This was a relatively uneventful episode of Kyou wa Kaisha Yasumimasu that can best be chalked up as “the case of the unexpected pink scrunchie”. Part of the allure of this dorama is how ordinary it is to follow square little Hanae as she evolves into a more dynamic version of herself rather than being stuck in the same routine lifestyle. Seeing her date young Yuto is fun but sadly just a smidge dull. That sounds like an oxymoron description so the best way to splice the baby is the fun is in Hanae’s overwrought reactions to the most simple of dating interactions, but the dull is that her relationship with Yuto has zero sizzle to it.
The conundrum arises with Hanae’s interactions with Yu always chock full of sizzle, he elicits so much more spark of life from her both in sussing out her deepest worries as well as critical breakthroughs. Yu being Hanae’s inadvertent (or intentional) romance coach doesn’t necessary mean she ought to date him, frankly he scares the living bejesus out of her because he’s so imposing and assertive. Episode 3 throws a tiny little wrench in Hanae’s romance with Yuto which is resolved as quickly as it flared up, but does have a point in actually teaching Hanae some experience lessons on the very act of dating which involves both conflict and communication.
Episode 3 recap:
Hanae and Yuto start their dating relationship at, where else, the ramen restaurant where they dined together for the first time. This time Hanae isn’t wearing glasses to fog up from the noodle steam and is thoroughly enjoying herself. As is Yuto, he is now comfortably calling her by her first name Hanae which is a huge deal in Japanese culture since she’s older than him and a senpai at work. He checks with her first before ordering another beer for them and another plate of snack and Hanae is immensely pleased by having someone so solicitous of her.
Yuto asks if Hanae wants to go see a movie with him which makes her even happier since she doesn’t have a lot of interests but movies happen to be one of them. She always watches alone but see couples watching together and did wish to have someone to talk about the movie with afterwards.
Hanae wakes up to her alarm clock the next morning and her happiness has carried over so that she’s even smiling in her sleep. So cute. Her life patterns are gradually changing because of Yuto and even her regular bus stop crew notice it when she arrives later than usual so isn’t in her normal spot in line. Then they all stare in unison after catching her smiling like a moon calf.
Hanae and Yuto remain professional at work though Yuto slips and addresses her casually as Hanae-san rather than Aoshi-san. Perceptive So notices but his deductive reasoning needs more work because he assumes Hanae is telling Yuto to call her by her first name because she’s planning to marry boyfriend Mamoru soon and take his last name. Hanae breaths a sigh of relief that her Mamoru lie is now smoothing over anyone suspecting she’s actually dating young Yuto.
Hanae thanks her dog Mamoru, who we see is currently undergoing training by Hanae’s mom in sitting on command which doesn’t seem to be going that well yet.
So’s mention of Hanae taking her husband’s last name makes her type out Tanokura Hanae on her PO form instead of Aoshi Hanae to give it a whirl were she to marry Yuto. Holy girl slow down there. She quickly deletes it while hiding a small content smile.
Hanae runs into Yu by the elevators and her papers fly everywhere when he greets her by noticing that she’s stopped wearing glassses. She desperately tries to be polite and quickly excuse herself except Yu knows all the buttons to push with her. He asks if she’s officially dating the young guy now? He now believes that a woman can change for a man but advises Hanae that not all such change is positive, especially when its an older woman-younger man romance. He reminds her not to become a woman who makes a man feel pressured, i.e. like she’s a burden because of her needy ways.
That one sentence starts to eat away at Hanae for the rest of the day because it’s the very thing she’s spent her entire life NOT being. She shows up at work early to clean and leaves late after tidying up, all to make the lives of people around her easier. Making someone feel pressured around her is the farthest thing she wants to do.
She wonders what kind of woman adds pressure to a situation, in a literal sense we see a plump lady try to get into a packed elevator and has to get off because it’s over the weight limit. On the bus ride home, Hanae sees a high school girl try to wheedle her uninterested boyfriend to listen to whatever she’s listening.
Hanae’s fantasy runs amuck back to the Edo era where she’s a traditional maiden and Yuto a young samurai. She delivers a love bento to him that makes him feel pressured, then adds to the pressure when he comes home and she’s ready to offer him dinner, a bath, or more….. When he goes to take a bath, she peeks in through the window slats to offer a back scrub, which is when he breaks up with her because she’s too overbearing.
Hanae wakes up from this nightmare fantasy and finds herself sitting on the sofa with her dad, who notices but says nothing. Hanae gets a text from Yuto asking if she wants to come to his place for nabe (hot pot) after their movie date? Hanae frets about whether it’s moving too fast since going over means the opportunity for more intimacy.
Hanae goes out to confer with Mamoru as she wonders if she needs to stop overthinking things and be more proactive in her life. She asks Mamoru to shake paws, fully expecting he hasn’t mastered it yet since he doesn’t even know how to sit on command, but to her surprise Mamoru dutifully shakes. Hanae is so impressed with Mamoru’s progress and makes up her mind to go ahead with Yuto’s hot pot invite.
Hanae watches Yuto packing food samples at work and uses her visual estimation to gauge that he can’t fit it all in one box. She’s about to grab a bigger box for him but stops herself since doing so would be making herself too overbearing. To Hanae’s surprise, Yuto doesn’t need a bigger box as he manages to fit everything into the box he selected.
Yuto drops off the boxes of samples to Yu’s company and Yu saunters over to chat with the young’un. Yu cuts to the chase and asks Yuto if he’s the reason that Hanae isn’t wearing glasses anymore? Yuto says he didn’t ask her to do it and doesn’t answer when Yu suggests he has an Oedipal complex for liking a woman so much older than him.
As Yuto walks away, Yu warns him not to go any further with Hanae if he’s just playing around with her. Yu wonders if Yuto knows what it means to date a woman like Hanae? Yuto walks back and tells Yu that he knows, an answer that isn’t what Yu wanted to hear. Yu doesn’t think Yuto has the ability to be responsible for Hanae’s future but Yuto retorts that Yu’s warning isn’t very persuasive seeing as Yu himself is still single. Yu acknowledges that retort and jokes for Yuto to introduce him to nice girls if he knows any.
Hitomi and Hanae grab lunch together and Hitomi is surprised to hear that Hanae’s friend who has never dated recently started dating. Yuto returns from the sample delivery and walks right past Hanae and Hitomo. In the lunch room, So joins in the chat as talk turns to how much Hitomi likes Yu. Hitomi admits she doesn’t like him that much yet since she barely knows him. But that’s not important as feelings can develop after marriage.
Hitomi sees marriage as her career goal since she’s not talented enough to make something of herself in the work place. She’s set her eyes on Yu as her dream man which makes So lament how tragic she makes marriage sound. Hitomi’s view on marriage makes Hanae realize she’s such an elementary school student when it comes to romance if even one look from Yuto makes her happy for the entire day.
Ryusei and So are planning an evening meeting with Yu’s team to sign the collaboration contract and Hitomi wants to join. Another coworker points out that Hitomi is angling for bigger fish than a contract but Hitomi sasses back that she’ll do her job well no matter what.
Their coworker Samejima who acts like a woman when drunk walks by and is impressed that Hitomi can collect overtime pay and pursue a man at the same time. Ryusei interjects to ask if Samejima is jealous because he wants to pursue a guy as well? Ahahaha, his retort makes the entire office freak out as everyone tries to act like they didn’t hear it and Samejima awkwardly laughs it off. Hanae files it away that Ryusei purposely addressed the pink elephant in the office that everyone has avoided this whole time.
The meeting with Yu’s team goes well and the contract is signed. So takes the initiative to invite Yu out for drinks and he gladly accepts. Hitomi and Ryusei both ask to join and Yu makes reservations at his friend’s restaurant so they can make it a food tasting as well.
Hanae is having hot pot with her parents and wondering about having to eat the same thing tomorrow night with Yuto. Mom wants to go shopping for winter boots tomorrow with Hanae but she declines and then reveals that she’s spending the night at a friend’s house. Mom asks if it’s Ichika and Hanae says its another friend but Mom doesn’t remember Hanae having any friends other than Ichika.
Hanae’s dad starts chattering about random topics like how Mamoru is so strong now and drags him along on walks. Hanae eats her hot pot and thinks to herself that her dad’s personality is to avoid discussing something he doesn’t want to face. He suspects she has a boyfriend but doesn’t want to dig in for the truth. She’s like that as well and now she realizes she got that aspect of her avoidance personality from her dad.
Yu, Hitomi, So, and Ryusei are at dinner when Ryusei directly asks what Yu thinks love is? Yu thinks love is all the same because it aims for one result – the woman wants to marry a man who will take care of her. That’s why he doesn’t want to waste his time on love when the conclusion is foregone. Hitomi wonders if Yu hasn’t met the right types of women and Yu agrees that could be it. Lately he did meet a very unique woman that captures his interest.
So teases that Ryusei is unique as well since he’s dated a lot of women but is still a virgin. Yu suggests that Ryusei having no experience in the sack might scare women away. Ryusei doesn’t think so but Hitomi pipes up that it’s pretty bad. Yu returns the question to Ryusei about his thoughts of love but Ryusei is in a pique and starts sulking at the table. Yu points out that Ryusei really is strange, he’d be fired already if he worked at Yu’s company.
Ryusei goes to the bathroom to sulk in the bathroom and tear toilet paper into strips. So goes to get Ryusei to come out and realizes that Ryusei likes Hitomi which is why he’s upset thinking Hitomi will never like him. Ryusei admits that he’s only lasted so long at the company because of Hitomi.
Hitomi tries to find out more about the girl Yu likes and hears that she’s always changing every time Yu encounters her. Hitomi asks why Yu isn’t pursuing her and he explains that some things depend on timing. Hitomi points out that he could miss his chance if he waits for the right time. Yu agrees which is why his timing depends on Hitomi because the girl is the one who recently took off her glasses and works with Hitomi.
Hanae is all ready for her date tomorrow with Yuto, double checking all the items in her purse while doing a face mask and exfoliating. She gets a confirmation text from Yuto and happily replies before thinking that tomorrow night at this same time she’ll be at Yuto’s house. She tells herself to go for it!
Hanae meets Yuto at their usual rendezvous spot at the antique store before heading to the movies. Who knew super square Hanae actually loves zombie movies, and her reason is even more adorable in that she likes how the zombies keep going and never stop no matter how many times they are knocked down. Yuto asks Hanae what movie she wants to see and she demurs to his selection, secretly hoping he would pick the zombie movie and further confirm their similar tastes.
Yuto picks the romantic comedy and Hanae happily agrees with the choice, never telling Yuto that she watched the movie already a month ago alone when it first came out.
After the movie the couple go grocery shopping for hot pot supplies and Hanae once again defers to Yuto on what to make tonight. Yuto suggests kimchee hot pot since it’s a popular new dish lately and he wants to try it with Hanae. She agrees even while thinking that she just had kimchee hot pot last night at home. And if she knew they were having kimchee hot pot she would have brought the extra bag of kimchee her mom offered her.
Hanae nervously arrives at Yuto’s apartment and makes awkward chatter about how neat it is while wandering around aimlessly since Yuto wants her to rest while he makes dinner.
The couple enjoy the kimchee hot pot before Yuto smoothly makes his move and pulls Hanae to lay down for a stretch and a sweet kiss.
Hanae’s cloud nine euphoria is shattered abruptly when Yuto gets up to grab more ramen for them to eat and she notices a girl’s pink hair scrunchie under his bed. Hanae wonders if another woman has been in his apartment other than her? Yuto returns with the ramen but Hanae is so racked with insecurity and doubt she makes an excuse to go home and fairly runs out of his apartment.
As Hanae walks home, she realizes that she’s behaving like an overbearing woman, the type that can’t overlook another woman being in her boyfriend’s apartment before. She tosses the scrunchie away but goes back and fishes it out of the bushes.
Hanae’s parents are enjoying a take out sushi dinner at home and are surprised to see her come home. Mom offers Hanae her favorite uni nigiri and dad adorably grabs the box to show her but Hanae declines and goes directly to her mom. Her parents know something is up since she said no to uni.
Hanae texts Yuto apologizing for leaving his apartment so abruptly especially since he graciously invited her over.
Hanae’s put the scrunchie around Mamoru’s tail and thinks to herself that it doesn’t look good on him. She then washes the scrunchie because it belongs to someone else and she shouldn’t have taken it like a thief. Hanae gets a call from Ichiki checking in to ask if her new relationship is going well.
Hanae meets Ichiki at the playground and shows her the scrunchie. Ichika doesn’t think it’s a big deal, if she found it then she wouldn’t have taken it home and would have asked immediately what’s going on. Hanae was too scared to ask because what if Yuto said he was dating another girl at the same time. If she heard that then she might have been too distraught to even make it home alive.
Ichika laughs her head off at Hanae because there was no way a guy would honestly fess up if he was cheating on her. Finding a scrunchie is small beans, not like Ichika who opened her closet door and found the cheating woman inside and almost died of a heart attack. If Hanae wants to keep dating Yuto then she has to get accustomed to shock like this before more will come.
Hanae thinks that it doesn’t matter what she wants, Yuto probably already gave up on her since he didn’t return her text. Ichika suggests that a college student is still in the have fun phase so it can’t be helped. Hanae should chalk this up to experience and find a more age-similar guy next time.
Hanae gets ready to mail the scrunchie back to Yuto and say goodbye to this brief romance that was too complicated for her to handle. She puts the scrunchie in the envelope and then picks up her glasses to go back to the way things used to be.
Hanae is wearing glasses at work again which So notices and thinks she had a fight with Mamoru. Yuto arrives at work but Hanae pays him no heed. As Hanae sets up the conference room for a meeting, Boss privately asks her advice as a woman on how she wants to receive an apology. Turns out his wife is angry at him and left home to go live with her parents. The problem is that he doesn’t know why she’s angry at him in the first place.
Hanae wonders why he’s not upset at her for leaving without any explanation. Boss isn’t angry because she must have a good reason for doing something so drastic so he won’t second guess her and will only figure out how to placate her.
Hitomi finds Hanae up on the roof to ask a favor for her to go out with her to night. Hanae declines because she wants to go to the movies but Hitomi really needs Hanae’s help to make progress with Yu. Hitomi reveals that Yu won’t go on a date with her unless she brings Hanae along. Hitomi knows that she’s pathetic but she’s decided to pursue this goal no matter what tactics she needs to do. Hitomi bows low to ask Hanae for this favor.
Hanae and Hitomi rendezvous with Yu in the lobby before heading to the bowling alley together. As Hanae selects her bowling ball, Yu is impressed that Hitomi kept her promise and managed to bring Hanae. Hitomi is someone who keeps promises as is Yu, he hates promises that aren’t kept. Hitomi boldly asks Yu to make a bet today, if she wins at bowling then Yu will date her. Yu immediately agrees which shocks Hitomi.
Turns out Yu has a reason for gladly accepting the bet, he’s an ace bowler and racks up the strikes. Hanae is no slouch either as she polishes off the pins during her turns. Poor Hitomi sucks badly and runs off to find another ball to try and turn around her performance.
When Yu is alone with Hanae, he asks why she’s wearing glasses again and if that means she broke up with Yuto? Hanae doesn’t give him an answer so Yu suggests that she forget about Yuto and start dating him. Hanae freaks out and thinks he’s toying with her but Yu is dead serious. He wants her to think about it before answering him.
Hanae immediately bows low and turns him down before grabbing her shoes to book it from the bowling alley. Yu doesn’t want to accept her rejection and asks that she take her time to think it through. Hanae doesn’t need time as her conclusion is the same no matter what. Yu asks “do you still like him?” He once again helps a light bulb go on for Hanae and she runs off.
Hanae tells Hitomi that she’s leaving to catch a late night movie and Hitomi stops Hanae to thank her again with a deep sincere bow for coming with her tonight.
Hitomi goes back to bowling terribly while Yu sits silently broodly. Me thinks someone took the rejection to heart.
Hanae walks past a boyfriend catching a claw machine stuffed animal for his girlfriend and that brings back all her memories with Yuto. She realizes that she can’t go back to her old self because she still misses him.
Hanae calls Yuto out to meet and breaks the awkward silence by handing him the envelope containing the scrunchie and explaining that she found it under his bed that night. She’s really sorry for taking it and wants to know if Yuto is dating someone else? If he is then please tell her directly because she’s mentally prepared for it.
Yuto looks at the scrunchie and is confused as to what that is. Hanae explains that it’s a woman’s hair accessory which makes Yuto finally understand what sent Hanae fleeing that night from his apartment. He is impressed that Hanae would act like she did something wrong in finding the scrunchie and running away with it, when most woman would have understandably gotten upset right then and there. Yuto bows low in apology for his oversight, it’s all his fault since he invited Hanae over but didn’t properly clean up his place.
Yuto walks up to Hanae and asks for her hand before putting something in her palm. Yuto tells Hanae that he has nothing to hide from her nor did he do anything wrong so she’s welcome to come to his place anytime. Hanae looks down and sees that Yuto has given her a key to his apartment. Yuto pulls Hanae in for a tight hug and asks “did you think we broke up just like that?”
Hanae and Yuto are having a happy dinner at Yuto’s senpai’s restaurant and this time she’s all smiles. Yuto orders a few dishes before asking what Hanae wants to eat. She defers to chef’s suggestions and the two chow down on the delicious dishes. Hanae places Yuto’s apartment key in her keychain holder and the two of them exchange smiles. Hanae thinks to herself that a relationship that doesn’t break up after fighting, she thought that only happened in a family.
Hanae goes home and declines mom’s offer of ice cream while getting herself a drink of water. Mom looks down and notices a new key sticking out of Hanae’s keychain holder.
Thoughts of Mine:
The dorama remains focused squarely on Hanae’s emotional and life growth and I really appreciate that. Yuto and Yu are supporting male leads to her central figure so we don’t necessarily need to hear their thought processes and spend more time with them. A lesser dorama would milk having the two hotties around with shower scenes and brooding overload, instead the story remains firmly fixed on Hanae’s own limited set of worries. She’s not exactly that relatable for me because her inexperience is so extreme, even women who haven’t dated before shouldn’t be as jumpy as she is with every little interaction with Yuto. But a female lead needn’t be relatable to be likable and Hanae remains ever so adorable. My fondness for her doesn’t come from just finding her bumbling ways cute, I also like her introspective quality that doesn’t border on intractable. She’s open to change and has the courage the try new things, she just needs to take baby steps and some prodding from friends with insight and experience to share.
Yu really stepped up in this episode with his strange pursuit of Hanae, but his approach remains wholly wrong for getting closer to her. I like that whatever he says is always incisive on point, whether it’s to Hanae or to Yuto, but he’s offering too much unsolicited advice on someone else’s relationship. Clearly he has ulterior motives in wanting to date Hanae himself, but at this point he’s basically lost out because Yuto got to Hanae first. I also think Yu’s forceful approach would never work on someone like Hanae, much like Hitomi and ladies like her don’t stand of chance of landing Yu. I might find Yuto and Hanae’s relationship so ordinary as to be bland, but that is exactly what makes it work for them. I think the dorama needs to show us more why Yuto likes Hanae but other than that the relationship is pretty positive for both of them. While I’m not rooting for Yu to roll over Hanae and Yu to win the girl himself, I do appreciate every second he’s onscreen because boy is he a sight for happy eyes.