Last Friends SP

Eri, Ogura, Takeru, Ruka, Michiru, and the baby stand together in front of the share house for a photo together. They laugh at each other for their silly poses but end up taking the photo with no poses at all.

The camera cuts to a woman’s leg as she walks closer and closer. Slowly moving up, a woman in a red blouse, holding a single luggage, walking pases the share house. Turning her head to the left, Eri glances at Share House, murmurs to herself, “Miss it so much!” and walks on. Behind her, in the near distance is Ogura, weighting down and moving sideways like a crab, hands, arms, and shoulders full of bags and luggages.

Takeru opens the door for the couple, smiling, he welcomes them. The share house dons a different look now. Instead of the pillows that used to scatter across the couches, it’s the toys that are seen everywhere. Ogura, with slightly longer hair now, shows Takeru the various “trophies” from their voyages, an exaggerate-looking mask included. (lol, very characteristic of them.) They’ve been away from the share house for a year after Ogura transfers to Italy.

Ruka is at the practice, as usual; Michiru is visiting Sosuke’s grave, he’s been dead for exactly one year.

Michiru walks slowly towards the grave, her little girl toddles left and right behind her in a puffy dress. In a distance, the little boy Sosuke had helped holds a flower, visiting his benefactor’s grave as well. The boy smirks when he sees Michiru.

Michiru’s thoughts wanders back to her first meeting with Sosuke, her birthday when Sosuke suggests for her to move in with him, her purchasing of supplies that leads to the encountering of Ruka again.

She reviews the first night’s tenderness when she moves into Sosuke’s apartment, which diminishes when she finds Sosuke looking through her phone and perseverating over Ruka’s gender. And then the series of nerve racking searching and calling for the yearbook to confirm Ruka is not a man. To Sosuke’s first beating to Ruka finding Michiru soaking wet, sitting alone in the park at night…

“I’m back.” Michiru comes back, holding her little girl in her arms. Eri gets up to greet Michiru, the girls catch up. Ogura leaves to go to the hair salon, saying he needs a hair cut but couldn’t do so while he was in Italy because of the language barrier. (An obvious transition to cut to Michiru’s co-worker who was hinted to also be a victim of DV. I’m just glad they didn’t forget about her.)

Naturally, the woman cutting Ogura’s hair is Michiru’s mean colleague. Ogura carefully inquires about the woman’s black eye, she openly admits it’s the doing of her boyfriend. (Wow, it’s been another year, she’s still with him.) “But why?” Ogura asks. “For some silly reason. I accidentally recorded over his sports program.” “That’s bad. Have you considered dumping him?” “It’s just something small.” “It’s not small!” Ogura yells out, attracting the attention of near byers. She smiles and continues, “But, I’m that kind of person, letting my boyfriend getting what he wants.” Ogura sighs, “Is that so?” She stops cutting and presses the corner of her mouth before continuing, “There was a girl who used to work her. Her boyfriend would wait for her to get off work everyday. Her boyfriend isn’t like mine, he cherishes his girlfriend. I was jealous of her, so I didn’t treat her too well.” Ogura says nothing.

The reminiscence returns to Ruka’s first visit to psych counseling, to Ruka’s first attempt to Takeru the truth about her, and to Takeru’s sister’s phone call to the Share House. (The sister is just as good a stalker as Souske)

It proceeds to remind us of Ruka’s first victory, the celebration in the pub Takeru works at, and Michiru’s full scale returning to Sosuke as a result of his suicide threat. And finally to Takeru’s personal visit to Sosuke’s apartment to bring back a zombie-like Michiru, narrowly escaping Sosuke’s omnipresence. Now everyone from the share house is present, they sit around the little tatami table for a long missed dinner together. Ruka’s tenderness towards Michiru is not missed.

But happiness never lasts long. To punish Ruka for taking Michiru away from him, Sosuke strikes back. He posts bulletins to announce Ruka’s secret to the whole world. (It’s ironic to think Sosuke, who Ruka couldn’t stand, is the first to discover her secret.) The story escalates to Ruka’s resolution to move out of share house, leading to Takeru’s ultimate, touching confession. (*hugs a pillow*) Soon, Sosuke attacks Takeru, injuring his hand, which inadvertently causes Takeru to miss a great opportunity for career advancement. (*pounds the desk*) In the midst of Takeru’s excruciating silence, Michiru’s heavy guilt, Ruka returns to share house to protect those she loves.

Ruka confronts Sosuke in his apartment all alone. After escaping from a heart racing, near rape experience, Ruka reveals her love for Michiru to Takeru, which is overheard by Michiru. She runs out to get a fresh breath of air and to let the idea precipitate a little. Meanwhile, the little boy Sosuke has been taking care of found his mother. Sosuke leaves the boy sullenly. Needing a little time, Michiru packs to leave share house and return to stay with her mother.

Eri and Ogura go to work together when they spot Sosuke loitering around in the neighborhood. Eri stops and chastises Sosuke for his indecency, Ogura, who’s been listening passively on the side finally reaches an epiphany.

Finally, Michiru receives a call from Sosuke, asking her to come by to pick up her belongings from his apartment. From finding Ruka’s lucky charm on the floor to slapping Sosuke on the cheek; from resisting Sosuke’s force to letting his force overcome her body for the sake of her friends, when Sosuke thinks Michiru is coming back to at last, her streaming tears and the happy photos of share house strikes Sosuke hard into reality.

He kills himself to give Michiru “freedom”. (That way she’ll remember him always and never truly be free from him.)

Eri hovers over Michiru’s little girl while Takeru is at the sink. The phone rings, Takeru walks over to answer the phone. His sister calls him, “Takeru, how are you?” He hesitates a bit and answers, “I, have a family now. I thought I would never forgive you. But right now, I’m living freely with people I love, in a world foreign to you. So, I can forgive you now. Remember to be happy yourself.” Shocked to tears, Takeru’s sister nods firmly. They hang up.

Ruka’s voice: Family, Friends, Spouses, Lovers, having all four of the relationships but belonging to no particular category, we live on, treasuring this fragile happiness

Ruka returns home, Takeru hands Eri and Ogura (now with a head full of curls) their cups.

Takeru’s voice: We’ll always be friends. If it’s possible, we’ll never be apart. Even if we part, we’ll greet each other with a smile when we meet again somewhere in this world.

All: My dear friends, you are my last friends.

When the end of episode 10 rolled around, the major conflicts in the story have already been resolved. Of course episode 11 just provided a more complete wrap up of the loose ends that weren’t important to me anymore. I was, once again, pleasantly surprised when the SP reminded me once more just how comprehensive and detail oriented the script writer really was/were. If there were any remaining unanswered questions, it was addressed here.

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