Jdrama Photo Recap Disclaimer: Since this is both a recap and a review of the show, there will be spoilers here. I’m watching this without English subtitles and while I understand a lot of Japanese, I’m not fluent. There are occasionally parts where I don’t understand what’s going on. And lastly, the photo captions are just snarky jokes and not meant to convey actual dialogue. So if you’re cool with all this, read on and enjoy!
We’re here. It’s the final episode. It’s been a crazy ride of ups and downs for this show but it’s been fun! So let’s cut to the chase and see what episode nine has in store for us!
We pick up directly where we left off last week: Riko and Tashiro are discussing the future of their relationship. Riko explains that she actually met Tashiro’s son, since he was the lost kid from the last episode. She doesn’t think they should she each other anymore because she wants Tashiro and his son to be happy, and she doesn’t think she can provide that. In the end, she walks away, leaving Tashiro standing alone.
At work, Aki worries about having only one week left to turn things around for the bookstore. But as she’s surfing the web, she sees a post about bookstores and she has an idea.
(…yes, yes I did draw those exclamation marks in my screencap. You should know by now that my dumb jokes are dumb)
She tells everyone about her idea: having some sort of 24-hour camp-out event at the store. And it’s just like old times, by which I mean she’s overly excited and everyone else is just “… … … okaaaay…?”
But after she fully explains what she has in mind, everyone agrees that it might be a good idea to try out. I really like that Mayuyu never fails to brings such lovely enthusiasm to Aki during each episode. The contrast from the first episode is really nice during this scene too. In the first episode, whenever Aki would suggest something, the rest of the employees didn’t respond to her ideas very positively. But since they’ve all gotten to know each other better over the course of the show, by this point, once Aki gets going about her idea, everyone gets caught up in the enthusiasm. Even Shiho says she’s excited and Riko says she thinks it’s a great idea.
So everyone gets to work gathering up what they need and promoting the event around town. While Shiho is out putting up fliers, she runs into Not So Friendly Boss.
As always, he’s secretly not happy about what they’re doing so he’s got to try to start some conflict. He slyly asks Shiho who’s getting fired and then says “oh? you didn’t hear about that from Riko?” This is probably gonna cause some conflict later, just like Not So Friendly Boss hopes.
BUT as it turns out, it doesn’t cause a problem. Instead, Shiho gathers everyone together to tell Riko how much they respect her and that they’re all in this together. Hooray!
So the 24-hour event kicks off to a great start after some frantic last minute set-up. There’s a nice montage of all the employees getting to chat with and suggest books to the customers. And even Obata is there, happily chilling in one of the aisles. They have a nice chat together and she says that she really likes him. And his response was a pretend “sorry couldn’t hear you, say that again please.” They’re too cute.
There’s a brief scene in the cafeteria they set up for everyone to eat. The guys from the usual restaurant are serving food along with cafe waitress girl. Mita thanks her for helping out. And once she goes back to work one of the restaurant guy’s is basically like “dude, she’s cute.” *suggestive eyebrows*
As the event continues, they crunch the numbers and it looks like everything is turning out excellent so far! Meanwhile, Aki goes to Corporate CEO Guy to tell him how hard they’ve been working for the bookstore, but he just brushes her off as he walks by. Rude.
While Mita’s working, he gets a message to meet from Tashiro. Of course, Mita goes to talk to him. (…I guess it’s okay for him to just randomly leave work for a few minutes??) So anyway, Tashiro tells him that he’s moving back to Fukuoka and that he’s not going to see Riko anymore. And then he changes the subject to ask about how the event is going, and Mita answers that they’re all doing their best.
Back at the bookstore, things continue to go well. And they have another staff meeting. (But who is running the store while they’re in all these meetings though???) It’s just a brief moment for Riko to encourage them to keep up the good work.
Once they’re back at work, they get a surprise visitor. Corporate CEO Guy! *dramatic gasp and music cue*
He observes them as they work. A customer asks Mita for a specific book, but they don’t have it in stock. But he suggests a similar alternative and that satisfies the customer. Good work, Mita! And Aki tells Corporate CEO Guy that this is what the bookstore is all about in a nice speech.
Riko meets with Corporate CEO Guy now that the event is over, and then she returns to tell the staff what the decision was. (Another staff meeting??) Anyway, he’s apparently decided to still close the store because they only raised profits up 118% instead of 120% which was his original deal. (I think I said 20% in my previous recap because I swear that’s what I heard, but apparently it was 120%) “A promise is a promise,” he tells her. So Riko tearfully apologizes to the staff.
Of course, Not So Friendly Boss decides to show up and rub this in everyone’s faces. In fact, his words make Shiho so mad that she SLAPS him.
MEANWHILE, Tashiro is just casually working over at his own job when he gets a call from Mita.
So the whole bookstore crew goes to the usual restaurant to cheer themselves up with a party. Because when life is crappy, the only thing left to do is party! (and get wasted) And they let Riko to give a toast. Everyone cheers.
Then the scene cuts to Corporate CEO Guy in his car who looks like he’s thinking really intensely about something.
He flashes back to his earlier talk with Riko and how she handed in her resignation so that she could take responsibility. Hm… okay.
Back at the party, they all discuss what they’re gonna do. And then Tashiro walks in. He asks Riko for a favor. He said he heard about the store closing down and about how hard they’ve all worked. So he offers them all jobs at his company. (That’s a lot of people though! Can he do that??) But anyway, hooray for not being unemployed!
So then he and Riko step outside to talk more. He explains that he’s moving to Fukuoka. And she tells him that he’s always saving her. They have a nice chat and then they… shake hands and say farewell. Guess this one really isn’t going to work out. It’s probably for the best that way. Go get your life together, Tashiro.
Riko has a nice talk with her father when she gets home too. She tells him that she’s glad to be his daughter, and he responds by being glad he’s her father. The whole scene is really sweet.
The next scene is the empty store and Riko just hanging out (taking a break from moving out?) and Aki comes to chat with her.
Riko has decided not to accept the offer to work for Tashiro’s company. Aki asks about her favorite thing working in a bookstore was. And then Aki answers her own question by saying that she liked meeting Riko the best. Instead of all the romance drama, I really wish we’d spent more time on the friendship between these two. It should have been the backbone of this story but I think it got lost in the shuffle sometimes.
AND THEN WE CUT TO AKI AND OBATA’S WEDDING. WHAT? Isn’t this still sort of sudden?? (I know, I know, I expect way too much relationship development for a nine-episode series) Well, anyway I’m glad they’re happy! At the beginning of the series, I didn’t think Obata had a chance with her at all, but Aki gave it a shot and it turned out good for them.
While the happy couple walks out showered in flower petals, Mita turns to Riko and asks her to wait for him to be a better man or something vaguely along those lines. And she smiles and says yes. And then Riko catches the bouquet that Aki throws. LOL (For anyone who doesn’t know, catching the bouquet is supposed to mean that you’ll be the next person getting married)
The last scene takes place sometime afterwards. Riko has opened up her own little bookstore and Aki comes to visit. It’s a nice little scene. Aki gets excited as always and starts giving Riko suggestions for improvements. And Riko smiles again, happy and content with her life.
And that’s it! I’m definitely surprised by how the ending turned out. In most dramas, the bookstore crew would have appealed again to Corporate CEO Guy and with the power of heartfelt apologies persuaded him to keep the store open. But that’s not what happened. And typically in most dramas, the characters all get romantically paired up by the end. But that’s not what happened either. Only Aki and Obata ended up together definitely and everyone got jobs working somewhere else since the Pegasus Bookstore officially closed down. I think unexpected endings like this are great. And they seem more realistic too. (Well, maybe Tashiro being able to magically offer everyone jobs is unrealistic but whatever)
Overall, this was a fun drama even if I got lost in the corporate intrigue there in the middle for a while. All of the actors showed off some fine work, and the plot gave the characters a lot of development. And, of course, I will forever and always go on about how great the soundtrack for this series is. (I’m only disappointed that Mita didn’t end up with Cafe Waitress Girl. Haha)
I don’t really have final thoughts and questions this week other than: what did you think? Feel free to share your thoughts on the final episode or the whole series in the comments below. And especially share what your favorite moment was! (Mine is probably the sequence in episode two where the Gossipy Trio keeps running into drunk!Riko in different places. LOL)
As always, thanks for reading my recap reviews!