As a Japanophile who has spent a lot of summers in Kyoto, I enjoyed this Amazon Prime original series. It's really a genteel soap opera centered around a high-end and long-lived sweet shop run by a widowed proprietress with three daughters and a skilled young chef. The family lives a very traditional life--almost always wearing kimono and (usually) behaving with impeccable politeness. The production values are high with incredibly attractive costumes, settings, sweets--and actors.
The plot centers around the love lives of the three daughters, and also who will become the next proprietress, and Ken, the chef plays an important role. These stories keep the plot moving. Of the three sisters, the oldest, Hina, is a porcelain beauty, but has trouble deciding what she wants out of life. The middle sister, Arare, is the key player in all of this-a former tomboy who wants to break away from the traditional life, but keep getting pulled back in. The youngest, middle-schooler Hana, is the most likeable, but her story gets too little attention.
Although I enjoyed the series, it does have some weaknesses. The dialogue too often is rather halting and overly dramatic. Ken in particular is a man of few words--he is so laconic he makes John Wayne look like a chatterbox. It's also hardly a real depiction of life in Kyoto today. While it's true that there are a surprising number of confectionary shops like this in Kyoto, and many equally beautiful gardens, I doubt that more than one percent of Kyoto residents live like the characters in this series. It's an idealized and stylized depiction-like life in the old days but with cell phones. Not that this takes away from the guilty pleasure enjoyment of the series, but viewers who have never been to Kyoto should not get the wrong idea.
After you watch this series, if you want to immerse yourself in a real depiction of old Kansai with three sisters at the center of the story, I'd suggest reading The Makioka Sisters, written in the 1940s by Junichiro Tanizaki, or seeing the 1983 movie version of this classic directed by Kon Ichikawa.
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