Hanayome to Papa 花嫁とパパ (2007)

  • Title: 花嫁とパパ
  • Title (romaji): Hanayome to Papa
  • Format: Renzoku
  • Genre: Family romance comedy
  • Episodes: 12
  • Viewership ratings: 11.8 (Kanto)
  • Broadcast network: Fuji TV
  • Broadcast period: 2007-Apr-10 to 2007-Jun-26
  • Air time: Tuesday 21:00
  • Ending theme song: My Girl by Miliyah Kato feat. COLOR

 

SYNOPSIS

Ishihara plays a new 20-year-old OL working in the apparel company of her dreams. Her father, played by Tokito, loves his daughter excessively to the point that he compels her to follow his house rules: 7:00pm curfew, no socializing with the opposite sex. Nevertheless, she falls in love with her colleague, played by Taguchi, and begins a mission to “graduate” from her father..

CAST

Ishihara Satomi as Uzaki Aiko :: Satomi has a knack for playing quirky and neurotic characters. This one is no exception. Growing up with the shadow of her father looming over her, Aiko longs to live her own life. She constantly tries to find ways to balance her father, work, and a blooming relationship with her coworker – Seiji. She wants to be independent from her father, but hesitates because he is her only family. She tends to keep her concerns bottled up, which leads to a lot of misunderstandings with her father. I gotta say, I love watching Satomi play these kind of characters. Especially, when Aiko is conflicted on whether to abide by her father’s rules or not. The confusion it causes to those around her cracks me up.

Tokito Saburo as Uzaki Kentaro :: This character is hilarious! He is so protective of his only daughter, you’d think you (as a viewer) would get really annoyed. Nope! Despite his persistence, I found him awesome. When Aiko starts her job, he is constantly trying to solve her problems for her. Over time, he tries to let go but that only confuses Aiko even more. Kentaro really makes the drama what it is. He displays the conflict of a parent learning to let go but, still trying to hold on .. for dear life.

Taguchi Junnosuke as Miura Seiji :: He’s just as clumsy as Aiko. Coming from a well-off family in the kimono business, he breaks away to be his own person. Seiji finds Aiko endearing, especially the relationship she has with her father. Because he didn’t grow up with a tight-knit family, he admires Kentaro. He may seem very happy-go-lucky, but he harbors a lot of resentment for his own family, who gave most of their attention to his older brother. When he finally openly expresses his feelings towards Aiko, he begins to “train” under Kentaro for Aiko’s hand-in-marriage.

 

Storyline

A father, a daughter, and 4 simple rules. Rule #1: Curfew is at 7pm. Rule #2: No male-female relationships. Rule #3: No staying out overnight. Rule #4: Never forget to greet others. Sure these rules would make sense if your kid was around 10 years old, not a 20 year old OL. Uzaki Aiko finally lands the job of a lifetime and she’s excited because it could mean that she can be rid of her father’s overbearing ways. BUT, he’s not going to relent. She insists that the rules should be taken down as she’s starting her new job. He doesn’t see the point in all that. Family is more important than work~. Yes, that may be true, but the girl is 20 years old and would like to mingle with her colleagues after hours. At the very beginning, we get a glimpse of what Aiko has been through. Preschool: At the local park, a young boy gives Aiko a flower hoping for her to be his wife in the future. Kentaro takes the flower and says she will never ever marry him. Elementary School: It’s a day where parents observe the classroom during a lesson. When the teacher asks who would like to answer the question, Kentaro insists that he call on Aiko out loud. High School: On her way home from school, Aiko is shocked to see the police has been called to her house. Why? Turns out Kentaro reported her as a missing child because she was 10 minutes late for her curfew.

As she starts her new job at a PR firm in the fashion industry, she meets Miura Seiji, who is also a newly hired and takes a liking to her right away. She tries extremely hard to balance her father’s strict rules and her job, which proves to be very difficult. Her coworkers pick on her and her boss, Narumi Shunichi, who does not know what to make of her. Because she’s tired of her father’s persistence, she lies to him about having a boyfriend. Hilarity ensues as he desperately tries to find out who the man is, even going to her work building and following her on an outing with Seiji. He mistakenly thinks that Shunichi is the man in question. Aiko tells her father that she lied about having a boyfriend because she was angry with him. Seiji shows up to their house one night and announces that he’d like to date Aiko with the intent of marriage. The sudden announcement causes Kentaro to act out of the norm. Aiko and Seiji try to get her father’s approval. At work, Shunichi subtly starts to take a liking to Aiko. Not in a romantic way. He likes her innocence and naivety, which is rare to see in their line of profession. She’s refreshing. Under his guidance, she learns and develops her work ethic. One night, Seiji and Aiko almost kiss. Her father sees them, stomps past them and into the house in controlled rage. Turns out he was going to accept their relationship until he saw that.

Kentaro pretends like he didn’t see anything and acts overly cheerful the next day, to Aiko’s confusion. Still trying to get her father’s approval, Seiji and Aiko don’t lose hope. At home, Aiko tends to a sick Seiji and hides him in her room. Kentaro finds him the next day and is furious. In the struggle to drag him out, Seiji collapses. Kentaro tries to get to know Seiji and this prompts Kentaro to visit Seiji’s parents. Seiji manages to stop him by lying that his parents are out of town. Because Kentaro still refuses to lighten the rules, Seiji requests that Kentaro train him. And so, Seiji begins his training by making dinner and cleaning the next evening. Meanwhile, Aiko is having trouble working with one of her coworkers, who won’t let Aiko help her on a project. This leads to the coworker making the wrong order and, thus, putting the blame on Aiko. Shunichi isn’t so blind. He sees right through her lie, orders her to take responsibility and fix the problem herself. Aiko ends up helping and saving her from certain ruin with the big name client. Aiko’s positive attitude encourages Seiji to call his parents, whom he hasn’t spoken to for a long time. At the same time, Shunichi requests Aiko to bring a document to him at a bar with the big name client. She gets drunk and Shunichi brings her home. Shunichi notices the ridiculous rules on the wall and calls out Kentaro for restricting her. Kentaro contemplates on what’s best for Aiko and the next morning, he’s acting strange again. He’s being aloof and disinterested. He calls her at work and says that he will let her break free.

Shunichi begins to have Aiko accompany him to meetings. Kentaro’s way of letting Aiko break free is to distance himself away from her, literally. At dinner, he eats in his room. This doesn’t do much, since they just argue from where they’re sitting. When talk about Seiji’s mother calling him, his face falls. Seiji’s mother calls Aiko and meets with her. Aiko is shocked to hear that his mother wants him to break up with her because he has to come home and take over the family business. She does not tell Seiji about her encounter with his mother. He meets with his mother to convince her, but she won’t hear any of it. While at Aiko’s house, Seiji lies to her and says his mother will approve, saying the exact opposite of what she was told. She admits to him that she met his mother and he tells her that it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t care/need his parents’ approval. This does not sit well with her and they have their first argument, prompting them to break up. As Seiji leaves, Kentaro is right outside the door, having heard everything. The next day, Aiko is the one acting strange and overly cheerful. Like father, like daughter. Heh. She’s acting so strange, even her coworkers notice. Aiko tries her hardest to avoid the subject with Seiji at work. Seiji phones Kentaro, concerned for Aiko. Now, it’s Kentaro’s turn to sneak around Aiko.

At work, Shunichi persistently tries to have a specific client meet him. However, each visit only ends up in failure. After another failed attempt, Shunichi and Aiko go bowling? He notices her strange behavior and she asks him if parents really don’t matter. He says they don’t. It was his father’s influence that made him enter the world of fashion. However, lately, he does not want to treat people the way his father does – as bowling pins. At the Miura kimono shop, Kentaro is getting fitted for a kimono with Seiji’s mother, unbeknownst to her. He asks her about her sons and she admits that Seiji doesn’t think of his parents. Coincidentally, Seiji arrives to convince her and sees Kentaro. HAHAHA. Seiji’s mother tells him to come home because they’ve picked out a match for him.  He refuses. Kentaro states that he has no intention of letting Aiko get married and admits that he just wanted to meet Seiji’s mother. She’s the first person Aiko has thought of as her mother, who passed away long ago. This makes Seiji and his mother feel guilty. That evening, Seiji states that it doesn’t matter what his mother says, he will cut ties, and asks Kentaro to accept him. Kentaro does not because, no matter what happens, she will be Aiko’s mother as well. He will not accept someone who will cut ties with their parents. Aiko admits defeat and agrees with her father. The next day, Aiko attempts to meet with Seiji’s mother at the hotel. She’s not there to convince Seiji’s mother of anything, only to reconcile with her son. Seiji arrives and admits his true feelings to his mother. She admits that she didn’t tell his father about Aiko. They reconcile and she tells him to do something grand to be proud of if he does not want to take over the business. They meet Kentaro and tell him what happened. As Seiji is about to leave, Aiko asks her father if she can date Seiji, shocking both of them.

Things are seemingly back to “normal.” Whatever their normal is. After work, Shunichi asks Aiko if she will break up with Seiji or not. At home, she’s spaced out then tells Kentaro and Seiji about what Shunichi requested. Kentaro suspects that Shunichi has feelings for Aiko. At work the next day, Shunichi announces that he’ll be going ahead with pursuing a contract with Atlas, against the company’s order, and he’s taking Aiko with him on the business trip. That evening, Kentaro and Shunichi discuss Aiko’s potential. Kentaro allows Aiko to go on the business trip, leaving a disappointed Seiji. On the business trip, one of Aiko’s coworkers happens to be at the same hotel and mistakens them to be a couple. Due to a visit from Aiko’s manager, Kentaro and Seiji phone Aiko, wishing to speak with Shunichi regarding his decision to go independent and taking Aiko with him. She announces that she will follow her boss. They manage to secure a contract with Atlas. Shunichi gets a call the next day from his superiors, warning him about the mistake he’s made with Atlas. It was the manager who ratted him out, she has feelings for him. Seiji is becoming insecure with Aiko’s feelings towards him, so he proposes to her. Kentaro finds out the next day. Shunichi is told to resign from his position and news about it travels fast. The manager also quits and, at the last minute, helps Shunichi from being fired. Seiji asks Aiko for the ring back, citing his insecurities. But instead of giving it back to him, she accepts his proposal.

Seiji’s father calls him, telling him to break up with Aiko because he has an omiai (arranged marriage). The next morning, Kentaro has vanished, leaving his guitar under his blankets. Aiko figures out that he’s gone to the Miura household. Kentaro waits for Seiji to speak to his father outside. Seiji’s father has no plans in listening to what Seiji has to say. At work, her coworkers find out she’s engaged. Shunichi receives an offer to join a competition, the theme is weddings/brides, and Aiko is assigned to help. Seiji meets with his father and his father has arranged the omiai at the same time as well. However, Aiko and Kentaro are busy waiting for him outside. Kentaro and Aiko come into the room and find out about the omiai his father set up. Aiko formally introduces herself to Seiji’s father. She doesn’t care what he says about her, but requests he no speak ill of her father. Seiji’s father explains that he’s always wanted Seiji to take over the family business, not his older brother. Seiji and his father get into an argument. Midway, Seiji’s father suffers from a mild heart attack. Yes, you would pull that twist in the drama, wouldn’t you?

Regarding the competition, it turns out they will be competing against Shunichi’s father’s company. Aiko goes to visit Seiji’s father at the hospital and overhears them talking about taking over the family business. Later day, she overhears Kentaro talking about her mother and how she couldn’t give birth because her body cannot cope with the pregnancy. She’s overhearing everyone in one shot, isn’t she? Shocked from the information, she takes off to the hospital. Seiji and her have a talk, mostly he’s talking. He asks Aiko to go with him to Shizuoka. She’s conflicted about deciding for the next day or so and ultimately tells Seiji and she can’t marry him. She’s blaming herself for her mother’s death and cannot leave her father alone. She arrives home drunk, with Shunichi in tow. He’s like her personal taxi, heh. Shunichi tells Kentaro about Aiko wanting to leave with him and, promptly, asks if there’s something wrong. Shunichi admits that parents and their children cannot get away from each other. He presents to Kentaro their idea for the bridal competition: the bond between a bride and her father. This encourages Kentaro to go see Seiji, who then tells him that he will give up. Kentaro doesn’t understand why and Seiji admits that he lost to him. Kentaro confronts Aiko about her decision, in front of a large crowd. She feels guilty about her mother’s death and does not want her father to be alone again if she were to leave. The family friend hands Aiko a letter from her mother, while Kentaro asks Seiji’s father to accept Aiko. He ignores the request and goes back to Shizuoka. Kentaro hurries home and tells Aiko that he wants her to be happy. He drags her ass to Shizuoka. Seiji’s father finally understands why Seiji said he and Aiko can’t get married. He admits that he doesn’t dislike Aiko, it’s just that their business is in a tough position. As Seiji is heading out, they run into Aiko and Kentaro outside. She leaves without saying a word because she does not want to hinder the Miura’s in any way. Aiko is cornered at work by her coworker asking if it’s okay if Seiji gets married to some random girl. Aiko: “If he’s happy, then I’m happy too.” Really girl? Because it looks to me like none of ya’ll are happy. Not a single person.

At the hospital, Seiji and his mother learn of the risks his father faces in heart surgery. Shunichi and his team loses the competition. It is also Shunichi’s last day with the PR firm. Seiji’s father apologizes to him about … everything. Seiji meets with Aiko and Kentaro in the lobby. There, Seiji confesses his worries about leaving his family alone. Kentaro asks Seiji what is most important to him and he admits that he wants his father to be well. And, yes, his parents can hear all this. Kentaro reassures him that everything will be okay. When his parents make their presence known, he tells Seiji that he will not hand over the shop to him. He’s touched by his son’s only wish to see his father healthy. Seiji’s father asks Kentaro to allow Seiji to marry Aiko. Before his father leaves, Seiji tells him that he will help take over the business one day. Seiji’s father makes it out of surgery perfectly fine.

Shunichi sends an email to his father and receives a positive response back. IT’S FINALLY THE WEDDING DAY! And everyone is present. Literally. Everyone who’s practically in the drama is present. At the reception, Kentaro gives a touching speech and sings a song. It’s a new day and Kentaro gets ready for work as usual, with the exception of Aiko’s presence. The rules are also taken down. At the airport, Seiji and Aiko are ready to leave for their honeymoon. Just as they walkaway, Aiko expresses her excitement about finally being alone with Seiji. Unbeknownst to them, Kentaro also has a ticket for the same flight and his seat is right next to them. The. End.

 

Relationships

  1. Seiji and His Father
    • Misunderstandings galore. Seiji always thought he was ignored by his parents and his older brother would ultimately inherit the family business. It turns out that it was always intended to have Seiji inherit the business. This was agreed upon by his father and older brother. However, I do wonder when this discussion took place. Was it when the older brother wanted to pursue medicine instead? I couldn’t help but feel this wasn’t explained well enough. If we were given more of an explanation and time frame of all their misunderstandings, then I wouldn’t feel so skeptical. It also felt like Seiji was taking a backseat to his older brother again.
  2. SeijiandKentaro
    • If there’s one common point they have, it is worrying about Aiko. Seiji is verrrryyy obedient to Kentaro and sees him as a father figure, due to the strained relationship with his. Their scenes together was always hilarious, especially in the beginning. Seiji always succumbs to the pressure that Kentaro gives him.
  3. AikoandSeiji
    • These two are super cute! I loved how they worked together and tried so hard to get Kentaro’s approval. His feelings for Aiko never wavered, even when one of their coworkers was constantly throwing herself at him. Of course, that’s not the focus of this drama.
  4. Aiko and Her Father-Kentaro
    • They’re hilarious. Kentaro knows exactly how to control Aiko, much to her discomfort. Over time, he learns to relent and helps her work through her problems at work. Although they argue a lot, their bond is deeper than the normal father-daughter relationship. They are all each other has, when it comes to family. Kentaro really learns to let his daughter go when he realizes he’s the reason she decides to leave Seiji, creating her own unhappiness in the process.

 

Thoughts

I am going to say it now: I ADORE THIS DRAMA! It takes such a simple plot and makes it fun with a confetti canon of cute. Kentaro’s ridiculous ways never fails to crack me up. If you’re looking for something that will put a smile on your face, I highly recommend this drama. However, from a broader perspective, the circumstances are unrealistic. But, hey, this is a drama after all. The main focus of how important a father figure is in one’s life is thoroughly explained from different perspectives: through Aiko, who only has her father, and Seiji, who’s father was never there. I loved how doting Kentaro was; however, it was a bit toooooo extreme. If it were me, I would’ve reacted completely differently to Kentaro compared to Aiko. Of course, that’s the difference with the cultural upbringing and what not. While I do agree that father figures are important, I wish they had touched upon the importance of the mother figure more.

To be honest, if there were ever a sequel to this, I would be excited. Not just because we see that Kentaro has yet to fully let Aiko go, but that’s where we can see a more realistic approach to Seiji and Aiko’s relationship. Also, we would be able to see how Seiji plans to take over the family business and Aiko’s budding career. Because, remember, Shunichi emphasized that Aiko has great potential and a great future in PR with her untainted self.

 

Rating

7 out of 10


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