I’ve had this Japanese drama on my TBW pile for a while but sort of forgot about it after the pile grew larger, and larger and larger. After I watched To the Beautiful You, the Korean version of Hanakimi, I had a hankering to rewatch the Japanese version starring Horikita Maki and Shun Oguri and after that, I found this Jdrama beneath several others that I have kept in my box.
Released in 2009, Atasinchi no Danshi tells the story of a talented and beautiful girl Mineta Chisato who is forced to become homeless in order to evade debt collectors out to get her and her father after her dad’s gambling left him owing the loan sharks 100 million yen. One day, as Chisato-san is trying to escape the collectors, toy magnate Okura Sinzo arrives to save Chisato to pay her debt to the mob in exchange of her agreement to be his wife for one month until he dies of illness. When Sinzo eventually passes, Chisato learns that her debt will not be completely paid until she performs the other stipulations of Sinzo’s will — including living with his six eccentric sons in Trick Heart Castle.
What I loved about this drama was that it was so simple. The story was admittedly farfetched but it was fun to watch because there was a gradual development in the characters with each episode. I liked that it was whimsical and playful and the cast had great chemistry which played off each other, especially Sho (Mukai Osamu) and Chisato-san. I also loved the character of Takeru (Okada Yoshinori), who was supposed to provide the comic relief, but actually touched me the most. I liked that Takeru was a complex enough character that he managed to become the most tough talking of the lot and still was able to show his soft side in caring for his family. I also liked that the characters were very different from each other, making the challenge of living together more complicated. It was good that their differences actually served to make them stronger with each new ‘goal’ that their family overcame. The eldest son Fuu (Kaname Jun), the model who fears contact with women Masaru (Yamamoto Yusuke), the magician turned recluse Satoru (Seto Koji) and the genius Akira (Okayama Tokuri) were also given special moments in the drama to balance the distribution of the story, and they did pretty well individually as well as an ensemble.
Atasinchi no Danshi was relatively short as is usual with most Japanese dramas. But it managed to depict a magical and miraculous journey that moved its viewers (myself in particular) because its lessons about family hit so close to heart. It was able to depict the warmth of family and despite their over the top circumstances, viewers will find it easy to relate to their situation as they start off as virtual strangers marred by hurt until they discover what they truly mean to each other as the truth is revealed about their wounds.
All in all. AnD was pretty short at 11 episodes but it was very solid and delivered a cliche but acceptable ending that would leave a smile in the faces of the viewers. While it was not a complete given, the insinuations were enough to imply a happy end for the Okura family. I would strongly recommend this drama for anyone looking for a cute and fun Japanese flick with Kawaii actors and a moving story.