Thoughts On Japanese Drama “We Married As A Job”

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I’ve previously mentioned that there was a time I was on a steady diet of Japanese dramas. My preferred genres are romance and medical but after a while, I couldn’t find any that interested me. I’d probably seen maybe two or three dramas between 2013 and 2015.

Not to say that this year is much different as I’ve completed only one so far – Ie Uru Onna  which I enjoyed despite not getting my ship *sniff* (Niwano/Sanchi forever!) . I also started Happy Marriage but didn’t finish it.

All of this is to say that I’ve found a drama that I both like AND will give me my ship! Yay for me.

We Married As A Job (Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu) is about an educated but underemployed girl, Mikuri, who never gets chosen. When her employer has to pick between her and the other contract worker, the other one gets the position despite being less qualified and able. Her father then hooks her up with a nice guy who needs a housekeeper once a week. They meet and it’s fireworks? Not exactly.

Her employer is Hiramasa, a timid engineer in his mid-thirties who’s never had a girlfriend. He’s so non-confrontational that he pays her in advance so he wouldn’t have to face her later if he’s unimpressed by work and needs to fire her. But of course he likes her work and she keeps working for him once a week till her parents decide to relocate and she doesn’t want to and needs a place to stay. She also has a cool aunt who lives in the city but I can’t remember why she couldn’t move in with her.

Anyway, just when she finally gets recognition for her work, she has to leave town. On his part, for the first time ever, he has someone who stays with him and nurses him to health when he falls sick. So she proposes that they “marry” so she can continue working for him. It’ll be difficult explaining to her parents and everyone else how she could be a live-in housekeeper to a young bachelor so they pretend to get hitched. They don’t have a ceremony nor do they register their marriage but all their loved ones think they are married.

The other main characters are:

Her aunt, Yuri, who is so cool that she prefers her niece to call her by her first name. She’s a successful, unmarried woman in her late 40s who regrets not settling down twenty years earlier.

Kazami, Hiramasa’s handsome coworker who’s got a thing for Mikuri, discovers their ruse, then hires her as a housekeeper too. I’m shipping him with her aunt but am not too optimistic.

There’s also Numata, another coworker. He’s gay and thinks he’s intuitive and while his suspicion that the marriage was fake was spot-on (he even peeked into their bedroom and spotted the single bed with a single pillow), he also thinks that Kazami and Hiramasa are in love. So yeah, his radar can be pretty off.

Finally, there’s Mikuri’s best friend, a young mother whose marriage has been ruined by her husband’s infidelity.

Why do I like this drama? For starters, each episode ends with the “Koi Dance” performed by the cast to the song “Koi” sung by the male lead, Hoshino Gen.

How cute is it?

Other than that, I’m digging the story. While the male lead is weak and acts like he’s never touched a woman (which is true), we’ve got a more assertive female lead who has her share of insecurities but still forges ahead.

An example of her grudging assertiveness is the proposal that they date. Basically, Hiramasa had amended their contract to include rules about dating once he realized that Kazami was interested in her. He’s also very insecure and thinks that no woman would be interested in him.

Anyway, one of the rules was that they be respectful of their fake marriage and not jeopardize it by dating publicly. Mikuri mulled it over and figured that the best way to tackle that would be to date him. It’s silly but a girl’s got needs too and they agree that “dating” meant that they could be a shoulder for each other and hug every Tuesday. At this point, they both like each other so you’d think Hiramisa would be all about the skinship but since he’s such a fraidy-cat, he haggles with her till they agree to weekly hugs.

When Aunt Yuri sees Mikuri coming out of Kazami’s place early one morning, she immediately concludes that they are having an affair. In order to prove her wrong, the couple pretends to be happily in love in front of her. As these things go, this is actually a bonding time for them and real feelings are experienced.

Anyway, Yuri sends them on an expensive honeymoon and the shenanigans-filled trip (which includes running into Mikuri’s high school boyfriend) is sealed with a kiss. On the ride back home, while Mikuri was resigning herself to a relationship with Hiramasa that would never progress like she wishes, he was feeling pretty good about where they were. Which led to this:

I’m probably more surprised than she is! Who knew he had it in him?

Anyway, I’ve seen six episodes so far and am loving it. I see that Episode 7 subs have just been released so I’ll definitely be catching up soon. I won’t call this drama the most romantic one I’ve ever seen but I like the female lead (have liked her since Zenkai Girl) and liked how they showed her struggle with finding employment. I do hope she gets a proper job by the end of the series. The male lead is weak but they made him a “pro-bachelor” so it fits his character. He also has funny moments. Her aunt is funny and his coworkers are cute. I also like how they are contrasting her fake marriage with her friend’s real but sad one. For now, this drama is a keeper.

We Married As A Job airs on Tuesdays on TBS. Subs are being released by @mfsubs on Twitter.

Video Credit: TBS

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