Nothing makes me happier than seeing Miyo smile and enjoy herself! It was an absolute delight to see her finally thinking about what she wants to do, starting with making a return gift for Kiyoka. It was so precious how excited she was when she flipped through the magazine, deciding to make him a braided cord, and how much fun she was having at the shop when she was trying to pick a color. But I’m even more proud of Miyo for taking the initiative to go into town because even asking for that is a big step for her.
Understandably Kiyoka was a bit worried at first whether it was safe for Miyo to go without him. After-all he doesn’t know who is tailing him (though it is later revealed that it was none other than Tatsuishi, which I’ll get to in a bit). He did give her an protective amulet so that she’d have the freedom to do so without him.
Unfortunately that joy was short-lived because the amulet wasn’t designed to ward off her relatives as Miyo ended up encountering Kaya and Koji together while she was in town. Worst off, she just happened to be on her own at the worst possible time because Yurie went to grab some salt. It’s hard to say whether Kaya could have been any less ruthless with Yurie around from the get-go, though Yurie did manage to gracefully shut her up when she declared Miyo as the one Kiyoka will be marrying. So perhaps had she been there from the start, Miyo might’ve been spared the grief she was just put through. But man, if only we had Koji’s brother’s gift to zip Kaya ‘s mouth shut, because it was absolutely infuriating to watch this girl gleefully torture Miyo with cruel words like it’s her favourite pastime. Bitch, don’t you have anything else better do? And if that wasn’t bad enough: for a guy who likes to talk about how much he wants to be the one to save Miyo… It was super annoying to watch Koji let Kaya walk all over him like a doormat. He didn’t have to just stand there and let her talk shit about Miyo. If he actually had a spine, he could have just dragged her away by force (considering she intended to stick around) and in a stern tone tell her to shut up because meekly telling her to leave Miyo alone obviously wasn’t going to do it. Had Kiyoka been around, Kaya would have been undoubtedly roasted on the spot.
But since Miyo was essentially left to fend for herself, where the only way she knows how to do that is to weather the storm by apologizing and not talking back, there was no one to stop Kaya from bullying her. And we saw how she regressed to her former state when she initially arrived to Kiyoka’s house, shutting herself in and keeping to herself. These are the lasting effects the abuse she has gone through, and there was only so much Kiyoka and Yurie could do when Miyo herself didn’t trust them enough to open up about her secrets despite the fact Kiyoka had expressed to her that he’ll be there to listen to her whenever she wants to open up and talk about it with him.
Speaking of Kiyoka, while he was unfortunately wasn’t able to be with Miyo during that terrible encounter, he really came through this week with how he is choosing to deal with her family. He has committed to marrying her, and really doesn’t care whether he gets their permission or not. He’s just there for the formalities and to establish the fact the only way they’ll get the dowry is under the condition they sincerely apologize to Miyo– which of course since they are trash, the idea of apologizing to Miyo is ridiculous to them. But they either do that or Kiyoka will make sure that they cut ties with the Saimori family– I’m all for the latter of course. She’s better off without them, and they certainly don’t deserve any dowry in return considering they abandoned her and expected to find her to be dead in a ditch.
He also looked for ways to help Miyo, and was able to locate Hana, the only servant who stood up for her when she was little and was fired as result of it. It was such a big deal that he was able to find her. Hana was basically Miyo’s second mother back then, and we saw how it was thanks to her presence and established trust, that for the first time in years, Miyo was finally able to unload the grief and pain that she has been keeping to herself for so long. The whole scene had me tearing up because it hurt to see how Miyo truly believed that there’s no way for her to be happy when she has no gift, and because of that she didn’t think she could possibly be Kiyoka’s wife. But I’m so happy she was finally able to get that off her chest, and that Hana was able to reassure her insecurities and doubts by showing her the proof that Kiyoka knows everything, and that he was the one who sought Hana out to help her. And thanks to that, with the help of Hana, Miyo was able to find the courage she needed to finally tell Kiyoka everything she wanted to say.
My favourite part was the fact Kiyoka doesn’t shy away from holding her. It was a beautiful moment to see him hug her because god damn it, MIYO NEEDS AND DESERVES ALL THE HUGS! SHE HAS BEEN DEPRIVED OF THEM FOR FAR TOO LONG! SO BLESS YOU KIYOKA FOR DOING THAT!!!!
Although this was a good and emotional episode, I still felt like this one was slightly weaker compared to the previous ones. It felt more rushed, so maybe if they had skipped the opening they could have had a bit more leeway of time to pace it out a bit better so it wouldn’t feel like that. They also cut out the bit how Miyo was afraid that Kaya would charm both Yurie and Kiyoka since she considers herself as awful and useless, she automatically assumes the worst that she’ll be the one on the losing end because that’s just how it always been for her. And following up to that, the other part that they cut out was Miyo’s initial fear of the visitor being Kaya because she didn’t think they’d have any reason to refuse her visit. But unbeknownst to Miyo, Yurie was acutely aware of terrified she was being around Kaya, which was why she wasted no time ushering her out of there, and made sure that Kiyoka was aware of that too.
With the way things are paced, I expect Volume 1 to be finished by episode 6. I just hope they won’t try to cram it within the next episode, I’m not exactly sure how well it’ll go if they try to do that…
Finally before I wrap up, in the beginning of the episode we saw how Miyo had a dream of her mother conveying a message that not only did she know she was dying, but she did leave a mysterious message that one day, things will be different for her, while seemingly looking at her in her dream. The other is the fact Tatsuishi is the one who is currently tailing Kiyoka as he is trying to keep tabs on Miyo, and is absolutely livid to see that his plans are being threatened by the fact they are getting along very well. Unfortunately to get what he wants he’ll be dragging Kaya into the mix since the girl was immediately smitten by Kiyoka’s beauty when she briefly walked past him when he was leaving the Saimori’s mansion… Ugh… Get the salt!