Hapimari: Happy Marriage!? Episode 1 Recap
As promised, here’s the first recap for ‘Hapimari: Happy Marriage!?’ live-action adaptation. The first episode lays down the basic premise: a man and a woman, who are on the opposite ends of the socio-economic ladder, meets in the most unconventional way. Destiny and circumstances force them to get married and eventually fall in love for real.
Though some details were changed, I believe the drama delivered quite well for its pilot episode. Considering that the plot and characters are already “TOO” familiar for most audiences, the challenge now, is how to keep the dynamics afresh.
We open with Hokuto Mamiya (Dean Fujioka) driving a sleek car. He’s about to meet the Chairman of Mamiya Holdings, his grandfather.
Cut to Chiwa Takanashi (Seino Nana), an ordinary employee of Yamaguchi Electronics. In order to pay off her father’s gambling debts, she works as a hostess at night. She hardly makes ends meet and her dad’s addiction to gambling only adds to her burdens.
It’s another regular night for Chiwa. One perverted customer is making a move on her and she obviously resents the act but pretends to be passive. Suddenly a man (Hokuto), drags her away. Not knowing who he is or the reason behind his actions, Chiwa entertains Hokuto like a usual customer. But without preamble, he rudely asks if she’s a dog because she keeps on doing things blindly against her will. He proceeds with the insults, calling her “Chihuahua” instead of Chiwa and orders her to quit the job if she has pride. Clearly, he lacks the empathy for her case because he casually shoves a bunch of money at her. Offended by his insensitivity, Chiwa chucks water at his face, telling him that even a person like her has pride and has something to protect. She throws him her handkerchief to wipe his face dry. Because of her tirade, she loses her job at the club.
The next day, Chiwa is shocked to learn that the man she lashed out on is a shrewd and rich businessman. He further surprises her when he appears at her office in the guise of returning her handkerchief. She immediately says sorry for her mistakes but it seems he has other plans in mind.
Chiwa asks what he wants since she already said sorry, hoping that she will not lost her job because of the little banter they had. She badly needs the job and her income solely depended on it. Hokuto, somehow, knows her plight that’s why he wants her to marry him, citing that it’s the only practical way to solve her money problems. He stresses out that since he already went all the way to ask her, she must not expect him to beg. After all, she has more to gain in this marriage.
Chiwa is understandably flabbergasted hearing his odd proposal. She can’t even understand where he’s coming from so she walks off. But he stops her midway, reminding her that she needs an extra-job to pay for her father’s debt. She asks if he’s trying to blackmail her. Hokuto mildly answers that he’s not, instead, he’s helping her. He gives her his academic and health records, list of achievements and marriage contract for reference.
Yagami Yu, the new part-time employee, eats lunch with Chiwa. Compared to Yagami’s filled up bento, Chiwa’s lunch is almost empty. But Yagami doesn’t seem to mind and offers some of his. Chiwa then casually asks if it’s okay to marry for money, clarifying that she doesn’t want to be rich or something. All she wants is to live a normal life, not worrying what to eat tomorrow or buying expensive lunch sometimes. Yagami, however, believes that no matter what the reason is, she’s the kind of woman who will marry for love. Chiwa smiles and thinks about it.
Dad and Chiwa are eating dinner. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Dad is such a parasite! He, who makes his daughter’s life miserable, doesn’t deserve to eat. Zzz! But Chiwa, being the kind, responsible and selfless daughter, even offers her meager share to him. She wonders why her Mom fell for her Dad. Ever since she can remember, Mom spent her days paying and struggling to pay for his debts. Dad admits that he also doesn’t know why and comments that people will always forgive as long as they love the person.
Chiwa makes up her mind and calls Hokuto. After thoroughly thinking about his proposal, she still prefers to marry for love. It was a good offer but she will have to say no. Hokuto seems to expect her answer and smiles. Hokuto’s secretary, Taeko Souma, listens to the phone conversation and remarks that for a shrewd man like him, he sure doesn’t know women at all. He must remember that romance and business are completely different things and thus, he must deal with Chiwa differently.
Chiwa’s supervisor demands that she work overtime. Because of this, she missed her bus ride. Tired from walking, she falls asleep in the living room.
To her horror, she wakes up with two loan sharks causing trouble at her house. They are collecting Dad’s payment for the large sum he owed them. But Dad doesn’t have money so the goons turn to her. They made Dad sign a waiver, selling her off as the payment. Without wasting time, the goons drag her away. Thankfully, Hokuto comes in time to save her. He walks toward her and asks if she wants his help. She reluctantly nods. With that, Hokuto tells the goons never to bother them again and issues a check.
Now that’s the commotion is resolved, Hokuto brings out the marriage certificate for her to sign. Chiwa remarks that she thought marriage is much more romantic. It would have been better if he likes her for even a bit or finds something great in her that’s why he proposed. A bouquet of flowers or ring to make her feel special, is also a nice touch. Hokuto then remembers that he did bought a ring. He asks for her hand and puts the ring on her finger, saying that she’s lucky he was the one who put it on her.
Next stop is Mamiya House.
Chiwa asks if it’s his house, of which he replies that it’s the house that threw him away. Hokuto presents Chiwa to his grandfather, announcing that she already agreed to be his wife. The Chairman is obviously happy and is pretty pleased that she looks exactly like her late grandma. Her grandma turns out to be the Chairman’s first and only love. He searched for her for almost forever but sadly, a chance for a reunion never came. The Chairman wants to honor her memory and he believes that he can do just that by making his grandson marry her first love’s granddaughter. It has been revealed that Hokuto agreed to the marriage in exchange of half of Mamiya Holdings’ stocks.
After learning the truth, Chiwa can only call Hokuto ‘despicable’ because he agreed to the marriage because of money. Hokuto is unfazed, relaying that he is an illegitimate son and he wasn’t even welcomed by the family. He vows to get everything, the house, the company, everything. Basically, more than money, he wants revenge.
He then asks if she wants to quit the marriage. Chiwa looks at her ring and falls silent. Hokuto continues that he values his duty over this marriage just as she values her livelihood. Chiwa probes if it’s really the only reason why he agreed to marry her since he could have found someone more befitting than her. Hokuto confesses that he chooses her because he believes that with her, everything will go well. Seeing that she was willing to protect her Dad at all costs, he’s convinced that everything she said at the club was not merely lip-service. In short, she passed the standards.
Chiwa returns home, finding Dad sleeping like nothing happened. She then tells him that she will get married. Dad disinterestedly asks who she intends to marry and what he does for a living. Chiwa answers that he’s into a consultation business and earns 50,000,000 a year! This gets Dad excited and Chiwa proudly shows him her engagement ring.