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Revolutionizing Drama: She Loves To Cook, And She Loves To Eat Ushers in a New Dramas Era

2024.3.1

#MOVIE

©NHK
©NHK

The television drama She Loves To Cook, And She Loves To Eat has been airing every Monday to Thursday at 10:45 PM on NHK. Season 1 aired from November to December 2022, and Season 2 has been broadcasting since January 2024. Based on the manga She Loves To Cook, And She Loves To Eat by Sakao Yuzaki (KADOKAWA) is a manga ranked 2nd in the Women’s Division of “Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2022” and has surpassed 800,000 copies in cumulative sales, establishing itself as a popular work. The drama adaptation generated buzz from the time it was announced.

The reason for its popularity lies not only in the heartwarming daily lives of the main characters, Yuki Nomoto, the “Woman Who Wants to Cook,” and Totoko Kasuga, the “Woman Who Wants to Eat,” along with the delicious-looking meals but also in its careful depiction of the uncertainties women face in their lives. It goes beyond the relationship between Nomoto and Kasuga, addressing the complexities of various human relationships, including those with colleagues and relatives. The series has been a source of courage and encouragement for many readers as it portrays the characters facing each challenge with a thoughtful attitude.

In the process of adapting this popular manga into a drama, one significant hurdle was the casting of Yuki Nomoto and Totoko Kasuga. Following the preferences of the production team, Aimi Higa was chosen to play Nomoto, while the role of Kasuga went to the musician Eimi Nishino, who had no prior acting experience (reportedly discovered by producer Anki Otsuka and scriptwriter Yuri Yamada during one of her live performances). Season 1 concluded with Nomoto realizing her feelings for Kasuga and coming out as a lesbian. As eagerly anticipated by fans of the original work, Season 2 is currently being broadcast, with the much-awaited final episode scheduled on February 29th.

This article aims to explore how She Loves To Cook, And She Loves To Eat has become a groundbreaking drama by reflecting on Seasons 1 and 2, delving into the themes, motifs, narrative approach, and the composition of the cast and crew.

This article contains descriptions of the drama.

The Uniqueness of She Loves To Cook, And She Loves To Eat

The drama basically depicts the friendly relationship between Ms. Nomoto and Mr. Kasuga. Although they originally lived next to each other across one room on the same floor of the same apartment building, they happened to have a fateful encounter in the elevator. When Ms. Nomoto heard about the large amount of fast food that Mr. Kasuga was carrying, and that he would eat it alone, she then shared the large amount of rouleau rice she had made with him, and thus began the “woman who cooks and woman who eats” relationship. After that, they cooked and ate decadent food, had gyoza parties, went for drives, and spent Christmas and New Year’s holidays together. The viewer watches the heartwarming daily life with a sense of contentment.

However, the viewer is also confronted with rude comments from men, menstrual cramps, and other female anguish, as well as difficulties in family relationships. Although there are no clear answers to each of these problems, they face them with the help of those around them, such as Ms. Nomoto’s colleague at work, Chiharu Sayama (Nozomu Morita), and live positively. Despite being the same 15-minute per episode drama, there are no major incidents or sudden developments as in NHK’s “morning dramas. It takes all 10 episodes of Season 1 to develop in a relaxed manner, with Ms. Nomoto finally realizing her own love for Mr. Kasuga. But that is just right for watching at the time just before most people go to sleep. Although there are scenes that make you feel excited or moved, it is a safe 15 minutes that does not give you strong stimulation. This is what makes this drama unique in its epoch-making nature.

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