1122: For A Happy Marriage – J-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Episode 1

Episode 1 of 1122: For A Happy Marriage starts with Ichiko and Otoya discussing what they would like to do for their 7th wedding anniversary that was coming up soon. Ichiko thinks about how she had a very happy marriage with Otoya because of how compatible they were. The next day, Ichiko’s colleague notes how she lacked any glow on her face because of how stagnant her work-life balance was.

That night, Ichiko hangs out with a group of friends who all discuss their sexual lives. The four friends take turns talking about ways in which they fulfil their sexual needs. Ichiko tells her friends that she did not have an active sex drive and adds that it never came in the way of her daily functioning.

Her friend asks if Otoya is okay with this which shocks her. She tells her friends that Otoya did not mind her lack of a sexual drive and the conversation moves on. One of Ichiko’s friends talks about a private massage parlour that serves as a brothel for women. The group of women talk about the parlour excitedly and discuss if going to such a massage parlour would account for cheating on one’s partner.

That night, Iciko walks back home after dinner with her friends and thinks about the conversations she had with them. She goes back home and crashes only to wake up the following morning to Otoya getting ready for work. He grabs her a glass of water when Ichiko suggests that they go out on a trip for their anniversary. Otoya likes the idea and asks Ichiko to lock up after herself as he would be coming home late that night.

Ichiko notices that Otoya is wearing his favourite jacket and grows curious. She waits for him to return home that night but ends up grabbing a drink when he does not show up. Iciko narrates how every Thursday, Otoya spends the night with his lover as stated in the terms of their marriage. The next morning, Otoya is in a great mood which makes Iciko wonder what is going on.

Ichiko wonders if this arrangement that they have would promise a long and happy marriage. The two are out having dinner when Ichiko tells Otoya about the hotel reservation she had made for their anniversary trip. Otoya claims that he has a date with his mistress on that day and asks if they could take the trip the week after.

Ichiko is pissed when she learns that Otoya was willing to prioritise his mistress’ issues over their anniversary. She calls him out for breaking the rules of their contract and Otoya apologises. The two get back to having dinner and all is forgiven. The next day, Ichiko gets self-conscious about her body and starts working out so she can look good on their trip.

The two go on the trip the following week and Ichiko tries to hook up with him. Otoya pushes Ichiko away and she ends up being hurt, both physically and emotionally. Otoya explains that he likes someone and cannot go back to having sex with Ichiko just like that. Otoya reminds Ichiko that it was she who had refused to sleep with him and had outright asked him to go to a brothel to satisfy himself.

That night, Ichiko thinks about how her marriage was a lot more complicated than she thought. One evening, Ichiko meets her friend Keikei who asks if something is bothering her. Ichiko tells Keikei about her situation. She explains how Otoya seemed heartbroken from the day she rejected his sexual advances. She recalls being annoyed with Otoya’s gloomy self until he started taking Ikebana (flower art) classes.

Ichiko recalls confronting Otoya about his feelings and how it was she who proposed the idea of setting some rules for their relationship. Ichiko tells Keikei that she used to think she would be okay with their arrangement but does not feel the same anymore.

Keikei wonders if Ichiko’s sex drive has changed which caused this uncertainty in her relationship. She tells Ichiko that since Otoya was allowed to have an extramarital affair, she could also have one.

That night, Ichiko observes how after dinner, Otoya goes out to talk to his mistress on the phone. She decides to take Keikei’s advice and meets up with an old friend – Atushi, asking him if he is open to having an affair with her.

Atushi states that he had an affair with his soulmate a year ago and reveals how he was still hung up on her. Atashi talks fondly about his ex-mistress when Ichiko starts getting bored. She directly asks him if he wants to get into a hotel room when Atashi claims that he would be dead meat if his wife found out about his affair.

Atashi tells Ichiko how his wife had him on a tight leash and was tracking his location to see if he was having an affair with someone. He reveals that he could never get himself to hook up with her because he valued his friendship with Ichiko a lot. That night, Ichiko goes back home and finds Otoya smiling fondly while looking at an Anthurium Ikebana he had made.

Ichiko feels jealous about Otoya’s relationship with his mistress. Meanwhile, Otoya’s mistress Mizuki is washing dishes when her husband – Shiko asks her to come to bed with him. She asks him to go to sleep as she has to tend to their young son – Hiro who is crying in his room.

That night, Ichiko looks up the massage parlour her friend was talking about and makes an appointment there as the episode ends.

The Episode Review

This seems like a fun plot but after watching the first episode, it is clear that the relationship that Ichiko and Otoya share is not like any normal relationship. The lack of communication between the two and the way that Otoya refuses to have sex with his wife just because she refused to have sex with him a year ago, is quite petty.

I wish the two spoke to each other and explained their problems to each other. Ichiko could have explained to Otoya how she does not have a sex drive and the couple could have tried different things to keep their relationship alive.

While Otoya may have feelings for his mistress – Mizuki. Would it not be fair for him to divorce Ichiko and marry Mizuki? From the minor scene at Mizuki’s house, it is clear that she too is not happy with her husband.

Mizuki uses her child as an excuse to avoid having sex with Shiko which goes on to add how the biggest problem amongst both couples is miscommunication – a very annoying trope. I hope the series progresses to be a fun show instead of the aggravating watch that Episode 1 was. 


Next Episode

Expect a full-season review once the season ends!

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