News no Onna


Reviewed by: sukting

December 02, 2009

Rating: three-point-five

Foreword
This is the story of a newscaster and how her relationship with her
stepson improves. The series also includes a lot of behind-the-scenes
newsroom action and depicts the rivalry between the show's director
and producer. Should programmes stay the way they are or should
changes be made? This is Suzuki’s last drama and Hideaki’s first
drama. You will not get to see them working together anymore. Are you
keen to watch it?


Story/Introduction on characters:

1. Suzuki Honami as Aso Tamaki
She is a newsreader and a tough professional. She is very arrogant
when she replaces her senior to be the anchor woman after being a
reporter. She is a perfectionist and is full of confidence. From then
on, she has a personal chauffeur arranged by the television station to
send her to work daily. She is married to a businessman but also
becomes a widow on the same day later. Their wedding is quite lavish
and Ryu, her husband's son from his first marriage, turns up
reluctantly. He is very blunt to Aso but she fights hard not to show
her furious reaction to him.

Suzuki’s husband dies in a car crash with his ex-wife while attending
a function together. The ironical part is she gets to know about it
while reporting the news. All are alarmed that she is capable of
stonily reporting it on air. In reality, she is taken aback to find
the news on the paper she is reading. But she stays calm to report it
in her normal tone.

All are astonished to see her doing that as if she is indifferent but
she is tormented after that. Another shock is waiting for her as she
is forced to take in her husband’s teenage son. She thought she was
pregnant, but when she finds out she isn't, she feels a sense of loss
instead as she is unable to share a common kin with her late husband.

She is a terrible cook and needs Ryu to take care of her instead as
she is very careless. Both become dependent on each other despite
their repeated arguments and viewpoints. The feelings and emotions
portrayed by Suzuki are reallife like. Being single now and also work-
driven, she didn't want to take Ryu in. His indifferent attitude
irritates her but she can’t chase him away.

Her career faces a crisis when the viewership dips and she is asked to
leave. Her boss thinks that her serious style is outdated and prefers
to look for a young and fresh face. Undeterred, she vows to make a
comeback soon. Now without a car and little money left, she works for
a small station reluctantly. The name of it already puts her off –
Smiling Station? What is it?

It is a neighbourhood station that only reports unimportant news among
the residents. There are only 3 other staff there. They use an old
cameo recorder to record news around them. Aso is initially half-
hearted as she treats it as her temporary job. After all, how can a
high-class newscaster now read petty news on missing pets or failing
crop harvests?

She is ridiculed by Natsumi when she sees her in such a sorry state.
From a car, she is reduced to going around in a bicycle to report the
news with limited filming tools. Even her professional dressing has to
be changed to casual dressing. She frowns at it and sighs in dismay as
she can’t wait for all this to be over. She will not let go of any
opportunity to hide after making a report as she still wants to
maintain her previous image.

Being a determined person, she chooses the best news clip that she has
made to participate in the television awards. Even though she faces a
lot of competition and the judges actually sneer at her, she believes
she still has a chance of winning. Her present colleagues don't
realise that she has considered leaving them and give her their full
support.

After winning the best newsreader award, her previous employer invites
her to return to receive the award. She does and revisits the studio
with mixed feelings. She has thought of returning but later dismisses
the thought. She announces her decision on television, to the surprise
of all her ex-colleagues, Ryu and Kubota. The two choose to watch the
live telecast at home while her colleagues watch from their workplace.
Only the head knows of her intention to leave and heaves a sigh of
relief when she decides to stay on.

Aso becomes a warmer person when the residents give her support and
she starts to enjoy looking at their smiley faces when she is able to
help them out. She continues to work at the little station.

Suzuki is a terrific and brilliant actress who can show different
levels of Aso’s emotions well. Many will wish to be a career woman
like her who is very sure of herself.

2. Takizawa Hideaki as Kudo Ryu
He is Aso’s 15-year-old stepson who is forced to stay with Aso as his
parents are dead. He grieves for his parents and is hostile to Aso as
he holds her responsible for breaking up his parents’ marriage. He has
to move in with her reluctantly as his maternal grandmother is away.
When he starts staying with her, all think he is her new lover as she
doesn’t explain it. She can do anything in order to raise the
viewership.

He is annoyed with this as this starts to affect his daily life. It is
only now then she holds a press conference to clear the air. Ryu later
learns that his parents are better off as friends as they do not
quarrel often after their divorce. Thus he treats her better after
that.

After seeing the true side of Aso, he doesn’t understand why his
classmates are her faithful fans. He keeps to himself and often makes
her angry as he mixes his belongings with hers. He often brings his
ice hockey teammates home to hold parties to annoy her as she wants a
quiet environment when she reaches home. However, as time goes by,
their relationship blossoms and they share a close bond.

When his grandmother finally arrives to take him away, he suddenly
starts to miss Aso. He changes his mind at the airport and returns.
She is touched but he, being as stubborn as her, lies that he has to
stay as she will need him to look after her. He is also glad that she
will stay on at Smiling Station as it shows the humane side of her. He
doesn’t mind her earning lesser to support him.

Hideaki looks youthful in the secondary school uniform and all will
like how he becomes protective of his stepmother whenever she needs
him.

3. Nagatsuka Kyozo as Kubota
Before Aso became Ryu’s guardian, Kubota was the guardian. He is a
lawyer who takes care of Ryu’s father’s will. Kubota is the one to
bring Ryu to Aso. Ryu treats him like a father and he has a sharp
tongue. However, he can be goofy at times as he is no match for Aso
when it comes to quarreling. He provides lots of comic relief when the
atmosphere becomes too tense or serious.

Seeing how Aso is only capable of getting pizzas for Ryu, he worries
about the limited nutrition that they are getting. So he often cooks
for them. They enjoy his cooking and he helps to bridge their gap. You
will be amused to see him in an apron in most scenes.

Kubota tries looking for other suitable jobs for Aso after she is
retrenched but he can only get her to work at Smiling Station – a
neighbourhood station. Her asking fee is too high and most television
stations have no intention of hiring her. Her supporters start to
shift their focus and she is disillusioned when not many people get to
watch her programme but Kubota encourages her to continue.

Through time, he realises that Aso isn’t as strong as she seems and he
falls for her. He has no courage to tell her that as she is his
friend’s widow. But she treats him more like a servant or nanny to
look after Ryu when she isn’t at home. Unfortunately, her heart only
stays with Ryu’s father.

4. Fukikoshi Mitsuru as Akiyoshi Naoto
He is Aso’s superior who is very supportive of her career. He gives
her the biggest news to cover and admires her passion for work. Poor
him to attend her wedding with a heavy heart but has to treat as if
nothing has happened. He is heartbroken when she gets married and has
hoped that he will stand a chance after that. Kubota’s existence is an
eyesore to him and both often compete against each other, not wanting
to give each other an opportunity to woo Aso.

He knows that Kubota is always at her home so he often finds excuses
to come over too to discuss work with her. He fights hard for Aso to
stay on but fails. He has paved the way for her to return and even
gets her seat ready for her if she comes back. Her rejection of the
post affects him but he accepts her decision. He believes that with
her personality, she can survive anywhere.

5. Fujiwara Norika as Hoshino Natsumi
Natsumi is Aso’s colleague cum rival. She isn’t satisfied being the
daily weather informer. She is scheming and wants to replace Aso. She
has hoped to read the news for her if she goes on leave but Aso often
turns up even if she is ill. Can you believe that she also holds her
wedding after she finishes reading the evening news?! Natsumi tries
seducing Naoto but fails as he has very strong will power. He deems
her incapable and refuses to promote her.

Moreover, she is too young and inexperienced so he feels that she
isn’t ready. Natsumi then bypasses him to go right up to the boss to
fight for her chance. She has had enough of Aso’s insults and doesn’t
want to suffer anymore by eyeing her seat daily. The boss is only
interested to look at figures. Thus, he gives her his support and
approval.

She is successful but her weak presentation sinks the ratings even
further and she is then given the boot. Aso has her sweet revenge when
the superiors approach her to return right in front of her.

Norika is so pretty! Although many have complained that she cannot
act, she shows that she can truly act in here as an ambitious woman
who is eager to gain success at the expense of others.

6. Fukada Kyoko as Uchida Aya
She is Ryu’s classmate who regards Aso as her idol. She has been
carrying a torch for Ryu for a long time. But upon seeing how
concerned Ryu is towards his stepmother, she wishes that he will shift
his attention to her instead as she suspects him of loving Aso.

Favourite character
Aso, as she can be very unfeeling and irritating at times but this is
only to cover her weakness. Even to her close ones, she can be very
sarcastic but this shows the true side of her. A close second is Ryu.
There are very identical to each other, but Ryu is warmer as he has
more friends than Aso. Aso’s personality can’t help her make friends
in her line of work.

Most hated character
Not Natsumi but the boss. We can’t blame Natsumi for behaving like
this as this is how the world moves around. This man often asks for
viewership ratings. When he isn’t happy, Naoto becomes the first
direct scapegoat to face his ire. He often gives commands that give
him little choice to make programmes.

He condemns Aso like hell but later becomes so desperate to hire her
back. He is the main reason that deters Aso from returning as she
doesn’t want to work under such a nasty person anymore. She prefers
the simple and warm present colleagues that she faces daily.


Conclusion

Suzuki Honami wins attention in all the episodes. Aso really goes
through lots of ups and downs in life. From a top-rated newsreader,
she suddenly lands in the slums, falling from the top right to the
bottom. She has lots of adjustments to make. She can’t demand a high
salary or get special treatment anymore. Unlike other sugary-coated
dramas, this drama is very realistic on the harsh reality of life.

Only the fittest can survive in this world. Aso has caused her senior
to step down so she is very pleased to see her senior’s poster being
replaced by hers. But alas, bitter memories also look for her later on
when her own poster is replaced by Natsumi.

Despite her haughty nature, she does have the extraordinary ability to
fix crises. There is little wonder how and why 3 men fall for her.
Besides being attractive, she has the strong personality that weak
women lack. Even when she faces lots of setbacks in life, she doesn’t
admit failure.

The drama shows how newsreading is done and how a big team is involved
just for an hour’s news. When there is a blunder done ‘live’, there is
no room for correction so everyone is very serious at work. It is a
pity that Suzuki retired after this drama to take care of her
daughters.

This is the first time I see Hideaki in a drama and he is really good.
Even though he faces a group of veterans, he doesn’t show any fear and
puts in his best to make things work. Thus he becomes the lead actor
in many dramas despite his young age after that.

The supporting cast offers strong backing. Without them, this drama
will not be as successful. The newsroom scenes are well done which
truly shows how busy all are and they can’t afford to make any
mistake. You may watch this drama to get away from unrealistic romance
stories for a while. It is quite entertaining with many subplots. You
will not feel bored when you watch it.


Sukting’s ratings :

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

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


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