We have a lot of territory to cover in this last episode. Since Yo is changing her mind at the last minute, she has a lot of explaining to do to a lot of people!
Yo tearfully wakes her parents up in the middle of the night to say she can’t marry Ryusei. They take it pretty well and offer to help her deal with the cancellations. Her dad wants her to do things right and apologize to Ryusei properly, and she immediately goes over to his house.
Yo walks into Ryusei’s bedroom and turns on the light. As he sits up, surprised, another woman comes up the stairs. “Oh, I’m sorry,” Yo says, “this is sort of funny!” She tells Ryusei that her feelings are not hurt, and that she really liked him but it wasn’t love. As she leaves, the other woman, who turns out to be Ryusei’s secretary, objects that this is a misunderstanding. She had only come over because she was drunk. Ryusei doesn’t want to argue the issue and admits he always knew Yo cared about Ren. I really didn’t expect him to take it so calmly!
Next we see Ren in Shanghai working late and then walking up to his apartment to find Yo waiting for him outside. She explains that she broke up with Ryusei, and struggles for a way to tell Ren she has loved him for a long time. Sniffling, she walks up to him, puts her head against his shoulder, and her arms around him. After a minute he puts his arms around her and hugs her back. No kisses.
The next day they go sight-seeing together, and he suggests starting a new relationship. She does what she usually does, calls her best friend to get his opinion. That’s Ren of course. So they talk on the phone, even though they are walking together. She asks if it’s ok to change and he replies that there will be no surprises but things will get even better. She wants him to promise that even if they break up, they will still be friends.
When they try to kiss, they break off giggling because they feel so silly kissing a friend. This is the thing that has bothered Yo all this time. It’s like kissing your brother. Then they try again. Yay! After all those kisses with the wrong person, we now get the right couple! But they are still embarrassed. It’s going to take a little time to get used to.
Yo returns to Japan and talks to Mr. Tokura about ending the business contract with her shoe company. He tries to give her a bad time, but she takes over the conversation in a kind way. He has been trying to look taller by wearing overly-large boots with heels, but she tells him that shoes should fit you – you don’t try to fit the shoes. “I don’t want to live my life wearing shoes that don’t fit,” she tells him quietly, and he is pacified.
The story takes an unexpected turn when Yo hands her resignation in to Director Hayashi. She wants to take a year off to learn to make custom shoes. She finds a master shoemaker to study with and ends up being too busy to see Ren. He waits for her and is supportive because that’s how he is. They call each other a lot, but they don’t see each other for a year. A whole year! At least this isn’t as bad as all those time skips in dramas where they don’t even call.
The day Yo finally makes the trip to Shanghai to see Ren, he has to work late. He has left yellow sticky notes all over the place, and as she looks around she finds the postcards he had written to her and never sent. She has brought him a pair of shoes she made herself, but alas, they don’t quite fit. He tells her his project will be over soon and he can move back to Japan.
They are very nervous later that night going to bed; there is a lot of stalling. When they try to kiss he gets a muscle spasm in his leg, so they get up to stretch out his foot. Finally, with their attention on something else, they are able to be natural together. Ren gets a possessive look on his face and interrupts the foot rub in a decidedly assertive way. This is the kiss we’ve been waiting for!
Now we follow Yo to Tokyo, when she comes back to the office for the first time. It’s almost a repeat of the first episode, since it’s her birthday and they surprise her with a little party again. Director Hayashi gives her some new business cards naming her as director of the custom shoe department.
Afterward, Yo meets Ren at their favorite restaurant. She has made him another pair of shoes, and this time they are perfect. Suddenly she remembers the bet they had made, about who would get married first. “I’m 31 now. That was the deadline for our bet. If things continue this way, we’ll both lose,” she muses. It looks like she has already lost but he hasn’t yet. We know from Episode 1 that her birthday is October 24 and from Episode 9 that his will be February 6.
He thinks of a way for them both to win and side-eyes her, which makes her choke on her drink! She says she’s ok as long as they are together. He suggests leaving it to chance and tossing a coin. Yo nods and says, “if it’s tails then it’s the same; if it’s heads, then…” she grins and doesn’t finish. He thinks a minute and flips the coin but we don’t see the results.
Without any explanation, we get a time skip labeled a “few months later.” Yo’s bedroom is full of moving boxes, much of it shoes, and she gives a pair to Makoto. Ren’s mom and sister are there with Yo’s parents and brother. They reminisce about Yo growing up, and Gaku remembers when Yo grew taller than him. Then Dad tells Ren to take care of Yo and everyone wishes them goodbye. The two of them leave the house for the train station and their new life together. End of story. Cheers and confetti all around.
Except I have a problem. Although I’m glad of course that there is a happy ending, I didn’t like the mystery of the coin toss. At the end of a drama, we should be discussing the characters or the plot, but the coin toss thing took over my mind. It should have been something obvious but it wasn’t, and they have built it up by including it in the opening credits of every episode. Besides that, Yo and Ren were avidly watching for the result.
I’m going to make a guess. When Ren suggested they could both win and Yo choked, maybe his idea was to get married that night because it was Yo’s last chance. When Yo said “if it’s tails then it’s the same,” she meant things would stay the same as they are now and they both lose. They aren’t preparing for a wedding yet, and their wedding would end up being after Ren’s birthday. But “if it’s heads, then…” could mean that they get going and have the wedding before Ren’s birthday and let him win. That’s why she had the wry smile, because she doesn’t usually let him win.
What do you think? Do you have an alternate solution to the coin toss mystery? Let us know in the comments, and also feel free to talk about characters or plot!
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi