I finished binging this show for two days. No idea what took me too long to type this one out. Oh, but wait… Ah! Procrastination. Nevertheless, I must review!
I’m giving this show a solid 5/5 rating. The thing about great shows is that they always leave me speechless when it’s review time. It’s all because of those storylines and amazingly crafted characters. If it’s obvious to me, I assume it’s also obvious to everybody.
Anyway, what made this show great, you might ask. The pacing wasn’t forced; there was a natural flow in the relationships. And those misunderstanding followed their natural course. When it came to tackling the problems, the dialogues weren’t all polished and perfect. Sometimes problems just simmered, and the characters did their sleuthing, hemming and hawing prior arriving to decisions and final conclusions.
As for the side characters, they’re also realistic. We’re talking about folks who were cool with strangers being gay, but if it was their own family member, it was not acceptable. And then there were Shiro’s colleagues, totally clueless about his relationship with Kenji. Meanwhile Kenji’s colleagues knew all about it. And those friends the couple picked up along the way, from quirky to straight-up conventional, they added that extra flair. In terms of Shiro’s parents and Kenji’s parents, not every loose end got tied up perfectly. That’s exactly what nailed the ending for me.
Regarding the main characters, there was a realistic, though not drastic, character development by the end of the show.
Shiro’s multi-dimensional traits added depth and intrigue to his character. There was his impeccable professionalism, a facade he maintained at the workplace. Shiro adeptly concealed his personal life from his colleagues, up to a certain degree. As the story unfolded, glimpses of Shiro’s private self were revealed, where vulnerabilities surfaced, unveiling a more intimate and authentic side. At the beginning of the show, it was demonstrated how Shiro treated his partner, Kenji. Each day, Shiro would prepare elaborate meals for him, a way to compensate for the nagging and the need to control their diet and budget. However, this stemmed from the fact that they were childfree. In preparation for their senior citizen days, Shiro aimed to save enough for both of them so they could live comfortably. Shiro also remained tight-lipped about his personal affairs until he had to reveal that he was gay to his neighbors. To his surprise, he was accepted and even made friends through them.
What really irked me, though, was a misunderstanding involving him hitting on one of his subordinates. It was swept under the rug and remained unresolved. UGH. I understood that it was a difficult conversation to have, but it could have been cleared up through communication. Shiro didn’t feel the need to come out to his colleagues. I wasn’t sure about living in Japan and its social dynamics, but if it was a conservative nation, having his livelihood affected solely by his sexual preference was absurd, yet it was undeniably a possibility. Besides, being gay should have had no bearing on whether or not he could perform his job well. Hence, it was unnecessary to reveal it.
To say that Shiro was the perfect canvas for character development was an understatement. I wanted to label him as emotionally constipated, but as the show progressed, it became apparent that he was simply socially aware of how people perceived him and didn’t want to deal with the negative aspects of it. He had already experienced difficulties with his family; why should he add more to that? I was pleased that by the end of the show, he was able to let go and strive to live a happy life, making Kenji happy as well. Moreover, I appreciated that despite being quite frugal when it came to budgeting, he was genuinely delighted when Kenji managed to save a little by the end of the month. It was all about progress, not perfection.
Kenji’s personality was quite a treat. Having a flamboyant personality as a hairdresser wasn’t something to have been surprised about. We’ve all been to a salon; they’re everywhere. In his profession, there was no pressure for him to hide who he really was. He was the carefree half of the relationship. Kenji was the extrovert who had thoroughly explored his sexuality in his youth. Though he did have a hard time adhering to the budget and diet restrictions that Shiro had firmly set, he tried his best. He was expressive, loud, and affectionate, wearing his heart on his sleeve, which complemented the dynamic. As part of their routine, Kenji arrived late and ate whatever Shiro had tediously prepared on the table. Due to having had an abusive father, Kenji placed priority on Shiro being grateful for his parents. This, I think, also highlighted both sides of being gay; it was okay to not be on speaking terms with your family.
Truth be told, it did feel like Kenji’s personality revolved around Shiro, which realistically shouldn’t have been the case. With his personality, I could imagine him having a bustling social life, not just with colleagues and Shiro’s friends. The notion of him having nothing to do when Shiro wasn’t home seemed a little far-fetched. Considering he was the one who tended to overspend, I’d say that’s where he probably spent more money. Not necessarily just partying, but even simply dining out could add up after a few dinner gatherings with friends. Nonetheless, I think it’s great that he was able to manage his finances, even by a small amount. Though he didn’t have to, he made genuine efforts to win his in-law’s hearts.
If you’re searching for a show with an attractive couple and loads of romance, you’ll need to look elsewhere. That’s not what you’ll find here. I’m here for the plot and good acting. This is an established relationship, and romance was implied. If you’re seeking a slice-of-life, feel-good drama featuring your typical polar-opposite personalities in a couple, then grab your popcorn and start binging.
Shiro was the finance manager and diet enforcer, while Kenji shouldered the emotional labor for Shiro. From a sexual preference perspective, it’s possible to become certain of who you are in the later stages of life. Family can either accept you or not, and it’s okay to let go of a relationship if the other party is unwilling to accept you for who you are. Revealing your identity in the workplace is a situational choice. You don’t owe them an explanation. Why risk your source of income over something that doesn’t impact the quality of your work? What truly matters is that the people who are important to you know who you are. And if they cannot accept you, then it’s not your responsibility to change their minds.
There will always be people who insist that no one will care for you in your old age if you don’t have children. That’s fine. Clearly, they’re unaware that nursing homes are filled with elderly people whose children refuse to visit them. I appreciate that the ending wasn’t perfect.
And the most crucial part of the show is that making a mochi pizza has now climbed to the top of my list.