Japanese Dramas

The Reason I Can’t Find My Love

the reason i cant find my love

The Reason I Can’t Find My Love/Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu/私が恋愛できない理由

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The Reason I Can’t Find My Love is a Japanese romantic comedy TV drama series that aired in Japan from 17 October to 19 December 2011. The show highlights the romances of three very different women as they move into a house together and help each other overcome obstacles that stand in their way of finding love.

“Over half of women in their twenties and thirties say that they do not have a boyfriend. Nowadays, women are faced with issues such as men, work, sex, family, etc. That is an ice age of love.”

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Emi Fujii (Karina)

Emi Fujii (played by Karina) is a 27 year-old tomboy who works as a light technician. Her co-workers treat her like “one of the guys” — Slapping butts, high-fiving and drinking beer is a typical day at her job. Emi is also in love with one of her co-workers and her best friend, Yuu Hasegawa (played by Kei Tanaka). The two dated in the past but it only lasted for two weeks and then Yuu moved away to America. Emi still has feelings for him, but when Yuu returned from his job abroad, he tells her that he’s engaged to another girl. Emi has no choice but to accept this reality, so in the mean time, Emi decides to try her luck with love by dating a policeman, Daisuke Takei (played by Yuu Konayagi) in an attempt to find out what she really wants in life.

Saki Ogura (played by Yuriko Yoshitaka) is a beautiful and prideful girl. She hopes to be a journalist but she has yet to realize her dream so she instead works as a hostess at a club.

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Saki Ogura (Yuriko Yoshitaka)

Saki sends money home each month but tells her family members that she’s working in a large publishing house. She is very flirty and seems to think love is no big deal, and frequently hooks up with men from the club. In reality, she has never actually experienced love, despite the countless men she has slept with, until one day she meets a man at a bus stop and finally falls in love. But it’s not all roses, as she soon finds out that the man is married, and to the last person she ever expected.

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Mako Hanzawa (Yuko Oshima)

Mako Hanzawa (played by Yuko Oshima) is your typical goody-two-shoes who has never disobeyed her parents. She is the youngest of all three women, having attended the same high school following Emi and Saki. She is earnest and responsible, but terrified of taking chances on a romantic relationship. The twenty-two year old virgin, who has a reputation for being “too serious” about love, realizes she is attracted to a senior at her work. When she realizes he only wants to have sex with her, she is conflicted, and decides not to give up her virginity to a man that may never actually start a relationship with her. She eventually starts a relationship with a different man from work who becomes very controlling. Word gets out in the office that she is possibly seeing both men and she gets a reputation. Mako is on a path to find her independence and someone who will accept her for who she is.

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The Reason I Can’t Find My Love is a show that I randomly happened upon, and it ended up being a buried treasure that I’m really happy I found. I’ve seen a lot of people review this show and say that it’s “perfect for those who don’t have yet to find love” but I wouldn’t say that you HAVE to be unlucky in love in order to find this show entertaining. I’ve been in a relationship for years now and I still thoroughly enjoyed this slice-of-life rom-com, so don’t let that deter you. I also read reviews that said that it took a while to get into the show, but I didn’t find that at all.

In fact, right away I was drawn to each of the characters for different reasons: Emi is a tomboy, which I can relate to. Saki is confident in herself, which I always try to be. And Mako is innocent and afraid to take chances, which reminds me of when I was younger.

Each of the characters have their own reasons for wanting to move in with the other girls, whether it’s to save on rent, or to not be alone anymore. I’ve personally never had the chance to live with my girl friends, so this show makes it so easy to live vicariously through these three characters as they give each other advice over drinks at the end of a busy day, and help each other through the woes of each other’s love lives. If there’s a show that perfectly portrays “girl power” through girls being there for each other, this is it.

Spoilers Ahead: If you haven’t finished/watched the show yet, don’t read on.

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Spoilers Ahead: If you haven’t finished/watched the show yet, don’t read on.

I’m more privy to “happy endings” where everything finally comes together and all is great with all of the characters, but that wasn’t quite the case with this one. You could argue that “everything comes together” in the sense that they all learned a valuable lesson.

Emi chooses to not go to California with Yuu, and instead decides to stay behind and realize her own dreams. I find it sad that she gives up her shot at a big fancy job, but she realizes she wants to live for herself, and she seems very happy to stay at the lighting company she’s always worked for with the co-workers she’s come to love. Her decision leaves me leaves me feeling nothing but pure respect.

Saki doesn’t end up with Takumi, and to be honest I was hoping she would. I think both of them needed each other for many different reasons. She does finally get a job that she’s really happy with, and she seems to throw herself into her new career. I feel that the lessons she’s learned from meeting Takumi have made her a stronger person and that she’s one step closer to knowing what she wants out of a relationship, and therefore one step closer to finding her true love.

Mako had the biggest character growth of all in this show. She went from shy little innocent virgin to being able to stand up for herself and what she wants. After getting let go from her job at the office she ends up drowning her woes with delicious food (“Food still tastes delicious even when you’re miserable”) and she decides to take a job at the restaurant, where she falls in love with both the chef and his child. Mako gets the happiest ending of all three girls after going through so much torment.

Overall, I have to rate this show a 9.5. The character development throughout this series was great; every single character learned something new about themselves and each character’s life was easy to follow. The show had a good pace and there were some laugh-out-loud funny moments while at the same time being a great slice-of-life drama.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Have you watched this show? If so, leave a comment and tell me what you thought.

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