A Fangirl’s Japanese Drama Review: You, Me, and Bach

You, Me, and Bach is a story about an unlikely friendship between three people from different stages in life who meet accidentally through attending the same music class. I found them very sincere and sweet, got invested in following their story, and really enjoyed the music!

The unlikely friends

We begin at a mall, with a woman standing on a stage playing Bach’s famous Air on the G-String on the violin. A music school is promoting special lessons for adults, and she is the violin teacher. Our three main characters are at low points in their lives, the song engenders in them an impulse to do something new, and they all want to learn to play that piece!

We find out about Yaeko’s motivations first. She quit a perfectly good office job to get married, only to have her fiancé tell her he loves someone else. She wanders through the mall after her last day of work, holding the farewell bouquet of flowers her boss gave her, and stops to listen to the violin. The music moves her so much that she presents the bouquet to the violinist and signs up for lessons on the spot.

Rihito is a college student who is at the mall with friends, and recognizes the violinist as his brother’s ex-girlfriend Mao. He has had a crush on her himself, and thinks music lessons could be a way to connect with her again.

Yukie is a stay-at-home mom who is unhappy at the way she is treated by her husband and mother-in-law but tries to put on a good front. She decides it’s time to do something fun for herself, with the idea that she could play duets with her eleven-year-old daughter, who is learning the piano. When she meets Yaeko and Rihito she treasures being accepted by them, even though they are much younger.

So these three are put into a class together and we see a few lessons. They start meeting at a karaoke place to practice, and pretty soon are sharing experiences. Just as the tension is greatest during Yaeko’s story about being jilted, their time in the karaoke room is up. When the other two jump up to order more food so they can stay longer, we realize that they’ve now become friends.

Rihito gets very hurt and almost drops out of the class when he overhears Yaeko and Yukie making jokes about him liking Mao. Yaeko meets him later to apologize, and he is straightforward enough to ask her if she really loved her fiancé. If so, he wonders how she could make light of someone else’s romance.

His clear, honest thinking helps put the three of them more on the same level. Together they help Yaeko think through her feelings about her ex-fiancé and what she wants to do next in life, support Rihito in working out his relationships with his brother and Mao, and encourage Yukie in gaining self confidence. The violin is really the thing that keeps them together, because they enjoy playing together so much. But wait til you see how he hurt his hand!

The families’ stories

Yaeko has a cousin, Haruka, who we see from time to time through the drama. It helps us to keep track of a couple of years passing by, as we watch Haruka come home from her honeymoon, find out she is having twins, and bring her babies to visit Yaeko’s family.

Yukie’s mother-in-law is very annoying, especially when she tells the neighbors that Yukie is pretending to take violin lessons but is really having an affair. We get some satisfaction as Yukie explains that she’s not having an affair, but her husband is. That’s why he let her take lessons. This is the first time the mother-in-law looks sorry, and after that we follow her through a surprising storyline.

Rihito’s brother, Yuto, had dated Mao for a long time, and their whole family had gotten fond of her. Then Yuto met Fumi, and within a short time he had found out Fumi was pregnant, had broken up with Mao, and had gotten married. Rihito really resents his brother in Mao’s behalf, and we are prepared to hate Yuto and Fumi. However, this part of the story turns out a little differently from how we expect it to.


These characters become closer until they are part of each others’ lives. There are some interesting threads in the story. Is it easier to talk to someone you don’t know well rather than talk to your own family? How can you tell if you really love someone or are just taking the easiest way out? What is the line between harmless talk and betraying a confidence? The attractive thing about this show is the emotional development the characters go through, and how they help each other heal from the stresses in their lives. The show is very well done, and acting is very good. I especially enjoyed watching Yukie’s facial expressions!

I hope you enjoy this one, because I liked it a lot! You can watch it on Viki.


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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