2003 JDorama that stars Abe Hiroshi as an eccentric (kind of) anime artist and a young girl in search of a job.
She's late for an interview after attending a friend's wedding, and while still in a pretty, red kimono, she ends up getting the rented garment stuck inside the door of a van in front of the office tower where she's supposed to have the interview.
Abe happens along and is immediately reminded of a pet goldfish he once had that liked to race around the bowl before leaping to apparent freedom.
Natch, the interview doesn't go, too well, but when Abe's character sees her trying to leave the building, he insists that she be the one to assist him on his latest endeavor - which is to leave the city and hide out for about 3 months at a quaint Onsen so that he cannot be persuaded to work for anyone else since everyone in the publishing industry is dying to contract with him, and he can't say no.
She tells them she will do the job if they book a room at the Onsen her brother (head chef) works.
I must quote the synopsis for this drama:
Yumi (Yuko Takeuchi) is a 23-year-old office worker. Out of the blue, she is fired from her job. A few days later, wearing kimono, she is rushing to an interview for some part-time work at a publishing company. She was at a friend's wedding that went on a bit longer than expected and she has no time to change from her kimono.
In another room at the publisher, popular comic book writer Reijiro Sakurai (Hiroshi Abe) is having an editorial meeting with some staff. He is planning to lock himself away at a hot spring for the next three months to concentrate on his next project. Yumi stumbles into the room, looking for somewhere to change out of her kimono. Sakurai comments that if Yumi were to join him he wouldn't mind being away for so long...
Sounds totally creepy and a bit on the hentai side, don't it?
If this is what kept you from watching (like me) then forget it because THAT is not quite how the story goes.
From start to finish, I enjoyed nearly every second of this show.
The storyline was credible as well as refreshingly different - the characters were believable - and the director didn't stray or even dwell too long on aside characters issues.
The whole point of the story was about acceptance, change, and tolerance, which the writers tackled with finesse and made things all the more entertaining as a result.
Abe will always be one of my favorite, Japanese actors, and this is twice now where I've enjoyed Yuko's performance.
Give it a chance and see if you don't agree. ^^