Tokyo’s Haneda Airport is the busiest airport in Japan with 1 airplane taking off and landing every 2 minutes. In a year, 6 billion people (an average of 170,000 people a day) pass through the airport. Shinoda Kaori (Fukada Kyoko) is a new air traffic controller. It is an extremely stressful and difficult job where a split-second’s error in judgment can cause a catastrophic incident. Kaori had originally been a ground staff at the airport with an ambition to become an air traffic controller who directs the aircraft of all airlines, but an incident spurs her to resign and take the national exam. After completing rigorous training at the air navigation security college, she is assigned to Haneda Airport’s Air Traffic Control Centre as an air traffic controller just before she turns 30. When she gets up to the control tower with a mixture of nervousness, excitement and anxiety, the people she sees are a group of professionals who remain calm in the face of emergencies and protect human lives. Kaori guides aircraft with veteran air controller Takeuchi Hiromi (Seto Asaka) for on-the-job training. Because of a little careless mistake that she makes, and incident occurs that is a step short of an accident. She gets discouraged, but no one scolds her for the mistake she made which makes her feel even worse. However, she listens to the feelings of Yuki Noboru (Tokito Saburo) and Kondo Yukihiro (Kaname Jun) as air traffic controllers and gradually pulls herself together.
Cast & Credits
But more than just being technically pleasing, Tokyo Airport is truly carried by the viewer's connection with the characters and the human drama that unfolds. In just a few episodes, I became very attached to many of the characters, each of them with their own personality quirks and faults. In a way, because of the wide variety of characters and the way many of them play their own part in the drama, Tokyo Airport contains something for everyone (in an airport setting, of course). Romance, thriller, family, comedy, etc, this drama has it all.
Plot-wise, some of the scenarios are a bit of a stretch to a rational mind, but it's not the scenarios themselves that I really enjoyed. Instead, the characters' reactions to the scenarios and difficulties thrown at them are what really make this drama enjoyable. If you're willing to keep a suspension of disbelief, I think you'll find it (excuse the terrible metaphor here) a heartwarming flight that you'll be sad to leave in the final descent. At the very least, I certainly was.
Why did I take up on this drama? Well, maybe to cure my fear...
Did it work? Hum...I cannot say that I am not scared of flying anymore, but I also have to admit that I'm not more scared after watching ;)
It was interesting to get to see how air traffic control works. I am sure that some of the things are not from the real world and the scenarios are thought of, but still, you get an idea about what those people in the Tower do the whole day...
Additionally, the plot seemed realistic to me. Maybe a real traffic controller would start to cry, but to me there weren't any storylines that I thought of as completely unrealistic. This made it fun to watch the drama.
Furthermore, I liked most of the supporting characters. Their relationships were nicely portrait. They had scenes were they were teasign each other, but in the end you saw that they all were a big family.
I am not so fond of Fukada Kyoko's acting as I have the feeling she was just added to look pretty or worried. For me, she didn't really give the impression of that dtermined woman she portrayed, but due to her great supporting actors, it was fine to have not such a dominating main character. Maybe this was even intended by the writers.
I also liked the teamwork that was showed throughout the whole drama. To ensure the safety of the airplanes and with that the safety og the passengers and the crew, a lot of people have to give their best each day. It was so nicely portrayed how they all supported each other and helped each other through hard times. That's what I liked about this drama the most.
In short: You won't make a mistake watching this drama and even if you're not a big fan of airports and airplanes, you shure find something enjoyable about this drama.