March 30, 2017

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Tokyo Tara Reba Musume


allTokyo Tara Reba Musume is a comic series by Akiko Higashimura. It has been published in a monthly comic magazine, KISS, since May 2014. In total, seven volumes of graphic novels have been published.

Tokyo Tara Reba Musume revolves around three single 33 year old women: Rinko, Koyuki, and Mai. They are best friends from high school, and often meet up at an izakaya Japanese style bar that Koyuki works at, where they talk about romance, work, the future, and so on. The comic portrays a very realistic representation of single women in their 30’s in a humorous manner. It covers issues which many adult women can relate to such as: wondering if they should settle on a nice guy who they are not that into, wishing they were prettier and younger…

The comic has similar themes to Ally McBeal and Sex And The City (SATC), but while the characters in the comic are relatively successful, they are not as successful as the characters in Ally McBeal and SATC, making them more easy to relate to for many women in Japan.

Regarding the title of the comic, “musume” is a Japanese word that means girls and daughters. “Tara” and “Reba” are both Japanese words that mean “if.”  The three women often regret their past, saying, “if only I did this…if only I did that…”, while drinking beer at the izakaya.



Tara Reba also comes from the food (Tara’s Shirako and Liver)  that they like to eat while they drink at Izakaya. Tara’s Shirako is a Japanese word for soft cod roe. The pronunciation of the Japanese word for liver is reba. Tara and Reba often appear as a hallucination when Rinko is intoxicated and they talk to her, seeming to be a representation of her fears.

Reba (Left), Tara (Right)

Reba (Left), Tara (Right)

The comic was adapted into a TV drama series began airing in January 2017, from 10:00 pm to 10:55 pm, every Wednesday on NTV (Channel 4).

Rinko is played by Yuriko Yoshitaka, Mai is played by Nana Eikura,  Koyuki is played by Yuko Oshima. The acting performance by Yoshitaka has been very well received among Japanese viewers. Although the age of the three characters in the comic is 33 years old, in the drama series, the characters are all 30 years old. The theme song, Tokyo Girl, is sung by Perfume, a girl band with three members.



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