Honey and Clover II – 11
After Hagu wakes up and finds a sleeping Shinobu beside her, she suddenly gasps and lets out a small cry that wakes him. He quickly asks Hagu what is wrong, and she tells him that her hand is swollen, so she must return to the hospital. Starting to make her way out of the room, she calls out for Shuuji as Shinobu grabs her arm. With Hagu insisting that she needs to go back to the hospital or else her hand is going to get worse, Shinobu gives in and takes her back. Upon arrival, Hagu and Shinobu find Shuuji waiting by the entrance. Hagu runs to him and he escorts her back to her room, leaving a disheartened Shinobu. While Hagu sleeps, Shuuji steps out to the corridor and punches Shinobu in the face, knocking him down.
A little while later, a light tap from her window wakes Hagu up. She turns to see that it is Shinobu, who asks how her hand is. Hagu tells him that it is fine and apologizes for scaring him earlier. She then asks what happened to his cheek. Shinobu reveals that Shuuji punched him and that he returned the punches to Shuuji thrice as much. He assures her that it is all right because, after all, they are in the hospital. As he approaches her bedside, Hagu tells him that she is sorry, but she does not answer when Shinobu asks her why she apologized. He then realizes the meaning of her silence – she has already decided. While holding each his hand, Hagu asks Shinobu to watch her and promises that she will get better. She shares that it is all right if she doesn’t get better to leave her mark. All she wants is to draw. She will always be watching him and she will never forget the words he said to her the night before. She also urges him to say all the things he had told her to his brother.
Afterwards, outside the hospital, Takemoto greets Shinobu by saying that Shuuji will kill him when he finds him, but Shinobu reveals that he and Shuuji had already exchanged blows. He adds that he should have punched Shuuji more than just four times as much. Takemoto then asks Shinobu to get on the bike he is riding. He takes Shinobu to Shuuji’s office where they find it all cleared out. When Shinobu asks if Hagu is aware of what Shuuji had done, Takemoto answers that she does not and that Shuuji had asked him not to tell her because he wanted her to decide on her own. Shinobu swears under his breath as he realizes that Shuuji has finally made his move – to sacrifice everything for Hagu. There was no way he could beat that. As Takemoto looks around, he sadly thinks about how they can no longer go back to the happy times they had spent there together.
The moon was already out when Shuuji decides to return to Hagu’s room. Hagu lets him hold her hand while she asks him to please give his life to her. She apologizes for requesting that of him when she does not know if she can give anything in return. She just wants to draw for the rest of her life – that is why she is asking him to stay by her side till the end. In stunned silence, Shuuji buries his face into Hagu’s bed. Hagu quickly says she is sorry and wonders if it was too much to ask. Shuuji lets out a laugh and tells Hagu that he will give everything to her even if she does not give him anything in return. In Hagu’s thoughts, she says that she loves the rain. The sound of it soothes her and it feels as though the rain is healing her and everything around her. To her, Shuuji is like the rain; the sight of him is so comforting that she is moved to tears. He always comes to look for her when she is lost and gently reaches out to her. Being with Shuuji makes her at ease and causes her to feel that she can become more than what she is now. Shuuji is very precious to her – he is her rain.
The next day, Shinobu wakes up shivering as he realizes that he had slept on the floor. He then hugs Takemoto to warm himself up. Both are disoriented after drinking beer all night, and they wonder whether it is 5 o’ clock in the morning or in the afternoon. After hearing both their stomachs grumbling, Shinobu invites Takemoto to get some food with him and volunteers to pay for it. The two eventually find themselves sitting by the riverbank enjoying a meal together. Shinobu admires how the river is so bright and shiny as though it has a layer of oil on the surface. Takemoto concludes that the brilliance of the river and how only the convenience store was open mean that it could only be morning right now. After Takemoto sneezes, Shinobu scolds him. Takemoto apologizes, saying that catching a cold cannot be helped since they slept on the cold floor without using a futon or anything else.
He is about to eat the grilled pepper garlic sausage he is holding when Shinobu suddenly strangles him and demands him to give the sausage back. After a few moments of struggling, Takemoto surrenders it to Shinobu and comments that he agrees with Hagu for not picking a guy like Shinobu. Shinobu demands an explanation and wonders if Takemoto is not bitter about Hagu’s decision. Takemoto answers that he is bitter, but after some thought, he realized that only Shuuji can make Hagu happy. Out of anger, Shinobu eats the last of Takemoto’s food, an act which results in a fistfight between the two. Shinobu throws a flurry of kicks at Takemoto while yelling that he is the last person he wants to hear that from and that Hagu rejected him ages ago. Busy blocking Shinobu’s attacks, Takemoto answers that he has accepted Hagu rejecting him, but he is satisfied knowing that he did not lose her to Shinobu.
Annoyed by Takemoto’s words, Shinobu calls him unskilled and a pauper. Takemoto retaliates by saying that he’d rather lose to compassion and honor than to money and talent. He succeeds in landing a solid punch square on Shinobu’s face and knocking him down. Lying down on the grass silently, Shinobu thinks about how talent can cause someone to love, hate, or curse you. He had lost people he loved because of his talent and saw Hagu as a safe haven for him. This realization makes him feel like he’s the worst. Shinobu gets up and bitterly admits that he knew from the beginning that Shuuji was the one who could make Hagu the happiest. Two dogs then bite his and Takemoto’s legs and stop them from exchanging another round of punches. They turn around to see that a group of old men have been watching them. Nostalgic and misty-eyed, the old men give them approving nods and thumbs up. Takemoto and Shinobu freezes and start making excuses that they were just getting some practice. The old men reminisce about their younger days as they watch Takemoto and Shinobu walk away.
Back at the hospital, Shuuji is busy tending to his aching back and shoulders because he slept sitting on a chair when he suddenly hears a soft thud coming from outside the room. He goes out and discovers that somebody had left a box filled with money with a note saying that he should help Hagu get better no matter what. Shuuji soon realizes that it was from Shinobu, who is already walking away from the hospital. When Shuuji calls him from the room window, Shinobu turns around and gets hit with the box of money. This leaves him confused and he starts to tell Shuuji that it is for Hagu. Shuuji cuts him off, shows him a fistful of money, and tells him that this much is enough. Shuuji promises to return the money, but not Hagu, so Shinobu warns him that it is not over yet. Shuuji knows that very well and promises that Hagu will definitely get better, so he can rest easy. In the end, Shinobu asks Shuuji if he loves Hagu or not. Slightly embarrassed, Shuuji declares that he does, he loves her very much. After hearing this, a number of people, including Yamada, start to blush and are in a momentary state of hysteria. Shinobu slowly continues on his way, satisfied at what he heard.
I think you guys already know that I am a big HaguxShinobu fan. I came and watched this episode with the expectation that it would be Hagu and Shinobu. I was really annoyed and disappointed that Hagu chose Shuuji. Even though it was clear, from the last episode, that Hagu and Shinobu have feelings for each other. Also, I think Shinobu understands Hagu the most in terms of her struggles as an artist.
I was bitter about the decision, but after thinking it over, I agree with her. Shinobu and Takemoto are still immature and at this stage, are not fit to support Hagu at this critical time in her life. I think that Hagu chose Shuuji because he is the safest choice. Shuuji is the best person to support her through her recovery. Shuuji is dependable and has always been there for her. He really, really loves her, but I do hope not romantically!!! Isn’t Shuuji Hagu’s relative? I have always thought of Shuuji as a father figure for Hagu, thinking of it any other way is too disturbing for me.
Anyway, I feel that Hagu was being selfish in choosing Shuuji.
What? Selfish?! There’s no way our precious Hagu could be that way?
Hey, I love Hagu too, but isn’t it selfish to ask someone to give and devote their life to you even though you may not be able to give anything in return?
Moving on, I am happy to say that a lot of good came with the bad. There were a lot of light moments in between the drama. My favorite has got to be the scene by the riverbank. The fighting scene was awesome. I wouldn’t mind seeing a whole episode dedicated to a fistfight between Shinobu and Takemoto. Another highlight would be the scene when Shuuji laughed, while telling Shinobu that he’s not going to return Hagu, which was pure evil. Also, the reactions of the people, after Shuuji finally admitted that he loves Hagu, were really funny. Did anybody else notice that Shinobu told Hagu that he returned Shuuji’s punches thrice as much, but told Takemoto that he returned it four times as much? Was he trying to soften the shock for Hagu?
It is sad, but the series is finally coming to an end. It was a wild ride. I’m getting depressed just thinking about not being able to see the H & C gang anymore. **sigh**
Notes from Omni: This week’s entry was once again done by guest writer Seleria. Insert song this week is Suga Shikao’s 「ふたりのかげ」 (Futari no Kage).