Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Mitsu no Aji" ep. 11 finale

In this episode, Aya comes out smelling like a rose.  Her physical collapse causes her to rethink things. She finally gives up on Masato and even sort of helps the couple (with Kirishima, wut?) by stopping Norisugi from continuing his tabloid campaign.  The couple are fired from every clinic at which they attempt to practice medicine.  Naoko briefly struggles with her severed ties with her parents after learning her mother is ill.  Her parents reject her as a daughter and a doctor.  But ironically, Aya saves the day.  Rai finds another love.  Norisugi decides to forget Naoko.  But where can the couple go in Japan to be happy?  Apparently, nowhere, since they end up being doctors in an unnamed foreign war-torn city.  I rooted for the couple because their love is forbidden. I think the whole lure of the show was to watch them struggle and finally give into their love.  But the most riveting part of the series was watching Kanno Miho playing Aya.  Her character changes the most.  At first, she was an unfeeling, manipulative, slightly psycho person.  She turns into a more sympathetic (but still manipulative) character who ironically is the one person who understands their love more than anyone else.  Would I give up my family for ARATA?  Hmmm.

"Mitsu no Aji" ep. 10 recap

Naoko confirms with Masato that they are really going to be together, even with all the forthcoming hardships.  Masato tells Aya he's quitting the university.  Naoko's parents visit Aya who confirms their fears.  Naoko's dad confronts Masato while Naoko's mother confronts Naoko.  Both are steadfast in the resolve to stay together to the torment of the parents.  Masato even gets beaten up.  Afterward they go out in the rain (I guess rain is their thing) and find each other even without the aid of a cell phone.  It must be true love, right?  Aya coincidentally sees them kissing in the rain.  Poor Aya.  Naoko and Masato finally do the deed.  The show ends with Norisugi secretly passing info to Kirishima, Aya collapsing in the lab, and the couple walking arm in arm to start a new life in a new town. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Kaseifu no Mita" final ep. 11

OMG.  I think I used up half a Kleenex box on this episode.  I feel a bit manipulated, but hey, the show did a good job of it.  Mita gets the children to want and accept Urara as a guardian figure.  Mita also convinces Urara of her own worth.  There is a scene where Mita slaps Urara around to get her to quit being nicey-nice which was a bit disturbing.  Props to the makeup team who showed the red hand prints on Urara's face in a subsequent scene.   Mita's farewell dinner is when the waterworks started for me.   Mita smiling at all the family members was a heartbreaking scene.  The final topper was Kii's tearful farewell to Mita.  Whoa.  Everyone is happier due to Mita's interventions and Mita is a bit happier (and less self-abusive) due to the love of the children.  It's funny how she can detect wrong thinking in everyone else but herself.  Great show, and great acting by all the kids and Matsushima Nanako, who plays Mita. 

"Kaseifu no Mita" ep. 10

Mita's interactions with the Asuda family are causing her to think more often about her dead husband and son.   Kaito has to write an essay about how he appreciates his mother.  This brings up the issue of the family's anger toward their mother for abandoning them.  Mita reassures them that their mother really did love them and probably wanted to back out of the suicide and be with her family, but couldn't at the last moment save herself.  When Kaito reads aloud his esssay about how he wishes he said "thank you" to his mother while she was alive, it's tear-inducing.  Kii has an accident after deciding to let Kii help in the kitchen.  It reinforces Mita's fear that she brings trouble to her loved ones whenever she acts on her own free will.  She escapes to the amusement park and has her usual self-destructive imaginary lunch with her dead husband and son.  The kids follow her and beg her to stop punishing herself, even swearing to always eat the food laid out for her dead husband and son.  Mita actually cries and yells at them to stop being so nice to her.  Sob.  The kids assure her that nothing bad will happen to them if Mita loves them.  Sob.  Meanwhile, Urara continues to evade her feelings for her brother-in-law by pursuing an arranged marriage.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Mitsu no Aji" ep. 9 recap

Takinohara decides to cover up Masato's medication "error."   Naoko accuses Norisugi of using her password, but he denies it.  Hosegawa finally dumps Rai.  Norisugi admits to Aya that he framed Naoko/Masato for the error.  Aya is horrified that he would endanger a patient.  A magazine article exposes the uncle-niece relationship and the cover-up of the medication error.  Kirishima is thrilled.  Masato accuses Aya of being responsible.  She identifies Norisugi as the culprit.  Naoko and Norisugi confront each other at the apartment.  She refuses his attempt to reconcile.  He attempts to rape Naoko, but Masato suddenly appears and saves her.  Masato confesses their love and that they just want to be together no matter the consequences.  Aya gets a phone call from Naoko's parents who just got into town.  Uh oh.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Mitsu no Aji" ep. 8 recap

Norisugi rages at Naoko saying he was only a substitute for Masato and that she loves Masato and not him.  She doesn't deny it.  He wants to break up.  She doesn't resist.  Takinohara wins the medical director election.  Kirishima is majorly disappointed.  Aya encourages Hosegawa to dump Rai.  There is a funny moment when Aya says she should have been with Hosegawa instead, but then says "Naaaa."  After a victory party, Masato asks Naoko to go shopping with him.  Funnily enough, she says only parent and child or couples go shopping together.  He gives the excuse that he doesn't know where to shop.  They look like a couple shopping together. He buys her a clothes.  Looks like a date to me.  They talk at a restaurant.  She asks what would have happened 8 years ago if he hadn't got the call from the hospital after they kissed.  He says he wouldn't have left her, but he still would have left for Pittsburgh.  There are no flustered looks surprisingly.  They act very mature and cool about it.  Kirishima blames his loss of the election to the return of Masato.  Norisugi confronts Naoko.  Does she want to break up really?  She says yes. She doesn't deny loving Masato and says she and Norisugi have no relationship anymore.  He is crushed.  Aya tells Masato she is not divorcing him.  She says that he only returned to Japan to be with Naoko.  She doesn't want them to be together.  He denies having those feelings and says he can never marry Naoko anyway.   Hosegawa asks Masato to go back to Aya.  He says no way and denies liking anyone else. Hosegawa says Masato will never be free from Aya.  Norisugi visits Aya and they comfort each other.  She says they can't break them up because they have a taboo relationship.  A patient of Masato and Naoko suffers from an overdose of a medication  Someone tampered with his orders and increased the dose using Naoko's computer password.  He takes responsibility himself by saying he ordered her to increase the dose in order to protect Naoko.  Who knew her password?  Did Norisugi or Aya do it? 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Kaseifu no Mita" ep. 9

It's another, wonderful, tear-jerking episode.  Mita has left the household, only to become the housekeeper for the nosy and mean neighbor next door.  The kids and father Keiichi unsuccessfully try to get Mita to come back.  Yui knows that Mita does dangerous things hoping to hurt herself and that working for the neighbor will lead to trouble.  The neighbor orders Mita to kill her husband, herself, and their child in a fire (ironically).  When the neighbor sees Mita actually following through, the neighbor tells Mita to kill herself, which is just what Mita was waiting for.  She pours kerosene on herself and holds a candle...but the kids rush in and stop her.  Mita explains she became a robotic housekeeper so that she would have as little free will as possible since every time she acted on her own, something terrible happened.  They tell her they want to protect her and it seems to get through.  Mita shows some emotion for once, anger and tears.  She comes back to the household, but experiences a daydream/vision/haunting of her husband and little boy.  I sense a catharsis coming for Mita very soon.  Urara notices Mita is back and looks a bit jealous.  In fact, she confides to Mita that she likes her brother-in-law Keiichi.  I wonder what Mita will do with this info. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Kaseifu no Mita" ep. 7 and ep. 8

Episode 7 was a multiple-hanky episode in which Keiichi, the dad, finally asserts his desire to love his kids.  Keiichi has to hit rock bottom first, though.  He gets fired from his job.  He loses Kii's symbolic "dad" rock.  He is busted for Mita calling in a bomb threat to Kii's school.  He has zero confidence as a father.  His kids see his pain as he tries to throw himself into the river.  But they stop him by saying he needs to see Kii's play.  So they reenact it at home in an incredibly cute way.  He breaks down and apologizes for not loving their mother enough and asks for their forgiveness.  And they accept him.  It is nice to see Mita supporting Keiichi in her own weird way.  Then the kids get even more curious about Mita's past...
In episode 8, the kids try to wheedle Mita's story out of her in some funny scenes as they challenge her in some games. But Mita is apparently a rock, paper, scissors/Rubiks' cube/basketball genius.  (Props to Matsushima Nanako for her no cut, real time cube solving scene.)  After that, the show gets serious as Grandpa ends up in the hospital.  Of course, Mita ends up doing something totally outrageous again.  Which leads to Grandpa admitting that he is afraid that everyone he loves will end up dead or unhappy.  Mita sets Grandpa straight in her straightforward way.  Several Kleenexes later,  Grandpa makes up with his family.  In a show of their feelings for Mita, the family invites her to dinner.  Only after some heartfelt requests, Mita sits down with them.  And proceeds to tell the saddest story ever about her past.  More tissues are needed.  I had to check DramaWiki to make sure there were more episodes since the show ends with sort of final-feeling scene.  I was happy to find out there are 3 more episodes coming.