So, I finished Hapi Mari (はぴまり) Manga. And with the cute couple still in mind, my drama watch this week is Happy Marriage (はぴまり). Luckily it was only a 12 episode dramas, so I did not lose too much sleep while trying to juggle between work, family time and then J-Drama watching. How could I missed this drama…. Dean Fujioka is the main male lead…. (the first drama of his that I watched is Just You, a Taiwanese drama starring Aaron Yan and Puff Guo. I have always wanted to watch a drama where he speak his native language, Japanese.)
Happy Marriage (はぴまり) is the drama adaption from Hapi Mari (はぴまり), a popular Japanese manga written and illustrated by Enjouji Maki.
Happy Marriage (はぴまり) is a story of a couple, unknown to each other whom entered into a marriage contract for 2 different reasons. And how both of them slowly overcome each and every obstacles / challenges that comes their way while they slowly enter into each other life and heart.
The Heroine: Chiwa Takanishi (starring Nana Seino) is a retailer employee whom also work as hostess at night. An ordinary 23 year old young and naive lady, she had no choice but to work hard to pay off her father’s gambling addiction. (This is slightly different from Hapi Mari (はぴまり) manga where Chiwa in the manga were an employee working in Hokuto’s company, Mamiya Empire.
Chiwa could only dream that one day she would be worry free about her next meal and her father no longer giving her any grieve about his gambling.
One day, she was approached by successful and handsome man who offers her a contract marriage. Wanting a humble life with the hope of marrying someone that she loves one day, Chiwa refuses the tempting proposal.
However, eventually she relents when her father’s gambling debt forces her to the end of the road. With no choice, she finally accepted the marriage deal.
The Hero: An illegitimate son in the wealthy Mamiya family, Hokuto Mamiya (starring Dean Fujioka) have never been fully accepted as a member of the family. Successfully in his own organization, Hokuto was determined to be the heir of the Mamiya Empire.
Grandfather Mamiya, the Chairman of the Empire promised him the opportunity to be in the running as the heir of Mamiya Empire with the condition that he marry the grand-daughter of the woman whom he had loved and yet lost long time ago. Hokuto agreed to the marriage as it was the opportunity that he was waiting for to realize his dream.
Hokuto Mamiya is a cold person whom slowly open his heart to his cute wife, Chiwa whom he slowly fell in love as they progress along the relationship as husband and wife in the contracted marriage.
What I like about this drama:
Although Happy Marriage (はぴまり) is a pretty standard Japanese Romance drama, this 12 episode drama indeed got my rooted in my seat. Can’t be helped right, with Dean Fujioka on the screen… (fan here is definitely swooning at him)
Hokuto Mamiya as cold as he may seems in front of everyone, his cute wife, Chiwa had in fact gripped his heart from the moment when he brought her home (in Episode 2) where she stood up and gave his ‘clowning family members’ a piece of her mind. Although when she left him after leaving the house, he decided that she was the one for him and won back her heart when he visited her home where he asked her father for her hand in marriage.
It took me 2 attempts aka re-watching the drama to realized that he actually started loving her from the very beginning of the drama. It took me a while to realized that only because he has always been so cold and proper. He is not willing to open his mouth and tell her how much he loves her.
In his sweet way, he never force his rights as a husband on her as well. Some funny moments is when he realized that she is still a virgin despite having working as a hostess before. The look on his face was classic! Knowing that, he took his time claiming his ‘rights’. And when it finally happen….. it seems like she was the one whom wanted to claim the ‘rights’ as a wife instead…. Very funny yet sweet moment indeed.
Happy Marriage (はぴまり) truly is an entertaining drama without too much of a ‘drama’ within itself. Although it has some standard plot of ex-lover coming back wanting to claim his heart again through many ‘sneaky’ ways, Hokuto remains loyal to his cutie wife, Chiwa.
Even during the moments where there were misunderstanding between the husband and wife, his beautiful and sexy secretary, Souma Taeko (starring Fujiwara Norika) with her funny antics reminded Hokuto how much Chiwa mean to him. I love the part where she asked him if he had ever told Chiwa that he loves her, the stunned look on Hokuto’s face were amazing. I must say that Dean Fujioka is a truly talented actor.
The other character in the drama that I had truly enjoyed watching is Yagami Yuu (starring Shirasu Jin) the protective quietly loving ex-colleague of Chiwa. He loves Chiwa in his own way. He was disappointed after hearing about the marriage between Chiwa and Hokuto. However, he chooses to remain as a good friend, protecting her when she needed them. He stood by her side, encouraging her and giving her support as a good friend.
In comparison with the manga, Happy Marriage (はぴまり) although retain almost most of the manga version, there were some slight changes in the drama where Hotuko return back into the Mamiya family to help run the business in the end while in the manga, he return back into his old identity. While in the drama, he never once wanted to give up Chiwa while in the manga, he officially divorce Chiwa although he did that to protect her.
The ending was sweet as expected where both in the manga and drama, Chiwa and Hotuko did the official wedding ceremony.
The link to the beautiful OST are available Happy Marriage OST『はぴまり』