Around 40

Around 40 (2008)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 389 users
Reviews: 2 users

39-year-old Ogata Satoko is a highly capable psychiatrist who is single. She's forthright, a caring older sister and reliable in her job and in private. Her interests are staying in luxurious Japanese inns and watching stand-up comedy videos.

Satoko hasn't had a boyfriend in the past five years. Nevertheless, she derives satisfaction from work and isn't worried about her finances. Among her good friends that she hangs out with are 35-year-old Morimura read moreNao, her junior who proclaims that she won't marry, and 39-year-old Oikawa Sadao, her peer since high school. Satoko is happily enjoying the single life.

At an alumni reunion as everyone is on the verge of 40, Takeuchi Mizue, her good friend since high school who is now a full-time housewife, rushes Satoko into action. "If you want children, you should marry now" and "It's women's happiness", but both are lost on Satoko, who isn't convinced.

One day, Satoko attempts to cheer up Nao, who is downcast over a shocking incident, and goes to her favourite hot-spring inn. There she coincidentally encounters a breakup between a handsome but somewhat odd man, Okamura Keitaro, and his girlfriend.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    注文の多いオンナたち;Chumon no Oi Onna-tachi;Demanding Women

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10 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Aug 21, 2013
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 5.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
This is a drama I started to watch because of the cast (I like Fujiki Naohito, and I was curious about Amami Yuki) and I ended up enjoying the story and the likeable characters.

The main characters are three women, friends since their school days, and we follow them during their work lives and private lives, for example at the restaurant where their friend Ma-kun works. This set of characters is, I read more believe, not unusual, but it is an interesting drama, if a little bit predictable.

It is a love story, sure, but even more than that, I think it is about what a Japanese woman can and cannot do, in the eyes of those around her. This topic is also not unique, but this drama deals with it seriously without too much silly nonsense. Living up to gender roles can be a burden; this drama doesn’t try to make a joke out of it. I liked that. One of the women learns that her position at work is directly related to her marital status. Another one is a housewife whose husband can’t understand that she longs to feel “a connection to society”. The last of the three friends isn’t married and everyone is worried because she’s already 39, and a woman’s “market value” decreases rapidly after 35. Because what you learn here (if you didn’t know already from other j-dramas) is that marriage is extremely important. On the other hand, there’s this idea about freedom, independence, personal choice and the right to decide for yourself what “happiness” means…

As for the romance in this drama, I like it! The main focus is on Ogata Satoko (Amami Yuki) and Okamura Keitaro (Fujiki Naohito), who are colleagues.

However, Ogata is a psychiatrist and Okamura is a younger psychologist… so they are different when it comes to social status, income and age. Okamura is also very much into ecology, to the point of being called “stingy” by workmates and ex girlfriends, and at first, it looks like he doesn’t have a lot going for him. They have this relationship where they are constantly irritated and bickering with each other, but in a “good” way. Because even if that guy can be very nit-picky about certain things, he’s honest, smart, caring and gentle, and he’s cute and he likes kids… The more I watched him, the more I liked him, and I enjoyed how their relationship played out.

If I would mention any weak point, then it would be that the “twists and turns” of the drama are a bit too simple and obvious (but I was never bored because I liked and cared about the characters), and also the lack of, well, passion. I’ve learned not to expect j-dramas to be “hot”, but still; a little bit more intensity and chemistry between the two leads (who are both hot and excellent in their own ways) shouldn’t be too much to ask for, and it was perhaps what was lacking for me to give this a higher rating. (I could give Fujiki Naohito a 10 for being impossibly cute when he smiles, but I don’t think that would be fair…)

I’ve got nothing to say about the music, it was okay I guess. And although I enjoyed watching this, I don’t think I would be interested in rewatching it.
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7 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 25, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
This was the first amami yuki drama i had ever watched. in the beginning i thought that the theme of the drama didn't fit me but honestly, i think that as a story it is something that every woman who wishes to be independent should watch. By watching this drama i realized more about society and how society sees a woman around 40 who is not married yet. Life doesn't end when read more you get 40 and life doesn't end when you get married. However i will let you watch it and find out for yourself the charm of this defiitely different drama. Now as far as rewatching goes. I do not think it is a drama that you wish to watch twice.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (3)Recommendations

Women past thirty are trying to find satissfaction in their life even though they lack a satisfactory love relationship.

Deals with friendship between women.

In both stars the actress Amami Yuuki.
Recommended by Loving_Roots
A somewhat younger guy and older women pretty much the same plot.
Recommended by ButImyourbiggestfan

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Comments (6)

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    ButImyourbiggestfan Jan 15, 2017
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    Mitsukirox101 Dec 20, 2016
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    zombiehero Dec 19, 2016 - edited

    I really love what Satoko, the main lead, says: "I decide whether or not I'm happy". This drama really highlights how happiness means different things for different people, there's no guarantee to be satisfied with life even if you follow a set pattern - marriage, job, children, etc. I thought this was fun, relatable and heartwarming without being too sappy.

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    BeautiBea Nov 24, 2016

    Is this worth the watch??

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    Draminator Apr 10, 2016
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    kangoor Sep 8, 2014

    Somehow, it was really relaxing

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    EJ_101 Aug 22, 2013

    ill watch it soon...

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    lily_b Aug 21, 2013

    Hm, I think this drama is pretty interesting in many ways, and the characters are very likeable. I wonder why it isn't more popular? (It has only been scored by 213 users; that's next to nothing compared to some more well-known dramas...) Maybe because the title is a bit off-putting to viewers who still are a lot younger than "around 40", hmm? I enjoy it a lot, anyway! And Fujiki Naohito's character is incredibly adorable and sweet and cuuuute! Don't you just want to hug that guy?! ;)

  • Reply
    lily_b Aug 18, 2013

    I began watching this yesterday. I like it a lot so far!

  • Reply
    HAVA-RAVA Mar 28, 2012

    I should finish this someday...


  • Country:

  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Apr 11, 2008 to Jun 20, 2008
  • Aired On:

  • Network:

  • Duration:

    45 min.


  • Score:

    7.0 (scored by 389 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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