Hakuba no Ouji-sama Episode 11 Recap
Progress? Kind of. More like since we’re starting the wrap-up of the series things are kicking into high gear. Our pensive, morose female lead is faced with a decision I’m sure she never thought she’d have to make in her lifetime. I don’t hate Hara and as a leading lady, I think her character can be a bit more realistic then some…but she is so passive in life and relationships…does she have the right to whine about being unhappy and unchosen?
After seeing Kaori and Ozu wedding dress shopping, Hara comes to a decision. She sits down with Egawa and talks about how long its been since she’s tried seeing men and how she’s scared. Thus she’d like to start seeing him (as friends only) on a regular basis. Egawa easily consents to this proposition. Hara then meets with Ozu who apologizes for standing her up on Christmas. She assures him that she did not wait for him. She then tells him about the decision she made—not to wait. Ozu beats himself up for taking too long to make up his mind or make a move, but he really can’t accept Hara making this decision on her own. Hara explains that it was his sincerity that drew her to him and his vow about never making a girl cry. At first she thought she could handle him making Kaori cry, but that would mean he’s changing who he is for her and Hara can’t have that. She also says she did not make this decision alone—she saw him shopping for wedding dresses.
Thus…Hara is dating yet not dating Egawa and Ozu is seriously planning on going ahead with his wedding to Kaori. Honestly, I don’t know why Kaori would want a man who you can tell really doesn’t love her in that way any more. What does she gain from holding on to him and pushing through with this absurd wedding? It is one thing if Ozu was just shaken temporarily and is still in love with Kaori. Sure, he loves his fiancée, but you can tell it is more of a friendship kind and he’s really suffering through the whole wedding plans. It’s one thing for a man not to be 100% vested or interested in wedding plans and details. Not all men care about that stuff even if they do love their woman and are happily getting married. However, whenever you see Ozu who looks haggard and depressed and you can tell he’s forcing himself to go along with the happy wedding planning.
Hara’s birthday is quickly approaching. In fact, it’s the same day as Ozu’s big dinner with his family (actually only his father) and his fiancée’s family. Kotomi is upset that only her father gets to go and not her mother and herself and storms out. Mrs. Ichikawa asks about Ozu and his feelings for Hara. Ozu replies saying he was only temporarily shaken and then talks about seeing Hara laugh for the first time being the point where he really started liking her. But he doesn’t want to make any girl cry. Mrs. Ichikawa realizes this is a throwback from the divorce since his father made her cry often. While that may have been so at the end, she tells her son that his father often made her laugh. I really do like her quote here. To paraphrase: Living a life without tears is all well and good but means nothing without laughter.
While Ozu agonizes what to write in his letter to Kaori (she’s demanding her write a letter about his feelings for her so they can take it out during marriage after a bad argument to remind each other of their feelings), Hara complains of being tired and how she’d just like to get away for her birthday—maybe a spa trip to the south? In fact, while Kaori looks over honeymoon ideas, Ozu looks at trips for lovers with Hara in mind. These two are the worst people when it comes to doing anything for themselves. Hara never acts on her feelings or fights for what she wants while Ozu is basically the same way. He’s just floating along with the current right now. This is why these two are perfect for one another.
Egawa and Hara are getting closer. Hara is happy to be able to date in the open without as much worry as she would have had with a fellow teacher like Ozu. Egawa even takes her to her parents’ house and is invited in by her mother who is ecstatic to see her daughter with a man. Hara’s mother even asks to throw her a birthday party just so she can invite Egawa and get to know him even more. Hara’s silent father sits with a big smile on his face the entire time. He’s also happy that Hara seems to be seeing someone. Of course, he did tell his one friend that his biggest fear is his beloved daughter would end up alone with no one to depend on.
When Ozu is out drinking with hid usual buddies, he complains about Kaori’s request and how he just can’t get his feelings out in that letter. Tomonori tells him to half-ass it, but Ozu and Egawa both know that won’t work since women are really particular about such things. Egawa does ask Ozu if things are really okay and progressing well with Kaori. This surprises Ozu who does answer that they are. Does Ozu notice the look of happy relief on Egawa’s face? The oldest of our male trio is not dumb. He knew there was something between Hara and Ozu and he wishes it to be completely over so that he can move in on Hara. Our girl trio just complains about marriage, their age, and how they should be thoroughly checked up to make sure everything is in proper working order for marriage and children.
Kotomi is doing homework at her brother’s when she sees the stationary. She reads it and it is about Ozu falling in love due to seeing a smile for the first time. She recalls what she overheard her brother tell their mother and is worried that the letter is for Hara. Ozu says that it is for Kaori, not Hara. Kotomi then lets it drop that Kaori called Hara out and talked about Hara waiting for Ozu and the older woman’s age. Now things start clicking into place for Ozu. Why Hara was so insistent about her age and not waiting for him since she doesn’t have the luxury of time to do so.
Alone, he takes out the Christmas present he bought Hara. It’s a new cover for her journaly date planner thingy. He goes to throw it out, but stops himself. We then cut to him calling Hara out. He hands her a ticket and says it is dated for her birthday. He knows that he has caused her pain and tears—probably more so than he even realizes, and he can’t accept their relationship ending like that. Rather than not making his girl cry, he’d rather concentrate on making her smile, making her happy. Thus he wants to go on this trip to a far away place where no one knows them. Where they don’t have to worry about being coworkers or their age difference. Hara reminds him of his important dinner, but Ozu doesn’t care. He will be waiting at the airport for her. How much do you want to bet he won’t be telling Kaori’s family or his own of this plan and just plans on running away. He should face up to the truth and tell everyone instead of doing this—even if he plans on being with Hara.
Of course, this would not be a drama without a love triangle. Well…we’ve had triangles and now it’s a square. Egawa confesses that due to what happened with Mai he wanted to take things slowly and not get involved with a woman when he always must go abroad. However, his company is sending him away and he’ll be gone for three years and he really wishes to make things official with Hara before then. No, not marriage. He wants to officially start dating and get her parents’ blessing at her birthday party.
Hmm…should Hara choose the getaway with the younger man whom she loves but who still hasn’t extracted himself from his fiancée or should she choose the calm and steady Egawa whom she likes as a friend? Decisions, decisions. I do like the previews for the next episode simply because Hara has finally come to a realization that there is no white knight who will ride to her rescue. Her future and her happiness is up to her to decide upon. Wow. It only took her how long to realize that she is not alone because she was not chosen, but because she never took the initiative to gain love and happiness.
I am curious about what Hara’s real dream was. The moments with Principal Sano are kind of weird in this drama. I get what they are for…but that doesn’t make them any less odd. This time he found a card from Hara’s class where the students wrote down their future dreams/plans. Hara’s was simply to become a teacher, which she has realized. Sano is happy about such a straightforward and honest goal, but does ask what her real dream was. Hara says that it is a secret. Growing up she never dared to dream. She always thought about which was the right decision to make her parents happy (never herself). While being a teacher was just a goal she thought she could achieve, it is a profession which makes her happy, so that safe bet was good enough.