From 9.00 p.m., Sundays, 17 April 2016
12-year-old Sakurako, the eldest daughter of the Ban family in Tokyo’s Setagaya district, is in an apron getting breakfast ready as always. Six months ago, her mother Yoko died of illness. The second of four siblings, Sakurako has been filling in for Yoko by taking on all the housework for the sake of her father Sota, three siblings Kotaro, Shintaro, Momoko, and grandfather Soichiro. The dependable girl who works hand and foot for the family is finally a junior high school student from today. However, she is like a “drill sergeant” who manages the whole family with extremely stern behaviour that insidiously strikes terror in all their hearts. She does not know that a big matter is about to change the family’s fate soon … … The culprit is her father who is at Narita Airport at this moment. He has come back from a performance in Las Vegas as a saxophone player. A beautiful blonde woman wearing sunglasses is beside him. “I’ve finally fulfilled my dream to come to Japan,” she says and walks happily with Sota. When Sakurako returns home with Momoko, they see their father’s saxophone in the entrance. Because this is proof of their beloved father’s return, the two of them rush into the living room. Kotaro and Shintaro are standing at the entrance and fidgeting, and Sakurako senses something is amiss. When she enters the room, her father says, “Your mother is here” and introduces the blonde woman. Her name is Alice Shepherd. According to Sota’s elder sister Akao Kotone and Soichiro, it appears that he has remarried. Sakurako is indignant about the sudden remarriage. On the other hand, Alice panics after she sees the children come out. Sota apologises to both Sakurako and Alice good-naturedly. The two females glare at each other. Stormy days have come to the Ban family. Sakurako is indignant that her father would marry a foreigner he has never even dated and opposes the remarriage. She uses all sorts of tricks in her attempt to drive her new mother out of the house. On the other hand, Alice believes that her encounter with Sota was true fate and is determined to become the new mother of the Ban family. Will she eventually befriend the children? Will Sakurako and Alice ever understand each other?
Ashida Mana as Ban Sakurako
Born as the eldest daughter of a big family which is certainly not wealthy but united. Although she is a first-year junior high school student, she takes control of the family with fierce authority. After her beloved mother died of illness, she felt a stronger sense of responsibility to manage the family. She handles all the housework and even cooks for everyone. Although she means well, her assertive way of running the family is extremely harsh and she does not realise that she often makes the family shudder. While she is still feeling raw from the loss of her mother, her father brings back Alice Shepherd, the woman he remarried. “How could you remarry six months after mom died? I will never allow it.” She uses all sorts of tricks in her attempt to drive her new mother out of the house and the whole family gets involved in the hurdles that she starts to lay out.
Charlotte Kate Fox as Alice Shepherd
Born in mid-western America, her parents divorced when she was 5 years old. After her mother remarried, she is treated badly by the family and practically lives alone. Although she dreamt of becoming a photographer, she jumps at being a dealer at a casino in order to survive. She is convinced that she will never be able to leave this town in her lifetime and feels trapped. One day, she hits it off with Ban Sota who has come as a casino guest. Firmly believing without any basis that he maybe her saviour who can rescue her from this place, she takes the plunge and comes to Japan after a hasty marriage to him. However, the consequence is this big family right before her. She exclaims that she did not hear about becoming the mother of four children and baulks at the idea. But the thought of the routine days when she goes back makes her change her mind. She quickly decides to live as the mother of a big family. A spontaneous, impulsive person, she can pull off the most outrageous things. She battles with each member of the family, but the biggest obstacle blocking her path is Sakurako.
Yamamoto Koji as Ban Sota
Ban Sakurako’s father. He fell in love with jazz since his teens and intended to get by with a saxophone, but he could not become a top professional player. However, he gets called to play in backup bands and live performances as a second-rate musician. Honestly, his income just barely supports the big family, but he is happy that he is able to have a job where he can be in touch with the music he loves. He is a positive and always happy guy who is well-loved by various people, a “natural swindler” so to speak. Because it does not matter to him if performances are in Japan or abroad, he is constantly away from home and leaves the upbringing of the children to his wife and father. In the middle of this, his wife who had supported the family passed away from illness and he has been depressed. But he encounter Alice Shepherd when stops by at a casino during a comeback show held in Las Vegas.
Tsukamoto Takashi as Mikami Joji
The younger brother of the children’s late mother, Yoko. He runs a yakitori joint in the neighbourhood and is the enthusiastic older brother. He can also be a fool like when he hears that his brother-in-law Sota has brought back a new wife six months after his sister’s death and storms into the house shouting. On the other hand, he is a person to whom Sakurako can openly confide her feelings. He is divorced and his ex-wife took custody of their 6-year-old son.
Matsushita Yuki as Akao Kotone
Ban Sota’s elder sister. A capable emergency doctor who works at an acute care hospital, she is devoted to her work. She has no children with her husband and should have lived happily as it is. Then she suspected her husband of infidelity and was livid. She thrust divorce papers at him and returned to her family home. He does not submit the papers and frequently shows up at the house to apologise but she will not forgive him. She occasionally looks emotionally disturbed probably due to the stress from marital problems. She often drinks at the yakitori joint that Mikami Joji runs and constantly talks about her own life story. She constantly stands up for Sakurako now that she lives in the household.
Hashizume Isao as Ban Soichiro
Ban Sota’s father. He is retired and lives on a pension. He is instantly upset when Sota suddenly brings back his new wife from America, but he also understands his son’s loneliness after the death of his dear wife Yoko. He is always detached and seems to even enjoy the family turmoil. He always obeys his very bossy granddaughter Sakurako as a “good grandfather”. As the head of the family, he is a fascinating man who sometimes has words that will convince the entire family in an instant.
Nojima Shinji (Onii-chan Gacha, Platonic, Gold)
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