Utsukushiki Wana Soundtrack CoverCredit: AmazonI watch a fair number of Japanese dramas, yet the cast of Utsukushiki Wana drama was unfamiliar to me. Despite the new faces, my attention was immediately grabbed during the first episode. It was already made clear at the very beginning of the show what the story will be about: marriage, affairs, and rivalry between two women. I am not really a big fan of infidelity stories, particularly ones where the protagonist is the third party, but there is something in the show that attracted me to it. It is delivered in a clever way which is very thrilling to the viewers. It has a serious tone, yet unexpectedly having very comical elements. Each episode reveals something about the characters; I could hardly wait to watch the next episode to find out what would happen next.
Utsukushiki Wana begins from a company party hosted by Kashiwagi Sota and his wife, Kashiwagi Mitsuko. One of the company employees, Nishida Rika, is admiring the couple from afar. Then, Kashiwagi passes by her and hands her a slip. In it shows the details of their secret meeting. Rika is elated as she interprets this simple act as a proof of real love. Despite being the husband of a beautiful wife, he prefers to be with the simple Rika, drinking cheap beer in her apartment instead of the expensive wine he's so used to at home. Without the knowledge of the two, the note-slipping act is witnessed by Mitsuko. From then on, she decides to carry out a revenge plot against Rika.
This story is from Rika's point of view. She views her affair with Kashiwagi as something harmless, since she isn't planning to steal Mitsuko's husband anyway. She simply wants to enjoy their relationship which she believes is true love. As the series progresses, Mitsuko sets several traps for Rika to leave Kashiwagi. She isn't satisfied with merely breaking them apart. She plans to go farther by ruining her happiness altogether. Rika takes the challenge, believing that she can win against her. She allows herself to be caught in the trap. Things went far from the expected. The story then unfolds several twists from the plot.
I enjoyed watching every episode of the series. The story was unfolded at the right pace - not too slow to drag the series too much, yet not too fast to ruin the tension building up. Performance-wise, Tanaka Rena who performed Rika lacked emotions. I can still read her feelings but I don't get to immerse myself in her character. That being said, with the genius way the story is being narrated, I manage to find myself rooting for her. Wakamura Mayumi, who played Mitsuko, gave out a solid performance in this drama. Her character is my favorite of all. She's not actually a good person, but I feel like crying and laughing with her along. She is portrayed both as the "villain" and the comic relief. Her part as being the comic relief makes me become very fond of her. 
What made me appreciate the drama more is the message of the story. It is indeed an infidelity story, but that was only to set the real plot for the story. Here, we can see the consequences of being a part of an affair. Rika's love to a married man is associated with guilt, remorse, and unhappiness. Had it been that the protagonist feel no remorse at all, I would certainly not be watching the series anymore. There is certainly much more insight to gain from the story. The importance of open communication is one lesson I've picked up from the drama. It's such a cliche, but once you see how it affects each character in the drama, you know that telling your secret is much better than holding it back.
Overall, despite a not-so-perfect acting of Tanaka Rena, that didn't hinder me so much from liking the series. I give this drama a four out of five star.
Utsukushiki Wana Lyra Kua 2015-03-23 4.0 0 5

Utsukushiki Wana Opening Song

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