Last Cinderella Episode 9 Recap
This episode really is starting to wind things down and resolve the side stories. Now all that is left is the big resolution. Only two more episodes to go. Who do you think Sakura will choose?
Episode 9: “I Love You”
We open with Miki and friends arriving at the hospital. Miki asks how her husband is doing and Mrs. Takenouchi says that he is in surgery for appendicitis. Miki falls to her knees in relief. She then gets up and tells her mother-in-law to take the kids home while she waits for him to come out of surgery. The children refuse to leave and thus the whole Takenouchi family stays at the hospital.
Sakura and Shima go to Ken’s bar for beers and are relieved that it is just appendicitis. Shima then explains that before she knew Kohei was Miki’s husband, she thought the man was cute. After she learned his identity, all feelings for him vanished. However, she should not have kept seeing him and keeping it a secret from Miki. Sakura agrees with that. Shima talks about it being rare to have guy friends she wasn’t in a sexual relationship with. At her age it is best to just have one or two close male friends. Sakura agrees with this. Shima then says she has Tachibana. Sakura says he isn’t her friend, but Shima replies that he obviously is and Sakura is lucky to have such a friend. Given how long their friendship has lasted, it will probably continue into the future.
Sakura goes home and brings the pizzas and beers next door to Tachibana’s. He asks after Kohei and Sakura tells him the surgery was successful and he’s on the mend. She goes to enter his apartment, but Tachibana comes outside and closes the door. Awkward. Sakura asks him to eat with her, but he says he isn’t hungry. She then offers him a beer which he also refuses. He then enters the apartment where he leans against the door all flustered. Great. Now he’s going to be all awkward with her. Sooo typical once Person A realizes their feelings for Person B in dramaland.
Hiroto waits for his father at home so that he can apologize for missing the interview. Of course, his father won’t accept the apology and scolds him for deliberately not going just to embarrass him. Chotto. He then basically tells Hiroto to hit the road and don’t come back. Nice father there.
Sakura then calls up Hiroto as she is sitting down to eat her reheated pizza. As she gets up to get a towel to clean up her mess Hiroto enteres and shocks the heck out of her. Instead of saying anything, he immediately pulls her into a passionate kiss. When he pulls back, he smiles and says she has been eating pizza. Sakura goes to brush her teeth, but Hiroto pulls her in for another kiss. Sakura pulls back and wonders what is wrong, but Hiroto refuses to talk. He swoops her up and puts her on the bed. Kissing and disrobing ensue. The love scene is a wee bit awkward, but sweet at the same time. And…it’s long.
The next morning Hiroto and Sakura happily wake up in each other’s arms. Sakura’s alarm goes off and she shuts it off saying this is the first time she is reluctant to go to work. Hiroto says that he will be waiting for her. Can he do it there? Sakura hesitates, but agrees. Hiroto gives her a kiss and she gets up to leave, but he pulls her back down onto the bed.
Which should I pick—work or love? Of Course, Love!
Tachibana exits his apartment in time to see Sakura and Hiroto being all lovey dovey and he doesn’t look happy. Hiroto doesn’t look to happy when he sees Tachibana either. The two don’t greet each other and Tachibana heads out after Sakura while Hiroto heads back into the apartment.
Our men’s club gather in Kohei’s room. Ken brings a cheesecake which gets quickly confiscated by the nurse since for whatever reason Kohei is fasting after the surgery. Our young member then says that since Kohei and Miki haven’t reconcile yet, they should do their serotonin exercise. The boys all join in until Kohei hurts himself and they have to stop. Not the best thing to do after being cut open.
We then get a quick clip of Hiroto being asked by his friends to come with them to the US to compete in the BMX racing market there as they have a greater chance of success and sponsorship. What does Hiroto do? Refuse of course as he needs a steady job and income right now. He apologizes and walks off leaving his friends wondering why he needs money right now—is he planning on getting married?
Back at the hospital, Kohei tells his mother and Miki that they have discovered he has diabetes. Luckily they caught it early so he can start doing whatever he needs to do (it’s all based on the type you have and how severe it is). Mrs. Takenouchi immediately blames Miki for not noticing her husband’s illness and then saying she is the cause for it as diabetes is diet related. Not 100% – it’s also hereditary. For once, Kohei jumps in to defend his poor wife from his mother. Took him long enough. Kohei says he is happy with his wife and if his mother wishes to criticize Miki then she can just get out of his house. FINALLY!!!! Mrs. Takenouchi storms out and Miki goes to go after her, but Kohei stops her.
Kohei then apologizes for everything. Miki, in turn, says she has much to apologize for as well, but they can discuss that after he leaves the hospital. Kohei then blurts out that he has ED, which apparently can be a side effect of diabetes. He is kicking himself for not going to a doctor sooner. Miki chides him and says he should have confided in her earlier, but Kohei says it is too shameful to admit to his wife. Miki understands this and says she will go after Mrs. Takenouchi since she would be upset if Kakeru were to be so rude to her that way. Besides, she knows her husband didn’t mean it. She goes back to quickly give him a peck on his mouth and then rushes out as the nurse comes in. Kohei happily looks down at his lap and greets his long unmoved friend. Where has he been all this time? He bounces happily and lets out some gas. He stops and the nurse smiles and says that’s good.
Miki comes home and overhears her mother-in-law yelling into a phone. She rushes into the living room where Mrs. Takenouchi complains that neither of her sons want her. Miki sits down and earnestly asks her to stay which shocks Mrs. Takenouchi. She explains her problems with her mother-in-law and then asks if they can’t find some middle ground to get along on. This chokes Mrs. Takenouchi up and she happily and tearfully hugs her daughter-in-law.
Miki is back to her energetic self. She and Sakura are getting ready to eat when Shima enters. It’s a bit awkward at first, but the girls quickly go back to normal. Sakura happily tricks her friends by making Russian Roulette takayoki loaded with mustard. She then replaces them with normal takayoki that only has one mustard filled one. This makes Shima and Miki happily laugh. Sakura is happy to see her two friends laughing and getting along once more.
Before we knew it, we had been living together for a quarter of a century (deep emotion).
Kohei and Hiroto are both at a jewelry store looking when they literary bump butts together. Kohei and Hiroto are both shocked to bump into one another there. Kohei asks if Hiroto is planning on proposing. The younger man says he is only there to price the rings, not to necessarily buy one and propose. Hiroto then asks Kohei how he and Miki decided on marrying. I love Kohei’s very simplistic response: “Ah, that was simply because we wanted to live together for the rest of our lives.” Kohei then asks Hiroto’s opinion on a piece of jewelry for Miki and with Hiroto’s cute response he decides that it’s in a price range that he can work with.
Tachibana is spacing out at SOBAR when Ken waves him back to reality. Tachibana then says he’s very confused right now. He loves Sakura, you know. All of this time he’s never knew it himself, but everyone around him told him he was—Ken, Choko, Hiroto…even Kasumi. He would always deny this, but this time he cannot deny his true feelings. Ken says that he can no longer pretend and hide. Feelings aren’t just black and white, you know? Tachibana says he is happy as long as Kin is happy. He then talks about how she has her own way of shining and how she is a good-natured idiot. She could even be called too pure or too honest. I did chuckle a bit when Tachibana says he just doesn’t want to see “a guy liker her” get hurt. Because of this he always finds himself being overly conscious with her by his side – always trying to find ways to help which leads him to get jealous. Ken then replies that Sakura has not yet reached the point where she is aware of Tachibana (actually…I think she is semi-aware whether or not she has any romantic feelings…that I don’t know). Ken says because of this, Tachibana and Sakura are birds of a feather.
Tachibana is walking home when he is approached by a rather annoyed looking Choko. He takes her back to his place and Choko apologizes for what she did with Kasumi. Tachibana tells her it’s okay as it is in the past. Choko is relieved to hear that he and Kasumi are officially over. When Tachibana turns around there is Choko in her underwear. Tachibana quickly goes to cover her up and she shows her back with its large scar. She explains that her father found a doctor who could make the scar less noticeable, but she refused as her boyfriend had just broken up with her. She then confesses she wouldn’t have left it if she knew how much she would love him. She begs for him to “make me a woman” and hugs him.
Tachibana puts a shirt around her and refuses. It’s because he thinks the scar is ugly, right? No, it’s because of the wound on her heart caused by her worry over the scar that he won’t. He sits her down and kneels by her. She’s delicate and sensitive—a girl who is more considerate of others. He believes she will meet a man who will love her for her good qualities and will overlook her score. Choko gets up and dresses and then says she will never love again since the scar is too heavy of a burden even for him. Meh. She SO didn’t listen to what he was really saying.
Hiroto and Sakura are at the skate park where Hiroto is practicing for nationals. He has her try out his bike and while she peddles off, Hiroto yells out after her and says if he wins the championship, will she agree to marry him. Sakura turns in shock. Hiroto brings out the ring he has just bought and walks over to her. If he wins, he’ll make biking his hobby and get a real job. He knows he’ll bring her trouble at first, but he’ll work hard. Sakura thanks him and says she is really happy…but she’ll be 40 soon. Hiroto knows this and doesn’t care. Sakura says that isn’t the point, she doesn’t want him to give up his dream for her.
Hiroto then cuts her off and says he wishes for children who are just like her. Wowza. That’s…so sweet. I think he knows how much she really desires children. He believes that he and Sakura can pour enough love into their children so they have a better experience than he did. He then boys deeply and asks her to please accept for his dream. Sakura places her hands over his and softly agrees. Hiroto looks up in shock and sees a tear slipping down Sakura’s face. He breaks into a huge smile and happily yells that he did it. His heart was beating too fast. He then pulls her into a hug and the two smile happily. Okay…shipping this couple now 100%.
While Hiroto and Sakura bask in happiness together, Choko is having another meltdown. She rips up all of Tachibana’s pictures and destroys her projector. I have a feeling she’ll do what she can to muck up Hiroto’s happiness.
The next morning when Sakura’s alarm goes off, Hiroto reaches over to shut it off. He gives Sakura a good morning kiss and wishes her happy birthday. She’s officially 40 now. He drops her off at work where Sakura is doing her girlish mooning once more and shows off her engagement ring to the other salon staff. Sigh. I would like this soooo much better if she wasn’t quite so immature at these times.
Hiroto leaves and runs into Tachibana. Hiroto asks what happened between him and Choko as Choko kept caling and emailing him. Enter Choko who stops to listen, just out of sight. Tachibana says he rejected Choko as he didn’t want to hurt her since he doesn’t love her. This makes him better than Hiroto who strings someone along with impure motives. Impure motives? Hiroto says that he whole-heartedly wishes to protect Sakura thus his motives are pure. Tachibana points out that such a view will hurt both Sakura and Choko. Hiroto rebuts that he will protect Sakura as they will be getting married. Hiroto then tells Tachibana to be clear and back off Sakura. He then takes his leave and Tachibana goes up to work while Choko looks very displeased.
In the salon, Sakura is still gushing about her great boyfriend and how happy she is. She talks about being more comfortable with her age and having newfound confidence. She is happy to grow older and will face her future with happiness. It’s actually WAY too hard to keep up with all of that woman’s gushing. She turns and there is the stoic Tachibana. He claims he was the young man’s advocate. Sakura teases him about what century they are living in. Tachibana then amends this to “middle-aged woman’s” advocate. Sakura then reminds him that he is turning 40 soon as well and his gut is starting to stick out. She pats his belly quickly and Tachibana calls a start to their normal meeting. He’s really not happy, but trying his best to keep it in.
Of the things I love and what I can do at this age, the percentage is on love.
SOBAR is buzzing with preparations for Sakura’s birthday. Ken compliments Miki’s daughter and how she will make a great daughter-in-law one day (I guess she made a cookie for Sakura), Miki thanks him and Shima sarcastically apologizes for not baking. Ken then says it is okay as they are the same—two lonely souls looking for love. Shima says she doesn’t wish to spend her life that way and so is participating in an [tooltip text=”arranged date with plans of continuing on to marriage if both parties like one another”]omiai[/tooltip]. This shocks Ken, but he does agree to let Shima do her omiai at SOBAR (she’s planning a group omiai to cut down on time and effort).
At the salon, the other staff make Tachibana stop Sakura from going down to her date immediately after work. Sakura huffs and puffs about working overtime, but in the end is unable to refuse or get help from the others. They feel badly for tricking her, but oh well. Tachibana then heads over to the head office to request a transfer. Oy. Well…I guess avoidance is better since he knows Hiroto and Sakura are engaged…but…running away never solves things. Tachibana bows and says that he’s sorry for being selfish and then tells the bossman that it is time for Sakura to be in charge of the store at long last.
He makes his way back to SOBAR where everyone is now awaiting Sakura’s arrival since the decorating is all done. Shima brings the topic back to her omiai, which shocks Tachibana since its his first time doing it. She asks Ken to close SOBAR for the holidays for about 30 people. This floors everyone. Shima is having an omiai with 30 different men all at once! Yeah…that’s a little much. Tachibana then says Shima and Ken are perfect for each other and should date. Total silence falls over the bar. This surprises Tachibana…did he say something wrong? Shima then asks if it’s possible that Tachibana has no idea that Ken is gay—aren’t they childhood friends? Tachibana laughs, but Miki also says the same thing. No way! Ken then chuckles and talks about how slow Tachibana is. Well…for all those who thought that Ken-chan seemed gay, there’s your answer.
Kohei then arrives with Hiroto. Now all the players are present. Ken is trying to arrange everything, but Kohei calls for a moment. He again apologizes to Miki for everything that has happened. He tells her that they’ve been married for 13 years and known each other for 20 and he has never proposed. He then pulls out a ring and asks her to marry him…again. He holds the ring box backwards and then turns it around and asks again. Miki hits him over the head with a balloon and calls him an idiot since they are already married. But she happily agrees. The merriment in the bar skyrockets which makes Tachibana all the more depressed.
Sakura finally finishes up the postcards and gets ready to leave when Choko pops out of the darkness scaring her. She asks the younger woman what is wrong and Choko replies that she came to talk. About what?
We don’t get to know (but I’m sure we call all guess) as we cut to the bar where the people are waiting and wondering why Sakura is so late. Ken asks how much overtime Tachibana gave her and Tachibana says he didn’t think that much. Hiroto is going out to get her when Sakura is spotted. The people “hide” and as soon as Sakura walks down they jump out and happily shout surprise and shoot off party poppers. Of course…Sakura’s expression is NOT good. Sigh. Bad Choko strikes again. It takes awhile, but people soon notice Sakura’s expression. Is she frozen in shock?
Hiroto asks her what is wrong and Sakura asks if it is true that Hiroto was only pretending to like her. This surprises everyone. Sakura then asks if it was true that he only approached her at the goukon because Choko asked him to. Hiroto says nothing. Sakura, with tears in her eyes, asks him to answer her. She’s wearing a gentle smile, too. Hiroto tears up as well, but he remains silent. Sakura’s smile slips and she rushes out. Tachibana immediately lunges at HIroto—didn’t he tell the boy never to reveal it? Hiroto easily dodges and tells the older man that it has nothing to do with him as it is between Hiroto and Sakura alone. Tachibana then yells is connected to him and he rushes after Sakura.
Hmm. Previews, previews. Will Hiroto be able to win Sakura back or will Tachibana’s friendship and gentle love and protection finally get through and make her realize that Tachibana is the right one for her? I’m pretty sure that Choko tells Hiroto that basically if she can’t be happy, then he can’t as well. Or maybe…it’s if she can’t be happy…neither can Sakura…Either way it’s bad.