Kanbara Kiko is a divorcee and raises her 5-year-old son alone. To open a box lunch food store, she moves to her grandfather's house. She tries to enroll her son Haruto into nursery school there, but a person in charge of the district office tells her Haruto can't attend immediately. Kiko, busy to open her box lunch food store by next month, finds herself in a predicament with her son not having supervision by then. At this time, a director of a kindergarten school, Fune Naraoka, talks to Kiko.
A month later, on the first day of Haruto attending the kindergarten school, Kiko becomes nervous by seeing all of the luxurious high-end cars that are pulled up in front of the school and the other mothers who are all carrying pricey handbags. The school is a prestigious institution for children.
Kiko then sees Kamiya Yuki. They attended the same middle school and high school. Kiko strikes up a conversation with Yuki, but Yuki cuts her off and tells her that the school isn't for common people like her.
Among the other mothers there are Yano Satoko, the wife of a doctor, Goto Midori, former career woman and Odadera Marie, who wields the most power among the mothers at the school. They all have their own individual problems that they can't tell anyone. Add Synopsis In Portuguese
Cast & Credits
If you're looking for a mystery or family-suspense drama, this is not the one. But if you're in the mood for a feel-good, heartwarming family drama with a pinch of humor this might be for you.
The concept is not actually fresh and I'm pretty sure I've seen some of the conflicts play out before, but this drama manages to do many things right that can easily annoy you if done wrong.
The heroine is set up to be a typical meddler character. I've seen many dramas were there is a problem, then the heroine goes way overboard to get involved, says something and the problem is solved. Those kinds of girls would totally get on your nerves in real life. Kiko is different in that I never felt she pushed too hard. She speaks up when she sees abuse or wrongs but still respects the others' privacy. She's someone you'd like to have as a friend in real life. I really appreciate that she doesn't make everything alright through some magic speech but gives the others the chance to solve their problems themselves. This way all solutions feel earned and more natural.
As you you know from the description there's lots of characters with problems. All of those problems are interesting and feel real enough to relate. I really like how this show is structured in that it doesn't go episodic and restricts one episode to one character and problem. Instead we see parts of all problems in all episodes. It does feature one character a little more each ep, but as I mentioned before problems are not solved magically. So you're able to see how all of the characters gradually work through their problems.
This show wants to teach a few life lessons about marriage, parentage and education, but it mostly doesn't come off as preachy.
The kids are super cute. I was especially impressed with Yamamoto Ayumo, who plays Kiko's son Haruto. In all of his scenes he felt so real and never like he was just acting.
All of the mother's were lovely acted as well and Seto Koji is really cute as the reluctantly kind teacher.
I already don't remember any of the music.
This is not the best show out there, but it's satisfying and it does put you in a pretty good mood, so I'd recommend it =)
Kimura Fumino does a great performance as Kanbara Kiko, the out-of-place mother who's absolutely out of her depth in a school where other mothers are not only in completely different social spheres than she is (with the exception of her school friend Yuki, played by Kanjiya Shihori), they have very different values which she comes into conflict with constantly. As it's expected from this kind of drama, this will lead to her being the "breath of fresh air" in this environment, providing a real perspective and contrast to these women, and will be in the center of gossip, drama and a fair share of misunderstandings. Not unheard of in jdramas, not at all.
What I appreciated, though, was that every episode had a moment for Kiko to speak her mind. She wasn't a character to hold back when her values were threatened or when she saw someone in trouble, she didn't hold back when it came to defending children from their mothers, mothers from their husbands or standing up for her son at every moment it had to be done. The drama could have made her a victim, could have had her suffering for 9 episodes and a half, but it didn't, and I'm so very grateful for that.
The relationships that sprout between these ladies are a delight to watch. They all have different perspectives and even the ones that start being terrible have reasons behind them and no one is left unexplored. There are toxic marriages, there is depiction of domestic abuse, relatives with mental illness, harassment, neglect...and a lot of ladies learning and standing up for each other. At the end of the day, that's what I'm really here for, all jokes aside.
If you're into strong female characters, unapologetic leads and interesting stories of women above the age of 30, this is a good one to watch.