After a promising pilot, the show continues to enamor me. Now I’m just craving for more.
This is yet another meaningful episode with a profound message, not just for people with stuttering complex but relatable for anybody. I love the direction so far. In the grand scheme of things, this show is inspiring, moving and please, please, do not be disheartened by the casting, especially when you see an older guy and a practically unknown heroine. Give it a try and it might change your mind.
There’s a really simple but beautiful scene where Kouhei deliberately leaves Sakura to order her own food when they stop for dinner, on the way to Natsuki’s clinic. Sakura as we all know, lacks courage when it comes to speaking with strangers in public, so when she’s left alone and helpless, she ends up uttering a little voice to the owner of the shop, “onaji” meaning the same as Kouhei.
Observing that, Kouhei then asks her what she has really wanted to eat. After confessing what she really wanted, feeling embarrassed at herself, Kouhei imitates her stuttering and counts how many seconds it takes him to finish.
“The time needed for you to order the food.”
“If you’re willing to be brave for that mere 7 seconds, the world will change.”
“The world will change?”
I was totally caught by surprise with this particular scene, this particular line!
It may not mean much for some, like what’s there to get all excited about the line “7 seconds”?
But the moment it dawned on me while I was watching this conversation, it just felt so good. Like I just saw something amazing. So simple but effective. What he’s trying to say to Sakura is – If she puts in 7 seconds of courage, it might just change her world (or anything for that matter). The message is clear. She doesn’t need to be so concerned about what others think of her. No need to be too self-conscious. If she’s willing to overcome the fear for 7 seconds, things might change (for the better).
And I like how this “7 seconds” will become a challenge for Sakura later in the episode. Sakura and Mami are playing games at their house , looks like they’ve made up, remember the fight they had last week?
Then, suddenly, Mami starts to bleed and faints. Sakura goes into full panic mode and tries to call for ambulance. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t utter the word ambulance or tell their address. She tries to call Soraichi, her best buddy, but he’s busy having dinner with a senior at work. Devastated with him not picking up, she reaches out to Kouhei, who doesn’t realize his phone’s ringing.
Sakura scrambles to try and call for help, at one point, even mistaken for being a crazy woman.
But somehow, she’s able to get Mami to the hospital and luckily, her baby’s fine.
After seeing the message, Kouhei rushes to the hospital to find a traumatized Sakura. She then tells him she’s useless because she couldn’t even be courageous for 1 second. She then runs off, leaving Kouhei at the hospital.
Another highlight is the one at the bar, overlapping with Sakura on the bridge. While the lead singer of a band at the bar sings/shouts the lyrics with lines, “changing the world”, a nod to the earlier conversation Kouhei has made, Sakura is seen standing on the bridge, yelling her heart out of sheer frustration before destroying the guitar.
Tormented by her own incompetence and lack of courage. She just potentially risked losing Mami and the baby when 7 seconds of courage is all she needs to calm her shit down and call the ambulance.
A herculean task for someone like her.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Before ending this, there are a few things I’d like to discuss. I have a huge, huge dreadful feeling, that they’re going to put romance down in the line for our two leads. Now, I know it happens in real life, middle aged guy and a young girl, together. It’s nothing to be shocked about. But I still am not prepared to imagine our leads as a couple.
There’s already some signs Sakura is giving in this episode that she may actually have begun developing feelings for Kouhei. I think, it may not be LOVE yet but perhaps the strong desire to be recognized by Kouhei (crossing my finger this is the right one). Kouhei on the other hand, keeps his distance, he’s being professional about their relationship, but the final scene is worrying. When they are singing and playing guitar at the park, Kouhei sees Sakura as Haruno.
Though I have to say, the teasing scenes made me chuckle, because the body languages are amusing! Case in point – crowded train scene and Kouhei tries not to bump into her, Sakura’s tummy growling from hunger and Kouhei announces to everyone that was him to save her face, Sakura ditching her jacket because she wants to look more feminine which leads to Kouhei offering Sakura his jacket. Oh and Sakura BURPING takes the cake.
By the way, I’d like it if this goes something like Begin Again, the movie with Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend it! Great music and a perfect soul-searching movie, which I feel is the direction this drama is probably heading to. It’s about how both leads discover themselves again with each other’s help/presence.
So this week’s episode has like 85% focus on Kouhei and Sakura, with very little screentime for Mami and Soraichi. I hope these side characters are developed by the end of this show, instead of being thrown aside. We’re also introduced to a new character, Soraichi’s senior it seems, and I don’t know how this will play out yet, but the woman seems to like him.
It doesn’t top the first episode for me because A LOT of things happened in the premier. Even though this episode settles down a bit, it still delivers satisfying highlights. 500 miles continue to grace our ears and Sakura sings with more confidence, accompanied by Fukuyama’s guitar + Miki’s piano. I don’t mind if the pacing’s slow, there’s no need to rush when it comes to soul-searching. The show is doing it right so far.