A scuba diving instructor, Nana and an ordinary salaryman, Daiki live together in a small apartment. After purchasing a 'corporative' house together in a residential complex, they soon decide that they want to conceive a baby. This is a desire which doesn’t come along too easily for them. So, the two of them set out on a mission to succeed with their new objective. (Source: Fuji TV) ~~ Adapted from the novel by Nakatani Mayumi. Edit Translation
- magyar / magyar nyelv
Where to Watch Tonari no Kazoku wa Aoku Mieru
Cast & Credits
If you've read the summary (or not) Tonari no Kazoku focuses on a couple namely Nana and Daiki in their endeavors of getting themselves a child. But, that's not what all the drama offers. Tonari no Kazoku also tells about 3 other families all with their respective problems. And to add up, all of them live inside the same residential complex. You know it takes a lot of getting used to warm up to your neighbours. The problems that exist in this drama are concurrent real life social problems and handles them really well. The many plot points nearing the finale lines up and creates a satisfying continuity, making the viewers feel a sense of connection between the characters.
Speaking of which, the many characters that exist in Tonari no Kazoku is another great example of how to portray 'real' people in a sense. Each actors and actress in this drama outdid themselves, from the important main couple to the guest stars that appear in one or two episodes. My personal favourite character in the entire drama goes to Igarashi Satoko, or Daiki's mother just for the sheer amount of greatness in her character throughout the whole journey from start to finish. The emotions of the characters were on point, expressing their tears, smiles and laughs that I can believe the situations and conversations that take place in this drama can occur in a household in Japan. 'Antagonistic' characters are nothing too amazing but they're there. The main selling point is the rest of the relevant cast, which matters more.
Ah, music. For every J-Drama that I watch, the music aspect is one that I have really high expectations of (being a sucker for Japanese songs myself). Tonari no Kazoku did not betray my expectations. One thing I'd like to point out and give credit to is Mr.Children for delivering such a powerful and meaningful theme song in 'here comes my love'. The first time I heard the theme song was played, I knew I was in for a ride. The tone of the theme song was somewhat melancholic and the lyrics play a lot with metaphors and the likes. The OST for the drama was okay, nothing too spectacular but once again, the instrumental version of 'here comes my love' hits my heart every single time. The overall OST is nothing bizarre but special enough for you to reminisce about the show once you finish it.
As with most J-Drama that I've watched before, rewatching was never really something I tend to do with them as most air around 40 mins+ per episode which would cause me to skip most of the part. Tonari no Kazoku doesn't escape that pattern, although there are some neat tidbits that you can better understand or if put in better words, understand earlier why certain characters act the way they do. Certainly not entirely as enjoyable as your first watch, but certainly some scenes that attacks you mentally would probably still do same (I'm looking at you Episode * and *).
So, would I recommend this Drama? Yes. Totally. Although some might complain that a certain aspect in this drama will turn off some portion of the viewers, my advise is to either avoid those scenes completely or just pretend it didn't happen. I, myself am not fond of said elements but I take into account Tonari no Kazoku as a whole, and for me it did a splendid job in making a family-drama turned neighbours wars.
P.S.~ Every minute spent on subbing this drama has been a blast. Please do spread the words on what an amazing drama Tonari no Kazoku wa Aoku Mieru (Residential Complex) is!
How to do a family heartwarming drama RIGHTIn recent months,it hasn`t escaped my attention that many dramas are cashing in on "nostalgic setting and simple relationships" in order to raise viewership as we comfortably sit in our homey cages.And the world around us all but collapses,with one bad situation happening after another in a frenzied sequence.Thus,it is not too farfetched to call dramas dealing with issues "Tonari no Kazoku wa Aoku Mieru" presents a welcome change of pace.And what a welcoming change it is!
This drama is so...simple.But not in the mundane repetition repackaged every few weeks for massive consumption simple."Tonari no Kazoku wa Aoki Mieru" is simple in its earnestness to showcase and shed light on important topics while presenting interesting characters with their own issues and dilemmas outside of the primary storytelling perspective.Simply put,this drama throws us in the shoes of four different families inhabiting the conjoined living facility "Puzzeal".And those are:Igarashi family(made up of a husband Daiki and wife Nana,whose infertility issues and subsequent treatment are threatening to put a neverending damper on their healthy marriage),Komiyama family(made up of incessant wife Miyuki,mousey yet good hearted husband Shinichiro and their two daughters Yuka and Moeka,with the former wanting to decide her own future and wishing for a freedom she could do that with),Kawamura family(made up of lovers Chihiro and Ryouji,and a new,welcomed(?) addition,Ryouji`s son Ryota) and Hirose family(made up of lovers Wataru(n) and Saku,the only gay relationship in this drama).
With such a peculiar set of characters,one would think at least some parts of the free flowing storyline would suffer.And while I do have minor complaints(as I often do) this is a group character study I was invested in from start to finish.As previously promised,I will not be diving into spoilers regarding the actual story,but I will touch on these precious relationships that have painted a huge picture for me to delightfully dissect and gawk at.First off,our main protagonists(if we can call them that) Nana and Daiki are an amazingly healthy couple,in terms of their interactions,all things considered.For the most part,they communicate very well,whether outwardly or in non communicational ways,feeding a certain dose of realism to their little family.They have to go through a lot and be ready to learn and educate themselves about things they seldom thought about before.And this experience is not only educational for them,it is very much educational for us,the viewers,as well.With each new obstacle becoming grander and harder to tackle,we also manage to learn something new about this clumsy,but well-meaning couple.So we root for them to suceed.And mostly,I love their story.And while I`m in no way spoiling the conclusion to their fight,I`ll say it`s heartwarming in a realistic way.It`s beautiful and it feels just right. I had no problems relating to their struggles,even when I haven`t experienced them myself.They are both their own people,with wishes and goals separate from their relationship,but a sense of togetherness never fails to follow them through every twist and turn they face.
On the other hand,as a complete opposite to our lovely pair,Komiyama family just feels and looks like a nuclear family gone wrong without adapting to current times.It is flawed,ugly and superficial in the worst of ways.And yet,it is a family that could exist somewhere right as we speak.Miyuki and Shinichiro are a weird mismatch of propriety and hidden ambition that just isn`t working and I`ve got most of my bones to pick with their storyline and how it concluded,but I`ll still say they`re incredibly compelling.Every messy decision they make directly affects their two adorable daughters,who each have their own ideas and goals and for that,the writers are to comended.I didn`t feel like either of the daughters felt like mere plot devices to move the story along(nudge nudge "Hometown Cha Cha Cha").At times,they were even more mature than their parents and that can be perceived as rather realistic as well.We do have this inane perception of kids being utterly hopeless and childish,but children can,if there`s a chance presented,be wiser than most adults I`ve met.To sum it up,Komiyama family is the detonator to most issues that follow this small commune.But they still somehow didn`t get on my nerves as much as they should have(except for Miyuki,she can eat grass).
Kawamura family is perhaps the most modern take on an actual family in this drama,since it`s made up of an engaged couple Chihiro and Ryouji,who have both decided against having kids,as metropolitans who`d simply rather enjoy each other`s company.And at first,this arrangement worked.But then Ryouji`s tucked away son Ryouta appears and this attractive pair are suddenly faced with a huge change in their lifestyle.And while Maryjun Takahashi is probably the least equipped,acting wise,I did sympathize a lot with her character Chihiro,as someone who also lacks that motherly instict so many women supposedly ought to have.Despite this though,due to her past,she is in my eyes,ironically best equipped to parent Ryouta,something she realizes rather late as well.It`s a beautiful secondary plotline I found very satisfying and fun to witness,especially when it comes to Ryouta`s and Chihiro`s bickering.
And finally,we come to the most progressive couple(who are again ironically,quite traditional in their approach to love)Aoki Saku and Wataru Hirose,the Hirose family. Their relationship is most likely,very controversial for their loved ones(for whatever reason,equality for all) which is very much depicted by the older partner Wataru,being ashamed of his sexuality and how it might affect other people`s perception of him.As a successful architect,coming from a good family and as a good looking man,Wataru`s grapple with whom he actually loves creates a great deal of rift between him and his adorable,bubbly younger partner Saku,an orphaned young adult who,unlike Wataru,is very conscious of his sexuality and proud of it,while still being aware of the issues it might create for Wataru.Even though he is younger,Saku is incidentally more mature and understanding than perhaps any character in this drama.And after the main couple Hirose household turned out to be my favorite as well,and their romance is quite sweet and unassuming.
After so many accolades and praises,I do have a few minor inconveniences when it comes to this drama and those are mainly regarding the way they decided to present changes of heart of some characters and the lack of variety when it comes to music.As some might know already I`m a huge fan of JDramas understated cinematography,so I had no issues in that matter.
Finally,this drama`s way of posing questions leading to discussions regarding infertility,acceptance,LGBTQ+ rights,the idea of a healthy family,prejudices etc.while still being light and amazingly easy to relate to,made it one of my favorites when you simply want to watch people deal with life in a rather realistic way and a fun approach.It feels very universal and I`d recommend it to most friends.Let`s all open our hearts a little bit more today,everyone!