Sugishita Nozomi, Naruse Shinji, Ando Nozomi, and Nishizaki Masato come across a murder scene of the Noguchi couple. Nishizaki is arrested at the scene and sentenced to 10 years in prison because of his voluntary confession.
Ten years later, Takano Shigeru, a former police officer, doubts the case and pursues the truth. He is convinced that the incident happened because of Nozomi and Naruse.
N no Tameni is an old favourite. Three storylines are happening simultaneously, which eventually come together for the ultimate reveal of what happened to the Noguchi couple.
To be more specific, the first storyline is between Nozomi and Shinji. They are high schoolers who’ve been through challenging times and find comfort in each other. This storyline is in the past.
The second storyline is after Nozomi and Shinji separate for college. Nozomi is in Tokyo and moves into a run-down apartment. She befriends her neighbours, Ando and Masato, and the three devise a plan to help their landlord protect this apartment. This storyline is also in the past.
The third and present storyline focuses on Shigeru pursuing the truth.
To understand the murder, the drama takes us through each character’s backstory and comes back full circle.
We start with Nozomi and her heart-wrenching past.
The girl’s been through so much that ended up taking away her future. You could argue that this drama’s central theme is that the past always comes back to haunt you. This truly is the case with Nozomi.
The drama wastes no time getting into the dark details—Nozomi’s life changes in a heartbeat, which is scary. Everything was fine, and minutes later, her family falls apart. This marks the start of her tedious journey.
N no Tameni tackles different themes. One of them is romance. And I love how the drama portrays romantic love. There is a love-triangle between Shinji, Nozomi, and Ando, but the romance isn’t petty or childish. It really focuses on understanding and development between the characters. It’s heartwarming but breaks your heart at the same time.
Shinji and Ando represent different stages in Nozomi’s life. I feel that Nozomi loves both of them. But one represents innocent love, and the other represents what could have been—a fight between the past and the present.
It’s been a while since I watched this, but there have been mixed opinions on whether Nozomi actually ended up with the person she truly loves.
Other themes the drama tackles are friendships, manipulation, domestic violence, and more.
One thing I didn’t like was the stereotypical(?) portrayals of females and males.
Spoiler alert: The reason Nozomi’s life fell apart was because of her father. He gets involved with another woman and brings her home. He’s sick of the life he has and wants to live “freely.” Nozomi’s mother has a psychological breakdown, and her inability to come to terms with this causes Nozomi’s life to spiral even more.
I mean… could there not have been any other reason? But I guess it shows how important it is to be independent. But the older women in this drama weren’t my favourites. Their lives revolve around their husbands. And are all the older men in this drama just jerks?
Anyway, to end this off on a high note, I also love the soundtrack in this drama. It’s beautiful. Overall, I highly recommend this show if you’re looking to cry. It’s a slow-burn that will tug at your heartstrings and appreciate all that you have.