I was originally interested in watching Three Star Bar in Nishi Ogikubo because one of the main characters is named Kobayashi. That is the name of a rather well-known spaceship in Star Trek, and I’m fan enough to want to find out why it appeared in a Japanese drama. Come see if there were starships or stellar bromances involved!
The Three Friends
Sadly, this character has nothing to do with a space ship. Kobayashi turns out to be an author who had published a very popular book several years before, and ever since then has had a bad case of writer’s block. He inherits a small neighborhood bar from his grandfather, who was known for his custom specialty drinks.
Amamiya is Kobayashi’s friend from school days. All we know about him at first is that he has a chauffeur. Kobayashi’s grandfather had used canned food for appetizers, and there are a lot of cans left. Amamiya suggests that they take a break from their normal lives and keep the bar going, just until they use up all those cans.
Then along comes another friend, Nakauchi. He’s been a successful chef, but recently lost his sense of taste and had to quit his job. Amamiya talks him into being chef at the bar, because, well, he probably can’t ruin canned food.
There is a thin overarching storyline of Kobayashi, Amamiya, and Nakauchi working through their difficulties. Meanwhile, each episode has a different story of customers who come in with their own problems, and are encouraged by the patience and acceptance of these three friends. Well, it’s mostly Amamiya, because Kobayashi is actually quite surly. Nakauchi contributes by concocting interesting little snacks from the canned food.
And yes, in case you wondered, they do manage to use up all the cans. Most of them look pretty deluxe for canned food, but I saw a can of soup in one episode.
The main charm of this drama is its quiet and introspective mood, and I enjoyed it as a restful change of pace in between watching episodes of other shows. The writing and acting are very good, and it’s surprising what complete stories we get in the six little half-hour episodes. I hope you try this one out. You can watch it on Viki.
Until the next little foodie drama,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi