Jdrama Review: Atashinchi no Danshi

Atashinchi no Danshi coverアタシんちの男子

Romanized title: Atashinchi no Danshi
English titles: The Men in my House / My Boys
Broadcast station: Fuji TV
Broadcast dates: 14 April – 23 June 2009
Episodes: 11
Synopsis: One woman, six men, all under one roof. Chaos ensues as the homeless Chisato is tricked into marrying Okura Shinzo who then dies and leaves her in charge of his 6 sons. All of them have some sort of trauma, secrets, and want nothing to do with maintaining the family after their father dies. Can Chisato fulfill Shinzo’s dying wish of seeing his family reunited and happy?

Main Cast:

Horikita Maki as Mineta ChisatoHorikita Maki as Mineta Chisato (20)
Chisato is a young woman who lives as a homeless person to avoid repayment of her father’s gambling debt. One day she is approached by a man who agrees to pay off the debt if she marries him and takes care of his six adopted sons. And wouldn’t you know that a few of the sons are her age or older. How is that going to work? Can the fiercely independent Chisato who lived without anyone in her life become a good mother to the six boys?

Kaname JunKaname Jun as Okura Fuu (30)
Fuu is a very independent young man with many girlfriends. He is the eldest son of the Okura family and holds over 50 different certifications/licenses. He is one of the last sons to show up and since he is ten years older than Chisato, he has no intentions of treating her as his mother. Can’t blame him there. Fuu also knows a secret that no one, not even Chisato is aware of.

Okada YoshinoriOkada Yoshinori as Okura Takeru (27)
Takeru is the second eldest in the Okura family. He is a member of a motorcycle gang (but they are far from being “real” delinquents). He is a permanent freeter, working many odd jobs, including one as a messenger/delivery boy. He acts all tough, but is really a big softy inside and has a lot more depth, wisdom, and intelligence than his first impression gives.

Mukai OsamuMukai Osamu as Okura Sho (25)
Sho is the 3rd son of the Okura family. He works as a host at night and a door-to-door salesman during the day to support his ex-girlfriend and son.  Like all the other brothers, he has a big chip on his shoulder when it comes to his adoptive father, but it seems that his might be bigger than most since his falling out involved his child. Sho and Takeru were really close until the day that Sho left and dropped out of running to be the heir. Can Takeru and Sho repair their damaged relationship? Will Sho confess his feelings to his “mother.”

Yamamoto Yusuke as Okura MasaruYamamato Yusuke as Okura Masaru (22)
Masaru is the 4th son of the Okura family and is deathly afraid of females due to a traumatic experience with his first crush/love. He is a highly successful and popular gravure model who does his best to avoid working with women at all costs. He at first wants nothing to do with the female Chisato, but decides to overcome his fear of women and put the past behind him thanks to her help.

Seto Koji as Okura SatoruSeto Koji as Okura Satoru (17)
The 5th son of the Okura family, Satoru was a once-famous child magician who is now a reclusive shut-in after a scandal broke out about his birth family. Chisato has her work cut out to try to bond with him as he has shut himself off from everyone. But like his brothers, he decides to change after Chisato enters his life and tries to help him come out of his shell. He is one of the two sons that is actually younger than Chisato

Okoyama Tomoki as Okura AkiraOkoyama Tomoki as Okura Akira (12)
Akira is the baby of the family and the 6th son. He is highly intelligent for his age and for whatever reason promptly falls asleep at 9pm on the dot regardless of where he is or what he is doing. Despite his intelligence and maturity, he carries a deep wound in his heart and can be very childish in terms of his own mother. Out of all the sons, he is the second one younger than Chisato and probably the only one who actually could/would view her as a mother.

Plot:

The series follows Chisato, a young homeless woman, and her struggle to repay the 100,000,000 yen debt that her father racked up trying to pay for her mother’s medical expenses. As debtors are closing in on her, a man in a helicopter swoops in to save the day and pay off the debt. In exchange for paying off her debt, Okura Shinzo asks Chisato to marry him stating he only has 3 more months to live.

Originally Chisato doesn’t want to marry him, believing it to be a lie, but she had signed a contract (not knowing it) stating she had to immediately pay back the debt is she didn’t. So she does, and true to his words, he later dies.  And all this in only the first episode. Hard to believe, I know. In the brief three months that they were together, Chisato became close to Shinzo and loved him (in a platonic way). In their three months, they spent a lot of time experimenting and exploring Shinzo’s many inventions. This becomes important as Chisato and company will use them later on.

The rest of the episodes follow Chisato as she gathers together the scattered Okura family who all carry some traumas and haunted pasts and more than a little dislike for their adoptive father. None of them are happy to hear that Chisato married into the family and initially refuse to have anything to do with her. However, as they all want the inheritance Shinzo has left behind, they eventually band together to retrieve it. Of course, they would be suspicious of a young woman who marries a man old enough to be her father and who is quite wealthy to boot.

The story follows the past of each son and Chisato’s struggle to gain their trust and to be a mother to them. (No easy feat considering that 4 of the 6 sons are all older than she is). And, inevitably, at least 3 out of the 6 sons have to fall for their “mother.” At first, Chisato starts working on the brothers because of the contract and failure to comply means repayment of the debt, but she soon comes to care for each and every one of them and honestly wants to help them. She could care less about a big inheritance as she has spent the majority of her life with hardly anything and has come to be able to rely on herself.

My thoughts:

Typical in many ways and yet very atypical. A plot where a 20-year-old woman because the mother to six boys ranging in ages from 30 to 12, isn’t heard of all that often. And the fact that Shinzo did die true to his word was shocking in and of itself. I admit the corporate takeover plot was a major drawback and took away from the nice, family part of the drama where our flawed people do their best to overcome their problems and differences.

Watching this group of young people, fight, fall apart, and then come together, and gather the strength they need to overcome their fears and phobias was heart warming. It also shows that even if you deny it, the bonds of family are still there. These six brothers may say they dislike each other, but they are always quick to jump into the fray and to help each other out whenever it is needed.

I must say that I am disappointed that 3 out of the 6 fell for Chisato. Although, I supposed it could have been worse and all 6 of the brothers could have ended up liking her. But still, it does seem rather ridiculous that they all did. But, if she is really the first girl that they could open up to, is it really all that surprising? Maybe not.

I can honestly say that I did not expect all the plot twists and turns, so that made for some good watching. The cast did a relatively good job and are a bunch of actors that I really do like and wish to see even more of in the future. This is definitely a must-see comedy with heart warming family bonding, mystery, and a corporate takeover that was just too ridiculous.

Soundtrack:

The drama featured the song “Infinity” by Japanese band Girl Next Door as its theme song. The track is featured on their single album Infinity. I really enjoyed the theme song and find myself falling in love with the band, which, I believe, had one of their songs featured in another drama. They are really good and you should definitely check them out. The album can be purchased on YesAsia and elsewhere as well.

Atashinchi no Danshi Official OST

There is an official OST as well, which, in true Japanese drama fashion, features the instrumentals and BGM.

1. アタシんちの男子
2. タイムマシーンがあれば
3. プリマパレード
4. トリックトランプ
5. TOMBOYZ
6. パペットおじさん
7. ラジコンドライバー
8. Take me home
9. ウサギが逃げた!
10. Little Maze
11. おかしな行進
12. 大きな扉
13. ジェットコースター
14. 僕んちのママ
15. Metal Suit Woman
16. We’re Family
17. かよい合う夢
18. Memory of You
19. コールドルーム
20. B-Dush
21. 小さな扉
22. Daddy’s Dream
23. Infinity Pf ver

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