[Jdrama] Around 40

July 8, 2008 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

Amami Yuki as Ogata Satoko
Fujiki Naohito as Okamura Keitaro
Otsuka Nene as Morimura Nao
Tsutsui Michitaka as Ohashi Sadao (Ma-kun)
Matsushita Yuki as Takeuchi Mizue
Maruyama Tomomi as Shinjo Takafumi
AKIRA as Ogata Tatsuya
Sakura as Ogata Maki
Hayashi Ryuzo as Ogata Tomoyasu
Kaga Mariko as Yoshinaga Haruko
Matsumoto Wakana as Katayama Haruka
Katagiri Hairi as Matchmaker
Kato Masaya as Kanasugi Kazuya

Around 40 centers around 3 women as they are approaching a new turning point in their lives: turning 40 (though it’s sooner for two of them than the last). Ogata Satoko is a 39-year-old psychiatrist. She hasn’t dated anyone in five years, but is still very happy with her life. She is satisfied from her work and doesn’t feel the need to get married or have kids. Takeuchi Mizue is also 39 years old; she and Satoko were classmates. She got married after graduation and has a son in junior high. Although she used to be happy with her life as a housewife, lately she has begun to feel tired of it and wants to start working again.

Morimura Nao is a 35-year-old fashion editor. She’s vowed never to get married and wants instead to concentrate on her work. Her work is her greatest priority and she will do whatever she has to advance her career, even if it mean getting married. These three women often meet at their friend Ma-kun’s restaurant. Fujiki Naohito plays Okamura, a clinical physiologist who is new to the hospital Satoko works at. He annoys her a bit because of he is very adamant on the green stance. He often says, “it’s not stinginess, it’s for ecology.” He’s also in his early 30’s. Of course what other reason is he in this series than to play the main love interest?

This series deals with issues for a generation one over the yuppie generation. While it is themed a bit for older people, it’s still a very interesting and semi-relevant take on issues like marriage, divorce, work, etc. Everyone is going to get to this point, right? Nao’s issue is especially interesting to me; she’ll do whatever she has to advance her career. As a fashion editor, she’s essentially selling herself and her image. So she gets married to Shinjo Takafumi, who’s a famous lifestyle producer. Together, they market themselves as the ideal married couple. Nao markets herself as a wife, hopefully a mother sometime soon, who also excels in her workplace; this is the concept for a new magazine that her company is launching with Nao as the editor-in-chief. For her the image of happiness is more important actually being happy.

This was the most interesting storyline for me, and it seems the most relevant for young people. For me, issues like getting married late or getting back into work life after being a housewife isn’t really boring, but just not relevant enough for me to care about it just yet. One thing I really enjoyed about this series, though, was the acting. Most of these people are veterans and really know what they’re doing. Around 40’s certainly not the best drama or most enjoyable that I’ve watched, but it is rather pleasant and can be rather funny at some points. It’s worth a watch if you have the time, but it’s nothing to lose sleep over (as I’ve often been guilty of late night watching for other series…).

Buy the boxset: Japan Version

Entry filed under: dramas. Tags: , , .

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