Tuesdays, 9.00 – 9.54 p.m. from 10 July 2012
18-year-old Tanizaki Rei is a bright, cheerful girl who works at the pastry shop, Patisserie Charlotte and dreams of becoming a patissier. She is recognised for her earnest work attitude and sense in creating pastries, and will be made an official employee next month. Kiyama Ryuichiro is a temporary employee in charge of the ward office’s front desk after office hours. A former journalist with a leading newspaper, he had rapidly moved up the ranks with the numerous scoops he scored. However, an incident spurred his departure from the newspaper. Rei is instructed by her store manager Abekawa Eri, to submit the necessary papers such as a certified copy of her resident card and letter of guarantee. She is told that if she becomes an official employee, she can be chosen from among the staff at all stores for an an overseas study programme in Paris. After work, Rei immediately visits the ward office to apply for a certified copy of her resident card. Kiyama is the one who serves her. When he learns that she does not have her identification with her, he tells her to come back on another day. However, Rei explains that she is not able to come in the day because she has to work and persists in asking that he proceed with the application first and she will present her identity card to her when she comes to pick the document up. Kiyama reluctantly relents. Rei lives with her mother, Yoko, a nurse at a medical centre, and younger sister, Mao. Their father passed away in an accident 14 years ago. Returning home, Rei searches for her health insurance card, but only locates that of her mother’s and sister’s. Kiyama hands Rei’s application to Tadokoro Mitsuko, a full-time employee. But when Mitsuko starts the procedure, she realises that Rei has not been registered. That night, Rei submits the certificate of enrollment she had received from Eri to Kiyama as a substitute for her health insurance card. Then Kiyama tells Rei that her residency was not registered. The exchange between the two of them is coincidentally overheard by Kusano Kota who is at the counter to apply for social security. Rei visits her mother while she is working and questions whether they are truly mother and daughter. Meanwhile, Kiyama, who has asked Mitsuko to investigate Rei’s case, learns that Yoko has been divorced and that she and Tanizaki Keisuke filed their marriage papers three months after Rei was born … …
Takei Emi as Tanizaki Rei
A cheerful girl who thinks of her mother. Although they are poor, her mother Yoko, sister Mao, and her pull together to live. She did not receive the best education, but she loves studying, or rather likes working hard so that she can take over from her mother who has been cheerfully watching over them even though it has been tough on her. She graduated from high school with excellent results, and knew that there was no money for her to attend university. Her dream is to become a patissier who can make pastries that touch people’s hearts someday. Her fascination with pastries began after her mother made an apple pie during her childhood. When there were things that made her miserable, she would always eat her mother’s odd-shaped apple pie, and feel its curious power to warm a person’s heart. She began working part-time at her current work place since the first year of high school. In the midst of this, she gets the big chance to be selected as an official employee. It is finally the first step towards her goal to put her dear mother at ease and dream to train in Paris, the home of pastries. At that time, it was the moment when the door to the future that she had diligently work towards. At least, at that time, her future was bright. However, during the procedure to become a full-fledged company employee, she learns the shocking truth that she does not exist on the family register or have citizenship. In her despair, she starts to fight to regain herself. Kiyama Ryuichiro becomes her only friend among the people she maintains a distance from. She grows attracted to Ryuichiro and a love for him develops … …
Eguchi Yosuke as Kiyama Ryuichiro
A 42-year-old single man who finds no hope in life. A former journalist on the city news team of a leading newspaper. Originally a person who rebelled against authority and desired to be the voice of the weak, he aspired to be a journalist and in 1993, joined a leading newspaper. He moved from being a city news reporter, to a reporter covering the First and Fourth Investigative Divisions in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s press club. Five years ago, became the top reporter of the judicial press club in an extraordinarily quick career advancement. However, his destiny changed after something happened and he left the newspaper out of disappointment. It was a path that everyone envied. However, he grew aware that he had become an ace reporter with a string of scoops rather than a reporter who wrote articles that gave voice to the socially vulnerable. He certainly had not forgotten his original intentions, but the expectations and sense of duty naturally made him look for incidents that would be good material. During that period, something happened that greatly shook up his role as a journalist and he left that newspaper. After that, Kiyama abandoned all his desires, ambitions and sense of justice, deciding to sacrifice his life in atonement for a past incident. He now works as a temp at night at the ward office, and lives in solitude. One day, a young girl who does not exist in her family register arrives at the ward office. He did not think that they would become deeply involved in each others lives. He would later feel that the intensity of her gaze in the moments that she loosens up, is identical to his previous self. Having refused to face up to his past all this while, he knew instinctively that if she did not help him, he would not have helped himself.
Kimura Yoshino as Tanizaki Yoko
Tanizaki Rei’s mother. A single mother who works as a nurse. A woman with a bright, sunny personality despite being poor. She has had to raise her two daughters single-handedly after losing her husband in an accident 14 years ago. Young for a mother of an 18- and 14-year-old, she and her daughters are called the beautiful three sisters by neighbours. In contrast to her cheerful exterior, she hides a big secret regarding her beloved daughter, Rei. She did not list Rei’s birth in the family register, and she has never told anyone about this, much less confessed the truth to Rei. Despite the remorse and regret that she constantly lives with, she is determined protect Rei to the end no matter how matters change. However, this time, because Rei has learnt about her situation, the strong bonds between mother and daughter start to fray. And the dreadful past that she was supposed to have put behind her as well as another secret that she never spoke of to anyone else, quietly and brutally attack her again … …
Nakamura Aoi as Kusano Kota
A mysterious youth who lives alone in a cheaply-built apartment. He meets Tanizaki Rei when she goes to the ward office for advice on the application for social security. For some reason, he lends an ear to the exchanges between Rei and Kiyama Ryuichiro. Picking up on something which gets him strangely interested in Rei’s matter, he begins to check up on her after that … …
Kaname Jun as Ayukawa Hiroki
A man with a fearless smile and a menacing expression who appears before Natsume Shusaku. He, for some reason, asks Natsume for money, and appears whenever he feels like it to take the cash. The appearance of this horrible man, derails the lives of Kiyama Ryuichiro, Tanizaki Rei and her mother … …
Asada Miyoko as Tanizaki Kaori
Tanizaki Rei’s grandmother. Mother-in-law of Tanizaki Yoko. She thinks that her son’s marriage to Yoko doomed him, and hates her. She also has doubts about Rei’s birth and treats her harshly. She believes that her beloved son’s life would not have been derailed had Rei not been born.
Kitaoji Kinya as Natsume Shusaku
A mysterious, regular customer who only comes to buy the apple pie that Tanizaki Rei bakes when Rei is in the store. At times, his gaze when he looks at Rei is more than that of a mere customer. He is an extremely mild and ordinary elderly man. However, his gaze when he looks at Ayukawa Hiroki is that of a person with profound hatred. He recently lost his wife and for the first time in his 63 years, he makes a major decision and sets foot in this town.
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