So to save time and get ready for the next episode, I decided to recap episodes 2-4 together! This recap will only cover the most important moments but don’t worry, episode 5 will be the first true recap and be of proper length worthy of this fine show.
Chihiro gets a call requesting that she comes to the company and on her way she meets her love rival, Yoko, for the first time. Turns out, Hyuga to wants offer Chihiro a contract for her continued participation in the census project.
Kosuke has decided to keep his mouth closed about Chihiro’s fake identity since he too was a University of Tokyo graduate and he thinks that she might be able to to show Hyuga the power of higher education.
After meeting Fujikawa, Hyuga takes Chihiro home in his chauffeured car until he kicks her out half way since he has a place he wants to go alone. Chihiro asks him about her newly bought shoes that she left in his car in the previous episode, the same pair that Hyuga has thrown away. He offers her some money and tells her to go buy a nicer pair of shoes causing tears to fall from her eyes and Hyuga to feel a pang of guilt. She storms off!
It turns out, Hyuga was going back to the temple that we saw him at in the very first scene of the show. There he confesses to the monk that a girl with his mother’s same name is working at his company and although he knows that she is only a stranger, he keeps finding reasons to keep her close.
Fujikawa is holding a lecture at the University of Tokyo and happens to see Chihiro there, realizing that she is only a college student and not the person Hyuga said she was, Fujikawa is not happy about being lied to.
Chihiro not knowing about this recent turn of events continue to look for a job and finally gets her first offer however her final interview happens to fall on the same day as Fujikawa’s meeting with Hyuga and Kosuke. Feeling like its her responsibility to be at the meeting, she reasons that since her final interview is at 10 and it isn’t even 9 yet, she should be able to make it even if she goes to the meeting. At the meeting Fujikawa confronts Hyuga and Kosuke about Chihiro only being a college student who’s currently looking for employment. Chihiro shows up but is of little help to the situation. Fujikawa tells Hyuga and co. that: Next Innovation henceforth is prohibited from dealing with any government official and enter in any government contract in the telecommunication industry.
Chihiro misses her final interview but is determined to change Fujikawa’s mind since Chihiro believes in what Hyuga is trying to do and knows that he can do it. Kosuke sees her efforts and relays it to Hyuga.
Hyuga feeling guilty about Chihiro’s missed interview storms to her college campus and yells at her for choosing to help save his company instead of going to the interview. Hilariously, his tone and manner is scaring Chihiro and she says that she knows he’s angry but Hyuga counters with “Do I look angry?” I think we can all agree: yes, yes you do! He hands her the pairs of shoes that he threw away and offers her a job at NI since he says that he project is now back on since Fujikawa has given them another chance, which turns out was all because of Hyuga’s ability to transfer 13 million people’s pension records to an online database right before her eyes.
Chihiro comes to work at the company in a cute looking outfit and encounters Hyuga in the elevator and he tells her: “I like you better like this”.
On her first day at work Chihiro sees Hyuga dropping Yoko off on his motorcycle. Yoko runs into Chihiro and tells her that they met along the way and even says nonchalantly that it looks like she has a love rival (which makes me like Yoko even more).
Chihiro receives her first set of NI business cards designed by Hyuga himself! (Her avatar on the card is saying “I want homework”. Cute!
We finally get to hear the backstory behind Hyuga and Chihiro. Turns out that Chihiro knows Hyuga’s birth mother from her hometown. When Chihiro first failed her college entrance exams, she went to the real Sawaki Chihiro, or Okami-San, for comforting and learned that Okami-San abandoned her son when he was a little kid. She doesn’t have the courage to face him so she makes Chihiro promise that if a man ever comes looking for her, she has to pretend like she doesn’t know who he is looking for.
Coincidentally, Hyuga was staying at Chihiro’s parent’s inn and they get along. He asks her about Sawaki Chihiro and Chihiro, true to her promise, lies and says that she does not know a person with that name. Chihiro feels guilty about this and wants to tell Hyuga the truth but by then, he has already left.
It’s Death Mail Day at NI, wherein employees who do not get their contracts renewed will get an email stating that they’ve been let go. Digital clocks start ticking down around the office and everyone is nervous. Slowly, employees start receiving the death mail. Oddly, Kosuke meets with those who’ve been let go and tells them to call him if they need any help.
A hotshot employee Sakaguchi receives his mail and upset, goes to confront Hyuga, who tells him that he did indeed create a money making game the previous year but this year, he made no profit for the company.
Sakaguchi packs his stuff and leaves, and as the usual custom, Kosuke meets him in front of the elevator to give his pep talk. When Sakaguchi’s things fall to the ground, Kosuke bends down to help pick them up but Sakaguchi tells him that although he has been let go, he still admires Hyuga, its men like Kosuke that he despises. Kosuke wants fame and fortune but is too afraid of confronting Hyuga therefore he would rather be the number 2 guy.
Chihiro does not like the Death Mail tradition but Kosuke explains to her that although it might be harsh, this is actually quite fair to let these employees who aren’t productive go so that the company can devote more of its resources to the employees who are productive.
Sakaguchi goes to Chihiro to seek her help in showing Hyuga a game that he has recently created since he thinks that Hyuga and her have more than a boss-subordinate relationship which she denies fervently. Chihiro manages to arrange a meeting between Hyuga and Sakaguchi after Hyuga sees that the game Sakaguchi created was rather good but Hyuga tells Chihiro that he is not going to hire Sakaguchi back. Kosuke recommends that they just buy the game. To Sakaguchi’s surprise, Hyuga is not buying the game but has decided to invest in Sakaguchi’s company. This does not make Kosuke very happy.
As a petty revenge, Kosuke arranges a meeting between Hyuga and a recently fired employee, unbeknownst to Hyuga. Hyuga sees Chihiro in through a restaurant window and decides to join her for dinner when he finds out that she got stood up by a professor that she was planning to meet. Chihiro decides to tell Hyuga the truth about her identity but is too afraid to do so, so she orders a lot of alcohol to calm her nerves.
After dinner, the two take a stroll, Chihiro wanting to treat Hyuga to some more food and drinks. Chihiro trips and Hyuga catches her in his arms, which puts puts them too close for comfort. When Hyuga complains that being around people is tiring and would rather spend the rest of his life alone, Chihiro accidentally lets it slip that he’s lying since he went to her hometown in hopes of finding his mother. Realizing her slip of the tongue, she tries to leave but he grabs her back and asks her who she is. She apologizes and confesses that she chose the name Sawaki Chihiro to grab his attention. Upset, he tells her to leave and that he never wants to see her again.
Hyuga is upset that his programmers fail to design presentable user interface for the new personal data registry. He decides that he will just have to do the programming work by himself Meanwhile Chihiro is working at multiple part-time jobs but after talking to the owner of the gas station where she works about how confusing government documents are, she decides to survey 300 people in hopes of helping NI in their project.
After programming for 32 hours, Hyuga decides to take a break and runs into Yoko outside. They decide to take a 10 minute break together over coffee where Yoko brings up their first meeting years ago, however, Hyuga is unable to remember this meeting.
While surveying an elderly lady, Chihiro gets arrested by an officer when the lady screams that she has lost her checkbook. Chihiro tells the police to contact Kosuke but since Hyuga was the only person still at the company, he ended up having to come and sign her out of jail. Mid-way through their adorable bickering, Hyuga has an epiphany and tells Chihiro to get into his car. He takes her to the company and has her test the user interface he created. Chihiro finds the interface very cool but fails to figure out to use it which causes Hyuga to change the entire design to a simpler one since he realizes that the interface is for the people to use, but if they don’t know how to use it, then it is pointless. The two work trough the night together. Chihiro leaves first but by the time Hyuga leaves, he notices on the NI wall that Chihiro has written his mother’s address on the wall.
Hyuga and Kosuke goes to a meeting with the top executives of a JI Technology and rejects their contract offer by smudging it onto a plate of sauce.
Hyuga decides to hire Chihiro back to the company under her real name, Natsui Makoto, and presents her to the rest of the employees as an intern for the company. He manages to remember her real name and makes a new set of business cards for her. When she brings up the time when they first met and he fails to remember it, she is clearly unhappy about it and he senses it. For the first time in the show, he tries to make her feel better by explaining that it’s a medical condition before the elevator arrives.
Hyuga goes and has dinner at Yoko’s restaurant. Hyuga suddenly asks her if she was hurt by the fact that he doesn’t remember their first meeting (which I think is him trying to understand Makoto’s feelings better). Yoko recounts the story of their first meeting, which was on a train. They got along so well that they talked for 2 hours, got off on the same stop and made a promise to meet each other at the same spot in 1 year. Hyuga remembers the promise and said that he actually did show up and asks if she did too. She said she didn’t and then she said she did, which makes me go, whaa??? Yoko says that she has been waiting for him all this time and pulls him into a kiss. When the camera pans out, we see that Makoto has also seen the kiss.
I am amazed at the speed of this drama. I thought that the show was going to wait until the last few episodes before they were going to reveal the fact that Chihiro wasn’t who she said she was, which would lead to angst and lots of episodes where the OTP is upset at one another. I am so glad that I was proven wrong and that the big reveal happened at the end of episode 3. Hyuga getting over his anger at her deception was also surprisingly fast but it’s understandable since he has grown fond of her over the previous episodes and it’s not like her lie was so very terrible. Now, when Hyuga starts falling for Makoto, we will know that it is because of her personality and not because her name is the same as his mother’s.
Kosuke’s character continues to be a mystery to me. I am not sure if he is going to remain a good friend and business partner to Hyuga or if he is going to turn to the dark side since there have been glimpses of him being upset over being labeled as the no. 2 guy. I love the sibling dynamic between him and his sister, Yoko, and right now I just hope they stay adorable. I don’t think he has any romantic feelings towards Makoto but I love the way he treats her. He is definitely very charming and at the moment..sweet.
The story of Yoko and Hyuga’s first meeting is rather romantic. The two of them must have gotten along quite well to have made a promise to see each other again in 1 year which makes the relationships between the characters not as clear cut. Both Yoko and Makoto have a backstory with Hyuga but I actually think that Yoko’s is more interesting. We also see that the two have similar tastes in furniture and have many chance encounters, so the two of them would make a rather cute couple. Now I’m curious to see how Makoto will up her game.
I am also loving the fact that Hyuga is more than the typical cold and rich guy who, upon meeting the female lead, changes to show his “true” inner being, an ordinary guy with a heart of gold. Hyuga is rich, but he’s no chaebol. He didn’t even attend college or high school for that matter. He earned his wealth through his own merit, thus he knows what it is like to struggle for your dreams. Although he seems like a cold-hearted guy, he’s actually just not very extroverted, and his prosopagnosia is not helping. He longs to find his birth mother although he tells people that it doesn’t matter. He jokes around with Makoto and we truly see his true self when he decides to invest in Sakaguchi’s company instead of simply buying the game he created. Credit should definitely be given to Oguri Shun for playing his character so well.
Finally, I love the OST!!