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Tokyo Tarareba Musume


  • Drama: Tokyo Tarareba Musume
  • Country: Japan
  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired On: Wednesday
  • Network: NTV
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Genres: Friendship, Comedy, Romance, Life, Manga
  • Rating: Not Yet Rated


  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 588 users)
  • Ranked: #815
  • Popularity: #1518
  • Members: 1,497
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4 people found this review helpful
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 "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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4 people found this review helpful
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 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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1 people found this review helpful
May 26, 2017
Overall 1.5
Story 1.0
Acting/Cast 3.0
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
I wanted to drop this dorama several times. But I persisted. Besides the cast, the other reason was because I like "Kuragehime" which is a manga written by the same author from this drama. Alas, this one is sooo frustrating.

I realize that many rom-com dramas have kinda the same plot, which is: marriage. Dramas that I loved, like Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu (Married as a Job) or Kazoku no Katachi, or the classic Kekkon Dekinai Otoko. But this one was so exhausting! The girls think and talk about men only, and they have the worst taste in them. Not only one of them, Kaori (Eikura Nana) is the Other Woman of her ex-boyfriend (who proclaims he loves both of them) but also Koyuki (Oshima Yuko) is the mistress of a married man. I thought Koyuki would have been the most sensible one in the trio, but this tells you that you can judge by the cover.

The most bearable one of the trio was Rinko, played by Yoshitaka Yuriko. At least she has different boyfriends to find out what she really wants. But the final episode made me hate her, grrrr. What a stupid girl, but I guess this kind of decision is expected in a tv show. Good, goofy guys never win in cinema/tv :((

I liked Sakaguchi Kento (KEY-san or Kinpatsu), but unfortunately, in this drama, his character was insufferable. Why did he have to be so meddlesome? Why did he have to be patronizing the girls, who just wanted to have fun? Why was he always judging the girls? He was also a "what-if" guy, and I didn't care about his past and his wife, he was the worst and I hated him. And his stupid hair.

I can't believe that with such a colorful cast, the drama was so mediocre. The girls were likable as friends (as women, they were the worst, and the most childish. Make up your mind, girls! And stop acting so immaturely!). There was a good chemistry between them. I liked Oshima Yuko, first time I see her acting. Eikura Nana was ok, I guess, always dull, poor girl. She is so pretty though, and after reading she was pregnant in real life, I couldn't help noticing her bump (and in the final episodes, she has the habit to touch her belly). Yoshitaka... i never liked her, to be honest. As an actress, she is ok, but in real life she is insufferable, thinking she is sooo open-minded and fun. BLEH.

The guys, though... Why in the world Suzuki Ryohei and Sakaguchi Kento were in this messy drama! Although it was cute to see them reunited, after "Ore Monogatari" (My Love Story!)... but that's another story... How in the world Tanaka Kei agreed to played the role of a married man who has an affair!

The final episode... omg, so bad. Awful. Kaori didn't learn her lesson, and Rinko makes the stupidest decision ever. I think the first part was a bit good, since any 30-year-old single woman can relate to the girls (being invited to weddings and still being single, etc). Oh, and another con: at first it was cute, but then it got on my nerves: the stupids talking-vegetable. So lame!

What redeems this crappy show? The setting: beautiful, gorgeous Tokyo. The clothes: very Japanese-like. The fashion: I paid extra attention to the nails (and currently, I am painting my own nails more or less like Kaori and Rinko did). The ending song: a catchy song by Perfume. The opening song: cute and fun.

All the other: terrible. I don't have any doubt to remove this file from my computer, for good!

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0 people found this review helpful
Sep 15, 2017
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 8.5
Honestly, the main reason I’ve watched this drama was because of Kentaro Sakaguchi. I’ve been his fan ever since I saw him on Heroine Disqualified and Ore Monogatari. Not only he is pleasing to the eyes but he could really act. And also, I love the way he stares! :) The second reason was I’m already familiar with the two main actresses and their acting so I’ve decided to give it a try.

The story was not really new but you will not get bored with it because it’s not dragging. Every episode has surprises along the way and somehow it was not that predictable. The actors & actresses played the characters well, all of them have chemistry. The stares, the dialogues and the actions all add up to the building chemistry between them that at the end, it leaves you wanting more. Especially Yuriko & Kentaro’s scenes! ^_-

For the music, it was okay and well matched for every scene. For the ending song, I like the first part where it’s the instrumental that was only playing. It was well matched for scenes at the end part of every episode.

Overall, it was a nice and cute drama. Definitely gonna watch this again (because of the great chemistry between Yuriko & Kentaro)! A drama worth watching! :)

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