Okaeri Mone (2021) poster
8.2
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 354 users
# of Watchers: 1,662
Reviews: 5 users
Ranked #1558
Popularity #6022
Watchers 354

Momone Nagaura lives with her parents, grandfather and younger sister on an island in Kesennuma Bay, Miyagi Prefecture. In the spring of 2014, Momone Nagaura graduates from high school and moves to the city of Tome. She fails to enter a university. While she tries to figure out what to do with her life, she begins to work as an apprentice of a forest guide. A turning point in her life occurs. A popular weather forecaster from Tokyo arrives. Momone Nagaura walks on a mountain with the weather forecaster. She hears from the weather forecaster that the weather forecaster can predict the future. Momone Nagaura becomes touched by that comment and decides to become a weather forecaster. She studies hard for the exam to become a weather forecaster. With the help of the people around her in Tome, she finally passes the exam. Momone Nagaura moves to Tokyo and begins to work at a private weather forecasting company. Working there, she grows up as a weather forecaster. Several years later, in 2019, a major typhoon approaches Japan. To help her hometown, she heads to Kesennuma Bay. (Source: AsianWiki) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 日本語
  • Русский
  • Español
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 120
  • Aired: May 17, 2021 - Oct 29, 2021
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
  • Original Network: NHK
  • Duration: 15 min.
  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 354 users)
  • Ranked: #1558
  • Popularity: #6022
  • Content Rating: G - All Ages

Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
WandereR
30 people found this review helpful
Oct 31, 2021
120 of 120 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.5

Welcome Home, Mone!

This drama is the 104th NHK Asadora series in the network’s long line of serialised dramas that air a 15-minute episode every weekday morning. It is my second ever Asadora, following Oshin back in the 1990s.

Okaeri Mone translates as welcome home Mone, which refers to the titular character of Nagaura Momone. The premise focuses on Mone’s journey of growth, healing and love where she struggles to overcome the burden of a traumatic past before eventually determining her path in life and finally realising her aspirations of being a weather forecaster. Set in 2014 and spanning some seven years up to the present day, Mone’s story begins from her hometown of Kesennuma Bay in Miyagi Prefecture as she travels to the coastal city of Tome and subsequently Tokyo, before completing a full circle by returning to her home.

Based on the original screenplay written by Adachi Naoko (Code Blue 3) and directed by Masae Ichiki (Yae no Sakura, Idaten) and Tomohiro Kuwano (Amachan, Idaten). Takagi Masakatsu (Mirai, Wolf Children) serves as composer while the theme song Nanairo is performed by the popular alt-rock band, BUMP OF CHICKEN. Principal photography took place in Kesennuma Bay, Tome City, Sendai and Tokyo.

As far as the production quality and technical execution are concerned, I have absolutely no complaints. The exotic filming locales comprising the rustic fishing village, expansive mountainous forest reserves, gorgeous coastline are utterly breathtaking to witness, which is credit to the wonderful cinematography. I love the upbeat and inspiring theme song, Nanairo, that accompanies the title sequence during every episode.

The same goes for the quality of the screenplay which manages to convey the weekly story arcs of the main plot in a cohesive and coherent manner. There are many themes explored, as is typical in a long running Asadora. There is no shortage of the rainbows and sunshine involving heartwarming moments of family bonding and camaraderie among friends. We also see the infusion of bittersweet moments relating to tragedy, loss and trauma arising mainly from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami which sadly impacted Kesennuma Bay, the setting of the drama. Perhaps the only reservation I have is on the subplot concerning the sibling relationship and the interactions between the childhood friends where some tension and angst are present, which I felt was somewhat needlessly stretched.

The character design of the main as well as supporting characters is generally well developed to imbue them with the necessary depth and realism that allows an attachment as well as connection to be formed with viewers. This certainly was the case for me and none more so than the eponymous main character of Mone, along with her parents, grandfather, the doctor friend and her colleagues at the Weather Experts in particular.

It’s worth mentioning the inclusion of technical aspects pertaining to weather forecasting and analysis of meteorological data which plays a major part of the premise of the drama. In addition to that, the aquaculture practices in the form of oyster cultivation and farming is featured in detail due to the involvement of Mone’s family in oyster harvesting and supply. I appreciate the fact that the technicalities of these real-life activities are showcased in a straightforward and uncomplicated fashion which integrate seamlessly into the storytelling.

In terms of the cast, major kudos go to Kiyohara Kaya. This is my first time seeing her and what an absorbing performance she has delivered. Such incredible talent to breathe life into the character of Mone. Throughout the entire 120 episodes, I was simply immersed in her portrayal and rooting for her during the many pivotal moments of her journey. From her depiction of insecurity, uncertainty and vulnerability right through to her maturity as a person and a professional in projecting the self-confidence of a seasoned meteorologist and weather forecaster. I'll be keeping a close eye on her projects from now on.

Sakaguchi Kentaro’s awkwardly charming Suganami Koutaro is quite fascinating. Initially displaying tsundere-like traits, he gradually evolves into a more endearing personality which subtly complements Mone’s down-to-earth personality as part of their blossoming relationship. Mone's parents are portrayed by the experienced Uchino Seiyou and Suzuki Kyoka. They have a rather amusing story arc in an extensive flashback sequence while their numerous memorable scenes together are quite wholesome to observe. Nishijima Hidetoshi's calm demeanour fits the charisma of his weatherman Asaoka Satoru. Likewise I really enjoyed Takaoka Saki's interpretation of the sophisticated Takamura Satoko. Asano Tadanobu needs no introduction and his depiction of Oikawa Shinji is probably the most emotional among the supporting cast.

From my perspective, Okaeri Mone has been an utter joy to watch and an extremely worthwhile experience. From the cultural facets to the intricacies of weather forecasting as well as the beautiful landscapes of Miyagi Prefecture, there is much to savour in this very well-made production indeed.

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Completed
SweetBlue
7 people found this review helpful
Oct 31, 2021
120 of 120 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

Heart Warming Drama with the Theme of Nature

The story that presented in this drama is quite light, because it's about Mone's past, which in 2011 his family experienced the tsunami disaster in Japan at that time. Then theme of nature is followed by the development of a Nagaura Momone (MC) who is looking to be herself and finally decides to become a weather forecaster. The audience can enjoy the storyline in this drama and enjoy this drama while drinking tea and eating biscuits, because this drama doesn't have to think hard and because the genre is slice of life, when scenes take place in Tome, Kesennuma, and Tokyo are shown, the audience can feel transported directly to these locations and enjoy their natural beauty of japan nature.

The setting of the place taken from this drama is also good because it connects the nature of the mountains (City of Tome) and the sea (Island of Kesennuma), and the selection of Kesennuma city as the setting is very good considering that Kesennuma city is a small island on the northeast side of the island of Japan which only had a connecting bridge with the mainland in 2017 (though Kesennuma Island and mainland are very close, crossing by ferry)

The cast in this drama is also very good with Kaya Kiyohara (Nagaura Momone), Makita Aju (Nagaura Michi), Imada Mio (Jino Mariana Riko), etc. Because I think the cast in this drama can play characters that match their own personalities. In this drama also the character development is presented very well, how Mone and his friends started as a junior high school student then entered the maturity phase and in the end became an adult who has experience and mature thoughts, all packaged very well. Viewers can feel the character development in this drama like they are actually following them from 2011 to the present. The 120 episodes in this drama are packaged very well with the right pace (not too fast, but in some episodes sometimes it feels a bit slow). In this drama the depiction of a Mone who is a country girl who then comes to a big city is described quite well.

I think the music used in this drama fits the slice of life drama genre in "Okaeri Mone", relaxing and fun songs and also the music accompany Nagaura Momone's character development as well. Bump of Chicken "Nanairo" is the right song to be the OST of this drama, with mixing of quite unique opening because there is an implied message that combines mountains and sea in the opening of this drama.

Verdict, Okaeri Mone is a slice of life and family drama that is very suitable to watch on Saturdays and Sundays or when coming home from work, because the plot presented in this drama is very interesting as well as light and easy to watch while relaxing and with the theme of nature, which is rather rarely used in slice of life dramas). A heartwarming drama with very interesting characters to follow the development from beginning to end.

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Details

  • Drama: Okaeri Mone
  • Country: Japan
  • Episodes: 120
  • Aired: May 17, 2021 - Oct 29, 2021
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
  • Original Network: NHK
  • Duration: 15 min.
  • Content Rating: G - All Ages

Statistics

  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 354 users)
  • Ranked: #1558
  • Popularity: #6022
  • Watchers: 1,662

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