Episode 9 Recap
Minami Shunichi watches Horikiri Chiyomi sleep
Minami Shunichi contently gazes down on Horikiri Chiyomi‘s sleeping form. After resolving and admitting his feelings aloud, he is seen contently gazing down at Horikiri Chiyomi‘s sleeping form. She’s a messy sleeper. Her bed sheets are all over the place, her legs are strewn about, hair fanned out and apparently has a tendency to roll about in her sleep which Minami Shunichi notes she does. She almost falls over the edge on this morning. Fortunately, Minami Shunichi has been watching her and catches her just before she does.
Horikiri Chiyomi wakes up and immediately realises he’s been watching her whilst she’s been asleep. He doesn’t deny it one bit as he asks her how she can sleep in that way.
It’s been four weeks since she became small, Horikiri Chiyomi narrates. Over scenes of them having breakfast together and her teasing Minami Shunichi about how it was so good to be eating delicious meals made by his grandma, she expresses that they’ve come a long way together. They’ve been in sync with each other and things are going really well between them.
Parents wants to bring in police to search for Horikiri Chiyomi
Whenever things are said to be going well, what seems to always follow is something that might change that. As Minami Shunichi and Horikiri Chiyomi head off to school, Horikiri Asuka brings news that her parents are wanting to bring in the police to look for Horikiri Chiyomi. Her parents are finding it strange how she can’t be contacted. Horikiri Asuka did try to stop them from going so far by saying how bringing in the police would make her sister uncomfortable, but it doesn’t change her parents’ minds.
Horikiri Chiyomi becomes famous with Moon Bunny Michaela
Horikiri Chiyomi‘s writing has been discovered by her classmates and she’s become famous. Minami Shunichi arrives to see his classmates all talking about Horikiri Chiyomi being Moon Bunny Michaela.
Minami Shunichi is approached by Takagi Riku. He tells him Horikiri Chiyomi is in trouble before accusing Minami Shunichi of playing dumb and wanting to talk about the figurine in his pocket. He comes off looking like he knows everything, but it turns out he not clear about the truth at all.
During his visit to Horikiri Chiyomi‘s parents with Mikimoto Ami, Horikiri Ritsuko and Horikiri Jouji are told about Horikiri Chiyomi‘s online novels. Takagi Riku seems to feel responsible for Horikiri Chiyomi‘s disappearance. He believes the reason she disappeared in the first place was because he revealed to Horikiri Chiyomi that he knew about her being Moon Bunny Michaela and how he liked them both.
Horikiri Asuka tries to comfort him by telling him that her disappearance has nothing to do with her writing, which almost has her parents question her why she sounded so sure. Saving herself with "that’s what I think", Horikiri Asuka‘s parents don’t go further than directing her an inquisitive gaze.
The newest piece of information about Horikiri Chiyomi seemed to have settled Horikiri Ritsuko and Horikiri Jouji about their daughter. Knowing that she wasn’t simply wandering in Tokyo when she should be attending the dance workshop might just put them off from bringing in the police. Still, they are quite surprised why she had to leave the house to write.
When Horikiri Jouji mentions how he was surprised by this talent Horikiri Chiyomi seems to possess, it has Horikiri Ritsuko recall the time when her daughter was small and telling her about having seen the One Inch Princess. It makes her think that perhaps she did see the One Inch Princess when she was small. Maybe Horikiri Chiyomi‘s sighting is what’s inspired her online novel.
Hearing this, Horikiri Asuka tries her parents with the idea of Horikiri Chiyomi having turned small: "I wonder if… Onee-chan became a Chobiko for real", just to see what they thought of such a situation. They deny the possibility. What they believe is that she must have had a lot she wanted to say, but couldn’t (and was expressing it through her novels), which is very true with her Chobiko in a Pocket piece.
Minami Shunichi discovers Horikiri Chiyomi’s feelings in her novel
Sitting outside by the seaside alone, Minami Shunichi reads Horikiri Chiyomi‘s latest work for the first time. He learns about the thoughts she had about the day he went shopping with her to buy her a red dress and how he feels love towards him. She talks about being closer to him than any woman of his kind: she can feel his body heat and his heartbeat; but, she is also the farthest from him. The Big Guy wouldn’t possibly love her, but she’ll be happy just to be beside him as she loves him more than anyone in the world.
Takagi Riku has Minami Shunichi to admit his feelings to her Horikiri Chiyomi
Minami Shunichi returns home from the seaside. He’s quiet after having read Horikiri Chiyomi‘s Chobiko in a Pocket. Horikiri Chiyomi notices and moves to ask him if something happened, but she doesn’t get a response as Takagi Riku makes an unexpected visit. He’s come looking for the Minami Shunichi‘s figurine as he believes it is proof that he loves Horikiri Chiyomi. He wants to find it and have Minami Shunichi admit his feelings for her because only someone who loved her could make a figurine so real.
Minami Shunichi is accused of playing dumb for the second time when he is heard mentioning Horikiri Chiyomi as his childhood friend. Takagi Riku starts mentioning about the Big Guy in Horikiri Chiyomi‘s story and how he got jealous because the Big Guy she was talking about wasn’t him. Minami Shunichi feigns not knowing what Takagi Riku is on about, which has Takagi Riku searching for the figurine again.
He comes very close to Minami Shunichi‘s desk where Horikiri Chiyomi‘s hiding as he does so. Fortunately, Minami Shunichi manages to take hold of him around the waist and drag him away. The action causes both of them to fall back onto the floor to have Takagi Riku discover the Moon Bunny sack which used to be on the toy bunny he made for Horikiri Chiyomi.
Takagi Riku starts to questions Minami Shunichi about Horikiri Chiyomi‘s whereabouts. He demands to see her. When Minami Shunichi tells him that he can’t, Takagi Riku goes back to the question of what Horikiri Chiyomi means to him. Minami Shunichi avoids answering again with a question: "What do you mean?"
Getting nowhere with the question, Takagi Riku changes tack by blaming Minami Shunichi for causing Horikiri Chiyomi‘s one-sided love. He tells him that he should know that this is the case if he’s read Chobiko in a Pocket and to not hurt her. He asks him to just tell her he loves her if that is what he feels—why is he making her suffer?
This time, Takagi Riku‘s words affects Minami Shunichi and he explains the reason he’s been treating Horikiri Chiyomi the way he has been. Tears flowing, he tells Takagi Riku the story about his father having left him when he was in middle school. His father once thought he’d cherish his mother forever, but people’s feelings change. He was afraid his feelings might, too; so, because he didn’t want hurt Horikiri Chiyomi, he decided not to love anyone. But then, when he saw Takagi Riku hang around her, he became upset for some reason. Takagi Riku helps add for him that Minami Shunichi was jealous, which Minami Shunichi doesn’t deny. He tells Takagi Riku that he didn’t have the right to be, though. Minami Shunichi then expresses some regret over not having been honest with his feeling on the night Horikiri Chiyomi told him how she felt about him (suggesting that maybe she wouldn’t have become small if he had). Takagi Riku encourages Minami Shunichi to tell her now. Minami Shunichi takes on the advice and does so right then and there.
As if Horikiri Chiyomi was right in front of him, Minami Shunichi tells her that he loves her, that she’s not in a one-sided love and that she’s already a part of him.
Horikiri Chiyomi reveals herself to Takagi Riku and expresses how he protected her
Minami Shunichi‘s confession has Takagi Riku confused as to why he’d say all of this to him and in such a way, too. Horikiri Chiyomi responds and reciprocates Minami Shunichi‘s feelings, surprising Takagi Riku that Minami Shunichi‘s figurine speaks.
Horikiri Chiyomi apologises to Takagi Riku. She tells him she was sorry for not being able to give him a response to his confession as on the night he confessed to him, she became small. As she’s saying this, Takagi Riku is still having trouble believing what he’s seeing. It takes her to confirm she was Horikiri Chiyomi and that she became Chobiko for real before he comes around and begins addressing her normally.
He asks her about the red dress and whether Minami Shunichi gave it to her. (His mind seems to be on the details of her Chobiko in a Pocket story.) She tells him of the night she became small and how she had nothing to wear apart from the Moon Bunny sack that he made for the toy he gave her. She goes on to tell him how he helped her and how it was the first thing that protected her that night. If it wasn’t for him and the clothing for the toy, she would never have been able to come out and have Minami Shunichi see her and live on the way she has been.
Takagi Riku is relieved to have been able to be of help to her a little. In terms of her not being able to give him the answer, he tells her that a response wasn’t necessary since it was obvious after he read her Chobiko in a Pocket story. He tells her that if Minami Shunichi returned those feelings for her, then he knew he had no chance.
Takagi Riku bows out and offers a piece of information that might help Horikiri Chiyomi return to her original size
With Horikiri Chiyomi watching from Minami Shunichi‘s window, Takagi Riku bows out. Standing outside the house, he tells Minami Shunichi that he’s leaving Horikiri Chiyomi in his care. Just before he leaves, he offers Minami Shunichi one piece of information that might help Horikiri Chiyomi return to her normal size. He tells him that according to the legend of the One Inch Princess, the way she became big again involved not only the shaking of the lucky mallet (which is what they tried in a previous episode), but also going up to Akebono Cape to face the rising morning sun as she prayed.
Horikiri Chiyomi and Minami Shunichi set off to Akebono Cape
With that information, Minami Shunichi set off for Akebono Cape with Horikiri Chiyomi. They book a room at a Spring and spend the time enjoying a spa together; they feast on an elegant meal.
Unknown so to him, Minami Shunichi gains an admirer in the form of one of the Spa workers after checking in. It’s a short-lived crush as she finds out that Minami Shunichi has a girlfriend after enquiring about the time for the sunrise and hearing that he wanted to go to Akebono Cape to be happy with his girlfriend. (Subtle declaration of Horikiri Chiyomi‘s new title!)
Minami Shunichi and Horikiri Chiyomi‘s night end with the two in each other’s arms. Minami Shunichi finds himself wanting to kiss Horikiri Chiyomi, but stops himself inches from her. He tells her that since he waited so long, he might as well wait till tomorrow to get the second one. (He’s recalling to the time he and Horikiri Chiyomi had their first kiss which happened when they bumped into each other and fell on each other’s lips.)
The next morning, just before the sun rises, Minami Shunichi take Horikiri Chiyomi to Akebono Cape to carry out what he hopes is what will return Horikiri Chiyomi to her original size. As they wait for the sun to peak over the horizon, Minami Shunichi declares his feelings for Horikiri Chiyomi again: "I… like Chiyomi. I like you a lot." He tells he thinks the days when he and Horikiri Chiyomi would go to the mountain and river together in search for the One Inch Princess were the most fun days.
Horikiri Chiyomi expresses the same thought to him. She tells him that she always wanted to be with him like that again some day, which has Minami Shunichi tell her that she can. He won’t run away anymore. He then tells her that he loves her (as in aishteru, not just daisuki!) as the sun starts to rise.
Ooh! It’s looking like the drama will play out like the One Inch Princess legend! There’s only one episode left so we can only imagine that the last episode will have Horikiri Chiyomi return to her normal size, maybe get marriage proposal if not a marriage like the One Inch Princess.
The events leading up to Minami Shunichi‘s confession and Horikiri Chiyomi‘s reveal to Takagi Riku, we’re wondering how close it was to the events in the manga. Although we sensed it coming with Minami Shunichi coming home contemplative and Takagi Riku pushing him to admit his feelings out loud, it felt quite snappy, like the drama knew they had to get all these plot points out in the next two episodes so in order to move it all along, they used this one visit from Takagi Riku to have Minami Shunichi tell his story about why he treated Horikiri Chiyomi the way he did, have Minami Shunichi confess to Horikiri Chiyomi right after then use this to have Horikiri Chiyomi reveal herself to Takagi Riku all in one scene. Then finally have him exit the story after that. It all happens a little too quickly for our liking.
The part where Minami Shunichi leans in to kiss is another point in the episode that felt just a tiny bit weird to watch. When we don’t watch the scene and think about how back then he couldn’t care less about kissing her again, but now he really wants to and is only barely managing to hold back, it’s a really nice thing to see; but watching the scene, it makes us squirm a little.
What we liked about the episode is that Takagi Riku did get his episode. He was acknowledged and thanked by Horikiri Chiyomi. It was a nice to hear her say that Takagi Riku provided her the first bit of protection in the form of the Moon Bunny sack the night she turned small.
We also like the insert of Minami Tomiko referring to Horikiri Chiyomi as Chiyomi-chan. Minami Tomiko sees her as Horikiri Chiyomi not One Inch Princess. We wonder if she’s always seen Horikiri Chiyomi as Horikiri Chiyomi, or if it’s just recently she’s come to see her as such.
On to the final episode! Yay! Hoping for a happy ending. We’re really looking forward to her becoming big!