Rating: 3 out of 5.

Nakamichi Misaki and Nakamichi Yuki appear to be a happily married couple in the eyes of their friends and family, enviable by many. However, despite their apparent love for each other, Misaki wonders why her husband isn’t more intimate with her in bed. The answer is much simpler than the complexity and confusion portrayed in the script of the 2023 Japanese series “Watashi to Otto to Otto no Kareshi” (Me, My Husband, And My Husband’s Boyfriend).

Hotta Akane portrays Misaki, a sweet school teacher who discovers that her husband, Nakamichi Yuki (played by Furukawa Yuki), is cheating on her with a much younger man on their wedding anniversary. In a slightly peculiar turn of events, Misaki decides to remain in the marriage because she cannot envision a life without her beloved husband. Honda Kyoya portrays the polyamorous Ina Shuhei, who continues to date Yuki despite being aware of his marital status. How will these three individuals find a way out of the emotional tangle their hearts are entwined in?

Spanning ten episodes, “Watashi to Otto to Otto no Kareshi” attempts to explore polyamorous relationships but ends up focusing on a group of bewildered individuals who struggle to understand their desires and advocate for their own happiness. Nakamichi Yuki is gay, yet he marries and betrays a woman who deeply loves him to avoid confronting the disapproval of his regressive, homophobic father. Both Yuki and Misaki unknowingly subject each other to significant emotional anguish, making it almost painful to witness them suppress their feelings. Honda Kyoya’s portrayal of the carefree, wide-eyed Shuhei is an intriguing character, but there is little chemistry between him and Yuki. Instead, there is a stronger connection between Shuhei and Misaki.

Some of the supporting characters stood out more than the primary trio, largely due to the fact that there parts weren’t saddled with so much confusion. For example, Shuhama Harumi plays Misaki’s older colleague at the school, who takes an excessive and problematic interest in Misaki’s marriage. Her character is representative of how “society” tries to dictate how individuals should lead their private lives. That said, Hotta Akane beautifully shoulders the lead part of a woman torn between her heart, mind and desires. Some viewers wouldn’t know if they should admire her, sympathize with her or pity her for the situation she finds herself in.

The open-ended final episode makes it difficult to comprehend the true intentions of the creators with the script. However, the series undoubtedly offers an interesting perspective on extramarital affairs, marriages, and the meaning of loving one or more people simultaneously. Although, those who practice polyamory might not necessarily be amused by the writers’ ideas about the concept.

It’s a 6 on 10 from me.

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