From Five to Nine, You Learn English or Love 

Available on VIKI

Based on manga series “5 Ji Kara 9 Ji Made” by Miki Aihara (first published March, 2010 in monthly Japanese shojo manga magazine Cheese!).

Junko Sakuraba  (Satomi Ishihara) is a woman who’s facing her 29th birthday and working as an English teacher in Japan. She’s always dreamed of living in New York, but it seems like that dream is getting further and further away. She’s diligent in her work, but her love life is non-existent. At a funeral she attends, she accidentally throws ashes onto a monk who’s chanting a sutra. She feels awful about what happens and tries to apologize. Later, her family sets her up on a blind date with Takane Hoshikaw (Tomohisa Yamashita).a. It turns out that he’s the same monk she threw ashes on earlier.

This Japanese drama had so many points that made me laugh, which made it quite funny! 

This drama is a romantic comedy. Junko, the teacher , is a typical career focus woman , never once her goals involved in getting married, which is a lot like nowadays people around the world. This type of people is one of the reasons natality rates decrease. However, the biggest reason why natality rate decreases in Japan so drastically is the previous known support system that made the workers blindly obedient to the CEO of their company.  

The System involved in the matchmaking interviews , marriage support and housing support, whatever was the society goal and worker dream , the company provided. This is not the case anymore! 

Another thing I found contrasting in the drama is the English teaching being given by Japanese natives, of course this is a big contrast. In real life at least 90% of English teachers are foreigners with most companies preferring English natives, which means citizens from US, UK , Ireland , Canada and so on … However, with English being implemented across the world as an international language and being declared the official language in the aviation world, I find this preference and in some cases total limitation to English natives, also removes hopes and chances from all other countries’ citizens. 

If you really want my opinion, it should accept more non english natives with the requirement of having a IELTS or Cambridge certificate declaring they have high C1, or a C2 level by the CEFR standard ( Common European Framework of Reference), which in the case of IELTS corresponds to the Band 7.5 and above. Wouldn’t a Foreign non native to the English speaker be able to identify and anticipate what the issues or doubts a new student may have? Should a new language learning skill be taken into more consideration than the typical person that was born with one language and grows up with the same language all his life, who may not even be interested in learning the Japanese language  ?

And Yes this touches a bit of my nerve, because achieving the Ielts band 8 or above, doing a CELTA certification ( that’s the english teaching certification) and having the Basic Japanese language level is my goal for 2023. That’s why I plan to attend a 1 month Course in Japan with EF – Education First . April 2023 … Sakura season Babyyyyyy, oh yeah! 

You can Check out my post about it at ALT in Japan for Portugal’s Citizens

Back to the Drama, Junko and Takane married by Civil law decide to commit and help both achieve their goals and dreams  in life, even if it means live in New york city for one full year. 

The perfect boyfriend? Could it be real or is it just fiction?

Is it a robot? Is it a man? No, it’s the Absolute boyfriend (2008) !  I am joking, it is a robot!

I found a representation of society today. The real world and the dream world a love robot and sex robot the similarities to human body but in the Drama there is no sex scenes … You pervert! (joking :P)

However, the similarities between the drama and the real world in Japan exist. Did you know some people got married to Holograms, video game characters, and so on? No I am not joking , it’s real news over there, try to google “ the strangest marriages”.

And it’s not the only strange thing on this drama, of course, japanese come up with curious english names that don’t take part in their past history or mythology . Kronos Heaven , the company in our Jdrama story that’s testing the new love robot model. To test it , they go to the streets to find one that finds the robot a good use. In my perspective this also means , they are looking for the most desperate to be in love and have a relationship, like Riiko, the typical Salarywoman who does pastry like no other. When she receives Night Tenjo, the love robot , she finds herself trying to live as normal life as possible, while falling in love with her Manager , Soshi. 

After many challenges and hardships, the Robot, Night, suffers many damages, while trying to help Riiko, in the name of their love. As the ultimate shutdown approaches, Night, who now understands the real meaning of love, figures out that Riiko’s Manager, Soshi, also loves her. So Night decides to leave a message to request for him to look after Riiko after he is gone. 

Robot, or not, Night and Soshi shows the very essence of thru love. Sometimes even if we love with all our strength,  we need to let it go because the person we love the most happiness is the most important thing to guarantee. I wish there was more like that around the world! Just a little more of good vibes and right people. 


In Japanese, both “ai (愛)” and “koi (恋)” can be roughly translated as “love” in English.

Roles and Actors/actresses: 

Mokomichi Hayami

Mokomichi Hayami aka the Love robot , Night 

Mokomichi Hayami is a Japanese actor. He was born in Tokyo, Japan, on August 10, 1984, and made his acting debut in 2002. Since then, he has appeared in an extensive number of films and television dramas, including “Absolute Boyfriend” (2008) and “5→9 From Five to Nine” (2021).

Aibu Saki aka Riiko 

Aibu Saki

Aibu Saki is a Japanese actress who was born on June 20, 1985, in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. She made her debut in the drama series “Water Boys” in 2003 and in 2004 made her movie bow in the film “The Taste of Tea.” She has since featured in the 2005 films “Beat Kids” and “Short Cakes,” as well as the dramas “Miss Pilot” (2013) and “Karikare” (2015).

Mizushima Hiro

Mizushima Hiro aka Soshi

Mizushima Hiro is a Japanese actor who was born on April 13, 1984, in Tokyo, Japan. He made his acting debut in the second series of “Gokusen” in 2005 and followed up later the same year with a role in the drama “Brother Beat.” He went on to star in the hit 2007 drama title “Hana-Kimi” (2007).

Check you the review on that one :

HANA KIMI (2007)

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