Hakuba no Ouji-sama Episode 13 Recap
The finale of Prince on a White Horse: The Right Time for Pure Love (the literal translation of the title and its tagline) has aired. If you were expecting an explosive end to this quiet drama, then you’ll be disappointed. That being said…it’s an okay and very realistic end all things considered which is never a bad thing. Kaori…disappointed and annoyed me through this entire series and didn’t disappoint in annoying me to the bitter end. Ichikawa on the other hand…has grown and matured. Good for her. I guess my main complaint was where is Egawa’s happiness? Even Mori and the PE teacher have a hint of romance in their future, so what about the good and staid Egawa-san?
Ahem. Anywho. Our two lovebirds return back home and go to school the next morning only to find out that their getaway was leaked thanks to Ichikawa. Other students overheard her desperate attempts to get in touch with Ozu, thus the fact he ran away for a weekend with Hara and the fact that Ichikawa is his baby sister is known by all. The students tease the two and talk some smack about Hara stealing another woman’s man. What will happen now that this is making the rounds in the school?
After school, Ozu immediately goes to Kaori’s house where an angry father refuses to let him in. Ozu waits outside, though, until Kaori makes her angry appearance. She places all blame on Ozu, forgetting that she, herself, was desperately clinging on to him even though she knew he didn’t love her as he once did. Thus she dresses him down and calls him a horrible person. Ozu says he will do anything to make it up to her as an apology. Kaori’s response? Leave Hara. Ozu’s response? NO! Snort. He shouldn’t have said what he did then, silly man. Anywho, this earns him more scorn and a hard slap and Kaori’s vow that she will never see him again.
I’m not saying that what Ozu did was right. We all know it was very wrong. It’s partially Hara’s fault for pushing him towards Kaori, partially Ozu’s fault for not being able to make his final stand and be swayed by the woman he no longer loves, and partly Kaori’s fault for clinging on so desperately. So…three wrongs most definitely didn’t make a right. Ozu really should have handled the situation before running off on his romantic getaway with Hara. That being said…again…Kaori is also at fault, so it is wrong for Ozu to take her umbrage.
Meanwhile, Hara gets a note from her gynecologist. Things don’t look too good for her and she needs to get a more extensive examination. Great. There is a possibility that Hara may not be able to have any children if she does indeed have endometriosis. The freaked out Hara calls up Arima who meets her with food outside of her apartment. As they eat, Hara asks Arima how many dreams have come true since college. Arima thinks about it. The twenty-something girl dreamed of marrying a wealthy man who had everything and that is definitely not what ended up happening. That being said, she doesn’t regret it at all. Hara then breaks down and talks about aging and not being able to have children and being afraid—will Ozu still want her? Arima tries to calm her down and tell her to talk things over with Ozu.
After all of this, Ozu calls up Hara and tells her that he has officially broken up with Kaori. Can they be together now? He would really like to date Hara for a little while before marrying her. LOL. They do everything backwards don’t they? Hara, still upset over everything just can’t promise to be with him. Way to kick the man when he’s down. But then again, Hara just isn’t ready to face up to things. Let’s hope she has matured enough to face this head on instead of pushing Ozu away yet again without explanation.
So Ozu meets with Imamura and Egawa at their usual haunt and immediately apologizes. Egawa asks to talk to him outside and scorns Ozu’s constant apologies. Egawa is right, an apology really does nothing. Ozu is at fault for not properly taking care of the mess and hurting Kaori and her family and putting Hara in a bad position. What happened to his vow to never make a woman cry? Ozu says he can’t live up to that and will probably make Hara cry. However, his new goal is to make the woman he loves laugh and he will do whatever is in his power to make Hara happy and protect her. Aww. Egawa then asks if Ozu has school the next day. No. Great. Egawa then hauls off and punches Ozu right in the kisser! I was kind of cheering at that just because it was nice to see such a strong reaction from Egawa. Imamura comes out and Egawa apologizes and leaves, but not before pointing at the corner of his mouth and nodding towards the bruised Ozu. Even to the end, Egawa is the consummate older brother.
The next day Hara’s mother comes to visit and begins scolding her about letting a great catch like Egawa go. Hara replies that there is nothing wrong with such a man, it just so happened that she found someone she liked better. And he has a fiancée, right? So are they getting married? It’s complicated. Mrs. Hara starts haranguing her daughter until she catches sight of the gynecologist report. She then starts tearing up and wonders why her daughter can’t talk to Ozu about it. Hara says she doesn’t want to be a burden to him and Mrs. Hara pulls her daughter into a hug. I guess she can be a good mother when she wants to. Hara’s personality is partly because of the pressures Mrs. Hara put on her and how much she told her daughter to repress herself and Mrs. Hara knows this.
Hara meets with Ozu who wonders if she is okay. She points out his bruised mouth. Yeah. Things have been rough on him, too, huh? Ozu vows to quit his job to save Hara’s. She then reveals that she may not be able to have children (it’s not known yet). She also talks about worrying over the “significant” (7 years….is NOT a significant age gap in the grand scheme of things) age gap and how after turning 30 there is so many more health concerns and worries. She doesn’t want to burden him with these and she doesn’t want to make him give up his dream of having a family. Ozu says that he isn’t with her to make that particular dream come true and tells her that he still loves her and wishes to go to her appointment when she gets the results of her full test. This makes Hara very happy.
On her way to meet Egawa, Hara ponders how it has taken her so long to discover things. The reason she wasn’t “chosen” when she was younger wasn’t because she wasn’t desirable, but because she tried so hard to make a man fit her ideal dream. It took meeting Ozu for her to realize that you don’t try to mold a person to fit a dream, but rather, you walk towards a dream hand-in-hand.
She sits down with Egawa and apologizes to him for what happened. She then thanks him as all the times they were together and were able to talk made her wish to free herself of her fetters and become a happier person. She then again apologizes for standing him up and running away. Did she have a happy birthday? Yes, she did. Egawa gets up and says he is already used to such events thanks to his previous girlfriend who passed away. He then takes his leave and that is the last we see of Egawa. Sad day.
At school, Hara and Ozu meet with Sano. Ozu immediately says he is quitting to spare the innocent Hara and thanks Sano for taking care of him all of this time. Hara then breaks in and says that she is quitting instead. Say what? Ozu doesn’t need Hara to protect him. Hara replies she isn’t quitting for that reason. She is only 33. It’s time for her to find a new adventure after being at that school for half of her life. Sano is sad to see her go, but happy that she is finally breaking out of her shell to pursue what she really wants. He wishes her happiness and vows to write her a glowing recommendation.
Graduation comes and so does Hara’s retirement speech. At first the girls don’t pay attention or listen, but Hara’s honest words catch them and they eventually go quiet. Hara says that she is leaving due to personal reasons and apologizes for what happened and the trouble it caused, but she has finally learned after 33 years how to accept herself for who she is and to be happy. She tells the girls not to rush to find themselves as it will come with time. The girls then wish her happiness and make a teasing comment about how Hara’s happiness is dependent on Ozu-sensei, isn’t it? LOL.
As Hara leaves, Ichikawa runs out and says another poem (was it the same as the one she recited when we first met her?). She translates and Hara finishes it. Looks like Ichikawa is apologizing and accepting Hara now. She even teases her sensei good naturedly this time about not being a “maiden” anymore. Hara looks back at the school and recalls when she first got there. That time was a beginning. This time is, too. And after all of this time…Kurosawa…has he not changed? He looks very depressed in knowing that Hara is leaving for good and has found her happiness. At least that’s the feeling I get from his hangdog face.
Hara goes out drinking to her future with Ashima and Mori. The three stumble out of their haunt and there is Ozu with his bike to pick Hara up. The other two women joke about how Ozu doesn’t have a white horse, but a bicycle. We then end with Hara and Ozu sitting out on a rooftop and Ozu pulling out a diamond and putting it on Hara’s finger. That…really is a suitable end for this couple, isn’t it?
As quietly as this drama started, it ended. Hara and Ozu were both frustrating leads, but they were also very realistic in their faults. As frustrated as I got and as annoyed as I was with Hara’s actions and personality at times, she really was a flawed heroine who needed to grow up and find herself and realize life could not be spent waiting for that perfect prince on a white horse to swoop her up. Those faults actually have you liking her more as we all know there are people in real life like her. Now she has finally found herself and her real-life prince who is not the perfect knight in shining armor riding that noble steed, but the real man that she needed all along.