Kyo wa Kaisha Yasumimasu Episodes 1-2
Wow. Yet another younger-man-older-woman drama. Not really all that original, is it? Nope, not at all. These romances are very common in dramaland. The plot of Kyo wa Kaisha Yasumimasu (translated to something like taking the day off of work) revolves around Aoishi Hanae (Ayase Haruka) who is on the cusp of turning 30, has never been in a real relationship, and is still a virgin. She lives a very understated and quiet life with her parents and regrets that her life might have changed drastically if she had taken a step when she was younger to be with a man. She ends up falling for Tankura Yuta (Fukushi Sota) who is an intern 9 years her junior at work. At the same time another man expresses interest in her—Asao Yu (Tamaki Hiroshi), CEO of a food company located in the same building.
Okay, some people have harkened this as Last Cinderella 2. It’s really not. The whole deal behind last year’s jdrama starring Shinohara Ryoko, Fujiki Naohito, and Miura Haruma really did have to do with young people coming into to mess with the older people. Since Miura’s stepsister was obsessed with Fujiki’s character Rintaro, Miura was employed to seduce Sakura (Shinohara Ryoko). Of course bad boy makes good and falls for her as Rintaro realizes more and more he’s fallen in love with his best friend.
This drama…not so much really. As of now no hidden agendas and psychotic young female stalkers. Sure, we have Naka Riisa (playing Okawa Hitomi) who is younger and has her sights set on Asao…but it really isn’t in the same vein of Last Cinderella at all. Really, I do get a Hotaru no Hikari vibe with some major differences. In Hotaru no Hikari, Ayase Haruka’s character was in her early 20s and was the epitome of a perfect employee along with being very feminine and attractive in the work place. Truth be told she was a dried-up woman at home wearing jerseys and drinking beer. In this drama, Aoishi is plain and dowdy both at home and at work. Yes, she’s skilled and efficient, she’s really the oil that keeps that office running like a well-oiled machine. Hotaru was innocent, naïve, but not nearly as socially awkward as Aoishi.
Like in HnH, Aoishi does get advice from an older male. Of course, in HnH, the older male was her boss whom she also happened to be living with. Love develops between the two and thus her relationship fails with a man who as of similar age to her. Hard to say how the plot will develop thus far. At first Asao seems to be amused with Aoishi and loves teasing her, but at the same time, you can see him as caring and trying to get her to crawl out of her awkward little shell of a life by the third episode. So yeah. There are similarities definitely.
I am surprisingly enjoying this drama. I do love Ayase Haruka, but wasn’t really sold on the plot for this drama as, like I said, it’s fairy typical in a lot of ways and does resemble her other drama quite a bit. I can definitely related to the character of Aoishi as we are surprisingly alike in many ways: both 29 going on 30, both…with zilch dating experience, and both who do a surprisingly lot at work to keep everything going as well as possible.
As much as I can understand and empathize with her personally, I was rather unhappy how she handled the whole situation with Tanokura. So it’s the day of her 30th birthday. She doesn’t tell anyone and doesn’t take any time off. She ends up going to a company dinner where she, to reprimand Tanokura for lying, announces what she overheard earlier about him breaking up with a girl rather coldly. Tanokura cannot believe that she did that. Later, Aoishi and Tanokura end up at a bar.Okawa was originally with them before Tanokura dumps her drunk rear in a taxi. Tanokura scolds Aoishi for being so cold and cruel. He does admit that she does seem to be a lot like him. Anywho, his words really hit home and Aoishi rushes to the bathroom so he can’t see her cry. It’s then that he notices today is her birthday. Oh, he feels awful. When Aoishi comes back, she goes to pay her bill, but Tanokura stops her from leaving in time for the staff to bring a piece of cake with a candle. This time Aoishi doesn’t manage to hold the tears back and Tanokura is surprised by how emotional she gets.
Later, Tanokura asks her to stay with him. Aoishi refuses, but then she recalls the back of her old crush abandoning her when she said she couldn’t stay out all night due to a curfew. She then rushes after Tanokura and agrees. The two go to a batting cage and do various other fun things. And…wouldn’t you know they end up at a hotel! Aoishi wakes up mortified and tries to sneak out of there before Tanokura is any the wiser, but he wakes up. She apologizes and slaps money down on the table and rushes out of the hotel. And…isn’t that a great way to make someone, male or female, feel cheap and being paid for their “services”?
On her way into work, Aoishi runs into Asao who immediately teases her about being in the same clothes from yesterday. He also tells her to be careful since the man she was with would be in the same clothes, too. Aoishi immediately runs away and plays hooky from work because she can’t face Tanokura since she’s slept with him. I can get being embarrassed, but this is such a strong and visceral reaction that is just…disappointing and weird to me. Tanokura looks unhappy to realize Aoishi missed work. Asao ends up in their office and notices that Tanokura is wearing the same clothes, too. Looks like he knows who Aoishi was with the entire night. Ah, and the whole office learns of her birthday and feels awful that they missed it—is that why she called in sick?
At work the next day Aoishi is so jumpy and awkward. Tanokura then announces that he is not the kind of many to go willy nilly into hotels with just any girls—he likes Aoishi. He even kisses her on the elevator sending the woman running in fright. Of course Asao witnesses all of this and stalks her to the restaurant where they were forced to share a table on a different day. Asao tries to earnestly give Aoishi advice, but she doesn’t want to listen. It is a bit weird to have a perfectly random man who is very much a stranger still trying to give you advice about how to make your love life work…or not work.
Aoishi eventually gives Tanokura her email address and they begin exchanging messages. This is all she can do as she does not know how to properly answer Tanokura. What follows is a lot of misadventures since Aoishi is so naïve about dating and cannot understand why a man so young with a bright future ahead of himself would want to date her…maybe if she was the last woman on earth… Um…this lack of self confidence is astounding…but not wholly unbelievable. Horrifically low self-esteem really does exist. How sad that she honestly cannot fathom why any man would like her.
She freaks out over the 9-year age gap, thinking about how her first year o college coincided with his last year of elementary school—how illegal is that? Why focus on the past, especially as you weren’t some horrible woman going after a child? You’re both adults now. And granted, generation gaps do produce hurdles to overcome, but it seems a bit odd that she doesn’t know about infrared transfer for phones, etc. Music, I get. Technology sometimes, but in this case, it didn’t seem like it should be as bad. Ah, and then she meets an acquaintance of Tanokura’s and realizes she never knew his first name was Yuta. She’s also a little unhappy about how he calls the other girl so informally while he refers to her as Aoishi-san. Ah, and on their first date, Tanokura forget his wallet so she was dreaming he was a scammer and had a nightmare about stealing money from work to support him.
Tanokura…seems like he’s on the level. At first I thought his confession was too much since we really didn’t have any interactions between them, but when he talks about how he met her at his interview for the company and brusquely told him things were going to be just fine after bringing him tea, I got the feeling that his feelings are genuine and believable. He doesn’t pressure her when he confesses and she freaks out. He respects that she needs time. He also doesn’t belittle her when she refuses to take off her glasses while eating ramen even though the steam keeps her from seeing. He even tells her he doesn’t care how she eats ramen as long as he can be by her side. Cheesy to be sure, but sweet nonetheless. Until Asao interferes with her initial decision to reject Tanokura, that’s what Aoishi was planning to do. She was confused and worried that she might only like the young man because he’s taking all of her firsts. But…she can’t get him out of her head, anxiously awaits his mails, etc. Asao has to explain that it’s really love, isn’t it?
Okawa isn’t horrible, but seems like she could be one of those females who only goes after men of wealth and status. Asao…is a bit of an enigma. Why is he taking such a keen interest in Aoishi and her personal life from the get go? Did he just take an instant liking to this socially awkward woman? I do like it when Asao is upfront with Okawa that her overtures are most unwelcome as he has no interest in a woman like her. Okawa doesn’t take no for an answer, though. She will make certain that she is the one he likes and not that other woman he alludes to. With him liking Aoishi, too, it will be an interesting drama, especially given previews for episode four show him really going after Tanokura and this is after Aoishi agrees to officially date Tanokura to boot.
The supporting office characters are nice and bring some added comedy among other things. Chiba Yudai (as Kagami Tatsuo) is a supposed golden boy who has done nothing to date to show that he’s any good and is very pretentious in his actions. His challenging someone to take a business card with only one hand (disrespectful of proper etiquette) I don’t think is a bad thing, but again, pompous jerk mostly. Taguchi Junnosuke, KAT-TUN member in case you didn’t know, is doing a good job as busybody Ooshiro So. Yes, he pries too much in other’s personal lives [he’s constantly trying to get Aoishi to reveal more about her boyfriend Mamoru (really her pet dog she lied about being her boyfriend to get out of going out with her coworkers], but when you do seem him work, he does a great job…unlike Kagami. I vaguely remember Taguchi from Yukan Club, but alas Kamenashi is the KAT-TUN member I associate most with dramas. However, Taguchi is doing a good job. It was cute how Ooshiro is the first to notice how Aoishi is changing. He attributes it to a woman in love becoming more beautiful, lol.
Overall, the drama is okay for me. Sometimes I find Aoishi Hanae’s characterization to be very much a caricature or hyperbole even though I know such people do exist, but it just grates and gets a bit awkward at times. It was amusing to have Aoishi’s best friend’s elementary school daughter giving Aoishi love advice. Always end mails with a question so you are guaranteed a reply, lol. And slowly, our plain Jane is blossoming into a pretty flower. Again, you won’t find anything new or remarkable most likely about this drama, but it has its own charms. I am curious to see which man will prevail in Aoishi’s life. It’s always up in the air of the relationship between the older woman and younger man will work. Sometimes they end up together and sometimes the woman ends up with an older man or one closer to her own age.