This was such a weird episode of Kyou wa Kaisha Yasumimasu, capped off by the last minute of sheer “WTH just happened now back up ten steps” development. This episode laid bare the little quibbles about this story that really came to the forefront, namely how serious Hanae takes everything in her still early going relationship with Yuto. She’s only thirty years old and in this day and age not being married in the foreseeable future isn’t that big a deal, especially if she’s in a serious relationship with a guy who by all accounts is working towards readying himself for career and marriage in a two-part deal.
I like Hanae’s inexperience, at times cartoonishly simple in her characterization of everything as either-or, because I see her growing in each episode. She never takes steps back in both emotional maturity and self-awareness. The problem probably comes from this dorama needing to tell a complete story arc in the ten episodes allotted so issues are made a big deal so early on rather than naturally coming up. Such as Yuto asking Hanae to move in mere weeks after dating and the way their first fight turns into a “let’s take a break” moment. I can handle Hanae and Yuto liking each other even if together they are as exciting as watching jellyfish spawn, but good lord they need to rein in the repeated urge to jump the relationship gun time and again.
Episode 8 recap:
Hanae is worried about So discovering that her boyfriend “Mamoru” is really the company part-time youngster Yuto. She tries to act comforted when Yuto assures her that he will tell everyone at work and smooth things over.
Worrywart Hanae can’t help but go to sleep fretting the next morning and sure enough she has one of her classic nightmare fantasies where everyone at work is hovering over her and Yuto. Even phone calls from clients are all about Hanae “fall in love” with the really really young guy at work LOL. Hanae’s desk ends up being surrounded in a circle by everyone else talking about her.
Hanae wakes up the next morning healthy as a horse despite her ridiculous attempt to call in sick by leaving her windows open last night so she can catch a cold.
Hanae reluctantly arrives at work but tiptoes around everyone worried that conversation is about her. Strangely there is no talk about her dating Yuto and everyone is business as usual. She wonders why gossipy So hasn’t told the entire office yet?
Hanae goes in after So to talk with Boss in the conference room and she’s all braced for the conversation to be about her dating Yuto. Instead all Boss wants to know is her answer to the promotion offer? Hanae isn’t ready to decide on taking up a bigger role at work. Boss reveals that So is very supportive and thinks Hanae will do well in the promotion. Hanae is further relieved to hear that So said nothing else to Boss.
Hanae can’t stand not knowing so tracks So down to chat alone in the storage room to ask if he told anyone? Of course So hasn’t told anyone since they are the same class and he doesn’t want Hanae fired for dating someone at work. So assures her that he won’t tell anyone and asks for her to treat him to beer as payment for keeping quiet. Hanae is surprised that So is looking out for her after so many years working together.
Hanae goes drinking with So and reveals that Mamoru was really her family dog from the very beginning. So asks about Hanae’s answer to the promotion offer and thinks she’s planning to marry Yuto eventually which is why she has decided not to accept it. So wonders what Yuto has planned for his future? Wouldn’t Hanae want Yuto to get a job over continuing his studies? His question definitely gets Hanae thinking.
Yuto goes to his research lab at school and his senpai asks if he’s decided on graduate school yet? Yuto hasn’t and senpai wonders why he’s dawdling since he should know what he wants to do. If he’s not serious then he might end up not getting into graduate school. Yuto thanks her for the advice.
So invites Hanae to play darts with him and she declines because she’s never played before. So wonders if someone who hasn’t married before can’t get married according to her logic. He drags her over to the dartboard and encourages her to try it. If she wants something desperately then she needs to try and have hope she can succeed, much like her trying to hit the bulls eye. Hanae is really surprised at how So is so insightful all of a sudden.
Hanae readies her dart and looks carefully at the board before sending her dart flying. She actually hits close to the center of the board but misses the bulls eye. Hanae is disappointed but So encourages to try again and she’ll hit the bulls eye this time. Hanae sits back down and decides to really think carefully about whether she has a chance to marry Yuto eventually when he still has two years of graduate school ahead.
The office is humming with activity but Hanae has on her mind her future with Yuto. After he’s done with graduate school she’ll be nearly 35 years old, and what if after that he’s still not ready to get married?
Hanae’s fantasy is of Yuto graduating from grad school and immediately packing his bags to travel the world. He’ll be back after 3 years and becoming a more worldly man for Hanae so she needs to wait for him. Hanae waits and welcomes home a bearded wandering Yuto after 6 years when it’s not 2024. After showing Yuto then decides that he wants to become a potter and will go to the mountains to learn the craft which requires 10 years.
Eventually Hanae is old and geriatric and in the hospital when Yuto finally comes back after 30 years. She doesn’t recognize him at first as he apologizes for taking so long to become a man who can talk care of her. He hands her a ceramic mug and asks to marry her in Heaven. I’m dying here!
Hanae snaps out of her fantasy and wipes a tear from her eye when Yuto calls her name and writes an offer to have dinner together tonight. Hanae accepts but can’t stop feeling down about her worries about the future.
Yuto and Hanae dine at Mushi’s restaurant and hears that Yuto’s professor was by recently and spoke highly of Yuto. Hanae is angry at the professor for encouraging Yuto to continue his studies but Mushi helps her out by asking Yuto directly what he wants to do by going to grad school? Turns out Yuto has even more schooling in mind as he plans to go to the US for an MBA after finishing grad school in Japan. Hanae’s face falls but Mushi is encouraged that Yuto has a very specific dream to become an entrepreneur. Yuto’s goal is in fact to start his own company by the time he’s thirty years old.
Hanae forces herself to tease that Yuto is so young yet already so certain of his life goals. She finds that very admirable and impressive. Mushi is impressed that Hanae is so openly complimenting her own boyfriend. Mushi suggests calling the new company one-sided love and when Yuto laughs that off, Mushi thinks it should be called mutually in love.
The coworkers celebrate the next day when yet another coworker is planning to get married. Hanae has lost count of how many coworkers have gotten married since she’s been working at the company. She feels herself drifting farther and farther away from a foreseeable future? Will she be destined to be lonely for the next decade?
Hanae enters her usual udon restaurant and spots Yu sitting at a table having a business meeting. She sits down and immediately starts coughing to get his attention while sneaking glances at him. She can’t believe she actually wants him to notice her when she’s always wished he wouldn’t notice her before.
After paying her bill, Hanae greets Yu who casually acknowledges her before going back to his meeting. When asked if Yu knows her, Yu just says “sorta”. That makes Hanae fuming mad as she leaves the restaurant which she chalks up to her current lonely mood.
Yu is working late at his new restaurant when Hitomi arrives bearing two beers as a treat. She asks if the restaurant is hiring and wants to work there. She is fine quitting her job and helping Yu. He asks if she can be his guarantor then? Right now he has a billion yen debt and Hitomi’s eyes open wide.
Yu directly warns Hitomi off from being with a guy like him because he can’t give her what she wants. Hitomi thanks him for the warning and wishes him well before leaving.
Hanae goes home and finds her parents discussing where to move after Hanae gets married and they don’t need such a big house anymore. Hanae freaks out and yells at them not to move because they will still be living together in the foreseeable future. Mom and Dad both think marriage is coming soon now that Yuto is graduating soon and they already discussed living together.
Dad reminds Hanae of what Yuto said before, that he was serious about Hanae even though he couldn’t consider marriage right away because he was still in school. The parents suddenly bring up their mortality and how they won’t be around for Hanae forever, before taking a sip of their tea in quiet melancholy.
Ichika and her kids are visiting to celebrate Hanae’s dad’s birthday with cake. Turns out little Ayaka knew it was Dad’s birthday by following his email address. Hanae can’t imagine how capable little Ayaka will grow up to be. She’s so precocious she even asks Mom for some tea to go with her slice of cake.
Hanae suddenly asks Ichika if they can live together in the future when they are old. Ichika throws the question over to Ayaka who doesn’t want to since her home will become so dull. Ha!
The girl talk goes outside to the courtyard as they grill mocha and keep Mamoru company. Ichika understands that Hanae is stressed about her future dating a college student who might still not be ready to commit after he graduates. Ichika suggests the smarter decision is to break up and find a more marriage ready man. She also hears that Hanae hasn’t met the parents yet since they live far away in Kyoto. Ichiki’s brilliant idea is for Hanae to ask to meet Yuto’s parents and his answer will reveal whether he’s thinking marriage.
Hanae and Yuto go back to their first date ramen restaurant and Yuto reminisces about his fond memories here because of Hanae. She gets up her courage to ask about how his parents are doing but can’t ask any further. Yuto ends up being the one to ask Hanae to meet his mom who is coming to Tokyo soon for a work trip. Hanae freaks out even further to learn that Yuto’s mom is a food critic and what means for her as a potential mother-in-law.
Hanae asks Mom for advice on what to wear to meet Yuto’s mom but doesn’t get any help so she offers up two selections for Mamoru.
Hanae is already at Mushi’s restaurant waiting for Yuto and his mom and hear a racket outside which is Mushi also being nervous about the arrival of a food critic. Yuto and his mom arrive and she’s a very young elegant lady. Hanae greets Yuto’s mom respectfully but still can’t get over her nervousness.
Mushi serves dinner while Yuto tells Hanae to dig in and not be so nervous around his mom. Hanae thinks to herself that Yuto doesn’t know how hard it is to meet his mom. Which is when Yuto’s mom asks Hanae directly about her age and hears that she’s thirty years old. Yuto’s mom thinks her son is young in personality so needs an older woman to match him. Yuto asks his mom how the food is and she graciously compliments Mushi on his delicious cooking.
Yuto’s mom then asks Yuto directly about whether he really had to continue his studies. Yuto is certain and plans to keep working to pay his tuition. Mom isn’t worried about the money and she is worried that jobs will be even harder to find once he finishes grad school. Hanae suddenly blurts out that she’ll take care of Yuto for his entire life! Ahahaha, Yuto’s double take is epic.
Hanae assures Yuto’s mom that she got offered a promotion and if she takes it then she’ll make more money than now. As long as they don’t live too lavishly, it’s enough to support two people. She wants Yuto to concentrate on his studies and not worry about tuition. Yuto’s mom asks if the two of them are considering marriage already? Yuto quickly interjects that marriage isn’t being discussed as he’s still considering school.
Hanae quickly defuses the mood and laughs off what she said earlier as misunderstanding the situation. She takes a bite of food and thinks to herself that if she doesn’t keep busy then she’ll burst out crying. Dinner ends and Hanae bids farewell to Yuto’s mom who invites her to visit Kyoto when she has the chance.
As Yuto walks Hanae home, he apologizes for not realizing that she’s thinking so much about their future plans. Hanae doesn’t want his apology and feels she was the one who jumped ahead of herself today in her excitement over meeting his mom. Yuto silently takes Hanae’s hand as they continuing walking together. Hanae thinks to herself that she was the one who is really too anxious because he’s just a college student and she should be happy with their relationship as is. Hanae worries that she’s getting too greedy wanting more.
Hitomi sighs loudly at her desk before getting up her courage approach Boss to be let off the project of working on supplying Yu’s new restaurant. Boss easily accepts her request and lets her off the work. The other coworkers notice Yuto isn’t at work and hears that he took the day off to prepare for grad school.
Yuto goes to meet with his professor and senpai who push him to quit his part time job and focus more on his studies. So organizes a work coworkers getogether ostensibly to cheer up Hitomi and urges Hanae to also attend.
Boss personally pays Yu a visit at the restaurant to discuss the project and feels envious that Yu is bravely making his dreams come true. Boss laments never having the courage to quit his company job and set out on his own. Yu declines the compliment since he’s only doing this to survive in their world. Boss is even more impressed that Yu has never felt fear before of the unknown, though Yu has wanted things that are unique in this world.
Boss steers the conversation to ask whether Yu has ever considered getting married? Yu laughs it off by describing himself as the man most unsuited for marriage. Boss thinks otherwise, that is what makes Yu need marriage even more. His words leave Yu in silent contemplation.
The office gang is all drinking together and Hitomi drunkenly thanks everyone for coming out to cheer her up. She assures them that she is totally over Yu and doesn’t want a man in debt. Ryusei offers to get Hitomi another drink and she immediately tells him not to be too happy because she’s not going to give him a chance even if she’s given up on Yu. Hitomi leaves the restaurant and Ryusei runs after her still believing in Hanae’s encouragement with no intention of giving up.
Ryusei finds Hitomi crying by the side of the street and runs over to comfort her. She tries to walk away but he keeps following to make sure she’s safe. Ryusei gets up the courage to tell Hitomi that he’s found a few more reasons why he likes her other than her looks. Hitomi asks to talk about it another night and Ryusei takes his leave. Hitomi thanks him and that makes the little squirt so happy he fairly hop skips his way down the street.
Yu keeps thinking about Boss asking him if he plans to start a family of his own. He flashes back to pretending to be a married couple with Hanae at the sausage factory, and how Hanae described them as a dog-monkey antagonistic relationship. Hanae gets a call from Yuto asking to meet and she takes her leave while So covers for her.
Hanae happily runs off to her boyfriend and feels so lucky that she has someone calling her home. Yuto takes Hanae’s hand on their walk home and puts it in his pocket to keep warm. Hanae feels like the luckiest woman in Japan with such displays of affection even if there is no guarantee they’ll get married. She’s equally blissfully when Yuto holds her in his arms to enjoy the night lights.
Hanae leans in to kiss Yuto with the ferris wheel as the backdrop. After the kiss ends Yuto suddenly asks Hanae to marry him. WHUT? Hanae stares as she processes this out-of-the-blue proposal before smiling and leaning in to Yuto for a hug. She thinks to herself that she’s so happy right now.
Thoughts of Mine:
Oh boy what just happened there? Did Yuto fall off a bridge and suffer a concussion so he woke up as a man in his thirties? Because otherwise I do not get how he went from planning grad school to proposing marriage to Hanae. Even if we learn in the next episode that his proposal was a promise now with a wedding far in the future, it’s still absurdly abrupt, just like his offer to live together was. Did he not learn any lessons the first time around? And what’s Hanae doing just smiling and feeling blissfully happy like she regressed to a clueless Barbie, sure it’s heartwarming to see how far Yuto would go to keep her dreams alive but the correct first reaction should be “hold on there kiddo!” While Hitomi is packing away her Yu fantasies and Ryusei soldiers on in his own way to pursue Hitomi, for once Hanae annoyed me with her abject inexperience. Little Ayaka needs to slap some common sense into her.
I never wanted Hanae and Yuto to go all the way, and definitely not on their current trajectory and timing. They are like two kids playing house and it’s gotten exhausting to watch along knowing whatever random light year relationship suggestion is never going to pan out. This whole narrative really only works if Hanae decides in the end things with Yuto and let him go pursue his education and career dreams before coming back. Sometimes relationships are not meant to be and timing/distance can be one of those deal breakers even if two people are in love. I also don’t like seeing Yuto resort to extreme gestures to show Hanae that he’s serious and committed to her. Her fears and insecurities fit her personality and inexperience and the way he caters to her shows that he’s quite immature himself when it comes to relationships. Not sure why there was so little Yu in this episode but at least he’s off doing something important and meaningful rather than the OTP paddling around in the kiddie pool.