Kounodori Episode # 10 / Finale Recap [I See Hope Is Here, In A Plastic Box]
disclaimer – this post was written by a congratulatioooons-mood kipzizz on a cold evening for dramajjang.co only –
Konotori receives a letter from Keiko-mama who wants to talk about something she found out about his mother, and contemplates whether he wants to know about it.
In the hospital, Aizawa who is Konotori’s patient and works for a publishing company, wants to make an article about pregnant women and asks Director’s permission to cover a few incidents in the hospital; the Director allows her to, since it’s basically free advertising for them.
In NICU, Imahashi sees Moriguchi, whose son Naoto suffers from trisomy 18, and hasn’t had the courage to face him yet, delivering breast milk again and approaches her to ask her if she feels ready to meet him yet; when she is negative, he tells her that his final day might not be days but possibly years away.
Imahashi’s words seem to have gotten through her, but her husband doesn’t wanna hear any of it and wants to depart immediately, while Shinomiya is watching.
Shimoya and Konotori explain to Aizawa how many problems might arise before the birth despite examinations and tests taken; even after the baby is born, there can still be many problems that might appear later.
In the publishing office, Aizawa seems to be writing an article about BABY’s hidden identity after having connected his identity to Konotori; the editor arrives and is happy to see her working so late hoping that her secret story will be a hit. He jokingly says that as long as she doesn’t announce she’s pregnant suddenly, all will be fine, because he can’t afford someone else take a maternity leave.
Nagai visits the hospital and tells Konotori that he has decided to leave Mei under his parents’ care in the countryside for most of the time; he says that he got removed from a big project in his company and the other day Mei swallowed something and he yelled at her unintentionally. He believes he’s at his limit and if things go on like this, he may bring misfortune to her.
Nagai mentions how soon will be Mei’s first birthday and he have thought about not telling her that this is also her mother’s death anniversary; Konotori tells Nagai that he should tell her the truth and be honest about it but Nagai replies that it’s not something simple as that. Konotori reveals that he had a similar story like Mei, when his mom refused to take treatment so she could give him birth. His mother shortened her life so she could have him and thinks that Mei should know the truth of Harumi’s sacrifice for her.
Moriguchi finally decides to visit Naoto- she asks Imahashi if her baby can truly live for years and he replies that there’s always hope for that. Shirakawa arrives and remarks how Naoto has been looking good since morning and maybe that is because he knew his Mom would visit him; he tells Moriguchi she can touch him if she wants which she does with tears in her eyes.
Shinomiya sees Naoto’s father waiting around the hospital for his wife and he tells him that he should stop feeling afraid to see his son, in fear of having a difficult time to say goodbye to him when the time comes; in fact, if he doesn’t visit him anytime soon, he might regret it more when he loses him.
Komatsu is proud of Shinomiya’s words and says that sometimes all there needs to be done is a slight push to someone to open up; she then asks him for a hug, something he quickly turns down. Komatsu says how nice it would be for Naoto’s father to visit him soon and Shinomiya agrees before leaving.
Shimoya’s patient Iizuka had a a false alarm but can’t get discharged since her membrane is ruptured, and is nearly on due date; she and her husband Toshi joke around with Shimoya about it and Aizawa writes down all those happenings.
Nagai receives a letter from Konotori who offers two tickets to BABY’s concert that is on Mei’s birthday, as a gift for her.
Keiko-mama visits Konotori in the place where he plays and so does the Director. She gives him an old casette with a few tracks his mother used to play, when she worked in Sapporo as a pianist to support herself; he says that she fell in love with a customer from Tokyo but he was ordered to return, and they had to break up. It seemed like he had a family already, so his mother kept it a secret from him that she was pregnant.
The Director says that she found out about her cancer in her prenatal examinations but she had made up her mind to have her baby and name it Sakura, whether it was a boy or a girl, because of the cherry blossoms; Keiko-mama tells Konotori it’s up to him if he wants to know more about his father.
Nagai and Mei listen to BABY’s concert and Nagai recounts Harumi’s words about having something more precious than your own life and her last moments, when Mei suddenly calls him papa; a birthday cake is being brought for her and everyone is congratulating her, while Nagai is deeply moved by everything.
In the hospital, Iizuka experiences a pain near her heart and passes out; Komatsu arrives and confirms it is a cardiac arrest. Shimoya puts her in electric shock treatment and issues a Code Blue. After everyone available arrives, Shinomiya notes how they might have to do Perimortem C-Section; Konotori arrives and tells Shimoya that they will save both the mother and her baby.
When the operating table is ready, Shinomiya tells Shimoya she will be the first assistant since it is her patient and she knows her well; after administering adrenaline, Konotori conducts the operation to get the baby out and after a minute it is properly delivered. Iizuka’s heart beats properly again after her baby’s first cry and everyone is relieved.
Shirakawa tells Toshi that his baby is well but needs to be monitored in the NICU while Kase informs him about his wife’s unconscious condition. Shimoya wonders why would Iizuka suffer a cardiac arrest and Konotori says that she might have had QT syndrome- Shinomiya tells Shimoya that she did good to quickly respond with AED treatment otherwise Iizuka wouldn’t have made it. He gives her a drink before he leaves and Komatsu remarks that she finally got his approval.
The next day, Konotori discusses with Imahashi about Iizuka’s condition and proposes to bring her baby close to her; Shirawaka interrupts their conversation announcing that both Naoto’s parents came to see him. Naoto’s father upon seeing him, apologizes for being a coward and coming too late but Konotori tells him that this baby’s will to live is too strong and has surpassed their expectations.
After giving him a bath for the first time, Imahashi suggests to take him home since spending time with family will do him good; if they have any questions they should consult them. Shinomiya watches from afar, and Komatsu congratulates him on his good deed for pushing the father a bit. She then pinches his cheeks and tell him to smile something Shinomiya tells her to stop immediately but then retaliates in the same way, while a smiley Konotori sees them.
Shimoya brings Iizuka’s baby next to her, and she shows signs of waking up; Kase confirms that her pulse is restored and an ecstatic Shimoya runs to Shinomiya and Konotori and deliver the good news sending them into euphoria as well. Aizawa learns of the news, and decides that she will throw aside her BABY exclusive and will write properly about the struggles and rewards of the doctors and the patients.
She announces her pregnancy to her boss and how she will work hard until her maternity leave, writing a very good article and contributing to the sales. After a while, she visits Konotori who tells her that her pregnancy is going very well; she has decided not take any prenatal test since she wouldn’t want to end up running from any decision, if something goes wrong. Konotori tells her that is a good decision of its own. She gives him the magazine with her article about pregnant women and says that it has done really well sales-wise.
The staff discusses about doing something for the upcoming Christmas- someone proposes a live piano performance but they say that their stingy Director would never hire a pianist. Komatsu says Konotori can play, and Shimoya jokes how if he’s amateur they can all make fun of him afterwards. Shinomiya affirms that Konotori plays very well.
Nagai visits the hospital and tells Konotori of his decision to raise Mei on his own; he transferred to a different department that allows him to do so, and he can hopefully get back his old position when Mei grows up. He notes that he was frustrated and tried to distance himself from Mei, but BABY’s performance made him recall what is truly important, saying that he knows that BABY is indeed him.
Nagai then remembers what Konotori told him once about not knowing how his father would feel about him being born; he assures Konotori, that his father would have been happy with him, and he truly believes that from the bottom of his heart. He takes Mei into his hands thanking her for being born, while Konotori is touched by his kind words.
Christmas arrive and Konotori lends his piano abilities for the hospital; Iizuka thanks Shimoya for her precious help and for being able to spend that time with her baby, but Shimoya says it was the baby’s will to spend time with his mother that did all the work.
The episode ends with Konotori’s narration about how he had always had a small thorn on his heart about his mom shortening her life for him, but he now realizes that this was his mother’s gift and he inherited that. He wishes for all the babies that come into the world, to live well and be blessed to enjoy a life full of love.
Reflection Corner :
Ahh, what a great finale! It encapsulated everything Kounodori stood for- faith and hope. Those two words might sound bizarre in the medical world, where it mostly demands practical and knowledgeable activity but they might be just as crucial; the hardest battle you can fight, is often the one that affects another’s life and you need to give it all you have got, believing in yourself, and believing in others.
Sakura Konotori, what a great, honorable, honest character; I haven’t enjoyed a main character with so much calmness since…I don’t even remember when was the last time I watched/read something with such a quiet, reassuring main hero and liked him so much. (was it when I read Kenshin and that is why my subconscious keep flashing Rurouni Konotori on my mind? that was when I was in middle school, a decade+ ago, damn the years burn!)
I loved that his final scene (and the final scene in general) was him playing his very much favorite piano and channeling to everyone around his inner belief, that everything’s gonna turn out okay and his powerful wish for all the new lives being born to have many things to look forward to.
Shinomiya and Komatsu acting like kids was UNREAL lmao. It was like seeing Shinorin releasing all the youngster-mood he held for so long in one go. “SMILE!” is the second tagline after “DO YOUR BEST!” I guess, haha.
Also, what a way to acknowledge someone by giving them half-eaten food! The state of Shinorin’s kindness, right there, Shimoya should feel lucky!
Should I say that my only tiny, tiny “complain” from the finale was practically no scene between Shimoya and Shirakawa..? No self, I shall not, the finale was absolutely great and besides we all know what their scene would be like, right? (..still I would have liked to see how Shimoya would turn down Shirakawa’s subtle advances this time! Darn, and just now I said I wouldn’t tiny-complain lol) I guess we’ll always have that scene to remember though :
Nagai’s story was wrapped up in the end, with the most obvious outcome; staying by his daughter’s side, not only to fulfill his late wife’s wish, but because that is the same wish he holds dear too.
Konotori-BABY playing the piano and moving Nagai’s heart who had been wavering for a while, was such a brilliant scene; sometimes, you just need that sort of clarity that might come from unexpected places to just snap back into the person you wanted to be- it was also nice to see Nagai offering his own words of kindness to Konotori in the end, relating to how his father might have felt.
(by the way, anyone else got FFVIII Julia-Laguna vibes from the story of Konotori’s mom and dad and how they met and how they had to separate. I wonder if Konotori’s dad was getting cramps too loool..then again, Konotori’s mom story in the end resembled more the Raine-Laguna part now that I think about it, hmm but I digress!)
The OST is glorious; I don’t think many people (myself included) would have shed so many tears if it wasn’t for those great piano pieces that would just latch onto your heart and squeeze all the tears you’re worth! It’s definitely another soundtrack I will be adding to my collection- very moving music. (I mean heck, now that I am humming Kounodori’s main theme, I feel like grabbing my tissues again!..wait I don’t have anymore left, poooop!)
I’m so glad I watched this drama- it’s from the few shows that can enrich you and make you feel like you actually got taught a couple valuable lessons.
I bid farewell but not goodbye (and yes, I will always use that Gippal line after I finish my weekly coverages!) to Kounodori, as it will also stay in my heart (…and thrown away tissues!) for a long time! I leave you with a Camus quote that I feel describes this series quite well :
“In the very depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer!”
Let’s all do our best to find that summer in us guys, like the doctors, the parents and the babies did!
[Overall Grade : 9,61/10]