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Stepmother & Daughter’s Blues (Dorama Review & Summary)

Stepmother & Daughter Blues poster

Stepmother & Daughter’s Blues (Dorama Review & Summary)

  • Genre: Family, Relationship, Drama, Comedy
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Origin: Japan; Based on a Manga,  “Gibo to Musume no Blues” by Rin Sakurazawa
  • Dorama: 10 Episodes


  • Haruka Ayesa as Akiko Iwamoto
  • Yutaka Takenouchi as Ryoichi Miyamoto
  • Takeru Satoh as Akira Mugita
  • Naho Yokomizo as Miyuki Miyamoto

Episode 1

I have waited to watch this drama after every episode has been subbed in English.  My wait has been rewarded because I was immediately blown away after watching just the first episode so far.

This drama has got a heart.  There is enough comedy to lighten up a rather emotive subject of a stepmother coming into a family of two.

I love, love, love it.  The characters are already fully developed from inception.

Akiko Iwaki is a career woman who has agreed to marry Ryoichi and be a mother to his daughter, Miyuki.

Unfortunately, Akiko is an all-out businesswoman, who presented her business card and resumé to the young Miyuki when they first met much to the confusion of the young girl.

She categorically told her father that she does not want the new lady to come into their family.  You can’t really blame the girl as Akiko was all businesslike and exudes little warmth.

Akiko is pragmatic though and devoted time to research about how to win a child’s approval.

Some of her strategies work, so much so that young Miyuki had a change of heart and sent Akiko a formal letter of acceptance.

Akiko was overwhelmed that she went directly to Miyuki ‘s nursery school to show her profound excitement and proceeded to reveal her bare tummy, which she had specially painted with a smiling clown face, which she thought would cheer Miyuki up.  But it was the opposite,  Miyuki  was absolutely appalled.

I have to say this scene was unexpected and rather excruciating embarrassing.  I really feel Miyuki’s pain.  🙂 🙂 🙂

Episode 2-10

I can’t really give an episodal summary because this drama is so good and you just want to continue on watching.

I have to say that if someone asks me for a drama recommendation, Stepmother & Daughter’s blues will be top of the list.

It is a drama that would constantly change you from giggles and laughter to tears.  Episode 6 is particularly heartwrenching.

The charm of this drama is really the unexpected being the expected.  Japanese dramas usually apply KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) in their formula.

I am really not going to give spoilers as this drama should be seen and be surprised but what the heck!


Ryoichi works in sales and had opportunities to meet the buchou, a super elite of a rival sales department. The Buchou was Akiko Iwamoto, who is an all-out career woman.  She lives and breathes her career.  He admired her business ethics from afar.

One day, Ryoichi approached Akiko.  Ryoichi asked her to marry him, which did not only surprised Akiko, it surprised me too.

Given that Ryoichi is really a very handsome man, you just don’t ask a stranger to marry.

Anyway, Ryoichi said that it was mind-boggling but he had to ask her as he thought she was the best mother to his beloved young daughter.

He then told her that he has a terminal illness, he has got stomach cancer.

Akiko had never had a relationship before and she was beginning to feel an ache, a hole in her heart.  The thought of having a child is quite a tempting idea.

So they registered their marriage, without the rings, without the ceremony as this marriage will be of convenience only.

Akiko moved in with Ryoichi and Miyuki.  It was a trial to begin with but Akiko is a career woman, who put all her logical approach to gain the trust and respect of young Miyuki and the love of Ryoichi.  She quits her high salaried job and became a full-time mother.

Ryoichi’s illness is getting more virulent but suddenly he wanted to fight the disease, he is not ready to just give up anymore.  He wants to live with Akiko and see Miyuki grow.

Ryoichi was in hospital for three weeks and then he was declared to be getting better.  By this time, Akiko had developed a mutual love and understanding with Ryoichi, who took her to a bridal shop to arranged a little marriage ceremony for them.  Takenouchi was really gorgeous actor, he made Ryoichi so alive and radiating brightness, the way he smiles, the way he crinkles his eyes in laughter was pure sunshine and joy.

It was therefore really sad when we do not see him anymore from episode 6 as he suddenly dies.

Akiko became an automaton, wrapped up in doing every bit, details of the funeral.  People are beginning to talk that the marriage was a fake one, that is why she does not cry.  Little Miyuki herself did not cry, she seemed to have grown up overnight, washing the dishes and tidying up after the guest, she was scared and sad after overhearing that she was all alone, would her step-mother abandon her.

Someone told Akiko what Miyuki where Miyuki was and went to see her.  She heard from Miyuki her concerns about being an orphan.  Akiko told her that she will never abandon her as she is her daughter.  She might not have given birth to her but she chooses her as her daughter.  She was even glad that she does not have a biological daughter because she can’t love her as much as she loves Miyuki.  For the first time, Miyuki called Akiko, MOTHER.  By this time both are crying and Akiko, once started can’t be stopped.  She cried and cried for the longest time.  She really love Ryoichi.

Anyway, Miyuki asked Akiko if she had to go back to work.  Akiko showed Miyuki her bank book which surprised the girl.  Akiko then said, don’t underestimate a woman in high powered job who does not date and don’t go out.

Nine years later, Miyuki is really to enter university but can’t decide what to do.  She told Akiko that she wanted to be just like her, stay at home and play with stocks and shares.

Akiko then realised that she was not actually a good role model for the girl.  So once again she put her career woman suit and went to look for a job.  She actually does not need to look for a job because she is always head-hunted but she wanted to find something challenging.

She found a bakery, which is doing badly, to the point of bunkruptcy.

The owner was a handsome sloth.  He would reheat his bread that did not sell for the next day.  The only delicious bread he makes was the anpan.  But Akiko saw the potential.

The owner/baker was Mugita, a handsome man who was rather full of himself.  He thought she wanted to work with him because she had fallen in love with him.

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