> This is the final instalment of the “Husband And Wife Trilogy” written by Hisashi Nozawa.
The high-rating dramas broadcasted in the same time slot as this drama, “To My Beloved” (originally broadcasted in July 1992 with the highest rating of 24.4％) and “What A Beautiful Life” (originally broadcasted in July 1993 with the highest rating of 25.0％), both depicted “conjugal romance” and “the destruction of husband and wife (family),” evoking profound empathy amongst the contemporary viewers. Many of the viewers may still remember that the dramas established a new world of “romantic drama” with the uniqueness that each drama possessed. The new drama takes on board as a theme the “search of happiness by the wife in an unhappy relationship with her husband.” The Hisashi Nozawa world continues the theme of the two preceding works and completes the “Husband and Wife Trilogy.”
> Innovative casting featuring Narumi Yasuda and up-and-coming actors
The leading role stars Narumi Yasuda, her first role in a drama series in fifteen months and the first drama since her marriage. Her role challenges her conventional image. Her partner is played by Goro Kishitani, an experienced and hottest actor of the moment after winning numerous awards with his role in the film “Tsuki Wa Docchi ni Dete Iru/ All Under The Moon.” This is his first appearance in a drama series. Alongside the male actors such as a character actor Etsushi Toyokawa, who is gaining popularity in the drama genre, an eccentric and serious actor Kyusaku Shimada, while Jun Miho and Eri Fukatsu make up the strong and flamboyant female cast.
As you can see from this line-up, our concept intentionally turns its back on the conventional method of celebrity-based casting and offers a new collaboration that comes from innovative and powerful tension created by character-based and experienced actors.
In addition to the cast and creative line-up mentioned above, singer Izumi Tachibana (Sony Records) ? reputed to become the female Yutaka Ozaki ? sings the soundtrack with an aim to create a clear image of innovation.
Shunsaku Kawake is in charge of the direction. He won the 1992 Best Award for Culture Fund with “Aki no Eki (A Station In Autumn)” and followed it up with a drama series “Tsugo no II Onna (A Convenient Woman),” proving his ability to create high quality work.
Within the frame of drama series known as “Mokuyo Gekijo (Thursday Theatre),” this drama is constructed from unconventional casting, music and world of imagery. At the same time this drama presents the conclusion of “romance,” its high literariness and the true worth of Nozawa world.
Our aim is for the viewers to feel “a premonition of something new” in drama history.
> When a housewife becomes a woman
She is not necessarily a housewife unhappy with her family life. She lives in a ready-built detached house on the outskirts of Tokyo, and her husband is a hard-working salary man. They have a child who begins primary school this year. Financially they are well off. This could be a picture of any ordinary family
As a housewife she is “a mother of one” and “a wife who does household chores” and also a “woman.” When conjugal relationships breaks down, for example in the form of the husband’s affair, the child becomes the only reason for the couple to stay together, thus illustrating a family with a dark side, which effectively highlights independence for the housewife, synonymous with “being a woman.” It is also the moment when the family transforms into a cage.
> Women who pays for love
Situations such as this have been told many times in the past as infidelity dramas. However in this work, the affair starts off by a chance meeting in the world of prostitution and then proceeds to be depicted as a romance that draws the line when cash is exchanged. The more they love each other, the more the man and woman has to deny their mundane life. The paradox is that mutual consideration for each other stands in between and restrains them.
It is the utmost sincerity and expression of love on the part of the adulterous housewife.
> When you lose your child…
What if a couple whose only bond was their child, suddenly lose the child? Worse still, if the mother were responsible for it? What was once an ordinary family will eventually fall apart. The overwhelming sense of guilt brings about her downfall, opening her eyes to her sexuality. She meets a man who accepts her even as a fallen angel and tells her, “I will protect you for the rest of your life.”
Between the two of them lies a kind of “genuine love” that has totally different circumstances to that of a couple whose only bond is their child.
> The ultimate love story
This story is about a typical housewife who becomes aware of her “femininity” in a husband and wife relationship that exists solely for the sake of their child. The loss of their child causes her downfall. She begins to live a life as a fierce “woman” who stands up for her child. By pursuing her, the drama aims to depict ultimately what “womanhood” is for a housewife.
Simultaneously, it is also about finding an expression to a form of “ultimate romance” through the form of a man’s accepting love which takes in all the ups and downs, which cannot be found in a half-hearted affair.
Akemi Uekusa (26) Narumi Yasuda
Akemi is a housewife who lives with her husband Seiichi and Kazu (5), their only child in a detached house on the outskirts of Tokyo. She was a quiet child, lovingly brought up by her parents and grew up with a fondness for flowers. After graduating from junior college, she joins a medical instruments company. When she is 20, she meets Seiichi at work and after embarking on an affair with him, fall pregnant and marries him. Akemi’s father never forgave her for this, and her relationship with him has been severed ever since.
After the birth of Kazu, Akemi became increasingly aware that her husband no longer sees her as a woman. Akemi and Seiichi had become a couple for the sake of their son. Akemi miscarries her second child and is no longer able to bear children. It is then when she comes to know of her husband’s affair. What’s worse, the other woman in the affair is his first wife. Akemi, who was brought up in a well-to-do family and consequently naive, does not know how to handle the situation. It is when she is plunged into the depths of despair, that she has a fatal meeting.
Yusaku Shimegi (29) Goro Kishitani
Yusaku is a detective on the crime prevention squad at Shibuya Police office.
Born in Gifu prefecture, he studies at a private university in Tokyo. He sees a recruitment ad for police officers on the notice board in the student services area, and thinking that “working to protect other people is not a bad idea,” he applies and is accepted into police school.
Yusaku is an exceptionally passionate guy and he thrives in the crime prevention squad. With his humanity and gentleness, he takes action on the delinquents and suspects and befriends them and quickly becomes the “face” of the squad.
However one day, his informer is murdered. The senior level of the squad, in an attempt to conceal the incident, forbids Yusaku from apologising to the family of the deceased and to the general public. Out of shame, Yusaku attempts to abandon the profession ? which he once thought to be his vocation ? when he meets Akemi.
Seiichi Uekusa (34) Etsushi Toyokawa
Akemi’s husband and an elite corporate man at a leading company “Kujyo Bussan,” Seiichi met Ryuko while a student at Kyoto University and after joining the company, married her. Seiichi is an ambitious guy, with a strong urge to dominate. Ryuko was indeed attractive as a woman, but her father who had strong connections with the national political arena, was also irresistible to him.
In the third year of his marriage, he meets Akemi and embarks on an affair with her. Though he had not intended it to be serious, Akemi’s passion overwhelms him and he divorces Ryuko and marries Akemi.
Life with homely Akemi was warm and peaceful. However his ten year intimate relationship with Ryuko was still ongoing, even though they were no longer married. Seiichi lived a double life as a sexually active man and a good father.
However, his ambitions take a toll on his work and consequently, the wheel of fortune begins to steer into an unexpected direction….
Ryuko Ebata (33) Jun Miho
Ryuko is Seiichi’s first wife and a career woman, working as an editor in a large publishing company. Her father is a well known and influential figure in Gunma, her place of origin. Though she loved her father very much, she decides to study at a university in Kyoto, wanting to distance herself from the rigid ways of her narrow-minded locals and from the complex human relationships particular to families of pedigree. At university, she meets Seiichi and marries him. She was a secretive woman even in front of her husband, and would stir up the male desire to conquer her.
Three years into her marriage, her husband’s young lover appears on the scene. Ryuko takes pity upon herself for loving her husband no matter how harshly he betrayed her, but manages to hide her shock and agrees to a divorce. She is confident that she would be able to maintain her relationship with Seiichi and so she embarks on an affair with her ex-husband…