The Fishbowl Wife
Episode 1 of Fishbowl Wives wastes absolutely no time getting to the adult content of this series. There’s a provocative lovemaking session, as Takuya Hiraga cheats on his wife, Sakura, with his mistress. It’s actually her birthday too, and while Sakura busies herself, moving between the tables and making small talk, Takuya continues to do whatever he wants.
A number of other apartment block residents – including Noriko (who lives at number 1605) and Yuka (number 1612) – join at a table as a shaman urges Sakura to get a goldfish. Why? Well, apparently it helps with Feng shui.
On the surface, Sakura’s relationship with Takuya looks perfect, and when he actually shows up at the party and begins talking to the group about a new project, a number of envious looks are thrown their way. The thing is, their relationship is anything but perfect, as we know.
Sakura heads off the following day to do some errands for Takuya, but winds up meeting Haruto, who just so happens to have a whole shop dedicated to goldfish.
The pair hit it off immediately but another message from Takuya, reading “get me cigarettes”, breaks the mood completely. That night, Takuya agrees to let her buy a goldfish. (Well, he actually says “do what you want”, which is basically a yes)
So naturally, Sakura and Haruto end up spending more time together. She’s buzzing after helping him around the store. Given how controlling Takuya is, it’s been a long while since she’s been given the freedom to actually work properly and without criticism On her way home, Haruto thanks her with a big grin.
Udortunately that big grin disappears when Sakura walks through the front door. Takuya is in a bad mood, smashing the goldfish bowl on the floor, demanding she be careful with her new salon and take the fish back to the shop.
So Sakura does just that, flustered over it losing some scales in the process. Haruto helps Sakura too when he notices her cut arm, putting a plaster over her wrist. After spending the whole day together, Haruto hands over a glass goldfish for her, a symbol of toughness.
Remember that shaman? Well, she shows up in the elevator and mentions cryptically to Sakura about her twin ray and destined partner. That is, of course, implied to be Haruto.
When Sakura returns to her apartment, Takuya makes a bold decision and decides to take the salon away from her. He puts Nene in charge as the store manager instead, and relegates his wife to doing “odd jobs”. He tells her it’s his money but Sakura stands up for herself, refusing to listen to him calling her junk and defective anymore, and runs away.
With the rain pouring down, Haruto shows up like a guardian angel and manages to save her, throwing his arms around the woman and taking her back home. He showers her down and generally cares for Sakura. As he tentatively touches her hand, Haruto encourages her to stay at his place until she feels better. As they stare longingly into each other’s eyes, they kiss.
The Episode Review
The first episode of Fishbowl Wives wastes no time hammering home the idea of the fishbowl and reinforcing how trapped Sakura feels in her abusive relationship with Takuya. It’s clear that the others believe she’s in a loving relationship and there’s not much she can do given how much influence he has over her.
However, meeting Haruto and seeing how that ties in to the shaman, urging Sakura to look into getting a goldfish, is a nice way of developing their growing relationship and start to forge a friendship that should help thwart Takuya’s horrid dominant stance. Then again, given he’s with his mistress, it’s not like Takuya is going to notice, right?
This chapter sets things up nicely for the rest of the season and I’m sure there will be plenty more drama to come over the episodes ahead.