2022 Drama Challenge

First time I’m doing this challenge but I had fun answering them!

First Love: Hatsukoi (JDrama) (2022)

Profile:
Drama: First Love (First Love 初恋)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 9
Release Date: November 24, 2022
Language: Japanese
Country: Japan

Plot: They were each other’s first loves, but a tragedy broke them apart. Years later, they meet again as adults.

Main Cast:
Takeru Satoh / Taisei Kido – Harumichi Namiki
Hikari Mitsushima / Rikako Yagi – Yae Noguchi

Review:
Wonderful leads. I love the high school version – they were full of love and passion and energy. You will just think where did it all go wrong?

Using amnesia as a plot device to keep them apart for years. They had their first major fight but why is it so shocking as to cause severe amnesia? And her friends and her MOM did nothing to tell her that she has a boyfriend!!! The mom even told Namiki to go away and she burned all his letters.

Her mom was selfish, wanting her to marry the rich doctor and look what happened to her! She had to drop out of school, get married young and have a kid, get insulted and divorced at a young age. And lonely for the next 20 years.

The adult version were great too but they were both broken and sad. Can you imagine if the mom didn’t keep them apart, they could have fallen in love all over again when they were still in their 20s? Because it’s fate.

I also liked the small bonding between Namiki and Yae’s son, even when they didn’t know who they were.

I realized that Tsunemi was also a wonderful person, when we finally get to see how they first met. It’s just too bad Namiki never got over Yae, and she will never be able to get his heart.

Eps 8 and 9 had me crying so hard, tears won’t stop falling.

I also loved the ending. Together, their dreams finally came true!! 🥰

It was a little confusing that the timelines kept jumping from past to present.

Rating: 8.5/10


Fishbowl Wives (2022) JDrama

Profile:
Drama: Fishbowl Wives (金魚妻)
Network: Netflix
Episodes: 8
Release Date: 2022
Country: Japan

Plot: This is a story of six wives living in the same condo tower and their marital issues that resort them to having affairs.

Main Cast:
Ryoko Shinohara – Sakura Hiraga
Takanori Iwata – Haruto Toyota
Masanobu Ando – Takuya Hiraga
Shizuka Nakamura – Yuka (Outsourcing Wife)
Yuki Kubota – Yuka’s ex boyfriend
Saori Seto – Noriko (Lunchbox Wife)
Shingo Fujimori – Noriko’s husband
Anna Ishii – Saya (Chaperone Wife)
Atsuhiro Inukai – Soto / Saya’s husband
Wakana Matsumoto – Hisako (Headache Wife)
Hidekazu Mashima – Baba / Hisako’s husband
Kyoko Hasegawa – Yuriha (Renovation Wife)
Yasuyuki Maekawa – Yuriha’s husband

Review:
This is not the usual wholesome Jdrama since this is Netflix-produced so there are a lot of nude bed scenes. But I like that the scenes didn’t look awkward but very natural and sexy. Affairs are supposed to be racy and that’s what we got in every episode.

This drama didn’t glorify affairs but shows us why women would have affairs, not that it’s okay to have an affair. Also, since the focus is on the wives, the husbands are always at fault or lacking here. I wouldn’t say I agree with the wives but I get where they are coming from. They’re not happy with their husbands but they don’t want to get divorced since that would disrupt their lives. They also don’t want to get together with the other guy – it’s really just a temporary thing. So they have an affair while still staying with their partners not knowing their naughty deeds. To some people, their logic may be weird and selfish, but I’m very sure these scenarios do happen in real life. I like that there was no preachy tone in the drama and one year later, the wives were definitely happier but still engaging in their affairs.

My main issue with this drama is the main wife’s story was so boring and took up most of the time. It was obviously rebound for the girl and she needed a safe space to stay while she hides from her husband. She probably fell in love/lust because finally there was this guy showing affection to her. And while I feel bad for the younger guy, I think he also took advantage of her. After recognizing her as the woman who helped his sister years ago, he has been looking for her and he believes he’s in love with her (very unrealistic). I think somehow they really did love each other, but I just thought it wouldn’t last. It was just odd that they stood up against the criticisms of their affair, yet in the end they broke up (they had to get one last sexy time before breaking up though haha). I’m very happy they didn’t end up together, which was for the best.

I like the side stories of the other wives (more than the main fishbowl wife) and if I had to rate their stories I liked Lunchbox wife the most. The coworker was so cute and he appreciated her cooking more than the husband did. I didn’t expect that the wife will leave her husband. I actually thought they will enjoy a threesome relationship haha. My next favorite is the Outsourced wife. Girls love bad boys, especially hot ex-boyfriend bad boys. The Renovation wife was annoying at first, for rubbing it in to the fishbowl wife that she is having an affair with her husband, but I felt bad for her when her husband always put his mom first over her – oh well, she’s got a sexy carpenter guy by her bed so she’s happily ignoring the mom.

Next is the Headache wife – the prettiest wife in the drama. I guessed it right away that she is having an affair with her own husband, and I’m glad they made up in the end. Last is the Chaperone wife – I didn’t like the wife because the husband tried to give her everything and she didn’t appreciate it because she felt left behind. I think it was mostly her self esteem issues although the husband could have been more attentive to her.

Rating: 8/10

Q1 2022 Drama Watch List

January 2022
1. Melancholia – 8
2. The Silent Sea 8.5

February 2022
3. One and Only (CDrama) – 8.5
4. Ghost Doctor – 8.5
5. Bad and Crazy – 8

March 2022
6. All of Us Are Dead – 8
7. Young Lady and Gentleman

Movies / Drama Special / Documentary
1. The Effect of a Finger Flick on a Breakup – 8.5
2. A Year End Medley 8.5
3. Hanwoo Rhapsody
4. Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure 8
5. 1987: When The Day Comes 8.5
6. Sinkhole 8
7. Collectors 8

Variety Shows
1. We Don’t Bite

Total Dramas watched in Q1: 7
Total Year to Date Dramas Watched: 7

Ongoing Dramas/Shows:
1. Forever and Ever (CDrama) ep 3
2. Business Proposal ep 8
3. Juvenile Justice ep 3
4. Twenty Five Twenty One ep 11
5. Unexpected Business 2 ep 1

I really thought I would be able to watch a lot of dramas because I moved to a new role with lesser working hours. But i guess the pressure of being the “new kid on the block” had me sleeping and going to work early, plus some family issues.