Rich Man, Poor Woman (2012)

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21 of 22 people found this review helpful
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May 6, 2014
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.5
  • Rewatch Value 10
STORY 9.5/10
As many reviewers pointed out before me: the title of this show is really misleading. This is most definitely NOT a Cinderella story and the difference in social status plays no significant role in the story. The story itself is interesting and complex and all four main characters go through a real development during the series. It's really refreshing to see a story about an intelligent, career-driven woman who (usually) read more has no problem balancing her work and personal life. Also, she is a scientist (a lab worker of some kind) which is a field not often enough associated with women.
I only wish they would give more space to the character of Yoko. That's my only regret.

Flawless, but I would expect nothing less from this cast. Oguri Shun is especially hilarious as socially awkward, short-tempered Hyuga Toru and he has great chemistry with adorable Ishihara Satomi who makes her character extremely relatable.

MUSIC 7.5/10
OST is nothing extra special, though several tracks are great. I usually don't like when one song is 'overused' in the show, but I didn't mind with 'Hikari E' . It's an amazing, catchy song that goes well with the mood of the show.

I've already rewatched all my favorite parts...oh so many times and I suspect I will rewatch the whole show in the future (also many times).


This show made me literally giddy with joy. And I mean all the episodes, not just the ending. Despite the fact that some plot points were quite predictible, it never bore me. The Special was superb and it gave a great closure to the series (which is kinda rare in the world of dramas...). I admit I am not praying for the second season. Second seasons are usually worse than the first ones and I am afraid they would ruin this perfect show.
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10 of 11 people found this review helpful
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May 28, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
At first I didn't want to watch this drama because I thought it would be too boring or cliche but I am so glad I did. This drama's story line is interesting and unique totally underrated by its title. The characters and relationships are interesting to watch develop. The romance in this drama is not what you would usually expect but somehow you still find yourself fangirling at the cuteness. I read more was surprised and completely fell in love with the story. Of course it isn't perfect and at times you can feel quite lost or like me in the beginning wasn't quite sure of it but the story is great.

Of course a drama wouldn't be complete with great acting to carry the story and I thing the cast did a great job. Oguri Shun and Ishihara Satomi are two actors which I have seen before and so I was expecting them to be great which I think they were. Oguri Shun I thought fitted his quite different character very well and I don't think anyone could have played it quite like him. Together I thought their chemistry was excellent and they had something which I just can't explain.

I gave a music a 10 because I LOVED their OST's and introduced me to one of my favourite Japanese female artists- miwa. I constantly listen to the songs in Rich Man Poor Woman and unlike many dramas the music used really stuck to you and imprinted onto the drama. As well as the miwa songs, the rest of the music was really well used and distinct tot the theme of the drama.

Basically I love Rich Man Poor Woman and do recommend it
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13 of 17 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Dec 10, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.0
  • Music 6.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
For me Rich Man, Poor Woman, before the 6th or 7th episode, threaded a very thin line between ‘drop or keep’. The drama was so slow to build it almost lost me, the hero was not human (as the Koreans like to say) and the heroine, though cute and well-meaning, got on my nerves with her over-the-top deferential behaviour toward a guy who was an obnoxious brute for most of the show. read more Yeah, I get that he's the big man on campus, and everyone's expected to kiss his (very fine) behind, but still ... I wanted to punch him every time he went off the rails at his innocent employees.

With corporate espionage, insider trading and other back stabbings, the story picked up tremendously in the second act. By episode 8 I was finally invested. Valuable life lessons were learnt (by both us and our leads). Our prodigious but arrogant hero grew as a person and as a businessman, and it was hard not to like him then. You come to realize that under that gruff exterior he wasn't such a bastard after all.

The acting was convincing, perhaps a tad overdone by our heroine, but she had some mad on-screen chemistry with the hero. They reminded you of an old married couple who loves to bicker and swear at each other, but feels lost when their beloved isn't around. Very cute. And although a bit juvenile and silly at times the actress did a good job of portraying the adorable klutz next to the hero's gruff, cantankerous persona. She may also come across as somewhat of a pushover, but it was, for the most part, a very effective front she used to manage Hyuga. After all, you catch more bees with honey than vinegar, don't you? I wished more time was dedicated to developing their love story, but unfortunately this was sidelined to accommodate other characters and purposes of the plot.

I felt the role of the second female lead, Yoko, was redundant. A perfectly decent character she was, but she served no true purpose whatsoever. I’m pretty convinced the drama could have gone on just as easily, and more effectively, without her. Why are Asians so obsessed with these blasted love triangles I don't know. It gets really old really fast and has no real dramatic effect if all second leads do is confirm the attractiveness of our lead male/female. Give them a more substantial purpose or leave them out entirely.

I did not care for Asahina. I wanted the resolution of his story arc to be completely different. Without giving anything away, here's why: I understood his feelings very well & even sympathized with him to a point, but his actions toward someone who was essentially like a brother to him were despicable, vicious and totally unforgivable. Therefore, to my way of thinking you don't give people like that a second chance to wedge the knife deeper into your back.

Anyway, if you’re into technology and the machinations of the business world (with a smattering of romance), you’ll likely enjoy this series. This was like The Social Network adapted for the small screen. I wanted more from it, but in the end what we got was okay, I guess.
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31 of 36 people found this review helpful
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Nov 12, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Went in not expecting a whole lot but came out feeling refreshed & happy!

Totally enjoyed this one despite having reservations about the female lead. Both Oguri Shun & Ishihara Satomi did an amazing job in this Drama.

Rich Man Poor Woman was cute, funny, sweet & extremely endearing with a great score & OST. It's one of those Dramas that re-uses the same songs throughout & I know some may not read more like that but personally I feel it binds everything together thus helping maintain the mood. I think for me; that's what really made this Drama stick in my mind.

Plenty of problems. Typical Japanese style non-romantic kisses; random jumps in the story, not really anything earth-shatteringly new either as far as story goes & plot holes the size of mountains but somehow I just don't care one iota!

Definitely recommended if you're feeling a bit down, tired or sick.
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26 of 28 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 10, 2012
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
This isn't a boring remake of a cinderella type story. The plot was very refreshing but some area of the characters became predictable. I thought the music was wonderful in the drama. I would buy the soundtrack if it were for sale. The male lead was great and so was the female. The actors had great chemistry and really made this drama one of my favorites. If you are thinking about watching read more this, don't just watch it. You won't be disappointed. The drama is a short refreshing watch.
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16 of 18 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 4, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
1) The reason I watched this :

It has been a long time since I’ve seen Oguri Shun so it felt right to watch his comeback drama.

2) Storyline/Plot:

*Generally speaking, the storyline wasn’t that unique except the creative side.

Positive points

*Everything related to invention, the company or smart minds was captivating because it created a special aspect around the normal romantic comedy storyline.

*It wasn’t dragging which made it exempt read more of slow moments.

*Main genres:

--->Romance: It belongs to the “Rich Man Poor Woman” cliche so I can’t possibly say that the romantic side was unique or special. However, that doesn’t mean it lost taste since it was interesting at some points plus it had good plot changes.
Romance was average (+) that’s why I decided to mention it in the “Positive Points” column.

Negative Points:

--->Humor: Honestly speaking, the comedy didn’t deliver much to talk about; it was lacking for a rom-com J-drama. Funny scenes were almost absent but there were some ridiculous scenes that can make it feel childish sometimes.

The story: 7/10.

3) Acting/Cast:

*So like I said earlier Oguri Shun was the main reason that made me watch this drama. I got to see a different side of him in here; his role was portrayed in a good way.
Ishihara Satomi was good too, there were good vibes coming out of her acting.
The remaining cast had respectable acting skills so no complains.

*As for characters, Hyuga Toru was an attractive character whether it was strong or weak you would feel invested in everything he does. The character strength made it appealing in many ways.
Natsui was your average romantic comedy heroine, there were nothing special about the character overall since it was plainly predictable.
*The remaining characters had interesting scenes every once in a while but they weren’t very captivating.

*Appreciated character: Asahina made this drama interesting; if he was the usual second lead male this would’ve been very boring. Asahina created amazing plot changes that would make you adjust your feelings about him several times that’s why he’s appreciated in my point of view.


--->Romance: There was good chemistry between the main characters but there was an interesting chemistry between the lead male and the second lead female too.

--->Friendship: It was set up in an amazing way. It’s not the usual J-dramas friendship since it had many twists and changes.

--->The triangle: It was a usual triangle but it was less serious than others.

Cast: 8/10.
Acting: 8.5/10.

4) The ending:

It’s true that it was a common cliché but no one would’ve appreciate it if it ended otherwise.

The ending: 6.5/10.

5) My impression (How did it affect me):

*I had shallow feelings while watching this drama; after all I started it because of Oguri Shun but it doesn’t mean that I only appreciated Oguri here.
*I can’t possibly say that I loved this drama; it was plainly average in my point of view. It’s true that I had a little fun but I wasn’t touched that deeply because I always thought of it as a normal romantic comedy; it can’t possibly be a mature one like some other masterpieces produced in Japan.

*Is this drama memorable: I don’t think so, I may remember some moments of it but I don’t believe it deserve a spot in my “unforgettable dramas” list.

Note: I really liked the opening theme song mainly because its lyrics are so encouraging and adapts the drama perfectly.

My impression: 5/10.

6) Overall:

*If you like Oguri Shun then watch this because you’ll get to see a different side of him in here.
*If you like Japanese romantic comedies then give this a try.

*Rich Man Poor Woman was a respectable drama with a decent storyline along with good actors which made it watchable and somehow enjoyable.

Overall’s rating 7.5/10.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Jun 23, 2015
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 5.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
I wrote this review while watching (and immediately finishing) the series so it's a little detailed (no spoilers though, I promise) and a little lengthy, too. Plus, I seriously seriously SERIOUSLY loved the NY special so I'm overloaded with feels right now.

Just like how everybody else who have watched the series said, the title has absolutely nothing to do with the whole story, and thank God for that.

"Money is more read more important; we'll do any job for it... But we won't sell our soul."
To lay the plot out in a non-spoiler way, Rich Man, Poor Woman's (I am terribly uncomfortable whenever I'd mention the title) central theme is ambitions. It's what puts everything together. How, on the one hand, ambitions combined with pureness and sincerity could "change the world" and serve as an inspiration to others, while on the other hand, when combined with greed, could be self-destructive. Ambition is a seed that grows along with the intentions of the sower. It could flourish and feed the good, pure-hearted sower and propagate the dream, or it could grow into a poisonous plant and kill the evil, greedy planter. But in the end, no matter how evil, the purest heart pollenates and prevails. Story revolves around Hyuga Toru who, as the story has drawn, would somehow be an IT superstar, a little like Steve Jobs.

This drama is definitely, DEFINITELY, one of my favorites. I just love eeeeeverything about this drama. It made me feel all kinds of emotions, which is my favorite thing about dramas. The reason why I only gave it a 9.5 is that I tend to reserve the perfect 10.0 to life-changing existential dramas (which I associate highly with melodramas like Boku no Ita Jikan). But overall, Rich Man, Poor Woman is indeed a good product of its genre (career focused, romance) and it has its way of sprinkling viewers with the morals it would like to covey. It is indeed in my Top 5 all-time favorite dramas in my 9 years of being a drama fanatic. So I highly recommend this to everyone.

As I've said, I love everything about this drama but let me highlight what I loved about the series:

1. IT FELT HUMAN. This was the best and refreshing aspect of the story. Given the plot and the background of the characters, the show had an excuse to be extra flashy with a company president as the male lead and several other characters as rich and privileged people but I was absolutely pleased with how they kept everything believably modest. There was small emphasis on materialism and more on character depth so I got more interested in character development and less on the drama technicals, which was a good thing. Which leads me to the next thing I love about the drama.

2. CONSISTENCY. Dramas focused on character growth tend to have inconsistent characters, and rather than having a story about them, they become mere plot devices which makes things boringly predictable. This drama though, had well-thought of characters and their consistency made the character growth more relatable and heart-warming, and the story was a lot easier to follow. It's quite hard to explain, but the story unraveled on its own with the characters being themselves rather than the characters being merely tailored for what the writer intended the story to be. There were times where the story was a little bit predictable, but in a good way. This is because you already know the characters and not because you had the whole story figured out (I hope it makes sense).

3. ROMANCE. I don't jump into drama OTPs so easily but oddly enough and contrary to some other reviews here, the romantic storyline was definitely my most favorite part. It was what got me watching everything in one go. Probably, the fact that I loved the main leads' characters was a factor. Watching the trailer, I thought they didn't have the chemistry to keep the romantic storyline going but as I watched, I found their scenes cute and adorable. I might be a little biased, but I could say I was pleased with the romance. It is common knowledge in drama fandom that jdramas aren't the best players in the romance genre. Maybe because the romance is usually kept low-key and subtle, giving more spotlight to character growth. Personally, though, I found pleasure watching the little sweet things. I found it more realistically appealing for a company president to focus more on his work where several jobs and lives are at stake than to waste his time solving his own love life's problems. Most fangirls wouldn't agree (coz duh, love should be a man's topmost priority) and several years ago, I would have been severely pissed with a guy holding back because of his work obsession. But having watched plenty of dramas, plus aging lol, I grew out of love for the lovesick male leads and had an inclination towards practical guys who looked much more dependable. And this drama nailed it for me. Surely, Hyuga-san is a rude temperamental jerk I'd want to kick in the ass but I still understood why the heroine fell for him and why she decided to stay in love with him. And more than being a side story, work storyline had EVERYTHING to do with the romantic storyline so I believe the story was able to maintain cohesion of both sides which created the larger picture, which again proves its consistency.

5. OGURI SHUN. As if I hadn't said it enough, Shun was one of the best parts of the drama. Aside from his romantic side, I also liked how he suited his character so much. His rough untamed manly appearance went well the the eccentricity of his character. Plus, Hyuga Toru's business presentations gave the Steve Jobs feels and I find myself in awe that sometimes I have to remind myself that Hyuga Toru is a fictional character. "He's Oguri Shun, he's Oguri Shun!!"I had to remind myself several times. Plus, his teary-eyed, "I-am-deeply-touched-but-no-I'm-not-crying-I'm-a-big-boy-now" expression is just priceless. It kills me. Every. Freaking. Time. Don't get me wrong, I don't find Shun stunningly handsome (my favorite ikemen is, and will always and forever be, Miura Haruma) so I'm not one of the fangirls who follow him blindedly just because I think he looks good. But there's something about how he carries the role that I find endearing and this is where my Shun fondness roots from.

6. SATOMI ISHIHARA. I'm definitely fan now. To be honest, I thought her character was going to be annoying but I found her really cute, and Satomi Ishihara carries her role so well. She and Shun looked so natural with their roles. I haven't seen other works of Ishihara so I don't know if this is her signature image but I am extremely satisfied with her acting. Actually, everyone in the cast was a perfect fit.

7. COMPREHENSIBLE. If you're not the techie type and you dread jargons, you don't have to forego watching this drama just because it is set in an IT workplace. Although it involves a lot of workplace scenes, they focus more on the incidents that create ideas rather than the creation of the system itself so no technicality involved aside from the usual business talks we get to see in the usual dramas (stocks, shareholders, investments, etc.). If I may compare, it's like those American TV series, House or Suits for example (though a lot less complicated), where even though you don't really understand the technicalities, you still understand and have a full grasp of what's happening.

They had one song playing almost all the time and I barely noticed the usual instrumental sound effects but I honestly didn't care. The story was engaging by itself so the little support it got from the music department was surprisingly enough.

Having loved it this much, I'm pretty sure I'll watch it again some time in the future.
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2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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Mar 4, 2015
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.5
  • Rewatch Value 8.5
I kept putting off this drama because of the title- "Rich man, Poor woman" really?! But after going on a Oguri Shun binge I decided I may as well give it a go.
The first episode didn't draw me in, but I never give up watching something when I've only seen the first ep, be in English or Japanese. I'm so happy I kept on because I LOVED this!! Hyuga Toru can read more be the rich man to this poor woman any day.

The story isn't original: a rich, arrogant, attractive business man hires a poor clumsy woman to work for him. Sounds basic and dull, but it's the opposite. I found myself staying up till 4am binge watching episode after episode, I just couldn't look away. The acting was flawless, I am already a big Oguri fan but will have to add Ishihara Satomi to my list! She was amazing and so beautiful, I will be checking out more of her work now. Also- her characters style is on point, I found myself super envious over all her outfits.

I loved the music, found myself singing along on more than one occasion. I will be buying this on DVD to re-watch soon. This is a must watch for any romantic comedy fan. Now I'm off to watch the New York special!
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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Feb 17, 2015
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
Was not what I expected.

I expected a kdrama style romance comedy. Rich Man, Poor Woman felt more like a anime and a coming of age/ slice of life type show. As a result romance felt lack luster. More humorous than hilarious. As a coming of age story entertaining enough.
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Sheng Her
5 of 10 people found this review helpful
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Dec 8, 2014
  • Overall 6.0
  • Story 6.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
After trying to find a japanese romance drama to watch, someone mentioned this on an online forum and I was interested. They said that the relationship between the leads was interesting so I thought I'd give t a shot.
I should realize by now that Japan does not do very much in the romance department. There may be hints, some sweet lines, some holding hands and kissing but that's it. Very lackluster. read more With the main couple, it was just very hard to care for them and their relationship. I disliked Hyuga Toru for the majority of the drama, because he was an arrogant jerk. Only until he started realizing that he liked Natsui Makoto and accepting that did he become better (just by a little bit). There were lots of fighting and misunderstandings between them. I understand why that would happen but it just happens so often it gets to be annoying. Their relationship just felt forced to me. If I were the main girl, why the hell would I fall in love with a guy like that?!?? A guy who treated her with disrespect?!?! Plus, it was made to look like she was just following him around and obeying his commands. I understand she works for him but even after work times, it seems like that. It's just his personality. He's just controlling. Nevertheless, the actors did great. I just didn't like or cared for their characters.
The story was more so about the business side of things. A lot of the things they were talking about went over my head because it was computer/IT related terminology. Their relationship was honestly just a side story.
I'm glad they made Asahina Yoko to be a likable character though. In the beginning her tactics may be shady in getting Toru to fall in love with her. But she turned out to be a nice character. When she realized that Toru didn't like her and it was useless, she 100% supported Makoto. She never did anything insane and didn't try to cause misunderstanding between the leads (maybe except for that one car ride, all the other incidents were just happened to be seen by Makoto). She's probably the most reasonable character.

I won't rewatch this. The special wasn't all that either. It was just like the storyline repeating itself for some reason I don't understand. But alas, they have their happy ending... Or so it seems. More fights to come, I guess.
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4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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Oct 5, 2014
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
I never expected to like this rom-com drama. I thought that I'll be witnessing scenes that are too cliche. But much to my surprised I was amazed with everything about this series. The story line is unique, the actors were very credible, the chemistry of the two lead stars was really good, and you get to grasp life's values as well.

A must-watch Japanese drama :)
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3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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Sep 21, 2014
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I have watched this drama over and over again and it never gets boring! I love this drama and the special makes it even better. The casts were incredible, especially the main leads. They had great chemistry and it was intriguing to watch all the characters and their relationships develop, not just the main leads! It's not hardcore romance between the two leads but you can't help but scream when they have read more moments together cos they are sooooooo cute!!!
The actors were amazing. Oguri Shun being amazing as always, played his role perfectly well. Ishihara Satomi did great as well. I did find her character a bit annoying in the beginning but she grew on me. They were great together more so than I had expected.
The music was superb! Incredibly amazing, especially in the special~ I could not stop listening to it. Probably one of the reasons why I keep watching this drama over and over!
It's just simply amazing and cute. I like the fact that it wasn't too dramatic or frustrating to watch and it was just refreshing! I recommend this drama 100%~ Watch the special afterwards. You'll be screaming *internally* ~~~ (FANGIRLING like crazy)!!!! :D
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Rich Man, Poor Woman
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Alternative Titles

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    Ricchiman Puauman


  • Country:

  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jul 9, 2012 to Sep 17, 2012
  • Aired On:

  • Network:

    Fuji TV
  • Duration:

    46 min.


  • Score:

    8.3 (scored by 6,304 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity: