Hana Yori Dango 2 – 09
Having seen Tsukushi and Tsukasa holding hands, Kaede orders Tsukasa to come see her tomorrow in her office. When Tsukushi later tells Tama that she and Tsukasa had been found out, the old woman asks if Tsukushi regrets it. Although she’s scared, Tsukushi doesn’t regret it. Tsukasa meanwhile tells the F4 about what happened and is excited about having held Tsukushi’s hand, but they warn him about his mother’s anger. Tsukasa, however, is all fired up to fight his mother, and when he goes to see her the next day, he tells her that he’s serious about Tsukushi. He feels that if she’s really serious about the company, she’d stop caring about his love life and go back to New York. Tsukasa then declares that he’ll establish a new Doumyouji zaibatsu with Tsukushi, and he’ll bring happiness to everyone. This pisses off Kaede so much that she crushes her glasses. While this is going on, Tsukushi goes to her favorite spot on the school stairwell and yells some encouraging words directed at Tsukasa. Rui is also on the stairwell, and he tells her not to get depressed when she looks a little down. He feels that he’ll be content as long as she keeps her smile.
When Tsukushi later runs into Tsukasa in the middle of town, he tells her that he’ll treasure his time with her. Seeing that the pedestrian signal has turned green, he gets her to walk forward with him across the street. He takes her out to a restaurant where she has such a good time eating the delicious food that he comments on how there’s no one like her around him. She lectures him about eating nabe at a table where everyone can reach the middle, and the two promise to have nabe together. They are really happy together, but things turn sour when Tsukasa’s credit card gets rejected. Since Tsukasa looks ready to assault the waiter, Tsukushi steps in to pay for the meal with cash. Afterwards, Tsukasa feels ashamed that he had to be treated to the meal by Tsukushi, and she has a good laugh about it. She then tells him that even without money, they can have as much fun as they want, and she decides to teach him about a date that ordinary folks would have. Seeing that the pedestrian signal is green again, she gets him to chase her back across the street using the same phrase he had said to her earlier.
Tsukushi ends up taking Tsukasa to a pet shop and, much to her delight, he looks scared the entire time he’s holding a puppy. She then suggests going to the park and playing badminton, but before they can do so, they run into Nishida who had just been fired by Kaede. Nishida reassures Tsukasa that he won’t do anything rash like Ken, and he still thinks that the company can become like how it used to be. When Tsukasa asks him about what to do, Nishida suggests that he keep his self-confidence. Nishida believes that that although it may be difficult now, the company can grow more and more if they can get through this. That’s why he encourages Tsukasa and feels that he’ll be ok. Remembering all the things that Nishida had done for the two of them, Tsukushi later feels bad because it’s their fault that Nishida got involved in all this. Upon learning about this, the rest of the F4 suggests that this is only the beginning of his mother’s counterattack. Tsukasa also remembers how his credits cards don’t work anymore, which would seem to be Kaede’s fault too. As for Tsukushi, she’s not going back to the Doumyouji mansion tonight and will be instead staying over at Yuki’s place.
It is not until Tsukasa gets home that Kaede drops the bomb on him: the Ookawahara zaibatsu has formally refused to merge with them. Tsukushi learns the next day from Soujirou and Akira that it’s even more serious than that. Tsukasa has actually been disinherited, and for the time being he’s staying at Rui’s house. As Soujirou and Akira warn her that many companies may become bankrupt and the Japanese economy will be greatly affected, Kaede is meanwhile announcing that she’ll be putting the company through a large-scale reduction. Tsukushi soon finds herself hearing more and more about the failed merger, and it starts weighing down on her mind. Over at Rui’s house, Tsukasa is wondering if he’ll be able to protect Tsukushi, so Rui tells him that it’ll be ok if he can prove that from now on. Rui’s butler then brings him the newspaper which has some startling headlines about the collapse of the Doumyouji Group. This causes Tsukasa to dream about Ken’s suicide again, and it wakes him in a cold sweat later that night. At Yuki’s house, Tsukushi is also unable to sleep, and she and Yuki overhear Yuki’s parents talking about how their company will be affected by the Doumyouji Group’s bad fortunes too. Even though Yuki tells her not to worry, Tsukushi can’t help but feel responsible.
The next day, after much thinking, Tsukushi heads to Kaede’s office and asks if backing off will allow things to somehow work out. If it will, then she’s willing to not to have anything to do with the Doumyouji family from now on. For this, she wants Kaede to not disinherit Tsukasa and to save the other companies from bankruptcy. Kaede claims that she is doing her best even if Tsukushi hadn’t said this, but when Tsukushi continues to beg, Kaede comments on how Tsukushi finally understands the grave nature of all this. She then tells Tsukushi to never show herself in front of them again. Back at Rui’s, Tsukasa is declaring that he’s decided not to hesitate anymore. He’s ready to start a new life with Tsukushi and jokes that they’ll probably eat nabe every day. He then heads off to see her, but he’s unable to call her first because Kaede also cut off his cell phone. When he goes to the dango shop, Tsukasa learns from Yuuki that Tsukushi went back to the Doumyouji mansion today. Tsukushi is actually there packing her stuff to move out, and she runs into Tsukasa on her way out in the pouring rain.
Upon seeing her, Tsukasa happily starts talking about how he feels like he can live like a commoner because he couldn’t take a taxi without money and because his hair is getting wet in the rain. To his surprise, Tsukushi suggests that they end things because she can’t go out with him anymore. He thinks she’s joking at first, but it’s not a joke. Tsukasa then says that he’s decided to be together with her no matter what and tries to get her physically to go with him, but she lets go of his hand. Since she insists that she’s not kidding, Tsukasa is in disbelief that she would be saying this after the fun time they had together yesterday. He’s frustrated that she decided everything on her own, but Tsukushi reveals that she promised with Kaede that she won’t have anything to do with the Doumyouji family from now on. And Kaede didn’t threaten her either – it was her own decision. She knows that he’s the world renowned Doumyouji and that him being involved with her gets a lot of people hurt. Tsukushi thinks that Tsukasa knows deep down what he really needs to do. As Tsukasa tries to say something, Tsukushi pushes him away first and tells him to do his best so that many people can be happy.
Turning back around, Tsukasa asks if, taking away his family and mother and everything, she’s ever seen him as just a man. Although she doesn’t directly answer the question, Tsukushi says that if she had really liked him, she wouldn’t be doing this. She then turns and gives him a smile before walking off in the direction from which he came. As she turns the corner, Tsukushi finds Tama waiting for her. The old woman questions what Tsukushi is doing lying to Tsukasa like that, and she calls Tsukushi a fool. Unable to respond, Tsukushi bows to the crying maid and continues walking. Looking out the window from inside the Doumyouji mansion, Kaede can’t help but smile at all this. By the next morning, Tsukushi is on her way out to the fishing village where her parents and brother are living. She finds them drying wakame on the beach because her father can’t go out fishing due to seasickness. When her mother asks why she’s here, Tsukushi claims that she wanted to be together with everyone in her family. They’re all very happy to hear this and gather around her lovingly.
Back in the city, the other members of the F4 are trying to cheer Tsukasa up, but he treats them with disdain. He doesn’t care about what happens with the Doumyouji family now because it has nothing to do with him. Hearing this, Soujirou questions why Tsukasa isn’t chasing after Tsukushi because he should know that she didn’t truly want to back off. He even goes as far as to suggest that Tsukasa is feeling ashamed that he wasn’t able to stop Tsukushi. Soujirou’s fiery rhetoric gets Tsukasa pissed off enough to throw a punch, and the two boys start fighting despite Akira trying to break them up. At the same time this is going on, Tsukushi is sitting alone by the beach bawling as she remembers her happy date with Tsukasa and what he said in the rain. A battered Tsukasa meanwhile finds himself at the same crosswalk that Tsukushi had told him that the pedestrian signal was green. It is currently red, but more importantly, Tsukasa sees a familiar face across the road: Ken. When Ken notices Tsukasa, he starts running away, so Tsukasa gives chase as the pedestrian signal turns green again.
I’m a little surprised that they showed Tsukushi and Tsukasa actually having a good time together. It’s rare to seem them like that since this show has so far been all about keeping them apart. Of course, it became apparent pretty quickly that all that was just setting up another break up for them (because heaven forbid they actually be happy together). And the preview hints that things will take another twist next week when Tsukasa loses his memory.
I might have actually believed that Kaede was looking out for the best interests of her company and doing her best, so maybe she wasn’t completely a bad person. But then they had to show her smirking after that rain scene and it wiped away any credibility she had. The appearance of Ken at the end also makes me question if Kaede had something do with Ken’s supposed demise since she’s the one who keeps reminding Tsukasa of it. That wasn’t mentioned at all in the next episode preview, so I’m curious to see how that aspect of the story develops.
In any case, there’s only two more episodes left, and the official site is saying that the final one will be 15 minutes longer than usual.