Sunao ni Narenakute Episode 11 Recap
“It’s over and done, but the heartache lives on inside…It’s just emotion that’s taken me over. Caught up in sorrow, lost in my soul…”
~ “Emotion” by Destiny’s Child
I can’t believe it is over (granted it’s technically been over for a month and a half now). And, like a lot of dramas, it does seem like a lot of things are all thrown at us in the finale. Relationships aren’t really completely resolved and some things are left unanswered, but at least the resolution is a happy one, even if it is Linda-less, which I am still not thrilled about. The writer so could have let him live. Don’t read on if you don’t want the ending spoilt. You have been warned.
Nakaji keeps professing his feelings to Haru and begging her not to go with Doctor to Korea. Doctor stands by, unhappy to hear Nakaji confessing knowing that Haru liked him first. Haru looks uncertain and Doctor steps in and says they have to leave. Surprise of surprises, Haru rejects Nakaji. She apologizes and leaves with Doctor. I think this even shocks Nakaji, but then again, maybe it shouldn’t. Haru has been crushing on Nakaji from the beginning and did everything she could to stay by him while he did his best to try to keep her at a distance and keep their relationship from being quite as serious. Is it too late for Nakaji as Haru has decided to go with Doctor?Nakaji goes back to his apartment in a state of depression. Yep, he lost the girl. He is deciding whether or not to go somewhere. Korea? Work? Meanwhile, Haru is at home and her mother asks her what happened. Apparently at the airport, Doctor says that he cannot take a hesitant Haru with him. He tells her that a lot of things have happened and while he is in Korea, she can think things over and maker her decision. Doctor says he does not like the sad Haru and wants to see the happy Haru again. At least Doctor knows that Haru is wavering with Nakaji’s confession and he is not going to force her to do something that, in her heart, she doesn’t really want to do.Haru then tells her mom that with all the things that have happened to her recently, like Linda’s death and failing the exam, she wonders if she was just searching for something positive and found Doctor. At least she realizes it now. She also knows that she needs to figure out what is most important to her and face up to it. Her mother is happy to hear Haru say such things, but warns her not to over do things as she is always serious. At least Haru is going to do some soul searching to figure out just where she wants to be and to figure out what she wants from life instead of just turning to the safety net that is Doctor’s love.
I guess Nakaji was debating whether or not to go to work as he is at work. Linda’s editor, Okuda Mariko asks to speak to Nakaji for a moment. Nakaji apologizes for running out on such an important assignment that Okuda had managed to arrange for him. Okuda says that work is most important and he should not be quit half way, but then she changes tunes and says there are times when it is necessary. Okuda then admits that her feelings for Linda were real and she wonders if he felt pressured to accept her because he is such a nice guy. Is it her fault that he did what he did? Nakaji tells Okuda that he once thought that Linda’s suicide attempt was his fault, but he has come to realize that sometimes it is nobody’s fault. This seems to cheer Okuda up a bit. I had a feeling she really liked Linda, but her methods of snagging him were not the best. But no, it was no one’s fault. Linda was suffering too much and not letting people know and help him.Haru is back to teaching at her school. She apologizes to the principal for failing the exam after he went out of his way to recommend her. She asks to be able to stay on until March when she plans on retaking the teaching exam once again. I am glad that she is not giving up on her dream. The principal says that is okay and that she was just a hair’s breadth away from passing, but one other teacher was just a little better.Meanwhile, Nakaji’s dad tells him about a job offer he received to go to Iraq to film the ongoing conflict. Ryosuke then asks his son what he wants from his life. He then proposes that Nakaji go to Iraq instead. This surprises Nakaji, Ryosuke then gives Nakaji his camera for good again and tells Nakaji that he knows his son always wanted to take battlefield pictures and to show that side of life and tell those people’s stories. Ryosuke then gives Nakaji a present. What is it? The envelopes of money that Nakaji has been giving him all of these years. Nakaji can’t believe that his father has saved this and is offering him this opportunity. Ryosuke then threatens to go himself if Nakaji doesn’t take this chance to better himself and pursue his dream.Doctor comes back from Korea and immediately calls Nakaji out (who didn’t even know that Haru didn’t go). Nakaji apologizes to Doctor for doing what he did just before they left for Korea. Doctor says it is okay and then tells Nakaji that he has to move back to Korea. Nakaji asks if he will take Haru. Doctor says yes, and that he hopes to officially propose. Doctor just wanted to tell Nakaji in person. Nakaji says okay and then tells Doctor about Linda’s final email. Nakaji sends it to Doctor’s phone and then tells him about going to Iraq to take pictures. Doctor is surprised and impressed with this. Nakaji then says to please to take care of Haru. Doctor gets a guilty expression and then asks if he will see Haru before leaving for Iraq. Nakaji says no as Haru has already chosen Doctor.Ryosuke tells Sachiko that he is going to Iraq to take pictures. Sachiko is surprised to find out that he plans on going alone in his health. She complains that everything he does is so sudden. Like his reappearance and his leaving 25 years ago. Ryosuke then asks about Haru. Was she conceived when Sachiko and Ryosuke were together? Sachiko says that Haru was. She had decided that if Haru was Ryosuke’s then she would get divorced and follow him wherever he went, but it turns out she was Sachiko’s husband’s child. Thus, Sachiko is living her current life instead of being with him. She then tells Ryosuke that it is ironic as she wants to make certain that her children marry someone they can really love. Ryosuke says that 25 years ago he couldn’t have married her, but he has always thought about her. Sachiko tells him to keep thinking about her and come back to see her when he returns. At least they cleared up the whole implied sibling relationship between Haru and Nakaji. Thankfully they are not siblings.Haru meets up with Doctor. He tells her that it looks like he will have to go back to Korea and inherit the family business. Haru asks when he will leave and he tells her in a month. Doctor then proposes to Haru and she rejects him. Haru says that she has been thinking and she will try to do her best and become a teacher in Japan. She doesn’t want to give up her dream after all. She then says that she can’t just continue depending so much on Doctor’s kindness because it almost made her give up on her dream. Doctor then says that it was better when she almost gave up on it and then says he is just kidding. Haru always tries her best so he understands. He will support her and her dream. Haru thanks him. Bittersweet moment for Doctor and Haru. Thankfully not a bitter, angry breakup.Nakaji is packing for his move to Iraq when he picks up the stack of photographs he has taken over the course of the series. He focuses especially on Haru and Linda’s photos and then concentrates on the whole gang and the memories they made – both happy and sad. Nakaji smiles as he stares at the final picture they took. Doctor reveals to Minha that Haru won’t go and she keeps teasing him about ending things with Haru. But Minha notices that Doctor is happier. Doctor says that he has made peace with their dad who no longer seems like a frightening dictator. Now that he is not being pressured to take over, Doctor has no problem taking over the family business. Doctor tells Minha she can finish school in Japan, but she wants to go to Korea with her big brother. A cute sibling moment.Nakaji is finishing packing and runs out of tape. He goes to the store he and Haru have hung out at a lot. He smiles as he remembers their times together. Going through the park they hung out at also makes him recall good memories. He takes out his phone, but just can’t bring himself to call her (she is busy studying). Nakaji heads home and meets his father who gives Nakaji his coat to protect him from bullets. A heartwarming scene between father and son. They are finally mending their bridges. Nakaji tells his father to stay alive until he comes back to Japan.Minha talks about how strange it feels to be leaving Japan. She says it will be weird to have Doctor not sleeping in a cupboard like Doraemon. Doctor isn’t paying attention as he is finally reading Linda’s mail. Linda tells Doctor that he is the kindest, most sentimental, cheerfullest of the gang and perhaps the loneliest of them. Linda is jealous of how honest Doctor can be, something that Linda just could never be. Even Doctor’s rashness and uncertainty was charming for Linda. When Doctor matures into more of an adult, Linda foresees that Doctor will become a great man, making Linda very happy. Linda tells him to please become stronger so that Doctor won’t regret anything (i.e. lying to Nakaji about his and Haru’s relationship being far more than it ever was).Nakaji’s apartment is empty, his luggage sent ahead. He takes Haru’s canned coffee with it’s “ganbare” and drinks it down before leaving the apartment. Haru is enjoying a leisurely breakfast when Doctor knocks on the door. He tells her that Nakaji is leaving for Iraq at 11:25. This surprises Haru who did not know. Doctor then apologizes for not telling Nakaji the truth about Korea. Nakaji will be leaving and may not be coming back, so Doctor wants Haru to go to the airport to see him off. This way, Doctor won’t be a bad person. Haru runs like crazy to try to make it to the airport. Haru gets there, but she and Nakaji keep missing each other and she doesn’t get to see him off or confess her true feelings.
Haru meets up with Peach and tells her what happened with Nakaji, Haru shows Peach the email that Linda left behind for her. Linda always remembers Haru with a smile and an innocent and pure heart. But those features worry Linda. He tells Haru to believe in herself and that she is strong. Strong praise from Linda. Haru tells Peach that she will do her best to become strong. Meanwhile, Doctor and Minha are waiting for Haru to send them off, teasing each other by pretending that she has arrived when she hasn’t yet. When Haru and Peach get there, Minha and Peach run off to buy lunchboxes, letting Haru and Doctor talk. He tells Haru he regrets getting in Nakaji’s and Haru’s way. Haru tells him that it wasn’t like that and that she doesn’t regret their relationship as she liked Doctor and that is why she went out with him. Doctor telling Haru that he liked her and always trying his best for her, made her happy. This relieves Doctor. Haru then thanks him for taking care of her. Doctor then says that he should be thanking her. Geez the two are so alike. They then hug and say goodbye. Minha and Peach stare happily from a distance. Before leaving, Doctor gives Haru Nakaji’s address in Iraq and makes her promise to write to him.
A year passes. Haru continues teaching and studies for her exam. She writes her letters to Nakaji and tells him about her life and how Doctor and Peach are doing as well. Haru’s baby brother finally confesses to doing drugs again and Haru does her best to help and support him. Doctor does well learning the ropes of his father’s company while Peach seems to have been promoted in her shop and is now in charge. She reads Linda’s last mail. Linda says that she is the next most fragile in the group and tells her to be strong. He then talks about how they first met last April and says they need to get together soon. Peach takes off the bandana that hides her scars and throws it away. Looks like everything is starting to go well for them. They are growing up and getting stronger.On the anniversary of their first meeting, the friends gather again to celebrate their anniversary and to celebrate Haru’s finally passing the teacher’s exam. Doctor even flies back from Korea to make the meeting. They all comment on how they have seemed to have changed and matured. Nakaji is the only one missing. Haru invited him to the anniversary dinner, but had heard no reply. When Haru leaves, she hears someone call her name and she turns to find Nakaji yelling at her across the street. Just like he has done on several occasions, he keeps repeating her name. Haru just laughs and looks like a patronizing mother at this. She points to where they can meet. When they finally do, she scolds him for not replying to her letter. Nakaji replies that his presence is his reply. Haru says if they leave now they can still catch Peach and Doctor at Emotion. Nakaji says okay and Haru grabs his arm and starts running. Nakaji throws off her arm and grabs her hand and so they run, hand in hand.My thoughts: Sad day, tis done. A happy and yet bittersweet ending as I had really hoped that the five would all be reunited at the end, but no Linda. Yes, he is there in their hearts, but it seems wrong that he isn’t there in person anymore. I was hoping for a bit more of a confession from Haru and Nakaji, but the ending really suits the relationship those two had all along.
This drama has some good messages and addresses common problems in any society today. No matter who you are, it is hard to be honest with yourself and friends. This is a good coming of age drama. These friends go through thick and thin together and learn not only to rely on each other for support, but to also become strong and be able to rely on themselves as well.
The cinematography was pretty awesome. I did like the sliding screens and the split scenes. They were done expertly and well. I wasn’t a fan of the extreme close-ups and focusing on someone’s back versus their faces. True, body language can help add to a scene, but you can’t read the back of a head. During these times it would have been nice to actually see the person’s expression instead of the back of their head, but oh well.
The cast did an amazing job portraying their characters. I loved Nakaji in all his frustrating glory. Haru already knew she liked Nakaji and always did all she could while Nakaji was slower to realize it and the one who took the longest to admit it to himself and someone else. Ueno Juri did a great job at portraying the sunny, yet confused Haru. You could tell how conflicted she was and just how hard it was for her to try to make her decisions. Tamayama Tetsuji did a great job of portraying Linda. He was the flawed, tragic big brother. We didn’t actually get to see a lot of Linda, which is sad because by the time he has more focus, he has already begun to spiral out of control. Seki Megumi’s fragile Peach was good, but she actually seems stronger than Haru more often than not, when the opposite was supposed to be true. As for Doctor. Kim Jaejoong played his goofy innocence well along with his more possessive jealousy. Doctor is not the complete nice guy who gets screwed in the end. He was far from perfect and did some not so great things, but that helped make him loveable.
I was greatly invested in these characters and their lives to the point I was very frustrated and wanted to scream at what they were doing to themselves and each other. The mark of a good drama.