9 July 2002 | otaking
Growing up in poverty often fuels the ambition of a person to pull themselves out and into a life of financial security. Thus we begin the story of Yamato Nadeshiko, about a flight attendant who wants nothing more than to find her happiness in the arms of the richest man she can attract. The flight attendant, Jinno Sakurako is portrayed by none other than the always amazing Matsushima Nanako (GTO, Majo no Joken, Hyaku-nen no monogatari). The poverty-stricken, yet mathematically brilliant seafood merchant Nakahara Osuke is played by the stage actor Tsutsumi Shinichi.
Nakahara is a Harvard graduate, who had the world at his fingertips until his father died, leaving his mother to fend for herself. Rather than pursuing a career in America, he returns to Japan to assume proprietorship of the seafood shop, to make ends meet for the both of them. In the process of attaining his degree, his fiancee (who bears an identical face to that of Jinno/Matsushima Nanako) leaves him, citing that he was more in love with numbers than with her. Ten years later, he meets Jinno at a party where his friends lie about his occupation (they claim he is a doctor with a successful private practice), and through clever misunderstandings, Sakurako does her best to make sure Nakahara falls for her in kind. The fine line between truth and fantasy is tread by Nakahara, and therein lies the story.
While the premise is not as enrapturing as others, it is really the chemistry between Matsushima and Tsutsumi that drives this story, as well as the comical supporting actors such as Kakei Toshio and Nishimura Masahiko. Tokimeiki Memorial's Yada Akiko provides the third side of the story's love triangle, as Sakurako's kohai (junior) flight attendant, who falls for Nakahara despite his financial status.
Twelve episodes long, Yamato Nadeshiko will prove itself to be a stubborn and annoying story that will eventually win you over with good character drama in the end.