Kari Kare Episode 1 & 2 Quick Overview
Kari Kare follows two women as they try to figure out if romance and marriage could co-exist. An Toyoshima (Saki Aibu) is a 29 year old career driven super woman who places her work above all things...even love. In complete contrast, the life goal of the 38 year old Miki Harada is to get married.
Forming a seemingly unlikely friendship when Miki's engagement suddenly gets cancelled, An and Miki start to have friendly banters with each other as they watch the other person trying to maneuver through the turbulent waters of love.
Miki on the other hand has just suffered a big set back on her marriage plan when her boyfriend of 10 years informs her that he has gotten another woman pregnant. On a good note though, a much younger man at Miki's work starts to pursue her in earnest and even seems to be willing to consider marriage. Although Miki does overhear the young kid telling his other co-workers that he is only pursuing her to use her family background... so this is probably a dud too.
After a day of battle at work, An is ready to relax in the arms of her temporary boyfriend...until she sees that someone else is already using those arms.
I was pretty tempted to put Kari Kare off as another office lady J-drama, and I guess I wouldn't be too far off from the truth but I do like the show's way of using two very different female characters to showcase what love/marriage means to different people at different stages of life.
Our heroine An has the luxury to focus on her career because she not only has the talent but she also has the time/youth to make her decisions. In contrast, Miki doesn't have the talent/drive that An has and her age means she doesn't have the time to waste on romances that won't lead to marriage.
One thing I didn't mention in the overview is that Miki's boss Jin is a really intriguing character. From the way Miki reacts to Jin, it seems apparent that they were strangers before he became her boss. However, the way Jin treats Miki makes me wonder if maybe they did have a past together that Miki is unaware of.
Most of the time Jin is content to switch between his roles of a mentor and as the guy that pokes fun at Miki's frustrations but then we get something like the sudden kiss that reminds us AND An that Jin is very serious about pursuing her.
Still, I am afraid we can't assume Jin is the hero in this show. As much as I really would rather see a romance between Miki and her boss, I think An likes Naoto a lot more than she is willing to admit. Which is why I am probably going to hold off on watching Kari Kare until it finishes since I am pretty firmly on Jin's boat but I think the writer might be on Naoto's...