From 9.00 p.m., Mondays, 12 October 2015
28-year-old English language school teacher Sakuraba Junko dreams of working in New York in the future. She puts in effort towards her dream every day, but New York is still a distant place to her as she approaches her 29th birthday. One day, Junko attends the funeral rites for an elder of the local neighbourhood association. She tries to stand up after a while to make an offering of incense, but her legs are numb and she cannot move. While walking towards the altar with unsteady steps, she pitches forward. In an attempt to support her body, her hands land on the altar, which tilts and the incense burner tosses into the air. Of all things, the ashes fall onto the body of a monk who is chanting the sutras in a major faux pas. After that, a rueful Junko goes to work at the English language school ELA. In the staff room, Mishima Satoshi, Junko’s old friend and a trading company employee who attends ELA, has delivered a souvenir from his business trip to New York. The instructor Kimura Arthur playfully says Junko should have married Mishima. She smiles and denies this. On this day, a meeting with a prospective marriage partner is arranged for Junko because of her mother’s ploy. She arrives at a fine dining Japanese restaurant in all innocence. That monk Hoshikawa Takane, a handsome Tokyo University graduate, is in the room that she is escorted to. A surprised Junko tries to leave the room while Takane urges her to come in. Then he declares, “I offer to make you my wife.” Junko is dumbfounded by this very sudden turn of events and rejects him. However, this does not get through to the handsome but eccentric Takane. The next day, she gets a shock when she goes to work at ELA as always and opens the classroom door. Takane is there for some reason. When her students Hachiya Renji and Satonaka Yuki come, he greets them courteously. Then the class begins and he starts to propose to her in fluent English! That night, a welcome party is held for Kiyomiya Shingo who has taken a position as ELA’s general manager. Junko is mingling with the instructors and students when Takane shows up in front of her again. This time, Arthur and Shingo call her over while she is dealing with Takane. However, Takane sticks closely beside her … …
Ishihara Satomi as Sakuraba Junko
A part-time teacher at ELA, a conversational English school at Omotesando. She lives with her parents and younger sister in the outskirts of Tokyo. She has dreamed of living abroad since young and became an English language teacher after studying hard. She focuses on studying English every day and economising as she saves money with the goal of becoming a permanent employee of ELA and working at its headquarters in America. She is a popular teacher, especially with junior high and high school students. She meets Hoshikawa Takane at a matchmaking session that her parents forced her to attend. But she has the worst impression of him and decides that she will never have anything to do with him in the future. However, Takane for some reason has strong one-sided feelings and chases after her repeatedly. She gets approached in rapid succession and is bewildered to suddenly receive the most romantic attention just before her 29th birthday.
Yamashita Tomohisa as Hoshikawa Takane
A tall, handsome monk who is highly educated and has a high income. He has a huge mansion in Tokyo and is the future chief priest of Ikkyo Temple which has a large number of temple goers. He starts to attend ELA after he meets Sakuraba Junko. He lacks expression and it is not clear what he is thinking about. He possesses a unique view of the world and has absolute pride and confidence. His parents passed away early and he has endured a strict education from his grandmother Hibari in order to become a worthy heir of Ikkyo Temple. That is why he intends to dedicate everything for the sake of the temple. The temple, Buddha and Junko. After he becomes conscious of his feelings for Junko, he keeps telling her “I like you”, “You’re beautiful”, “Marry me” without fear of being disliked or misunderstood. As he takes the risk and love and devote himself to Junko , his relationship with her starts to make progress.
Tanaka Kei as Kiyomiya Makoto
He has been posted to ELA’s Aoyama school from the headquarters in New York for a limited time. Unlike Hoshikawa Takane who’s thoughts are opaque, he is expressive and has a friendly personality. He is concerned about Sakuraba Junko who became a part-time teacher at ELA because of his words and pins his hopes on her. Junko is glad that he recognises her abilities. He did not study abroad either, but worked his way up from part-time work to a member at headquarters, so he genuinely supports Junko who is striving towards her dream.
Furukawa Koki as Mishima Satoshi
An elite trading company employee who attends ELA’s lessons. He spent his student days with Sakuraba Junko. He has had feelings for her since then, but he has not been able to take the first step because he does not want to strain their friendship. Although he is tall and handsome, he has got to this age without Junko perceiving him to be a guy because of their long association. His timing is constantly bad and he has had trouble advancing his relationship with her. Then she suddenly starts to receive the most romantic attention she has ever had, making him feel panic at the possibility of her being taken by some other guy.
Toda Keiko as Sakuraba Keiko
Sakuraba Junko’s mother. She supports the household expenses through a part-time job. She is the type who will speak her mind in everything and is the actual pillar of the family. She is supportive of Junko who wants to work in New York although realistically, she is going ahead with matchmaking because she thinks it is better for her daughter to get married.
Ueshima as Sakuraba Mitsuru
Sakuraba Junko’s father. A driver of a privately-owned taxi. Because his income is not very high and he has a mild disposition, he has no position in this family of females. He is fond of hamsters and it is his emotional support. He loves his wife and daughters from his heart and worries about Junko who is being made a sport of.
Ono Takehiko as Terada Kouei
The hired chief priest of Ikkyo Temple. After Hoshikawa Takane’s parents died, he has been safeguarding the temple as a stop-gap until Takane succeeds him. He loves Takane like his own son. That is why he wants Takane, who is working very hard to take over the temple, to know true happiness. He is no match for Hoshikawa Hibari.
Kaga Mariko as Hoshikawa Hibari
Hoshikawa Takane’s grandmother who wields more power over the temple than the current chief priest Terada Kouei. She is strongly opposed Sakuraba Junko becoming her grandson’s wife and tries to make Takane marry the daughter of a distinguished family. She regrets that her own son (Takane’s father) could not become the chief priest. Because of that, she has great expectations and love for Takane who will be the next chief priest.
Koyama Shota (Ishitachi no Renai Jijou, Subete ga F ni Naru)
5-ji Kara 9-ji Made by Aihara Miki
#1: An Improbable Proposal
#2: It’s No Good If It’s Not You
#3: I’ll Never Like You in My Lifetime!
#4: Great Ups and Downs! An Explosive Love Quadrangle! A Forbidden Secret is Exposed
#5: One Wrong Night!? A Forbidden Ending to Turbulent Love Quadrangle
#6: Happy Wedding is a Nightmare?! The Strongest Rival Appears
#7: A Conclusion Tonight! It’s Over in Defeat! Love Tournament Finals
#8: Tonight Only! A Very Heartrending Love Episode Comes to the Two of Them
#9: Farewell Junko … A Shocking End to a Romance Torn Apart
#10: Romantic Miracle on Christmas Night! A Teary, Teary Last Surprise
Click here for photos from the press conference.
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