In the first three episodes, we saw Itou and Yuki meet and fall in love with each other as if they were fated to be together. After the initial years of trying to be in sync with each other and their own desires and expectations, the two have settled into domestic life routines by the age of 25. Episode 3 started the same but ended with Itou breaking up with Yuki and marrying Honoka instead.
We are just little dots that were forced into this world like this, helpless and lonely. That is why someday we search for another dot to connect with, Someone that we can form a line with and live on…
–Edited by TheFNGee
At age 32, Yuki is still single, drinking in a bar alone. A stranger approaches him, but Yuki is reminded of Itou. The stranger tries to kiss Yuki, but Yuki suddenly runs away. Itou is also in a bar alone, after lying to Honoka over the phone about having to work late. He’s thinking of Yuki and convinces himself it was okay to break up. However, he doesn’t go home but instead stops by a familiar children’s playground. Looking at the see-saw brings back old memories of meeting and playing with Yuki on the very same see-saw and being so happy years earlier.
A message from Honoka reminds him he has to go home. Surprised, he realizes he’s spent the whole night on the bench. The sunrise makes him recall the day at the beach, with a vision of Yuki in front of him holding up his favorite lighter that he’d lost. For the first time, he admits to himself that he was frightened by how much he loved Yuki and how it wasn’t a “normal” thing, and so he put a stop to loving him anymore. At this point, he breaks down, probably the first time he has ever been totally true to himself.
At home, he confesses to Honoka about loving Yuki and is wanting to separate. At 33, the divorce is finalized, and we see Honoka still angry [rightfully so] with Itou for what he did to others because of his own fears.
Itou decides to inform his parents about the divorce and makes a trip to his parents’ home. However, when he arrives, he finds his mother already upset about his sister and plans to have an international marriage. Itou’s mother refuses to accept the marriage and reminds her that she is not of the age anymore where she can follow her youthful enthusiasm and not regret later when she fails. While his mother is rambling on about possible regrets and praising Itou for having a “normal” life – job, marriage, etc., Itou recalls that in previous situations, he has parroted the same lines about “normal” over and over to himself and Yuki and as the reason for breaking up.
This realization causes him to lose his patience finally, and he has an outburst, primarily directed at his controlling mother. He tells her that in order to live by her inflexible definition of “normal,” and not to be a failure in the eyes of society (especially the neighbors), he let go of the one person he’d ever truly loved. Now when his sister is faced with a similar situation, he admits he wasn’t happy at all with his life with Honoka. Itou tells the family that he divorced Honoka and tells them about his never-ending love for Yuki. He tells his mother that living an honest life starts by accepting your feelings, even if it means an international marriage is something he supports, and his mother should accept.
For the next few months, Itou tries hard to reach out to Yuki, but he’s changed numbers and moved from his previous job. Itou visits the places they used to hang out but cannot find him. Three years later, Itou is still thinking of Yuki and wonders if Yuki is with someone else at the moment. A chance look at an advertisement for a trip to see the Aurora Borealis reminds him of Yuki’s desire to go there, and he decides to take the chance.
He sees another pair of boyfriends enjoying the beautiful scene [Can I scream enough after seeing our HIStory3: Make Our Days Count couple, Hao Ting and Xi Gu here] and feels lonely once more. Soon, he bumps into Yuki, who runs away from him. When Itou follows, Yuki punches him, but Itou refuses to let go of him and keeps apologizing. Yuki cries about trying so hard to give up but never being able to forget Itou. This trip was his way to end the connection. Over tears and promises, they reunite as a couple.
In the end, we see Honoka happy with her new life, Itou’s family, together with Yuki, and at the age of 40, Itou and Yuki are still happily living together.
I was told to keep tissues handy before I watched the show and trust me, I needed them a lot. At the end of the previous episode, I wondered if Itou could ever crawl out of the hole he’d dug for himself by breaking up with Yuki. Well, I think he did pay for his mistakes, and I am glad he finally had the courage to be honest with himself. His outburst at his parent’s home was triggered by the realization that he had always been listening to his mother, and she had set the expectations that he kept trying to meet, even if he did not realize it at that time. Watching the same expectations harming his sister’s happiness made him see how wrong he had been in things he said to Yuki. It was a well-executed scene by using the sister’s wedding to show how “normal” is different for everyone, and one’s life cannot be controlled by another’s definition.
This episode focused more on showcasing how following the “norms” is not always the right path. The right path to living happily is to follow your heart and be honest about your feelings. Whether it’s an international wedding or loving a person of the same sex, one needs to be open to love and to stick to it. I had assumed that Itou was scared of being loved by Yuki more than he did at the moment, so it was a surprise to hear him admit that he was scared by his own feelings, and that is something I relate to personally. It made me see the previous events in a different light, not that his actions could be forgiven easily. However, the feelings were so valid, considering Itou’s habit of avoiding being in a situation where he might be hurt. One recalls his biggest concern was to find Yuki gone one day, so he left him first [idiotic, for sure]. We see more of Itou’s growth and brilliant acting in this finale. The finale can be treated as a happy ending or a happy beginning for the couple for the rest of their lives, and it definitely made me shed a few happy tears.
Series Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars [See our Review Guide]
Join the discussion 2 Comments
It was a beautiful journey to follow Yuki and Akira. I love this kind of stories “slice of life” both sweet and painful.
I specify that I read and reread the manga and necessarily I compared the two.
I really appreciated that they respect the original story. It was so soft, and real. It is the story of two people who love each other, who tear each other apart, who make choices, who find themselves …
At the beginning, I was not very convinced by the performance of the two MLs but I found them later much better. However, I was not as touched as reading the manga. There was a good chemistry between Shirasu and Raiku but I missed an “je ne sais quoi” to melt me completely. But this is a very personal feeling.
I liked the pace of the production, like the passing of time in the series. I regretted that they do not show the last scenes of the manga which make all the beauty of the story and which make me cry sometimes (I confess) but I can understand the technical constraints that that implies.
The last episode was completely pleasing.
I really really appreciated the cameo of Wayne Song and Huang Juan Zhi. It was a very pleasant surprise.
In short, in the end, a very nice series, very well done, very well played even if it was not the roller-coaster of emotions that I expected (it’s my feeling) but I enjoyed the show and I recommend it !
Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such details here 🙂
And I can relate to the feeling of sometimes not being as moved as by the source material. I read the manga after watching the first episode so I could connect to the actors in the show more. But yes, the manga end definitely hits you differently. It is still a really beautifully done show. Kudos to the team for that.