As a foreigner in Japan in 2001, this was a must-see show for me. My Japanese wasn't good enough to totally understand everything, but I believe the fact that I enjoyed the show despite my lack of linguistic comprehension commends the actors in their portrayals as a family that comes together in a very strange manner.
From what I understand... *Spoilers* A young woman (Mokoto) works her way into a family after receiving a letter from an old friend of hers (another woman named Mokoto)- the family's mother, who left the family when the three children were very young. Out of dissatisfaction in her own life, or perhaps the desire to assist the family and children, she assumes the identity of their mother and "comes home". The father soon works out that she is not what she seems, but when the father dies it is up to Mokoto, 'the imposter' to take care of the children, who are still in the dark.
In the meantime, the police discover the 'identity theft' and come and arrest the well-meaning Mokoto. She is charged but released, only for the real mother to return.
Due to my lack of complete comprehension, as well as the time that has passed since I saw the show, that's all I can remember, but it was an intriguing and heartwarming show with great performances all round, particularly by the three children. Matsushita Yumi did a great job as the new 'mother' with a secret, although the constant obstacles to the group's happiness sometimes felt never-ending: every week there was a new problem, something else to get in the way.
I'd give this show 3.5/5, and if I could buy it on DVD, I would.
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