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Monday, May 29, 2017

Hanayome no yakudoshi (2006)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 12 episodes
Genre: family, comedy
Cast: Shinohara Ryoko, Yabe Hiroyuki, Iwashita Shima, Koyama Keiichiro, Sato Hitomi, Kudo Risa, Matsushima Nahomi, Ukaji Takashi, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Sasano Takashi, Sawamura Ikki, Matsumoto Runa,
Synopsis: Taketomi Akiko has turned to 32-years old. This is a year that is known to be "yakudoshi" - the "unlucky year" for women. She has just lost her prestigious job as announcer and is forced to become "fake bride for 3-month bridal training" in country-side for the sake of variety show. By chance, her ex-boyfriend Ichiro with who she dated 10 years ago, fits with the fiancee requirements and before Akiko understands it, she is already working in peach farm in Fukushima. What Akiko does not know is that Ichiro has not talked to his mother for years and his mother is not exactly the kindest mother.
Rating: 3/5
I took some time before finishing this drama. Being already 11 years old, you can find many things similar to other dramas from that time.


Taketomi is a strong independent woman, who has not had a mother-figure to look up to. I think that is the reason why she develops such a strong bond with Mother as she finally finds a role-model. Receiving Mother's approval becomes an essential meaning for her existence, especially after losing everything that she was fighting for. She is facing many chances in her life and I would say that this experience makes her understand what is important in life for her. I liked one comment that I read on D-addicts that Taketomi seems the kind of woman who likes to hear her own voice more than others and her word has to be the last one on the table in the end of an argument. It describes exactly one half of her personality - the strong woman who fights for her opinion.
On the other hand, she is a person who obeys easily others when her defense walls have been brought down. She has a habit of keeping her true feelings inside, unless she is angry, and from time to time she cannot swallow her own pride, which makes her say the opposite things and ruin everything. Shinohara Ryoko with her acting was the star of the drama. It was very pleasant to watch her because everything looked very natural. In addition, her face expressions add so much more to the drama that you just want to continue watching.
Definitely the high-light of the drama is Akiko's and Mother's relationship. You can understand rather early that Mother really cares about her children and also about Akiko, but she is rough from the edges and has a bit weird way of showing her love. Underneath her unchanging face, she is most loving person. I guess her mean attitude was also for children to build a strong character and survive in the society, though as you can see her children are not so extra-ordinary people. In reality I like the idea of "bridal-training", though at many times it makes me feel as if the mother of the bride did not teach anything. In Akiko's case it was necessary as she grew up without mother and she is lacking in many "stereotypical wife-material-skills". Through out the drama was once waiting for the moment when Mother will break as she never shows any weakness.
Ichiro is laid-back person who is easy to talk to when joking around, but in serious situations has a habit to jump into conclusions without listening the other part until the end. He has not been at home for years and is only willing to accept the program to help Akiko and annoy his mother. Despite being against his mother in every situation, deep down he wants to get along, but only when his mother admits her wrong-doings.
I started to watch the drama because of Koyama Keiichiro, who plays the part of Jiro - the youngest child of the Azuchi family. He has peach-allergy that makes it difficult for him to work in a peach farm. He has a dream of working in TV and entertainment business in Tokyo, but he is lacking in many skills and he can be sometimes a big airhead. Though a lot of times he is rude and selfish, he is very honest person. Koyama Keiichiro is not the greatest actor, but this role fits him very well. He got a serious sunburn while filming because many of his scenes required to be outside.
The last child is Momoko, who is the middle-child and the only daughter. She is married and has a step-son, but due to problems in heaven, she has returned to family home and is thinking of divorce. She is kind woman, even though resembling her mother, can say very mean things.
There is also Kaori, who is wants to be the successor of the peach farm, while in reality she is just a child of one of the workers. Her social skills are lacking, she has huge accent while talking and she is into stuff like voodoo-dolls and spells. In a way I felt sorry for her, because she was tried to be shown as a "bad character but in a funny way", but in the end the peach farm was her dream.
Last person who I should mention is Nozomi, who is Akiko's neighbor, her best friend and the person who empties Akiko's food resources. To me Matsushima Nahomi is known more as a TV host and a member of "Sekai no hate made ITTEQ" and I did not even know that she has had some acting roles also. As Nozomi is very funny character, then as a comedian she is bringing out all the right things in her character.
Due to this drama, and the fact that they are so cheap, I have ended up eating peaches every day. In the end I cannot tell, if there can be a difference in taste between the people who are growing them or not. I can just tell three things about peaches: if they are raw, ripe or already overripe.
Hope you will also eat a lot of healthy fruits while watching this drama.


SPOILER-review:

In reality Ichiro and Akiko dated just for a month in university and I guess that with meeting each other again and going through the project made them think that why not to marry. Neither of them was in a age where they have too many choices. Even in the end of the drama, I did not feel that there was a real love between them. Ichiro just liked her a lot and Akiko really wanted to be part of the family as a daughter-in-law.

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