Air Dates: October 19th to December 21, 2001 Fridays at 10:00 pm on TBS
Director: Makoto Kiyohiro Screenwriter: Noriko Yoshida Average Rating: 16.6%
Naoko Iijima as Mayumi Aida
Kyoko Koizumi as Yuko Konishi
Hitomi Kuroki as Sakiko Horikawa
Hideaki Ito as Hiroshi Sawamura
Toru Nakamura as Ryohei Konishi
Toru Nakamura as Ryohei Konishi
Akiko Yada as Risa Horikawa
Koji Shiizu as Kazuo Horikawa
Yumi Morio as Reiko Sakaguchi
Erika Mabuchi as Kaori
Kimiko Yo as Shizue Takamura
Yuichiro Yamaguchi as Ichiro Aida
Kazufumi Nakamura as Kenichi Shima
Kazufumi Nakamura as Kenichi Shima
Have a feeling this drama isn't going to be popular at all here but it's a golden nugget which I've finally been able to find. The dramas were before my time but my fave ten year stretch for Japanese series by a wide margin was from 1997-2006. Not that the shows are that old but there's something so different about them compared to the dramas these days, they seem so much more interesting and down to earth.
Naoko was one of my first fave actresses and she's by far the oldest one I somewhat keep tabs on, she just turned 12 1/2(?) two days ago. Her dramas back then were all terrific and recommend any of them but especially "Bus Stop" and "Wedding Planner". The film "Messengers" was also top notch and before her acting career she may have been the hottest gravure Idol of all time, still looks pretty darn hot to me....
That's Kyoko in the middle above and she starred with Naoko in the two "Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi" seasons that aired in 2012 and 2014, highly recommend both of them. Hitomi is the oldest of the trio and she may be a familiar face to many, my fave thing from her was the "Golden Bowl" drama that aired in 2003 as I may have watched the series close to twenty times.
This is mainly a women's drama, have only viewed the first of ten episodes but after writing this will watch the second show which will be the next post. Guess if drama fans haven't seen the older shows they think that the ones today are excellent. Some of them are but for the most part the older ones just blow the shows from today away but it's not always easy finding these shows prior to 2005 and especially subbed. On to the recap and not sure what format I'll be using, though the trio are all friends think I'll be describing their individual lives to make it easier for you to know them.
Naoko in the middle above was too good looking to believe back in 2001, she was 33 at the time and the youngest of the three stars. She plays Mayumi who owns the 'Salon de Lutia' hairdressing shop, the first scene starts off there as her two close friends Yuko and Sakiko are there getting there hair done. All three are married and the conversation had quickly turned to their husbands.
None of the trio dislike being married but think all three have hit that point where they've become a bit bored in their lives, unknown to them for now so haven't two of their husbands. That format of discussing one character at a time sounds like a good plan to me so will recap at least this first episode that way. Yuko had the first solo scene so let's start off with her.
That top screenshot is of Yuko's husband Ryohei, he's a section chief for a huge trading company and often has to work late. Have a feeling working late isn't all he does as there have been some signs he could be having an affair but with who is still unknown. The couple for the first time in eons were supposed to have a night out together at a wedding reception, Ryohei was late due to work but at the entrance Yuko ran into her old and dear friend Reiko.
The couple do have a pair of children who are seven and eight, with those two and Ryohei working long hours the pair don't see each other as often. Think Yuko was quite pleased to run into her old mate Reiko who has moved up in the world. She's now a development manager for a company and the two of them used to work together until Yuko got married. During their reunion had the impression Yuko was a bit envious of Reiko's career and it seems Yuko also could have been high on the company ladder, she was or is very proficient in English.
Yuko's husband finally arrives at the ceremony though the pair don't spend much time together. As I was mentioning in the beginning two of the trio of friends seem to be drifting away from their husband. It's happening to Yuko but for now and and the near future she's a bit oblivious to what's happening with her husband.
The couple have moved into a new house and are still in the process of settling in. Yuko's husband Toru does earn a high salary but also has a hard time controlling his spending. On their way home after the wedding reception he saw a table in a store window and just has to have it. The couple's evening together ended abruptly as Toru received a call and said he had to go to work, as you can see in the above screenshot it looks like he's actually getting ready to meet 'the other woman'.
Few days later it was Sunday, Toru and Yuko visit the store to purchase the table or at least those are his plans. Unknown to Yuko the store was owned by a man named Shima, her husband had no idea who he was except for being the owner. What a small world it is as Shima and Yuko at one time were once close lovers, both of their jaws dropped when they saw each other. This won't be the last time the pair see each other, took a break and watched the second episode so know a little bit of what's going to happen. For now that finishes the intro for Yuko and her husband.
On to my fave who you figured out is Naoko and her character's name is Mayumi. Naoko has played the same type of character in other dramas which is a gal that likes to have some fun and enjoys popping down many a drink. You can see an example of that above as she brought the workers of her salon out for a few rounds after a very busy day.
Mayumi's husband's names is Ichiro, he's an actor or should I say wanna-be-actor as he rarely gets any roles. He did have one a few years prior which is how the couple met, Mayumi saw him in a stage play and was so smitten with him she went to every performance. Ichiro was aware of that as he told Mayumi that after the final show he had been noticing her, didn't take long after for the two to tie the knot.
More than anything Ichiro is more of a stay at home husband, his cooking has become excellent so if he had any ambition it'd be easy for him to get a job as a chef. We didn't see too much of Mayumi and Ichiro together, more her when she was with her two best friends and for now which includes the next episode have no clue how the trio met and became such close friends.
On to the third member of the close group of friends who is Sakiko. She's the oldest of the trio as her age on the show is 42 but in real life Hitomi was a few years younger. Sakiko's husband has been away for three years working in Fukuoka, he's a major bank director but three years away from home is an awful long time. Sakiko isn't entirely lonely as her 22 year old daughter lives with her. That's Risa who is played by Akiko, at one time she was such a huge fave of mine and looks so fetching in this drama.
Though her husband is away Sakiko and him have set up an arranged meeting for her daughter with a young man from the husband's bank whose HQ is in Tokyo. The husband Kazuo was supposed to travel back home for the meeting but cancelled out at the last moment leaving just Sakiko and Risa to meet the young man. However Risa also bailed out and never even called to let her mother know she wouldn't be attending the arranged meeting for a potential husband.
Hiroshi was the young man that Risa was supposed to meet with, it ended up being a dinner with only him and Sakiko. The man playing Hiroshi is Hideaki Ito who I've seen in too many things to count, Idol fans will remember him as the teacher in AKB's "Namida Surprise" PV. The pair really hit off at dinner and though there's about a seventeen year gap in ages seems as though these two were made for each other.
Had the feeling Sakiko thought so too and she was blushing quite often at Hiroshi's comments. Won't go into too many details but the pair do meet up again in the next episode, think something may happen between the two but not sure what may occur yet. It wasn't until the following night when Sakiko was able to corner Risa and ask why she stood up Hiroshi. She gave a lame excuse that an emergency had arisen with a friend and she was unable to contact her mother.
Risa did enough sweet talking to pacify her mother, next episode gives us a clue of what she was probably doing. So far for the two episodes the scenes have gone a certain way. The three friends meet up and have an enjoyable time, then we see short scenes of them at their homes and being with their family that are broken up with scenes of the friends seeing each other again. With the mini break not sure how long this recap was but it's finally hit it's conclusion.
No glitz or action in this drama, if you're into down to earth shows with likable characters then these kinds of shows are not to be missed. This was a strong start to the series and the next episode even topped this one, have a feeling every episode is just going to be better than the previous one. Enough blabbering for one post, plenty more screenshots here to help you follow the story a bit better and after this is the recap for the second episode.