Around 40 (TBS-2008)

Title: アラウンド40
Also known as: Around 40
Tagline: 注文の多いオンナたち / Chumon no Oi Onna-tachi / Demanding Women
Episodes: 11
Casts :
Amami Yuki as Ogata Satoko
Fujiki Naohito as Okamura Keitaro
Otsuka Nene as Morimura Nao
Matsushita Yuki as Takeuchi Mizue
Tsutsui Michitaka as Ohashi Sadao

The Synopsis:

39-year-old Ogata Satoko is a highly capable psychiatrist who is single. She’s forthright, a caring older sister and reliable in her job and in private. Her interests are staying in luxurious Japanese inns and watching stand-up comedy videos.

Satoko hasn’t had a boyfriend in the past five years. Nevertheless, she derives satisfaction from work and isn’t worried about her finances. Among her good friends that she hangs out with are 35-year-old Morimura Nao, her junior who proclaims that she won’t marry, and 39-year-old Oikawa Sadao, her peer since high school. Satoko is happily enjoying the single life.

At an alumni reunion as everyone is on the verge of 40, Takeuchi Mizue, her good friend since high school who is now a full-time housewife, rushes Satoko into action. “If you want children, you should marry now” and “It’s women’s happiness”, but both are lost on Satoko, who isn’t convinced.

One day, Satoko attempts to cheer up Nao, who is downcast over a shocking incident, and goes to her favourite hot-spring inn. There she coincidentally encounters a breakup between a handsome but somewhat odd man, Okamura Keitaro, and his girlfriend. Less that she knows that Keitaro, whom she address as Okamura-san, is a psychologist who will later work under her.

Due to her prejudice and also their different approach in handling the patients, Satoko finds Keitaro annoying. However her opinion about him change later as she sees the special side of Keitaro. Keitaro somehow can understand and touch the heart of their most difficult patients.

Keitaro is an extremely eco concious person. However, while his colleagues dub him as stingy, Satoko understands him that “it is not stingy but ecology”. As they work close together, Satoko and Keitaro find they are comfortable in each other company. It is Keitaro who first attract to Satoko though and he has to put some effort before finally succeed to date her. However, their relationship is not always smooth. They have to face many issues such as their different position at work, income gap, and different lifestyles. Besides, while Satoko’s eager to get married, Keitaro, for some reasons, never has any intention to do so. When she finally finds out what cause Keitaro has that kind of thinking, she determine to help him and change his opinion about having a family. /p>

Credits: Dramawiki

My Comment :

This is one of my most favorite J-Doramas. I love the chemistry between Satoko and Keitaro. I also enjoy watching the cases they handle together in each episode. My favorite episode I can say was the story of a boy who could not speak due to psychological problem. It’s the first case that Keitaro and Satoko worked together but yet it was because of this case that Satoko recognized Keitaro’s special ability as psychologist.

Probably because he is the youngest and the only son with three older sisters, Keitaro sometimes looks so childish while as an eldest sister in her family, Satoko looks more mature but yet Satoko-Keitaro is still a compatible couple. Despite the fact that Keitaro is 6 years younger than Satoko, hey are so comfortable with each other…

Besides the story of the main characters, there are also side story of two Satoko’s best friends .

Nao, a career woman who choose to marry for the sake of her career. She would rather to look good and happy by other people than to have the real happiness herself.  As she is busy with her own version of happiness, she ignores Ohashi Sadao,  her best friend who truly loves her since their childhood.

Mizue is Satoko’s other best friend who is a full time housewife. Her husband and son disrespect her even though she dedicate herself to take care of them. Upset by their treatment, Mizue decides to work again. She wish to  become independent and divorce her husband once her son is grown up. For a very short time, she even had a crush on Keitaro once. Because of some coincidence, she consulted Keitaro as her psychologist after depressed by her husband and son’s attitude towards her. At that time it was Keitaro who helped her to gain back her self confidence. That’s why she was quite surprise when found out Keitaro and Satoko was dating.

Neighbour’s lawn always looks greener,
It’s the best to plant flower in your garden
Count what you have now
Don’t count what you don’t have
Find that you have so much…

Fujiki Naohito drew my attention on this drama. Since Around 40, I start to search for his other works. Both as an actor and singer. I like Amami Yuki as well and I am looking forward to her latest drama “Boss”.

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