Hakuba no Ouji-sama Episode 3 Recap
Well, this episode took two unexpected twists. It’s been a while since I’ve done a song dedication. So, in honor of Hara and her bad luck with love and loneliness “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing” by Shania Twain. This version is covered by Filipina model/singer Ivy. I have to say while Ivy has a good voice, Shania’s version has more emotion to it.
So, after Kurosawa makes his getaway, Hara runs through a list of reasons as to just why Ozu couldn’t leave her—she’s stupid, pathetic, etc. Ozu says no to all of those reasons, but Hara stops him before he can explain himself, steals another couple’s taxi and makes a run for it. Real mature. She desperately wants to know the answer and yet is afraid to know the meaning behind his “Couldn’t leave you alone” statement.
Hara’s friends tell her that means Ozu definitely must like her. This makes Hara happy to think that just maybe Ozu might like her affair and all. Meanwhile, Ozu is talking to Imamura at the same time about the situation. Imamura accuses him of liking Hara and cheating on Kaori. Ozu explains that nothing happened that night and Imamura puts a new spin on what happened—Hara ran away because she was angry at Ozu’s interruption of her long awaited time with Kurosawa. Oy. He should have kept his yap shut as this does make Ozu think that Hara was angry because of that.
The next morning at school, the principal stops and asks Hara about Ozu. Hara, thinking he was talking about out-of-work relationships replied that nothing is happening as she is 7 years older than Ozu. Sano thinks about this and says that there is a generation gap, that’s too bad. Huh? Sano then says that he was hoping Ozu and Hara would become a great team, but with that age gap…maybe they can’t be. Finally catching on that the principal was talking about work, Hara quickly backtrack and insists that she and Ozu are doing well in that department.
Meanwhile, Ozu tries to talk to Kurosawa about that night, but Kurosawa ignores any attempts at this discussion by at first playing with a non-working coffee machine, and then just heads off to the staff room for their morning meeting. After their morning meeting when Ozu and Hara are on their way to class, Ozu turns and says that he does not want to talk about what happened the previous night and he believes only work matters should be discussed at work. This hurts Hara a bit, but then again, why should Ozu care? But then again…if he didn’t, then why did he stop her?
Later that day, Hara recalls the moment 4 years ago after she and Kurosawa started dating. She was in the biology prep room when students came in looking for his family’s photo. Hara then sees his wife for the first time and can’t help but comparing. If only she was prettier, if only she was this…then he’d leave his family for her. I don’t really like that attitude because you divorce a person, you don’t divorce a family. So…even if Kurosawa left his wife, he’s got two kids. Although, there are lots of men who abandon their wives and children for a new woman. It’s disgusting really. As a father, they should stay an active part of their kids’ lives, not just abandon them like trash. Anywho, she is then called back to reality by the gym teacher who tells her the copier is jammed. How funny. Funny because it really applies to her life right now.
Hara then happens upon a strange scene. She sees Ichikawa and Ozu together. Ozu is holding a pink present given to him by Ichikawa. It is obvious the two have been fighting and as Ichikawa tells Ozu to just forget about her, he yells out that he can’t leave her alone. This cuts Hara to the quick. What the heck? First he said that to her the other night and now he’s saying the same thing to a student of his? Hara talks over his strange behavior with her friends and the other two deduce that he’s a man with a white knight complex trying to find pathetic women to save to make himself feel good. That doesn’t make Hara feel any better about the situation at all. So he thinks she’s pathetic, huh? Well…if you think about it, her character is rather pathetic indeed.
Hara has come to the conclusion to forget Ozu if he really feels that way about her. He wants to keep things simple and work related only? Fine, she will do just that. However her resolve is shaken a bit when it then becomes known in the staff room that Ozu has a picture of his fiancée up in the bio prep room. Hara is unwillingly made to go to see the picture. Luckily, the door is locked so they can’t get in to see.
Hara is on her way out after school when she pauses to watch Ozu working with the girls’ softball team. He does notice Hara as she passes by as well. It’s like they have radar attuned to one another. However, Ozu ignores her and just goes back to coaching the girls. Hara then runs into Kurosawa and she apologizes for what happened the other night—just abandoning him. Kurosawa says that it did hurt him. She also apologizes for holding onto him after they had already decided to go their separate ways a year ago. Kurosawa tells her that is is rather happy as he has always hoped she would come back to him. Hara silently pleads with him not to say such words to her. She stiffens her spine and does keep her resolve by apologizing a second time…I think this apology can be taken into context about almost starting things again, but backing off as she can’t go back to him now.
Feel adrift and overwhelmed, Hara decides to end her feelings for Ozu by taking the keys to the bio room and looking at the picture of Kaori. But when she gets there…she just can’t do it. Enter Ozu. She must be there to see Kurosawa. Hara tells him immediately that he is wrong and since it is after work, they should talk about non-work related things. The two then go up to the roof where Hara begins to explain the beginning of the affair only to be cut off by Ozu who refuses to listen to her story. He’s not in a position to judge anybody, but he does view people who have affairs as his enemy since his father cheated on his mother and the family lived in misery for over a year while the divorce was being finalized.
We then cut to Hara pouring herself a beer and beginning to eat dinner. She seems fine at first, but Ozu’s words cut through her (along with her own loneliness) and she ends up bawling instead of eating. Meanwhile, Ozu has called out Egawa for some advice. While he is still very much in love with Kaori, he can’t help but feel that he cannot let Hara alone even though he knows she has had an affair in the past. To Ozu, he doesn’t think he likes Hara in a romantic way, but is uncertain as to why he cares so much about her relationship with Kurosawa. Egawa himself wonders if there isn’t a part of his young friend that does like Hara in some respect. Egawa then talks about the other coworker he used to date who had been around the block…repeatedly. She would always joke and talk about all the guys she had and they’d run into someone she’d dated almost everywhere they went. There is a limit to understanding and you can’t just put the past behind you.
Okay…that is just tactless. It’s one thing to be open about your past…admitting you have dated quite a few men…it is quite another to boast about the numbers and make jokes about all those guys. WHY would you think that would be a good thing to tell the man you’re dating? It’s hard to find someone saintly enough to put up with that drivel.
The next day at school, Ozu stares at Kurosawa’s back and recalls Hara’s words about how her relationship started with Kurosawa being a mentor and friend and then that developing into something else. I don’t know why but Ozu runs off somewhere. We then cut to the end of Hara’s class where Ichikawa approaches the teacher to see Kaori’s photo on Ozu’s desk. Hara does go with the young girl.
The two get to the biology room and Ichikawa tells Hara to take a good look. Hara calmly asks why Ichikawa is so bent on her looking at Kaori’s picture. Because Hara is a man stealer. That’s a bit much. Hara, unfortunately, had one affair with a man who is married. That doesn’t make her a man stealer as that technically implies repeat offenses. But that’s neither here nor there. Of course Hara is unhappy that Ichikawa found out, especially since nothing really did happen that night. But she can’t deny the fact she did have an affair with Kurosawa. While Ichikawa begins dressing her down and Hara stands there and takes it, Ozu walks in.
He immediately begins scolding Ichikawa and apologizing to Hara on her behalf. We then learn that Ichikawa is really Ozu’s baby sister. After the messy divorce, Ozu lived with his father and Kotomi (Ichikawa’s first name) lived with their mother. They didn’t want the school to be worried about favoritism, so they kept that fact a secret. We then learn that Kaori was worried about Ozu falling for a coworker or student, and that’s why she had Kotomi put up a picture—as a ward against evil…a ward against someone like Hara. Our lonely teacher is saddened that she may have given Kotomi even more distrust of adults and love.
Hara assures Ichikawa that the is no way a young man like Ozu who is very much in love with his fiancée would ever take a second look at her. When Ichikawa continues to hurl insults, Ozu cuts her off. Kotomi accuses him of being just like their father and when Hara takes the subject back to Ichikawa switching out of her class, Kotomi rushes off and Hara pleads with Ozu to make sure to sit down and talk to his sister so things do not get worse. This is also where Hara tells Ozu that she doesn’t want him to continue misunderstanding her. She ended things with Kurosawa a year ago and when he stopped her from going with him, she was really happy about that.
Later that day, a student points out that there is smoke coming from the biology prep room. Hara rushes off and ends up meeting Ozu at the door. Looks like Kurosawa’s broken coffee maker started an electrical fire in the room. As Ozu rushes to the sink to get water, Hara rushes to the fire and starts beating it with a tray. She burns her hand and Ozu immediately rushe over and tries to get her to leave the room. Enter our gym teacher with a fire extinguisher. He then says that the alarm needs to be shut off and Ozu dashes off to do it. Hara then sees the picture of Kaori on the floor. She picks it up and finally looks at the picture of the happy couple. She tears up and blames it on the smoke.
At the end of the day Hara sits alone and drained on the bus bench. Ozu stops by on his way past and asks if her hand is okay. Hara replies she is fine and then tells Ozu NOT to be so nice to her as it makes her misunderstand and makes her feelings for him grow. We then end with someone taking a photo of the two standing quite far apart and talking. I’m sure it’s Ichikawa either acting as a spy for Kaori or just needlessly interfering.
End episode. Looks like Hara is going to meet Egawa. Truthfully, I hope she can ditch both Ozu and Kurosawa and go for Egawa, even if he does have a past and baggage as well.
I find myself more and more curious as Kaori does seem to have a lot of misgivings about Ozu being alone in an all girls school while she’s studying abroad. Besides him being a very nice man…has he ever really given her something to worry about? Or is some of what we are getting as Kaori’s insecurities really all Kotomi’s doing? Ah, so confusing.