Chapter 23 : Uni's New Year
Here is Chapter 23 of Kinkyori Renai. In the previous chapter, Uni and Haruka reconciled. This chapter begins with Uni's Dad insisting that she celebrates the new year with the family. He disallowed her to go out with Haruka.
Uni's mom and brother came up with a scheme to distract Dad. Uni's brother hypnotized the father such that he mistook a cat doll as Uni. Uni's mom instructed her to be back home in 4 hours as the effects of the hypnosis would wear off by then. (Hahaha... this part is rather hilarious cos the Dad was talking to the cat doll as if it was Uni)
Haruka was waiting for Uni outside of Uni's house. They were going on a date to the temple to make a love wish. (It is customary for Japanese to do hatsumode, or the year's first visit to the temple/shrine to make wishes or purchase lucky charms). Haruka expressed his surprise that Uni's dad was willing to let Uni go out with him on New Year's day. Uni lied to Haruka that her Dad was willing to let them go out. Haruka rambled on to say that he did not want to do things that would lead to Uni's dad distrusting him. Upon hearing that, Uni felt very guilty and mentally apologised to Haruka as she really wanted to go to the temple with him.
Haruka suggested that they take stroll to the temple. Uni made a mental calculation and decided that it would take about 40 mins to walk there. As she had limited time to spend with Haruka, she decided against it and suggested that they take a cab. Haruka mumbled that it's not romantic...
At the temple, Uni saw a large crowd making their way to the insides of the temple. She was not able to concentrate and enjoy Haruka's company as she was worried that queueing to get into the temple would take too long and they would have shorter time to do other things. Haruka expressed that he noticed that Uni seemed distracted and stressed. Uni was quick to assure him she wasn't. At the same time, Uni noticed two young men trying to cut queue in front of them. She tried to stop them by imitating a particular Japanese comedian. Not only did the two men apologised, Uni also attracted the attention of people around them. Haruka, stood aside, wondered what was going on.
Finally, it was Haruka and Uni's turn to pray and make their new year's wish. After that, Uni told Haruka that she would like to purchase a pair of amulets so that the two of them can write their wishes on the amulets and hang them in the temple. Haruka was embarrassed and told Uni that he would not write lovey-dovey stuff on the amulet like some idiotic lovers. To spite him, Uni commented that she would ask for him to be more courageous. Haruka commented that Uni was still hurt and affected by him jilting her due to his fears. Hearing Haruka said that, Uni thought of how that moment when Haruka appeared to ask to come back into her life, he mentioned something about him always not being able to get things he really wanted. Uni clarified that she was not hurt or affected negatively, on the contrary she was very touched then. As it was the first time he opened up to her and told her things about his past. Touched, Haruka leaned forward to kiss her... At that moment, Uni's phone went off. Afraid that it was her dad, Uni pushed Haruka away. She picked up the phone and realised that it was her mother who sent her a photo of her dad with the cat doll. Her mom assured her that her dad was still under the hypnosis. After that call, Uni thought that she had better ceased the day and not waste precious time. She went about doing all the customary deeds with Haruka at the temple ground like a whirlwind, trying to do as many things as possible.
Looking at her, Haruka commented that she seemed very distracted. Uni was about to disagree when Haruka pushed her away and told her to hide. It was her classmates. Uni was relieved they did not notice her. At that moment, Uni's mum called and told her to come back quickly as her father had woken up from the hypnosis and was looking for her. Her mom lied and told him she went to the convenient store. Haruka appeared and told her he had to accompany the classmates for awhile and asked her to wait for him for about 30mins. Uni told him she would not be able to do so. Thinking that Uni was feeling jealous, he tried to explain that it would be weird if he left his students immediately. Uni tried to explain that it was not that. Haruka told Uni that he understood and told her to take a cab her. Before he left, he asked her :"Uni, you don't want to be with me today?" Uni was shocked as she stared at Haruka's departing figure.
Haruka was with the students who were trying to hang their amulets after writing their wishes. One of the students spotted Uni's amulet. She commented that Uni's didn't look like wishes. What Uni wrote looked more like a declaration. Curious, Haruka bent down to take a look. Uni wrote on her amulet:"One day, I will make you feel blessed." Haruka was surprised...
Back at Uni's house, her father questioned her on her whereabouts. Uni, still thinking about Haruka's parting words, decided to tell the truth. She regretted not doing so earlier. She thought if she had done so, she would not have to lie to Haruka and thus causing him to misunderstand.
Uni bowed down and with tears in her eyes she apologised to her father and told him that she was with Haruka earlier on. Her father angrily shouted that it must be Haruka's fault for dragging her away from the family. Uni explained that she was the one who decided to go out with Haruka and lied to both of them.
Suddenly, Haruka appeared and he understood why Uni seemed so distracted during the date and had to leave earlier. Haruka told Uni's father that it was his fault. He expressed that this is the first time he wanted to spend New Year's day with someone and in the past he had no such desire. In the past, he didn' think New Year was a big deal, but now he found someone he really liked and wanted to spend New Year with her. He told Uni's father that he was the one who had been looking forward to this date. Uni's dad was furious. He shouted at Haruka and told him that he would never approve of him.
At that moment, Uni's mom ticked the father off. She told him that he was a hypocrite for saying such things as he made her pregnant when she was 17 years old. Uni's dad was shocked that his wife exposed his past. He lamented that now he had no right to control Haruka. Uni's mom declared that the matter was resolved.
Outside of Uni's house, Uni apologised to Haruka. Haruka told Uni not to be think too much of it. He told her he was very happy as he saw something that touched him alot. He bent down and told Uni:"You must make me feel blessed." Blushing, Uni claimed ignorance to Haruka's words.
In a more serious tone, Haruka asked Uni whether she knew of the actor by the name of Haruka Reo. She answered yes. He told her that man was his father and that one day he would tell her about his dad and his past. Afterwhich, Haruka kissed Uni passionately much to her discomfort as it was outside her home...
Back in school, Uni met Nami along the corridor. She greeted Nami but was ignored. Uni wondered what was going on...
Ok. That ended chapter 23. I love this chapter. Very sweet chapter. I like Uni's straight-forwardness. This is one key reason why I like this manga. Also, it is no wonder Uni is such a breath of fresh air, in fact, I find her family members hilarious and interesting. Her father, who seemed the most normal and ordinary person in the family, but when placed with the family, he seemed like an odd ball. : )
Last but not least, Haruka finally is ready to face his past with Uni. I wonder what is it about his past. I believe his past will be an obstacle or another hurdle for them to clear.
Do you like this chapter?