again hes not to blame since there isn’t much ‘communication’ in their relationship.
Can’t wait to see whether he starts chasing Yuka : )
I have been looking at the comments for this week’s episode on Saikou no Rikon’s official website. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house after Yuka’s letter. Thank you for your beautiful translation.