The title is a mouthful and one that I have to repeatedly verify with Wiki every single time I need to write about it! The translated English title is The Life Story of Bookstore Clerk Michiru, and is based on a novel “Mi no Uebanashi” by Shogo Sato. It’s such a weird drama in that you’re not required (don’t feel like it) to root for anyone because the characters are flawed, to the point of unlikable and our heroine is definitely not your typical plucky girl. Different from the Liar Game, Toda Erika’s character is a lottery ticket winner and we see how that lucky fortune becomes ominous, beginning with a seemingly harmless lie.
The best way I could describe her character is one missing a few marbles in her moral compass. She’s either going to fill up those spots along the way or lose some more.
Our heroine is a typical bookstore clerk who goes by the name Michiru Furukawa (Toda Erika). Although she has a steady job, she doesn’t enjoy it working in such a mundane location and appears to idle by her life. We learn that her mother’s death has a traumatic effect on her but the significance of the deceased’s prayers has to be unraveled. The story is narrated by someone claiming to be Michiru’s husband, but we haven’t gotten a face yet.
For better or for worst, Michiru has a boyfriend that she’s been dating for a year. He’s Kyutaro Kanbayashi (Tasuku Emoto). On her birthday, they dine out at a family restaurant and he brings out a beautifully wrapped gift. Excited by the present, Michiru unwraps to find fishing rods, plated with gold, as he chimes in, “Now you can go fishing with your father!” Err, dude. Rarely do I find a girl happy to see a fishing rod, unless, she’s Ohno, or his girlfriend (me).
That night, the audience gets a real glimpse of Michiru and how she handles having everything arranged by her father. Secretly, she’s having an affair with a salesman working at a publishing company, Kazuki Toyomasu (Hirofumi Arai). To top that, he’s a married man in a loveless marriage; his wife is only interested in having a child. Insane storyline isn’t it? From their interactions, I don’t think Michiru loves him, they’re together because it’s convenient, and Michiru’s smitten by his sweet words.
At Michiru’s workplace, she has a good friend named Haruko Hatsuyama (Sakura Ando). Keeping her friend’s best interests in mind, Haruko convinces Michiru to cut ties with Kazuki, citing evidence that he keeps throwing suggestive glances at their other co-worker. Slightly determined, Michiru decides to break up with him at the bus station. Lo and behold, she’s gripped by a sudden whim and boards the bus with him, after buying 42 lottery tickets for her co-workers. They board the plane to Tokyo where she freely chases after a happiness she thinks is within reach.
To her family, co-workers, and boyfriend, she gives them different excuses, from tooth ache, to sick friend, to sick relative. Obviously, the stories don’t add up and her stubborn father cuts off her bank cards. Little does he know, she unknowingly bought an extra lottery ticket and it’s her winning ticket to something darker down the road.
Because Kazuki doesn’t have time to spend with her all day. Michiru stays with a friend younger than her by two years, Teruo Takei (Kengo Kora). They have been friends since they were younger and Takei was known for tagging her everywhere. And based on the way she treats him like a servant, the boy is too eager to please her. Whether it’s a mere coincidence or plain stalkery, he happens to be there whenever she’s accompanied by a male. While Michiru thinks he’s gay, I’m afraid she’s wrong, unaware of the soft gazes he keeps shooting. (On a shallow note, the actor is handsome, like totally handsome! His features are purrrrfect.)
The story paces slowly and while some might not like it, I enjoyed the fleshing of our imperfect characters and delving into their psyches; Michiru’s irritably wishy-washy, her boyfriend is a spineless block (though undeserving of his fate), Kazuki is a cheating bastard, and our handsome Takei appears eerily composed.
Episode 5 is a game change. A murder takes place and you’ll see what I meant by Takei’s creepy composure. Before a dead body, he’s calm and collective, speaking softly like a scholar and changing the narrative of the whole murder.
Who else is watching? Liking it so far? (No spoilers, please!)
Winning the lottery does not necessarily mean you’ll be a winner in life.