Reviewed by: sukting

December 01, 2009

Rating: two-point-five

This drama, based on a popular novel, depicts realistically how Naoko
lives her everyday life, including her love life, the problems she
faces, and her uneasiness about the future. What happens when she
falls for a married man and later with another man who is 11 years
younger than her? Many thanks to Ming Hua who lent the dramas to me.

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Noda Naoko – Shinohara Ryoko
Naoko Noda works in a trading company, is called “anego” by her
younger co-workers. It means “older sister”. The other workers gave
her this nickname because she is like a big sister to them. They
depend on her to give them advice about everything. But she is feeling
insecure as she is hitting 33 and her company tends to retrench
workers reaching this age.

Moreover, she is still single and is renting an apartment, trying hard
to make ends meet. Cupid strikes her twice but she pays a high price
for both men. Naoko becomes disillusioned when her matchmade partner
shows no interest in her. After getting drunk, she has a one-night-
stand with Akihiko. She ignores him after that but they meet again at
Sawaki’s home. After knowing their age gap, they choose to part.

She meets Eriko on her way for a trip. Although she tells herself
never to fall for a married man, both still fall in love. She learns
that wrecking a family isn’t her notion in life. When her company
decides to transfer her to another branch, her other colleagues back
her up. Akihiko is sad to see her going away but still finds chances
to be with her. He finally moves her and both become a couple.

2. Kurozawa Akihiko - Akanishi Jin
He joins the company and works in Naoko’s department. During his
probation, he gets into a fight and is arrested. Naoko goes to bail
him out and brings him to apologise to the victim. From then on, he
falls for her. Naoko is surprised to know that he is 11 years old
younger than her.

He isn’t deterred by this fact and keeps wooing her. He is sent to
work in Mongolia but misses her a lot. The part when he runs out of
battery power to send her a mail there is really classic, seeing how
he frantically gets help to recharge his battery. They are finally
together in the end.

3. Sawaki Soichi – Kato Masaya
She is Naoko’s ex-colleague who quits her job after getting married to
look after her daughter. After knowing Eriko’s infidelity, she tries
to jump down from a building. Luckily, Naoko stops her in time to
dismiss her thought. She even offers to get transferred to another
branch in Hokkaido in order to get away from Eriko and give them
chances to save their marriage.

4. Naoko’s mother – Yuki Saori
She is Naoko’s mother who is worried over her future. She keeps
introducing matches to her, hoping that she can quit her job after

5. Sawaki Eriko – Tomosaka Rie
He is Soichi’s husband who is initially a family man. He later finds
Naoko attractive and becomes intimate with her. Knowing that this is
wrong, he breaks up with her later.

6. Katou Hiromi – Toda Naho
She is Naoko’s colleague who faces a lot of pressure when her affair
with a male colleague is uncovered. All ignore her at work except
Naoko. She is grateful to Naoko who helps her tide over the crisis.
Hiromi helps Naoko back when she faces the same situation.

Favourite character
Akihiko, his persistence in love is amazing. Although he is only 22,
he knows what he wants and is firm that he will never change once he
has given his heart to Naoko.

Most hated character
Eriko, he wavers for a long while before he settles back for his wife.


The highest ratings for this drama was 18% as many admired Ryoko’s
acting. I have not liked dramas that often associate older women with
younger men. The same can be said for this drama as it is so
unrealistic to set the gap as wide as 11 years apart! I get impatient
by recent arrangements in dramas – sooner or later – they might even
come up with a 20-year gap!

But the portrayal of the emergency faced by a single woman does go
down well with many similar women. No matter how capable she is, her
value and attractiveness dip once she hits a certain age. However, it
sets me thinking about the moral issues. Can we resist temptation
although we know that it is wrong?

The one-night-stands and extra-marital affairs seem to be too easily
accepted. The way that Ryoko bravely handles the suffering is
unthinkable. But you will laugh at the connection she shares with
Akihiko. They are a total mismatch and he tries too hard to be as
mature as her to close the gap. The two are a wonderful pair, although
not matching in looks.

Will female colleagues be so nice to each other at work? This drama
paints a picture which is too beautiful. I do question this
possibility as I have seen most having rivalry or arguments in
offices. It is rare that they can be as close as sisters. Unless they
resign from work, they are still threats to them.

Jin has never been looking better in a business suit, but he can be
quite stiff in acting in the beginning. However, with strong
assistance from the experienced Ryoko, he becomes better in the later
parts. This drama still becomes watchable although certain parts can
be misleading. There is a low chance for such relationships to work
out although there are some rare exceptional cases.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

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