You know just when things are starting to look up, they have to go and shake things up again. Well, you know it would be too good to be true if Ayukawa really did just quietly disappear. Just as it is expecting WAY too much for Takaoka not to be extremely jealous of Kiyama’s attention to Rei. Sigh. This episode is starting to go back to the redundancy I feared in the first few episodes. That is not to say I though the episode was bad, just that there are things that irk me. The constant misunderstanding between mother and daughter, Kusano’s huge chip on his shoulder that makes him completely anti-parent, Natsume’s annoying attitude of not being able to face his daughter. One bright and shining thing is Kiyama’s lecturing and support of Rei. It’s not preachy, its not heavy handed or overdone. He’s got genuine concern, states the facts, and points out the fallacy of Rei’s thinking. I love those moments.
Kiyama gives back the things required to make Rei’s family register and tells her that things will not be easy. Rei doesn’t care. She has chosen to protect her mother by doing a trial instead. Meanwhile, Natsume runs into Ayukawa and demands to know what Ayukawa did to Yoko. Ayukawa says that he did nothing, but Natsume doesn’t believe him. However, Ayukawa insists he did nothing and that it’s all over now. Wow. I expected him to hang on a lot harder, but no. Rei gets home and Mao tells her there mother has calmed down finally. Rei is beating herself up over letting Ayukawa into their apartment. Mao points out that there is no way that Rei could have known, but Rei still feels guilty. When Yoko comes out of her room, Rei informs her mother that she is taking the matter to court so she can be put directly into the Tanizaki family register.
The next day, Rei stops into the ward office and is handed a reference letter to a law firm courtesy of Kiyama. Rei meets with the lawyer who breaks down how the trial works. It is necessary to establish that Rei is not Ayukawa’s daughter. Rei insists that he is not her father and then asks if she will have to meet Ayukawa face-to-face. The lawyer assures her that due to the delicate nature of the matter, that isn’t necessary. He then tells her it can cost 500,000¥ when all is said and down. Ouch. There is no way Rei or her family can get that much money together. Meanwhile, Yoko takes out a paper that her husband had wrote up about the things they would need to get Rei on the Tanizaki register vs. the Ayukawa. The problem? The proof that there is no way that the child could possibly be Ayukawa’s.
Rei heads off to work where she meets Ayukawa. She goes to ignore him, but he tells her that he only got close to her in hopes of being able to see Yoko again. He doesn’t want to do anything to Yoko and he knows that what he did to her 20 years ago was horribly wrong. He then assures Rei he is heading back to Hokkaido. Well, what a relief if he really does go, right? Rei then informs Abekawa about going to trial, making things more difficult. Abekawa isn’t happy with yet another snag, but she will do what she can for Rei. This causes the other workers to complain about how their shifts keep getting reworked thanks to Rei’s problems. It turns out that Jun’s father isn’t doing very well and thanks to the constant reworking of shifts, he hasn’t been able to visit him regularly. He asks the other workers to keep it a secret from Rei as he doesn’t want to make her feel bad. Awww. I love this Jun character. So pure and selfless and a genuinely good person who I actually wish would get more screen time, but that wouldn’t make sense in the grand scheme of the drama. Anywho, Rei overhears all of this of course.
That night when Rei gets home she tells her mother about meeting with the lawyer and talking over all that needs to be done. Yoko tells Rei to stop with the trial. She is happy that Rei wishes to protect her, but that is enough. Plus, there is the fact that there just isn’t money for the trial. You know, I wish that Yoko would just come right out and tell her daughter the truth for once instead of hemming and hawing and causing bad misunderstandings. Just admit that Rei is more than likely Ayukawa’s daughter and not Tanizaki’s. Yes, Rei will be crushed, but it’s better she find out from Yoko isn’t it?
The next morning Rei waits for Kiyama to get off work on her usual bench. Kiyama greets her and is surprised to learn she was waiting for him. She tells him about the latest problem. She just doesn’t know what to think about her mother anymore. She doesn’t get Yoko’s feelings at all. Can’t Yoko understand Rei’s intentions and feelings? Kiyama smiles and says that Yoko is doing this because Rei is too cute. She doesn’t wish to cause her daughter any more pain. This is why Yoko insists on going the normal route vs. the trial. Kiyama tells Rei that her mother definitely understood her daughter’s intentions. This is what Rei needed to hear. It’s like she can’t see the forest through the trees unless Kiyama is there to calmly point them out to her.
Ayukawa is all set to leave. He even has his ticket back to Hokkaido. When he puts it in his bag, he comes across the apple charm and decides to head to Charlotte’s. Whether he is going to specifically see Rei or buy her dessert, I’m not 100% sure. Rei isn’t working and Igawa recommends her tomato dessert, but when Ayukawa sees the tiramisu, he has to buy that. As he leaves the store, he overhears the other workers talking about Rei’s problems and not being on the family register and going to trial. Of course, this gets him thinking. I guess Ayukawa never had any inkling that Rei could possibly be his daughter. Go figure. His important matter really was only getting close to Rei in the hopes of seeing Yoko. Who’dve thought that? Instead of leaving, he sticks around and starts researching. What does all of this mean? Meanwhile, Rei checks her bank account. Yeah, she definitely doesn’t have the money for a trial. She then decides to talk to Kusano for more information. The two agree to meet the next night in front of the station as usual.
At work the next day, Abekawa comes in upset and goes into her office without saying anything. What’s wrong. One of the workers says that she was called to the head office because of Rei. That means that things must not have went well. Igawa then tells Rei that as a working adult, things need to be considered. While Igawa doesn’t completely comprehend what Rei is going through, can’t the girl think about others and not just herself? Okay, while Igawa is not 100% wrong, she isn’t necessarily right. Unfortunately when certain matters crop up, it is hard to be able to consider and take care of everyone who might be affected. It sucks, but that’s just life. This makes Rei feel even worse and she’s all depressed at lunchtime. She puts in a phone call to her grandmother who then meets with Natsume and explains that Rei asked for a loan in order to go to trial. Tanizaki also urges Natsume to come out of the shadows since he says he wishes to protect Yoko and her children.
Rei is on her way to meet Kusano when she gets handed a flier for private loans. This gives her hope until she sees that an ID is required. Kusano then comes up at this moment and wonders what’s wrong. Rei crumples the flier and says nothing. She then asks him questions about the trial and Kusano gets a little irked. He doesn’t get why Rei keeps talking about concern for her mother’s feelings since it was her mother who betrayed her by not putting her on the family registry. Rei tries to argue about how her mother loves her, etc., but Kusano isn’t buying it. Well, even if he does buy that her mother loves Rei, he has to point out that the matter still remains that her mother was selfish and a liar (guilty on all accounts unfortunately). He also reveals that the other girl lost her trial as come to find out, she really is the ex-husband’s daughter. Kusano encourages Rei to drop the trial so she doesn’t get hurt like that. His concern is nice, but his attitude and be abrasive and grating, which is funny coming from me as I am not a huge fan of parents in regards to their actions with their children, but hey.
Afterward, Rei again seeks Kiyama out, but it’s his night off. And what is Kiyama doing on his night off? Researching more information for Rei. LOL. He would have been better off just going into work then, especially with that witch’s attitude. She and Naoto come in from a summer festival it looks like. Naoto complains that Kiyama wasn’t with them and his mother sends him up to take a bath. She asks if Kiyama is still working on that case. He replies that there is still things that need to be done. This earns him a comment about his connection to Rei and then Takaoka closes his laptop and tells him that he needs to not do such things at home. They always play a few discordant chords in these parts. I believe Kiyama is well aware of Takaoka’s feelings. Um…shouldn’t he live somewhere else?
The next day at lunch Natsume seeks Rei out and gives her an envelope full of money. Rei immediately refuses it and Natsume finally confesses that he is her grandfather. He knows that he was a bad father to Yoko and he is very sorry for that. He is also sorry for inadvertently leading Ayukawa to the Tanizaki doorstep. Rei tells him not to worry about this. She then goes home and confronts her mother. Wasn’t her grandfather supposed to be dead? Yoko isn’t happy and tells Rei to never see Natsume again. Rei and she fight over Natsume and the trial and Rei rushes off once more to visit Kiyama.
They sit down and talk things over. Rei confesses that she was using her mother’s feelings as an excuse. The truth is that Rei wanted proof that she is really part of the Tanizaki family. Kiyama wonders why a piece of paper should be that important. Paper doesn’t make you a family, it is the feelings and bonds (I love the word kizuna) which make you a family. Surely Rei’s connection to her mother and sister wouldn’t be destroyed if Rei is temporarily known as Ayukawa instead of Tanizaki. This surprises Rei. Looks like she didn’t think of that. Quite honestly, a piece of paper doesn’t matter, but having it is still nice. But I am glad that Kiyama opened her eyes to this and made her think of it. I also how in these instances that Rei says she never had anyone to talk to, so she is glad to have Kiyama. It’s sweet. Their “love” is slowly building, but I still don’t think it’s necessary include “romantic” love in this drama between them. A deep bond, but not necessarily love-love is okay.
Rei goes back home and tells her mother that she won’t go through with the trial. This makes Yoko happy. Rei also asks if they will still be family even if Rei is known as Ayukawa instead of Tanizaki. Yoko assures her nothing will change their bond. This relieves Rei. She then makes her mother promise never to hate her even if they disagree again. Hmm, what is that about? As you might have guessed, Rei cannot go through with her mother’s mandate to NOT see her grandfather. Rei thanks him for his help and encourages him to come see Yoko before he leaves. Besides, it’s nice to have one more member in their family now. Awww, how sweet. Although, I don’t know if I could be that friendly and welcoming towards a grandfather who is virtually a stranger to me that fast.
Ayukawa is walking down the street when he recalls something. He goes into an alley and pulls out the magazine Rei was featured in. He quickly searches for the page with her name and birthday. When he sees she was born in September of 1993 the proverbially light bulb clicks on. Looks like he’s done the math and realizes that in all likelihood, he is Rei’s father. Meanwhile, Rei goes to the Ward office and gives the documents back to Kiyama to start the procedures once more. She asks if she made an unnecessary side trip. Kiyama doesn’t think so as that helped her realize something important.
Back at the Tanizaki house, Rei makes a feast. Mao and Tanizaki are there and then Yoko shows up ready to eat dinner. Rei tells her to wait and the doorbell rings. It’s Natsume. Yoko yells at him to get out, but Rei puts her foot down and encourages her mother to talk to Natsume. Yoko refuses and keeps her back turned. That girl is really more childish than her eldest daughter at times. Natsume then apologizes for all the wrong he’s done to her. He then tells her about her mother’s death and the letters she left behind for Yoko and the children. Yoko cries and thanks her father for her mother’s grave. The doorbell rings once more and this time it’s Ayukawa. Much to Yoko’s horror, he tells Rei that he is her father and that’s where this episode ends.
7 looks intense. Looks like Yoko finally snaps, so does she stab her ex-husband or her father?