Quite a moving episode.
Masato told the rest that he knew this guy because he came for an interview, but unfortunately, he didn't get the guy's name. When they pushed the body out to the van, a girl came forward and said that she knew the guy. As Masato and Eisuke loaded the body onto the van, Yuki told them that the guy died because he tried to save the girl, Taniza, from a group of thugs.
Flashback: She was harassed by a group of guys and the guy saved her. She ran away, and the thugs beat him up. When they snatched his bag away, his belongings scattered to the ground, and they took all of them. The guy tried snatching something back but only tore a corner of it, and one of the thugs stabbed him.
Arghhh. I hate it when people die like this T.T
Yuki mentioned that without his bag, they couldn't identify him, and the only clue they had, was a piece of a postcard that the guy clutched tightly even when he died. Masato took it, and turned the postcard to its back. There, it said — Photographer: Sa-. Masato murmured the various common names that started with Sa.
They placed the guy's body in this modern cooling device, and Haruka told Masato that it was bought three years ago, "We haven't even finished paying the instalments." Masato worried over the finances, but one of the other helpers comforted him with, "Don't worry, business would pick up soon."
Haha. In this context, it's kinda funny…because business equals to funerals isn't it?
Masato felt wistful at the thought that this guy would not have a funeral, and after cremation, his ashes would be scattered in this common ground, alongside with other people's ashes. Later, Taniza came over to the shop, and when Masato asked whether she had seen the guy before he died, she nodded. A year ago, she was playing on the street as an aspiring clarinet player, and she asked for any song requests. This guy stepped forward and asked for Jingle Bells. Even after that time, he came to listen to her, and soon, she kept seeing him everywhere — in the train, opposite the road etc.
Masato commented that's just like a stalker, and said that Taniza must have felt very torn — was he a stalker, or a benefactor? Taniza learnt that he wouldn't have a funeral and murmured that he must have a family out there. Masato nodded sympathetically, while Haruka narrowed her eyes at him.
During dinner, Haruka accused Masato of being so helpful only because Taniza was very pretty. He denied the claim, but when Haruka asked if he would still be this helpful if the girl wasn't pretty, he answered, "That…I have no idea." Momoko sat down and started eating without saying Itadakimasu. She commented that the food got worse each day, and Haruka took her rice away, but she snatched it back, and went back to her room to eat.
I realllyyy don't like this Momoko.
In the morning, someone came into the shop to take the cash in the box. Masato was brushing his teeth when he heard a noise from the shop. Taking a heavy object, he carefully opened the door.
He saw his brother sitting on the floor, but when Hayato stood up, Masato didn't notice that he had notes in his hand. It was only when Haruka entered, heard Masato saying that he thought Hayato was a thief, did she realise that the box was open and that Hayato had the money. Hayato ran, but Masato got him in a dead lock.
He struggled for a while, before relenting and claiming that he knew he was wrong. Masato let go of him and Hayato took this chance to punch his sides, before escaping (en route of escaping, he banged into Momoko's cup, which caused the milk to be splashed all over her face.) Masato gave chase, and saw Itsuo outside their house.
They started chatting while Masato took care of the plants. Masato mentioned how Taniza must be quite distressed since her stalker ended up saving her life. Itsuo muttered, "Do you think that a stalker will do something like that?" He asked Masato where dead people lived, and Masato looked at the sky, before answering, "Where?" Itsuo replied, "In other people's memories." As he turned to leave, he told Masato that any small act of kindness would do, when pertaining relationships with others.
Masato went to the place where the guy died, and found Taniza praying there. It was quite obvious that he went there to find her haha, and later they sat down for a chat over coffee. While Taniza poured her confusion about why the guy would come and save her, Masato sat at a side and nodded sympathetically. He told her that he would help her to find out more about how this guy lived, and what he had gone through. "Let us work hard together."
Righttt, hahaha Masato, you do not have pure motives of just helping the guy eh.
Masato went over to the police to ask if the investigation had churned out any more leads and to pass an amulet (which was actually a voucher for the beer house) to one of the policeman. Hahaha the policeman stuck out his tongue while saying, "Oh an amulet." He was told to talk to Yuki, who was in charge of the investigation. She asked him why he was interested, and he listed that Taniza's face was so pretty~. But he got serious, and said that he regretted for not listening to the guy when he came in for an interview, and that a stalker wouldn't stake his life to help someone.
Yuki showed him the postcard corner (depicting a boy who held up a letter 's' and standing in front of the mountain plains) again, and asked him what he would think of when the word, "Mountain" was mentioned. "Big." "Right, what about a big, big mountain." And there, Mount Fuji. They decided to start searching from the photographers stationed around Mount Fuji.
Haruka mentioned that Kento loved taking photographs of Mount Fuji, and knew that Masato still cared a lot about him. Masato sat by the guy and told him that he was on very good terms with Kento, "He was the only one that had the same father but different mother from us."
He walked close to the body, and murmured if his brother died now, he would face the same fate as this guy.
And so we see why Masato, other than Taniza's pretty face, had other true intentions of helping this guy find his identity.
Yuki worked through the night, and the next morning, showed Masato a long list of photographers whose names start with 'Sa'. There were none that remembered the guy, but there were still some photographers that she couldn't get through. Masato thanked her, and wanted to treat her, causing her to spring up from the table with a smile, "What are you treating me."
Haha, Masato wanted to go there right there and then to check things out, and even though it was Yuki's off day, she acceded to Masato's request. And so there they went, from one studio to another. While walking along the road, Masato got a call from a friend to go to another networking session, this time with cute nurses. He was excited to go, but couldn't make it since he had to work. Yuki asked if he's going for another session when he had a girlfriend, and he defended himself, "Rest is very important." He turned the tables on Yuki, saying that she had a boyfriend too, and she laughed, "Rest is verrryy important." He asked what her boyfriend was doing as a job, and she asked if he minded, but he denied.
Finally, at night, a photographer's memory was triggered when he saw that small corner. He quickly searched through his stack, while Masato and Yuki looked at each other in excitement.
The photographer found the postcard, and showed them. It was a group of children, holding up letters that made up, "Merry Xmas." The photographer told them that this postcard won an award five years ago, and was later sold. Yuki asked hurriedly if he knew who bought it, and he remembered how five years ago, a guy called to ask the same question. Unfortunately, he couldn't remember the name. Masato stood up and requested for the photographer to try his utmost best in recalling the details, but Yuki pulled him back into the seat, murmuring, "It can't be helped."
They knew that the caller was most probably the guy. While having dinner, Yuki got a phone call from the photographer, who told her that he still couldn't remember the name, but he recalled that the guy asked for the name of the biggest hospital in their area. Yuki and Masato rushed there, and Yuki, after talking to the staff, told Masato that she knew everything…and it's complicated.
The next scene cut to Masato facing the guy, and he apologised, "Even though I had a chance to talk to you properly, I didn't…I really regret it…I'm sorry…"
The next morning, Taniza came by the funeral home, and asked Yuki if it was true that they knew his identity. Masato affirmed it, and said that he's called Kuyaki. He had worked at a factory until it closed down, and he had been living with his sister until five years ago, when she had an accident….and her heart was donated to someone else.
At this point in time, we realise why, and Taniza realised it too. Her eyes widened as Masato told her that Kuyaki had been holding that postcard in his hand even after he died. He must have wanted to find the person who had his sister's heart, and watched from afar, while all the while, living life to its best. Taniza walked to Kuyaki's body and started crying. She revealed that she was the one who wrote on the postcard, with just a simple thank you, to thank the family that had given her a new chance.
She told Masato that she would pay for the funeral, and Haruka told Masato to accept the job…and now they could organise a big funeral. During the service, Taniza read a letter, that Kuyaki had sent to her. In a flashback of sorts, with a narration, we see Kuyaki crying and holding his sister's hand, saying "Goodbye."
He hoped that Taniza would chase her dreams, and live her life well together with his sister's bit. Then we see how he always smiled after seeing Taniza (and not like a dead panned expression of a stalker.)
After the song request
After the train incident
He wanted her to live well, and joked about how he didn't want her to run into perverts.
"I want you to chase after your dreams, and live well, on my sister's behalf. I always thought that Christmas…was another birthday for my sister and you."
And the camera zoomed in on his face while he listened to Taniza play Jingle Bells, as he smiled, and said, "Merry Christmas."
Taniza placed a postcard in Kuyaki's coffin, which said, "Thank you!" and Masato looked at Kuyaki, "Be safe on your journey."
A period of time later, we see Masato happily bouncing to Taniza playing Jingle Bells.
Hahaha, you still dare to say that you had no impure motives?
Yuki happened to be there, and laughed at how Masato commented that Taniza had such a beautiful smile. She came over, and asked if he was free on this certain date. He joyfully took out his calendar, when Taniza continued that she would like to invite him to her wedding. Oopsie.
Yuki couldn't help it and burst out laughing. Aww~
When Masato came out of his house to feed Kotaro, he saw Itsuo outside again, and asked him what he usually did in his free time. The answer? "Nothing much." "Haha I knew it." Itsuo asked about him and Taniza, and asked if he got dumped. Masato replied that it was nothing to begin with, "I had pure motives." Yeah right~ Masato commented that Kuyaki must have been very happy, to be sent away by a person closest to him.
In a narration, Masato started with, "Dear Father…I've started to understand a little of what it means to work at the funeral home…Love…from the most sincere to the most fake love in this world, maybe people are born to understand it. To be born because of love, and to die because of love…. Just a joke~"
And the scenes show Momoko in a sexual relationship with her teacher, Hayato giving money to a girl who ran into a hotel, and Haruka who was very happy because someone shared her article on Facebook.
If you think about it, this is somewhat, in the mildest fashion, of a detective/police show. In every episode, in order to give the best funeral that the person deserved, Masato would most probably try and learn as much as possible about him/her, and in that manner, he had to understand how this person come to die…so we will probably see more of that — finding out how the person died, and why.
I did tear with this episode. Yeah, it wasn't a very novel idea about the donating heart thing (See Summer Scent) but I love how it wasn't all melodramatic. Instead, it gave the story a very sweet lingering touch that worked well for me. I was kind of close in guessing — I thought that Taniza was Kuyaki's long lost sister haha. 😛 If you're confused about what actually happened, like I was for a while, I think what happened was that Kuyaki had no idea where his sister's heart went. When he received the postcard, he called to find which hospital the person might be from. And from there, I guess he found out who was the receiver of his sister's heart.
I would love to see more of Masato and Yuki. It's quite obvious that she didn't have a boyfriend…actually I think that her boyfriend might have been the one who died at the train platform, but who knows? It's also apparent that the funeral home will be the thing that brings the family members back together. Now, they are just dispersed, like magnets that repel each other. Other than Haruka — Masato siblings pairing, any other combinations among Haruka, Hayato and Momoko seem to be just asking for quarrels, food fights and harsh words. And we will watch…watch how the three of them come around in their own way.