Tokyo Tarareba Musume

Tokyo Tarareba Musume (2017)

Your Rating:
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 486 users
Reviews: 3 users

30-year-old Kamata Rinko is single and a struggling scriptwriter. She has no boyfriend and keeps having night outs at drinking spots with her girlfriends Kaori and Koyuki. “If I become beautiful, a better guy will appear!” “If we grow to like each other, we can get married!” They will not stop talking about these hypothetical questions. Then a younger, handsome, golden-haired guy suddenly utters, “These “what if” women!” and the trio have read moreto face the harsh reality that they are no longer girls. Rinko enters her 30s while still immature, seeking happiness and struggling with romance and work.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    Tokyo Daydreamer Girl; Tokyo "What If" Woman; Toukyou Tarareba Musume;

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3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jun 8, 2017
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.0
  • Music 7.5
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
Tokyo Tarareba Musume was the most entertaining drama I've watched in the last few months. I really enjoyed watching this drama. It was bright, funny, lighthearted, relatable and had a good ending (for the most part!). I could see myself and my two best friends in Rinko, Kaori and Koyuki. I believe that everyone makes goals for themselves in the back of their mind, especially for relationships. You may find yourself saying read more "this year for sure I'll meet someone nice and get a boyfriend!" but 3 years pass without any hope for the next one. It's during those times you rely on your friends to not only boost your mood but remind you that as long as you have them around, you'll be okay no matter what happens.

This drama shows us the power of friendship even when things get rough. At times, watching the characters got frustrating but this reminded me that each of us are different, and we come to different decisions based on our own experiences. I would never defend some of the questionable things the characters did, but hey that's drama for you. I couldn't stop watching to see what would happen next. Also, I love the fact that each of the main girls had careers they were proud to be in. Japan has seen an increase in young women working instead of quickly getting married and staying at home, so this is a positive example of such.

The cinematography is modern and fitting for the times (they mention the 2020 Olympics so it felt 'in the now' haha). The characters are usually in the Harajuku/Omotensando area for those who have been to Tokyo and love to see characters in places they have visited. The acting is good too, Rinko's character is the main protagonist and I liked how driven she was. Can't especially say the same for almost all male characters though. The chemistry between the 3 friends was A+. The music is also fun; the theme song is "Tokyo Girl" by Perfume. The CG effects are also pretty funny!

Finally, the title of the show is a fun play on words. 'Tara' and 'reba' are the grammatical endings used for conditional statements in Japanese, basically "what if". So, if you are looking for an enjoyable drama, don't ask 'what if', and just go for it! :)
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3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 24, 2017
  • Overall 3.5
  • Story 6.0
  • Acting/Cast 4.0
  • Music 3.0
  • Rewatch Value 1.0
I generally avoid romcoms of the J-drama variety because they so often follow the same formula. That being said, I wanted to give it a chance because there *are* romcoms out there in existence that can strike the perfect balance of light and feel-good yet clever and critical (a la 'Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu', or hell, even 'Otona Joshi' which follows a similar concept).

Unfortunately, after giving Tokyo read more Tarareba Musume a go, I can't bring myself to be generous. The point that it's making is there, and the conclusion they came to had a good message. I get what they're going for, but the execution was off. It was a little bit *too* on-the-nose when it came to the main characters and justifying their poor life choices. There's a fine line between writing flawed, complex heroines and writing characters who keep making the same exact mistake until the very end where they would finally "fix" things after having the same realisation for the fifth time.

The men in their lives (aside from Hayasaka) were all selfish and straight-up awful, including KEY. He redeemed himself a little bit in the last few episodes but I didn't find that his reason (a traumatic past, of course) was enough to justify being such a colossal dick for most of the series. The progress of his relationship with Rinko and their interactions felt inorganic and I know they live in the same neighbourhood or something, but there is no way they would bump into each other by coincidence *that* often. Most of all, the insights that they make and the social commentary was shallow, which wouldn't bother me if it weren't for the fact that the point of this drama was to "tackle" the issues haunting women around thirty.

Look, the end result was clear in what the writer's intentions were - the women did grow as did their outlooks, but the process in getting there was neither complex nor nuanced. The drama, with its premise and characters and situations, could've been good with better writing but unfortunately it missed the mark and landed smack into the realm of Infuriating Formulaic Romcom.

I also haaaate the bubblegum electropop soundtrack by Perfume. It cheapened the show imo.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (1)Recommendations

They both have the same concept - three women who regularly get together for 'ladies nights' to discuss their respective love lives and the social pressures (regarding marriage and their ~expiry dates~) for their respective age groups that they're in danger of collapsing under. Tokyo Tarareba Musume specifically targets issues of women "around 30", whereas Otona Joshi specifically targets the "around 40" age group.
Recommended by Bforbrigitta
Both about women worrying about their relationships and keep making mistakes trying to learn how to accept themselves. Their romantic interests are kind of the same especially the main character who is torn between a younger man who are different from her, has kind of a dark history and a man same age as hers who has the same interests as her and probably her soulmate.
Recommended by Mei86

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Comments (80)

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    mayuka 2 days ago

    I just read the manga after watching this live action and the endings were a bit different but same people ended up with each other ofc. The live action really lengthened a lot of short scenes which was interesting. I overall really enjoyed this series despite it being over-dramatic at times.

  • Reply
    BBLKing 15 days ago - edited

    Finished today, I think that the ending was quite good.

    Loved Yoshitaka Yuriko here.

  • Reply
    Antonin Jul 12, 2017

    Japanese writers really need to learn how to do endings properly. This goes for all forms of consumer media lol (novels, WNs, Mangas, dramas, etc)

  • Reply
    SomyBee Jun 12, 2017 - edited

    i want a second season!!! TT_______TT

  • Reply
    Andie Jun 8, 2017

    I miss these girls T-T

  • Reply
    aros May 18, 2017

    Aside from Kaori's fate, the ending wasn't that bad (it's pretty obvious that they intend on having a 2nd season, IMO) but I stg, if things don't change for her next season, I'm gonna be pissed.

  • Reply
    joreen95 Apr 24, 2017

    This drama made me remember why i love japanese dramas :) ! It shows the reality & the problems that many girls faces today - with a bit of japanese cheesiness on top of it , but i Totally recommend it :) the kind of drama i wanna watch after sad melodramas that are now in these days :) & three top actresses in japan featuring as well ! 4 stars ! :D ENJOYED IT ! <3

  • Reply
    anastassia Apr 18, 2017 - edited

    LOOOOVE EVERYTHING except the ending,

    • Reply
      fanitha May 1, 2017

      Totally agree with you, everything was great until the final episode :/

  • Reply
    Shizuka Apr 16, 2017

    Definitely love the drama ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply
    redxxxcrimson Apr 14, 2017

    I finished it in one day .... cool , recommend it

  • Reply
    theairtwit Apr 6, 2017

    tokyo tarareba musume is great from start to finish but ngl do I have any volunteers to help mop my tears off the floor because I am too much of a sad post-drama blues mess who can't stop thinking about how this special dorama just cemented itself into my heart ❤️

  • Reply
    Ginia91 Apr 3, 2017

    This was perfect :)

  • Reply
    soracantabile Mar 29, 2017

    I love this drama!! I love how they focus on character growth... It's just like those old jdramas that made me in love with jdrama..

  • Reply
    anastassia Mar 29, 2017

    this drama is very fav rom com jodorama. but the last episode need a special..

  • Reply
    Astrologist Mar 25, 2017

    Akiko Higashimura is one of my fave mangaka - This drama HAS to be good lol


  • Country:

  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jan 18, 2017 to Mar 22, 2017
  • Aired On:

  • Network:

  • Duration:

    45 min.


  • Score:

    8.0 (scored by 486 users)
  • Ranked:

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