Hana Yori Dango 2 – 10
After having seen Ken on the street, Tsukasa chases his old friend until he corners Ken underneath a highway. Turning to face Tsukasa, Ken gets down on his hands and knees to apologize. When Tsukasa demands to know what this is all about, Ken admits that everything was a planned out scenario. He reveals that the layoffs that occurred a year ago because of Tsukasa’s comments were indeed true, as was Ken getting fired. However, Kaede had gotten the idea for Ken to play the part of someone who was ruined because of the layoffs, and so Ken had faked his suicide in front of Tsukasa. Tsukasa now laughs at how he fell for his mother’s strategy and had been troubled this past year. He informs the other members of the F4 the next day that he won’t forgive his mother. Not wanting to trouble them, he tells Soujirou, Akira, and Rui that they don’t need to worry. When Rui then asks if Tsukasa is going to go see Tsukushi, Tsukasa answers that since he’s been disinherited anyway, he can now walk through life with her. He then goes to leave, but stops and apologizes to Soujirou first for last night because Soujirou had been right. In response, Soujirou offers his credits cards to Tsukasa. After Akira also pitches in some cash and Rui gives him a cell phone, the four rekindle their friendship.
During all this, Tsukushi has learned that her parents can’t pay the rent, and so she manages to get work aboard a fishing boat. She’s happily heading home when she passes by a cliff with a suicide prevention sign nearby. Tsukushi sees a man ignoring the warning and heading towards the cliff, so she follows him and gets him to stop before he can jump. When the man insists that this has nothing to do with her, Tsukushi gets angry because she’d feel bad if she saw him jump. Her anger eventually shifts to her ranting about her own situation right now, and the man laughs at how she claims her family is Japan’s poorest. By telling the story of how she loves her own father who never speaks illy of other people and always has feelings of thanks, Tsukushi is able to inspire the man to start over with his company. When she finally returns home, she finds the villagers having a party after hearing that Tsukasa was coming. Having arrived in Rui’s helicopter, Tsukasa suddenly appears in front of Tsukushi, and says that he came to see her. When the villagers demand to know if he’s going out with Tsukushi, Tsukasa says that he wants to if she lets him. He then reveals that his connections to his family are severed, and because Ken’s suicide was a plan devised by his mother, he feels no lingering attachment to the company. Although he is nothing right now, he’s says that he’s still together with Tsukushi, and he extends his hand to her again. Before she can take it though, the villagers rush towards Tsukasa, and when Susumu tries to help, he gets pushed out of the way. Seeing Susumu tottering at the edge, Tsukasa goes to save him and the two fall down several feet to the rocky beach below. Susumu ends up being fine, but Tsukasa has been knocked out.
Tsukasa ends up in the local hospital, but his mother refuses to visit because he had been seeing Tsukushi when the accident happened. Tama protests because Tsukushi has been wholeheartedly taking care of Tsukasa, but Kaede thinks that her son has been through hell ever since he met Tsukushi. While Tsukasa is still unconscious, Tsukushi continues to work at her fishing boat job to make money for her family. Rui finally comes to notify her that Tsukasa woke up, but when he sees that Tsukushi remains worried about all the people suffering because of the Doumyouji Group’s problems, he suggests that she should think only about Tsukasa since he came here for her. Tsukasa initially seems like he’s back to normal, but it’s immediately clear that something is wrong when he starts treating Tsukushi poorly and assumes that she’s Rui’s girlfriend. As the group soon finds out from the doctor, Tsukasa is suffering from a partial loss of memory. The doctor suggests that he forgot only about Tsukushi because she had been the one he was thinking so much about. Tsukushi gets really pissed off because of this and rushes to Tsukasa’s room again, but she accidentally bumps into a new girl along the way. This girl recognizes Tsukushi’s skirt, and the two start talking until Rui interrupts them to bring Tsukushi her bag. However, he ignores the new girl and turns around to leave just as quickly as he came. The girl wants to talk with Tsukushi again, and she introduces herself as Nakajima Umi.
Returning to Tsukasa’s room, Tsukushi tries to tell him that he is supposed to love her, but he responds by throwing a pillow at her. Rui suggests that Tsukasa will eventually remember if Tsukushi shows her undiscouraged face everyday to him, but she’s not so sure. Instead, she embarks on a set of strategies aimed at jogging his memory, starting with a red F4 notice in his dresser and the famous punch to his face. This, however, only gets him angry and he still doesn’t remember her at all. When Tsukushi goes to get a drink, she sees a large group of patients gathered around Umi and realizes how popular the girl is. Umi admits that she talks with everyone she meets and becomes friends with all of them, and she deals with the difficult people by talking lightheartedly with them without thinking too much about it. As if on cue, Tsukasa comes stumbling down the hallway, and Umi immediately goes up to him and introduces herself. He ignores her and when he falls as he tries to continue on his way, Umi is the one who helps him and suggests that he use crutches. Not liking to be lectured, Tsukasa tells her to shut up, but Umi stands her ground and insists that it’s dangerous for him. She doesn’t care if he’s a celebrity like the rumors say because all the patients in the hospital are equal. Before Tsukasa can respond to her, the rest of the F4 arrives, so Tsukasa continues stumbling his way down the hall. Soujirou and Akira take a liking to Umi, but Rui announces after Umi is gone that he hates her.
That night, Tsukushi is unable to sleep because Tsukasa’s words before his accident keep floating through her head. Yuki then calls her to apologize for not being there and because she is quite concerned about what Soujirou’s doing. The conversation then turns to Tsukasa, and Tsukushi admits that she freezes up in front of him now. She knows that she needs to smile, but when Tsukushi goes to the hospital the next day, she finds Umi happily chatting with Tsukasa. Umi has started referring to Tsukasa as “Tsukasa-kun,” but he doesn’t take kindly to that, and it causes Umi to mention that he got into a bad mood when Tsukushi arrived. After Tsukasa insists that Tsukushi has nothing to do with him, Umi suggests they all go up to the rooftop. Tsukasa resists, but Umi drags him upstairs anyway. Along the way, Umi says to Tsukasa that she doesn’t think he can’t live without her. On the rooftop, Tsukushi tries to get Tsukasa to look at the view, but he ignores her. When Umi comments on how he won’t get any better if he keeps such a serious expression, Tsukasa admits that there’s something he can’t remember. He recalls coming here, but he doesn’t know why – only that it was something important. Trying to help his memory along, Tsukushi asks if it was to come see someone, and since Tsukasa still doesn’t know who, she’s ready to tell him right there.
Unfortunately, Umi interrupts to say that it doesn’t matter who it is. She thinks that Tsukasa could have to see someone or that might not be it, but he doesn’t need to forcibly try to remember. Umi feels that he has a lot of friends and will meet a lot of people in the future, so he can fill all the memories that he forgot, as if he’s resetting his life. The thing he doesn’t remember might not be that big a deal, and trying desperately to remember it may make him mistake it for something important. After hearing all this, Tsukushi finally speaks up to tell Tsukasa not to give up trying to remember. However, Umi tells her to stop saying that because it puts the most pressure on a patient. This makes Tsukushi feel like she’s the worst and it causes her to run off the rooftop. Back downstairs, she encounters the other members of the F4 and tells them about how Tsukasa is on the roof with Umi. At that moment, Tsukasa is questioning if Tsukushi is Umi’s friend and saying that he doesn’t want her near him. To that, Umi only replies that she understands. Rui and the others then come up to the roof looking for Tsukasa, and Rui asks if he remembers. When Umi tries to say that Tsukasa doesn’t need to forcibly remember, Rui suggests that the outsider keep her mouth shut because he was talking with Tsukasa. She then attempts to apologizes, but Rui wonders if she’ll disappear because she’s an eyesore to him. Soujirou and Akira try to smooth things over, however this causes Rui to angrily tell them to think about Tsukushi’s feelings. He tries to get them to understand the feelings Tsukushi has when she comes everyday and how she’s been hurt.
As a result of all this, Umi goes to apologize to Tsukushi. When she wonders if it’s Tsukushi that Tsukasa doesn’t remember, Tsukushi confirms that it’s her and that they’re dating. Umi volunteers to help Tsukushi get Tsukasa’s memory back since Tsukasa is now opening his heart to her. This doesn’t make Tsukushi feel any better, though she does get the idea from Susumu to make the cookies for him again. After a night of hard work, she leaves them by Tsukasa’s pillow and tries to get him to remember her by hanging the Saturn necklace above his sleeping face. She tells Rui over the phone later that day that she thinks Tsukasa will remember. When Tsukasa does wake up, he tells Umi that he was dreaming about talking and laughing with someone, but he couldn’t see that person’s face. Umi uses this as another reason why Tsukasa shouldn’t forcibly try to remember, and she then leaves his hospital room to change the flowers. While she’s gone, Tsukasa discovers the cookies by his bedside and takes a bite of one of them. He tells Umi when she returns that this cookie tastes like love. Tsukasa then comes to a realization and wonders if Umi is the one he forgot. He thinks now that he and Umi went out with each other and that she made the cookies. Not denying any of it, Umi instead smiles and leans down to kiss him. While all this had been going on, Tsukushi had accidentally dropped her Saturn necklace by the docks, but she picks it up again and wipes it off, happy to still have it.
I have to say, this was probably the single most frustrating episode this entire season so far. Yes, Tsukasa forgets only Tsukushi, but to compound the problem, Umi (played by Toda Erika) gets introduced as another obstacle. I was practically screaming when Flavor of Life had started and Utada Hikaru was singing the line 「突然思い出す頃」 (when you suddenly remember) right as Tsukasa bit down on the cookie, but then Umi had to go and not deny any of Tsukasa’s mistaken realizations. And she then she kissed him. It was such a bang-my-head-against-the-wall moment. At the same time though, I guess that means they did their job in creating something that was entertaining and engaging.
I think it goes without saying that I hate Umi’s character, much like Rui does. She’s nowhere as likable as Shigeru was, probably because she says that she’ll help Tsukushi and then stabs her in the back. Plus she said all those things about Tsukasa’s not needing to forcibly get back his memory that just made me hate her more with every word. I gained a lot of respect for Rui when he tells her to shut up and disappear. In fact, Rui again seems perfect for Tsukushi since it’s so clear that he still cares a lot about her.
In any case, next week’s finale better provide some closure for the TsukushiXTsukasa relationship or else I’m going to be very pissed off. The preview said that it’s going to be 15 minutes longer than usual, and I can’t wait to see it.