What a great show. If there’s one winter drama you should watch, that is if you’re into family drama, then this should be in the list. It’s really the only drama I’ve been watching faithfully every single week, without a miss. So yes, this is my favorite Winter drama.
I’m a sucker for family dramas. Let me just put it out there first. So I may be biased when it comes to family dramas but really, what’s not to like about this show? I can’t find anything wrong with it, except maybe I really didn’t see the ending coming. But let’s not spoil it so fast. The ending is unprecedented but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, it’s actually one of the best endings this show could come up with without being overly clichéd.
I’m really glad they dedicated an episode to explain Megumi’s backstory because to be honest, I’ve been racking my brain just trying to figure out her character’s agenda. So this revelation is exactly what we need. For a character I don’t really care about before, this episode sure changed my perception towards Megumi literally by 180 degrees. For the most part, I recalled shedding tears a bit especially during the flashback when Yozo proposed to Megumi.
This is not your typical man-woman love marriage. This is something beyond that. So I was right, there’s nothing really romantic between Yozo and her but they do care for each other. Maybe more so from Yozo’s point of view as that’s exactly why he even proposed that marriage plan to her.
When I say this is something beyond man-woman relationship, I mean it. Yozo’s act of kindness saved Megumi from the shithole she’d been trapping herself, either by choice or not, but nobody gives a damn about her and Kota at their village until Yozo comes along and becomes their savior. What’s in it for Yozo you may ask. Well, other than getting a beautiful younger woman as a wife (pretty sure that’s not his true intention) he probably wants to do something good for once for others.
I can understand Daisuke’s annoyance and the “I can’t believe you paid for her school fees!” kind of reaction when he first heard about Megumi from Yozo. He’s probably thinking Yozo has just been royally swindled by Megumi. But of course, that’s not true as it turns out that Megumi has really been working hard to be accepted into a nursing school. She did fail a lot but there’s still one last chance which she’s ready to give up if not for Yozo’s encouragement. So it’s now been settled that Megumi’s not someone evil trying to take advantage of Yozo but she’s just afraid of not being able to fulfill the promise she made with Yozo so she has been distancing herself and yes, trying to escape before.So nothing else really happens in this episode other than Naruhodo Girl still trying to tackle Daisuke but to no avail. Then, Hanako falls sick from overworking and has a brief sentimental moment with Kazuya at the hospital.
Oh this episode. I really feel bad for Naruhodo Girl. There are two highlights from this episode. One being Naruhodo Girl getting rejected by Daisuke and Hanako’s touching conversation with her mother.
First, let’s talk about Naruhodo Girl. I’ve never been impressed by Kiko Mizuhara much before but this role is made just for her and I can’t think of anyone else as Naruhodo Girl. She nails the character and very on point that I can’t find anything to hate about her. I suppose this kind of ‘bimbo-ish’ role suits her a lot, which is why Naruhodo Girl is just very fun to watch.
We know she’s attracted to Daisuke and has relentlessly trying to get on his good side for the past few episodes, most of which include her ‘not being able to read the atmosphere’ and ‘sheepishly laughing at everything off’ but don’t be fooled by the facade this girl puts on. Most of these characters turn out to have empty hearts and all talk but Naruhodo Girl is human afterall.
This proposal scene is just downright hilarious! But I also feel bad for Naruhodo Girl when Daisuke is totally dumbfounded by her abrupt proposal.
Daisuke realizes that he needs to make her understand that it’s never going to happen between them. He knows it’s going to hurt her feelings but hey, love means a little heartbreak once in a while.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.Daisuke prompts Hanako to tell her mother about her condition.
It’s really nice to see this brief mother-daughter moment which is essential to break Hanako from the shell she’s been forcing herself to wear (or hide in) for a long, long time.
Jun Fubuki is great as Hanako’s mother and I do like the particular line when Hanako mentions she doesn’t want her to see her crying face because she’s already a grown up, she replies, “I’ve seen your crying face since you were born.”
So it’s good that Hanako finally gets this secret off her chest. Oh yes, Megumi passed her final test and this means she gets to to enroll for nursing school. Things are looking bright.
The heart-shattering episode if I am to call it. The show has taken a turn since episode 7 to this tear-jerking drama and I could use more comedy and sarcasm but life is life and nothing really goes as planned right? Speaking of life, death is never far apart. So having seen Yozo drop the bomb of “I’m going to die soon” in the previous episode, I know that this is not going to end well.
The once bright and full of smiles Yozo-san has turn into a more melancholic person. I’m not sure how to handle this and like Daisuke, this comes as a huge surprise. Who would’ve thought someone is going to die in this show when you first started this? I mean, even until episode 6-7 I still refuse to think that Yozo is going to be gone (there were hints I know) but still…I suppose I was hoping for a loud and cheerful ending as how they’ve fooled us into thinking from the beginning.
I’m not mad about this sudden turn of events or direction down the ‘illness’ line but I suppose it is part of the journey in life. Basically, I’m in teary mode in this entire episode. Daisuke struggles to get this reality into his head and fakes smiles. Hanako is worried about him and it takes Kazuya to point out to her that she may have harbored feelings towards Daisuke subconsciously.
Sasaki’s probably the only remaining character to still bring out the comedy in the midst of all these depressing events. He finally finds (or rather, it’s the girl) someone who actually likes him! So congrats Sasaki!
Ah…my eyes. My poor red eyes in the middle of the night.
The finale spends its time just going through the motions. Yozo doesn’t have much time left and Daisuke tries to make full use of it by fulfilling his last requests.
That includes getting everyone together for a meal.
I think they’re hinting something for these two. Very unlikely match but this can be interesting.
While I did tear up during the funeral scenes but the overall ambience is not too sad. I guess it’s because everyone’s somehow preparing themselves for this. So it’s not too bad.
I’ll never get bored of two shots of them from behind like this. I believe we have them in every single episode which to me is symbolic, all the more reason why I love it.
Daisuke grumbles during his speech about Yozo’s annoying habits and whatnot but it’s not with ill intent.
He proposed to Hanako. Another thing I really didn’t see coming. I’m not against this pairing, I wasn’t really rooting for Hanako-Kazuya pairing but I really thought these two will end up as friends who need each other to bicker. I was actually quite certain that Daisuke will remain single and be on his merry way, building more muscles and enjoying his brew, while finding the time to bicker with Hanako. Anyways, I think this is still a very good ending. At least, his method of proposing is totally unconventional so that’s very Daisuke-like.
But I suppose…while a person can have his/her alone time as much as he/she wants, what harm can two or three do? I think this is the message the show is trying to deliver.
By the way, it’s cool they actually didn’t get rid of Hanako’s apartment. Normally, the girl would sell off her house and move into the man’s right? But Hanako keeps her apartment and goes to and fro from Daisuke’s, which I think is really a nice touch. Very unorthodox and it keeps an open mind for the audience that this is also a choice. The show kind of reminds me of Gisou no Fuufu which has a very unconventional ending too (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve watched that show xD)
I’m probably going to have some withdrawals with the end of this show. It’s such a good one to binge watch (if you haven’t started watching). Some things are predictable but some really took a surprising turn so even I find myself taken aback a bit, especially Yozo’s death. Didn’t see it coming in a million miles when I started. I probably didn’t think they’re going to kill anybody off in such a funny and light-hearted show like this. It’s also very thought-provoking, which is a huge plus in my book. I love shows that makes people think. And this show really makes you wonder about a lot things regarding individuality, their perks and outlook on life. Different people have different ways of living. So is it so bad if one doesn’t follow the norm and decides to live his/her own way?
What I also like about the show is it’s not overly preachy. Yozo’s biggest contribution here is to change Daisuke’s perception and way of living but he’s not forcing it. From his various actions, some very subtle ones, some very obvious, he wants Daisuke to consider another option he can always take. That is to allow people into his life. He begins to see this and while I can relate to his ideology in the beginning of the show where he’s hell-bent on spending the rest of his life alone and find myself thinking similarly in some situations, the change in him isn’t altogether bad. No man is an island. As simple as that.
At times, we need our alone time.
Other times, we can all use a little company.
As for the performances, huge huge thumbs up to Toshiyuki Nishida as Yozo. He’s just brilliant. Katori Shingo brings Daisuke to life and from his mannerisms to body language, he nails it. I think this is one of his best characters I’ve ever watched. Also a delight to see Ueno Juri return in a light-hearted drama, loveable character and on-point. Her stylist deserves praise too because I keep drooling over her winter coats etc. The rest are superb and overall, this show is a must-watch this season.