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Ikemen Desu Ne (2011) Episode 10 Recap
Things start to gear up for the finale, while leaving a few conflicts to be wrapped up. Very nice handling of the angst, but I’m looking forward to their reconciliation.
Shu comforts Mio as she cries, but abruptly she gets up wiping her tears. With an “I’m sorry, I’m fine now” she walks away thinking, “I can’t rely on Shu-san anymore.” Ren, meanwhile, still anguishes over his heartbreak in his car.
Mabuchi and Rina are frantically trying to brainstorm solutions to their new problem: the Reporter Trio want an interview with both Mio and Miko.
Mio sits at home in her room, with packed suitcase next to her. She fingers her hairpin, thinking, “Mother Superior, because of my father, Ren-san was abandoned. Because of Ren’s mother, my mother died alone. For the first time in my life, I feel like I hated God.” She goes out into the living room when she hears her name being called by Mabuchi.
Shu and Yuki come up as Mabuchi outlines his solution – they go to Okinawa for an autographing session, avoiding the reporters until tomorrow, when the real Mio will come. They realize that Mio will really be going away now, but Yuki cheers up by telling her to visit and party with them sometime. Ren, meanwhile, gets the call from Mabuchi but refuses to come on the excuse that he’s planning their tour.
Meanwhile, President Ando muses his concerns to Secretary Sawagi. The new Okinawa trip is surprising, as is the feeling that they’ve all been lying to him recently. The Ren-Nana relationship is odd, as well as Shu’s with Miko. It all started when Mio joined up. Hmm…he asks Sawagi to look into something for him.
Mio calls up Aunt Shigeko, wanting news of her mother. Shigeko denies that she has any leads, but we see she’s clutching someone’s contact information. When she hangs up, she regretfully says that she’ll investigate alone for now; if the truth is too painful, it’ll be better not to tell Mio.
Nana has feigned collapse and is in the hospital right now, bored. Her partners the Reporter Trio still believe that Mio and Miko are the same person and decide to stakeout the agency.
The three A.N.Jell members frolic around Okinawa, wedging their idol duties between visits to the aquarium and the ocean. Both Shu and Yuki pick up Mio’s subdued reaction whenever they mention Ren. She cheers up at the beach however, musing on her difficulties all this time; but now, she feels grateful. “I’ve learned that if I have the courage to take a step forward, I will see sights that I had never seen before. More good things will come in the future.”
Ren himself is staring at the Pig-Rabbit morosely when he gets a call from his mother to visit him. She doesn’t want him to have anything more to do with Mio, because she is so like her mother. Ren wonders how she knew the woman, and she explains they were friends. She hands him an envelope and adds that he’s unusually magnanimous by caring about this girl, the daughter of the man he hates most. Ren only replies that she’s been waiting for her mother all her life – and he knows how she feels.
That night at the hotel, Mio’s flipping through her star book when she gets a call from Shu. She walks across the lobby, not noticing the new arrival – Ren, holding the same envelope. She goes to meet Shu in an empty dining room, where he has a quiz for her: when did he find out she was a girl? Mio replies that it was the music video event, but she’s wrong. He’d known she was a girl from Day 1, when he’d held her as she was drunk. Mio gapes as he continues: he’d liked her almost as long. “If you were happy with Ren, I’d have given up. But you’re suffering right now. I know you don't feel anything for me now, but it doesn't matter. I don't mind waiting for you. Couldn't I... replace Ren?” Ren himself drifts by the glass windows, then stops as he notices the two in conversation. Shu’s eyes flick up, registering Ren’s presence, but he doesn’t betray anything to Mio.
Mio takes a breath, but gently says that she’s only been grateful to Shu all this time. “I’m sorry. My feelings will not change.” She turns away to go, but Shu grabs her arm and pulls her into a hug. Ren watches angrily as Shu raises his head to look at him in challenge, and then stomps off just before Mio extricates herself. She leaves too, leaving Shu struggling to control his emotions.
A hotel worker stops Mio in the lobby with the envelope, left for her by Katsuragi Ren. She opens it to find a photo of slender young woman, then realizes who she must be. Hearing that Ren left only a few minutes ago, she races out and finds him leaning against a balustrade. Seeing her holding the photo, he tells her, “I’m told that’s your mother. She was my mother’s friend, and she wanted to be a singer.”
Realizing that he must have come all this way just to give her this, she thanks him. She clarifies that she didn’t know about Misuzawa Reiko and her father until just then either; both of them have been hurt by the other’s parents. “It also hurts me to see your face. So…I’m going somewhere where you can’t see me.” He jerks around to face her, startled, but she continues that they’ll just suffer if they’re together. I’m not sure I follow the logic, but at least the sentiment is coming from her, leaving Ren free to take the first step.
Back in Tokyo, only one reporter is left unscathed by fangirls, and sets off for Okinawa alone. The next morning dawns brightly, as Mio encounters Shu sipping tea at the bar. He’s back with his usual calm friendly face, and he apologizes for his behavior last night. Instead, he’s happy that she gave him an honest answer, and wants to remain friends with her.
Ren turns up for the autographing event, but announces his decision to leave immediately. Yuki rescues Mio from the awkward moment by taking her off for souvenirs, while Shu follows Ren.
The boys end up on a balcony overlooking the beautiful Okinawa oceanside, but ignoring it and tensing up instead. Shu confesses that he’s always hated confrontation since he was a kid and instead preferred to give in to everything. This time with Mio, though, he didn’t want to give in; he really wanted to hit Ren. But he couldn’t hit a friend. He continues, “So, instead of hitting you, I'm asking a favor of you instead. Don't make Mio cry. She has been looking at you all this time. I know that better than anyone else. The only person who can make Mio smile is you.”
Yuki and Mio are also having a heart-to-heart over drinks by the hotel pool. Yuki muses that Ren used to have a really mean and abrasive personality, but has only lately started to show his warmer side. “It must be because he met you that he can be the Ren-san he really is.” Mio tearfully replies that now she’s the one hurting him, but Yuki assures her, “I don't know what happened, but once the leader of A.N.JELL makes a decision, he will stick with it to the end. I don't think he will change the way he feels about you so easily. Ren-san is someone you can believe in.”
In the background, the last of the Reporter Trio gets caught with his camera and chased around for being a pervert. He splashes into the pool, but now his camera is sodden and useless.
Back in Tokyo, Ren gets a come-here-now text from Nana, and heads to the hospital with gritted teeth. She meets him on the rooftop to warn him about the reporters; the fallout will probably taint him and the rest of A.N.Jell as well. She has a proposal: he continues dating her, and she’ll testify that he knew nothing about Mio, saving his own skin. Ren leans in and says, “Thank you…is that what you thought I’d say? I’m already prepared for it.” He warns her not to call him again.
Thoroughly put out, Nana plaintively wails why he can’t see her true feelings, then, if he can see through her lies so well. Ren coolly replies, “You should just continue to be a lying fairy until the end. That's the way you do things, right?” He walks off, leaving her stamping her feet and yelling that fine, she’ll dump him then.
Mio bids farewell to Mabuchi and the boys at the airport, saying that she’ll just cause media trouble if they arrive together. They leave, waving, as Mio watches them go sadly. Back at the hotel, she photographs a star-shaped ornament, thinking sadly that she’ll never get to show Ren.
President Ando has received a “Thank You” bouquet from Misuzawa Reiko for completing “Miss You”, and proudly displays it to Ren. Ren, knowing the song’s history, sneers at the gesture. Ando muses again on the background of the song – Sakuraba had written it for his lover, but Misuzawa Reiko, out of jealousy, had stolen it and claimed it was written for her. Ren sits bolt upright at this.
He runs straight to his mother’s apartment, angrily spilling that he knows the truth about her lie: the song wasn’t written for her, it was for Mio’s mother. He yells, “Do you know how much you hurt her with your lies? And me too, for making me misunderstand her father.” Her composure starts to break down as she whispers that she loved him too; but he smashes his fist on the table and flings back, “You’re wrong! In the end, you only love yourself.”
The last remaining reporter staggers into Tokyo airport, battered but still determined to get his scoop. And lo and behold, he spots Yuki and Shu! And walking toward them, in a denim jacket and baseball cap, is the real Mio. The A.N.Jell boys come forward to greet him, but the reporter gets there first. With a triumphant flourish, he whips off the jacket…to reveal a tall, muscular, and very obviously masculine body underneath. Oops.
Yuki mumbles, “He’s the real thing” (lol) as Ren strides in and snatches the jacket to return it. Mio raises his head to reveal features exactly like Miko’s and gives a cool reply. Ren cranes his neck to look around for Miko, but sees no one.
She’s currently out watching the stars, and pulls out her cellphone to text Ren. She starts to type, “I want to see you again” when she herself gets a text. It’s from Ren, and says simply, “I’ll be at the airport tomorrow at 1:00 to pick you up.” She smiles happily and texts back, “I want to see you too.”
He arrives at the airport in nervous anticipation, having gotten here too early, haha. The star necklace dangles from the rearview mirror, catching the sun. Mio emerges from the terminal, but gets a sudden text from Aunt Shigeko to meet her at the airport café. She goes there to see her Aunt waiting with a pile of envelopes.
Shigeko explains that Mio’s mother had left her husband because of a misunderstanding. She spent her remaining days in the hospital after he died suddenly, not knowing where her children were. She had handed all of Sakuraba’s letters to her, as well as one she wrote for the twins, to a kindly hospital nurse (who was the one to give them to Shigeko).
She leaves and Mio opens the letter meant for her. She reads with tears in her eyes, catching phrases like, “I forgave your father”, “I want to see you”, “I’m so lonely”, “I’m sad”. The other letters are her father’s pleas for her return, including a cassette tape and lyrics to “Miss You”. Ren paces fretfully as the time goes on, and finally goes into the airport to search for Mio himself. He smiles to see her walking out, not noticing her subdued mood.
She follows him quietly to the car, but holds him back to explain what had happened with her parents. Ren grows serious and apologizes for his mother’s actions, knowing how hurt she was. She shakes her head, acknowledging that he had been hurt too, but tears start to gather in her eyes as she goes on.
Mio tells him how happy she was, thinking that they could be together, and wanting to find out more about her mother. “But…knowing that her last days were spent in such sadness? Every time I see you, your mother's face will definitely appear in my mind.” Ren’s expression grows more pained.
Mio continues, “I’m sorry. I like you. I really like you. But I can no longer smile beside you. That’s why the time I spent with you is so precious. I’ll cherish it for the rest of my life. Farewell.” She turns around, but Ren grabs on to her hand desperately.
Crying quietly, she holds on to his hand for a moment, then pulls away.
In the A.N.Jell agency, Mabuchi lays out a huge pile of presents and souvenirs from Okinawa, not noticing that Ando has his best menacing smile on. Finally, Ando asks, “So…did Mio’s nose surgery in America go well?” Mabuchi blithely replies, “Oh yes, it’s per…”, and the bell rings.
Ren remains standing where Mio left him, still holding the necklace.
I can’t say I really like the separation, but I have to say it’s handled well. They’ve been honest about the whole parent-love triangle issue, but the emotional repercussions are still there. Mio is now feeling her mother’s abandonment, just as Ren has been dealing with his. Well, she helped to heal him, and hopefully he can do the same for her. Now that Shu and Yuki have bowed gracefully out of the picture, it’s all set for the big reconciliation. Plus, the interesting twist with Ando finding out the truth. How will Mabuchi explain it? On to the final episode!
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