Explore the wittiest characters on the new J-drama Fishbowl Wives on Netflix, from Sakura and Haruto to Mei, Masako, Ran, Yuka, and Yuriha.
Netflix’s Japanese drama Fishbowl Wives, based on the manga of the same name by Ryo Kurosawa, is a sentimental and passionate melodrama that follows the love infidelity of six Japanese women who all reside in the same Tokyo high-rise. Cheating on a spouse is not a sign of intelligence, but the individuals on the show all have their reasons, which help explain their conduct.
Emotional intelligence, if nothing else, explains how the protagonists manage their careers and their troubled relationships at home, not to mention how far they are ready to go to give up everything they have worked for.
Takuya Hiraga (Masanobu Ando), the serial adulterer and general dunderhead of the popular Japanese live-action Netflix TV show, is, without a doubt, the show’s least intelligent main character. He has an affair with Sakura, his attractive wife, and then physically abuses her in their apartment. Twice. Because of his behavior, Sakura decided to leave him and ultimately file for divorce.
The fact that Takuya is a business owner doesn’t excuse his obliviousness to the fact that he has a unique, gorgeous, and dedicated wife. He blew off the promotion he had promised Sakura to Nene after she consented to sleep with him because he was too stupid to know what a good thing he had. The level of genius here is off the charts.
Hisako’s befuddlement is understandable given the stigma she’s earned as “The Headache Wife” due to the frequent headaches she suffers from as a result of psychological stress. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that Baba is the father of her children without her knowledge.
Tragically, Hisako’s memory loss causes her to start an unexpected affair with her old flame. Strangely moved to sympathy, Baba plays along with the act until their son discovers the truth and ruins the surprise. Hisako is, through no fault of her own, shown as a touch overly naive, even though she is a likely lot smarter than the arc she is given.
Yuka (Shizuka Nakamura) repeatedly has her sexual advances denied by her spouse when she expresses a wish to start a family. Yuka makes a good choice by not repressing her emotions but rather sharing them honestly, a move that leads to significant growth.
Yuka and her ex-boyfriend Jun have a steamy romance after reuniting by chance. Yuka may not have been as savvy as the rest of the women who start relationships with complete strangers, but at least she did it with a close friend. She became pregnant two years later, realizing her lifelong desire of becoming a mother, but she had no idea who the father was.
Noriko (Saori Seto), a great home cook with a wealth of experience, agrees to participate in her husband’s strange obsession of having an affair with his coworker…while he watches. Noriko is not only very skilled in her field, but she is also perceptive enough to realize that her husband’s coworker is kinder and more caring than her spouse.
Noriko agrees with the age-old adage that it is better to give than to get, as she finds considerably more satisfaction in seeing other people enjoy her cooking than she does in experiencing sexual delight herself.
Yuriha is a little bit smarter than the other adulterous women on the show since she does not go out of her way to have an affair, preferring to let it happen naturally. When Yuriha’s husband pays much more attention to his mother than he does to her, she makes the right decision by leaving him. What’s more, she’s learned how to use cosmetics to cover the disfiguring scar on her face.
As a result, she meets a man going through similar problems in his marriage because of the strain caused by his enormous back tattoo. Yuriha shows the man her clever makeup trick before they have a genuine moment of intimacy.
Ran (Sanyee Yuan), Haruto’s younger sister, is perhaps the show’s moral compass in this guilty-pleasure Netflix romance because she is so concerned about him and tries so hard to end his affair with Sakura. For a high school student, her moral foresight and maturity go above and beyond expectations.
If you go by her outfit, you can assume that Ran goes to an elite private school in Tokyo, which likely helps her to excel academically. She regularly guides her older brother in the right direction and seems to know what’s best for Haru and Sakura even when they are too near to see it for themselves.
Masak0 (Jennifer Sun Bell), Sakura’s powerful lawyer in the divorce dispute, is known for her sharp legal intellect. Masako is one of the few women who have not to experienced marital infidelity, and she also has the highest moral IQ of any of the characters.
Masako shows how far ahead of the competition she always is by playing Takuya like a fiddle in the deposition and waiting until the most suitable time to expose the security tape of the husband’s domestic violence.
The most intelligent man in Fishbowl Wives is Haruto (Takanori Iwata), the sole proprietor of Toyoda Goldfish and a fish expert. He has admired Sakura ever since she rescued his sister Ran, and he has been waiting for the right opportunity to finally meet her. To his credit, Haru knows how to make the most of the situation when it arises.
Haruto’s emotional acuity is on full display whenever he displays extreme tolerance, kindness, and understanding toward Sakura, never forcing her to do anything she doesn’t feel ready for. Moreover, Haruto’s decision to not take over the family business from his father is another evidence of his intelligence and ability to strike out on his own.
In the low-key Netflix love story, Sakura (Ryoko Shinohara) is the wisest of the six maritally challenged women since her infidelity is motivated by genuine feelings for her partner rather than transient lust.
She’s smart enough to get away from her violently abusive husband and start over, where she meets and falls in love with Haruto, a young goldfish salesman. And yet, she moves cautiously and rationally, never letting her emotions get the better of her head.
Sakura demonstrates her wisdom by divorcing Takuya and by saving Haru’s sister Ran from a shard of glass that temporarily destroyed her career as a hairstylist. Even though Sakura intuitively knew that she and Haruo’s age gap would make them unable to sustain a relationship, she was nevertheless determined to have one last wild fling with Haru before it was all over.
Mei (Ren Hanami), the show’s wise den mother who can predict the future, with a magical sixth sense that makes her the show’s most omniscient character. Mei’s extraordinary insight and foresight enable her to counsel each of the six adulterous women at just the right time, offering them spiritual direction.
It is also significant that Mei is the one who suggests that the women all get goldfish as a symbol of the new relationship that they must accept, nourish, and flourish.