Need a shockingly good, slightly melo-ish but mostly heartwarming slice-of-life Jdrama with an excellent cast, beautiful and deep characters, that doesn't feel like work to watch, but still keeps your interest? Can I come up with a longer sentence to describe how gorgeous this drama is inside and out? (Given another 5 minutes, I could probably achieve that.) If your answer is yes, then please do sit down and watch Bara no nai Hanaya. This is such a lovely atmospheric drama, featuring real and recognizable human beings. Eiji is a simple man with a hidden past, and Katori absolutely does not overact in his characterization. He is slow and plodding, and one of the kindest, most selfless creatures you’ll ever see. Yet the drama weaves his past in such a way that the slow unveiling of his life history and the history of the woman he loved is almost as integral to the story as the events that happen in real time. Throw in his obvious affection for Shizuku, and their own adoption of a neighborly grandmother, another loner desperate to feel needed and loved, and just try not having any feels for this beautiful little family structure. Keep in mind, all this is even before the lovely Mio steps into their lives, cane in hand, full of anxiety and uncertainty about this new direction in her life. And maybe with just a few secrets of her own, hidden behind a web of lies. And perhaps she’s not the only character to have more than one secret. Conclusion- I love it. All of it. The only reason it doesn't get a perfect score is probably because of some of the pacing issues, but after I’d finished the drama and started to reflect on it, I realize just how lovely it is. I’m not yet that versed in Jdramas, but I think this was a rare find for me.
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