From 10.00 p.m., Fridays, 15 April 2016
39-year-old Tachibana Miyabi is getting noticeable attention at a high school reunion. A doctor who runs an aesthetic dermatology clinic at Aoyama, she has both beauty and social status. Former classmates crowd around Miyabi who has been out of their league since high school days. But when they learn that she is single and does not even have a boyfriend, the atmosphere at the reunion completely changes and she ends up getting unanimous encouragement. That night, Miyabi goes for a fine dining girls’ night out with her single female friends Takatsu Yoshiko and Yamamoto Nozomi at the Japanese restaurant ‘Tokura’, which is by referral only. Miyabi, who enjoys a fulfilling single life and has a condescending attitude, makes disparaging remarks about the guys she met at the class reunion. The three of them get so engrossed in talking that they neglect the food. The handsome owner of the restaurant Tokura Seiji finally gets so offended that he interrupts them. Letting out a string of caustic words like a machine gun, he points out the reality that she is “romance-impaired (unpopular female)” with a triple handicap of beauty, career and age. “You’re the classic example of a woman who cannot get married!” The words are like a final blow to Miyabi who dismissively declares, “Get married? I can get married if I set my heart on it. I’ll show you!” Tokura’s unexpected insolence enrages Miyabi and she leaves his restaurant. Despite what she said, her acquaintances are all married. Hashimoto Ryotaro, a cafe employee who comes to deliver lunch, is the favourite of the nurses at her clinic. But he is much younger and not a romantic interest. Miyabi is scolded by nurse Nomura Rika who is already consciously searching for a marriage partner and eventually visits a matchmaking agency. But a harsh reality awaits down there. One day, Miyabi meets a former classmate Sakurai Yosuke whom she had a crush on in high school. He is successful in his work, has similar values and is single too. Miyabi feels a rush of excitement. With the support of even her mother Akiko, who is worried about her happiness, Miyabi summons the courage to get a date with Sakurai. She reads instructional books on romance thoroughly and equips herself to endear. On the day of the date, she takes Sakurai to Tokura’s restaurant and sets out to win him over but … …
Nakatani Miki/Matsui Jurina as Tachibana Miyabi
An aesthetic dermatologist who is around 40. She runs an anti-ageing aesthetic dermatology clinic in a prime location in Tokyo. Intelligent and beauty, she is envied by the females around her and admired as a woman out of their league by the males. Because of that, she flatters herself that her value as a female is above the average. She takes it lightly that she can immediately find a marriage partner if she were inclined to and has been enjoying a fulfilling single life. That was her plan. But one day, she meets her former classmates at a high school reunion for the first time in a long while, they look at her with a little pity and she is astonished by the gap in the meaning of existence between herself and the people around her. Furthermore, when she goes for a girls’ night out at a restaurant with her girlfriends, she gets snapped at by the owner Tokura Seiji and her pride as a woman and her values are crushed in a single stroke.
Fujiki Naohito as Tokura Seiji
The owner of the Japanese restaurant ‘Tokura’. At a glance, he has the air of a handsome man because of his masculine looks and creative cuisine, but once he opens his mouth to talk, he is actually a person with a very sharp tongue who attracts the people around him. One day, Tachibana Miyabi and her friends comes to have a meal. But he gets offended when they neglect the food he had taken great pains to prepare for girls talk. Their condescending behaviour makes him flinch and react harshly. He sharply dissects their speech and conduct in the self-assured, pompous manner of a bastard. Although his very harsh remarks, which have no respect for anyone initially antagonises Miyabi, he radiates absolute confidence and she starts to listen his instructions on romance from the male point of view. His past and private life are a mystery.
Hasegawa Kyoko as Irie Chinami
She is the only person whom Tokura Seiji cannot say no to.
Seto Koji as Hashimoto Ryotaro
A delivery boy who goes in and out of Tachibana Miyabi’s clinic. An employee of a stylish cafe in the neighbourhood, he is a charming, lovable younger guy called “Fairy Ryotaro” by the nurses. The moment he shows up, everyone gets excited and only Miyabi pays the bill. Maybe it is because he is much younger, not a romantic interest and does not put on airs, that he is someone she can talk to. His motto seems to be “fun”. He gets close to Miyabi at some point because he is naturally observant of females and has the ability to fall into the arms of a woman without hesitation. In fact, he is unable to decide which path to take for his future. Contrary to his aura of mystery, he is agonising about how he should face reality.
Hiraiwa Kami as Ito
Tachibana Miyabi’s former high school classmate and good friend. She is married and has two children. She knows that Miyabi still likes Sakurai Yosuke and cheers for her again.
Tokui Yoshimi/Kentaro as Sakurai Yosuke
Tachibana Miyabi’s former high school classmate and the guy that she had a crush on at that time. He belonged to the basketball club in high school and was also its captain. He went on to a top private university because his academic results were outstanding. After graduation, he became an employee of a trading company and joined its energy department. He is in charge of geothermal electric power projects. After being stationed overseas such as Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia for 13 years, he became a project leader and has been very busy. He returned to Japan recently. A shy, reliable guy with a kind heart although he is a little awkward. He is still a bachelor because he is passionate about his work and gets preoccupied. However, he now has all the right qualities: job, income, looks and personality. He is unaware that he is surely number one in the marriage market.
Natsuki Mari as Tachibana Akiko
Tachibana Miyabi’s mother. Ever since her husband, who was a surgeon, passed away eight years ago, she has been living happily, enjoying her hobbies and social life. But lately, she has become concerned about the marriage of her only daughter. The daughter she is proud of, to put it bluntly. Miyabi is beautiful and has a successful job. But she feels resigned to the fact that Miyabi will not be blessed with the ordinary bliss of marriage. Now it is finally the time for her to take action … and put unnecessary pressure on Miyabi. Although she has good intentions, it mostly backfires and she makes many unnecessary comments. She irritates her daughter, but there is a part of her that is impossible to hate.
Kaneko Arisa (Zainin no Uso, Tightrope no Onna)
Sparta Konkatsu Juku by Mizuno Keiya
Click here for photos from the press conference.
Sigh. Pretty sure Fujiki has done this kind of role a few times already. Wish he’d pick something else and another co-star.
I thought you would say this when I noticed the Nakatani Miki pairing. Did he start down this road in Around 40 with Amami Yuki?
I wish the networks would stop producing these dramas especially if they are all approaching it the same way. It is stale. But I reckon this one shouldn’t be as bad as Otona Joshi. I think Eguchi Yosuke was embarrassed to be in it. The script was horrible.
I think it did start in Around 40. It was funny in Hotaru no Hikari, so that was okay. But it was terrible in Last Cinderella, and I vaguely remember his role in 37.5°C no Namida had shades of this. And now this drama with Nakatani… I dunno. Surely there are better roles out there? Ugh.
Also noticed the increase in marriage-related dramas. What’s up with that? Is it some sort of (government) ploy to get people thinking about marriage and eventually do it? Not to mention, the portrayal of single women in these dramas is unflattering and unhelpful.
I skipped Otona Joshi cuz I can’t stand Shinohara Ryoko. I feel sorry for Eguchi Yosuke.
I find this show even more appalling and pathetic than Otona Joshi. The so-called successful dermatologist has the emotional intelligence of a teenager. Ironically, Around 40 turns out to be the more decent drama out of the trio, because Amami Yuki does look self-assured and held her own against many actresses half her age.
And nobody is shocked by the poster? This is absolutely appalling!!! Especially when you know that the main character is supposed to be a proudly independent women, and yet, she is pictured as a “carpet” that the powerful man could wipe his feet on and she would “laugh at” and “enjoy” it. Disgusting!!!
Japan really needs to change its patronising views on gender and stop trivialising social, psychological and physical violence.
+ The stigma on unmarried women is really disgusting. There is no drama/film that put stigma on (middle-age) unmarried men…
The poster really is terrible. Though the expression on her face looks to me more like she is pretending to be OK with it than actually being OK with it, I still can’t fathom what the graphic designer intends to convey other than that Tokura is a bastard. The other design elements are equally odd. The mom, Sakurai with a ring box, and Ryotaro climbing up textbooks seem obvious, but what the heck with Rika and the crackers? Or the other food?
On the other hand, at least it isn’t another picture of people hanging out on a roof.