Why you should watch Kazunari Ninomiya My Family

My Family brings to life the family of Haruto Narusawa, the CEO of a game company. On the surface, Narusawa looks like he has the perfect family, with a loving wife and a sensible daughter. But behind closed doors, he does not care about his family and neglects them for work.

One day, he receives a phone call claiming that his daughter has been kidnapped. The kidnapper demanded a ransom of 500 million yen (about S$5.2 million). What should have been a relatively easy sum to fork out for a CEO turns out challenging as Haruto’s company faces a crisis.

Getting pushed to their wits’ end, Haruto must work with his estranged wife to decide the best course to take to save their only daughter.

The first two of 10 episodes are now on Disney+. Here’s why you should catch this thrilling Japanese drama.

1. It sees Arashi’s Kazunari Ninomiya and Mikako Tabe working together again

Kazunari Ninomiya plays Haruto Narusawa, while Mikako Tabe portrays his wife, Michiru Narusawa. It has been 15 years since the two worked together on the school comedy-drama The Story Of Yamada Taro (2007).

They were still very young and relatively new to the industry back then: Tabe was only 18, and Ninomiya was 24. They have each achieved significant progress in their careers over the years. Tabe is now one of the better-known actresses in Japan, with popular works like Last Hope (2013) with Arashi’s Masaki Aiba, Boku No Ita Jikan (2014) with Haruma Miura, and My Long Awaited Love Story (2016) with Issei Takahashi.

On the other hand, Ninomiya has won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role at the 39th Japan Academy Prize for his performance in Nagasaki: Memories Of My Son (2015). He has also starred in various famous works like Gantz (2011) and Platinum Data (2013) and voiced Koro-sensei in the live-action film adaptation of Assassination Classroom (2015).

2. The supporting characters can be divided into three groups

The supporting characters are made up of the police, the Narusawa couple’s parents, Haruto’s colleagues and Michiru’s friends. Although having three groups of supporting characters may seem like it will complicate matters, they are essential in adding depth to the story and making it multi-faceted.

The police, fronted by the inspector Keishi Katsuragi (Hiroshi Tamaki), are eager to close the case. Katsuragi may be a kidnapping expert, but he once failed his mission. Hoping to right his wrongs, he looks conniving and is adamant about apprehending the kidnapper at all costs.

The Narusawa couple’s parents seem inconsequential, but they actually hold the most pivotal power in influencing the couple’s decisions. While the couple does not trust the police entirely, their parents may become the police’s greatest assistants.

Haruto’s colleagues and Michiru’s friends are the more instrumental forces to excite the plot. On the one hand, the police and the Narusawa couple’s parents are definitely on their side fighting against the kidnapper. On the other hand, Haruto’s colleagues and Michiru’s friends are hovering between the spectrum.

3. It has a suspenseful plot that keeps you guessing

The drama has carefully revealed bits and pieces about the characters, creating a foggy outlook on the intense situation. It springs into the mystery as soon as in the first 10 minutes of the first episode. From there, suddenly, everyone seems suspicious. Anyone could have been the mastermind. It becomes pretty mind-blowing as you churn out all the possible reasons for who may be the instigator.

As someone who enjoys the mystery genre, this is a fun and thrilling drama. But for those who dislike racking your brains and prefer something more straightforward, this may be a nightmare.



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