Garasu no Kutsu


Reviewed by: sukting

October 11, 2009

Rating: two-point-five

Foreword

The classic fairy tale of Cinderella comes alive. Toru, the heir to a large apparel Ando company, falls in love with a librarian, Natsu. Natsu's brother is a shoemaker whose livelihood depends on Toru's firm. Toru asks Natsu to marry him, but his mean stepmother interferes and making life miserable for the siblings. Plus a mean sister, a friend-turned-traitor Yuriko, a struggling artist-turned-blackmailer Etsuya, and a fateful pair of Ferragamo shoes - you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable love story. I bought this drama at a second hand store at S$2.50.

Story

Toru falls in love with Natsu who is the daughter of a shoe store owner. He has known her for 3 years. Her parents are dead and she is brought up by her brother, Ryutaro. He is a shoemaker who inherits the shop but only makes male shoes. Here comes Natsu’s graduation ceremony, she has to go on stage barefooted as her friend, Yuriko has borrowed her shoes to wear.

Ryutaro is at home, hoping to make her shoes ready to celebrate the occasion. He is making his first pair for her. Toru rushes there after his company meeting but is still late. Yuriko is attracted to him but he only has eyes on Natsu. Yuriko can’t help feeling jealous that he is only polite and icy to her but is warm to Natsu. She leaves in haste.

Toru is rich and is the son of Morimichi Corp which supports Ryutaro. He gives her a pair of Ferragamo shoes. (This scene is breathtaking as he puts on the shoes for his princess. When she places her hand shyly on his shoulder to balance herself, their eyes meet and smile.) She exclaims that they are too nice to wear often but he tells her that she can still wear them to work. She runs out fast, trying them on. He is amused and runs after her with her own pair of shoes.

The image of her in them simply does not fit with the kimono she is wearing. He coaxes her to sit so that he can put the shoes back on her feet. (I really want to laugh at it – he is knowing her inside out.) Ryutaro arrives with the shoes but hides from them upon seeing the elegant shoes Toru has given her.

Natsu works in the library as a librarian after that. This is her first day of work. She gets to meet a blind girl, Mayu and her illustrator father, Etsuya. (All will recognize him as the villain in ‘Tokyo Cinderella Story’. ) His ex-wife, Yumiko is Natsu’s colleague and both of them often quarrel bitterly.

Toru is concerned over Natsu and visits her during his lunch break. (Sigh – he is so sweet – no one can resist his charm.) He sees Etsuya with Mayu for the first time. Toru is pleased to see Natsu wearing the shoes to work. He asks her to meet him at a shoe shop at 7pm as he has something to tell her.

The irresponsible Etsuya just dumps his house keys to Natsu to tell her to bring Mayu home at night for him. Toru waits outside the shop, looking at a glass shoe with a faint smile near his lips. She stays to take care of Mayu who has a high fever and is disappointed to see that Toru has left. When reaching home, she is pleasantly surprised to see him waiting for her.

Toru has arranged to meet there as he has seen her looking at the glass shoe display for many times. He is about to reveal that he likes her and holds her shoulders when Ryutaro returns home. (Definitely a big spoiler for all of us! I tear my hair over it. ) Toru freezes when Ryutaro congratulates him for being engaged to a rich man’s daughter.

He returns home and Masako demands to know why he doesn’t turn up for the matching-making session that she has arranged. She intends to form a merger with another major company. He tells her off – although she is the stepmother, she is the vice-president of the company to him but she can never be his mother to rule his life.

Toru’s father passes away so Ryutaro and Natsu come to pay their last respects. Momoko is hostile to them as shoemakers are not supposed to attend the wake. Toru feels apologetic and gives her a warm smile before attending to the other guests. Ryutaro attributes this to Masako and is bitter over this. Toru is angry that Masako announces his engagement without telling him and demands her to retract her statement.

Masako refuses and insists of disbanding the shoe department. Toru is helpless when the other directors support her decision although he protests that he has not learned of his father making this decision. Getting fed up, he leaves home and stays outside.

Toru reveals that he loves someone else. His step-sister, Momoko sneers that he might not end up with the person he loves. Natsu tells a drunk Etsuya off for disappointing Mayu frequently and owing the loansharks money. He forces himself on her. In her fright to run away, she leaves a shoe. She then keeps scrubbing the other one at home. Toru visits Natsu in the library again and notices that she isn’t wearing the pair of shoes. He confesses that he loves her and asks if she is willing to marry him.

He plants a kiss on her lips and they arrange to meet at the shop at 7pm again the next day. (It definitely comes out of the blue for him to kiss her in the library.) Ryutaro is disappointed but supports Natsu’s decision to accept Toru. He invites Toru to a small eatery. Natsu may not behave like a sophisticated lady but she is his precious sister. She loves simple dishes and might not meet up to Toru’s expectations.

Toru smiles and eats with him. Ryutaro can’t bear him eating so politely and nearly wants to tell him off! Etsuya tells him that he is Natsu’s lover. Toru becomes stern and is about to walk away when he shows him Natsu’s shoe. Etsuya demands for 2 million to keep the matter under wraps and Toru gives him the money. Etsuya pays the debtors the money.

Toru calls up the shop and is disappointed that Natsu still lies to him that the shoes are at home. Natsu is heartbroken and the glass shoe is broken to pieces in her eyes. Natsu knows that she is ditched and cries at home. She discovers the shoes that Ryutaro makes for her and wears them. Yuji scolds Toru for forsaking Natsu and he sighs. Ryutaro is angry to know that Masako ends his contract and demands an explanation.

During the struggle with her men, he faints after falling down the flight of stairs. Toru rushes him to hospital and tells Natsu to get ready his insurance policy to pay off the bills. She looks into the drawer and learns that she is adopted through the document.

She is shaken but is relieved that Ryutaro is fine. Toru is also present to send them back home. Ryutaro is annoyed that he forsakes Natsu but Toru sighs that she does it first. He leaves the shoe and leaves. Ryutaro protests against this and both go to see Natsu. Ryutaro asks why the shoe is with Etsuya but she can’t answer. Etsuya appears to say that Toru is too gullible to believe his joke.
Natsu is shocked to know Toru gives him so much money. The intelligent Toru gathers what Etsuya does to Natsu and gets mad. Very mad. He seizes Etsuya’s briefcase to hit him hard. (I have often seen women hitting men with bags and this is an eye-opening experience to see a man doing that.)

He stops when Momoko comes to protect her father. Etsuya goes to bed with Yuriko and she wonders why Toru chooses the nerdy Natsu instead of her.

Ryutaro sighs – Toru should not have believed that Natsu is a two-timer. Masako tells Toru that she is inviting the rich man’s daughter to have a feast with the directors. Toru tells her that she can count her out since he already has someone else in mind. Masako is angry that he is still so obstinate. Toru picks Natsu up after work and brings her to a makeover session. Natsu opens her mouth wide when he tells the staff that she is his fiancée!

Masako is fed up to see the two turning up and Toru introduces Natsu formally as his prospective fiancée. Both sit together at the end of the table and look like a perfect couple. However, his family thinks that he can gone mad. Masako claims in public that Ando shoes are only of tail end quality so Natsu isn’t good enough for their family. The economy is bad, and Masako decides to stop helping the shoe department because she finds out that Toru and Natsu are in love.

Masako sneers at Ryutaro and challenges him to make a pair of shoes for her – just like him for Natsu. He doesn’t accept it as he jokes that he wants to be World No. 1 – not just Japan’s no. 1. The siblings quarrel and Natsu runs out without wearing her shoes. Yuji follows with a pair to put them on her feet. He learns that the siblings are not related but assures her that things have not changed. Toru runs after her and promises that he will protect her and the shoe shop. The two go to a pub to meet Etsuya and Yuriko there.

Toru storms out after hearing from him that he knows nothing about management. This is true indeed as he realizes that he needs to know more to ensure that Ando shoes can continue to survive in here. He asks Yuriko to spy on Masako at work so that he can spot her weakness to prevent her from being the next chairman. Yuriko is now working as Masako’s secretary. Ryutaro has to pedal his shoes to other retailers to keep his shop going.

He dumps all the shoes in the river when he can’t get business but Natsu picks them back. He intends to close the shop. She breaks her shoe heel and Ryutaro fixes it for her. He reveals Natsu past. Natsu’s foster father picks her by the roadside and adopts her. She is nearly frozen to death as a baby and never gets to find her parents. There is only a torn baby photo found on her then. He is always proud of her.

He has wanted to tell her that on her graduation day but can’t bring himself to do it. Probably he always wants her to continue to be his sister. Yuriko steals information from Masako’s table for Toru. They meet at the pub with Natsu. Natsu points out that this is illegal but Toru has no other choice besides this. Natsu sees another part of the torn photo and realizes that Masako is her mother as she holds her in it. Natsu is badly affected and walks in the rain.

Natsu notices that Toru only mentions ‘she’ all the time and never calls Masako as his mother although he is her stepson. Natsu brings the two photos to see Masako but Masako refuses to acknowledge her. She only returns the photo to her, saying that the photo is nicely torn. She also rejects resuming business with Ryutaro. Natsu is stunned by her reaction. (What more can we expect from this ruthless woman? She can’t be treating her nicely as she wants to conceal her past. )

She walks in a trance when she reaches the first floor. Toru is about to attend a meeting and intends to go after her when he sees her near the entrance. However, the secretary urges him to hurry as they are going to be late. Natsu sees Ryutaro paying their staff the money before the shop closure. Natsu works the next day and Etsuya tries hard to explain to Miya what a rainbow is. He is only here to borrow money from Yumiko.

Maya dislikes Yumiko to chase her father away so Natsu tells her that there is only a mother in this world so she can’t hate her. Toru immediately gives Natsu a call after the meeting. Is Masako the one to call her to go there? He is afraid that she will hurt her. She lies that she is getting Ryutaro’s pay. He still gets worried and promises to meet her after work.

Toru and Natsu see Ryutaro drunk at the pub. Etsuya and Yuriko are also there. Etsuya wants to blackmail Toru over his theft of Masako’s documents. Ryutaro wants Toru to look for a better woman since they come from a poor family. Etsuya expects Toru to use money to settle everything. Ryutaro laments that she should be abandoned to a rich family so that she needs not suffer with him. Natsu can take it no more and splashes the glass of water at his face.

Etsuya wants to let Toru know that being a young master doesn’t have the power to do everything. Masako holds a meeting to say that someone tries to frame her. Masako wants Etsuya to point out who the person is. Toru gets nervous although he tries hard to conceal it. Etsuya claims that the person is not there.

Masako then chases him out and Etsuya is amused to see how panicky Toru becomes earlier. He demands money from Toru again. Toru is sick of this and reveals that Masako is chosen as the next chairman so the shoe department will be closed. Toru begs Ryutaro to take up Masako’s challenge to make the shoes for Masako by kneeling to him but he refuses. He has no more money and doesn’t know how to do business.

Natsu reminds him of the promise that he has made to their late father. Natsu also loves the shop and Toru is willing to fork out money to help them. Ryutaro is offended and hits him. He finally gives in when Toru accuses him of being afraid to lose. Natsu blurts out – why is he treating her like an outsider just because she is abandoned since young?

Toru feels the anguish that she is going through and leaves. Natsu runs after him and gives him encouragement. He has never bowed to failure and this is why she likes him. He holds her back to hug her before she walks away. Ryutaro is down to see this and returns back alone. Toru holds Natsu’s hand when both sit in a cab. Natsu has not meant to keep her adopted child status from Toru.

He holds her shoulders – he doesn’t mind it. Even though she isn’t related to Ryutaro, they are close siblings. Both of them are about to kiss each other in bed when she suddenly recalls the photo to run out. Toru is puzzled why she reacts like this. Ryutaro measures Masako’s foot size to make shoes for her. Momoko sneers that the world no.1 shoemaker finally does it for her mother. He has read through Natsu’s sketch book on a story and has a rough idea on how to produce it.

The arrogant Momoko also sticks out her leg – she also wants a pair. Masako wants it ready within 3 days or the department will be closed for good. Masako wants Natsu to give up Toru so that she can save Ryutaro’s career. Toru sends an engagement ring to Natsu in the library through the return books box. She is astonished to get it. There is a note by him that he will fetch her after work. She smiles broadly at it.

Masako insists that Toru must meet her that night so he has to give Natsu a call to cancel their date. Is she happy to get the ring? He is embarrassed at the thought. She thanks him although it initially gives her a fright. Yuriko is surprised to know that Etsuya has won prizes before but why has he turned to be like this? Yuriko is jealous to know that Toru gives Natsu a ring.

Toru returns home and sees Rika, the daughter of one of the directors. Momoko sucks up to Rika, much to Toru’s displeasure. He demands to know what happens. Since she uses this as an excuse, there is no point of him staying on. He walks out to the annoyance of the women. Natsu looks at the ring and recalls Masako’s words. Natsu goes to Masako and she keeps reminding Natsu of their deal.
Morimichi Corp is offered a merger plan with Rika’s father on condition that he marries Rika.

Yuriko secretly presses the recording button to listen to their conversation from the outside. Masako knows that Toru keeps from her about dating Natsu as he has no stand in front of her. He should find someone compatible to him. Yuriko is shocked to learn that Natsu is Masako’s daughter and starts to feel sorry for her as she walks out. Yuji quarrels with Ryutaro and leaves the shop. The old shoemaker, Sato faints due to a heart attack. The deadline is 9am the next day.

Toru arranges his hospitalization and Sato is pleased that Ryutaro has changed for the better. Ryutaro has wanted to be an artist but keeps failing the arts’ university entrance exams. That is when Natsu is brought home. Toru sends Ryutaro home to continue his work. Should he ask for a delay for him? Ryutaro still prefers to stick to the deadline. Toru helps out in cutting out the sketches.

Ryutaro knows that this is the last job for him. Since he has made a promise, he will do his best. This is the pride of being a shoemaker. Natsu is worried that he might not be able to complete as there is only 12 hours left. Natsu gets Yuji to help out and things work out smoothly. Toru admires how they work. Yumiko wants to break up all ties with Etsuke by signing the divorce papers. How is he going to get money to cure Maya? She will prefer Maya not to see him again.

Yuriko suggests Etsuke to work as a designer for Morimichi Corps as he has many works. Etsuke agrees to join after consideration to have a stable job so he only keeps the paper in his pocket. Natsu makes breakfast for them and Toru only tells her to go to work alone as he needs to stay with them. Toru notices that the time is 8.25am and he gets tense. Natsu promises Masako about the deal so she must also recognize Ryutaro’s ability. She sees Toru running into the office building with Ryutaro, a box in their hands.

She hides behind a pillar. Ryutaro presents the shoes to Masako in front of the directors. Toru thinks that it will be unfair to base on only Masako’s judgment so he has asked the others to come. Masako tries the shoes and affirms tells him that the contract will be ready in 2 days. The shoes are good. Toru is overjoyed and informs Natsu the good news. They will renew the contract and the shoe department is intact too.

Natsu congratulates Ryutaro on his success. Natsu cries when reading a story to Maya. Masako wears back her own shoes. All shoemakers go for a drink. Natsu comes late and Toru is struck when Natsu wants to break up with him. She returns the ring to him and lies that she is with him to be rich. She hasn’t loved him at all. She runs home fast and the shoemakers drag him to another pub to drink before he can go after her.

Ryutaro knocks into the equally drunk Etsuke on the way and Etsuke blurs the truth to them. They even know of Natsu’s parentage. Natsu is about to burn the photo when the men return. Ryusuke slaps her and charges out while Toru stays with her. He looks at the photo and tells her that he will make her blissful no matter what happens. He hugs her close to him but she runs into her room to cry instead.

Knowing that Ryutaro arms with a chisel, Natsu rushes to stop him. Masako is wearing his shoes and he destroys them. Masako is too ruthless to leave Natsu in the cold 22 years ago and she doesn’t even say sorry to her. Natsu relates that she will never acknowledge Masako as her mother. Ryutaro asks if this is the kind of love she wants.

Natsu asks Toru to choose a person more worthy of him. Angered by Masako’s lack of feelings towards Natsu, he refuses to work with Morimichi. He also orders Natsu not to see Toru again. Some kind of sister Toru has – Momoko asks Masako if the property distribution is still the same even though Natsu is her elder sister! Toru frowns as he looks at the ring. He is lost and doesn’t know what he should do now.

Natsu also looks at the shoes and keeps them with the photo at home. Ryutaro reminds her that she will not be happy if she marries Toru as such a family is hard to get along. Maya is hurt when other children sneer at her about Etsuke. Yumiko is equally hurt, not knowing what to do. Yumiko wishes Maya to be independent so Natsu should not help her too much.

Toru contacts Natsu through his cellphone, wishing to see her - is it really true that they can’t meet anymore? She affirms it and Toru feels the pain in his heart when she reminds him of his stand now. She isn’t aware that he is right outside the library, making use of the limited chance to steal a glance at her through the glass. Natsu then runs out, sensing his presence. She misses him too much but is just in time to see him walking away.

Natsu begs Etsuke to draw with Maya to complete the painting that she has started. Maya wants to give it to Yumiko. He gives in and agrees to look at it at night. Toru is solemn at work although he will be the GM soon. He only looks at Yuriko when she mentions Natsu. She tells him that Natsu has forgotten everything. Toru knows that she is more mature than Natsu but Natsu will not use dirty tricks to get love.

Is that Natsu that Yuriko knows? She replies she knows Natsu for 5 years but he has known her for 7 years. (I really cheer for this man who knows her too well and is also aware of Yuriko’s intentions.) Etsuke sees Maya for the last time and leaves her in the rain outside her flat.

He is too ashamed to face her and Yumiko as he goes to bed with Yuriko. The poor child looks for her father frantically and blames Natsu. Yumiko also blames Natsu for not considering for herself.

If this goes on, Toru will be married to another woman. Ntasu is hesitant to call Toru – so is he to call her too. She only knows how to look at the shoes at home. Masako has said that he must not mixed sympathy and love together. Toru can’t concentrate at work and walks in the rain to the library. Natsu tries hiding from him. Maya tells Toru that Natsu needs encouragement these days so he has to help her.

She likes Natsu most. Toru also replies that it is the same for him and carries her to see where Natsu is. Both finally meet and Toru sees that she is still wearing the shoes. The company is not important to him – other issues too but she is. Both run out to his rented apartment and Natsu informs Ryutaro that she isn’t going to watch the night match with him. He gets so angry that he tears the tickets.

Toru admits that he gets greedy to fight for his own happiness. He puts back the ring on her finger. Masako’s assistant tells Masako that the consequences can be terrible when Toru refuses to work with them. Ryutaro gets into a bad mood at work. Toru finally hugs and kisses Natsu. Natsu takes a bath and Toru removes his tie. Yuji comes into his apartment with his baseball bat.

He hits Toru hard on the head till he bleeds before getting away. Natsu just comes out of the bathroom and sees him from the window. Yuji is not only mad with Toru for giving up on Ando shoes department but also trying to lay his hands on Natsu. He blurts the whole thing to Ryutaro. Toru still maintains consciousness as he sits up on his bed. (This is really a miracle that he is still okay.)

Natsu gets a towel to clean the blood from his face. He suddenly holds her hand. Her ring has dropped onto his palm so he puts it back for her. He tells her tenderly not to drop it again. Ryutaro doesn’t reprimand her for getting home late and treats as nothing has happened. Masako chides Toru for turning up for work with a bandage on the head but he still believes that love is most important to him. He is prepared to announce his resignation at the directors’ ball.

Momoko comes to Natsu’s library and deliberately wants a book on a sad ending of a prince. She will never acknowledge her as her sister. The other shoe makers sneer that Natsu must have seduced Toru to affect their jobs. Yuji is also not convinced that Toru will stand by them – he confesses that he is the one to hit him. Yuriko splashes her glass of water at Natsu – she has been responsible to cost Toru his job. Does she know that Toru has to apologise to all the shoe makers now?

Without Natsu, he can be the CEO. She wants Natsu to call off her marriage to Toru. Etsuya gets a book for Mayu but leaves quickly as he knows that Yumiko doesn’t want to see him. Masako brings Natsu to see how Toru apologises to everyone to get beaten. Natsu knows that Masako regards her of hindering her but she truly loves Toru. Is she really so unwanted to her?

Ryutaro’s neighbour knows that he is in love with Natsu for a long time but she is marrying someone else now. Ryutaro gets drunk and gets beaten by the other shoe makers. Luckily, Etsuya saves him on time. Etsuya’s shoes are old as he has worn for 10 over years. Mayu will recognize the sound when he walks and will run to him when hearing it.

The shoe makers nearly burn the shop with all the people in them. Natsu helps the men to clean the shoes. Toru calls Natsu – he is going to make the announcement at the party soon. He assures her that nothing will go wrong. Ryutaro has wanted to give Etsuya a new pair of shoes but he declines. Some people are destined to have only a pair all his life.

Natsu looks at her herself in the mirror. Her face is dirtied but she turns up at the party. Toru is about to make his speech when she returns the ring to him. if this goes on, she can’t even hear his footsteps anymore. She runs out with Ryutaro, crying in his arms. Toru is about to go after her when Yuriko stops him. Natsu has woken up and so must he.

Natsu gets restless the next day and her colleagues notice that she isn’t wearing the engagement ring anymore. Toru appears in casual wear and puts the ring in front of her. How can she have so little confidence in him? She avoids him and brushes his hand away as she runs out to look for the missing Mayu. Toru returns to Morimichi Holdings moodily.

All whisper behind his back upon seeing him so simply dressed instead of in his suit. Masako throws the papers at his face. The bank rejects their loan application. This will not have happened if he agrees to marry Rika. A shoemaker begs Masako to renew his contract but Toru advises him to get other companies to help instead. The man yells – how is he going to get it when others know Morimichi stops working with him?

Natsu informs Etsuya about it and he searches for Mayu with Yumiko. Etsuya wants her to stay at his home in case Mayu comes. Yuriko informs Toru that Natsu must be with Etsuya. Sure enough, Mayu has gone to look for Etsuya and he saves her from being knocked down by a cyclist. The doctor has diagnosed that she might recover after an operation but Yumiko has wanted to bring her back to her hometown after that.

Toru is enraged when he finds Natsu at Etsuya’s place. Fed up with him, she walks out. Etsuya shakes his head. Toru has so little confidence in himself. He should be wary of Ryutaro instead as they are not real siblings. When Ryutaro asks him out to ask what happens between him and Natsu, Toru asks if Ryutaro really treats Natsu as his own sister.

Getting offended, he boxes him. He later tells Natsu that Toru is a pitiful man who doesn’t get love by his family so Natsu should treasure him. Toru’s world shatters when the man commits suicide. He turns up at his wake to get chased away. Yuriko tails him and throws herself at him, hinting that he must be lonely. He shoves her aside and Natsu gets Yuriko’s call. Toru has rejected her so she intends to kill herself.

Natsu hurries to her place to find the two in bed. She leaves in tears and Yuriko asks why he doesn’t bother to explain that he is being set up. He replies that this doesn’t matter who he sleeps with as he feels lonely. All the shoemakers – including Ryutaro get the renewed contract. He hurries to the company, demanding to know why he is getting engaged to Rika soon. He tears the contract in front of him and Masako.

Masako tells him to treat this as a dream. Natsu treats the news calmly. It is the engagement day. Masako and Momoko are delighted but Toru isn’t. Yuriko is equally heartbroken and she feels worse when Masako tells her to help Rika for the coming wedding. Masako entertains the guests and Toru snaps at her – the party is to end at 9pm so he leaves. Masako has no choice but to see him leave abruptly.

Momoko also tells Natsu to know where she stands as she asks her to come over to her place. She tries to scare her with a small knife. Natsu shivers at it. Masako manages to stop her – there is no point getting to jail because of her. Masako wants Natsu to treat as if nothing has happened.

Toru packs his things from the apartment, preparing to return home. He sees the ring and decides to give Natsu a final call. She hesitates for a long time and never picks it up. He loses all hope and pulls off the wire. Yuriko comes and declares that she has loved him at first sight. Why does he choose the boring and unattractive Natsu instead? Toru doesn’t answer her.

She sees the ring on the table and he says it indifferently that she can keep it. Unable to accept the way he treats her as a substitute, she throws it back on the floor before walking out. Natsu gets a call from Mayu, learning that Yumiko intends to kill herself with her. Etsuya manages to save them from the coming train.

Yumiko bursts into tears - the doctor affirms that Mayu has little chance of recovery. Ever since Etsuya injures his hand, he has been in low spirits and the couple argues frequently. Mayu is blind when a drunk Etsuya gets drunk and breaks a bottle, the cut glass hurts her eye and she becomes blind.

He promises to finish the sketch book on the story for Yumiko. Natsu is eager to know when Etsuya will finish but Etsuya comments that she is overly busy over other people’s matters. Although Mayu has asked if Natsu can be her mother, he brushes this thought away.

Etsuya shows her a magazine on Toru’s engagement. Natsu replies that she knows it and it is like an unfinished book. She can’t continue writing the story as their reunion will hurt others. Etsuya disagrees - the expression Toru wears is exactly the same as how Yumiko looks earlier. He looks as if he is dead – Natsu has killed him as he has lost everything.

Ryutaro is pissed off when Toru gives him a cheque for Natsu’s compensation. Natsu is also fed up and returns the cheque to Momoko. Momoko sneers at her – maybe she will get touched if she gives cash instead. Natsu can take it no more and slaps her. Loving Toru is her precious jewel and she will not allow anyone to insult her. She gets out of the house.

Toru overhears everything and Momoko tries in vain to stop him. Natsu stops in front of the shop and looks at the glass shoe. Toru comes to her and both have a drink. Natsu decides to give herself to him as the last goodbye. They sleep together for the night. Unknown to them, Yuriko is also present at the bar and she informs Rika. Rika confronts Ryutaro and Natsu the next day with Masako.

Masako slaps Natsu when Rika breaks off the engagement. Morimichi Holdings loses financial support due to this. She runs out of ways as Toru also disappears mysteriously. (I find this woman no caliber in managing a company to only know how to ask others for help.) But the most foolish person must be Natsu – she goes to ask Yumiko where Toru can be after she can’t find him at his workplace and apartment!!

Yumiko has resigned as she doesn’t want to sink together with a hopeless company. She blames Natsu for Toru’s plight. Yuji resigns and hopes to propose to Natsu if he wins a boxing match. Momoko comes to the library and attacks Natsu with a knife. (This shows how fake this actress is in her acting.) Yuji subdues her and Natsu’s colleagues are speechless to know that they are sisters.

Momoko nearly goes berserk – she has hated this fact of them being half-siblings and yet she reveals in public. More so when Natsu sits beside her in a cab. Momoko is dismayed to see Masako planning to sell their home away as she gets art dealers to check on their antiques’ values to sell them off.

Seeing the blood dripping, Momoko asks Natsu to wipe it – no, it is not Natsu’s injured arm where she injures but the floor that is stained with Natsu’s blood. And can you believe it – the silly woman actually obeys her!!! Masako gives Natsu a handkerchief to bandage her wound. Natsu keeps the handkerchief and walks past the shop.

She is stunned to find the glass shoe missing and is down upon knowing that it is sold. Toru has gotten it for her but he requests Ryutaro to tell Natsu to find another guy to put on the other glass shoe for her. He is no longer worthy for her now. Natsu returns home to see it and tries looking for him on the street but he has disappeared.

Masako is firm not to enter into a merger with Magic Corporation although she is desperate.
Ryutaro gets fed up and quarrels with Yuji upon knowing his intention. Tokuma doesn’t want them to become like that and gets scolded instead by Ryutaro. Ryutaro cools off and returns, wanting to apologise to him but he passes away. The two siblings prepare for his wake solemnly and Ryutaro regrets his action. Natsu remembers Yuji’s match and rushes to the venue.

Ryutaro helps to repair Masako’s shoes. He tells her to think of the next move by walking properly in them. Her assistant still insists that she meets Magic Corporation but she refuses. She sees Yuriko with Toru having a picnic on the way. She stops and asks if he is serious with Yuriko. He answers coldly that she should have known Ryutaro’s feelings towards her. Natsu is late for the match as it ends. Yuji loses it and blames her for losing his chance to propose to her.

The two siblings become awkward when they face each other the next day. Masako tries to get a licensing contract with Italian’s Esther management to save Morimichi. It is Toru’s idea. She begs Ryutaro on her knees to make a pair of shoes to meet their strict demands. Ryutaro chases her out when she also sees through his affections towards Natsu. However, he later gives in when Natsu begs her as Masako falls ill. She bursts into tears when Masako thanks her the first time as she lets Masako sleep on her bed.

Etsuya’s book wins a prize and he tells Natsu that he likes her. He intends to use the prize money for Mayu’s operation and asks if Natsu will want to follow him after this. Natsu runs away from it. Yumiko knows that Natsu has opened Etsuya’s heart for drawing. Even Mayu is closer to Natsu than her to want her to be with her during the operation. Yuriko knows that Toru’s heart is not with her but she doesn’t mind it.

Momoko leaves home after taking some money from Masako. She sees a bruised Yuji on the street and sneers at him for being unable to be a wolf. Yuji gets so mad that he attacks her, tearing her sleeve and kissing her by force. Mayu is going for her operation 2 days later so Etsuya wishes Ryutaro to make a pair of red shoes for her so that she can see them when she wakes up.

Natsu comes to Yuriko’s apartment to tell Toru about the shoe making. Doesn’t he get affected if the name, Morimichi is changed? He is still unmoved. Ryutaro finishes making the shoes but the directors board opt Masako out to stop her from being the chairman again. The crane is going to take the initials down. The shoes are completed and the siblings rush to bring them to Masako. Masako sighs as it is too late.

Toru appears and tries to stop the crane. But the sign nearly hits Natsu. He pushes her aside and gets seriously injured as it hits on his back. All arrive at the hospital and Momoko nearly turns hysterical. Natsu manages to calm her down as she is the only one who belongs to the AB blood group to save Toru. Toru is paralyzed after saving Natsu. He is totally withdrawn and Yuriko wants Natsu to stay out of their lives.

Momoko comes to the shoe shop, hoping to meet Yuji but he isn’t there. Natsu keeps her for the night and tells her how to love Yuji. The shoes that Ryutaro fails to pass inspection as the tester says that he has not put his heart in making them. Yuji throws his boxing gloves into the river and Ryutaro helps him to build his confidence again by giving him the boxing shoes that Tokuma has made for him.

Natsu also urges Ryutaro to put in his heart and soul in making shoes. Ryutaro agrees to start with Mayu’s shoes. He tells Toru that he has let him down but he is still indifferent. Even though Natsu shows Toru a few designs, he doesn’t make comments as he doesn’t need shoes anymore. He only relates how carefree he can be in the sky. Mayu reminds Natsu of her operation.

Natsu gets a call from Yuriko. It is real this time that she is leaving this world now. Recalling Toru’s words, Natsu demands to know from Masako where their family villa is. She tells her the place but is puzzled why she asks as it is sold. Natsu runs her way out and knocks into Yanagihara. He is the President of Magic Corporation and here to see Masako. He cites that they have not met for 22 years. Masako gives her the photo – Natsu is his daughter.

Natsu hurries there, just in time to stop Yuriko. This is not the way to steal limelight from her. Yuriko bursts into tears and Toru still intents to die, wanting to push his wheelchair into the sea. Natsu manages to stop him but loses a shoe to the sea. Yuriko admits defeat and removes her shoes to give her. She loses to her again and this pair of shoes is to return to her as she has worn hers during their university graduation. Toru flares up as he can’t end his own life.

Natsu hurries to the hospital and Etsuya asks her about her decision. Yumiko is down when Mayu calls Natsu’s name but cites that she can leave her to take care of Mayu.

Yanagihara comes to the shoe shop and leaves his name card with Ryutaro. He is childless with his wife in New Jersey and wishes to bring Natsu to the U.S. He is with Masako at the hotel, asking her why she hasn’t left with him for the U.S. then. Masako replies that she is tired of being his mistress.

She wants to kill herself with her daughter. But being unable to do it, she abandons her and wants to finish her own life. But Toru’s father saves her. Natsu comes and knows her intentions. She wants to groom Toru in order to repay his father so she is extremely strict with him but he will never get close to his stepmother. Natsu begs Yanagihara to keep Morimichi as it is as she believes that Toru will stand up if it stays.

Ryutaro and Momoko come to cheer for Yuji as he is getting ready for his next match. Etsuya gives away copies of his book to everyone. Mayu’s operation has failed so Yumiko wants to resign to bring her back to her hometown so that Etsuya can concentrate on his work. Etsuya has straightens his thoughts and hopes that Natsu will be with Toru soon. Natsu tears Yumiko’s train ticket. She finally manages to make this family stay intact.

Natsu has a meal with her parents at the eatery that she usually goes. She will stay in Japan and hopes that Yanagihara will keep the photo with him. He accepts it and the three have a wonderful time together. Yuriko and Natsu fetch Toru on his discharge. He is still cold when seeing the pair of shoes that Ryutaro makes for him to place on his lap.

He moves away by himself and gets frustrated when his wheelchair knocks against the stairs. Meanwhile, Masako’s assistant is indignant that Natsu foils his plan to dispose Morimichi’s name that he hires a killer. Ryutaro fights him off in vain but Toru pushes him away as he races down the slope in his wheelchair. Etsuya manages to nap the person as he also comes.

Natsu turns to help Toru who falls to the ground. She is delighted that Toru replaces his slippers with the shoes. Although he senses no feelings in his legs for now, he believes that the shoe warmth will pass to him one day. He takes out the same ring to propose to her and wears it on her finger. Natsu reveals that she is pregnant and all are happy for them.

Ryutaro goes to Italy to make shoes. He shows a photo of Toru with Natsu. (I presume that Toru hasn’t recovered as the photo shows Natsu putting her arms over his shoulders.) Etsuya continues to write more books while Natsu continues to work in the library, wearing the shoes that Toru has gotten for her. Ryutaro later rushes back for Natsu’s wedding. He comes with a pair of white high heel shoes to put on her feet as she dons the wedding gown.

Introduction on characters

1. Ando Natsu - Kato Noriko
Her parents pass away when she is young but she remains cheerful towards life. She brings joy and hope to everyone. Ever since she learns of her parentage, she becomes solemn but put others above herself to choose to suffer alone. But how lucky she is to win the hearts of 4 men (Ryutaro, Toru, Yuji and also Etsuya) They either take turns to put shoes on her feet and they give her unconditional love.

Her acting is fine but the character is far too noble. How can she be so busy with other people’s matters and disregard her own? This person is a dinosaur that has gone extinct.

2. Ando Ryutaro - Sano Shiro
He is a shoemaker and brings Natsu up. He is her foster elder brother but he is actually in love with her. That is why he doesn’t like her to look so happy when with Toru. He initially even thinks of breaking them up at his own convenience. A selfish man for his own reasons but later he gives them the need they require. I also find that this man ties Natsu down with his troubles.

3. Ezaki Toru - Hosaka Naoki
He is everyone’s dream of a prince charming. Seeing how he treats Natsu makes every woman melt and seize him as their boyfriend or husband. He is so thoughtful and observant. He does everything for her. He doesn’t give her pressure but all will be amused to see how eager he wants to get into bed with her. maybe because he lacks assurance from her. He is aware of who he likes and is firm not to give in to Masako.

Although he is brought up in a rich environment, he has no airs and gets along well with everyone. Rich people will shun those who do not belong to their status but he can mingle with them freely. However, he lacks interpersonal skills at times so his good intentions will backfire at times. His will power is also weak and he succumbs to failure easily.

His acting is better at the beginning but it becomes faint towards the end. The character’s personality becomes completely blurred and diluted. It is no fault of Hosaka but blame it on the script as he is made to turn out like this due to the producer’s scanty arrangement.

4. Mochiduki Etsuya - Toyohara Kosuke
He is an illustrator whose career goes downhill after the birth of Maya. He is also a spineless jerk who keeps extorting money from Toru to gamble and pay his gambling debts. Later, he becomes a better father and also husband as Natsu helps him to pick up drawing again. This man keeps coming between Toru and Natsu but luckily later, he is honest to explain the facts to Toru or Natsu will be wronged endlessly.

5. Ezaki Masako - Kuroda Fukumi
She is Toru’s stepmother who wears hats that match well with her dresses. She is no longer that elegantly dressed after the company nearly folds up. Her heart is made of ice. Besides the company, nothing matters in her mind so she forces Toru to marry the woman he arranges for him. Toru isn’t bothered and defies her openly. She hides her remorse towards Natsu as her presence will only hinder Toru’s career. She isn’t a good mother but she learns from her mistakes. She becomes more humane after the many setbacks.

6. Kurebayashi Yuriko - Tanaka Ritsuko
She is Natsu’s good friend and is jealous that she wins Toru’s heart. She is Masako’s secretary so she is willing to spy for him for attention sake. But nope – unlike other dramas which create love triangles, she knows her limitations and settles for Etsuke instead. But this woman is stupid to reveal whatever she knows to Etsuke. This gives him countless chances to blackmail Toru.

Many will question her intention to get close to Toru as she keeps blaming Natsu for Toru’s plight. It shows that she truly loves him as she sticks by him when he is down and out. However, her efforts do not pay off as he only loves Natsu.

7. Ezaki Momoko - Hoshino Mari
She is Toru’s younger half-sister who is the splitting image of Masako. Equally haughty and spiteful, her sharp tongue leaves no mercy as she only knows how to throw her weight around. However, she changes for the better after Yuji attacks her. It is hard to drill sense into her head as she is so rebellious so it is better to use the hard approach on her.

8. Yuji - Akiyama Natsuko
He is an orphan who is brought up by the Ando family together with Natsu. He grows up in an orphanage. That is why he feels for Natsu upon knowing about her parentage. He is Ryutaro’s disciple but both don’t see eye to eye on many matters. He also likes Natsu and also wants to woo her. He knows that he faces strong opposition but isn’t deterred by it.

9. - Nishioka Tokuma
He is an old cobbler working for the Andos for a long time as he has no family. All regard him as their father. He knows Ryutaro’s feelings for Natsu so he hints to her to accept him if things don’t work out for her and Toru but too bad Natsu doesn’t understand it.

10. Yumiko
She is Mayu’s mother who looks down on Etsuya’s job. She lets Mayu stay with her at the library so that she can take care of her at the same time. Her heart has died as Etsuya gets involved with Yuriko and also expresses his interest in Natsu. She notices that Natsu understands Etsuya more than her. She is willing to give up everything for Mayu’s happiness.

11. Rika
She is a rich man’s daughter. She comes to have dinner with Toru’s family, hoping to see him again. She has liked him for a long time. She doesn’t mind an arranged marriage but she can’t tolerate his infidelity so she breaks off their engagement.

12. Mayu
She is Etsuya’s daughter who is sensible. She is very close to her parents but I am appalled when she asks Natsu to be her mother. Doesn’t she know that this will hurt her own mother?

Favourite character

Toru, he has done a lot and showers all his affections to love a person but most of the time, his efforts are futile. I simply can’t help feeling sorry for him.

Most hated character
Almost ALL of them. They are selfish and only think for themselves. Or because all of them act so badly that they blind my judgment?

Songs
They are "One" & "Chakuchiten" by Aska. Both are vey beautfiul songs but a pity the drama doesn’t match up to their standards. What a waste!

Conclusion
‘Tokyo Cinderella Story’ has an umbrella while ‘Glass Slippers’ has a pair of shoes that bring the lovers together to tell a story. But the former is attractive while this one isn’t. I am glad that I did not spend too much money in getting the vcds. The romantic element is gone in the end. The plot is too immensely predictable and it offers almost the worst acting that I have come across. Many of them are so artificial and intolerable. They can’t cry, scold and slap. It seems that something go wrong with all their body and facial muscles.

Slap? Yes! Their actions come so slow and the people who get slapped still can stay there to wait a long time, not knowing how to avoid them. As if they want to be slapped. Can you believe it? But I continue this tedious journey of watching because of the theme songs and Toru. Natsu has this boring, good-nature, angelic impression. Her role is in one dimension as like other Korean dramas.

Etsuya’s family, Ryutaro and Yuji’s opposition and also Toru’s family keep stopping her to meet Toru. This is a definite overdose when she keeps on pleasing others and I practically tear my hair over it. I am so thankful that it is only 11 episodes or I might suffer from plenty of heartaches due to her stupid decisions made which end up upsetting everyone instead.

Sukting’s ratings :

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

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

On songs : **** (Scale of 5)


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