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  • 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is an eleven episode Fuji TV miniseries from Japan that relates the story of a girl, Sakurako Jinno (played by Nanako Matsushima), raised in poverty by her widowed father. She vows to escape from the poverty of her past by finding someone who is rich. She decides to find rich men by becoming a flight attendant. She and her three female coworkers spend time going to singles events in search of rich men. In one of these outings, she meets Osuke Nakahara (played by Shin'ichi Tsutsumi) who appears to be a perfect match for her. However, Osuke lies about his profession (he pretends to be a doctor when he is just a fishmonger). Osuke previously had attended MIT, but had to quit his studies because of the death of his father and to help his mother at the fish store. He also had several failed relationships with other women. Not to give too much of the plot away, the series takes several twists and turns between the pair before a somewhat predictable conclusion to the story (they are predestined for each other). The acting, script, and plot is both touching and humorous at times. Several of the supporting cast provide comic relief as well as other diversions from the main two characters. Personally, I found the main two characters less sympathetic. Sakurako was driven by her quest for a life of comfort with someone where love was not required. Osuke came across as a man who had no direction in his life and who took all of the abuse from Sakurako after she found out the truth about him and did not defend himself. The two characters who I thought were much more sympathetic are Wakaba Shiota (more cuter than the main female character and played by Akiko Yada), the female flight attendant who becomes attracted to Osuke, but with his "love at first sight" fixation with Sakurako, is ignored by him and Tsukasa Higashijujo (played by Mikihisa Azuma), one of Sakurako's suitors who proposes marriage to her and becomes a pawn in her gold digger agenda. The two suffer a broken heart at the end and deserved better. The English subtitles are adequate and is spotty for some of the scenes. The final episode shifts to New York and the main two characters speak a few words of English (with Japanese subtitles shown). A nice music soundtrack accompanies the series. Overall run time is around 7 1/2 hours. The DVD that I purchased was not an official release and was copied from the TV broadcast.