“I want to be loved as a person and woman.” Nakamichi Misaki is a teacher who has been married for five years to her attractive husband. She appears to have a life that many would be envious of. However, the truth is that she has been concerned about her marriage due to the lack of intimacy. Her husband only sleeps with her once a year, on their wedding anniversary. As she continues questioning her husband’s sexual desire for her, their next anniversary arrives… and she receives a shocking confession from him!(My Drama List)
—Edited by TheFNGee
Here’s the English language trailer found at GaGaOOLaLa
I was intrigued by the preview, so I decided to give this show a shot. I am not sure where it’s going to go. Will Misaki, her husband Yuuki, and the other man Shyuuhei get a happy ending? What will happen with each character as they navigate a situation fraught with hidden desires and secrets?
There are ten episodes, around 30 minutes each, in which the story unfolds. This series is a Japanese BL that finished airing in April 2023. Directors Yutaka Tsunemachi, Kozue Sasaki, and Yukihisa Shichiji adapted a manga titled Watashi to Otto to Otto no Kareshi by Ayano Ayano to the screen.
This review is my initial impression after watching the series’ first two episodes.
Hotta Akane is Nakamichi Misaki
Furukawa Yuki is Nakamichi Yuuki
Honda Kyoya is Ina Shuhei
Yuki Furukawa starred in the Japanese gender bender/BL love story Kamisama no Ekohiiki (God’s Favor) in 2022. Kyoya Honda starred in the Japanese BL Jack Frost. Both leading men have experience actors in a BL drama. Akane Hotta is a newcomer to the BL genre.
We open to a shot of Misaki looking at a corkboard filled with pictures of a happy couple, Misaki and Yuuki. She is contemplating her life as she takes the picture down.
“With love, one can live even without happiness.” Fyodor Dostoevsky
“Even in sorrow, love can be sweet.” Fyodor Dostoevsky
These two phrases sum up her conflicted feelings as she gazes at the happy photos. We see that she feels things deeply. Love and sorrow are her present companions at this moment. Her husband Yuuki comes home with flowers, interrupting her contemplation. She is happy to see Yuuki. The flowers seem to shake her out of her melancholic mood.
She goes out for drinks and food with her old group of friends, who complement her on her happy marriage, mentioning they haven’t seen her in a while. She meets one friend whom she hadn’t seen in many years, who ghosted her after uttering the words, “I don’t think you should marry Yuuki” After five years of marriage and unease, she asks the friend to explain, but assures the friend that she’s happy with Yuuki, to which the friend brushes away the comment.
Misaki remembers telling her about Yuuki’s proposal. And the friend asked if they had sex already. They had been together for a year. Misaki defends Yuuki, saying he behaves like a gentleman to her. The friend is in disbelief but says nothing. Red Flag number one, if your partner doesn’t want to have sex after a year or even heavy petting, something is going on.
When Misaki gets home, we see Yuuki shut off the light and pretend to be asleep. We soon realize that Misaki and Yuuki have a sexless marriage. Misaki always initiates, but he is usually shot down by Yuuki, saying he’s tired. Their intimacy arrangement is to have sex on their anniversary. After five years of this yearning, Misaki finally begins questioning what is wrong with their marriage.
Yuuki tells her he loves someone like her, someone he can talk to effortlessly and have a happy life with. His answers feel hollow. At this point, I’m annoyed with both Misaki for being so mousy and Yuuki for not being truthful.
A student of Misaki’s confides that she thinks she might be pregnant but isn’t. At the evening dinner time, Misaki tells Yuuki, whose response is sex doesn’t equal love. Yeah, but intimacy and love can be intertwined. I think Misaki is slightly envious of her student’s love and desire for their partner.
The following night, she sees her husband through the peephole the next night, kissing a man. She’s shocked. And tries to lie, but Yuuki realizes she must have seen the kiss. [If you could call that ‘fish kiss’ a kiss…it was so awkward. An issue with most Japanese and Korean BLs. However, both are getting much better on the issue] I’m supposed to feel something between them, but it’s the equivalent of the kiss in Lovesick….so disappointing.
He is calm when he says he loves her but is dating a man. I want to throw something at him and hit him over the head at this point. Yuuki then has the nerve to say maybe we should get a divorce. Misaki furiously reminds him that he is the one who cheated, so he doesn’t get to decide whether they divorce or not. Misaki is adamant that she doesn’t want to get a divorce.
The next day she runs into her former student Shuhei, and they catch up. She helped Shuhei find the right path and stood up when his counselor pressured him to attend med school. He wanted to be an artist. As they walk, they reach the bridge where he once kissed her. Shuhei is straightforward in his demeanor and his words. He tells her he hasn’t forgotten her. He still wants to be with her because he loves her. She reminds him that she is married, and he says it’s one of the things he also loves about Yuuki, the tender, caring side. He says to her, I can only be attracted to someone like you two. She’s shocked, outraged, and hurt.
Shuhei is selfish, pursuing her husband and seducing him to get closer to her. He claims to have fallen for Yuuki, but who can trust the mind of this calculating young man?
So, do I like this series so far? Not really. I want to like Misaki, Yuuki, and Shuhei because it’s not often you see polyamory in BL. And I see that this is headed that way with Shuhei bridging the gap between Misaki, who needs to feel passion, and Yuuki, who is gay and can’t have sex with his wife but loves her. Will they find and embrace an untraditional love if it works for them? It’s definitely outside of the norm in Japanese culture.
Both Misaki and Yuuki appear to be adults who are living and working in a conservative society. Misaki is a teacher. If this goes forward, she could lose her job or be shunned by friends and relatives. I hope Misaki will become more demanding and vocal about her needs. I hope that Yuuki decides to take some risks after apologizing and opening up to his wife about his past and present. I hope that Shuhei doesn’t break both of their hearts.
I’m giving this a 2.5 rating because the characters annoy me with their actions, but the story could turn it around. Let me know if you decide to give it a shot. I’ll be back in about a week with my final thoughts.
Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars. [See our Review Guide]
Join the discussion 2 Comments
I’m betting once you’ve seen the entire series you will rate it higher than a 2.5. Certainly not a stand-out series, but still manages to tease the viewers understanding of non-traditional romance. Can this thruple successfully defy commonplace norms? Yuuki obviously is the linchpin. Driven by her search for conventional happiness, she is open to a different approach. One has to admire her resilience and strength. Overall production values of the series are good. In the universe of never ending definitions of personal relationships, the topic is germane. I encourage you to watch through to the end.
I will, thanks for the encouragement. I was hoping they would dive into the topic of different types of love, polyamory and the idea that you can find happiness in non traditional ways, if you are brave enough to buck societal norms. I will probably finish it this week and have an overall review next weekend. As for the 2.5, it’s probably because the first two episodes the characters are not defined enough to make me care about them. I’m hoping that they give me more reasons to root for Misaki, Yuuki and even Shuhei.