Episode 2 Recap
The news that Horikiri Chiyomi didn’t return home to her family reaches Minami Shunichi after his mother saw the police visit her family early in the morning. It has him run off looking for her after recalling his last encounter, his last words to her word: “I don’t like you anymore” he had told her before she ran off into the storm.
He runs to the cave he and Horikiri Chiyomi spent resting after their search for the One-Inch Princess when they were children. Her clothes, shoes and belonging are at the cave entrance, but no Horikiri Chiyomi. Worry washes over him, clearly thinking something bad has happened to her. “Chiyomi? Chiyomi!” he calls urgently outside of the cave. “Chiyomi! Chiyomi! Chiyomi!” he calls again. “Minami-kun!” he hears finally, but he can’t see where the voice is coming from. “Here, I’m here! Minami-kun! Over here!” she shouts.
He looks towards the hills. Right and then left. She calls again. “Minami-kun!” He turns back towards the cave entrance then looks down and spots the many, many times smaller childhood best friend waving her arms at him. He can’t believe his eyes and is seen slowly approaching her to take a closer look. He pinching his cheek to make sure it isn’t a dream. “It’s not a dream,” Horikiri Chiyomi tells him, “It’s me—Chiyomi!” before she faints from over-exerting herself in getting his attention. Minami Shunichi catches the whole of her in the palm of his hands.
Minami Shunichi takes her in his pocket. They both bump into the policeman who handled the call about Horikiri Chiyomi‘s disappearance outside the convenience store. Minami Shunichi is pulled aside for a brief chat about Horikiri Chiyomi and how she seemed to have suffered from domestic violence. The policeman doesn’t believe that to be the case though. He thinks Horikiri Chiyomi has eloped with her boyfriend. Minami Shunichi exclaims in surprise at his comment as does Horikiri Chiyomi. The appearance of her voice has the policeman search for the extra voice, inclining his gaze towards his Minami Shunichi‘s bottom left pocket on his top. Fortunately for them, the policeman gives up on finding easily and goes on in his way.
The situation is getting serious Minami Shunichi notes to Horikiri Chiyomi. No help from the policeman—who’s apparently going around saying things like what he said to Minami Shunichi—domestic violence rumors are being linked to Horikiri Chiyomi‘s disappearance. Minami Shunichi suggest explaining the situation exactly as it is to her family upon arriving at her family’s workplace, but he’s stopped. Horikiri Chiyomi can’t have them see her like this.
So, Horikiri Chiyomi is brought back to Minami Shunichi‘s place instead. Whilst here, she is feed a little snack (which is more like a huge dinner for her small self now). Nature calls are also taken care of with a dead pot plant outside the window which Minami Shunichi gives up for her. School carries on and with Minami Shunichi at school, Horikiri Chiyomi explores his very giant-looking room. She learns that her childhood best friend still plays Kendama and that contrary to his perfect image at school, he’s actually quite a messy guy. Clothes are left strewn about the room on bed, overhanging on chairs and on tables which his grandmother visits to clean up for him. His school notes are well organised though.
At school, Horikiri Chiyomi‘s absense isn’t explained as a disappearance, but simply a cold she caught. Her parents didn’t want to make the matter into a big deal. The lie doesn’t stick, though, as Sasaki-sensei (who’s the supervisor of the Kendo Club Minami Shunichi once belonged) lets out the real reason to her classmates (who sat in the classroom he stood outside) and Horikiri Chiyomi‘s Mikimoto Ami and Takagi Riku who were with the teacher Sasaki-sensei was shouting the information to.
The information surprises her classmates, but it seems only Mikimoto Ami and Takagi Riku are concerned about Horikiri Chiyomi as the two are the only ones thinking of her at lunchtime, wondering what she’s doing and whether she’s eating properly. The rest of her classmates seem to go on as normal. Love rival Nomura Sayori is seen to even talk badly of Horikiri Chiyomi. This comes after one of the Kendo Club members (possibly the Kendo Club president?) from another class had seated himself down with her and Minami Shunichi during lunch, apparently looking to convince Minami Shunichi to join the Kendo Club again after he quit in the 11th grade. As an aside, the Kendo Club member begins to talk about having heard about Horikiri Chiyomi‘s disappearance and how opposite to the way Minami Shunichi things of her, he thought Horikiri Chiyomi was pretty nice. His comment causes her to make a remark about how Horikiri Chiyomi might “act pure, but there is no telling what she has been doing behind the scenes”.
The mention of Horikiri Chiyomi sudden has Minami Shunichi get up from his chair. It’s not clear whether he’s worried about Horikiri Chiyomi being alone in his room or because of what Nomura Sayori was saying about Horikiri Chiyomi or if he’s worried that people are starting to talk about her disappearance, but he starts to question whether it was possible for a person to become small in front of the class. The question has everyone stare at him unsure what he’s on about. Takagi Riku and Mikimoto Ami look at him with curious expressions, while Nomura Sayori is seen in the background expressing a laugh.
Realising how silly the question sounds, he retracts his question and decides to send himself home early for the day. He’s not feeling too well he tells them and requests Nomura Sayori to pass this message on to the teacher before he dashes out of the classroom. Fortunately Minami Shunichi does, because when his grandmother was in his room cleaning, Horikiri Chiyomi was accidentally locked outside in the cold when she stepped outside to hide and his grandmother decided to close every window in his room, preventing her from returning inside after his grandmother left his room.
Arriving home, Minami Shunichi take a few moments to hear Horikiri Chiyomi call and bang at the window to save her. Noticing her, he quickly unlocks a window to let her in; she thanks him, huge sigh of relief in her voice. He bends down and tells her that her disappearance is turning into a big deal at school. The information has Horikiri Chiyomi tell him that the townspeople have formed a search party. Her clothes and shoes have yet to be cleared from where she last wore them in the cave. Minami Shunichi needs to go clear them before they find them and jump to conclusions and think it’s abduction, rape or murder.
Minami Shunichi heads back to the cave with a backpack to recover her belongings. He picks up her shoes, her jacket and bra which falls out of the jacket, causing him to look away in embarrassment and mutter under his breath for making him do this. Quickly he returns home. He runs into a small problem of running into the policeman near his home (the policeman was a little suspicious of Minami Shunichi, interested in why he was out of school and the contents of his bag), but Minami Shunichi manages to escape with an excuse about a stomachache and stocking up medicine for it.
Clothes all cleared from the cave, there’s nothing left for anyone to find to make the situation look like something bad has happened to Horikiri Chiyomi—or so they think.
During the their conversation about having Horikiri Chiyomi call her parents to let them know she’s safe (and release Minami Shunichi from appearing suspicious to the policeman), they learn from Minami Shunichi‘s mother that the soy sauce bottle which Horikiri Chiyomi was asked to buy yesterday was found by Mikimoto Ami and Takagi Riku at Masaki Park.
The find has her parents, Minami Shunichi‘s grandmother and mother as well as friends, Mikimoto Ami and Takagi Riku, the policeman and townspeople have gathered at Horikiri Chiyomi‘s parents’ place. Minami Shunichi is there also. He’s there without Horikiri Chiyomi. Everyone (except Minami Shunichi) is now thinking the worse. Abduction is suggested.
The policeman who once believed it to be a simple case of eloping with her boyfriend now believes it to be abduction as well and starts to point out the one he thinks is responsible. He tells them that there was one person he was concerned about and found really suspicious during his search for Horikiri Chiyomi during the day. He believes this person is right here in the room with them as well. Minami Shunichi naturally thinks it’s him, especially after the way the policeman stopped him and was eying his bag as well as the little voice the policeman heard after coming back from he cave the first time. It’s not Minami Shunichi the policeman is suspicious of; it’s Takagi Riku. Takagi Riku is who the policeman found to be a concern and looked suspicious!
Takagi Riku is completely taken by surprise. He asks why the policeman thinks he’s the one responsible when he’s the one who’s been worried about Horikiri Chiyomi. He was so worried he went looking for her. The policeman’s reasoning is that the only people who knew about her disappearance were her family members and himself.
The policeman’s statement isn’t entirely correct. Horikiri Chiyomi‘s mother tells him that Mikimoto Ami also knew because she called her about the disappearance. Mikimoto Ami then called Takagi Riku about it right after the call. The revelation has the policeman ask why they tell each other about the disappearance so easily especially to someone of the opposite sex. This gets Mikimoto Ami explains it because they’re all friends. Takagi Riku seems to be on his own train of thoughts and randomly expresses to the group that he likes Horikiri Chiyomi (and possibly implying that’s why he was so worried and went out to look for her).
This confession has the policeman use it against him instead of helping him. He conjectures that because Takagi Riku told her his feelings and was rejected by Horikiri Chiyomi, he resented her for it; and this is reason enough for doing something bad to her. Takagi Riku‘s strong reaction refuting the policeman’s claim that Horikiri Chiyomi rejected her doesn’t help him. Horikiri Asuka (Horikiri Chiyomi‘s younger sister) recalling that the two went out on a date doesn’t help him either. It causes Horikiri Chiyomi‘s father to start believing Takagi Riku to be the one behind Horikiri Chiyomi‘s disappearance when he couldn’t provide a firm enough answer denying it was a date. Horikiri Chiyomi‘s father jumps at his throat and demands Takagi Riku to bring her back to them.
As Horikiri Chiyomi‘s mother and sister tries to separate the two, a phone call comes in. It is picked up by one of the townspeople. It’s Horikiri Chiyomi. She’s decided to call her parents to let them know that she’s fine and that she’s in Tokyo for the Solo dance workshop that she mentioned yesterday. She tells them that she wanted to call but her phone broke and to not worry because she won’t do anything that will cause them to worry. Her parents tells her to come back, but as this can’t happen, she quickly ends the conversation with telling them that she’s fine again before managing to hang up after several attempt to slapping and sliding the End Call button with her entire weight.
Finally, the mysterious disappearance of Horikiri Chiyomi is explained to her parents and the search ends. Everyone leaves the house relieved to hear she’s safe and that it was a simple case of having run away from home (to the displeasure of her parents’ ears).
Minami Shunichi returns home. He’s not at all happy with her lie. With her saying she’s in Tokyo, it means that she’s not going home and will be staying with him indefinitely. “Are you not going home?” he asks in an unimpressed tone. “Of course I’m going home. I want to go home,” she tells him. But as she’s said many time before, she can’t return the way she is. Her parents will be sad seeing her this way. She tells him that she’d rather have them mad at her (for going to Solo workshop in Tokyo) than be sad. She assures him that she won’t stay like this forever and that she should get back to normal soon. She then pleads him to let her stay with him, bowing deeply as she does so. He’s reluctant. Horikiri Chiyomi pleads further. She promises she won’t cause him trouble.
The next scene, Horikiri Chiyomi‘s bathing in a bowl of milky water whilst Minami Shunichi stands outside the bathroom flipping through a pile of towels. (Minami Shunichi has agreed to let her stay with him!) After Horikiri Chiyomi is finished with her bath, Minami Shunichi takes his turn with the bath. Horikiri Chiyomi almost gets a free viewing of him fully stripping right in front of her, but luckily he remembers her presence and stops just before he removes his trousers!
After his bath, he moves on to make her a comfy bed out of a wooden napkin box and some towels. Horikiri Chiyomi jumps on and rolls around a few times, enjoying his efforts. She sits up then bows her head deeply: “Thanks him for taking care of her,” she says. Minami Shunichi modestly accepts the gratitude, telling her it’s okay and to just go to sleep.
When Horikiri Chiyomi notes it’s the first time they’re bunking together in a room, Minami Shunichi agrees. He tells her that it’s the first time he’s let a girl in his room since he got his own room back in junior high. The willingess to volunteer this kind of information has Horikiri Chiyomi try him with finding out whether he’s dating Nomura Sayori. This he doesn’t respond to, choosing to avoid the question and telling he’s got things to do.
The last few shots has Horikiri Chiyomi wander around his desk, watching him do his homework, before she takes a seat just next to his exercise book to continue watching him. She eventually falls asleep which draws Minami Shunichi‘s attention. He pokes her lightly which has her roll over away from him. She soon wakes and rolls back towards him. Minami Shunichi‘s fallen asleep. She sits up and admires him for a time before they both finally fall asleep alongside each other on the desk.
There’s a love triangle coming into the picture! When Takagi Riku confessed to everyone he like Horikiri Chiyomi after he was accused of abduction, he did not look very happy hearing that she had an admirer. Now that they’re living together, the potential for development between these two. We’re excited to see these ex-childhood best friends to get back together!
Minami Shunichi‘s relationship with Nomura Sayori, it looks like Minami Shunichi is thinking of it as a means to Med School. He’s always flashing back to that offer to help using her father. It makes us wonder if Nomura Sayori means anything by her words when she says, “I’m sure you’ll find a good way” after talking about asking her father for help with giving him a scholarship. Maybe we’re reading too much into it, but it sounds so much like she’s suggesting that he date her and she’ll put in a good word for him. This should create some drama for the main couple!
The compositing of Horikiri Chiyomi into scenes with Minami Shunichi is really interesting to watch. The way they shoot the scene to make Horikiri Chiyomi fit into the scene and allow Minami Shunichi and her to interact. The line of their gazes is very good. We totally believe that Minami Shunichi is looking and talking to Horikiri Chiyomi and vice versa. If we had to pick on something not so great, the colours of Horikiri Chiyomi sometimes come off a bit desaturated/lighter than the scene she’s composited into, especially the wide shots; and the pillow on Horikiri Chiyomi‘s bed feels a bit off. When zoomed in on the pillow, the cross-hatch pattern isn’t all that big, so when zoomed out, the pattern feels like it should probably not be so visible.
In dramas like these, we’re guessing the lead actors don’t get to interact a lot together. Yamamoto Maika, who plays Horikiri Chiyomi, won’t get to work with the other actors at all since all of her scenes will take place in front of a green screen for as long as her character remains small. How lonely! Actually, maybe that’s not entirely true. She might film her scenes in front of a green screen with the other actors delivering their lines off screen.
We wonder what will return her to her normal size. Is it when she and Minami Shunichi make up and become like they were or is there a more complex story to come?
We’re enjoying this drama so far. It’s so cute and light. We’re really looking forward to the developments between Horikiri Chiyomi and Minami Shunichi! We’re really hoping to see Takagi Riku feature more in the drama, too. We were really tempted with searching the manga up and see if we could find out how the story unfolds. We did end up searching for it, but the manga isn’t available online. What we did find is that the Minami-kun no Koibito manga was adapted two previous times into live-action dramas by Japan: the first live-action drama was adapted in 1994 and then again in 2004! We don’t want to spoil the story for ourselves with these adaptations so we shall wait to see Minami-kun no Koibito: My Little Lover unfold.