mario rising sun

It’s a multitude of emotions in this episode that propels our story forward. Our hero learns to accept what he finds is the biggest sacrifice he has to make, but then realizing that an even bigger hurtle will come his way. What happens when love isn’t the only concern that will plague our hero? What happens when everything changes from here on out? Alls’ I have to say is strap that seatbelt on tight, because we are about to be shaken. Takeshi! Mario! Ryu! Nadech! Oh, the cuteness overload and then the squeeze in my heart when they’re dealt with the toughest blow.


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Vying just to see her face another time, Takeshi follows Praewdao to her neighborhood. As she steers her bike away however, she spots his face in the crowd and the question that lingers in her mind causes more doubt. Could he possibly like her?

Takeshi sticks to the same excuse that he’s visiting a sick friend again, the buddy apparently is even sicker now.  He invites her to break bread with him at a restaurant near his friend’s house, and in case she decides to decline, he adds that he just needs company. (As if anyone would do..)

Over a bento of grilled eel (yummm), the first lunch date commences!

“How many brothers and sisters do you have?” he inquires, the edge of his lips turning up into a smile. He can’t control how happy he is while being around her.

“I have one younger brother,” Praewdao replies.

“I’m the youngest son, with one older brother,” Takeshi offers the information, and proceeds to tell her about his family business, clearing the air about the misconception behind the Onitsuka clan. They are noble and endeavor to protect the people. They also come from a long line of Samurai warriors, but most importantly they dabble in many profitable businesses, such as dockyard, freight trains, you name it. In other words, they are wealthy.

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Praewdao’s last encounter with the Onitsuka men who collected money from the fruit stand quickly flashes through her mind, she surmises that if they are that wealthy, why do they collect protection money from the vendors? This catches him by surprise, and he tells her that they only collect what’s legal (rent) and there’s no way they would take advantage of the people like that. His anger scares her just a bit and she apologizes for bringing it up in the first place.

Takeshi removes the chopstick that he speared the eel with and apologizes for raising his voice. He will take this up with his father and no one will know that she told him this, because her safety is his biggest concern. Well thank goodness for that.

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Praewdao discovers a sheet of paper wedged in her book and it happens to be a poem that Takeshi has written for her. She is touched by the words, especially when the words indicate that the stars (her) help fill the darkened night and a warrior’s dream and heart.

Her boss/landlord/elder pops into her room to confirm how she became chummy with an Onitsuka and Praewdao reassures her that she only knows Takeshi from college and nothing more. Boss is glad to hear that they are just friends, which raises Praewdao’s concern: are they that scary? Boss lady relents that although they are not criminals (the bad guys), they have a lot of enemies and will bring danger to anyone close to them, especially anyone close to Takeshi. Furthermore, Aiko is a very jealous person and does not tolerate anyone even looking at her future fiancé. It is best that she stays away from the clan. Thanks Boss lady, good talk.

Sorel is livid that another clan is using Onitsuka’s name in vain. If he hadn’t heard this from his son, the scoundrel would continue abusing their name. He orders his three warriors to investigate and procure the culprit in three days. If it’s a person in their clan, Sorel will punish the person himself.

The next day Praewdao does her best to avoid Takeshi, even steering her friend to the library with an excuse that she has to find a very important book. As Takeshi follows, one of Aiko’s minions peers at him from the corner. She has eyes everywhere..

A professor pulls Takeshi over for some discussion surrounding the books that Onitsuka clan will donate to the school, despite Takeshi’s suggestion that she ought to talk to his father, you know, the leader. Thankfully he runs out of the library in time to see Praewdao dashing down the stairs, only to be stopped by a stubborn vending machine that took her money. I feel your pain.

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Takeshi chides that the vending machine requires aggressiveness. “When it takes a lady’s coin, it wants to tell the lady that..”

Praewdao listens closely.

Meanwhile Aiko discovers that Takeshi will be boarding a train and this is not the first time.

Takeshi pauses and looks into her eyes, “that you need to hit him hard,” he demonstrates by slamming his fist into the vending machine. Out comes the drink. And to think you were going to say something else..

Takeshi hands her the drink but she turns around and attempts to leave.

“Does this have something to do with you avoiding me like this morning?” he questions.

“We should not see each other again,” Praewdao replies.

“Why’s that?”

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But she doesn’t get an opportunity to answer because Aiko voice is heard in the hallway and threatening some poor girl that if she didn’t see Takeshi today, that girl will surely be in trouble. Praewdao hightails out of there before Aiko could see her face.

Aiko badgers Takeshi why he must take the train home every day and Takeshi tells her that he doesn’t need to report to her. She’s not earning any brownie points by being the devil in red. I love how Takeshi gives her minion the cut direct when she dares to voice her opinion that if his car is broken, how come he didn’t go home with Aiko. She orders him to tell her the name of the girl he’s seeing so she could teach the girl a lesson, but he just calls her crazy. Takeshi slams the can of soda to the ground and marches out, declaring that she cannot force him. Ha. You tell her!

Luckily Ryu comes to his rescue and revs the car out of Aiko’s sight. Feeling down in the dumps, Takeshi tells his cousin that Seiko (Praewdao) doesn’t want to see him again after his heartfelt confession (poem) that he had written to her last night. Ryu doesn’t think that’s the case and will find a way to prove to Takeshi. Cutest cupid EVER.

Their car catches up to Praewdao’s bike and he honks for her to stop. With a sidelong look at Takeshi, Ryu suggests that they work it out right now so he could stop guessing. Lol, who doesn’t like Ryu’s confrontation style? He’s probably the type who will wear you down by his perseverance!

And they talk.

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“I need a moment of your time –“ Takeshi starts.

“But we shouldn’t see each other again,” she laments.

“Why are you running away from me?” he questions.

“I—I have a boyfriend in Thailand already.” Bummer, a lie. “And you already have a fiancé. Thank you for your goodwill, but I can’t accept it.” And with that, she’s off.

Ryu feels the pain for his bro as he watches Seiko (Praewdao) bike away. Takeshi questions whether he’s satisfied now that he received a clear cut answer?

“I’ll make her your girlfriend.” OMG, LOL.

But Takeshi takes it at face value, “Her heart already has an owner. And not much longer, I will marry Aiko. I need to live in the reality.”

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Sorel notices that something’s the matter with his son and questions Ryu, who merely says that he’s probably stressed out from schoolwork. Dad retorts that Takeshi wanted to study, so why stress out? Word.

Takeshi takes out his box of paper stars and tosses a handful out of the window. He thinks about how Praewdao used to graze his hand while taking her bike back. And we see that this sentiment is not one sided as Praewdao stares at the poem and attempts to rip it, but couldn’t find the heart to do it.

The following morning she gets harassed by the fake Onitsukas who were collecting money again. Our young warrior, Haro saves the day and beats the baddies to a pulp. Turns out, at least two of the baddies on the ground happen to be real Onitsukas. Haro orders the bodyguard to drag their asses to the leader for punishment. *Shivers*

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Haro assures Praewdao that this won’t happen again to her, and that Onitsuka will never harass the people like that. Furthermore, if she still feels uncertain, he would be happy to post a guard here for her safety. Heck, I wouldn’t mind such a handsome face watching over me either. Just saying.

Praewdao offers him tea while she patches up the tear on his jacket. He smiles while watching her, and accidentally touches her hand while taking the jacket back. He apologizes, but the jolt has already reached his heart. Aw, another puppy crushing on Praewdao?

The betrayers are lined up at the clan’s meeting hall and there are only two choices by way of punishment: sever your own hand or leave your life at the door. By the screams, one can surmise the former, as Takeshi shut the door behind him, unable to witness the punishment anymore. But he can still hear his father’s voice above the scream, if they mess up again, they will die.

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Ryu follows his cousin outside and states that this is something they have to accept. Dad concludes (as he too discovered that his son is shirking his duties) that if Takeshi wants to remove himself from his responsibilities then he need only to drain all of the blood from his body. Dayam. Dad sees his shame as disrespectful. Takeshi retorts that even though he can’t choose his birth, he can still choose the right path. Dad argues that Takeshi probably thinks that the “right” path is the path of a weakling. Takeshi bolts from his father’s sight, unable to argue further.

Sorel (dad) catches wind that Sato gang is smuggling illegal substance on a truck and he orders the warriors to show them who’s the big dog. Show them what Onitsuka is made of.

And they do exactly that. Sato gang is surrounded on all corners by Onitsuka. They all go down in exception to the leader who fights hand to hand combat with Haro. In the last second though, one of his minions rescues him in time. Sato promises vengeance.

At school, Praewdao overhears Aiko’s gang questioning the girls in the department on whether they’re seeing Takeshi. She witnesses the bully and even the threat that the next time the girl sees Takeshi, she will get her face carved. Praewdao puts her back against the locker and wonders out loud if she’s making the right decision (by avoiding him.)

And the Kendo competition between Onitsuka and Misawa begins! First ones up are Aiko’s brother and Takeshi. In between the fight, they taunt each other about Aiko. Bro tells him that if he doesn’t cheat on her she wouldn’t have turned out this way. But Takeshi says what’s there to worry if they’re going to marry anyway. Oh, boys. In the end, Takeshi scores the highest. Bro grabs Takeshi by the lapels and demands that he apologize to Aiko. Takeshi just stares him down.

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Koji (big Warrior and Kendo trainer) approaches Takeshi in the changing room that he understands Young Master may be smitten by the beauty of the Thai lady. Takeshi spats that it doesn’t have anything to do with Seiko (Praewdao), he doesn’t want to trouble her. Koji warns him not to outwardly show his bias because it will cause discord among the two families. Takeshi retorts that IF he didn’t accept the burden of the two families, he WOULDN’T be considerate. (Which means he’s being considerate.) Koji truly believes that although everyone is familiar with Aiko’s temper, once she’s been reformed as a wife, she will dial down her personality and be a good wife. But all Takeshi cares about is that no one best mess with Seiko, otherwise he will NOT be considerate. Got it?

He returns to his room to make more paper stars. What a sucker. Ryu pokes his head in and complains that he had spent all night making excuses about the woman at the train station while Takeshi is in his room making stars. LOL. Takeshi says that it’s Ryu’s fault anyway.

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“Fine, since it’s my fault, I’ll be the one to court HER!” he shuts the door behind him, leaving Takeshi all “WTH?!”

Ryu pokes his head in with a smile, “Just kidding!” Adorable. “Who dares meddle with your girl.”

“She belongs to someone else,” Takeshi says, “and that person is not me.”

“What person in Thailand can compare to someone close by?” Ryu tries to comfort him. I like the fighter attitude in Ryu.

“I won’t see her again. I don’t want to cause her trouble.”

“Can you really give her up?” Ryu questions.

Takeshi doesn’t answer.

Misawa has a word with his son for making matters worse. The wedding between the two families is the most important, regardless whether Takeshi is seeing someone else. I like the fact that brother’s looking out for his sister and truly believes that someone whom she marries should love her, while dad’s all about the merger and acquisition (but not without heart, since he loves his girl too.)

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Takeshi takes out the samurai sword as he listens to Ryu’s statement: that he’s proud to be born an Onitsuka, he’s willing to risk his life for any of the members, whether that is Takeshi or his brother. Takeshi states that his brother will inherit this sword while he will inherit Misawa’s once he marries Aiko. But it won’t be the same. Sorel listens on by the door; a pleased smile crosses his face. Perhaps he’s thinking that his son hasn’t gone off the deep end just yet.

The betrayers apparently haven’t learned their lesson and try to find a way to get back in Sato’s good graces. They feed him the one thing that he wants to hear: they know all of the secrets pertaining to Onitsuka’s clan, doesn’t he want revenge? Perhaps take over Onitsuka’s influences in this town?

Praewdao finds herself peering around for Takeshi, to no avail. When you’re used to someone always there and always watching you, and when he’s not, feels strange, no? She makes her way to the library where this time, she finally sees Takeshi, who helps her reach for a book. Praewdao looks around in case Aiko magically appears.

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“I miss you..” he utters.

“I haven’t seen you for several weeks,” Praewdao starts.

“But I see you at the library every day,” some habits are hard to break, like stalking. “It’s the only place I can be near you without anyone knowing..”

“You’ve been watching me?”

“It’s all I can do. Just to watch over you before you return to your beloved in Thailand.”

She looks away and takes her book. After thanking him, she walks away, leaving him to stare at her back.

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Later Ryu teases Takeshi what we want to tease him with, “Your mouth tells us that you don’t want to trouble her and you won’t see her again. But you can’t control your heart calling out to see her, can you?”

“I’m just looking at her,” Takeshi laments, arms crossed. Heh.

“So it’s a sacrificing type of love. You’re just happy looking at her then,” Ryu surmises.

“When Seiko laid eyes on me, she looked nervous/excited.”

“Because it means that she LIKES you,” yeah, listen to him.

“But her heart has another. Keeping her smiles in my heart is good enough (for me,)” Takeshi counters.

“Love gives me a headache,” says Ryu, “because a man like Ryu doesn’t know how to love.”

“Then I hope you find love so I can say ‘I told you so.’” Haha. I love these two.

Ryu panics briefly but shakes his head in denial.

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But Ryu is about to meet his fate sooner than he wishes. Sorel tells the boys that they’ve succeeded in a business agreement with Mayumi’s father and will be throwing a family celebration. This will also give Ryu the opportunity to meet Mayumi. Heh. Takeshi offers to help Ryu prepare for tomorrow. When Pop is out of earshot, Ryu tells him that he doesn’t want to hear any bullshit rationale that it’s his duty and responsibility. Right now he just wants to scream. LOL. Takeshi suggests that he keep an open mind, maybe he’ll fall in love with Mayumi. Ryu adamantly remarks that he will NEVER fall in love. Oh, I love blanketed statements, because they usually come back and bite you in the ass.

Aiko is furious that her father hasn’t taken care of reprimanding Takeshi and besides, Takeshi hasn’t even invited her to the family celebration. She will just have to go and see him now.

Now that the partnership between the (other) two families have been established, which will garner even more wealth for Onitsuka, Sato vows that there’s no way he’s going to let Onitsuka to live long enough to spend it.

The family makes their way to meet Mayumi’s family while Ryu looks on with dread. At the last second, he dashes out of sight (Ryu and bodyguards heavy at his heel). Although he doesn’t happen to realize that he walked into the girl’s bathroom.

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Out comes Mayumi (Yaya Urassaya – hello beautiful!). Her lipstick rolls into a bathroom stall, which Ryu happens to be in. She smashes the door against his head and noticed that it’s a man! He pulls her in and covers his hand over her mouth since Takeshi’s voice is right outside the bathroom door. Ryu threatens to rape her if she makes another movement. Once Takeshi is out of sight, he lets her go, not before she gets righteously angry. Ryu stops her punches and pulls her close, wondering out loud why she smells so nice. Heh. He takes another sniff and they tussle until he gives her a back hug and wonder why she’s so strong. He also tells her that she’s this beautiful, she’s totally his type. He goes in for a fake kiss, just to taunt her. Oh you devil.

Mayumi searches for something to smack him with and found a mop. She follows him until she knocks him beside the head (at a beautiful pagoda no less.) Ryu surmises that she followed him because she wants his kisses, haha, so Mayumi reaches for his throat to strangle him. But he’s stronger and spins her around to kiss her for real. Mayumi throws a punch and knocks him all the way to the ground. Is he out?

She inches closer to make sure.

Meanwhile the two families wonder where their children went. Ha.

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Praewdao is also in the vicinity as she brought a cake for her friend’s dad’s birthday. Unfortunately she bumps into Aiko who throws a tantrum that someone would dare run into her. She immediately throws Praewdao against the wall and proceeds to smear cake on her face. Ah, Praewdao needs to learn some self defense.. Takeshi learns of the commotion and pulls Aiko away from Praewdao, who apologizes for walking in Aiko’s way. Takeshi motions for Haro to escort Praewdao and friend out, while he tells Aiko to stop. Her friend wants to report this, but Praewdao wants everything to end peacefully. Haro advises them to steer clear of Aiko in the future because she’s volatile (no shit, Captain Obvious.)

Back to our funny couple, Mayumi and Ryu. She checks his pulse to make sure he’s still alive, but he’s only pretending as he smiles down at her head on his chest. Heh. He tells her that he gives up, stop hurting him, he was only trying to escape a catastrophe, he’s really not a pervert. He explains that his uncle is trying to marry him off to a child who could potentially be fat, short and dark skinned. He’d rather die than to be engaged with someone like that.

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Mayumi can relate to that. She shares that the only difference in her situation is that her betrothed is handsome, cool and a playboy. He won’t look at a normal face like hers.. Ryu comforts her that a man who doesn’t want to marry a cute woman like herself is really a blockhead and blind. Ha.

Takeshi drags Ryu to the dining hall with a reminder that he needs to accept his fate of being an Onitsuka. But much to his surprise, the Mayumi who walks into the dining hall is the beautiful girl that he said he was lucky to meet earlier! Here’s a slice of humble pie!

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The two catches each other’s eyes and shock reverberated throughout the room. The entire room looked on at Ryu’s shocked face, probably thinking he’s shock from her beauty- while Takeshi prepares to take out a slice of that humble pie. What they don’t realize is that the two are recalling their conversation earlier, and Ryu probably wishes to take his foot out of his mouth.

Meanwhile Haro finds something suspicious about the guards watching the car, but he doesn’t act on it since he’s been summoned to the dining hall.

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Ryu goes on a walk with Mayumi (at the pretty pagoda) and notices how quiet and displeased she is.

“You must not be pleased at the turning of events.”

“Yes, but I’ve never outwardly show my displeasure in front of others,” she laments.

He attempts to explain but she cuts him off, “It doesn’t matter to me what you think of me, so long as you hold your end of the bargain for the family. However if you do NOT want to marry me then you ought to be straightforward with the elders. Marriage and business should not have to mingle.”

“Onitsuka will not be disrespectful. We honor our promises.”

“Are you sure about that?” she questions. “We both will go to hell.”

“Marriage to me? Is it that bad?”

“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. Ryu Unitsuka, you ought to be brave enough to sever the engagement before it’s too late.”

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Ah, these two, when they only want to hear the other say, ‘Wait! But I’m happy about the union!’ Why do I like this pain so much? It’s a good kind of pain. It’s a satisfying beginning for these two.

Takeshi chuckles when he hears the story from Ryu. He tells him that he’d be angry too if he was Mayumi. Ryu tells his cousin that he’s only willing to move forward with the engagement because of their family’s honor. Suuure.

They circle back to Takeshi’s issue, how did the two girls clash like that? Ryu fears that if Aiko finds out about Takeshi and Seiko (Praewdao), it will only get uglier. What to do?

As the cars drive off, the two betrayers snicker. That can’t be good.

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Aiko throws her normal tantrum and we know why she’s this way because her daddy dearest scolds brother for being too harsh on his little angel. He suggests that she take it down a notch when in front of Takeshi, if she wants to be in his good graces. No man wants to surround himself with a hyena (my word, not his.) She asks to marry sooner but daddy dearest requires that she graduates first because the lady of Onitsuka must be educated. Brother wonders why she thinks she can stick by Takeshi’s side? Does a woman think that infatuation is love? Does his sister fall for Takesha because of his status and looks? Great questions, bro. I like this guy. He’s a thinker. Sister claims that she’s in lurve with Takeshi and brother throws another pointed question, does he love you?! It apparently doesn’t matter to her because he will be hers. Brother reminds her that marriage is no laughing matter, he’s convinced that she ought to marry someone who loves her. But his kind words are thwarted because Aiko believes he’s only harboring vindictive thoughts towards Takeshi because he’s jealous of him.

Mayumi’s dad asks her what she thinks of Ryu and she lies that he’s great. Daddy reports that Ryu is Onitsuka’s favorite nephew and is comparable to his two sons. Daddy is pleased with the way things are working out.

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In another car, Ryu shares with Takeshi that Mayumi asks him to break up the engagement. He plays dumb, ‘why is she sulking?’ Heh. Takeshi gives him the ‘look.’

“Ok, I got it. I know that I’ve a bad mouth,” he admits.

“We have to take responsibility of our words.”

“Are you telling me to make peace with her?”

“Then end it,” these two know how to push each other’s buttons.

Ryu looks away with a sulk.

“Welcome Ryu Onitsuka to the world we call love,” Takeshi says. Hahaha.

Who knew it could happen so fast?

But the boys’ lives changed in a blink of an eye. First they are driving, teasing each other, but the next thing they know, the car in front of them went up in flames and flipped before their eyes.

At the school, Praewdao learns that Onitsuka’s car was bombed. She asks after Takeshi.

Pan to hospital room, half of his face is bruised and he finally came to his senses.

Ryu stands by his bedside, his face too was bruised, but it appears Takeshi took the biggest brunt of the crash. The misty look that Ryu gives Takeshi – fangirl – I love this bromance, these two have a lot of chemistry!

“How’s my dad?” Takeshi questions.

Ryu looks away, to the three warriors and changes the subject. “Are you hungry?”

Takeshi looks to Koji instead, “Where’s my dad?”

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No one answers.

But Ryu’s face is killing me.

“I asked, where is my dad?!” Takeshi demands.

In the mortuary room, bodies’ line up covered in white sheets. His father, mother, brother, pregnant sister in law are all dead. As he uncovers their faces, he remembers their encounters, their time together, and he goes completely undone. Sorrow, tears well up inside him. The three warriors and Ryu watch Takeshi mourn his family from the sideline. Ryu wipes away his tears.

Takeshi stands, amidst the corpses and shakes his head with denial. He doesn’t believe that everyone has died. Ryu walks over, “I don’t believe it either. But you must accept it. Uncle is dead. Everyone is dead.”

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Koji consoles him that if Sorel is still around, he would protect them, and he would wait for Young Master’s strength.

“I’m just a coward,” Takeshi utters.

“Samurai comes from the blood,” the other warrior adds, “we are all devastated by the losses, but we must be strong to preserve Onitsuka.”

Ryu takes him by the arms, “You must stand up. Stand up to seek justice! Don’t let the culprits slip away.”

But Takeshi is still in shock and passes out from exertion.



Dayam. Give me a moment. Maybe two.  Someone give Takeshi a hug. I know that the only way for him to step up to the plate and be Sorel is the demise of his family members, but to do so in such a tragic way and all at one time? That’s cold. No wonder he fainted in a shock.

I feel for Takeshi who now has to take the reins on Onitsuka. When we are given flashbacks of Little Takeshi as a child, a soft and delicate little man who hates nothing more than to force to fight and be “strong.” This will only challenge him further because he has to wear his father’s shoes, and there’s no way to escape this. He has been conditioned to believe that his brother will take over the rein, alls’ he has to do is marry well. But now, even the choice of standing behind Sorel is impossible. Now, he has to step into shoes that he thinks are too big for him, avenge his family’s death, become Sorel – when all he wanted to do is go in a corner and have a good cry over his loved ones.

Ah come here, P’Fia will give you a hug.

I’m looking forward to seeing his true potential – whether that means becoming the Sorel that everyone (even his father) believes he can be or something that may surprise us. But above all else, I want him to believe that he’s not a coward.

All this tragic sadness.. hopefully will also be an eye opener for Praewdao. It’s nothing like death looming over your head that makes you realize a few things. I hope she understands that what Takeshi needs the most right now is someone to fight for him. He’s going to have a huge load put on his shoulders, wouldn’t it be nice to share them with someone?

I can’t even dwell on my happiness surrounding Ryu and Mayumi’s first encounter, because the ending of this episode just gives me a heavy heart. But I will say this, I’m so looking forward to their love story now!

And before we take off for the rest of the week (since RRHLT will continue next Wednesday) let’s all take a moment to remember how Ryu’s eyes mist over with tears as he looks at his cousin, his best friend, and now only living relative, that things will never be the same again. *Sob!*

Here’s a picture of happier times:

marionadechOST in Thai: