Last Cinderella Episode 1 Recap

Nothing like a drama starring three of my all-time favorite actors! We get the sexy, mature and talented Shinohara Ryoko pairing up with the awesome Fujiko Naohito and the young and talented Miura Haruma. Yay! I’m definitely looking forward to more of Last♥Cinderella! I must say that the theme for the drama is awesome!

Episode 1: The Old-man Woman’s Love and the Naughty Prince who Appears; a Clumsy Love Begins

Phew. What a mouthful for a first episode’s title!

We open this drama with a very unfeminine woman (Shinohara Ryoko as Toyama Sakura)  being woken up by an alarm. She stretches, throwing her rear in the air before sneezing. We then cut to see her apartment is horribly messy (not surprising, in many of Ryoko’s dramas she’s a rather unfeminine and messy person). She reluctantly gets up complaining about how she doesn’t want to. she goes into the bathroom stripping as she walks. She itches and squeezes her fat before dunking her face in water. It’s then that she notices something odd on her face. She picks up a magnifying glass and is horrified to spot a “whisker”! Sakura then tries to pull it out with her fingers and then she finds a pair of pinchers and inadvertently pulls her skin off with the whisker.

 

Sakura sets out with a band aid covering her face hoping that it will be okay. She then proceeds to go about her business acting more and more like a middle-aged man than a woman, from the way she eats to how she stands to how she drinks. Would you believe that such a woman actually is the vice manager of a hair salon? Probably not, but she is! She happily chats with her clients and we can see how out of touch she is with modern trends in cell phones, et cetera.

Sakura is called over to her next appointment. Before she can start, a young male worker asks her to do a quick color check for him. She does so and then we see her always buzzing around busy. An older client named Yoko comes in for an appointment hoping to look a bit younger as her grandson is coming over to visit. She then asks if Sakura is married yet. Sakura replies that she is still single as her work is her current husband. Yoko wishes to set up an omiai for Sakura (an omiai is an arranged date with the hopes of leading to marriage). Sakura refuses as she isn’t that lonely all by herself yet.

Sakura then goes off and catches three of the workers doing rock-paper-scissors. She asks what they are doing and they jump in guilt. Looks like it’s to decide which one will give the next customer their shampoo. One girl complains that this is because the customer is fat and smelly. Sakura replies this does not matter since they work in a business where they serve customers so they can’t be picky. Sakura then goes off to wash the customer’s hair. The trio try to stop her, but she says it doesn’t hurt for the vice manager to do such things every once in a while.

After she goes, the trio talk about how her “sermonizing father” part popped up again, but they smile and say she can be such a nice person, though. They then wonder if Sakura’s new position as manager has been handed down yet. Not yet. Will it happen this year as it was supposed to last year and the year before, but she still hasn’t made manager yet. The longhaired worker says the upper management aren’t even considering Sakura for the position any more since she is getting up there age-wise.

A man soon enters the salon and greets people with a smile and cheerful “Good morning.” Our trio wonders who this person can be. The man looks around and says that the place brings back memories. The male employee introduces him as Tachibana Rintaro (Fujiki Naohito). Tachibana started at the same time as Sakura, but was quickly promoted and now is the manager of the Ginza office. So what is he doing there?

Sakura rushes around the corner and almost collides with Tachibana. He greets her and asks what happened to her face. Sakura touches the bandage and doesn’t answer his question, but asks him what he’s doing there instead. Hasn’t she heard? Heard what? Starting from that day on, Tachibana will be the new manager of that shop. This shocks and annoys Sakura. She stalks him to his office and asks when the appointment was handed down. Last Monday. Then why did he come without calling her? Instead of answering, Tachibana asks how long she has been vice manager. 8 years. Wow. 8 years. And she’s been at the same shop since she entered the company. Someone at HQ must hate her, huh?

Awww! Kawaii! I LOVE Fujiki Naohito—he’s one of my favorite Japanese actors and is quite versatile. The last role I saw him in… hmm… maybe Hotaru no Hikari season 2 which was a comedy, but he always played the more straight-laced person in that drama. But regardless of that, no matter what role he takes on (playboy, cold, intimidating boss, eccentric psychologist) he’s quite good at portraying very different characters. Okay, enough gushing.

Sakura shoots Tachibana an evil look and he laughs calling her “Kin” and saying he was just joking. Sakura tells him to stop calling her by that nickname and says she’s been smelling something weird for awhile. Tachibana exhales heavily. Sakura’s nose curls up—it’s him! Tachibana reeks of alcohol. Tachibana says that his old place through him a going away party. How much did he drink to reek that bad? Tachibana replies he was drinking until 7 that morning. Is he stupid or what? He has to work with customers and stayed out drinking that late? Sakura then says she doesn’t know how things worked in Ginza, but they don’t come to work at this salon after drinking. She then uses a squirt bottle and starts spraying in his direction, hand on her hip.

Tachibana complains about Sakura’s behavior since they have not met in a long time. He then asks if she was dumped. Sakura replies she doesn’t have a man. This makes Tachibana laugh. Of course she doesn’t. Sakura slams down the spray bottle and stalks over to Tachibana. She puts her face close to his and demands to know what he means by that. In retaliation, Tachibana breathes on her. This makes her angrily leave. Tachibana laughs and tells “Kin” to wait and she only yells at him to shut up before stalking off.

Sakura goes to HQ and demands to know why Tachibana was pulled out from the Ginza store and sent to hers. The head honcho replies that was the decision they made and if she’s unhappy with it, then there’s nothing stopping her from quitting. Ouch. Hearing this shocks Sakura and she blinks rapidly. So what will she do? Sakura replies that store is something she has cared for and nurtured like a child, so there is no way she’s abandoning it. She bows and takes her leave.

Sakura heads back to the salon where she overhears the workers talking about how she just isn’t cut out to be manager material since managers’ highest priorities should be about sales. Sakura cares for and is loved by the customers, but she is poor with handling the business end of things. That must be why HQ wants the salon run by someone else who has “talent.” Another employee chimes in that be that as it may, she wishes to be a beautician like Sakura. This wounds Sakura deeply.

 

She heads back to her apartment where she turns on the light dejectedly. It blinks at her so she taps it until it stays on. She then begins making her dinner and takes out a beer. As she’s making the preparations, the light blinks again. She hits it again and this time it goes out. This is the last straw for Sakura. She tears up and sits on her couch crying dejectedly. She puts a pillow up to her mouth to stifle her sobs. Her water then starts boiling over. This ends her tears. She blows her nose and then gets her ramen. She eats it sniffling back tears.

Don’t cry in public you’re an adult already.

Random voice over? We then cut back to Sakura guzzling her beer. Ah, I do love Shinohara Ryoko. She’s a great actress, but I said that earlier, didn’t I?

 

The next day Sakura is at the public bath with her two friends Takenouchi Miki (Otsuka Nene) and Hasegawa Shima (Iijima Naoko) complaining about the return of her “natural enemy” Tachibana Rintaro. Miko doesn’t know why Sakura seems to dislike Tachibana so much. Sakura says that there is just something about him as he lunges from one thing to another and calmly says the rudest things. She then goes to complain about his nickname for her, but stops herself. She just can’t tolerate him and wishes she didn’t have to see his face every day now.

The three girls are all very different. They talk about their wishes and Miki realistically wishes for her house loan to disappear whereas Shima wishes for men—particularly younger ones. Sakura stops and cannot believe how Shima talks about life being more fun with men when Sakura hasn’t had a man in 10 years. Gasp! That’s pretty bad. Her friends pause. Shima apologizes and Miki asks if it’s really been 10 years already. Miki then teases that it’s like Sakura has gone back to being a virgin so that the next time “it” happens, it will hurt. Shima glibly says that is only talk—who knows if there will be a next time for Sakura. Ouch.

The three then go in for a massage. The girl attending Sakura removes the band aid and Shima and Miki joke asking if it was popped acne or an old-man whisker. When Sakura doesn’t join in the two stop. What’s wrong? Sakura tells them it is no laughing matter as she really did have a whisker. This shocks them both and they sit bolt upright. Sakura wonders if she is really a man after all. Her masseuse says that there are women who get beards due to stress, overwork, and irregular habits which makes hormones become unbalanced. Thus you get the old-man women. Sakura sighs and claims it is the pits before lying back down.

 

Her depression doesn’t last too long as she happily kicks her feet and soaks in the bath. However, Shima brings up the topic again. Doesn’t Sakura want to have a man in her life? To have sex once again? How can Sakura be a beautician but be out of touch with her own womanhood? Sakura asks if a lack of sex leads to whiskers then. This horrifies Miki. Shima says that isn’t what she meant at all. Miki then wonders if she’ll start growing whiskers since it’s been about a year since she last slept with her husband. The three girls then move to the outdoor bath where Shima tells Sakura to be more bold and then the three complain about how men don’t understand anything.

At the same time, Tachibana is out drinking and complaining that it is women who don’t understand anything. A woman who has lost her charm should just admit it and let it go. Tachibana is not happy that women seem to be more like men and have even lost their shyness—how shameless. He and the male employee wonder where all the shy women have gone. Their food comes out and the two dig in and strike up conversation with Ken-chan (Hashimoto Satoshi as Endo Kenichi) who works at the restaurant and is Tachibana’s childhood friend.

Tachibana then continues his complaint about women today. Every since women went on the rampage wanting equal treatment, they have become worse. It’s better off being alone. This shocks the younger man. Is Tachibana-san single? Tachibana’s reply? “Naturally!” LMAO. He and Sakura really are perfect for each other… or at least they are the male and female counterparts. Ken-chan also confesses that he is single. If that is so, then the younger men don’t need to be in a rush, do they? The young man then brings out a comic and says it’s only two-dimensional women that are for her. This surprises both Ken and Tachibana.

The three girls finish their spa treatment and Shima asks the other two out for tea. Miki refuses as she wishes to implement her plan on seducing her husband. She’s spent so much time on housework and the kids, but now she will go home and make his favorite meal. Shima asks when she will finally get to meet Miki’s husband and promises she won’t steal him away. Miki reminds Shima she didn’t come last time she was invited, but Shima promises that won’t happen again. Miki goes off and Sakura says she wishes to have a daughter-in-law just like Miki. Snort. Well… one would need a man and children to achieve that. Shima complains about Sakura’s “old-man habits” coming to the surface yet again. Shima and Sakura talk about how adorable Miki is and that is why she is married. Shima reminds Sakura she was married, too. Sakura then reminds Shima that she is also divorced. Right. The two then forgo tea and go for a beer instead.

For now, a beer please instead of water.

What is with these random voice overs? Anywho, the two girls enter the same place where Tachibana is hanging out. Shima happily greets Tachibana while Sakura sulks that she ran into him. Sakura complains that she wanted privacy away from a certain person and he gripes that she can hear everything she is saying. Shima tells them to stop bickering and Ken-chan hands over a towel for them to wipe their hands. Sakura sits in a huff and orders her beer. Tachibana scolds her for drinking so early (its only 3 in the afternoon). Sakura says its okay because it’s her day off, plus he isn’t one who should talk. Sakura points out he’s a man and this annoys Sakura. It’s okay for a man, but not a woman? Yes, because women should be modest.

 

Sakura complains about the anachronisms and Tachibana states this is why she will never succeed. Ouch. That touched a nerve. Sakura gets up and goes over to him. What does he mean by that? Like it or not, it is still a man’s world, isn’t it? There’s no hope for a woman who works hard like Sakura to advance since she cannot flatter men. Sakura will only be a failure in her personal and professional life. Sakura takes the cake that Ken-chan had given Tachibana and plops it in his face. She then says that the best woman is one who doesn’t flatter men. If that means she won’t be promoted, then fine. She’ll keep living her life like this and spend it all alone. Tachibana asks for his bill. Sakura says he’s running away and Tachibana replies he still hasn’t finished unpacking from his recent move. He calls her “Kin” once more and Sakura yells at him to just hurry and leave.

Tachibana leaves and Shima talks about how good-looking he is. Sakura says he suits Shima’s taste solely because he’s a man. Ouch, but probably true since Shima seems a bit on the man hungry side. Sakura then says she refuses to apologizes to a chauvinistic male like Tachibana. Even if he was the last man on earth, she wouldn’t apologize. Shima then asks what this “Kin” stuff refers to. This makes Sakura spit out her mouthful of beer.

Miki is doing her best to make her husband’s favorite dishes while her kids bicker and her her mother-in-law shows up. This depresses Miki. Finally her husband, Takenouchi Koehi (Endo Shozo) returns home. He greets his mother happily and invites her to come over whenever she wants which horrifies his wife. Her mother-in-law then orders Miki to quickly bring Kohei’s dinner. Miki sneaks to the fridge and takes a refreshing sip of beer in secret.

 

Meanwhile, night has fallen and Sakura has completely passed out and Shima is drunk and hooks up with some guy in the bathroom. Sheesh. Back at the Takenouchi house, Miki complains about her mother-in-law and asks if Kohei is suggesting she live with them. When he doesn’t reply, Miki asks if he’s listening. Kohei stops the game he was playing on his phone and assures her he was, in fact listening. However, he doesn’t say anything other than that and then tells her he’s going to sleep. No nookie for Miki tonight? Miki smiles and climbs into bed as well and starts playing around. Her husband demands to know what she’s doing since his mother’s downstairs. LOL.

The next morning Sakura washes her face and then recalls all the things Tachibana, Miki, and Shima told her the other day. She then imagines that she has grown a mustache and beard. She screams and it turns out she’s still at the bar. Ken-chan asks if she’s okay. Sakura replies she was fine, it was just a dream. She asks after Shima and is told her friend went to the bathroom a while ago, but hasn’t returned. Should Ken-chan look for her? Sakura tells him she will do it herself and asks for the bill. Ken-chan hands it over and apologizes for his friend. Tachibana is a good man, but has had a foul mouth since young. Sakura assures Ken that she doesn’t care about that and is fine.

 

Shima finally returns from the bathroom and asks if Sakura waited long after waking up. Sakura notices her friend’s strange expression and asks what is wrong. Then out comes the guy Shima cornered in the bathroom and he collapses. Sakura takes all of this in. As they walk home, Sakura asks if Shima did it in the bathroom. Did what? Sex, right? Shima immediately apologizes and Sakura calls her sick. Shima says that she is a little sick. Maybe she should get checked out. Sakura the says she doesn’t want to turn into an old man and vows to find love before she turns 40 (she’s currently 39). Shima is happy that her friend is back in the game. Sakura starts to walk off and pauses. It’s great that she made the declaration and all…but how will she do it?

  

I realized I had forgotten how to love (^^;)

The next day at the salon Sakura is her usual self. Her customer tells her that she worked up the courage to confess as Sakura told her to do and it was a success! The woman’s crush liked her, too. Tachibana listens to this in shock. He then gets an even greater shock when the young male employee says that Sakura is like a love guru of the shop as many customers ask her help on love matters. Wait. This girl can’t do anything about her own love life and people ask her for advice? That’s quite the irony right there. Although, I’ve had it happen where friends have asked me for relationship advice when I have no experience to give them any either 😛

 

Enter Ogami Chiyoko (Nanao). She is at the salon for an appointment. Sakura is surprised to see Choko-chan who she hasn’t seen in a long while. Choko apologizes for not keeping in touch and Sakura compliments her on how much she’s grown and how pretty she is. Choko then tells Sakura that she hasn’t changed in all this time either. This makes Sakura happy, but then Tachibana jumps in and tells Choko that she can’t say such things to Sakura. He then takes her over and begins working on her.

As he is cutting Choko’s hair, Sakura bumps into him. She apologizes and he tells her that her butt is too big. Does this mean he’s saying she’ll be able to give birth easy? LOL. You know, supposedly if you have wide hips (not necessarily a big tushy), it means that you should be able to give birth easily. Tachibana says that’s putting pearls before swine and then tells Choko that Sakura is a love guru in the shop when she is overly loud and hasn’t had a man in  quite some time. Sakura tells Choko to pay Tachibana no mind and she shoots Tachibana a dark look.

Tachibana finishes up Choko’s hair and then asks for it to be blow dried. Sakura asks if he really is in love with her since he likes to tease her like an elementary school boy. Tachibana throws these words back at Sakura—isn’t she the one who likes him and is teasing him like an elementary student? Choko watches this exchange with wide eyes. Sakura tells him not to be disappointed as she is determined to find herself a guy and confess her love. Tachibana wishes her good luck and tells her to do her best as just because she is determined doesn’t mean she’ll find a man so easily.

All of a sudden, Choko jumps to her feet and calls out Sakura’s name. If Sakura would like, how about coming to a goukon (group date) with Choko on Saturday? Sakura happily shoves Tachibana aside and asks if it would really be okay for her to join. Choko assures the older woman that it’s fine for her (to be there as a lure). Tachibana asks if Choko is joking since Sakura is nearly 40. Sakura shoves him aside again and says age doesn’t matter, right? Tachibana says it does. The people there will most likely mistake Sakura for Choko’s mother. Plus, Sakura can only embarrass herself horribly by going. This depresses and deflates Sakura, but Choko jumps in and tells her it will be a trial run for a boyfriend. Sakura regains her spirits and asks if she can invite some friends. Choko agrees and Tachibana says he will wait for her report.

We finally cut to Miura Haruma as Saeki Hiroto. He is in bed with a woman when he gets a call. He quickly tosses the girl aside and answers his phone. It’s none other than Choko asking him for a favor. He immediately agrees without even asking what it is and hangs up. Choko’s smile fades and she clutches her shoulder. Since I have just recently finished Karamazov no Kyoudai I can’t help by think of Ichihara Hayato’s portrayal of the middle Kurosawa son Isao who always clutched his shoulder when he was in turmoil.

 

Yoko is busily primping for the goukon. For a woman who works as a beautician, she cannot even do her own make up! He first attempt is way too gaudy. She sees this and tries again. The next attempt is more plain, but still not quite right—the lipstick is way too red. Sakura then goes into her closet to try to find something to wear. Needless to say, she has really no clothes that will suit and ends up choosing the typical suit one wears when you go job hunting (as showcased in last year’s Japanese drama Rich Man, Poor Woman).

  

Sakura heads out and it starts raining. She luckily has an umbrella with her. She hails a taxi only to see her elderly customer Yoko drop some packages. A soccer ball goes rolling away and Sakura quickly rushes after it, dropping her umbrella and losing her shoes. She does, however, manage to save the ball and get splashed by a passing vehicle. Nice. Will she make it safely to the group date in time?

 

Sakura heads to the shop where her appearance shocks everyone. She asks for a drier and Haru quickly rushes and brings her one. Tachibana wonders if there was a typhoon. Sakura quickly says there wasn’t and goes about drying her hair. Tonight is the goukon, isn’t it? Yes, but she obviously can’t go in those clothes, can she? She has no confidence does she? Sakura says that he is wrong. If that is so, then shouldn’t she hurry off and try to land herself a guy? Sakura complains about his griping and says she’s leaving. In those clothes? What else can she do as this is the only dress she has. Besides, she doesn’t want a man who only cares about outer appearances.

Tachibana tells her that if a woman has no confidence in her dress or looks, then it’s all over. Sakura sarcastically apologizes for being unhappy with her appearance as Tachibana lifts her skirt. She quickly slaps his hand away and asks if he’s a pervert. Tachibana says she should at least show off her legs. If she does that, her panties will show. Tachibana tells her the shorter the better—she can even leave off the panties. Yep, he’s really a pervert. Tachibana straightens up with a smile and agrees.

Enter Yoko who heartily thanks Sakura for all of her help as Yoko’s grandson was thrilled with the ball. Sakura is surprised that Yoko came all the way to the shop to thank her. But didn’t Sakura get soaked? Thus Yoko brought a change of clothes for the younger woman. It was something Yoko had made herself for her daughter. As soon as Tachibana sees it, he drops Sakura’s broken umbrella he’d been holding. Yoko comments that it is probably too old fashioned. Sakura smiles and says it’s something Yoko made. Tachibana says that Sakura isn’t really going to wear that is she? Sakura kicks him in the shin and reluctantly agrees to allow Yoko to do her hairs as well.

 

Meanwhile, Shima and Miki have arrived at the goukon meeting place. Shima was booking a room so she doesn’t have to go home drunk while Miki’s husband will arrive promptly at 9 to pick her up. Why is a married woman going to a goukon anyways? The two then get a huge shock when they see Sakura arrive in the blue paint suit Yoko gave her. They talk about how vintage it is and how they can even smell mothballs. Sakura says it couldn’t be helped and will explain it all later. The three then enter the room and are surprised. Sakura admits that it isn’t a business party, but a goukon. This shocks the other two. Miki reminds Sakura that she’s a married woman. Sakura apologizes for her white lie.

  

Shima and Miki do quickly decide to have a good time as they haven’t been to such a place in a while. Miki immediately goes over to try the gourmet food while Shima immediately goes to prey on the young men. Enter Choko who thanks Sakura for coming. Sakura in turn thanks the younger girl for inviting her. Choko comments on Sakura’s very un-Sakura-like clothing and is not happy to hear Sakura says that Tachibana told her to be more like Choko instead of herself. Sakura then excuses herself to go mingle. We then cut to Saeki out practicing tricks on his bike. He gets a call from Choko telling him to hurry over and come dressed properly.

  

At the party, men are flocking to the seductive Shima while Miki asks a waiter if its okay for her to take some food home with her and Sakura is drinking. Choko is watching in a corner as Saeki arrives looking good and totally disinterested. He sticks his tongue out in greeting and Sakura catches his eye. Choko motions for him to go over to the older woman. He mouths okay and heads on over pulling out his ear buds. I have no idea why, but for some reason, we get cuts of biking along with some smexy close ups of Saeki as he approaches his prey whose mouth is smeared with cream. Saeki passes Sakura by as she calls out for another drink. A waiter comes with another drink and Saeki listens in as Sakura complains about her feet hurting in the shoes and he then watches her pick at a blister. What a first impression.

  

Kohei arrives to pick Miki up and is annoyed that she isn’t out waiting for him. Shima is hooking up with men in the bathroom again and is very disappointed in them. She goes to cancel her hotel room reservation. While she waits for it to be cancelled she sees families running about in the lobby. This depresses her. Enter Kohei who is trying to find out where the PTA party is so he can find his wife. He immediately catches Shima’s eye. She tells the clerk she no longer needs to cancel her room and offers to take Kohei to the thank you party. This can’t be good. I have to wonder given the earlier scene if Shima became a sex addict after her divorce as a way to fill up some empty part of her that longs for a husband and children.

  

Sakura is drunk and hitting a waiter’s bum. Poor guy. She complains that she should never have been asked to attend the goukon as she is just a “sakura” (this time meaning more of a wall flower and not referring to her own name). She then laughs and say she is Toyama Sakura, but “that man” calls her Kin in reference to Toyama no Kin-san a fictional samurai character with a sakura tattoo. She asks if the waiter knows the story and pats his bum some more. She then sees a man hitting on a girl asking her to go do a better hotel. The girl refuses and the guy starts to drag her away, protesting.

The drunken Sakura gets up and quickly tells him to let the girl go since she isn’t interested. The man tells her to leave the matter alone since it has nothing to do with her. He again grabs the girl and tries to drag her away. Again, Sakura intervenes. The young man then asks what an oba-san is doing at a goukon in the first place. Was she hoping to score with a young man? Sakura turns and asks if she did, then would he be willing? Only if she has the money, but its doubtful she’d have enough on her for him. Sakura asks who would want a virgin and the man retorts with whose the virgin and he calls her a worse term “babaa” (essentially an old hag). Sakura apologizes for being an old hag and calls the young man a “little shit.” She then says he has no business seducing women if he can’t tell when one wishes to be with him or not. She sticks out her tongue and hotel management comes over and asks her to come with them. Sakura is then dragged off in complete shock. What just happened?

Shima takes Kohei into her room and immediately jumps him. Has he ever had an affair? No. Does he want to? It’s not about whether he wants to or not. Shima gest him on the bed and bits his ear. He immediately stops pushing her away and starts taking the initiative and kissing her. I guess…that must be his erogenous zone… Bad man. No wonder you keep your men away from Shima. Shakes head. She’s a girl’s worst enemy.

  

The drunk Sakura lets down her hair and heads downstairs wondering why she is the one getting kicked out when it was obviously the young man who was at fault. She then slips and falls on the last step. It’s just not her day, is it? Sakura takes off her shoe and throws it away before drunkenly heading off talking about wanting to do another round. Saeki then comes and picks up her forgotten shoe and calls after her. Sakura turns in surprise and there is the pretty Saeki. He calls her “his Cinderella” as he holds up her shoe. Sakura is kind of immune to this only because she’s so drunk. Saeki then comes down with her shoe and holds her hand to help her put it on. We flash to images of glass slippers and then cut to Saeki looking up at her and Sakura looking down, struck by the young man.

  

The next day Sakura is in bed, doing her normal Sakura things (like itching herself with her feet). She rolls over and is shocked to find Saeki in bed with her. She is shocked and rolls away. She then lifts the covers and sees that she is naked. More shock. She then carefully gets up and takes a closer look at the man sleeping beside her. Saeki’s eyes open and Sakura throws herself backwards off the bed, shocking Saeki. Is she all right? Sakura quickly asserts that she is fine and starts picking up her clothes while trying to keep the sheet wrapped around her. Saeki smiles and asks if she was trying to eat him. Sakura quickly says she wasn’t and Saeki laughs and calls her cute.

    

Sakura is still flustered. What is he saying? More importantly… where is she and who is he? Could it be that she doesn’t remember? Eh? Sakura then looks down and sees her shoes. She gasps—he’s the prince! This makes Saeki laugh again. Ouji-sama? Well…didn’t he call her his Cinderella? Saeki denies he did that, but Sakura insists that he definitely said it to her. But what happened after that? Saeki tells Sakura that she didn’t want to go home, so he carried her to his room since she also didn’t want to walk. He then put her on the bed and she asked him to sleep with her. Sakura holds the sheet up to her mouth and asks what happened after that. Saeki looks down at his hands and laces his fingers together. This freaks Sakura out. They did “that”? This confuses Saeki as Sakura starts babbling about how she can’t believe it, not that it’s a bad thing, but a pity that she can’t remember anything about it.

   

Saeki asks if they should do it again then. Another shock to Sakura’s system. He says he is just joking and introduces himself to her. Sakura then returns in kind. Saeki says he already knows. Sakura laughs embarrassed—she must have been really drunk the night before. Saeki gets off the bed and Sakura immediately crawls away. He follows her and gets close to her, calling her by her first name, “Sakura-san.” Sakura answers him and he earnestly looks at her and asks her to go out with him. This shocks her. Saeki then says he’s come to like her and please go out with him. He then crawls towards Sakura who backs away all flustered, slowly lowering herself more and more as he advances. Finally she tilts her head back all the way and notices Sakura branches blooming. End episode.

   

Wowza. Not quite what I was expecting, but not bad. I’m not quite sure I like how they cut some of the scenes as it was a bit confusing, but that was really only when Saeki was strutting his stuff towards Sakura at the goukon. This reminds me a wee bit about Nakama Yukie’s drama Renai NEET as she was also approached by a younger man with less than stellar intentions. Just what is Saeki to Choko and why does Choko dislike the bickering friendship so much between Tachibana and Sakura? I can’t wait to find out more and the previews show interesting times ahead.

I am surprised by Miura’s role. I mean…I’ve only seen him in BLOODY MONDAY and Kimi ni Todoki really, so this more mature-type of role is very different, but he’s doing a good job coming off as the BMX playboy who doesn’t really seem to care about anyone but himself (at least at the moment). Kudos to him.

9 comments

  • YAY NEENEE!!! ANOTHER DRAMA I CAN FLAIL OVER WITH YOU!!!! I LOVE SHINOHARA RYOKO, OMG!!!!!!!!

    I was also reminded a bit of Renai Neet but I think Last Cinderella is way better so far. Maybe it is just because I like Shinohara Ryoko better? O_O But also, the pacing is more exciting and overall the drama feels more polished.

    I was also surprised by Miura Haruma’s role. At first I lol’d because I was all, what is he trying to show his “manly” side now? I prefer him in his Kimi ni Todoke role actually. But I am warming up to Hiroto’s character. I also like Fujiki Naohito’s character *w* I feel like there are some buchou moments that he sometimes slips, or is it just me? Anyways I thought it was funny when Choko was clearly sneaking peaks at him when he was cutting her hair. HEHEHE.

    • Yay! hesui!!! I love to flail with you. 😉

      I can’t help but feel a mixture of Renai NEET and Hotaru no Hikari in this drama as they are basically merging the two themes, but I do agree that this has something that Renai NEET didn’t.

      Oh, I was chuckling and eye-rolling at the scene where he was strutting his stuff towards Sakura pretending to be all hot and smexy. It was hilarious and soooo cheesy, but that being said, he’s doing justice to his role. I really loved him in Kimi ni Todoke, too 🙂 Fujiki = awesomeness to the max! I do think that there might be a little buchou slipping in, but there’s enough differences as this character is more playful and less straight-laced than the beloved buchou. Which reminds me I haven’t seen the Hotaru no Hikari movie yet 😦 Yep, you can so tell Choko has a crush on him peeking at him all the time, plus she seems to want to get Sakura out of the picture.

      As for Shima, I don’t hate her character and she is a lot of fun. As soon as they did that part where Shima asked to be introduced to Miki’s husband, i knew there was going to be something there. Although, if Miki had made the introductions, you know Shima would have kept her hands off.

      • LOL I actually fell for that scene. T_______T I thought it was really hot. >_>”” But I still prefer the Miura Haruma from Kimi ni Todoke, he was way better there. I loved his charming smile as Kazehaya. Also I cannot really see Miura Haruma’s “manly” image yet…….in the bed scene at the end of the episode, I was like Haruma…put back on your shirt. T_T

        I agree, Fujiki’s character is more laid-back and easy going than Buchou is. But he still has some buchou-moments.

  • On and also, I agree about Shima’s character’s desire to have a family. Except I thought that maybe she was trying really hard to get pregnant? Anyways when she cheats with Miki’s husband I was all OH NO this is gonna lead to some drama! But I don’t hate Shima’s character..somehow she is a fun addition to the drama. O_O

  • Great to read your recap! There is some Sex in the City vibes for me while I watched the first episode. I’m impressed with the acting, especially one of the lead’s friends (who is like a cougar on the hunt for younger men). She’s very sexy. I will not be covering as you and heisui on this one… but will head on here and heisui’s for the recaps!
    Haruma’s character is very suspicious!! hahaha

    • Oh, yes, Shima’s sexy cougar is pretty awesome and Haruma’s character is very suspicious. Since he didn’t have a lot of time in this episode, I am very curious about him and why he’s helping Choko out with just a mere word from her.

      I grew up without cable television (I still don’t have it yet today), so I have never watched Sex in the City, so can’t compare the two 😛

  • I don’t know if i liked this enough to keep watching, except I have no idea what Haruma’s deal is so i want to watch the next episode just for that. He’s an Escort for Hire but where does he know Choko from, and why does she think there is enough sexual tension between Sakura and Tachibana that she has to hire someone to date Sakura to keep her away from Tachibana? That seems stupid and over the top, and in this episode, we saw no evidence that Tachibana or Sakura had or would have any interest in each other, so where would Choko get that idea from anyway?

    • I know, I’m really interested in figuring out just what is going on with Haruma’s Hiroto. What is his connection to Choko? Does he only do her bidding since he needs money since the BMX world isn’t a stable income? I guess in dramaland, two people bickering like that can usually end up together, plus they bickered about whether or not Tachibana liked Sakura or vice versa, so maybe that was enough to make the little Choko jealous and afraid that Sakura could become competition later.

      I didn’t get any romantic tension from Tachibana or Sakura – not even when Sakura got up in his face and he breathed his alcohol breath on her. Even though she claims he’s her natural enemy, you do get a deep bond of friendship between them, but nothing more than that.

      • Yeah exactly. Friendship, but nothing romantic. I think if Choko had seen them hug or something, i would understand her reasoning more. And it’s not like it would’ve been hard to slip something into the episode that could cause her to misunderstand or something. After seeing the second episode, it seems that it’s just one of those plot points that the writers buggered up but that we have to accept because it’s integral to the story, lol.

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