|Title:||Ai Yori Aoshi|
|Episode:||4: Living Together|
|Kaoru is running a fever after they get back to his apartment [image1]. Aoi feels that she's the cause of it and insists on nursing him to health. It is here that she sees the deep scars on Kaoru's back [image2] from the beatings he took at the hands of his grandfather years before. She vows to heal these wounds and puts him into his futon. Since he has the chills very badly, she has him face the other way, undresses, and joins him in his futon to warm him. There's no sex there though obviously Kaoru is very aware of her presence.
The next morning, Kaoru is feeling much better. Good thing too since Aoi's mother shows up with Miyabi. The wedding was cancelled because Kaoru's family has disowned him. Because Aoi's family is also powerful and important, they can not be together. But Aoi's mom [image3] gets sold when she sees her daughter stand up to her for the first time in her life. Rather than live in Kaoru's tiny flat, they will live in the unused summer cottage of Aoi's family -- a rather large, western-styled home [image4]. The catch? Miyabi [image5] will live with them as well and Kaoru [image6] is not allowed in the main house after 10pm.
I'm glad that despite the fact that Aoi and Kaoru slept together in the same futon, they didn't have sexual relations. That would have cheapened the series and made me not want to watch any further episodes.
Discovering just how rich Aoi is make her character even more interesting. She's the traditional perfect Japanse wife-candidate -- she's pretty, cooks, cleans, and lives to please her man. That she should be this way coming from a family so rich they have a large, western-styled home that hasn't been used in ages was amazing to me. Maybe it really isn't realistic, but this does give us a great understanding at the depth of Aoi's commitment to her dream of marrying Kaoru and being the perfect wife for him.
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(2004-02-26, Devil Doll:)
This episode sets up the scenario for another 17 episodes to come: Aoi and Kaoru are going to "live together", but only as far as Miyabi-san will permit it... and if you ever wondered how "mobbing" would actually look like, here you are. ;-)
This time Kaoru started to earn his first merits (note when Miyabi respectfully names him "Kaoru-dono" for the first time), but it will be a long way before Aoi's guardian will even consider to fully accept him - which is the most interesting part of the whole series IMHO.
As for the scenes with a nude Aoi: The girl was obviously in panic, considering to put all her eggs into one basket. Fortunately (for the development of this series) Kaoru caught a fever just in time...
Manga volume 1 covers the content of Anime episodes 1-3 and the first half of episode 4.