Last Cinderella Episode 2 Recap
Ah, Sakura, Sakura. Her thinking after her night with Hiroto is funny. And then we get the great dramaland coincidence—who would have thought that Tachibana would end up as Sakura’s next door neighbor?
At this point, I can see sort of a How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor story sort of. By that I mean, two of the leads coming to have a very solid friendship (minus the guy falling for the girl who fell for a different guy, I hope). I think that despite their bickering, Sakura and Tachibana have the chance of becoming a very strong and close pair of friends—not lovers. Just friends. I don’t get romantic chemistry between them, just plan ol’ camaraderie. Thus, Tachibana will take on a role of friend/mentor and help Sakura with her love life and romantic woes with the much younger Hiroto. We’ll have to see if it really pans out like that, but I wouldn’t mind if it did.
Episode 2: The Great Reversal of Love and Life! The Younger Man is a prince!?
Staying out all night, because you’re at that age, you should avoid the public’s gaze.
We open with Sakura walking home from the hotel, completely embarrassed and ashamed after spending the night in a hotel and doing her best to avoid notice. I don’t know why she thinks she’s going to be stared at and ridiculed. Her behavior is what will draw attention as who would know that she has technically stayed out all night with a man?
Sakura gets home and runs smack into Tachibana. Both are surprised to find the other in the apartment building they live in. It turns out that Tachibana has moved into the room next door! Neither of them are happy. Sakura scolds Tachibana for not checking before moving in. Tachibana asserts that he would never want her as a neighbor either. He then notices her clothes. Why is she dressed so funky? Gasp! Is she just getting home from the goukon? This is why she’s a starving 40-year-old. Sakura says he was the one who encouraged her to go and then stresses she is NOT 40—she’s only 39! LOL. Splitting hairs over age, but supposedly it’s something women should care about. I don’t, but maybe that’s just me.
Someone passes by and Tachibana smiles and says not to mind Sakura as she’s going through menopause. Sakura snaps back that Tachibana is the one going through menopause and asks who he is talking to. She turns and there is the mover asking to get by. Tachibana takes the boxes and starts piling them in Sakura’s arms asking her to help since there is so much left to do. Poor Sakura.
At Miki’s house, she is getting breakfast when her mother-in-law stops in. She refuses breakfast since she doesn’t like Miki’s cooking and then immediately lights into her daughter-in-law about staying out so late the other night. Miki says it was a PTA thank-you-party and this earns her more scolding from Mrs. Takenouchi. She’s one of those annoying in-laws. Of course, Kohei sides with his mother against Miki. Sheesh. What a supportive husband. I’m a bit surprised he’s acting like nothing happened the night before. Mrs. Takenouchi then says she’s leaving Friday and wishes to take the kids with her. Miki doesn’t like this and the children initially refuse until Grandma bribes them. Miki then points out the kids are running behind and they rush out to school. Kohei fold up his paper and is happy to know he can do whatever he wants for the weekend.
Kohei is heading to work and fantasizing about his night with Shima. Just as things were getting hot and heavy, Miki calls him, but Shima takes his phone away and turns it off. Kohei then runs into a pole, thus cutting his fantasy short. Hah. Serves him right.
Sakura has changed and is taking in boxes to Tachibana’s apartment where he sits at ease and tells her that she’s bringing the boxes into the wrong parts of the apartment. She gets fed up with him not telling her first and he calls her an idiot for not reading what the boxes are labeled—touché. Sakura then gets angry when he pops open a beer. Whose stuff is this anyways? Why isn’t he helping move his own junk into his apartment? Tachibana says everything is already there. Sakura is surprised by how little he has. He’s a bachelor—what more does he need? He then complains about women keeping unnecessary junk and Sakura agrees with him. Tachibana then says that she’s worked hard and can take a break now.
Sakura heads to the balcony window and looks out. They are neighbors living next door to each other, but you can say the scenery is totally different. She pulls out her phone…it’s lunchtime already? She’s gotten pretty hungry. She’s worked so hard she’s about to collapses. LOL—nothing like fishing for a free lunch. Tachibana takes the hint and takes her to Ken-chan’s bar. Ken-chan is surprised to see them coming in together, that’s rare. Sakura tells Ken that Tachibana moved in next to her. Ken is surprised to learn that building is also Sakura’s, but still, it’s a nice, quiet location and relatively cheap. That’s right. Tachibana should have known it was too good to be true, and sure enough, it was as he has the “demon” living next door. Sakura asks what kind of demon would be nice enough to help him move in. Very true.
Ken asks Tachibana what he wants and Tachibana orders two sobas since he’s moving (soba is a traditional dish to have when just moving in to a new place). This makes Sakura happy until Tachibana says it’s Kin-chan’s treat. Eh? Why? Doesn’t Sakura have something she wishes to talk to him about? This is his consultation fee. LOL. He knows her well. The two dig into their food and Sakura tells him about Hiroto. Tachibana cannot believe someone asked Sakura out, and to top it off he’s still a baby (24). Tachibana warns Sakura that Hiroto is probably a fraud. Sakura points out she has no money. Maybe she looked like she did that night. Or maybe, it’s a new kind of fraud where Hiroto will say he needs money for tuition or his poor old mom’s surgery bills. The annoyed Sakura slams down her sauce bowl and goes to bawl him out when her phone rings.
Sakura immediately jumps back from it. It’s Hiroto! How is that possible when she didn’t give him her number? Tachibana holds up her phone which clearly has Hiroto’s number stored. When did that happen? He tells her to answer the phone or Hiroto will hang up. Sakura rushes farther away and so Tachibana answers it instead. LOL. Sakura hurries and grabs the phone from him, smacking him hard upside the head. Poor Tachibana. Sakura takes the call and assures Hiroto she’s fine and completely alone (ye gads, her gerbil face was very good and very unattractive here). She then goes upstairs to finish talking leaving an angry Tachibana behind mimicking the way she was talking. Ken then comes and says that he likes Sakura. This shocks Tachibana. Boy does his friend have bad taste in women. Upstairs, Sakura tells Hiroto she is single, but they are too far apart in years to date each other. She then apologizes and hangs up the phone.
The next morning, Sakura and Tachibana leave their apartments at the same time. Tachibana gives her a dirty look before leaving ahead of her. Sakura rushes to catch up. They live in the same building and work in the same place—can’t they go together? No way! Tachibana doesn’t want people looking down on him and pitying him because they think he and Sakura are a couple. Tachibana then says “shoo shoo.” The annoyed Sakura replies she is not an insect and keeps following him all the way to the shop. The two, of course, bicker the entire time. When they arrive, Tachibana says he’ll take the upstairs entrance and Sakura should take the downstairs entrance so people won’t think they came together. Sakura retorts back calling him an idiot when she notices Hiroto.
The two greet each other and Hiroto stops leaning against the wall and comes towards her. He nods in greeting to Tachibana who nods back. What is Hiroto doing at the shop? If he didn’t come there, would she allow him to see her? True. Sakura then shoots a look at Tachibana who scrunches up his face and points back at her before leaving the two alone.
Sakura reminds Hiroto what she said over the phone. Is age really all that important when it comes to love? Besides, how will Sakura know that they aren’t suited for one another if she doesn’t give the relationship a shot? Sakura then asks him point blank what it is about her that he even likes. Besides, doesn’t he have a lot of much younger women than herself surrounding him? (I’m guessing she’s basing that on his good looks alone.) Hiroto walks around to face her and tells her that younger girls are boring while older women are more interesting. If that’s the case, then won’t Hiroto hit on other older women, too? Sakura then holds up her phone. It’s time to get to work.
Hiroto is annoyed by Sakura. Such a pain in the ass, that woman. The nearly naked woman on the be asks if he’s referring to her. Of course not. Hiroto then joins her on the bed. You know, oddly enough, these more adult scenes in this drama have a very…non-adult feel. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. The vibe just doesn’t seem very serious or heavier for whatever reason. Not that I necessarily want a steamy drama…I just find it interesting. I kind of felt the same way with Shima and Kohei’s bed scene in episode one as well.
Shima is teaching yoga while Miki and Sakura talk about Sakura’s night with Hiroto. Miki asks if it hurt and Sakura says she wouldn’t know since she was dead drunk. Miki says it’s a waste. Next time Sakura should make sure to be sober. Sakura replies there isn’t going to be a next time. He’s 24 after all. Miki does some arithmetic. So…if his mother had him when she was in her 20s, that would only put her a few years older than Sakura! Sakura also does her own math. If she had a child when she was 20, her kid would be 19 now. Yes, Sakura is old enough to practically be his mother. She shakes her head and doesn’t want to think about it any more. Shima then comes over and scolds the two for talking the entire time. Sakura then says that if they had both had kids at 20, hers would be 19 and Shima’s would be 24 right now. Shima has no idea what Sakura is babbling on about and goes to help her with the yoga positions.
Back at the shop, Tachibana surprises his staff and customers by saying he wants kids so he won’t be a lonely old man. LOL. Well… at the rate he’s going, plus with his attitudes regarding women… he’s well on his way to being a lonely old man. Tachibana still asserts that while he wants kids, he doesn’t want marriage. What a contradiction. Kashiwagi then coyly asks about Sakura-san since she’s on the kids bandwagon, too. Tachibana replies that it will be too hard for Sakura as she’d need to get a man for that and she’s more like a man herself at the moment, so she’d need to do something about that first.
Miki and Sakura have moved to working on ellipticals. Shima says that Sakura is bow-legged. This is a step in the right direction, though. Miki agrees that maybe this will help jumpstart Sakura’s hormones and she will start becoming more feminine. Sakura then asks after Shima’s flirt from the night of the goukon. They are surprised that Shima is still waiting for his call and not taking the initiative right off the bat. Shima says that the man is clumsy and adorable and gives off an “I’m having an affair” vibe. Sakura is not happy to learn Shima is committing adultery at her age. Then she gets a call from Kohei and rushes off. Miki wonders if she should have an affair as well. Say what? Miki is worried that her husband might be one of them who likes other people’s wives instead of his own. Shima and Kohei then arrange to meet in the exact same hotel room the next day. Oy. This is going to get complicated. What will happen when Miki finds out?
Choko is in the shop getting her hair done. I will pause here. I don’t get going to a hair salon regularly. Heck, I’m lucky if I get my hair cut 3-5 times a year, let alone going once a week or so. Haircuts and styling is expensive, you know. Plus… I’m kind of lazy. I get my hair cut as short as possible without it looking badly and only get it cut again when its at the point I can’t stand it any more. Okay. Enough about that, back to silly Choko-chan and her crush on Tachibana.
So, Tachibana asks Choko to recommend a good drycleaner since the one near him did a poor job on the finish. Choko happily agrees and says she will ask her mother. Nozomi, who is painting Choko’s nails, then asks why Tachibana doesn’t just talk to Sakura about it. She wouldn’t know any since she leaves her clothes out for days. Nozomi then tells Tachibana to move since he sees that much living in the same building with Sakura. Choko looks very unhappy to learn not only does Sakura live in the same building as Tachibana, but also next door. Tachibana wants Sakura to be the one to hurry and move.
We cut to Sakura sneezing (the superstition that if someone talks about you, you sneeze). She’s eating when she gets a text from Hiroto asking her if she’s eaten. He then says he’s eating all alone at a convenience store. This makes her happy for some reason. The next morning, Sakura again gets a text from Hiroto. He tells her that he dreamt of her, but what kind of dream it was is a secret. So is plan is to break down her barriers by texting her constantly? It’s working. These texts may embarrass her, but make her happy.
Sakura happily goes to work where her male customer comments on how happy she is. Does she have a secret lover? Sakura denies this and continues on with her work constantly checking her phone and giggling while Tachibana observes all this with an annoyed expression. While the two eat lunch in the office, Tachibana calls her a giggling school girl and asks if she will go out with the kid. Sakura says she turned Hiroto down already, but she gets a dozen or so text from him a day. Tachibana says Hiroto must have a lot of free time on his hands. Sakura tells him the youth of today are hard working and then smiles giddily as she gets a text from Hiroto saying he wishes to see her. Tachibana calls her an effeminate old-man schoolgirl. She tells him to shut up and giddily goes back to looking at her phone.
Until yesterday this was just a watch substitute.
Shima sits in the hotel room with a glass of wine when Kohei shows up. He looks rather uncomfortable. Shima hugs him from behind and tells him the suit gives him a different feel. It doesn’t matter though, since it’s going to come off. The awkwardness disappears a little and the two get hot and heavy while Miki goes through her drawers looking for a negligee. Back at the hotel room, Kohei apologizes to Shima. Looks like they couldn’t sleep together after all. Is it a guilty conscience? Nope.
Kohei comes home and is shocked to find Miki in the negligee. Does he remember this nightgown? He bought it for her on their honeymoon in Hawaii. He comments that he had bad taste back then. Miki then tries to get him to sleep with her, but Kohei refuses. They’ve already known each other for 20 years and she still wants to do that? Ouch. Forget a bath, Kohei is just going straight to bed. The unhappy Miki takes a blanket and heads out of the bedroom.
The next day Tachibana is lecturing the salon staff when Sakura gets yet another mail from Hiroto. The younger man cannot believe how stubborn this old woman is. Choko cannot believe Hiroto is having such a hard time. He should just hurry up and snag Sakura. Hiroto comes in and says he’s short of war funds. Choko takes out her purse and goes to hand him some money, but Hiroto pulls out all the money in her wallet. He then wonders why she cares so much about Sakura. Surely Tachibana has no interest in such a woman? Choko’s reply? “She’s in my way.” HOW? Choko then says she has to get rid of all risk factors. What does that mean? Doesn’t Hiroto remember how horrible that last woman made Tachibana feel? Choko doesn’t want him going through that pain all over again, thus Hiroto needs to hurry and “trap” Sakura.
Enter Choko’s mother who does not look happy to find Hiroto there. He takes his leave after saying he won’t be staying for dinner. Choko’s father then returns home and complains that Hiroto is just as useless as ever. Hiroto says nothing and jumps the fence surrounding the house with his bike. He then goes to the BMX practice ground where he can’t concentrate and keeps falling. Soooo…Choko and Hiroto are siblings? Go figure. With a family like that, no wonder Hiroto acts as he does. They don’t seem very supportive of his dream, although making a successful living in the BMX world probably is very difficult and not something you can maintain for a long time.
Back at the shop, Tachibana and Sakura are bickering as they leave the shop. Shouldn’t they believing at different times so they don’t go home together? Sakura then spots Hiroto sitting down outside. He gest up and says he wanted to see her so he came. Tachibana leaves ahead of Sakura and shoots Hiroto…a measuring?…look. Hiroto asks Sakura if that is the manager of the shop. Sakura affirms this and Hiroto calls Tachibana cool. Sakura replies that Tachibana has a horrible personality, though. Hiroto then asks if Sakura is hungry. She says she is, but she has already made plans to eat with some friends. Is that so? Hiroto forces a smile and says that is okay since he got to see her face. He goes to leave and Sakura turns and tells him one glass of beer should be fine.
Meanwhile Miki is at home crying to Shima that her marriage is over. Kohei said that he could no longer do it with her any more. She’s not demanding it all the time, but she would like some sex every now and then. Miki gets out a new box of tissues and asks after Shima’s new man. They still haven’t done it yet. Say what? However, Shima likes this as the tension is like an extended foreplay to her. Oy. Shima then apologizes as that kind of talk is probably insensitive to Miki, huh? Miki comes and sits back down saying that the dirty talk of Shima’s actually makes her feel better somehow. She then says she will see this dry spell in her marriage as foreplay like Shima does. Shima picks up her wine glass and says she wishes the dry spell ends before too long.
The doorbell rings and Miki gets up thinking it is Sakura, but it is Kohei! He has returned home with some flowers for his wife. Awww. Shima then comes out wondering what is taking so long and both she and Kohei are horrified to see one another. Miki then formally introduces the two. Miki then shows off her flowers saying it’s the first time in their marriage since he’s bought her any. She then jokingly asks if he’s having an affair. Shim and Kohei’s faces tense up. Miki then laughs it off and goes to take care of the flowers. Kohei anxiously demands to know what’s going on and Shima replies that is what she’d like to know as well.
Kohei and Shima sit uncomfortably together at the dining room table trying to figure out just what in the heck is going on. Is this some weird hidden camera prank? They are also both jumpy every time that Miki comes in or exclaims over something. Miki then tells Kohei that Shima is a gym instructor and that Kohei should go to her gym to help lose some of that belly fat of his. Miki goes back into the kitchen and the two quickly hide under the table together to talk. Um…like that makes sense? The two are relieved since they have not successfully slept together yet. Kohei then asks why Shima was at a PTA party when she’s not a parent. Shima reveals she lied to him to get her up to her room. Then that means his wife lied to him, too, right?
Enter Miki again. Where did the two go to? Kohei and Shima jump, banging their heads on the table. Shima is the first to come out and Miki asks why they were under there. Shima things fast and throws off her ring. She dropped her ring and Kohei is helping her look for it. Kohei quickly finds the ring when the phone rings. She goes looking for the phone and Shima tells Kohei they are safe since Miki knows nothing and they did nothing, besides Kohei shouldn’t worry as Miki is not a woman who would betray him. Shima then takes her leave.
Meanwhile, Sakura and Hiroto are at a very noisy bar. He says a quieter one would be better so Sakura can relax. Sakura says she wishes to ask him something, but two of Hiroto’s friends come up to him before she can. They complain that they haven’t seen Hiroto for awhile. Where has he been? Working. They then ask if Sakura is his older sister. This immediately makes Sakura feel even more awkward. The male friend then asks if Sakura is his girlfriend. Awkwardness to the max! Hiroto laughingly says that he’s still waiting for the okay. His friends comment that Sakura will quickly give in. The two then excuse themselves and leave. The guy asks in Sakura’s hearing if Hiroto is really serious about liking her. Ouch. Hiroto then asks if Sakura wishes to leave to which she quickly replies that she is.
The two are walking and Hiroto asks where Sakura is heading to meet her friends as he’ll take her there. Sakura says nothing. Is she upset about what happened earlier? Hiroto hadn’t seen them in a long time and they aren’t his close friends to begin with. He turns and Sakura bows deeply, apologizing. She then reveals she is 39. She had never told him her real age, so she is sorry. It’s only natural that they would mistake her for an older sister. Thank goodness they didn’t call her his mother or she doesn’t know what she would have done. Sakura then goes off leaving Hiroto alone.
Meanwhile, Tachibana is at Ken’s bar. Ken asks what Tachibana will do for his dinners. Tachibana plans on eating at Ken’s most nights. Ken complains that all Tachibana does is get drunk. Ken then asks if it isn’t time for Tachibana to finally get a girlfriend. Tachibana says nothing to this and only nurses his drink while Sakura calls up Miki and says she won’t be making it. She holds a fortune stick that talks about bad luck. Great.
She then goes to a batting cage where she keeps swinging and missing while the person next to her hits all of them. Sakura wonders why she can’t hit one stinking ball. Tachibana says it’s because she isn’t using her waist. Sakura is shocked to see him in the cage next to hers. What’s he doing there? She’s asking this when he came in before she did? He then says “it’s coming.” Huh, what? Sakura then manages to throw herself out of the path of the ball before it nails her. That was a close one. She then looks at Tachibana’s form. He’s good. Tachibana says of course since he’s been playing since he was a kid.
So…did Sakura run away from Hiroto? No. She ran away from herself. After all of this time, she doesn’t know how to be in love any more. Plus…there’s this 15 year age gap that’s a huge hurdle for her. She thinks her rehabilitation needs to start from a more comfortable spot (meaning with someone closer to her own age). However, with the way things are going, it just might be too troublesome. Maybe she should just resign herself to living alone? Tachibana tells her to shift her center of gravity backwards. Sakura leans back. Wrong. Sakura adjusts her stance and Tachibana keeps giving her pointers. Sakura manages to hit it and is all excited. She asks him for more pointers, but he says that she’ll continue to hit the balls. Sakura doesn’t believe him, but she does! This makes her happy and makes Tachibana smile.
Afterward, the two head home and Sakura again says how good it feels. Maybe she should go on a regular basis. Tachibana quickly tells her not to. Why? Because that would mean they would keep meeting? So what? They don’t have to talk do they? Sakura then gets a text from Hiroto. So the young man is finally asking for money, huh? Wrong. Hiroto is telling her that he doesn’t care about the age difference—he just likes Sakura. However, Sakura has this niggling feeling that Hiroto is teasing her. Tachibana says that Hiroto might just have odd taste in women. Sakura doesn’t want to try, but Tachibana urges her to try. She’s a mature beauty right? Sakura doesn’t agrees that she’ a beauty at all, but Tachibana repeats that she is. It’s just that she’s gotten used to being hurt, right? That’s why she’s so unwilling to try?
Badly bruised and so increasingly timid.
The next morning Sakura goes about her morning ritual and tells Miki that she has decided to try and date Hiroto. Miki hangs up as her children have returned…with their grandmother. Mrs. Takenouchi says she will be staying for awhile. Oh. This can’t be good.
Sakura heads out to her very first date with Hiroto. They go bowling. Sakura keeps getting strikes while Hiroto does quite badly. They look like they are honestly having fun, though. I had to laugh when Hiroto throws a gutter ball then then crouches and pouts like a little kid. After bowling is tennis (is this really a date?) where Hiroto gets his revenge as Sakura cannot successfully return any of his serves. Sakura asks if he’s being unfair. Hiroto says its payback for the bowling alley. Sakura asks for handicap, but he refuses. It’s a Love Game after all. Sakura sappily smiles and says okay. She then wonders what that means and almost gets nailed by the next serve. They are cute together, though. After tennis is basketball. Such a sporty date.
The two then go for some ice cream. A kid knocks into Sakura, so she gets ice cream all over her face. Hiroto wipes it off for her and then can’t help but laugh at her. Sakura scolds him for enjoying her embarrassment a little too much. On the bus home, Hiroto says it was amusing. Is he still talking about the ice cream incident. This makes Hiroto laugh. No. Didn’t Sakura have fun, too? Yes, she had a fun day. Then a pregnant woman with a stroller gets on and is having problems. Sakura quickly gets up to help, surprising Hiroto who follows behind her. Sakura goes to give the mother and her child her seat, but a younger punk sits down right away.
Sakura goes over and says that she is giving up her seat to the pregnant woman which gets no response from the punk. She then asks him to take off his headphones making him turn up his music louder. She then pulls one earbud out. What’s she playing at? She tells the punk that he knows exactly what she’s doing. He needs to get up so that woman who is clearly having trouble can sit down. The punk laughs and calls her irritating. The two then start arguing with one another and the punk calls her an “old hag.” Sakura retorts back that phrase can’t hurt her because she’s used to it by now. Soon everyone on the bus is looking at her and the punk. Whoops. Sakura then tells him that he’s still young and to get up and stand until that woman has to get off. She pulls the young man up and he calls her an old geezer before getting off the bus followed by the pregnant woman with her stroller and child. Awkwardness to the max here as the entire bus is silent and everyone is staring at the meddling Sakura. Hiroto’s expression…kind of unreadable. Sakura nervously titters.
Sakura then apologizes for creating a mess after they get off the bus. Hiroto says she doesn’t’ need to apologize as he was impressed by her. Sakura then reveals that things always get messed up when she’s around—it’s like she can’t read the atmosphere of the people around her or maybe she is just an old lady. No, wait. That punk called her an old geezer. Sakura then says she feels depressed. The wind picks up blowing sakura petals everywhere. A petal lands in Sakura’s hands and she blows it off. Hiroto then spies a petal in her hair and tells her to stand still. He goes to take it out and then quickly goes in for a kiss. Got to love these horrible fake drama kisses. It would have been rather more romantic if it hadn’t been so fake.
So… Hiroto will probably fall for Sakura for reals. But will Tachibana get in the way? Or will Choko successfully land her man? I don’t care if she has Tachibana’s best intentions at heart, I don’t like her whatsoever as she is going about things the wrong way and is being incredibly selfish. Can’t she think that Sakura being Tachibana’s friend could help him in some way?