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This episode gives me immeasurable happiness in terms of our duo R&M. The story is still working itself out, introducing us to who is friend and who is foe (for the time being anyway.) So to that end, I can be a little patient. Our hero learns that just because he has been stalking our girl for 7 years, doesn’t mean it earns him any brownie points, especially if our girl is in the dark about it. He’s going to have to convince her the old fashioned way. *smile*

I’m on a time crunch today – have a flight to catch and all – so I apologize for the limiting screenshots (I was only able to take half of this episode’s screenshots.) I will reconvene with episode 3 upon my return next week. Thereafter, I’m traveling off and on this coming month, so recaps will be sporadic at best – possibly in random days and a week late – but there will be recaps!

And finally, I can’t say that there is a more enjoyable way to send me off to Paradise than to see the contagious smiles of Nadech and Yaya! Off we go!

EPISODE 2 RECAP

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The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived!

Ryu finally decides to hell with his one-sided stalking tendencies (thank god, glad to have our awesome Ryu back) and reveals himself to Mayumi. She can see his face reflecting on the window and it gives her the shock of her life.

“You’re not mad at me for not coming to see you all this time, are you?” Ryu starts.

Mayumi covers her reaction and tells him, “there is nothing to be upset over, you’ve made yourself clear.”

Oh, THAT.

“I’m happy to hear that you understand..” he says and peers at the bouquet of flowers, “I recall that you like daisies,” and offers it to her.

Mayumi takes it and gives him a weak smile. Ryu thinks he’s out of the doghouse until he spots her dumping the bouquet in the garbage, the look she throws at him only means one thing: don’t mess with me. Ha. I love this. A reaction is better than no reaction!

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She rushes out of the hospital (at presumably the end of her shift) where she finally allows herself to feel. The brewing storm matches her mood.

Ryu approaches quietly from behind and notices that the location – arch overpass – is the exact same location of his dreams where he and Mayumi reconciled. Thunder rumbles in the sky this time around and he says to her, “7 years ago, I must have hurt your feelings.”

She looks up – praying for patience? – and tells him that he has no effect on her life.  No matter, because Ryu is here to discuss with her about their engagement per the elders’ pledge. Mayumi relents that even though it may be Onitsuka Soriyo’s honor to undertake said promise, she will kindly decline, besides, he’s already seeing someone else. Hee.

Ryu clarifies that he has NO ONE. Mayumi spells it out for him, “Aikiko Kudo, celeb and your new belle.”

Ryu smiles as he listens to her explanation that news of him and Aikiko are on the tabloids every day. He laments that the media exaggerates. Mayumi asks him to let her go because it’s too late now. This reminds him of her last words in his dream and hits particularly too close to home.

Mayumi tells him that they’re done since 7 years ago, what happened between them is a dream and there will be no engagement.

Not if Ryu could help it. Next thing Mayumi knows, she finds herself at a restaurant establishment, with his smiling face teasing her. Ha, this is the Ryu we’ve all come to expect! A man who takes matters into his own hands!

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He dismisses the bodyguards who later listen by the door. One of them thinks Mayumi will be mad at Ryu, while the other surmises that being mad is a good thing, they will have lots of kids. LOL. I love these guys.

Ryu happens to be flanked only by three guards, as oppose to his slew of men, and a suspicious stranger is spotted in the restaurant. Make that, two suspicious strangers. His head guard, Taishi, checks to ensure the food cart has no hidden weapons and safe for consumption.

Mayumi declares that she has no interest in dining with Ryu, but he counters that a woman who sulks at you means that she loves you. She tells him not to be too full of himself, which only prompts him to say that they should start arranging their engagement, wedding and honeymoon in one fell swoop. She wonders how Aikiko feels about this. Ha. Ryu smiles and relents that if Mayumi doesn’t care about him, she wouldn’t instigate about another woman. So true.

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A man pretends to enter the wrong room, but Mayumi spots a knife protruding from his hand. She screams for Ryu to be careful as the knife comes swooshing down. Ryu defends the onslaught and Mayumi tosses sake into the assailant’s eyes. Our girl isn’t simply going to sit around and do nothing. Love!

Taishi hears the commotion but gets distracted by another assailant who doesn’t need him helping Ryu. But both men, Ryu and Taishi, skillfully hold their own. Before Ryu could question who sent them, his assailant foams at the mouth and dies from cyanide.

At the police station, an autopsy determines that the assailant died by self-poison, and Ryu thinks that the suicide is an attempt to mask the true killer. The police however surmise that maybe someone is staging this so that they can close Ryu’s current case – he eyes them with contempt. Taishi argues the case with angry righteousness, but Ryu warns him to be polite, and let the cops do their job (even knowing that the cops are already prejudiced.)

Ryu asks Mayumi if she has any fears of being with him, but Mayumi states that she’s not the one who will be standing beside him so it’s a moot question. He basically calls her out on it because he KNOWS that she’s been taking some self-defense lessons – and is permitted by her father who believes that Soriyo’s woman needs to know how to protect herself. Essentially, he knows that she’s prepared to stand by his side. Hee.

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We know that there are at least three possible culprits that could want Ryu dead, but this particular attempt was arranged by Taka-on Misawa, who’s upset that the hired hand failed. Ruthlessly he cuts the side of his minion’s neck to teach him a small lesson and orders him to gather the evidences before Onitsuka finds them first.

Mayumi finds herself at a quaint and quiet café, she states that she wants to go HOME. He teases her that she only knows how to say one thing, like a parrot. Lol. And that the 7 years is behind them now – they have settled matters of the heart – so now they should settle matters of the.. stomach? She looks irritatingly at him but doesn’t argue that the bowl of ramen doesn’t look delicious. Before he has her dig in (sharing the same bowl) he chants a prayer into the bowl that he wishes for Dr. Mayumi to fall in love with him once she eats it.

The bodyguards commentate on who their child would be more similar to. Hahaha.

Ryu shows her the technique on how to eat a bowl of ramen, but it only serves to make her hungrier. She immediately slides the dish her way and the two compete on who can eat the bowl of noodles with enthusiasm. Why do I get so much pleasure out of watching them?

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The evening comes to a close as Ryu takes Mayumi home, but not before returning to her an item she left with him 7 years ago (right in front of her family): the daisy necklace. Mayumi recalls the pain when she had tossed the necklace to the ground but Ryu relents that the necklace is returned back to its owner.

Once alone in her room Mayumi declares that she will NOT be anyone’s belonging, especially that of Ryu’s. But she couldn’t get herself to throw the necklace away and resolves to holding on to it. She peers at him from her bedroom window and wonders what he’s about.

Ryu walks home with a satisfied smile on his face, his three guards follow him and wonder why he doesn’t confess to Mayumi that he’s been following her for the past 7 years. Ryu sarcastically wonders if his men wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if they don’t know everything. One of them exasperates that they can barely stand the suspense and their boss relents that he will pray for them then. Ha.

The good guys feel that they are a step behind the bad guys in terms of finding evidences surrounding the first case (Osamu’s murder case) since the perpetrator’s wife and child were silenced. The warriors warn him to be extra careful now, no heralding to unknown restaurants (hee) or a restaurant without Onitsuka’s tight protection. Ryu is aware that they have his best interest at heart and will heed caution next time, but the prospect only deems to frustrate him like a caged animal.

Ryu peers at the picture frames of him and Takeshi, he relents that he finally understands what it means to be Soriyo and to have the burden on his shoulders. He flashes back to his reunion with Takeshi in Thailand, where Seiko is pregnant with their third child (gahhh!) He recalls how sweet the duo are together and he’s happy for them. Ryu had questioned Takeshi if he would return to Japan and take on the leadership role again, but Takeshi laments that Takeshi Onitsuka no longer exists, there is only Tawan now. Ryu asks if Takeshi would return if he begged, but Takeshi (Tawan) says that growing up, they’ve been taught to uphold their duty and honor, to the point that they forget about their own hearts. Takeshi tells his cousin that he has already chosen his path, and that is to live with is beloveds in Thailand.

Present time, Ryu says that Takeshi is very brave to go after what he wants, while he’s a coward. He shakes his head and says that he couldn’t muster the courage. Koji stands behind him and voices that everyone has fears and courage, and that it comes down to what one chooses to use. Some people dedicate their lives to love while others dedicate their lives to their calling. There are many paths to choose from and Soriyo does not need to pick only one path.

Yuji pays a visit to Mayumi to pick up the jacket he lent her the day prior. He reports that he’s following the case from last night, where her future fiancé was ambushed. He tells her that he wishes to be the one to protect her, but he surmises that Soriyo wouldn’t let harm fall on his future fiancé – as if testing her reaction. Mayumi relents that the man isn’t that important to her, which only furthers Yuji’s hopes.

He later invites himself to lunch with Mayumi at the hospital since she’s not available to dine out. Mayumi’s friend/colleague cheers for Yuji to win this game of hearts, while Ryu’s bodyguards peer at them from the doorway. Hee.

Yuji has prepared his own lunch and launches into a story about how he’s very independent and got to where he’s at with his own skills and abilities. He claims that he wants to see his dad proud of him too, indicating his struggles with his father. This falls under the category, people openly telling you about things that you never asked..

The bodyguards replay an exaggerated interaction between Yuji and Mayumi in front of their boss, managing only to irritate the man. Ryu claims that it’s best if he see it for himself. He wonders why the cop is still around when his wounds have been healed long ago. Heh. The guards try to encourage their master to give her more attention – to which Ryu claims that he has – but the guards’ lament that they want him to do it more outwardly.

You got 7 years of making up to do, buddy!

Haru and gang congregates with the latest news. His minion reports that the police is investigating the murder case of Osamu and that they think it’s Ryu’s doing. Haru surmises that a warrior Samurai like Onitsuka wouldn’t do anything dirty and he decides that they will help Ryu overcome this case. If they want to be big, they need to choose their side well, especially one that is old and legit like Onitsuka. So you’re not a baddie, just competition? Should we breathe a sigh of relief?

Aikiko overhears that Ryu is expecting an important guest.

It’s his new investor for the apartment complex. She who wears too much makeup – Aikiko – appears with tea service, staking her claim as mistress of the house. The investor compliments her but Ryu is none to please about her appearance. The investor asks for her feedback regarding her experience at different apartments abroad.  He claims that she’s beautiful and smart and is best suited for Soriyo. And I guess Soriyo is not one to contradict the guest? He just pastes a smile and sees his guest off.

Afterward though, Ryu thanks her for the tea service. Taishi is standing by the doorway. Aikiko tells him that it’s her pleasure to do it for Ryu, however Ryu laments that if she truly wanted to do something for him, she shouldn’t do this again in the future, it’s not proper. He clarifies that he doesn’t want others to misunderstand about their relationship. Aikiko merely wants to lighten his load, but Ryu states that a man will carry his own burden and will not rely on a woman. She apologizes but states again that she just wants to repay him. Ryu counters that doing something out of goodwill doesn’t require repayment. Ha.

She caresses his arm before she excuses herself. Now he has to wash that jacket.

Taishi takes Aikiko home and advises that she shouldn’t behave this way with Ryu. He’s warning her so that she won’t get hurt. But Aikiko claims that she always gets what she wants, she doesn’t care about his fiancé. Taishi shares that Ryu has been following his fiancé for 7 years, and has recently taken her out on a dinner date. This clearly shows that Mayumi is important to Ryu. Aikiko doesn’t believe it and refuses to give up.

Taishi reminds me a lot of Taro, loving someone from afar, never asking for more. I’m just glad that this time around, he loves the supporting actress, because we have enough love interest coming from Yuji. Taishi flashes back to their childhood, where he fell in love with the Young Aikiko.

Business is flourishing for Onitsuka despite the ongoing case with Ryu. The townspeople still have respect for the clan. The three warriors put their heads together and try to figure out how the cops got a hold of a gun that belonged to Onitsuka, when the police has already confiscated the weapons from 7 years ago. The case may be that someone from inside the police headquarters planted it so that it looks like Onitsuka was behind the murder. Ooh, we’re getting somewhere. Ryu meets with Hiro (the good cop) and asks for him to inspect the collection of Onitsuka guns at the station to ensure that all are accounted for. Meanwhile, Haru overhears this from his spot in the temple.

Mayumi comes home earlier than usual and receives a present – lilies and cookies. Thinking that they’re from Ryu, she declines them but of course they’re from her other admirer. Since you know, Ryu brings daisies, not lilies. She realizes this as Yuji looks uncomfortably away. Yuji relents that as long as she accepts them knowing that they’re from him, he’s happy enough. Mayumi tells him that he honestly shouldn’t waste his time with her – not because she has a future fiancé – but that she wants to concentrate on her work. Yuji counters that the past is the past, but she shouldn’t close out her present because one won’t know what the future holds. Well, I must be psychic because I know that her future does not hold YOU. Yuji even plays the friend card, ‘that’s cool if we can be friends (for now.)’ Pfft.

Daddy knows his game though! That night as Mayumi peers at the necklace and the flowers, Daddy appears and wonders how Mayumi and Yuji is acquainted, because the man ought to know that she’s already spoken for. Mayumi claims that they are just friends, but Daddy thinks that’s only an excuse men use to get closer to the women they’re interested in. Daddy reminds her that she should act properly next time because if Ryu finds out, he’s not to be pleased. Now, look here! Don’t blame it on the girl, it’s Ryu’s fault for staying away for 7 years! This raises her hackles because even if he’s her future fiancé, he’s not the master of her life and he can’t condone or not condone who she befriends.

Ryu glances at the collection of Mayumi’s pictures on his desk, he thinks about all of their encounters, 7 years prior. In case we forget, we are reminded with several cute flashbacks! Ryu is so charming, smiling and thinking about his beloved. But suddenly he’s also reminded about his current standing with the police.

Hiro bides by what Ryu claimed earlier and enters the evidence room to account for all of the guns. Unfortunately he gets called away by Masaru (the chief), turns out, they are removing him from the case and his position due to conflict of interest. They are forcing him to take a month off and upon his return, he will be given a different role. The chief nominates his own son, Yuji, to take on the investigation from Hiro.

A suspicious man enters the police quarters (his face is covered). Hm.

Haru clan pays a visit to Ryu and tells him that he has a present for him. We learn that the present is the gun that has Onitsuka’s marking on it (probably taken by the suspicious man who entered the police station earlier.) Haru doesn’t share how he came in possession of said gun – only that it is one and the same as the gun used to kill Osamu – he merely wants to express his friendship with Onitsuka.

Onitsuka clan confers around their King Arthur’s imaginary round table. Ryu deems that it is true that someone from inside the police force wants to rid of Osamu and blame it on Onitsuka. One of the warrior worry whether Haru is truly an ally, but Koji explains that Haru is having difficulty in the business market because of Misawa’s influence. His only choice is to ally with Onitsuka. They find him daring and Ryu asks Koji to keep an eye on Haru, it’s best not to underestimate the man.

Ryu asks his housekeeper to do something for him.. trying to be sneaky!

The next day Mayumi receives a food delivery from a certain someone, there are notes ascribed on each tin of what each items signify and that the person hope she likes it. The culprit is eyeing her from the door, watching her read the notes with a smile. To her chagrin, it’s Ryu. She tells him that she’s not a handicap and doesn’t require him to ‘take care’ of her this way. Ryu relents that he’s taking care of his heart- if he doesn’t look after her, he has no one else to look after. Mayumi denies that she’s his ‘sweetheart’ and takes off with a glare.

Ryu rushes into the hospital ward and assists the patient, telling the older lady that he’s the doctor’s future fiancé. Heh. Mayumi seeks her friend’s assistance (Nana) and asks for Ryu’s help with a corpse. And with that, he immediately excuses himself. Nana thinks that they are soulmates but Mayumi thinks they’re more like ill-fated lovers. Nana warns her that people usually stumble on the people they hate the most.

We see that Ryu’s important business is to feed her patients with desserts. Lol. He announces that he and Dr. Mayumi are future betroths. But Mayumi claims that he can’t just feed her patients anything, they are on specific diets. Before he could put a word in edgewise, Mayumi continues her chiding. The nurse defends Ryu that he only prepared the snacks that go according to the patient’s diet. The patients all chime in that the snacks, the atmosphere (Ryu), make them feel better. Heh. Ryu pulls her close as she stares daggers at him.

Mayumi drags him to a conversational spot outside of the hospital and tells him to stop meddling with her life. He calls her sweetheart and tells her to take it easy. Furthermore, they haven’t married yet and she’s already tough on him. Lol. She wonders what will happen if she marries him then? Ryu agrees to her every whim. Mayumi declares that she will NEVER marry him.

They are called back to the hospital for the final surprise. Ryu plays koto for the patients, while he made some improvements; it’s still not music to their ears. The guards think that he’s under some pressure, and then the string breaks.  Or maybe he’s doing it intentionally so that Mayumi could come to his rescue? She does, and impresses everyone.

The nurses surmise that they are an excellent match and wonder when they’ll be married. Ryu chimes in that it’ll happen soon. But Mayumi declares that there will be no wedding between her and Ryu. She turns to him and tells him that they are free from each other since the breakup 7 years ago.

“But I’m back now, and I will do anything to convince you to marry me.”

“You can’t triumph over me (my feelings),” she challenges.

“Love has no winners and losers,” he counters. “One day you’ll accept my love.” His eyes positively glint with motivation.

Meanwhile Yuji doesn’t hear the end of it from his father for losing the gun. His father orders him to question all of the authorities here, because one thing is clear: if they don’t find it, they can’t catch Ryu.

Ryu takes a deep breath (not the kind you breathe in relief) in regards to Mayumi, and Koji suggests that he give her time and not give up. But we all know that Ryu doesn’t give up easily..

COMMENTS:

Ryu is back and what a pleasure to see his unbending will! I had to laugh when Ryu returns to Mayumi’s life (to her knowledge anyway) and expects that she would welcome him with open arms, and hopes that they can pick up where they left off. But he’s sadly mistaken. Our girl is going to give him a run for his money, because for one, he has broken her heart 7 years ago, and for another, she has missed the vital piece that he’s been trailing after her all those years. So from a girl’s perspective, you best earn your love, Mister! I’ll watch this any day!

Short comment today, but let’s reconvene next week with episode 3, by then, I’m sure you’d have had enough time to spazz!

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