Honey and Clover (Live Action) 05

ハチミツとクローバー (Live Action Dorama) Ep. 05

SPOILER Summary: Its been one year since Takemoto met Hagu-chan at the pond on the campus grounds. As he ponders this, he discovers that instead of Hagu-chan being at the pond, his step-father Kazuo-san is there with a small freight truck filled with the remainder of Takemoto’s things and some Daruma dolls. He’s to go through them and get rid of what he doesn’t need because Kazuo-san and his mother Mitsu are moving to a new but smaller place. Hagu-chan and Ayumi arrive and assist in the unloading of the truck, where the goods are placed in the gym and arranged as if in a room. It is here that Ayumi makes the shocking discovery of Takemoto’s porn stash and Shouda-sensei decides to use the bed to take a nap.

Takemoto gets summoned to Hanamoto-sensei’s office as Hanamoto-sensei has a potential job for Takemoto to take. However, Takemoto has learned that while he had come to the art school with one idea, his time around Hagu-chan and Morita has made him feel like a fraud and as such, he’s going to pass on the job offer. That night, Takemoto is invited to the birthday party for Yamada-san, where the other members of the Hadayama Shopping District have presents, but not for Yamada-san, but for his daughter Ayumi. Also at the party is Kazuo-san, who gets along well with Yamada-san.

Back at the dorm, Kazuo-san is asleep in Takemoto’s room as Takemoto begins sorting his stuff in the common area, with a box for stuff to keep and a box to trash. Mayama comes home and the two talk briefly, even mentioning how Takemoto won’t take advantage of Morita’s absence to make gains with Hagu-chan. When Lohmeyer-senpai arrives, he poetically goes through the stuff Takemoto wants to throw out and thus Takemoto ends up keeping most of it.

The following day, Kazuo-san gets Hagu-chan and Takemoto in his truck to make a comedy video for Mitsu to make her smile since she hasn’t done so recently. Takemoto isn’t thrilled by this but Hagu-chan is enthused to do it. The go to various locations in the city to do this, recording things that Kazuo-san thinks will make his wife smile. The night ends with him doing a comedy routine with the Tokyo Tower as the prop. After talking with Hagu-chan, he understands his step-father a bit more but realizes the gap between himself and Hagu-chan.

Back in the afternoon, Ayumi delivers a salted salmon to the staff of Fujiwara Design. Miwako and Ayumi take some of Ayumi’s ceramics to Rika-san for Rika-san’s project. Ayumi is naturally a bit uncomfortable in the presence of her “love rival.” When Miwako leaves the room to take a phone call, Ayumi notices a countdown timer on Rika-san’s laptop. Rika-san explains about how when she hadn’t been motivated to work, she’d been told to give it three years. So the counter was for that. When Miwako and Ayumi return to Fujiwara Designs’ office, Ayumi notices the same counter on Mayama’s PC, set to end at the same time as Rika-san’s. When asked, Mayama blows it off as a counter for the end of the world. She leaves, but then decides to return as the counter hits 0. It is then that she realizes that any chance she may have had with Mayama is over.

Kazuo-san drops Hagu-chan off and then Kazuo-san takes the reluctant Takemoto to a final place. Its a batting cage where they take swings at the ball. It is here that Kazuo-san asks if Takemoto hates him. They return home where Takemoto returns to sorting his things while Kazuo-san goes to Takemoto’s room. Mayama comes home and has a drink with Kazuo-san. Takemoto overhears there conversation and understands finally how much Kazuo-san loves his mother and even if Kazuo-san is not number one in Mitsu’s or Takemoto’s life, he’s happy just being a part of it. Takemoto reflects on this and comes to a greater understanding of himself.

Meanwhile in New York, Morita, who’d been featured in an art magazine that has been circulating around the campus in Japan, is bored. At the art gallery, he sees a painting that moves him. He nearly gets arrested when he rips the plastic covering off of the painting and then discovers that it is a painting from Hagu-chan, who’d won the art competition in Japan. Indeed, on the giant screen in the show area, the interview Hagu-chan had done in Japan is being aired and Morita smiles.

The next day, Kazuo-san has left and is eating an onigiri while re-watching the video recorded for Mitsu the day before. He’s laughing at witnessing his antics when Takemoto appears on the screen with a message for his mother. In it, he apologizes for not coming home for so long and at the end, he promises to practice so that he would be able to address Kazuo-san as “dad.” Kazuo-san sees this and is touched, re-watching the sequence again.

Back at Hanamoto-sensei’s campus residence, Ayumi, Mayama, Hagu-chan, and Takemoto have gathered and are going to have sukiyaki. There’s not enough for everyone, so a Japanese version of “rock-paper-scissors” has Takemoto lose. They then play the Japanese version of “Red light, green light” (Daruma-san) where every time Takemoto finishes the phrase and turns around, the others have to be completely stopped. After a few rounds of this, Takemoto sees Morita and calls out his name. Morita protests that he wasn’t moving. Reunited, everyone is pleased to see Morita, with Hagu-chan appearing to be most happy with this and Morita seemingly very happy to see Hagu-chan.

Thoughts: The amazing speed at which the live-action series flies by is a bit of a weakness for this series. After all, in the anime, the time was spent on getting the audience hooked on the characters and story, so when there was a change like Morita going to the U.S., there was more of an impact. That doesn’t mean the live-action series is bad, because I do enjoy it a lot. Its just that the rapid passage of time causes a loss of impact.

The other thing that kinda bums me is how Takemoto is basically out as a love interest for Hagu-chan. In the anime, there was always an element that maybe Hagu-chan would pick him over Morita, but in the live-action, episode 4 ended any remote chance Takemoto had and episode 5, despite mentioning it, was the same.

I know the sukiyaki thing at the end was for comedy, but seriously, how can there not be enough food for everyone. What, when the shopping was done to make sukiyaki, the thought was, “I’m only going to get enough for three people even though four will come?” Makes no sense logically, though it was clearly done to make Takemoto suffer and have a comedy moment.

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