|Tokyo Friends is about four girls who travel to Tokyo to realize their dreams. They meet at a bar called Yume no Kura, which roughly translates to “Dream Warehouse”. They quickly become friends and end up growing together. Each character has her own story about love, fate, and everything in between.|
Rei is the first character we meet. She is still living at home and works in the family business. One day after seeing a Tokyo commercial on TV, she finally decides to move there. She doesn’t have a real reason for wanting to go to Tokyo, but perhaps she’s tired of the fish village lifestyle she’s been having and wants to make a change in her life.
Ryoko is an office lady (OL) and a regular customer at Yume no Kura. There are a lot of times when she’ll hang around the pub until closing. Her dream is to find a financially secure man and get married. This is why she is always seen with a different man at the pub and is very knowledgeable regarding the opposite sex.
We don’t meet Hirono until the end of the first episode. She has left her home town and has just arrived in Tokyo. She saw the “help wanted” sign for Yume no Kura, and decided to apply. Hirono’s dream is to become a great actress. But not just any actress; she wants to perform in plays that she wrote herself.
Maki is a university student majoring in arts. She once told Rei that she is majoring in arts because it is the only thing she is good at. The many drawings that you see in the pub are done by Maki.
|Soundtrack and Theme Songs (1)|
|1. ||Friends フレンズ [Otsuka Ai]|
|Drama Reviews (6)|
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||I want to be a Tokyo Friend! [Rating: 9/10]|
I don’t usually enjoy short drama series, because I always find the storyline rushed. With limited time, things like character development and plot growth are usually sacrificed. When I finished the first episode of Tokyo Friends, I felt the same way. Everything seemed so rushed (especially the relationship between Rei and Ryuuji ). And how, pray tell, was Rei able to sing in sync with the band when they hadn’t even practiced together? Otsuka Ai may be a decent singer, but I didn’t find her appealing as an actress. Her acting ability was abysmal in the first episode, but she does seem to improve later on. Otsuka was fortunate enough to have three other good actresses by her side to pull her through.
This was my first experience with Maki Yoko (who plays Ryoko) and I was instantly drawn into her. Although her character had a lot of negative characteristics, I couldn’t help but feel for her. Yoko played Ryoko in such a brilliant manner that in the end all of Ryoko’s flaws disappear and you’re left with a lovable character.
Kobayashi Mao (who plays Maki) was perhaps my second favourite. I have seen Mao in Taiyou no Uta, but her role was so minor in that drama that it can barely be considered “exposure”. In Tokyo Friends Mao actually had a chance to shine. And shine she did. Her character was mysterious and charming and pure, and Maki was perfect in such a role.
Although I wasn’t blown away by Matsumoto Rio’s performance in Ace wo Nerae, I was stunned to find her play a completely different role in Tokyo Friends. And she was great. Some more exposure would have been nice, but she successfully carried through with the flakey, ditzy, silly character of Hirono.
The plot was really basic: four friends in Tokyo trying to find themselves by getting lost in a large city. And although the plot is basic, its simplicity is what makes it so great! The plot provided a lot of room for character growth, and although I found the first episode to be a little rushed, the others were nicely paced. Once you come to the realization that time passes between each episode, everything falls into place.
Was the drama brilliant? Not at all, and it doesn’t hold up to some of the brilliant dramas I have seen. However, it was really fun to watch and I would probably watch it again. And again. I want to be a Tokyo Friend.
|Reviewed by Wynter on 30 March 2007|
|2. ||Impressive [Rating: 9/10]|
The story follows the lives of 22 year old Rei Iwatsuki 「Ai Otsuka, 大塚愛」 and her three new friends who she meets when she arrives in Tokyo, having left home. Rei's three friends, Maki Abiko 「Mao Kobayashi, 小林麻央」, Ryoko Fujiki 「Yoko Maki, 真木ようこ」, Hirono Hayama 「Rio Matsumoto, 松本莉緒」 are all like her, in that they are each young and attractive single women, living alone in Tokyo. Rei starts working in a small restraunt where she meets the three of them; and it is here that she also meets Ryuuji 「Eita, エイタ」 and his band, "Survival Company" or "Sabacan". When a fight breaks out in the restraunt between the members of Sabacan, the lead singer quits the band leaving Ryuuji and the rest of Sabacan in a situation where they're left with no choice but to either find a replacement lead singer or disband forever. The impulsive Ryuuji decides to make Rei the lead singer and hence starts Rei's new adventure with Sabacan. The 5-episode series follows the band Sabacan's successes along with the love lives of all four women, each trying to find their own place in the big city. "Tokyo Friends" is a must watch for all Ai fans as her critically acclaimed performance sets the standards for all musicians trying to break into acting. With a high profile production crew, a talented young cast, excellent music by Sin and with brilliant original compositions by singer-songwriter Ai Otsuka, "Tokyo Friends" is not to be missed.
|Reviewed by horizon180 on 14 January 2006|
|3. ||Meaningful [Rating: 8/10]|
When I first watched Tokyo Friends, I thought what one earth is this about. After watching the very first episode I started to understand and wanted to watch more. However the only thing I found was that the series was too short and had only 5 episodes. I was disapointed but I was suprised that the director/producer could fit everything in those 5 episodes. When I finished watching Tokyo Friends on the last episode you had the musical ending, it said there was going to be film about Tokyo Friends. So there's somthing to look forward too.
But overall it was a strong drama for me. It spoke about friends and saying goodbye to them. And 'Friends' the song was strong to, I actually downloaded the song so I could listen to it. But like I said it has a strong meaing to it. I rate Tokyo Friends 8/10
|Reviewed by sesil on 5 November 2006|
|4. ||Ai Otsuka's finest acting [Rating: 10/10]|
Ai Otsuka, my favorite singer of all singers in Japan have this drama. it's her first drama actually. and i was surprise she did a good performance in her first try. not the best, but good. as usual you will see her sing here and she has a great voice here also which i really love about her. same as the movie (continuation of this drama). Samuel Samaniego of Quezon City, Philippines.
|Reviewed by slashersam016 on 25 May 2007|
|5. ||An unexpected surprise [Rating: 7/10]|
Didn't have too high expectations for this dorama at first but it turned out well and was unexpectedly more enjoyable than I would have thought. Music was great and the only real bone I have to pick about the acting was the goofiness of White Tights. Other than that, the acting was decent and laid back.
|Reviewed by Shindou on 7 May 2006|
|6. ||Honma ni Subarashii Dorama [Rating: 10/10]|
A blessed dorama by A Beautiful Angel Who Came To The Earth To Make The World Full of Love and Happiness, Ootsuka Ai-chin!!!
|Reviewed by chokokokoa on 29 November 2009|
|Comments From Users (87)|
This section may contain spoilers! Do not proceed if you
do not want to read about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||Comments by nishishi [Rating: 4/10]|
The japanese (almost) version of "Sex in the City".... Well, at least i think that american show looks like something like Tokyo friends (since i never watched Sex in the city).
Yeah... and i didnt like this very much neither. the songs are quite nice to hear... the casting did a pretty fair job... bot the story is boring as hell! And more than 1h for each episode.. damn.. i had to watch each episode like it were 2 episodes (30min each). And all that "man always cheat".. "but i love my boyfriend".. "Girl.. im here to help ya!" just got on my nerves!!! Well.. i do love Otsuka Ai... But Tokyo Friends just didnt work out for me....
|2. ||Comments by Anime Dad [Rating: 9/10]|
I decided to watch this because I was already a fan of Ai Otsuka's music. I was happy to find that her acting ability matches her singing. This was a very enjoyable drama, with strong performances from the other three female leads (Mao Kobayashi, Yoko Maki, and Rio Matsumoto), especially Yoko Maki, who should be much more popular. After watching the movie that concludes the series, I was happy with the ending, although there were no real surprises. I suppose there's a possibility of a second series at least *fingers crossed* I would happily watch another series of Tokyo Friends.
|3. ||Comments by afifa1989 [Rating: 8/10]|
I thought it was pretty good. I really enjoyed the music and the story was really good too. I really recommend this dorama the only thing I think it was lacking in is a little comedy. There were a few funny parts but nothing side aching, although, I really did like the whole idea behind the story (following one's first dream). Can't wait for the movie to come out in July (2006) I will diffenetly be watching it since the end of the dorama was sort of an open ending string.
|4. ||Comments by rikastar [Rating: 8/10]|
I came across this series by chance and decided to give it a go. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise and I'm looking forward to the movie. Otsuka Ai gives a great and natural performance for her first acting job, I guess the role helps since it seems so fit for her. The other 3 girls are interesting too, although Hirono's storyline is a yawn sometimes, the gekidan seems so... unconvincing. Also, I love the performances from Survival Company. Nice songs!
|5. ||Comments by dekatrain [Rating: 7/10]|
Not a bad acting debut by ai ootsuka, but i think eita steals the show. Arguably one of the most underatted young actors, eita is able to hold the cast and ai's slightly exaggerated acting together and they seem to have a unique type of chemistry with each other. it does bore a bit at times, but all of the main girls' stories we see do progress enough to prove that it is a decent drama. This drama will probably be better protrayed in the new movie...
|6. ||Comments by tachan [Rating: 6/10]|
Kind of too slow for me. I just wasn't really into the extra storylines. Otsuka Ai is cute here and her music fit the show perfectly. I'd say it's worth watching for the music. This show was just okay, but I really enjoyed the movie because, by then, a lot of the relationships were finally developed so it really focused on those.
|7. ||Comments by Shindou [Rating: 7/10]|
Didn't have very high expectations for this dorama initially but it turned out to be a more enjoyable than expected, laid-back dorama with some great music. Acting was decent and the slowish, laid-back pacing of this dorama suited the storyline very well. Particularly liked the twists at the end - Will watch for the movie!
|8. ||Comments by kaonashi [Rating: 6/10]|
A story about 4 girls who all go to Tokyo to pursue their dreams. The plot's cute but shallow & has some major flaws. Most of all this is an Ai Otsuka idol-drama & we can establish that her singing is way better than her acting. Since it's just a 5 episode drama it's worth watching but mostly for the good music. 6-
|9. ||Comments by atheon [Rating: 9/10]|
Oct 2005: This is Otsuka Ai's first drama, and she did pretty good. Its a drama about friendship, love, dream of a bunch of people in their 20s. Kinda refreshing for me bcos its the first time i watch drama with the theme music, you get to see alot of singing by Otsuka Ai of course. Recommend to all Ai-chan's Fans~
|10. ||Comments by megumi s. [Rating: 8/10]|
unexpectedly good! i thought it would be just another poor excuse to give Otsuka Ai more exposure at the height of her popularity. instead, this drama is more fresh and entertaining than i anticipated, and doesn't just focus on Otsuka Ai's character.
|11. ||Comments by Angry Machines [Rating: 10/10]|
Highly recommened to Jpop fans and modern life in japan. This show is really great in its string of story arches and multiple characters. I really enjoyed it though u need to watch the movie to finish off the story, that's what bothered me about it.
|12. ||Comments by Akiiness [Rating: 7/10]|
I watched this because my friend had high praises for it, and it was certainly not hate-worthy. An average, short drama. Great if you're an Otsuka Ai fan, but otherwise... don't bother unless you really have tons of time on your hands.
|13. ||Comments by SayaOtonashi [Rating: 7/10]|
Good thing is music and different types of friendship. Bad thing is that you will have to watch the film to know how it ends. And I wasn't able to find the film until a month ago, so I had to wait a looong time.
|14. ||Comments by x_XJules [Rating: 8/10]|
this drama was really awesome. the characters grow on you so quickly and each individual story is creative and entertaining. I highly recommend this one. (and i can't wait for the continuation-movie!)
|15. ||Comments by qilver [Rating: 8/10]|
Ai Otsuka, Mao Kobayashi, Rio Matsumoto, a story of friendship and life in Tokyo, i enjoyed this one, and the music that Ai sings, is very good. Only 5 episodes long, but still a good series.
|16. ||Comments by Ciar [Rating: 10/10]|
Give me the movie O_O must have. Otsuka Ai has a great voice and she can act, I think she should give up on that damn guy and think more seriously about her band though. Screw love >_<
|17. ||Comments by Rare [Rating: 10/10]|
Absolute one of my favorites!! I love Otsuka Ai and I just downloaded it for her, so I actually thought it was going to be bad, but then I fell in love with it. Such a great dorama!!!
|18. ||Comments by dragongirl1978 [Rating: 10/10]|
This one was 2 short! But it was GOOD! I love when the romance doesn't take the WHOLE series to develop! I can't wait to see the movie! EITA IS HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|19. ||Comments by srm9240 [Rating: 9/10]|
An underrated little drama (it does start off alittle slow), this drama is well worth the watching for its warm and funny portrayal of a circle of female friends.
|20. ||Comments by boris [Rating: ?/10]|
Niamah sili da go dogledam, Otsuka Ai triabva da poraboti poveche varhu aktiorskite si umenia. Syuzeta (ako vuob6te go ima) e glupovat i naiven.
|21. ||Comments by carpe_noctem [Rating: 10/10]|
Great dorama!!^___^ I dont like Ryuuji though...blah
Can somebody add the production year to this?!?!? and a little bit more info... geez..
|22. ||Comments by Chimar [Rating: 9/10]|
I haven't seen the movie yet, but I loveeeee the drama so far. Maki is so damned cuuuute!! The music by sabakan is so good! Furacha SUCKS!! =P
|23. ||Comments by oldasianguy [Rating: 9/10]|
I don"t know how to discribe this short series.......Maybe ..CUTE...
because of the female cast...I enoyed watching them and this drama.....
|24. ||Comments by sanna [Rating: 10/10]|
Tokyo Friends had me addicted. Now I can't get enough of Otsuka Ai's singing and her music and I can't belive Eita can look so hot....
|25. ||Comments by tabana [Rating: 8/10]|
Great drama with good music. Ai and Rio are great and kawaii!
The only down side is that it's only 5 episodes of 75 minutes. :(
|26. ||Comments by altec [Rating: 10/10]|
Very subtle than most others...I'm very happy I watched this and the movie that came with it. Oh...and the music was awesome!
|27. ||Comments by chokokokoa [Rating: 10/10]|
A blessed dorama by A Beautiful Angel Who Came To The Earth To Make The World Full of Love and Happiness, Ootsuka Ai-chin!!!
|28. ||Comments by Nat [Rating: 6/10]|
The story is not exciting, its too slow and the 5th ep does not tie the story at all, I'll have to watch the movie.
|29. ||Comments by lightningemperor [Rating: 8/10]|
A drama about 4 women finding what they want to do in life. A great drama. Make sure you watch the movie as well.
|30. ||Comments by EstherM [Rating: 7/10]|
A light mini-drama - The story is very Nana-like. It´s fun to watch once on a rainy weekend. Popcorn material.
Read all 87 comments from users
|Users who voted for this drama (12)|
This dorama was blessed by A Beautiful Angel Who Came To The Earth To Make The World Full of Love and Happiness, Ootsuka Ai-chin!!!
Like Gokusen, I learned a lot here about family, love and friendship...success, displacements, rejections....
It feels warm around the heart when you're watching this drama... also the music is great!!!
Ai Otsuka! hahahaha no well, yes I Love her! and I like the drama to!! x]
This is Ai Otsuka's first drama/movie. i love everything about her.
It's a strong meaning towards friends.
my first drama ever, nice story!
It's a very cute drama!