[Free Talk: This is a josei about three women who are already in their 30s who still haven’t settled down and no desirable guys want them anymore. And if there are, they aren’t exactly the ones they would settle for if they have a choice. Rinko is a scriptwriter who rejected Hayasaka, a co-worker because he isn’t ‘ideal’ when he proposed but 10 years after, he became a better guy and propose to her apprentice, Mami, instead. There is Key, a young handsome actor who always lectures her for being a drunk, daydreamer, etc. He seems interested in her so he’s strict with her but he seems to be still attached to his deceased wife. Now, Rinko plans to get married with Okuda, a movie fanatic. He is a great cook, very nice and great in bed but he kept on making her watch movies everyday with him even if she doesn’t want to. He also kept on insisting that she change her hairstyle to be like Andie MacDowell’s in Green Card. Kaori is a nail stylist who ends up being the sex partner of her ex-boyfriend who already had a girlfriend. Koyuki finds someone who loves her but unfortunately, he’s married with a kid so she ends up being the mistress. The theme in this chapter is about compromising or not about the guy just to get married and hopefully, not regretting it. I think that this chapter can be a one shot story ^^]
Narration: “The women in this world can be divided into two groups: the women who can compromise and the women who cannot compromise. And it seems that I ought to be the kind of woman who cannot do that.” Rinko arrives at the observation deck of Tokyo Tower. She wonders what to do. She takes out her cellphone and reads Okuda’s messages. He asks her what she wants to do today. There is a movie that he wants to watch which starts at 18:00 and he thinks that Rinko will really like it. It’s ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, the director’s latest work. Rinko apologizes and writes that she has something to do tomorrow so she cannot go. Okuda writes that is a blow, then how about they go watch it tomorrow in the morning. Rinko apologizes and says that she has to go to the dentist in the morning. Okuda writes is that so, and has she seen the movie before. Rinko thinks that she hasn’t seen it. “Ah, at the start of going steady, I felt aroused. In the vast sky above Tokyo, I’ve become like a deer that will fly leisurely until nearly exhausted. Ah, and I’m starting to regret again. In the end, at that time, it is good if I agreed to go steady with Hayasaka-san...
...Hayasaka-san is also someone in the television drama world and he really knows movies but he definitely won’t force feed his girlfriend about movie knowledge from day until night. I really want to ride on a time machine and return to that time to tell my 23 year old self.” Imagination: Rinko rides on a time machine and arrives on the day when Hayasaka was proposing. Future Rinko exclaims that she came from 10 years in the future, her 33 year old self. “Listen up, this is for your own good, choose this guy, okay!!” Rinko exclaims but this guy really sucks and besides, he would even buy that kind of ring to give someone.. Future Rinko grabs Rinko and tells her to compromise. Rinko says that she is 23 years old, and if she is compromise now.. besides, from today on, it is possible that she can meet more good men.. Future Rinko smacks Rinko and shouts you silly girl who don’t understand anything. Hayasaka immediately goes to Rinko and asks if she is okay. Future Rinko shouts for her to look, isn’t he so nice and look, how he treats her so well and isn’t that guy really good!! “Listen up, okay!? Don’t think that you can continue on being young forever!! Time passes and it won’t wait for anyone. No one can stop it, okay!”
Shaken Rinko says that she understands. The future her had said that then she will choose this guy. Future Rinko exclaims that’s right, it is very important to learn to compromise!! Rinko tells Hayasaka that he accepts this ring. Hayasaka thanks her and says that he’ll definitely make her happy. Future Rinko ribs them to carry on intimately. End imagination. Rinko thinks, “By the way, there is no time machine because it hasn’t been developed yet. And probably, it cannot be developed. In a television program, it seems that it was said that in theory, it is impossible. Ah scientists, the whole world’s science people. I beg of you, for us daydreaming women, please develop a time machine, okay.” At their frequent hangout, Rinko’s friends exclaim that she wants to break up, that’s too fast. Rinko tells them that today, she went up Tokyo Tower by herself to re-examine herself. One of her friend shouts that she’s too idle and she is always like this, going up some tall place wherever she cannot get over something [/unable to understand] or perhaps, have some trouble. The other friend says that she also did that kind of thing before.
Rinko says that isn’t that very common for there are that kind of people who would go to the beach. When she gazes down Tokyo streets from Tokyo Tower, she can feel that her troubles are very insignificant. Kaori says that’s right, in this metropolis, there is a better guy among this few millions of people whom she can definitely meet. Koyuki says that’s wrong for it seems that Tokyo’s population has already passed the ten million mark. Rinko asks them what would be the best to thing to tell him. Not listening to her, Kaori says that speaking of Tokyo Tower, she only went once and it has been such a long time already. Koyuki says that that last time she went is when she was in junior high and by the way, right now, she still haven’t gone to the [Tokyo] Skytree. Kaori says that she also hasn’t gone yet because no one would go with her. Koyuki says that’s right, and it is possible that she cannot go throughout her life. Rinko tells them to drop that topic already and it is better for them to help her think of a way to mention about breaking up with him. The two shouts that she is too wasteful, wasteful spirits will come and get her, you jerk. Rinko shouts that’s too old [/cliché].
Her friends shout that she tells him what she is dissatisfied about and try getting into a quarrel. Rinko groans and shouts that Okuda is the type whom you’ll quarrel but cannot get into a quarrel with so she thinks that she has no way of going steady with him.. Kaori says that she understands, it is a common symptom of a 33 year old. Koyuki says that it is that baffling embarrassment that one cannot be like, when one was young, that is just frankly say out one’s feelings. Rinko asks if when they are with their boyfriends, don’t they have this uncomfortable feeling [<- something is not right] or perhaps, it feels tired talking with him. To her shock, her friends say no. Rinko trembles and says that she’s so envious of them. Rinko wonders out loud which side is better, very happy being with the guy even if there is some other woman or the guy belonging only to you but when together, it feels like the guy is incompatible [/couldn’t quite get along]. Gloomy Kaori says that she would even ask which side is better. Irked Koyuki says that of course, the single one is better and she would even ask. Rinko says is that so, but for her, it doesn’t matter as long as she is together with someone whom she is compatible with.
It is alright even if there is no way of getting married and they cannot live together. For example, during vacation[/weekend], the two can find some free time to chat for a limited time. Just the two of them together being compatible and happy that even if it is one day, isn’t it already quite blissful. Getting married with a person whom one isn’t compatible with, carrying it on even if basically they’re not compatible, then after some years or even ten years, one basically cannot be a bit happy. Kaori is speechless. Koyuki says that even if what Rinko said is possibly right but.. Crying Kaori exclaims that even if they are compatible but cannot get married, then they’re sadder than her, okay!? Koyuki nods in agreement. Rinko says is that so. Koyuki asks Rinko about that other guy, blondie, [Key] is he compatible with Rinko? After blushing, Rinko shouts that basically, that isn’t the issue with that guy, and she’ll even say compatible with her or not when he would always have this fully attacking [/accusing] nature towards her.. Kaori tells Rinko to think about it, for wasn’t it mentioned that ‘hitting is closeness and scolding is love’ [<- something like you only argue/quarrel with the ones you love], so that can be considered that kind of type..
Rinko tells her that it isn’t at all like that, okay. Koyuki says by the way, he has that kind of personality yet unexpectedly he got married once so what kind of woman is she. Rinko says anyway, it is definitely that kind of old crumby story of two brats who were aroused for a short while then they got registered to get married. “But in the end, because of that guy’s very poisonous mouth, the whole day they kept on quarrelling nonstop and they immediately had a lightning divorce..” Then, with arms on each other, Ryou and Marui arrive while saying that it is beautiful Friday. The other two friends exclaims when did the two’s relationship became that good. Ryou says that they already drank a bit. Sitting beside her, Ryou tells Kaori that he’ll wake up early tomorrow so if she is coming, then stop drinking, and quickly come over [to his place]. Kaori exchange aghast expression with Rinko. Koyuki stands up and Marui asks what time she is going to close the store, and does she want to go to the stone spa. Rinko quietly watches the lovey-dovey.
While walking, Ryou is complaining about being with some uncle and it is simply unreasonable for him to wake up at 6 in the morning. Kaori calls out to Ryou and asks if he feels that it is mentally taxing or perhaps he cannot talk with her when they are talking with each other. Ryou says how is that possible for they had been going steady since they were 18 years old. Kaori agrees and asks what about his girlfriend. To her surprise, Ryou admits that it happens. He says that it always feel that there is always a difference [of opinions?] when talking, and he basically cannot talk with that woman from the fashion circle. Kaori asks if he feels that it is more fun to talk with her even if she cannot win against someone younger. Ryou says yes, if not, then he won’t be seeing her like this. This made Kaori blush. Ryou says that there are times when he feels very tired of being together with that kind of woman. Kaori wants to tell him that it is fine to just break up with his girlfriend then go steady with her again but, she couldn’t say out those words. While lying in the stone spa room, Koyuki asks Marui when his wife is coming back from her hometown. Marui says after giving birth to the baby and it seems that she is still going to continue staying at her hometown for some time so..
Koyuki says but soon or later, she’ll come back right and it would be about two months so when that time comes, they won’t see each other like how they do right now, and he also cannot come to eat at the restaurant anymore. Marui sits up and shouts no, he wants to go. His wife totally couldn’t cook and she basically doesn’t like doing house chores so..after the child is born, she’ll become particularly sensitive and weak that everyday, she’ll cry loudly and run amok, the so-called, postnatal depression. In the end, she’ll say that she’ll wait for the child to grow up then she’ll want another child. She would even say that if she has two children, the future will be more relaxed. He already does not want to see her again like someone who seems to be a totally changed person after giving birth to their first child. Right now, the eldest still needs to be taken care of so his wife decided to return to her hometown at Fukuoka and give birth to the second child and then for the time being, stay with the child there. Koyuki asks isn’t that a very happy thing for his own child is going to be born. Marui says that it is probably a happy thing but how his brain portrays happiness is quite different from this. If one is to talk about happiness, he thinks that it is together with Koyuki, just like this, going to a stone spa together, chatting and that is already happiness.
Koyuki thinks that he’s scum but honestly, this is a bit quite cute and he’s a lot honest compared to a man who obviously doesn’t like children yet would pretend to be happy. At a restaurant, Rinko is looking away while saying so in the end, she wants to concentrate with her work and for the meantime, it might become quite complicated about seeing each other-type..and this kind of thing. Rinko apologizes. She becomes nervous when Okuda calls her name. He smiles and asks if there is no way for her to be with him. He laughs and says that that it is alright if she says it directly, and it is because of him that she cannot do it. Rinko says no, how can that be.. Okuda says that they are already at this age and are still single so it is definitely difficult to match the other person’s pace. Rinko says that he is a very remarkable person and it is a bit of waste for him to be with her.. Okuda says but he still hopes that she can directly tell him for if it is possible, he’ll change. Rinko says no, she’s the problem for she feels a bit tired when they are together. But, this is her own problem..hers..and at this age, she still cannot overcome this problem and she is really useless.
Okuda says that since she feels that ‘this isn’t that person’, then it is inevitable. At this time, a man should quietly withdraw as mention in ‘The Godfather’. Perking up, Okuda asks if she has seen that. Aghast Rinko says that she didn’t. Outside, Okuda tells her not to be shy and come to the store again next time. He’ll be going to Tsutaya so they’ll part ways here. Rinko says okay. Okuda thanks her for clearly telling him the truth so let him say one thing for the last time. Becoming nervous, Rinko asks what. Okuda says that he is very happy when he’s together with her and he’s sorry, truly sorry that he made her feel tired. “Good luck on your work and if one day, you write a movie script, then, he’ll be first to watch it. Goodbye and take care.” He holds out his hand and shakes her hand. Rinko thinks that she can see it, a time machine that came from 10 years after, and the one sitting there is her 43 year old self saying to the current her, “Rinko, choose that person, okay. You should already compromise. You are already 33 years old. If you miss out on him, you’ll definitely regret it. I’m the you from 10 years after. *she is accompanied by the two of the series’ mascot/conscience based on the food they usually eat when drinking, pig liver and fish milt* Right now, I’m still all by myself. *goes to Rinko* Ah, I beg of you, please wake up a bit, okay. I’m so lonely.” Rinko thinks that even if it is so, her feet also won’t move.
Narration: “Our hand is able to grab happiness but right now, it seems that we were frozen and couldn’t move. *Kaori wakes up and looks at the fashion magazine that features Ryou’s girlfriend on the cover then she leaves Ryou’s place* Obviously, we can be together but we are incompatible [/cannot get along], and even if compatible, also cannot be together. *Koyuki is cooking some food* And even if mutually love each other, also cannot marry. *Rinko messages the two that she wants to go to Skytree.* Since when were we only able to use this kind of difficult and stupid [/awkward] way of life. I’m sorry, we are too stupid. Before, Ken Takakura [Japanese actor] said these words, but to whom should we apologize to. Should we apologize to our future selves?” And, the three women look out at the city from Tokyo Skytree’s observation deck. Kaori says that it’s quite high. Rinko says that it’s too high. Koyuki says that obviously 10 years ago, there is no such thing.. Rinko says that it feels that after going up at such a high place, she is like an immortal.
Her friends tell her that she is already an immortal for unexpectedly rejecting such a good man. Rinko says that if there is really a time machine, then, their future selves will come back and see them, what do they think they will tell them? Koyuki says that in short, they probably say, you guys would unexpectedly be in the mood to go up the Skytree now, three women going up the Skytree and then, they’ll stick their faces together. Rinko says let her say, the two of you do your best. Koyuki asks what is that all of a sudden. Rinko continues to say, “Even if he has a girlfriend or a wife, you should properly cherish the current feeling, okay because in this metropolis, to be able to meet a person whom one is compatible with is already a very amazing miracle. Good your best. Fight for it.” Koyuki says but..it is already.. Kaori says that she already don’t have that kind of energy. Pointing up the sky, Rinko shouts if their future self appears up there, what would she say, come, imagine it for a while. Kaori says that she can see it. Koyuki exclaims that Kaori’s mind is too simple and with whatever hypnosis, she’ll immediately fall for it.
Kaori points up and says that Koyuki is also there, look. And all three ‘sees’ their future selves in a time machine. Their future selves say, ‘Right now, you guys are still young and you can still do your best. I’m sorry, the future is very disappointing. Right now, the three of us would join a Chiba one-day tour bus together every week. This is already our sole comfort so right now, do your best. Before Tokyo’s Olympics, definitely think of a way to find your life’s partner. I beg of you, please change our future, okay.” Somewhere else, at some filming site, Hayasaka tells everyone good job. Pointing to a magazine, Mami tells Key to quickly look, there is a magazine’s special column that firmly praises ‘Fake Marriage’ [the drama that Key is in]. Key says that it is thanks to Mami’s written script. Mami says not at all, and it is thanks to her master, Rinko. Key asks if her master is really going to get married. Mami says yes and from today on, the office will be lend to her to use. Mami says that they are currently discussing about holding a surprise party to celebrate Rinko’s engagement and if it is convenient for Key, he can also come. Just when Hayasaka tells her to wait, Key already says okay. Mami exclaims that’s great and he’ll really come. Just when Key is asking when it is, it is already raining.
While the filming crew starts to move to some other place, Hayasaka says that it seems that they’ll call it a day. Mami says that’s good then it will be for tonight and she’ll call Rinko. So, Mami messages Rinko that if she is free and can she trouble her to come over here tonight since there is something wrong with the air conditioner. Going to her office, Rinko thinks that Mami will occupy this place and right now, not only did she lose her hope of getting married, she also doesn’t have a place to sleep. Opening the office’s door, Rinko wonders what to do, she showed off about getting married and right now, where can she get the face to say that in the end, she’ll still continue to use the office. And, confetti lands on her head. Together with Key, Mami and Hayasaka congratulate Rinko for getting engaged. Rinko looks stunned. Key congratulates Rinko and gives her a gift. It is a cup with the words, ‘stray dog’. Mami laughs and exclaims if Rinko is surprised then, she is going to open the champagne. Mami says if it is convenient, they’ll wait for her boyfriend to close shop then call him over to have fun together. Everyone is surprised when Rinko says that they broke up, she already broke up with him, sorry. Narration: “Looking at this comical scene, my future self would laugh. No, that’s wrong, right. My future older self should be currently crying. Sorry, I’m too stupid.”
Comment: I find this chapter amusing and insightful yet sad. It would indeed be nice if there is a time machine wherein our future selves can tell us if we are making the right life decision or not. Of course, even if one shouldn’t regret about one’s choice and choose what one thinks is right at that time, in the end, sometimes, it is beyond our expectation. Like with Hayasaka, who would have thought that he became better than he was before. What are the chances that Okuda would change later or not? Rinko isn’t going to endure and hope that he will. In a way, between Rinko and her friends, it seems like ‘it is greener in the other pasture’. Rinko is envious of her friends and her friends prefer Rinko’s situation. Is it really better to compromise and settle for less because if one always waiting for the right guy, he might not arrive at all? Be content or hope for something more? Anyway, I think that is one of life’s usual troubles wherein one cannot really know until after one has chosen and finds out later on, if it was the right choice but unfortunately, if it is wrong, it might be too late to correct it. Yet, since this is manga, I think Rinko will find her happiness with Key. Scans by 离境汉化组
Word of the day:
It is only from God that we can receive the grace of forgiveness when our choices have produced painful regrets. And only in Him do we find the wisdom to make better choices. ~ Our Daily Bread