Air Dates and info: April 14 to June 16, 2016 on Fuji-TV, Thursdays at 10:00 pm
Average rating: 5.58%.... also known as 'The Single Teacher Miss Hayako'
Nao Matsushita as Hayako Tatsuki.... 34 year old single elementary schoolteacher
Keiko Matsuzaka as Naoko Tatsuki.... Hayako's mother
Isao Bito as Tatsushi Tatsuki.... Hayako's father and owner of a tofu shop
Rina Kawaei as Fuko (Tatsuki) Moriyama.... Hayako's younger married sister
Shihori Kanjiya as Mika Kugayama.... schoolteacher and possibly Hayako's best friend
Hitomi Sato as Umeko Narimasu.... teacher at Hayako's school
Mimi Maihane as Mai Hamura.... friend of Mika's
Norito Yashima as Rentaro Sendagi.... school administrator
Shotaro Mamiya as Sosuke Minato.... schoolteacher
Fuka Koshiba as Riri Akigawa.... school nurse
Been ages since the last Nao post here, for a long time she was one of my huge faves. It's not that she's faded as it s my own fault for not watching enough of her shows and for getting too much into Idols. What I really have enjoyed about Nao over the years is that she's kind of an 'anti-Idol' which I find so refreshing, have to admit I like woman like her much more than most J-Poppers(just hope Nogi members aren't reading this).
There's two current dramas that I'm viewing but the subbing has been slow on them so was looking for another one from this year to watch. Didn't know much about this show and haven't read any reviews on it but bet they aren't any. When I saw Nao had the lead role in it decided to give this drama a shot, helps that Rina as her sister also has a good sized role in this series.
Not sure what genre this drama has, so far it's not a romance show nor a comedy, there's no action so for now we'll call it a non-genre series. Nao plays Hayako who is a teacher at an elementary school, it wasn't mentioned but think her class is comprised of second graders. Hayako is 34 years old, single and still lives at home with her parents behind her father's tofu shop. Hayako has never been married and it appears she's never had a serious relationship either, her parents aren't pushing her to get married but that's on the outside as they really wish she would tie the knot soon.
Hayako prefers sitting around at home, drinking a lot of beer and watching silly comedies. She wouldn't mind getting married but is doing zero to meet any men, Hayako refuses an omiai early on in the show that her mother set up. All of the scenes at school take place in the teacher's office, she sits next to Mika who is a friend and seems like her only one. Mika is also single but would truly wants to get married, often she attends Go-kons and other things like that to meet men, Hayako has always turned down her offers to join her at one of them.
There's another teacher at the school named Umeko, she's also single and joins Mika on occasion at a Go-kon but she's sort of an unattractive woman so she doesn't get any dating offers. One day Hayako returns home after work to learn that her father is in the hospital but upon visiting him she learns it was nothing serious. But it does get her thinking a bit more about her future and what's going to happen when her parents are no longer around though they appear to be just in their mid fifties. Hayako enjoys her 'freedom' for a few days as her mother stays with her father at the hospital, her 'freedom' is drinking as many beers as possible at home and walking around naked!
That didn't last too long as Hayako's younger sister from Nagoya visits the house, the drama seems to be set in a sparsely populated section of Tokyo. Fuko is about ten years younger than Hayako, also about seven inches shorter and they look nothing like sisters. Fuko is living in Nagoya as she had gotten married a year before and relocated there with her husband. Though she's ten years younger Fuko seems to be much more responsible and mature.
Hayako's sister reveals a secret that her parents had told her at Fuko's wedding. Which is that their father wouldn't retire until Hayako gets married, with her current situation he may be working at his tofu shop until the day he dies. Hayako tells Fuko she has nothing against marriage but the years have flown by and she's rather comfortable with her life, their father could retire as Hayako earns enough to support her parents.
Marriage talk is the majority of the conversations in this show or at least the lack of marriage prospects that Hayako and her two fellow teachers face. Hayako does relent once and does go to a Go-kon with Mika but ends up consuming too much beer and no man asks for her number or a date. What eventually happens is that the trio meet up with Mika's friend Mai, looks like they're going to create a 'Marriage Hunt' club and that Mai is certainly a head turner.
That happened near the end of the episode so don't know if the club will get off the ground or what the four of them will be doing if it does get started. The final scene had Hayako accepting her mother's omiai request and she met with a very elite man. He was a bit full of himself and Hayako thought that too as that date went nowhere, at the conclusion of this first show Hayako is no closer to finding a a man then she was at the beginning.
These kinds of dramas aren't complicated in the least which does make these recaps much easier, I deserve a few more like this one. This first episode was passable, nothing special in the least but good enough where I'll end up watching all nine episodes. May be more of a female show but as mentioned went in cold on this series and that approach usually works for me.
Ratings for this drama were a bit low as it just averaged 5.58%, don't think Fuji-TV dramas outside of Mondays get high ratings. Nao is popular though and this show started off well so perhaps the competition was tough. Will try to do a regular solo post for her soon as I really do like her, she's a very accomplished piano player but don't know if she still releases albums or does concerts.
Will also do another Rina post soon, she really looks superb in this show but then again she always does to me. The advantage of waiting for a drama to finish is that you have all of the subs which I do so will be back soon with the episode two recap but will try to space those posts out, plenty of screenshots to end off with. Perhaps one reason for the low ratings is that there were no promo videos for the drama, searched high and low but couldn't find any for you to view.