Honey and Clover (Live Action) 08

ハチミツとクローバー (Live Action Dorama) Ep. 08

SPOILER Summary: Ayumi finds herself in the lobby of a nice hotel in Yokohama as Nomiya checks them into a room. When he returns, she suggests they return to Tokyo, but he’s not going to have any of that. He remarks on the comforts of a one-sided relationship before taking her to their room. There, they have a view of Cosmo Clock 21, a giant ferris wheel clock. He tells her of his first job where he did the interior design for this hotel and how seeing the ferris wheel was always a comfort to him. The two go onto the balcony where they drink and talk, mainly about Mayama. It is here that Ayumi confesses she should wish him well, but she’s always wished he’d break things off with Rika-san.

Back on the campus, Teramobori-san pays Morita a visit. Teramobori-san decides to give Morita some advice and tells him to give up painting something useless and get back to sculpting. Elsewhere on campus, Hagu-chan has struggled and struggled to paint something until she collapses unconscious from exhaustion. Hanamoto-sensei returns to find her there and sees the materials the female sensei had given Hagu-chan regarding overseas art studies. He then takes Hagu-chan and places on a couch and covers her with a blanket. When she wakes up, Hanamoto-sensei tells Hagu-chan that she doesn’t have to paint if she doesn’t want to.

Takemoto continues riding until he falls off his bicycle in exhaustion. He gets back on and then decides to spend the rest of the night on a beach, where he’s awoken by a dog. He’s hungry, so he heads to a nearby convenience store. He starts placing a lot of bread products into the basket before deciding to check his money situation. His wallet reveals only ¥3000 (~$30). So he grabs a few things, including some bananas, and as he eats outside, he notes a couple of people on bicycles clearly traveling some distance as they have not only backpacks, but carrying pouches on their bikes.

In Yokohama, Ayumi awakens in the hotel room. She panics, wondering if she’d done things but discovers she’s fully clothed still. Nomiya is sitting in a chair nearby and jokes about what he learned, pointing to the large volume of empty alcohol cans and bottles on the table. Ayumi panics again when she realizes she never told her family her plans, but Nomiya suggest they have breakfast and then return home. He notices she’s looking at the ferris wheel and so suggest that they take a ride before going home. So, that’s what they do.

Miwako calls Mayama, who’d stayed late at the Fujiwara Design office due to his being worried about Ayumi, to inform him that Ayumi is fine and that Nomiya had just called in and they were about to return to Tokyo. She assures Mayama that Nomiya didn’t sleep with Ayumi since he wouldn’t take advantage of a girl like that. She then hurries over to the Yamada Liquor Store, where Yamada-san is severely chastising Ayumi for being gone without telling them. Miwako interjects herself, telling Yamada-san that Ayumi got drunk at a farewell party for a co-worker. She has a gift of salted shougora from Sanriko, which goes good with sake. This immediately calms the angry father down, and the two go into the store to sample it, saving Ayumi.

On campus, Hagu-chan decides to tell the female sensei she’s not going to enter the art competition. The sensei is not pleased and tells Hagu-chan that she’ll have not place in society and that Hagu-chan is to stop painting. Back at her and Hanamoto-sensei’s residence, she begins gathering her painting supplies as if to put them away for good.

Miwako returns to Fujiwara Design to find Nomiya there. She shows off the large bottle of sake she scored from Yamada-san and tells Nomiya he owes her some sukiyaki and shabu shabu meals. She teases Nomiya for taking Ayumi on the ferris wheel, since he used to say that Cosmo Clock 21 was for looking at, not riding. Miwako then wonders if maybe Nomiya is getting serious about his feelings for Ayumi, which he scoffs at.

At Harada Design, Mayama presents some things to Rika-san and she gives him some additional tasks to perform. He’s relieved because it means that she’s accepted him back. She goes a step further and gives him a key to the office. That night when he comes home, he has brought home dinner, which leads Morita to remark on the difference being happy has made Mayama. They are about to start eating when they realize that Takemoto is missing, who at that moment is somewhere in Japan at a country bus stop trying to stay out of the rain. Mayama and Morita go to Takemoto’s room where they disover his ID and bank book are still there, only his bike is gone. Lohmeyer-senpai tries to aid them by making a “missing” poster, only the picture doesn’t really look like Takemoto and his name has the wrong Kanji.

The following morning, Takemoto is on a road at the coast where many small fishing boats are moored. He stops at a pay phone but only has a few ¥10 coins to make a call with. He calls Hanamoto-sensei to let him know where he is. Mayama and Morita are there waiting to hear what Takemoto says but Takemoto’s step-father, Kazuo, gets on the line. He’s so happy to hear from Takemoto that he ends up blabbering about a fire at a gas station across the street from their home and that one of the police officers who responded was his old childhood friend Kobayashi. Takemoto tries to get the call on topic since he has very little time left but fails. Kazuo realizes what he’s done once the line goes dead and ends up at Yamada-san’s place with the other members of the shopping district to eat, get drunk, and complain about the fire and Kobayashi preventing him from learning Takemoto’s location.

Takemoto continues his journey, receiving some kindness from an older lady running a country store (where he refills his water bottles for free), getting some fruit from trees, and looking at the Cup Noodle top he’d saved with Hagu-chan’s note about hoping he’ll find what he wants to do and her drawing of a 4-leaf clover. It is then that he decides to look for a real 4-leaf clover and spends many hours until late at night until he finds one. He manages to send a postcard to his friends but gets a flat tire on his bike. With no money to get it fixed, he is forced to walk the bike instead of riding it.

One night he crashes at a temple currently undergoing renovations. The work crew find him and initially think he’s dead. He’s not, but he smells pretty bad. The foreman remarks that Takemoto doesn’t look like he’s been eating well. That night, a cleaned up Takemoto is eating with the work crew where they are depressed about having to eat curry again for the umpteenth time. Takemoto finds the food very good, not having eaten a proper meal in days. Hearing the other’s complaints, he offers to use his cooking skills to make them something different. This excites everyone.

The following morning, Takemoto gets up early and makes a Japanese breakfast for the crew, who are extremely happy to have something new and delicious to eat. At breakfast, he’s asked about what he’s going to do. With his bicycle in need of repair and not having any money, Takemoto isn’t sure what to do. One of the crew suggest to the foreman that they take care of Takemoto for a while. The foreman reluctantly agrees to hire Takemoto to mainly do cooking and laundry for the crew, though he can’t pay much. So as Takemoto does his chores, he finds himself drawn to the stuff the work crew are doing.

Back in Tokyo, Shouda-sensei gets Hagu-chan to watch his child for a bit while he attends a meeting. The child is using chalk and drawing on the nearby pavement. Hagu-chan gets drawn in by this and asks if she can join the child. The child agrees and Hagu-chan re-discovers the joys of art creation for the fun of it.

Meanwhile at the temple, Takemoto tries to help the crew by doing other things. So the foreman puts him to work doing some carving since Takemoto was an architect major in college. So, Takemoto starts doing this. When the foreman comes by later to check his work, he’s unimpressed and has Takemoto do some hand planing of wood. Takemoto does this but discovers the foreman redoing what Takemoto had already done. When Takemoto tries to tell the foreman this, the foreman tells Takemoto to go make dinner. After dinner when everyone is asleep, Takemoto decides to work on the initial carving project again, determined to get it right. One of the crew comes out and understanding what Takemoto is trying to do, gives him a tip on how to do the carving right. So, Takemoto works on the carving while in Tokyo, an inspired Hagu-chan returns to painting, having read Takemoto’s latest postcard to her, which also has a real 4-leaf clover taped to it.

One morning at Harada Design, Mayama has a satisfied client wanting them to do some work in Otaru. Hearing the name of the town, Rika-san tells Mayama to refuse the project as they have enough work already. Mayama is confused since this project is an easy one, but this only makes Rika-san annoyed. As such, Mayama checks with Hanamoto-sensei, where he learns that Otaru is where Rika-san’s deceased husband was from.

Its night at the temple at the crew are again complimenting Takemoto on his excellent cooking. He tells them to make suggestions as to what he should make next, which the crew excitedly do. However, the foreman has heard enough and calls Takemoto outside. He gives Takemoto a pay packet with 2-weeks of pay — ¥50,000 (~$500). He tells Takemoto that he should leave, reminding him that he was in the middle of a journey and his reason for leaving Tokyo in the first place will become lost. Takemoto realizes the truth of this.

At the campus, Teramobori-san is all excited, holding a newspaper and calling for “Morita-dai-sensei.” The newspaper article shows that Morita’s painting won first place. Morita is on the roof of one of the school buildings with Hagu-chan. He seems to be about to confess to her when she cuts him off, saying that they are rivals as they talk about their respective works. This seems to take Morita back a bit, but then he agrees that they are rivals.

Takemoto prepares to leave the temple work site and is thanking some of the crew for fixing his flat tire. They point to the foreman, who’d been the one who actually fixed the bike. The foreman is working on a piece of wood and so Takemoto makes a deep bow to thank the foreman for what he’s done. The foreman never even looks up, but continues working. After saying goodbye, Takemoto is off. That evening when the crew comes in for the day, the foreman sees a block of scrap wood with his belongings. On it, Takemoto carved out a message thanking the foreman. The foreman reads this and smiles.

Thoughts: Gah! No names again when new characters are introduced. Yeah, I know that this live action title was done for fans of the original manga and subsequent anime titles. I suppose that in this regard, these fans would immediately go, “OH! There’s so-and-so!” My memory isn’t so good so that while I’m a fan of Honey and Clover, I can’t remember names for anything.

If I ever get to return to Japan, I’m going to have to spend at least one night in Yokohama at the hotel that overlooks Cosmo Clock 21. I’ve seen it featured in a few anime titles before (aside from Honey and Clover, Ai Yori Aoshi seems to spring to mind as well) and I’d like to see it for real.

Speaking of places, I hope the live action series has Takemoto go to the northern-most point of Japan. I’ve seen that in a couple of anime titles and think it would be neat to see a live action version of it.

Beyond that, while I certainly am enjoying the series, it continues to suffer just a bit from compression. In the anime, we had a clear understanding that Takemoto was working for that temple repair company for a few weeks. In the dorama, if the script hadn’t said, “here’s your two-week’s pay,” I would have had no concept that anything other than a couple of days had passed. I certainly didn’t really get the feel that Takemoto was slipping into a comfortable new life. Too bad this series only scheduled itself for 11 episodes. I think had they done a few more episodes, things would have been smoother in this regard. Now, it looks like I’ll have to go back and re-watch the anime sometime (maybe after my move).

I was surprised that Hagu-chan prevented Morita from confessing to her, shifting things to friendly rivals, as he had suggested before. I don’t remember this in the anime and I know that when Takemoto gets back, he’s supposed to confess to Hagu-chan. Maybe that’s what the dorama writers opened the door for — a possible romance between Hagu-chan and Takemoto.

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