Disclaimer: There will be spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the episode yet, what are you waiting for? Go watch it, then come back and tell me what you think.
Where We Left Off
We begin with a domestic scene of Yuuki coming home from the office. As he enters their apartment, he is greeted by Akira, who has prepared a homemade meal for the two of them.
I don’t know where this line will lead me to. However, if we’re together surely we can walk forward together.Yuuki – age 25
We then see Akira out drinking with his company. This is typical in Japan as the office often goes out to celebrate achievements together. Akira moves away from the main table and sits down to have a cigarette. The woman, Shiraishi, who once confessed to Akira, sits down with him to drink. Since she’s his subordinate, he see’s nothing wrong, so they chat while drinking.
Shiraishi tells Akira that she wants it all. She wants to move forward and upwards in her career, get married, have a child and still pursue her career. Her life motto is You Only Live Once. Akira is impressed by her ambition and her passion for wanting it all.
When he comes home, he’s greeted by Yuuki, who has fallen asleep on the couch waiting for him to come home. He wakes him up and they exchange the typical Japanese greeting of lovers, husbands. Tadaima and Okaeri are exchanged warmly with kisses. It means I’m home, and welcome back.
Yuki asks for them to go away for the weekend to the beach. He has something he want’s to talk to Akira about. They go to the ocean on the weekend, and decide to play on the beach before going to their room. The scene is beautiful, but the lyrics to the song give us warning about Akira, and his mental state.
Back in their room Yuuki stares at the stars and names a constellation.
The imagination of the people of the past. From all those infinite stars, they tried to connect those two together.Yuuki – Age 25
Akira dismisses this as overly whimsical which hurt Yuuki some. Yuuki then tells Akira something that will resonate between the two of them for the rest of their lives.
We are all just like those stars, every one of us. I think we’re just little dots that were forced into this world. That’s why it’s scary and lonely when we get lost.Akira – Age 25
For Yuuki this means he lost his way to finding what made him happy. He wants to quit work, going back to school to study screenwriting. He wants to capture the feel good feeling he had when they were younger and his imagination took him to so many places. He misses that feeling.
For Akira this will come to mean something else entirely. I feel like he will lose his way when he decides to conform, to fit in. But for now, he is happy to support Yuuki, wanting Yuuki to realize his dreams.
That night Akira watches his lover sleep, memorizing his face. It seems he didn’t realize that his lover was unhappy. He falls asleep, only to wake up to an empty bed. He realizes Yuuki isn’t there. He looks around and then comes to the realization that Yuuki went back to the beach to find Akira’s favorite lighter which he’d lost the previous evening. Akira is frantic for Yuuki, running to the beach and calling out his name. This is some serious foreshadowing. He’s frightened by the idea that Yuuki would disappear from his side. As Yuuki holds up the lighter like treasure, there appears a halo of golden light around his head.
Thus begins the unease of Akira, who hugs Yuuki with a worried look on his face. He’s faced with his own fear of losing Yuuki and it unsettles him.
When Akira comes home, Yuuki is hard at work writing screenplays. They exchange the traditional greeting, but there are no kisses, no dinner waiting. Akira asks if Yuuki is going to work, and Yuuki answered he’s busy with his new idea. Akira goes to bed alone, feeling anxious about the changes in their relationship.
The next morning as they are eating breakfast Yuuki’s mom calls and asks to see him. This leads to Yuuki and Akira talking about their parents expectation of getting married and having children soon. You can tell by the awkward looks on their faces, they haven’t really had this discussion despite them having been together for a decade. Yuuki suggests they tell their parents about their relationship. Akira quickly shuts this idea down, stating that we don’t know what would happen, then leaves abruptly for work.
Yuki then meets with his mother at a private room in a restaurant. You can see that he’s working up to something. He’s nervous and his shoulders are tense. He tells his mother that he’s dating someone. Then he takes it one step further and tells her it’s a man. She sits in stunned silence for a moment and then begins to talk. I love this mother. I love her so much for the way she handled this situation. It’s beautiful. I wish all mothers were this accepting and loving of their children’s choices in life.
Yuuki is brave, but in the meantime Akira receives a confession from Shiraishi, who asks him on a date for the weekend. So while one of them is planning ahead, the other is hesitant to move forward at all.
You can see by Akira’s behavior he plans to go on the date with Shiraishi. He brushes off Yuuki’s asking for a weekend trip, turns away when his lover asks for sex. You can see the distance starting to widen between them.
At this point I am so angry with Akira. I don’t condone cheating, and by going out with her, Akira is cheating. I don’t care if he kisses her, his intention is going on a date. If it was going out as friends, he would have told Yuuki. His weakness gets me.
He had the chance to have honest conversations with Yuuki, but he’s too afraid of losing Yuuki, that he decides to leave before he gets left. That’s what’s been brewing in his head since their beach trip. The fear when he couldn’t find Yuuki scared him because he was so in love with Yuuki, Akira couldn’t imagine a life without him.
So Akira decides takes the easy way out of his relationship with Yuuki. By conforming to his coworkers, society and his parents expectation, he is not faced with the unknown. His life will go perfectly according to plan. And his heart is not at risk. If you loose someone you are fond of, it’s easier to deal with than the idea of losing your most beloved person.
When Akira returns from his date, Yuuki is excited to tell him about the trip they can take to see the aurora in Alaska when they retire. Yuuki is planning that far ahead for them. At this point Akira stops him abruptly, telling him they should break up, there relationship is fruitless, and they should pursue a normal life. Yuuki is stunned, so he runs off, walking the line on the road while thinking back about their relationship.
I love the cinematography in this scene and how they used it. The path with the line is well lit. However when it ends, the street continues into darkness, without seeing where to go. It’s like the rug has been pulled out from under Yuuki, the line ending with no warning, and no clear path ahead. He rips off the bracelet given to him by Akira in their first year, and falls to the ground. His heart is broken.
We begin with Akira once again getting on the train for work.
A life on the rails of normalcy is something similar to this train. Once you get on, so long as you don’t get off on your own, you’re automatically brought to your destination.Akira – Age 32
He goes to work, sitting with his coworker who shows off pictures of his new baby. He heads home, putting away his cigarettes before he opens the door. He tries to reassure himself he made the right choice. That this is the correct life, and the normal life. He is greeted by Shiraishi who has dinner ready for them. He smiles, they have dinner and you see the gold band on her finger. They are married. His smile is hollow, as if he is going through the motions. This is the life he thought he wanted.
This goes back to the quote about being lost. By choosing the normal life or the correct life, Akira has lost his way. He is no longer living his life truthfully. He has let fear choose his path forward, causing him to loose his way, and to lose his love. I can only hope with the next episode we see him realize his priorities, and become brave enough to live his life freely and boldly.
I will watch this tomorrow and probably put out a review then as well. Please let me know what you think. I still love this series so far. It pulls me in despite the shortness of the series or episodes. It covers depth of a relationship in all its various stages, which is quite beautiful to me. I’m looking forward to the next episode. 🤗 💕 – Jen