Hakuba no Ouji-sama Episode 4 Recap

Ah, Ichikawa. I want to slap her. I mean…she’s not bad through and through, but the things she does. Just because she comes from a broken home does not mean she can do whatever she wants. During her lecturing of Hara, I just wanted to throttle her. That being said…totally cute moments with Hara and Ozu. I think that these two are really meant to be good friends as they are so alike.

So we open with Hara telling Ozu to stop being so nice to her as it makes her think about him. She does kind of backtrack and then starts lying about how she feels he’s rubbing it in her face that he is happily engaged while being seven years her junior. Ozu apologizes and takes off—you know he’s hurt. Hara looks up from the book she was pretending to read when she told him to leave her alone and wonders when she became such a good liar?

Ozu doesn’t go too far. He goes to a playground a distance away and stares broodingly into the distance recalling Hara’s words. You know he feels bad hurting anyone—intentional or otherwise. He then gets a text from Kaori asking him to call sometime. He again here’s Hara’s words about him rubbing it in her face and he gloomily puts his phone back in his pocket instead of calling Kaori right away.

He later has a video chat with Kaori and she complains about being away for a year. Ozu reminds her that four months have already past so only eight more to go. This does little to lift Kaori’s mood. What if she fails something and has to stay longer? Why? Is she having troubles studying? No. Then there’s nothing to worry about. But Kaori does worry because they will be apart for so long. Ozu keeps recalling Hara and the fact he ignored Kaori because of her and feels bad. Enter Ichikawa who tells Kaori that she doesn’t have to worry as Ichikawa is keeping an eye on Ozu at all times. Comforting. The video chat is ended and Ozu tells his sister to hurry home to their mother. Ichikiawa refuses until she gets a call and rushes out. Turns out that the call was from her tutor and she arranges to meet him…quite late.

At work, Hara doesn’t completely ignore Ozu, but she does her best to avoid meeting his gaze and only treats him as a colleague. She talks about how with the students, their lives are ruled by seasons. After fall comes winter, then spring, and who they were at the start of the school year seems to be someone quite a bit removed. Hara wonders if she, like her students, is maturing, or if she is just aging? Every time she tamps down on any of her romantic feelings, she feels that her heart ages a little.

She goes into the office where Kurosawa is asking a fellow teacher if her birthday is coming up. The other teacher is pleased that he remembers. He says that he can recall talking about birthdays during certain times so he can remember about when they are, but not dates. He then looks over at Hara and says he recalls that she was born during a snowstorm. This surprises Hara, but she does confirm she said that. She then flashes back on a birthday celebration where Kurosawa bought her a beautiful snowflake necklace. The flashback ends and she scolds herself. It’s time to stop. She will not go back there again.

Hara and Arima celebrate Mori’s 35th birthday with her. The girls get depressed when they think of their respective ages and compare that to their mothers. Their mothers were already married with children approaching their teens at their age. This makes them quite depressed. Arima tells them not to think about such gloomy thoughts and the three toast. They then hand over their present  and it is shoulder massagers! That brings back depression which they try to stave off by talking about a spa trip.

Meanwhile, Egawa, Imamura, and Ozu are all sitting and drinking and contemplating their futures. Imamura is in a state of depression as he his married with two kids already. His wife is looking at buying a house and all he can think about is the financial burden placed on men—women have it so much easier. Well, in this day and age two incomes are very much needed and most women after to work out of the house to make a living…so to say all financial burden is on a man is very unrealistic…but I can really only speak for the US and my own personal experiences…but I think it is a trend to have more women contributing to the household and also putting off marriage, etc. for the sake of careers and all that jazz.

Anywho, this makes the other two think. Ozu can’t really picture himself in 10 years time, but he believes he’ll be married with kids probably. Egawa can’t see himself married with a family still (he’s 30 and the eldest of the male trio). Back with the girls Hara thinks to herself that she can see 2 or five years ahead…but the thought of 10 years into the future is absolutely frightening.

As Mori and Hara leave to head home, they spot Ichikiawa with an older boy. Hara notices he’s carrying a folder that reads Jyosei University (a prestigious school I believe). Mori scolds Ichikawa for being out so late as it is only half an hour away from curfew. Ichikawa says her cram school ran late and she is walking home with her brother. Hara says nothing, but knows this must be a lie since Ozu confessed Ichikawa is his baby sister. There is no way that Jyosei boy is her brother.

The next day at school Ichikawa is missing from Hara’s class. When Hara asks about it, the students say Ichikawa went home sick and said she handed in her note to Ozu. One girl does pipe up and say it looks like Ichikawa was just skipping as she appeared fine. After class, Hara goes to the teacher’s room and interrupts Ozu’s lunch to ask him about Ichikawa. No, he had not received a note. Hara then quickly fills him in as a student comes in and says she finally got a hold of Kotomi who appears to be just fine and outside somewhere.

Ozu tries calling his baby sister, but gets no answer. He’s very anxious. Hara tells him to calm down and they will look for her together after school as to try to run her down know will only make Ichikawa rebel more and run more. Ozu reluctantly agrees to this thinking. Meanwhile, Kotomi is waiting outside of her tutor boyfriend’s dorm! Yikes. Shakes head.

After school, Hara goes to help Ozu search as promised. He would love to get the tutor’s information from his mother, but she is a nurse and he can’t contact her during working hours. Thus the two search like crazy at bookstores, karaoke rooms, etc. Two students see them outside the karaoke place and joke about them being on a date. They both firmly deny this and Ozu states they are looking for someone. One girl then notices Hara’s hurt foot and comments on it. This makes Ozu feel terrible as he was so distracted in trying to find Kotomi that he didn’t even notice Hara was hurt. She tells him that is fine and then says she has shoes at the school that she can change into.

The two head back to the school where Hara changes into tennis shoes and makes them both some instant noodles since she knew Ozu didn’t finish his lunch due to his worry over Kotomi. This makes Ozu feel even worse. He’s still young—not much more than a kid. He was so distracted that he didn’t even notice her feet, but she noticed he hadn’t eaten anything. Hara tells him that is fine as she is older so it makes sense if she is calmer than he is. The two then dig into their food and Hara realizes she spent the past two weeks avoiding his gaze. Their eyes then meet and she jumps a bit. This moment is interrupted by Ozu’s mother’s phone call. She is finally off of work and can give Ozu the information he needs.

The two head to the dorm where Ozu calls up the tutor and demands to know if Kotomi is with him. Ozu then charges in and Kotomi comes to meet them. She then shows a video she took of the conversation at the bus stop between Ozu and Hara and calls Hara disgusting, etc. Ozu is mad that his sister is acting like she is. He also says that it is best to date someone your own age and not seven years older (the age gap between Kotomi and her tutor). This makes the snide teenager rub the comment into Hara’s face about how she should stop going after Kurosawa who is 10 years older and Ozu who is 7 years younger and find someone her own age to date. Low.

The tutor then makes his appearance and tells them all to get out as that is the common room and he can get in big trouble if they cause a scene and disturb others. He can’t have his future ruined, you know. Kotomi is shocked. Wasn’t he complaining the other day about not being able to see her? She skipped school for him! The tutor then makes light of the situation. They only exchanged a few texts and went out a couple times—nothing serious. Poor little Kotomi’s heart is shattered. Hara has to keep a lunging Ozu back as they are teachers. It will look bad if they resort to violence.

The two then escort Kotomi home to her mother who bows and apologizes and thanks them. Hara goes to head her own way, but Ozu asks her out to drink as he is mad and can’t bring himself to go home right away. Hara agrees and the two go to Ozu’s usual haunt. The two order the same thing at the exact same time. Cute. Ozu then sincerely apologizes for Kotomi’s awful words and downs half his beer in one shot, surprising Hara. She then finally lets loose about being angry herself and downs half her mug. The two then continue in this vein and they really do have similar tastes and reactions. Hara internally comments that while they may not be discussing beautiful things, just the act of conversing with him like this is pleasant.

The reference above comes from her wishing to have more romantic and beautiful conversations with her spouse than the inane things her mom and dad talk about—like the location of nail clippers. This had Hara wondering if that was just an old maid’s dream.

Later, Ozu is really quite drunk and Hara says they should split a taxi so he gets home all right. She then notices his bag is gone. She leaves him sitting out on the street and runs back to get it. Egawa enters at that time and the waiter quickly goes to clear up the usual table. Hara then rushes over to the table to grab Ozu’s bag. On her way out, the bag’s handle gets caught on Egawa’s arm. The two have a moment where they stare at one another before Hara apologizes profusely and rushes out.

She safely manages to get Ozu to his apartment. She remains in the taxi as he unsteadily walks up the stairs. He gets to just outside his apartment and pulls out his keys to only collapse onto the ground and talk about how it was fun. Hara then comes up and picks up the keys and gets him to his feet. Aww, she couldn’t leave the poor drunk man alone. She gets him inside the apartment where he falls down on to the bed with her. Hara tires to extract herself, but Ozu clutches her closely and then…what do you think happens? He eviscerates her heart by calling out his fiancée’s name. Ouch.

Previews for this week’s episode shows Hara is angry at Ozu for that night and she is intent on moving on with her life by going to an omiai while her ex-lover proposes to throw his family away and start over with her. I don’t like that he uses the term throwing his family away. Jacky.

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