‘Ripe For The Picking’ Ending Explained & Series Recap: Do Kosaka And Kagiya End Up Together?

Ripe for the Picking is a Japanese romantic drama exploring the love lives of four women living through the toxic work culture of corporate Japan. This series shows how these characters become victims of loneliness and unrealistic beauty standards. This series even hints at the decreasing levels of intimate relationships, which in Japan is a raging issue affecting more than a million individuals. Ripe for the Picking is based on the manga of the same name by Azusa Itakura. 


Kosaka Maiko is a 32-year-old woman working at a corporate firm in Japan. Kosaka has a pretty successful work life, but the biggest problem in her personal life is that she’s a virgin. In reality, there is nothing wrong with that, but for Kosaka, it’s pretty embarrassing. Kosaka’s peers pretty openly talk about physical intimacy, but this 32-year-old woman is only left wondering about what it actually feels like to be intimate with someone. Like every other human, Kosaka had always been intrigued by sex, but she was also quite scared because of the taboo around it. She even had a boyfriend in high school, Saeki, whom she wanted to sleep with but got scared about the mechanics and turned it down. 

Spoilers Ahead


Why Does She Turn Down Saeki? 

Years later, at a high school reunion, she runs into Saeki again. She’s quite happy to see him after so long, but she still seems embarrassed about turning him down in the past. After the party, both Kosaka and Saeki happened to leave early because of other engagements. Before parting ways, Kosaka gathers courage and asks him to spend the night with her. Kosaka thinks that with Saeki, it could be a one-time thing, and it wouldn’t matter for both of them. She reveals to him that she’s still virgin and implies that their brief relationship can be a secret. Saeki complies, and they head to a love hotel to sleep together. As they begin to indulge each other, Kosaka again changes her mind because the experience is too painful for her. Disappointed with her, Saeki leaves her alone, making Kosaka feel ashamed for turning him down. 

How Does Kosaka Meet Kagiya? 

Kagiya is a 29-year-old reserved and socially inept repairman working for a firm that sends him frequently to Kosaka’s office for repairs and maintenance of the photocopier machine. While working late at her office, Kosaka meets Kagiya, who visits the office to repair their broken photocopier machine. Kosaka is in a bit of a hurry, and when Kagiya repairs the machine, she is extremely grateful. The next time Kosaka meets Kagiya at her office, she leads him to the storage room to look for some repair tools. In the storage room, Kosaka and Kagiya discover their mutual love for Pac-Man. This instance sparks a connection between them. Later, when Kagiya reveals that he is heading to a gaming arcade, Kosaka requests that he take her along as well, and he complies. As they come closer to each other during the gaming session, Kosaka asks Kagiya out to lunch, and the shy Kagiya nods in assent. 


What Is Somei’s Dilemma? 

Somei works at the same company as Kosaka and is a close friend of hers. She’s a mother and a mangaka by hobby. Somei wants to be better at balancing her life properly and giving more time to her hobby. However, her life is hanging between her work and her daughter. Moreover, even her husband has been very busy lately, which has further put all the burden of childrearing on her shoulders. Because of this, even her work performance has started to decline. 

Somei’s hobby as a manga artist started because of an ex of hers, who is now a popular manga artist and even about to win awards for his works, which makes her jealous. She even wonders if she would have ended up becoming a manga artist if she hadn’t married at all. One day, agitated, she ends up yelling at her husband as well, which makes her feel quite guilty. However, this instance makes her husband realize the amount of stress Somei’s had on her shoulders. 


When Kosaka asks Somei why she married her husband if she didn’t share a lot of common ground with him, she remembers her husband from their first date and recalls the real reason. She felt that being with her husband was always fun for her, and that is what made her marry him. Later, when she goes back home, she tries to apologize for her harsh words from earlier, but her husband brushes them away and brings her the same ice cream that they had on their first date. 

What Is Misono’s Story? 

Misono is Kosaka and Somei’s boss at their department. She is pretty strict at work and is notorious for scolding her employees, especially lately, when her agitated behavior has peaked even more. She feels as though the younger people do not do their work diligently, and she’s the only one working for the sake of the company. When her old friend, Sakie Tsuji, joins the company, Misono is particularly rude to her as well. Sakie and Misono had started at the office together. They had promised that they were going to be in this company together, but Sakie broke that promise to get married and have children, which upset Misono. 


For nearly ten years, Misono had been living with her boyfriend Makoto, a relatively carefree man who prefers to enjoy life, unlike his girlfriend. Because of her hectic work, one evening she lashes out at Makoto when he insists that they should unwind by going camping in the woods. Makoto would normally pay no heed to her words and let them slide, but the things she said during the dinner seriously hurt him. As a result, he vacates the flat and moves to the camp while he thinks things through. 

With Makoto’s absence, Misono finally realizes his importance and that she has indeed been taking life too seriously and getting nowhere. For years, Makoto and Misono wanted to get married, and for that, Misono wanted to be promoted to a higher post so that she could manage their household expenses. Moreover, the way she had been treating her colleagues, she felt as though she had become a monster. She finds Makoto later at the camp he had been talking about and tells him that she’ll never take him for granted again. 


Does Ren Find Love? 

Ren is a young temp at the office where Kosaka works. Unlike the other characters, Ren believes herself to be quite ugly, which is why she hasn’t been able to date anyone. Everyone has priorities that they look for in their partners, but for Ren, her priority has always been the appearance of her partners. However, she hasn’t been successful in finding anyone who meets her beauty standards. 

Through a dating app, she meets a guy named Keita. Even though he’s interesting and makes her laugh, Ren finds Keita quite ugly. It seems that Keita actually likes her, and she likes him too, but she isn’t ready to accept it yet. She ditches Keita when she finds Touya on a dating app. Touya is a handsome man with model-type physical features, but Ren finds it difficult to believe that Touya wants to date her. As expected, Touya was only using Ren’s desperation to have a threesome with her and another man. 


Disappointed with Touya, Ren walks away and, coincidentally, runs into Keita. She asks Keita why he wants to see an “ugly” woman like her again, to which Keita replies that he likes the fact that she finds him funny and shares the same music taste as him. Keita adds that he thinks that Ren is quite fun to be with. Hearing these words from Keita makes her realize that dating isn’t about appearances, and she accepts her own feelings for Keita. 

Why Is Kagiya So Hesitant To Be With Kosaka? 

Kagiya suffered from a plethora of issues that Kosaka did not know about. Kagiya grew up as a shogi prodigy, but when he wasn’t qualified to be a pro as a 26-year-old, he was sincerely discouraged. Shogi was the only thing he had known throughout his life and the only thing he thought he was good at; however, after losing a major tournament, he quit shogi for good. He didn’t even have a college certification, which is why he started working at the photocopier repair company to sustain himself. 


Because he had achieved nothing in his life, Kagiya had severe self-esteem issues and thought he wasn’t good enough for Kosaka. He believed Kosaka deserved someone better, but he never understood that Kosaka actually wanted to date him for who he was. At Kosaka’s house after Kagiya and Kosaka’s date, when she tries to kiss him, Kagiya gets anxious and hugs her instead. It is then that he hears a broadcast about his former shogi peer winning a tournament—news that makes him anxious and prompts him to leave Kosaka’s house without an explanation. Kosaka thinks that perhaps she offended Kagiya by trying to kiss him without his consent. 

When Kagiya sees Kosaka again while on the job at her office, he realizes he shouldn’t let his issues come between him and the woman he likes. He comes clean to Kosaka, who empathizes with him as well. From this point on, they begin to date as well, but seeing Kosaka at her office with her colleagues, especially after she is promoted, makes him feel inferior. He feels that Kagiya would be embarrassed to be with someone like him who is working only to survive. 


Do Kosaka And Kagiya End Up Together?

Kagiya has always run away from his problems rather than facing them. Following his failure at shogi, he spent the past three years doing a menial job merely as a means to survive. However, that had changed with Kosaka’s arrival in his life. Even though he didn’t feel worthy of her, this time he wasn’t going to run away. He enrolls in a driving school to get a driving license so that he can apply to be a full-time employee at his company. 

When Kosaka shows up at his workplace to meet him, he confronts her about his recent realization. He confesses his love to her, and Kosaka reciprocates as they head back to her apartment. Both Kosaka and Kagiya disclose to each other that they’re virgins, and this makes it even more special for them. For Kosaka, who had always been fascinated with sex, having her first time with someone she loved was a precious experience. 


As Ripe for the Picking comes to an end, all the characters have found peace in their lives. Especially for Kosaka and Kagiya, they had lived lonely lives until they crossed paths with each other. Even for Kagiya, he had his issues, but because of Kosaka, he decided to move on with his life and make a better future with her. 

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

Latest articles