Hana Yori Dango 2 – 04
After Tsukasa abandoned dinner to run to the hospital where Tsukushi was taken, his mother is forced to apologize to Shigeru’s parents. Pissed off that the dinner was a disaster, Kaede tries to call her son, but by now he’s already at the hospital and turns off his phone. However, all the energy of his run is taken away from him as soon as he sees Rui already arriving at Tsukushi’s room. In fact, Tsukasa peeks in the door and sees that her parents can’t thank Rui enough. Rui even offers to look after Tsukushi for the night because her parents look so tired, so they decide to leave her with him. Tsukasa meanwhile leaves without them knowing he was ever there and heads back home. His mother catches him on the way in and, having figured out that he left because of Tsukushi, she once again talks about his rash actions causing an innocent person to be sacrificed. Reminded of the past, Tsukasa claims that he’s given up on Tsukushi and ends the conversation. Nevertheless, all the pent-up emotions cause him to return to his own room and yell with frustration.
The next morning, Tsukushi wakes up and finds Rui at her bedside after having held her hand all night long. He informs her about her collapse during her job, but also tells her that she doesn’t need to worry because she can leave the hospital in a day or two if she rests. When Tsukushi panics because she remembers that today is the day of her entrance exams, Rui calms her back down by saying that he’ll go talk with the school. After he explains that he helps her out when she’s in a pinch because he likes her, Rui surprises Tsukushi by kissing her. Because of this, she tries to hide herself under the bed sheets and claims that friends shouldn’t do such things. Rui, however, says that he wanted to do it, so it couldn’t be helped. Tsukushi’s parents visit her later and ask her if there’s a possibility of love with Rui, but she denies it. Around the same time, Shigeru is waking up Tsukasa with a round of tickling and asks him if he went to see another woman with the way he ran out last night. He calls her a perverted woman for the tickling, but she keeps doing it until he throws her away from himself. Since he’s once again referring to her as a monkey, she makes it clear to him that she’s Shigeru – his lover and fiancée.
Having lunch at Eitoku later that day, Rui tells Akira and Soujirou about watching over Tsukushi all night. Akira and Soujirou wonder if Tsukasa knows, but Rui feels that Tsukasa and Tsukushi have nothing to do with each other anymore. It is at this moment that Tsukasa arrives, claiming that he wanted to eat with everyone. He acts strange around them and asks Rui what he was doing last night, but when Rui starts to explain about the hospital, Akira interrupts him so that he doesn’t tell Tsukasa. Rui eventually asks back if a date for the wedding was decided since Tsukasa met with Shigeru’s parents last night. He even suggests that that’s why Tsukasa is so nervous. Tsukasa tries to reply, but then gets a phone call from Shigeru and gets dragged out for a date with her. Back at the hospital, Tsukushi discussing the kiss from Rui with Yuuki. Tsukushi still doesn’t think that Rui can like her, especially since there’s still Shizuka. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Akira, Soujirou, and Rui, but the first two soon realize that they have something to do and leave, taking Yuuki with them so that they can leave Rui and Tsukushi alone.
Soujirou is quite surprised when he learns from Yuuki about the kiss between Rui and Tsukushi. He explains to Yuuki that it’s not so easy for Tsukushi to be with Rui because Tsukasa still has feelings for her. Yuuki points out that Tsukasa is going to be married to Shigeru and feels that it’s selfish for Tsukasa to be like that. When Soujirou claims that it can’t be helped because this is what’s really going on, Yuuki gets emotional because of all Tsukushi’s gone through this past year. Staying silent for a moment, Soujirou finally replies that love isn’t so logical – it can be unfair and cause pain for simply liking someone. Tsukushi is meanwhile packing to leave the hospital when the hospital administrator comes asking about the hospital expenses. Rui ends up paying them for her and kisses her on the forehead before telling her to be careful going home. She arrives home safely, but is surprised to find the main room completely empty except for a small table. Only her younger brother is there to explain that her father lost his job, so their parents have gone off to become fishermen in a fishing village. Tsukushi ends up calling Yuuki and explaining that she needs to find another place to live now, and by chance Yuuki’s tea ceremony instructor Hinata Sara overhears the phone conversation.
Across town, Shigeru has spent the entire day with an unresponsive Tsukasa. They got a hotel room together on Shigeru’s suggestion, but when she goes to take a shower, Tsukasa is overcome with memories of Tsukushi. In actuality, Shigeru had suspected something wasn’t right and isn’t really taking a shower, so she hears the door slam as Tsukasa leaves. Tsukasa takes a taxi to the apartment complex where the Makino family lives, but before he gets out, he sees a headline about a Nikkei average plunge on the news ticker inside of the taxi. This reminds him of one year ago when the Doumyouji stock prices also dropped because of something he said. His mother had told him that a lot of people would lose their jobs because of him, and there was that man who jumped off the building. In the end, Tsukasa never gets out of the taxi and instead orders it to leave the apartment complex. Inside, Tsukushi gets a call back from Yuuki with news that she found a free apartment thanks to Hinata. It seems that Hinata’s father works in real estate and has a run-down apartment Tsukushi can live in.
At her new apartment, Tsukushi is moving in and cleaning up when Shigeru comes by to help. She tells Tsukushi of what happened at the hotel, and then asks if Tsukasa fell in love with Tsukushi a long time ago. After Tsukushi nearly chokes on her tea, Shigeru changes the subject to how nostalgia-evoking this small room is. She realizes that the reason for this is because she used to have a pigeon coop that was just like this place. Tsukasa meanwhile learns of what happened to Tsukushi’s father from Soujirou and goes to confront his mother about it. She claims that she didn’t do anything, and then wonders if he’s infatuated with Tsukushi again. Tsukasa denies it, but Kaede later asks Nishida to keep an eye on him. Around the same time, Rui is having dinner with Shizuka, who he picked up earlier from the airport. He tells her all about Tsukasa’s marriage situation, which he calls the choice of a grownup. Shizuka feels that there’s no such thing in this world and instead suggests that you can only choose a compromise or else selfishly carry out your own free will. When Rui asks her what she thinks of his choice, she tells him (in French) that he made a wonderful selection.
As night falls, Tsukushi and her little brother notice that someone is standing outside their door trying to peer into the room. They charge this person with a bat and a large fly swatter, but it turns out to be just Tsukasa. It seems that he found out there was an open room next door and has decided to live alone so that he can refine himself as a man. But since this is Tsukasa, instead of renting, he simply bought the place and is the new owner. He thinks it’s all a big coincidence that Tsukushi also moved here. Rui and Shizuka meanwhile have finished eating and he’s telling her during the ride home about Tsukushi’s ambitions to become a lawyer. Shizuka comments on how Rui’s grown up, which makes him think that she always saw him as a kid before. When he wonders if the him right now would have been ok for her back then, Shizuka replies that he’s a precious person to her both now and back then. Rui drops her off at home and is about to leave, but Shizuka stops him first and tells him to make Tsukushi happy and not to make her cry. He nods his head and turns to go, but stops again and thanks Shizuka for everything up until now.
Upon learning that Tsukushi’s little brother has exams tomorrow, Tsukasa offers up his own room and effectively kicks her brother out. This leaves him and Tsukushi alone in the room together, but she tells him not to say anything strange to her. Out of the blue, he asks her about the taste of figs and explains that when you split a fig in half, it turns into the shape of a heart. The sweetness of figs is like the taste of love – that’s something he learned from a Pakistani in New York. However, the taste of love for him is the taste of the cookie that she made. Tsukasa is about to say something else, but Tsukushi’s phone then starts ringing. The person calling is Rui, and Tsukasa tries to keep her from answering it. In the ensuing struggle, Tsukasa lands on top of Tsukushi, and the phone gets accidentally answered anyway, allowing Rui to hear everything that’s going on. By chance, Shigeru also comes barging into the room at this very moment and sees the two in this position. A surprised Shigeru simply says that she’s not a monkey and then runs out in tears. Tsukushi tries to chase after her, but Tsukasa stops her and tells her not to go.
I burst out laughing at the very end when all the players in the Shigeru/Tsukasa/Tsukushi/Rui relationship web came together. It was just the perfect dramatic way to do it and I couldn’t help myself. Rui already knew that Tsukasa still had feelings for Tsukushi, but this had to have come as a huge shock for Shigeru since she considered Tsukushi her best friend. I can’t help but feel sorry for her since she’s been such a lovable character. Still, I doubt she’ll give up on Tsukasa so easily.
It seems to me that Shizuka’s appearance this episode was almost entirely for the purpose of letting Rui go so that he could pursue Tsukushi without those feelings getting in the way. Of course, he had already started going after Tsukushi with the kiss this episode even before Shizuka came back. The preview for next week shows Rui and Tsukasa getting into a fight, so it looks like things are going to heat up even more. And for better or worse, they appear to be developing a love story for Tsukushi’s little brother Susumu too, and it looks like Tsukasa is going to be his mentor. I think he’d probably be better off going to someone else for advice.