Ah! This paper crane did a lot of damage this episode, though we all knew it was inevitable. For, no one ever said that this drama was happy, nor is that the criterion of life in this world, rather, these characters are seeking peace and that comes with more bumps and scrapes, than smiles and hugs. Therefore, relationships are torn apart, perhaps indefinitely by revelation and distrust, as secrets come to light, that send Hiroki and Futaba reeling and even more introspective— though I wasn’t sure that was even possible.
The Uninvited Guests
Futaba wakes up and sees Fumiya staring down at her. He moves behind her and places an oragami fish on his grandmother’s bed tray and walks out on the balcony, staring out at the ocean. He muses that if he’d known she was going to be there, he would have bought the toffee apples he saw at a festival on his way— “I remember you used to like them”. Futaba breaks down and begins to cry– “Welcome back, Onii-chan.”
Kyoko welcomes Takami and retreats to the kitchen to prepare drinks. But Takami actually came to inquire after Futaba, though Hiroki hasn’t seen her. Hiroki pulls out the cookies Shunsuke brought over on his visit and offers her some, while Kyoko bustles back in with the tea. The ladies exchange pleasantries; they haven’t spoken since their last craft meeting in their old village, before the accident. Takami’s phone rings and she steps out to take the call, Kyoko gulps down her drink and scolds Hiroki for setting out food they’d given to them. Just then, Takami peeks back in — Shunsuke wants to stop by as well, they both comply.
Fumiya and Futaba walk out to the shore and Futaba rattles off questions about how he found their grandmother and what his cellphone number is. She wonders if she can’t ask these questions given his silence, to which he asks– “Do you not like toffee apples anymore?” She pauses but it’s true, she doesn’t and he hands her paper fish. He sits down to watch the waves and her interrogation starts up again. She tells him she knows Takami isn’t their mother and figures this explains she and his connection, but he doesn’t answer, instead he stands, places his hand on her head and announces his departure and walks away. Futaba hesitates but runs after him— “Take me with you.”
Goro walks in as Maki and Yuri are cooking. She believes Kenji is out on a delivery but Goro corrects that he took the day off, to which she assumes he must be visiting family but Goro remarks that he doesn’t have one. Upstairs, New Girl, is ransacking Fumiya’s room, chatting on the phone with her loser boyfriend, when she lands on Fumiya’s jackpot.
The ladies chat mindlessly about the soap opera they’re both following, while waiting for Shunsuke to arrive. He walks in just as the show is about to end and Kyoko escapes once again to the kitchen to make tea. Hiroki follows and she changes her mind to make food instead. She picks up a knife to prepare but only stares at the weapon for a moment in her hand. Hiroki takes it from her and offers to do the chopping.
They sit down to eat and Kyoko slurps down her noddles babbling constantly, not giving Shunsuke a word in. After she finishes, she gets up and moves to another table, her back facing him and Shunsuke begins his apology but he’s vague with the details. However, Kyoko doesn’t allow him to continue until he voices that his son is the reason Aki is dead. He insists that they haven’t forgotten for a day what Fumiya did and wouldn’t dream of expecting her forgiveness. But Kyoko interrupts and tells them about how Aki’s turtle caught pneumonia and died— that was when her absence became real for the family. She relays that the river was cold when they released him and it reminded her of the temperature of Aki’s hand. Shunsuke and Tamki bow and apologize profusely, confessing they hadn’t taken proper responsibility, but Kyoko raises her fist and screams, “That’s not the point.” Then she immediately finds her composure and offers watermelon. After she leaves, Hiroki encourages the couple to eat the fruit and leave, “I think this is all she can take today.”
Over the sink, Hiroki wonders why Kyoko didn’t hit him. She admits she should’ve but remembered her husband once noticed years ago trash and mail and other things piled outside the Misaki house and deduced, “Things must be hard for them too.” At the time she it found it laughable but now not so much. Hiroki points out there’s nothing to empathize with them over but Kyoko calls him on his relationship with Futaba, which he immediately denies.
Futaba and Fumiya go the the zoo and eat icecream. He deduces she a had a time over the years unable to keep a job and faced public persecution but Futaba pretends never happened. He informs her he has savings and hands her a pamphlet for a ferry to Innoshima, near where their mother was born and asks Futaba to come along. He says they can go by plane or train and Futaba picks plane, since she’s never flown. He adds they have little time and will leave tomorrow.
Hiroki tries to call Futaba but she doesn’t pick up, making him officially worried, so when the phone rings back, he’s a little disappointed to hear Satsuki on the other line. She relays Akuma Yukie is still alive and Hiroki makes plans to return to Tokyo the next day.
Outside, Goro and Maki sip tea and watch Yuri play, reminiscing about the past. She asks him what she can do to make him happy, most likely as a basic repayment for raising her so well on his own and Goro answers that it’s a simple feat to make a parent happy, “Just live longer than us. And marry someone you love.” Meanwhile, New Girl is up to her daily past time, rummaging and locates Fumiya’s case file. She smiles to herself as she reads.
Kouhei sits silently in the dark when Yuka walks in to get him to fix their son’s broken toy. He’s lost in thought but gets up to attend to the boy anyway. … comments how silly it is for “them” to still harp over an incident nearly fifteen years in the past and Kouhei mumbles she doesn’t know anything about it. [Truer words never spoken Kouhei. My heart is sincerely pained for you.]
In Tokyo, Satsuki and Hiroki set out to track down Yukie and show up at her mother’s door. She feigns ignorance of Yukie’s whereabouts, busy with wedding ceremony preparations but Hiroki threatens to attend the ceremony if she isn’t straight with them. With a new lead, Hiroki is ready to get on to their new location but Satsuki points out they have plenty of time and suggests a meal. This puts him on pause and she clocks his reluctance– “Am I a nuisance?” She blurts that he and she are the same, therefore, she understands him and can bring comfort where, Futaba can only create more unhappiness in his life. She doesn’t give him a chance to speak, only apologizes and decides to meet him at the designated spot.
Later, he sits on a bench with a snack and gives Futaba a ring. She doesn’t answer so he takes another look at the picture of Yukie, Satsuki sent to his phone. He spots a paper fish taped to her notebook.
New girl and her loser boyfriend sit outside a convenience store where he informs her she’ll be the one committing the crime of the day. She’s annoyed but jumps out, slides on her hat and slinks inside anyway, heading straight for the ATM. However, she’s caught immediately and Loser bolts away without her.
On the farm, Fumiya diligently packs then checks his stash, stunned to find his bank book missing. Maki yells through the house that the police are on the line.
Futaba returns Hiroki’s call and he shows up at her karaoke room hide out. He rains her with a myriad of questions about what she’s been doing all this time but she’s short with him, believing he shouldn’t really care, nor does it matter. He informs her, her parents dropped by and admits he was worried as well. He notes she’s different and thinks something must be wrong. She tries to deflect and gets to ordering them drinks, when he notices the unfolded origami, similar to what he spied in the picture of the nurse. Futaba sputters that she saw Fumiya, accidentally. Hiroki becomes frantic and demands to know why she was trying to keep it a secret, then asks if he seemed remorseful at all. The look in his eyes unsettles Futaba and disappoints him with her answer— they didn’t discuss Aki at all. She tells him they went to the zoo and he left, nothing more. Hiroki gulps his drink down and exhales an apology, which confuses Futaba. He states that they were always in different positions and were never obligated to one another. Basically saying he expected something from her that he shouldn’t have. He coughs a resolved “Ok” to himself, Futaba makes the connection, follows suit. Hiroki hardens himself, stands and pulls out a few bills to pay for his drink and walks towards the door, Futaba grabs his jacket and apologizes but Hiroki only turns and thanks her for her time.
Futaba waits on a bridge for Fumiya. He tells her they can no longer go by plane, for he lost some of his funds but he’ll work hard to earn more and walks on. She stays still and he turns back, thinking she’s really disappointed about not flying. She asks him to at least meet Hiroki before they leave– “Fukami wants to see. He wants to ask you about his sister. If anything happens, I’ll be there to protect you.”
Fumiya: Why? Why are you asking that for Fukami?
Futaba: Because we are the same. Fukami and I are the same. Though we have lived on opposite sides, both of us have been living with the same memories. It’s underhanded of me if I’m the only one who gets to see you. It’s sneaky to see you
when Fukami wants to meet you too. So please see him and show him you’ve reflected.
Fumiya: Reflected on my action?
Futaba: Regarding Fukami Aki
Fumiya: Why do I have to reflect? Why are you saying something like, eventhoigh we’re siblings?
With that Fumiya seems hurt and walks away but Futaba runs after him and grabs his shoulders and looks him in the eyes, “But you killed Aki didn’t you?” Fumiya stares back blankly answering that Aki went to heaven, “It’s better if she hasn’t been born.” And walks away again. This time Fitba grabs at him but he breaks free. She follows stammering, insisting that Aki wanted to live, as he clamors down the stairs to his truck. She follows him exasperated and in tears explaining that people have lived the last fifteen years stunted in their grief. How can he say something like ‘she shouldn’t have ever lived?’ She tears at his shirt pleading for answers but he shrugs her off unwilling to hear her, determined to flee. Finally, he pushes her to the ground and drives away, as she screams “Why” and collapses, cursing at the ground behind him.
As Hiroki and Satsuki wait for Yukie to get off work, thinks she should be embarrassed to be seen with him, and he can manage on his own now but Satuski wants to help. She enjoys helping others who are working hard for justice. Hiroki smirks that she’s mistaken. He’s never been the kind to work hard for anything or anyone besides himself. He sponged off his father for years, just wanting to die. He says a lot of things about revenge for Aki but in the end he still enjoys porn and eats, sleeps then craps like normal. “I’m like a slug, that clings to earth and crawls about the ground.”
Satsuki admits she’s never thought him to be any different. Definitely not some hero or anything but he is trying to find Fumiya. If that’s not doing something, then why bother? “Are you trying to get your life back? I don’t find anything embarrassing about that.”
At the farm, Goro drags New Girl in and plops her down at the table. Maki informs Kenji as he walks in that his money is safe. Goro demands New Girl apologize but Fumiya brushes it off. Yuri runs in and sits on Fumiya’s lap, who reluctantly picks her up and cradles her. Maki finds it horrible that New Girl hasn’t reflected on her crime but New Girl sees no point in feeling bad for stealing from a murderer. Goro twists in his seat as New Girl outs Kenji as Fumiya the middle school killer of a seven year old girl. Fumiya turns to her with Yuri in his arms and Maki panics ripping Yuri away and fleeing the room. Fumiya’s face washes with anger as New Girl grins satisfied with herself.
Satsuki spies Yukie closing shop and the two wait in front of the restaurant doors for her to exit. They introduce themselves and ask to chat and Yukie readily points out a cafe across the street but as they turn to look she bolts in the opposite direction. Hiroki tears off after her and yanks her around to face him.
Reactions, Ramblings and Remarks
Surprisingly, Satsuki impressed me with her denouncement of Hiroki’s pity party, which I absolutely love. She tells it like it is and doesn’t give him room to wallow in deprecation. Using appreciate her planting doubt in his mind about Futaba, which pans out because the seed was there. Hiroki, however, did break my heart in his scene Futaba, for he takes all the blame for misinterpreting their relationship. He spends the majority of the episode worried about her and basically making his emotional choice between she and Satsuki and then, when he finally sees her and admits as much, she drops this bomb. This moment is reminiscent of a statement that Kouhei made based on his manga habit, “No one is right, no one is wrong.” For, though your heart shrivels at Hiroki’s disappointment, you can’t actually blame Futaba for her actions, it’s perhaps the lack of initial remorse in her candor, that is more unsettling. I won’t say that she doesn’t feel guilty, for if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have tried to keep it secret, but she didn’t immediately understand Hiroki’s response. However, it did make several things painfully clear, the first being that Futaba has no “real” obligation to Hiroki to help him achieve what he or his family desires. She hadn’t seen her brother in over a decade and making nice with him and trying to connect with him again, was the best thing to do. An interrogation of his past doesn’t scream unconditional love, especially after extended estrangement. Her reaction and actions in the moment, reminds us that she a little sister who has been waiting and missing her brother, the circumstances that separated them were non issues in their reunion. That’s what makes her decision at the bridge moving, for though, for a second or two, she reverted to being a kid, she is no longer stagnant and that has been thanks to Hiroki and their unvoiced reliance on one another. Therefore, she can’t bring herself to runaway without giving back as equal as she’s received.
Ultimately, spending time with Fumiya this episode was the biggest and perhaps scariest reward. For, Fumiya doesn’t think/believe he did anything wrong? I’m not sure if it’s as simple as that but from what we saw, he definitely doesn’t have the same interpretation of what he did that everyone else around him does. I’d love to believe that he’s just putting on a strong, non-chalant face but, no, I’m pretty certain he’s serious. Which makes me quite thankful that Futaba’s conversation with Hiroki sparks her to confront him. There’s no doubt that he committed the crime, nor is it questionable that he has laid low for quite some time but has this encounter changed things? Somewhere between his breakdown with Futaba and his outing at Goro’s was a shift in mood for him and that concerns and moves me. Fumiya isn’t remorseful but he was affected by the words of Futaba and Maki’s instant mistrust of him. To me, it proves that he’s human and wants acceptance and that could be his reason for not committing more crimes, regardless of his mental understanding of crime and responsibility. I personally, don’t like to dish out terms like crazy or insane, for most individuals are very clear on for what purpose they committed a criminal act. Mental state may have bearing on intention but intention does not negate guilt or purpose. This brings me to New Girl, whom I absolutely abhor. She knows nothing about Fumiya beyond his crime and she takes too much pleasure in ruining his reputation with Maki. I don’t care what his past may have been, he didn’t deserve such prejudice, from someone with no basic understanding. [This reminds me of Yuka’s insensitive comment to Kouhei, which made me want to scream.] To me, Saho is the one I find to be much more dangerous regardless, of her illegal dealings, for she’s basically a cruel human being.
The idea that Aki shouldn’t have been born was roaming around in the first few episodes and it’s a concept that I find quite interesting. If a person has a “hard” life, does that mean it’s better if they’d never existed? Now, this doesn’t really apply to Aki cause she was seven and her life was pretty peachy, just this one horrible thing snuffed her out, therefore, in all rational thought, this concept bears no weight in her life, except somewhere in Fumiya’s mind— which admittedly is a place I’d like to visit– briefly.