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
This is how life should be. There’s nothing more to think about. I’ve obtained a normal life.Akira – Age 32
We see the difference the years have made in both men’s lives. We have Akira, married to Shiraishi, working, coming home to dinner, living the so called “normal” life.
Where We Begin – 32
We see Yuuki, drinking alone at a gay bar. He looks lost and alone. Gone is the cheerful Yuuki who captivated Akira. He’s now lost his way. He drinks to forget and looks for hookups to move on. A guy comes over to chat him up, and Yuuki is once again reminded of the love he can’t forget by this stranger’s cigarettes. They stumble into the hallway, kissing desperately, but Yuuki can’t go through with it. For him, he’s unable to move on from Akira.
I do like that the guy at the bar doesn’t try to pressure Yuuki, but tells him it’s ok. And that he can wait until he’s ready for something more. This is actually decent of the guy. At this point I wonder if Yuuki will get a boyfriend, or someone to help him get over the pain of Akira. But it doesn’t work out that way. He stumbles home, drunk, alone and depressed. It’s a far different view of Yuuki than when we first met him. He’s broken, overwhelmed with loss and sorrow.
And how is Akira doing? He should be happy now that he’s gotten what he wanted in life. Is he?
Instead of going home after work he stops off at a gentleman’s bar. This is a private bar where salarymen go to drink, smoke and forget about their miserable lives. From the greeting by the doorman, we assume he’s a regular here.
He sits at a table, drinking and smoking. He gets a phone call from the wife and tells her he’s working late. He lies to his wife because he doesn’t want to go home. He contemplates the lighter he still uses, the one Yuuki found for him at the beach. The scene shifts and we see an empty bar and an ashtray full as he is asked by the bartender to leave as they are closing.
We see him stop at the playground. This is the first scene we see in the series. Akira sitting, staring into space, reminiscing about times gone by.
The cinematography in this shot is so well done. They use the blue and green hues of the night, and the lamppost to give you the sense of melancholy. The air of sadness permeates the shot of the lone businessman, still in a suit, at night in a deserted playground. A place and time that he can’t go back to. Akira yearns for a time when he was happy.
Akira’s Memory – 25
Akira is coming home from work, and stops off at this playground. Looking around to see if he’s alone, he sits down on the seesaw. Yuuki shows up right after this, and teases him. But, Yuuki gets on the other end of the seesaw, they laugh at their foolishness, but indulge each other’s desire for the simplicity of playing on the playground together. After they are done playing, they walk home together, grins upon their faces, to go have some drinks that Yuuki bought from the store. Yuuki and Akira are happy because they are together.
Back to Akira, alone on the playground, dreading going home. He receives a text from his wife. It’s like his feet are planted in the ground taking root. The heaviness in his heart causes his feet to feel like lead weights. What he thinks to himself next, is his truth.
I need to stand. If I don’t stand up, I will break.Akira Age 32
The sun begins to rise. He spent all night contemplating his life, the choices and decisions made.
On that day, amidst the sunrise, I realized something. That I loved Yuuki too much. After realizing it, I put a stop to it. I shouldn’t love him more than this.Akira Age 32
The heart is not logical. It doesn’t follow your head. Akira can say he stopped loving Yuuki so much, but the truth is he never stopped loving Yuuki. The intensity of his emotions frightened him, so he shoved them deep, trying to deny they existed. But emotions buried have a way of resurfacing when you least expect it to.
Akira goes home, steels himself for what is to come, wakes his wife and confesses to his feelings for Yuuki. Shiraishi pulls him in by his tie and slaps his face hard. She tells him that he is the worst. And he is. His selfishness has caused them all to be unhappy.
Akira is having his breakfast in his house, which is cold, lifeless and sad. He signs the divorce papers. He receives a phone call from his ex wife who is asking for them to have a divorce banquet so she can complain to her friends while he foots the bill. He agrees because he feels guilty. His mom calls to tell him his sister is home and he’s needed there.
The sister brings home an international guy to announce that they are getting married. She hopes that they can accept it. The mother wont accept it. She tells her daughter the following. All of these words were parroted by Akira when he broke up with Yuuki.
You’re no longer of an age where youthful enthusiasm can accomplish anything. You’ll regret it when you are 40 or 50.Akira’s Mother
He snaps. This is more than he can bear. He has lived his life in fear of being not “normal”. He let his mothers voice live in his head until he acted upon it, losing the one person who brought him happiness. He tells his mother that he’s not normal. That he loves Yuuki, That compared to loving a man, an international marriage was normal. Then he told his sister that she had his support. He turns to leave, but is stopped by his fathers words. Live life proudly son. His father supports him.
Then he begins to search for his love. He goes to the places they had been once, calls old contacts, spends time trying to track down Yuuki. Even though Yuuki may have found someone new, he has to take the chance and tell Yuuki his feelings.
Akira is walking alone. You can see he’s still missing his love. We assume that he hasn’t found Yuuki yet. He walks by a poster, which makes him stop and stare. It’s a picture of the aurora in Alaska that Yuuki wanted them to see when they retired together. He looks longingly at this poster, and makes a decision to go. It’s not with his love, but maybe there he will feel closer to Yuuki.
He piles out of a van filled with Japanese tourist in the cold Alaskan night. He looks up to see the lights. They are dazzling. Akira looks and sees a lone figure in a parka, with the hood up. His heart starts to beat fast. Could this be Yuuki? They young man is greeted by his boyfriend, and they embrace.
I started to cry right here. Under the aurora, in Alaska, we see Yu Xi Gu and Hao Ting from Make Our Days Count. The couple I adored from the show that ended so badly.
*Ended badly does not begin to describe how horribly things went wrong for History3-Make Our Days Count. I mean you spent all this time getting Yu Xi Gu to realize he can be supported and loved, to pursue his dreams of studying the stars and finally be happy for once in his miserable sad life, only to kill him off because he forgot salt at the store, so he gets hit by a car…..I’m still bitter about this, can’t you tell?*
This is how the show should have ended. The two of them in their happy place, together. So I am going to pretend the ending didn’t happen and this is them, seeing the stars together. Holding tightly onto each other.
Ok – Back to Akira. He watches the young lovers with a wistful expression on his face. He remembers happy days with his love. He turns to walk away and bumps shoulders with someone. The dots have connected once again, the line pulling them closer to each other. It is Yuuki.
Yuuki turns to run away and is pursued by Akira. He holds desperately onto his back and professes his love. This is too much.
Yuuki turns around and punches Akira, then hits him once again. Akira deserves this. He lets Yuuki punch him. But he wont let Yuuki get away. He runs after Yuuki once again, clutching his back. He keeps saying I love you. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’ll never run away again.
Yuuki’s tears fall as he tells Akira how hard he tried to move on, how hard he tried to give up. But Akira is so deep in his heart, he couldn’t dig him out. All the while Akira apologizes for causing him so much pain, hugging him.
Yuuki decides to give Akira another chance. He tells Akira to promise him one thing. Akira agrees to promise him anything, a thousand anythings. Yuuki only wants one promise.
Please stay by my side forever.Yuuki – Age 36
They embrace under the aurora, the kiss a welcome home, welcome back, I’ll love you always kind of kiss.
We see Christmas at the Itou house, with Yuuki sitting next to Akira’s mother, both of them smiling broadly. We see his sister and her husband. Everyone seems so happy. They are loved and accepted.
We see Yuuki and Akira walking hand in hand down the street. Akira glances over and he sees Shiraishi with her new husband and a child. He feels relief. She found what she wanted, and was happy again.
The two men are in the living room floor, cuddled together on a pillow. They are basking in the sun like lazy cats. We see their hands crossed, and we see matching wedding bands on both their hands. This scene radiates contentment. They are happy once more.
I loved this. For only four episodes, it packed a lot of emotions into the story. It made me smile, laugh, and cry. For only a four episode show, it did pretty well, right? I could definitely watch this again. What about you guys? Was I the only one who teared up at the MODC boys appearance? Let me know what you guys think, ok? 🤗💕 – Jen