by Ceki, November 17, 2016

CW: Suna no Tou (Tower of Sand)

(2016 Jdorama | Available episodes so far: 4)



This Jdorama is about a seemingly happy and ordinary family. The Takano family consists of a housewife Aki, her hardworking husband Kenichi and their two children - a teenage boy Kazuki and a young daughter Sora. At first glance, they are just like any other middle class Japanese family, even struggling with the usual everyday challenges. However, we all know that what seems ordinary is usually far from that, right?

Everything changes when they move to the famous tower building in which your social status is determined by what floor you live on. The richer you are, the higher your apartment is. Even the structure of the building is built in a way that divides two worlds - the poor & middle class that lives up to the 25th floor, and the rich, upper class that lives above the 25th floor.

Well, our Takano family got lucky by getting a great deal (which, not to their knowledge, is because someone had committed suicide so the price of the apartment dropped) of living in a famous tower building that has its own library, cafe, and security system. However, they do not only have to face the hypocrisy of their neighbors but their cozy lives also get interrupted by a mysterious woman Sasaki Yumiko who lives above them. She is apparently somehow related to the children abduction that is happening around the city at the same time. 



The housewife Takano Aki is played by Kanno Miho, who has been on an acting hiatus since 2012. She stars as the main female character, who is a very kind and hardworking housewife/mother. She also has a troubled past and strained relationship with her mother who abandoned her. She's trying her best to cut the ties with her past but it seems to constantly haunt her. Her husband Takano Kenichi is played by Tanaka Naoki, a hardworking husband who is often abused by his boss at work and unable to stand up for himself. 

Their children are Sora, a cute daughter and a teenage boy Kazuki (Sano Hayato). Kazuki seems very quiet but he cares about his sister and parents deeply. This is expressed in the way he looks after Sora and when he buys his mother random presents. However, at school, he is not very friendly and seems to be anti-social, instead he hangs out with the delinquents outside his school. 

There is also the supportive cast that consists of annoying housewives and their children, detectives, Aki's flame from the past (played by EXILE'S Iwata Takanori) and many more.


(The Takano family arrives at the Sky Grand Tower)

Then there is the mysterious lady who lives above them - Yumiko Sasaki, played by Matsushima Nanako (famous for her role in the original Ringu film). According to her, her husband is working abroad. As a result, she is alone all the time, arranging flowers and just lingering around. She's very kind to everyone and seems to be a very graceful, elegant and calm person, someone you'd love to have coffee with. 

But then we see that she is quite creepy and twisted - she has installed multiple hidden cameras in her neighbors' apartments so she can spy on them all the time. She monitors them on multiple laptops in her home. We learn that she is also deranged - she hates mothers who neglect their children (very possible due to some trauma she experienced in her childhood) so she takes it on herself to protect the children by spying on their parents and ensuring that they are moral and truthful. 

The fact that she is very possibly the main culprit of the current children abductions is clearly hinted at, but we are not sure if she is the only one involved so far. The fact remains that she is very creepy... and dangerous. 


(left - the Takano family; right - Aki with a bitchy neighbor and her son)


Make sure to check it out if you're into: family drama, suspense, creepy neighbors who spy on each other, crime etc. Only 3 subbed episodes have been released so far but the things are becoming creepier and the suspense is building up in an exciting way. You will most likely be on the edge of your seat, curious to see what happens next. I'm well aware that the Japanese release a lot of detective and crime dramas each year, but this one seems to stand out. The plot is not very original and the annoying housewives are quite cliched but the main actresses are doing a great job. You'll be sucked up in the whole drama in no time.

The most interesting character is definitely the main antagonist Yumiko Sasaki. We still don't know who she is, what kind of trauma is responsible for turning her into such a delusional person and what sheis  going to do next. Does she have any accomplices and is she actually the victim of her past? All of these questions remain unanswered for now, but if you want to find out the answers you'll have to keep on watching, just like me.

  • Have you perhaps started watching this Jdorama? What do you think about it so far?
  • Do you like the synopsis, are you going to check it out?
  • Can you recommend some similar dramas and why are you drawn to this genre in particular?
  • Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day! xxx Ceki