Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

Tokyo Tarareba Musume: on episode 3~4

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Story of single women (day)dreaming to find the right men by certain time may not be everyone’s cup of tea, even those a sucker for romance. I can understand why some are turned off by the titular what-if girls’ unrealistic ideals and expectations although i did find their plights relatable, personalities likable, dynamics lifelike, and fantasies amusing. It’s probably because i’m close to these girls’ age and quite aware of the ‘pressure’ society put on single woman in her 30s (and beyond), although they aim to get married by 2020 of own accord.

Despite identifying with the what-if stories and regrets (which are also applicable to situations besides love), i too was disconcerted by their questionable decisions and eventually morals in these two episodes. Because what they’re doing just isn’t right, and their reasoning sounds nothing but an excuse. I alluded to this issue and discussed my stance about it in my first impression.

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Essentially, the trio has been partnerless for years and Tokyo Olympics is merely 3 years away so it’s narratively logical for them to snag any guy who comes their way. That’s why Rinko tried to hit it off with Hayasaka and naturally backed off once he’s revealed to be dating Mami-chan. She didn’t seem to consider Kinpatsu a potential husband yet welcomed his invitation to “try to do it with me” only to find him gone the following morning. Belatedly realizing she doesn’t even know his number or worse, name, she has no way to reach him.  She shouldn’t have worried though — they always cross path anytime, anywhere anyway — but when they do, she’s unable to bring herself to ask about that night while he’s all, ah, sorry for leaving the front door unlocked. Geez.

The situation isn’t going anywhere that when he stops by the eatery again, Kaori and Koyuki corner and inquire him about it and at his no-response prod him to talk it out with Rinko to clear any misconception that may occur. Instead, Kinpatsu gets defensive and lashes it out at clueless Rinko for reveling in such gossips then hiding behind her friends, declaring her a no-go for him.

Okay, while i still don’t think his snides are justifiable, they’ve been quite hard-hitting to brush off, but him calling out and trashing Rinko’s friends was too much. First off, his attacks are incorrect, albeit not baseless. Secondly, he has no right to get this worked up when he’s being a coward himself, not following it up with her, and then shoot her down when she’s finally gathered the courage to ask him about it. Thirdly, if he cannot appreciate and accept Rinko’s friends, then he’s clearly not the one for her.

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Although only Rinko is in a push-pull phase, the other two’s relationships aren’t less knotty. Kaori soon learned that Ryo-chan is blatant two-timer, inviting her to the luxurious apartment he cohabits with his current model girlfriend. Kaori tells herself it’s nothing but a throwback night to their time together, but quickly breaks the wall at Ryo-chan’s sweet talk and puppy eyes. She’s aware about being the second girl, and despite being treated like a spare tire, continues anyway since “it’s better than nothing.”

Koyuki seems to have it the easiest. She may be the least inexperienced but also the maturest of the three. Holding pragmatic if unpopular views on marriage, she doesn’t mind even if she’d still be alone during the Olympics. Her first-meet with Marui Yoshio (oh hey, Tanaka Kei!) is as clichéd as ever albeit not love-at-first-sight kind. She’s only hit by the cupid’s arrows, quite literally, after studying his demeanor and bright way of complimenting her food. He promises to return the next day, and keeps his word, even though he ends up arriving panting and past business hours. Mature but innocent, polite but friendly, also just-right age gap, that kind of man screams a perfect match to Koyuki’s ideals, but of course when something sounds too good to be true, most often than not it is. It’s hard to come by a nice single man in mid 30s like him… because he is not. Things are progressing smoothly between them until he drops the bomb — he’s married. But separated. Is that okay?

Koyuki would be the worst for okaying his status, but it does become a lot more acceptable given his ‘separated’ claim, although i’d still ask why isn’t he divorced yet? Him coming clean about his marriage circumstances subsequently adds a couple more plus points in her book: honest and kind (for giving her an out). Her green light stumps her friends, though; no matter what, it’s an affair. And only she will be disadvantaged if word gets out, Rinko sternly reminds her. Koyuki, however, believes she’s in a much better relationship than second-woman Kaori or Rinko herself… until she’s stood up for his family commitment. A single click on social media account reveals the ugly truth: Marui’s wife is due for her second baby and is happily resting at her parents’ house.

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AAARGH, TANAKA KEI, WHYYY?!?!

I was so happy to see him in the drama, and that he seems the okayest guy of all…but turns out the scummiest. Why the heck would he lie about something that’s so easily found out? Does it mean it’s Koyuki’s fault for not checking (earlier)? But he seems so sincere! Dang, i was definitely deceived too. What a bummer… =(

I have zero idea what the endgame would be like, but at this point i just can’t ship these girls with the guys they’re currently involved with. I simply can’t choose between a sleazy two-timer, a cheating husband/father, and a cold douche who sleeps with you cuz you reminds him of his late-wife. (Hayasaka is obviously the most decent option — super nice though arguably boring — too bad he’s out of the race now.) Yup, the reveal that Kinpatsu was married (and now a widower) was quite a shocker although that bit still didn’t explain his hot-and-cold attitude toward Rinko. Is he interested? Why is he playing hard to get? What is his motive behind that one night stand? I initially thought he did it to revive her writing career, yunno to give her ideas and stuff, perhaps, but now i doubt it.

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All i want is for the girls to jump out from respective sinking ship and for them to realize being single is better than being in an unhealthy relationship wherein they aren’t the priority, and that their camaraderie is more precious than their boyfriends. After all, they’ve been friends for over a decade and been there during one another’s big moments. But maybe the downs in both friendship and loveship can serve as effective eye-opener in this regard. I mean, didn’t that feel so great, the moment Rinko put Kinpatsu down for belitting her girlfriends and pointed out the obvious:

“Even if I just say “what if” stories,  even if my life sucks, because of those two, my life is fun. If I didn’t have those two, I’d be living a pretty boring life right now. “Just hanging out with other women is no good”,  “that kind of woman can’t be good” — don’t say stupid stuff like that. That’s what fun is! That’s why from now on, I’ll do exactly that!”

That’s what i’m saying~!

Granted, these girls are far from good  love counselors. They’ll get giggly and excited at one another’s love story and development but are generally lost for words once crisis arises, but they are also one another’s best companies and biggest supporters who don’t shy away from saying the hard truths when push comes to shove. Which i love.

Even the usually scathing tarareba duo approves! 😉

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