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 I'd heard some good things and 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 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.