Hanawake no Yon Shimai

“Even if we are apart, we are still family.”

Hanawake no Yon Shimai

The Four Hanawa Sisters
Episodes: 11
Genre: Romance, comedy, family, drama
Year: 2011
Starring: Mizuki Alisa, Kanjiya Shihori, Kawashima Umika, Kichise Michiko, Kato Shigeaki

Rating: 9/10

Okay, okay, so I might’ve watched this drama for Shige ^o^ And was it worth it, or what! I wasn’t quite expecting the emotional ringer this jdrama puts you through; happy or sad, the tears just kept coming.

Hanawake no Yon Shimai

This romantic family drama follows the antics of the Hanawa family. There’s the mother, who innocently loves her husband, seemingly oblivious to his many indiscretions; the eldest daughter, Fujiko, ambitious and driven, assistant editor at a popular magazine; Takemi, the wild child, married 2.5 times with three children, not that great at holding down a job; Sakurako, the sweet third sister who works for a wig company, still bitter over the time Takemi stole her boyfriend in high school; and the youngest, Ume, an art student struggling to understand her talent and her future.

Everything seems to happen all at once: Mama finds out about Papa’s affairs; Takemi’s third wedding fails, forcing her and her children to move back in with the family; Fujiko is promoted, but has some work woes; Sakurako falls for hot photographer Shouzaburo, but he has his eye on Takemi; and Ume just can’t seem to make her sempai notice her.

Join the Hanawa sisters in their fight for love, and the crazy antics of the whole family.

Not Just a Comedy

The thing that got me the most is that Hanawake no Yon Shimai isn’t just a comedy – it actually tackles some pretty serious issues. Death and adultery are the biggest ones – ooh! And don’t forget the potential rape scene – but I think the Sakurako-Shouzaburo-Takemi love triangle is pretty intense O.O

This jdrama will show you the many sides of love, and there’s no way you will emerge with your heart untouched.

Hanawa Sisters

Fujiko is probably the sister I like least, but that’s just because she isn’t a romantic. I admire her work ethic, and quite frankly, I want her job! It’s interesting to watch Kichise Michiko playing a different role. She didn’t really get to show much in the way of facial expressions in Liar Game, so I’m glad I got the chance to see her in a slightly more relaxed character. Great actress.

Takemi is…well, I guess you could say she is an entertaining character? She makes for an unusual mother, and just when you think she has questionable ethics, she goes and shares some wise advice with her sisters, and you realise her moral compass is actually spot on. Her attitude to men, wanting them to constantly adore her, grated a little, but whatever. She’s such a sweetie under the fox exterior.

Sakurako is my favourite sister by far. She just wants love, and believes the best in people (excluding Takemi). I can totally understand why she hates her father so much when they learn of his infidelity. I rooted for her the whole way through. I love seeing Shihori in a more heroine-type role – she played an odd character in Buzzer Beat. I can’t wait to see more of this cute actress! ^.^

Ume kinda got the short end of the stick when it comes to screentime, but her storyline is so sweet. Umika is just so darn adorable! >.< I think they make up for Ume’s lack of presence by giving her the role of reminding the sisters that family is everything.

Shige

Oh, yes – Shige needs a section all on his own.

Shouzaburo is a charming freelance photographer (who only ever seems to wear black…^ ^;), who has had his fair share of women. He starts off so cute with Sakurako…but quickly descends into murky territory when he becomes fascinated by Takemi.

A lot of people say they hate Shouzaburo, but you know, I actually don’t. I mean, I’d totally hate this kinda guy in reality, but thanks to the wonderful writers of Hanawake no Yon Shimai and Shige’s superb acting skills, I completely understood him. Is what he’s doing to Sakurako right? No. But can I understand his thoughts, his motivations? Yes. I empathised with him the whole way through.

And honestly, I don’t think he really loves Takemi. I believe what he seeks from her is more of a mother figure, as he was deprived of a mother growing up. And because their experiences are similar, he’s confusing that with true love. I’m so glad I stuck it out and cheered Shouzaburo on – it made the ending much more rewarding ^o^

I give ten points to Shige, who not only looks hot playing the photographer, but plays him so darn well. Let’s face it – Shige is pretty much the exact opposite of Shouzaburo!

Papa Hanawa

Okay, so this jdrama is supposed to be about forgiveness. There’s no way in a million years I would forgive the father. He CHEATED. What is there to forgive? He promised to love and cherish his wife, and after almost 33 years of marriage, he goes off and gets his jollies elsewhere. What a tool!

We’re supposed to feel all sad and understanding. He’s showing remorse, and love! Yeah, sorry pal. You had your chance, and you blew it. This is the one point on which I cannot agree with the drama, but then, that is really just my personal opinion.

As this is a drama, maybe I should be more open-minded?

Powerful Impact

I don’t think I can express well enough the awesomeness of Hanawake no Yon Shimai. It drains you emotionally, makes you think. And to top it all off, you get multiple romances, AND a happy ending. What more can you ask for?

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