The eldest daughter of the distinguished head family of the famous Tsukishima style of flower arrangement, 29-year-old Tsukishima Momo has everything – beauty, talent, career and wealth. She is engaged to the man she deeply loves. However, she discovers her fiance has been two-timing her and cancels their marriage on the day of the wedding. A shattered Momo has a crisis of confidence all at once. That is when Kazama Naoto happens to show up. The owner of a bicycle shop, he is an ordinary man who has nothing, and she is a woman out of his league. In spite of this, the two of them fall in love. (Source: jdramas.wordpress) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
I watched it out of sheer love for the characters (Momo in particular) and the journeys they all go on, but viewers who watch for romance will find it here. If you're looking for couple with lots of sweetness, Momo and Pooh (our leads) will give that to you. The give-and-take of the actors is tremendous, and they play their roles exceedingly well. I'm generally not one who gets attached to couples, but these two are so playful and thoughtful. You will find yourself loving every minute they spend onscreen together.
I cannot stress how much of an impact this drama left on me. Yes, there are some odd plot twists and unrealistic behavior that result from them, but the magnitude and quality of this drama make me overlook it all. I could say so much more to praise it, but there's little point: just know that this drama is absolutely fantastic. My specific favorite things TNH tackled: 1) the growth within people when they discover how to love themselves, 2) the representation of the intense love between sisters, 3) the bravery it takes to admit you love someone, and the understanding that it does not make you weak.
In all, I cannot recommend this drama enough.
At the center of the series is a sweet love story of the celestially beautiful heir to an ikebana empire (Momo played by Ishihara Satomi) and an older, poor, "ugly" and humble bicycle repairman (Pooh-san played by Mineta Kazunobu). There is no real sexual chemistry between the two actors, and the trope of a beautiful woman falling for a man "far beneath her station" is a tired one indeed. However, the performances of the two actors are superb and are the primary reason to watch this series. This is largely Ishihara's series and she rocks it. Pooh-san is presented as pretty much saintly having never having had a girlfriend because he had to take care of his bed-ridden but now recently deceased mother. He altruistically helps the people in his neighborhood and is presented as a hidden intellectual genius (he never looses on his shogi app!), but that character trait is largely irrelevant in the end though it does come up now and then.
Surrounding the love-story is a bizarre succession drama in a cutthroat world of flower arranging that does not and could not exist in the real world. The people in that world routinely plot and scheme in ways that take this series immediately to soapville and the "villains" are so over-the-top that you will check to see if this was adapted from a manga, but, no, sadly, it's not. Your enjoyment of this series will probably hinge on how much you can ignore the succession drama or appreciate ironically its machinations. There is a heavy metal boy band ikebana troupe managed by the main antagonist, and, honestly, there is probably a better series than this one to be written around the story of that group and the conflict between modern marketing techniques and the traditional business model of this Japanese art form. But this series decidedly does not go there.
The direction of this series and its aesthetic is Lynchian in a good way. The shot-selection, palate, art-direction and song selection are all well above average. The themes of the series are much less dark than Lynch's material but it is similarly populated with a lot of charmingly quirky tertiary characters that do bring a delightful vividness to this otherwise unrealistic world.
In the end, this is a fable of artistic self-discovery for the main character Momo. Ishihara confidently carries the series on her tiny shoulders and is given ample opportunity to display a wide range within the character's journey. She has the hardest job of convincing us that Momo would choose Pooh-san, and she does achieve the goal of reaching that seemingly out of reach flower.