Falling in Love at First Sight in ‘Although I Love You, and You?’ Episode 1

Sakae, who runs the “Tamae” restaurant in Osaka, falls for Soga, a divorced office worker from Tokyo, after witnessing Soga savoring the dishes he prepared in the new Japanese BL ‘Although I Love You, and You?‘.

Matsumoto Sakae owns a cozy restaurant called “Tamae” in downtown Osaka, known for its delicious and affordable home-cooked meals. When Hisashi Soga, a divorced office worker from Tokyo, visits the restaurant, Sakae is smitten by his appreciation for his food. He confesses his feelings with a simple, “I like you, but what can I say?!”

 

Warning: Spoiler alert. Read at your own risk.

 

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In a previous scene, Sakae is lying down with his ex-lover and decides to initiate a breakup. He thinks to himself, regretting that if he hadn’t confessed his love on that particular day, he could have spared himself from the current pain he’s feeling. Currently, Sakae starts his day by working out, offering prayers at his mother’s altar, and anticipating the fresh ingredients for the restaurant. In the evening, the restaurant is crowded with regular customers. One of them notices Sakae’s growing authority, reminiscent of Tamae. However, Sakae’s childhood friend Kaname playfully teases him, claiming he’s still like a child at heart. Since Kaname recently got married, Sakae is asked about his dating status. Sakae responds with a no, and Kaname questions if he’s genuinely not interested in someone new. Sakae explains that he’s too busy with the restaurant. While grilling saury for a customer, the fat causes excessive smoke, leading everyone inside to cough. At that moment, Takagi and another customer enter the restaurant and Sakae experiences love at first sight. The newcomer, Soga, expresses admiration for the delicious food, and Sakae eagerly awaits his reactions and comments. A tipsy customer greets Soga, unintentionally spilling a drink on him. Quickly, Soga grabs a napkin to wipe off the liquid, leaving Sakae amazed by his kindness. His childhood friend suggests getting a towel, but it takes Sakae a few seconds because he is watching in awe. Soga acknowledges the Osaka-like atmosphere in the restaurant and expresses a desire to return. Excited by this, Sakae invites him to come back anytime. In the sauna with his friend Kaname, Sakae compares Soga to a significant event, describing him as a “black ship from Tokyo” that has landed in his heart and disrupted his usually quiet life. Sakae is impressed by how Soga enjoys his food and always carries a handkerchief. However, Kaname doesn’t quite grasp Sakae’s expressions. Sakae continues to elaborate on Soga’s polite choice of words, gentle smile, and the alluring way he loosens his tie. Kaname can only apologize to the others in the sauna while Sakae wonders when Soga will return to Tamae.

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At work, Soga and Takagi are delighted when their superiors decide to proceed with the contract. They praise the well-prepared presentation and the competency of Soga who came from the Tokyo headquarters and even joke to Soga about him transferring to their company next month. Soga is confused while Takagi adds fuel to the fire but immediately informs him that they’re just joking. Later on, Takagi assigns Soga and Kanda to work together on procuring wine glasses. Kanda invites Soga to dinner, and they decide to go to Tamae. Sakae is visibly pleased to see Soga but becomes confused when he notices Kanda accompanying him. Kanda and Soga sit awkwardly, facing each other, and Kanda mentions that she has something to tell him. Sakae and the regulars watching them assume she might be confessing, leaving Sakae expecting what she is about to say. Kanda asks if Sakae dislikes Osaka people, a question she wants to address before they start working together. She’s observed that Sakae’s expression tightens whenever someone makes a joke. She assures him that it’s fine if that’s the case but suggests that hiding his feelings could hinder building trust with others. Sakae attempts to explain, but Kanda persists, prompting Soga to intervene after overhearing the conversation. Sakae suggests that Kanda might still be feeling nervous at work. Understanding, Kanda apologizes for raising unnecessary doubts. Sakae lightens the mood by making a joke about capybaras, successfully easing the tension. Once everyone leaves, Sakae and Soga are alone when Soga confesses that he isn’t entirely comfortable around people from Osaka, leaving Sakae greatly surprised. Soga explains his discomfort, mentioning the loud voices, fast-paced speech, and the constant expectation of humor as some of the reasons. He vividly imagines a scary scenario where he’s giving a presentation, and everyone in the room is eagerly anticipating a punchline.

 

Watch ‘Although I Love You And You’ on GagaOOLala.

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At the public bath, Sakae surprises everyone after shouting about the prejudice Soga has. After the outburst, Sakae reflects on the difficulty of connecting with people from Tokyo. At that moment, Soga sends a text thanking him for the previous day’s meal, bringing a wide grin to Sakae’s face. Kaname is surprised to learn they’ve exchanged contact information, and Sakae explains it’s because Soga might start visiting Tamae alone. Sakae tries not to express too much joy, exclaiming that Tokyo people are perfectly fine with telling lies but he immediately stands up in excitement after Soga texts him again, asking if he can visit Tamae once more. Kaname is pleased to see Sakae’s lively expression, thinking that he may have let go of the idea of romance. Sakae clarifies that it’s not about romance but more like silently cheering for Soga in his heart. He doesn’t want to experience further emotional pain, pointing out the difficulty of change once you’ve become an adult. Sakae declares that being content with the current distance he has from Soga is enough. Kaname supports Sakae’s decision but remarks that the idea of being unable to change might be a bit off. Sakae thinks about it at night, reminding himself that he is content but he begins to imagine Soga. He attempts to just sleep it off. When Soga returns to Tamae, a regular suggests that he try the food he ordered. However, Soga admits he can’t eat asparagus because of the smell. Sakae suggests it might not be too late, adding that people no matter their age can change, reflecting and contrasting what he said before. He prepares asparagus wrapped in bacon and presents it to Soga. Soga gives it a try and finds the dish to be delicious. The gratitude and smile on Soga’s face once again capture Sakae’s heart.

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While finishing up the night’s cleaning at the restaurant, Sakae discovers a phone on the floor. Just as he finds it, Soga enters, searching for his misplaced phone. Sakae returns the phone and fetches a towel for Soga, who is soaked from the rain. Trying to distract himself, Sakae busies himself with putting away menus after noticing Soga removing his glasses and finding himself falling in love once again. As they chat, Soga expresses gratitude to Sakae for helping him change that day. Someone once told him that his feelings weren’t visible, and he disliked being called well-mannered, feeling it created a barrier to keep people away from his stubborn self. Soga admits to living that way until he misses a chance to change himself. He’s extremely thankful to Sakae for making him believe that change is possible. Anxious in an unfamiliar place, meeting someone like Sakae has made him genuinely grateful. Apologizing for his one-sided story, Soga is taken aback when Sakae unexpectedly asks if he can still change. Sakae wants Soga to develop a liking for people from Osaka, including himself. Despite an internal struggle to refrain from saying more, Sakae finds himself unable to resist confessing his feelings to Soga.

It’s adorable how captivated Sakae is by Soga, to the point where he can’t resist confessing to him. I believe they could be beneficial for each other as they gradually mend the hurt and pain they’ve been holding onto. We’re cheering for Sakae, hoping Soga will come to appreciate Osaka more and, hopefully, reciprocate his feelings. Although, I wonder if Soga fully understood Sakae’s confession.

Watch the endearing and frustrating love story between two people with contrasting personalities in ‘Although I Love You, and You?‘ on GagaOOLala – now available to watch on your Smart TVs by downloading the app on Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and Roku.

 

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