Manga/Drama | にぶんのいち夫婦 (One Half Of A Married Couple) — The Drama, Suspense, and Tension Got Me In A Chokehold

Manga/Drama | にぶんのいち夫婦 (One Half Of A Married Couple) — The Drama, Suspense, and Tension Got Me In A Chokehold

HELLO MY BAYOG LUVLIES~ I’m here with a manga post today. If y’all know, I love my sweet and fluffy series. However, I sometimes enjoy reading more mature series. I don’t mean mature as in smut, but like more mature content for the story, the characters, and the development. I also have a tendency to get into angsty drama series too. Sometimes I just want to enjoy a more mature storyline is all… Also…weirdly enough, while I absolutely hate cheating, a lot of these series deal with cheating… (;⌣̀_⌣́) Anyway, I call 3 AM my cursed hour. Somehow it’s my weird angsty and hella sad drama hour. I somehow always end up reading hella angsty series that piss me the fuck off, make me hella sad, and just feel all sorts of feels. I also feel like my feelings feel extra amped up at 3 AM?? It’s weird cuz they’re random/blind reads!!! Anyway, a while back ago I stumbled upon the manga にぶんのいち夫婦/Nibun no Ichi Fuufu (“One-Half of a Married Couple”). I expected some drama. I’m down for reading some drama to kill time at times. I just didn’t expect to be in a chokehold. Like I’m completely invested. I didn’t think I’d be that invested, but the suspense and tension is just done so well~ For that one person who was looking for a series to piss you the fuck off like Remarried Empress? I GOTCHUUUU~ It’s a Japanese manga and not a Korean manhwa, but I got y’all that lowkey into painfully angsty drama bullshit LMAO Anyway, let’s get into it~

にぶんのいち夫婦 | Nibun no Ichi Fuufu
ONE-HALF OF A MARRIED COUPLE

Alternatively known as: Nibun no Ichi Fuufu , One-Half of A Married Couple (Unofficial Title)
Genre/Themes:  Drama, Josei, Romance, Slice of Life, Mature, NTR?
Spicy?: Drama spicy, not snusnu spicy
Content/Trigger Warning: Adultery, Toxic Relationships, Sexual Assault
Read It: [Japanese]; Not Yet Officially Available in English

Aya lives a peaceful and happy life with Kazuma, her sweet and loving husband. They have a happy and seemingly perfect marriage. At least Aya thought they had a perfect and happy marriage.

Aya sees a suspicious text message on his phone. Kazuma also seems to start coming home late more often, and also pushes back their plans too. But Aya can’t believe that Kazuma would cheat on her. Still, she starts to question herself, her husband, and her marriage.

She begins to pursue finding out whether Kazuma is truly having an affair. As she finds out more and more information, she starts to feel more and more confused. Aya begins to confront the truths that may lie ahead, but will be able to accept them and what path will she take once she faces those truths?

Synopsis (by me)

I’m actually kinda proud of myself for writing my own synopsis instead of going with the blip from MangaUpdate…

Me: Hates cheating snakes
Also me: Somehow always reading a series that has a cheating related situation in the plot/subplot

Anyway, I randomly started this manga like 2 months ago or something. By the way, I’m only like somewhere in volume 5 out of like 8 volumes. So I’m done reading the manga yet. Anyway, it was one of my random 3 AM reads. I was expecting like moderate level of drama and angst. I shouldn’t have been surprised. My random 3 AM reads always somehow end up being the extremely intense and angsty reads that make me hella sad and pissed off. Anyway…yeah, I ended up getting pissed and hella invested. You know, cheating or possible cheating plotlines aren’t new. Seriously. I’ve come to realize that it’s a part of like 90-95% of the stories I read. But this series really stuck with me. Like the concept is pretty basic, and again, found everywhere. Like the concept is nothing new, but we’re still drawn in cuz of our interest in some drama. Technically it is a slice-of-life type of series cuz it is something that can and does occur in real life. Again, usually these kinda things would still feel kinda basic and not all that unique. But this series does such a good job at creating suspense, tension, drama, and just really drawing out your emotions. Like you get pulled in deeper than you expected because you really feel this downward spiral of emotions and breaking of trust and faith. I felt intense anger, sadness, pain, and despair in my gut from this series. And I think that really says a lot. Also, I’m just gonna say that this story may or may not go how you think it’s gonna go.

I was actually pretty impressed

Like many series can be really enjoyable, but I think the ones that stand out are the ones that are well executed and able to elicit such strong emotions from the readers. They’re the ones that make you feel real emotions and truly be invested as if the characters and story are real. So incredible props to Natsukawa Yukino-sensei on being able to create such a story and characters that seems like it would be common, but actually really stands out. The art also did such an amazing job at capturing the emotions as well. So also incredible props to Kurosawa Akiyo-sensei on the beautiful art. I think they did such an amazing job at fleshing out these characters and their emotions and just really bringing them to life. I also want to say that I find the covers super interesting as you can see the progression of the emotions and angst with each cover. Anyway…as I said, this kinda storyline could be seen as pretty typical. But I love how they managed to give it some complexity that I don’t really see from similar storylines. They did such an amazing job at building suspense and tension that draws you in more and more as the story progresses and more pieces of the puzzle are uncovered. For me, that’s what made it not feel like a hella basic story. Like I thought this series was something I was just gonna read and not get serious about. I thought it was just a read to kill time. I was wrong. I am invested. I’m so sad and pissed and all sorts of emotions, and it just grows with each chapter for me. Like I ended up going on a long ass rant summarizing the whole thing to my friend Danny at like 3-4 AM… LOLOL This series got me in a chokehold and I honestly think about it way too much lolol I literally think about it several times a day now haha.

Anyway, the main thing is how this couple seems to be the perfect, happily married couple. Kazuma, the husband, is seen as Mr. Perfect Husband who is absolutely sweet, doting, and loving of his wife. They’ve been together for several years now, and they seem happy as can be. However, things feel sus when Aya notices a text message. Kazuma starts to seem a bit more sus too as he starts to cancel his promised engagements and plans with Aya. So she starts suspecting him of having an affair. The more he seems to break these promises or seem kinda sus, the more her anxiety also grows. So the main thing here is whether Kazuma is really cheating or not. Because his personality and seemingly perfect image make it hard for everyone to believe that he would do that to Aya. There’s also no definite evidence. Yet, he has been growing incredibly sus.

Aya… I don’t want to say she’s naive… but she was definitely very comfortable (complacent?) with everything before she felt Kazuma was being suspicious. So the suspicion seemed to really throw her off and hit her pretty hard. She also loves him a lot and so she’s in this constant state of denial and not wanting to believe it to be the case. We see her uncover things bit by bit and piecing them together. And so we see her start to doubt things more and more. Be it herself or Kazuma. Then there’s a struggle of blaming herself or Kazuma. It’s also clear that Aya has an issue when it comes to confrontations as she struggles with her fears and anxiety and with whether to continue looking into it or not. I mean that’s normal. Especially when you really, strongly believed in something and believed something to be true for so long, only to have it shaken up and turned upside down. So we have this added layer of suspense of whether Aya builds the resolve to confront the full truth and its consequences, or whether she’ll choose to turn a blind eye and be ignorant in order to continue living a possible lie of a “perfect” marriage and love. The series primarily focuses on Aya’s POV to give us that mystery and suspense because we’re not entirely sure about Kazuma. However, we do get bits and pieces of Kazuma. It’s clear he’s hiding something and possibly feels guilt. But we’re slowly piecing together what it is, to what extent, and why. We see both him and Aya struggle to confront each other and convey whatever truth it is. And we’re seeing this issue of characters running away from their problems.

The series explores a range of emotions and mental states, as well as some varying situations of various characters and POVs. And you really feel them. It’s a total rollercoaster as you feel the changes and chaos that Aya’s heart and mental state is going through as she’s uncovering everything. It also forces her to look more into herself and her own resolve. I do appreciate her going from a pretty weak character who has to strengthen herself and build that courage and resolve. Cuz man…investigating a painful truth is tough. And it’s tough to confront that and decide how your future and life may change. We see how something that seemed solid get really shaken up, and then think of whether it was truly solid or not. My heart dropped, was in pieces and turmoil, full of anger, full of disappointment, and other emotions as I was progressing through this series. There were some super shocking things.

The main focus, like 99%, of the series is obviously centered around Aya and Kazuma. But we do explore or hear mentions of some other people as well. Overall, we see that not every marriage and relationship is as it seems. Sometimes people are dealing with shit, and we never even notice it. Sometimes we also start to realize things about ourselves that we never really noticed or thought of. The whole series kinda shows various issues and explorations of various things from lack of communication, pressures of society and peers, people wanting or not wanting pregnancy, good intentions but poor thought and actions, whether it’s better to be ignorant and turn a blind eye, fear of confrontation, fear of change, etc. Y’all know me. I’m really interested in stories that make me explore various mindsets and explore why people think or do what they do. So I think it’s interesting and a great read if you want to explore more mature and serious topics and opinions. Especially because the series really does show issues and perspectives of people from all sorts of situations whether they’re morally right or wrong, or morally gray. It’s a complex series at times. Although, we can all admit there are things that could’ve been easily solved with…communication. However, that adds to the drama and some realism. Because sometimes people don’t want to show or see the painful or ugly truth of things. While it is incredibly frustrating, I really do like that about it.

It’s a series that can leave you feeling incredibly frustrated. Like I’m crying, pissed, and my blood pressure is skyrocketing. Still, I just find it so interesting. I will say I appreciate the depth that the series goes into the characters and situation. Like I think the first half is really mostly Aya’s POV. However, we also see Kazuma’s POV during the second half. Although, I’mma say I’m still pissed at him. But again, it’s interesting to see the depths of different perspectives and the truth of how things played out.


~THE SPOILERS~

Cuz this is relevant for context to my rant on some things. These are the heavy spoilers. Even though I’m giving spoilers, I still recommend checking out the series as it does such a fantastic job building suspense and tension as the story progresses.

So major spoiler: the answer…


Regarding the woman involved…


So major spoiler regarding Kazuma and the woman involved…


2019 LIVE ACTION DRAMA

There is a live-action drama version that aired back in 2021. It starred Higa Manami, Terunosuke Takezai, Ryota Bando, and Tomoka Kurokawa. Honestly, I haven’t really followed or watched Japanese dramas as much as I did back in middle and high school. I probably kinda stopped following them around middle of my college days. Although I do [sometimes] (very rarely) find the time to watch some J-Dramas every now and then. Anyway, I’m not as super familiar with Japanese actors as I used to be. Although, I was surprised to unexpectedly recognize one of the actors in this?! That would be Tomoka Kurokawa. I was like “Why this chick’s face hella familiar???” Then I realized I remembered her from the live-action drama for Cat Street. But I was also like, “Nah…I recognize her from somewhere else too…” Then I realized that she was Mouri Ran for the 2006 and 2007 live-action Detective Conan movies… lolol Y’all can really tell when my era of J-Dramas haha.

Opening Song for the Drama

So what did I think about the live-action drama version of this series? Mmm…not good? Well, it fell pretty short for me anyway. Like I wouldn’t have expected a spectacular drama series. However, I was surprised at how it was even lower than my expectations… It wasn’t really the acting. I think the main issue for me was how production was handled. So again, this series is centered around some major drama. The subject itself is something that’s very serious, and not a laughing matter. Subject matter aside, the vibe of the original manga series is super serious, tense, and incredibly suspenseful. The manga had you at the edge of your seat, questioning whether Kazuma cheated, and you would just be completely caught in Aya’s feelings and mental state. Like you could really feel her anxiety, pain, and sadness throughout this whole thing. The live-action drama didn’t catch the same intensity of those serious, tense, and suspenseful vibes. Like the original had you feeling like you were on an emotional rollercoaster. You were being punched in the gut and your heart was being painfully squeezed and ripped apart. The drama definitely felt way more watered down and shallow…in my opinion anyway. So you didn’t feel the same intensity of those emotions and weren’t as emotionally drawn towards and invested in the characters. Still, it probably could’ve still been alright. Like I objectively, I probably could’ve considered it a 6-7 out of 10 drama series for me. However, it it’s one I’d just watch only once and never really revisit or think about again.

Honestly, the music completely killed it for me

But there was something else that totally killed it for me… That would be the music. I honestly was like “WTF???” with the music decision. The music threw me off so much because it did not match the content and definitely not the suitable vibe of the drama and situation. It was more playful and goofy ass music. Like the vibes of the background music would be goofy and comedic feeling. But they’re playing this as the character is seriously contemplating their mistakes and heartbroken about the possible end of their marriage. Like bruh. Or it’d be a hella tense moment, but we going with another goofy-ass background music. Honestly, WTF were they thinking?? Look, I’ve watched a lot of dramas in my lifetime. Some were awful. I’ve seen some really awfully produced drama series (hello old Thai lakorn series). But I’ve never seen something so bizarre like that, especially in a Japanese drama. Like, they should’ve been on using tense and suspenseful tracks to compliment the situation going on in the scene. Not only that, it would’ve helped build up the scene and make it more impactful too. It would’ve helped build and keep tension, and ultimately make the viewers feel more at the edge of their seats. Instead, they be throwing the vibe off. I don’t know… It was just…weird… Like I just couldn’t take it seriously. It’s the first time I’ve disliked something mainly because of the music choice too…

The trailer better captured the type of vibe I was talking about…but the final drama did not have that vibe at all

Honestly, I think the drama series could’ve been much better. Aside from if they had used proper music that suited the vibes of content and setting, they should’ve treated the drama series as the serious, tense, and suspenseful type of drama that the story was. The way everything was filmed, produced, and edited was more like a slice-of-life or romantic-comedy type of drama. Like I get they were probably going for more of a slightly comedic feel at some parts, but I don’t know…I personally felt like it was unnecessary and most of the time it just killed the vibe for me. I would’ve gone for more darker tones in how the series was shot. Or you know, start off with the light colors and as the series progresses, and the drama starts to unravel, the colors and tones start looking darker to reflect the tone of the plot and the mindset of the characters. Again, that would’ve helped build the setting better, and probably helped the viewers be more immersed in everything. I’m mean, I’m no filmmaker or nothing, but I’m just sayin’ I think such small details would’ve elevated the series more. Instead, it just kinda felt like a basic slice-of-life series with some drama. But I think it would’ve been better had it held the same amount of suspense and tension that the manga had. I think that was the big appeal of the original for me. With every bit of progress through the story, you felt more and more tension that kept you at the edge of your seat, and you could really feel the mental and emotional state of the characters. I wasn’t really feeling that in the drama. But anyway, an example of the kinda vibe/tone I’m kinda talking about would probably be the K-Drama [The World of the Married]. Although that one is much more serious and darker I think. But regardless, I think using a similar vibe/tone would’ve been much more appropriate for this series.

[Warning: This part gonna have some spoilers y’all. I’ll try to be as ambiguous where I can…]

In terms of content comparison between the manga and live-action…there were definitely some changes. Some were kinda minor. While some were pretty different. There’s a part where a woman comes to the house. Aya is drunk and supposedly passed out in bed. However, Aya is just pretending to overhear the conversation between Kazuma and the woman. In the drama, they add that the woman kisses Kazuma then and there, with Aya actually secretly witnessing it. Eh… IDK how I felt about this added scene, considering the truth and all. However, I suppose the drama did want to spice it up and sell it to you. Still, I feel like the drama version didn’t really show any signs of him really fighting it or seemingly disgusted about it. Idk, it just gave vibes of going along with it, albeit probably to just appease her. But I feel like it kinda betrayed the sense of how he was so strongly against and it actually hates her. If that makes sense? Also, the confrontation scene in the drama was mehhh for me. Also I’m pretty sure this was another scene that got ruined with the goofy-ass background music. There were more obvious changes here. Such as 1-2 characters not being present in the drama version. Pretty sure they had combined 2 of Aya’s friends in the manga into one character for the drama though. How things went in the manga definitely showed how fucked up the whole situation was. The manga definitely hits way harder. In the manga, you really sense the hurt, pain, despair, and sadness. However, you also really see and feel the anger and determination that Aya has as well. It shows that despite the pain and her hesitance to face the truth, she’s determined to get to the bottom of everything. It also shows Aya is actually smarter than she looks. The drama version didn’t really show this. At least not to me. Honestly, I just felt like the characters in the 2D manga had so much more depth as it really displayed a variety of emotions. It was kinda ironic how flat the drama version felt compared to it’s 2D counterpart. No pun intended.

Also, I just preferred Aya’s friends’ reaction in the manga much more than the drama version. It was much more intense and definitely displayed much more anger at the betrayal. And was a much better contrast in regards to the relationship too. I think this part really stood out to me. Plus, I just love when a bitch gets punched. The drama version of the confrontation felt just lukewarm. We also only have one friend here. The friend’s reaction also felt much more lukewarm here. It was totally different vibes. Manga had incredible anger (like pissed anger), sadness, and disappointment with “WTF is wrong with you?? How the fuck could you do this???” energy. Drama was just lukewarm “I feel so hurt and disappointed” kinda vibes for me. It was weird cuz I felt like the emotional reaction to an earlier separate incident regarding another friend hit harder and felt more genuine. I don’t know…I feel like the manga better captured the feeling and effects of betrayal much better than the drama did. Especially when you consider that their friendship had spanned for so many years, like since middle or high school. Although, at times I did still like the friendship that was displayed in the drama version. Kasumi gave such solid advice too. Anyway, as for the woman involved with the whole supposed affair… I feel like drama version just came off as a very obvious psychotic, crazy, obsessive, and majorly unhinged bitch. Honestly, didn’t even feel like she was hiding shit. The manga version… she still crazy. She’s also psychotic, obsessive, and unhinged. But she still comes off as somehow smart and cunning enough because of how she was able to keep a facade and manipulate people. You feel much more of the malice in the manga version. I don’t know, I just feel like the characters weren’t translated as well as they could’ve been in the drama. The drama just made them kinda lukewarm and basic feeling to me. Like the reactions and emotions in the drama are valid, but I feel like it just be missing somethin’. Like the drama had me feel like “Damn that’s upsetting” and all “Giiiirrlll. You a bitch. I’d slap you”. But the manga had me on an intense rollercoaster that got me invested and screaming “AW HELL NAH. THIS BITCH!!! THIS MOTHER EFFING BIIIITCHHHH!! THIS BITCH AGAIN??? GIRRRRLLL IMMA KICK AND STAB YOU!”. Again, I honestly would’ve preferred more intensity from the drama, and I think that would’ve stuck more to the viewers.


More Super Spoiler-y Rants

Also, the drama just didn’t feel super satisfying to me… I definitely had some difference in opinions on how some shit went down…I’mma just do this hidden text thing cuz my rant on it is hella spoilers. Also just gonna rant overall too.

I was not satisfied by the drama ending.

My little rant on Kazuma overall (drama and manga)


Overall, I’d probably pass on the drama. To me, it was lackluster and just felt like a hella basic soap opera that didn’t really move my emotions. The lack of intense emotions, tension, and suspense didn’t really carry the same impact, essence, or vibe of the original for me. I didn’t feel very drawn in at all. To be honest, I actually skipped around through the videos to speed-watch the episodes. I didn’t feel as much of the characters’ despair as I did for the manga. Again, I get that live-action adaptations cut down on some things and water it down, but this was just TOO watered down. It was lacking stuff that really didn’t need to be cut out and honestly could’ve elevated the drama. I feel like the emotions and things should’ve been more intense to really capture the viewers too. The drama just kinda felt shallow and ridiculous. The vibe was already kinda thrown off with the poor choice of background and ambient music. It was really comedic, light-hearted, and goofy music during some really serious and tense moments. Also, maybe cuz I notice little things, I thought how some of the drama version was executed didn’t make sense. Like the start of the confrontation scene. That starts off in a public space with people. Like the characters be yelling and loud about how this is a cheating confrontation. But no one, absolutely no one, turns around or shows interest. People just be drinking and minding their own business as if none of this is happening. Like no way no one is gonna crane their neck around or be like “What’s going on??” It’s just another thing that makes it less immersive for me. So yeah, this drama will be an easily forgotten drama for me. It’s possible the drama could actually still be considered an alright drama, but it still wouldn’t be something I’d ever rewatch. It’s also very possible that my mistake was to go into this after having read the original manga. It’s not even the acting, it’s just what I think is some disappointing decisions regarding execution. It just fell short of my expectations, felt hella basic, and didn’t leave any notable impressions on me like the manga. So I definitely prefer the manga. Like for me, the drama can’t compare at all. So no, this drama ain’t Minty approved. I definitely recommend the manga instead as the emotions felt more raw and natural. The manga has much more depth to it and feels much more immersive.

Also…on a totally random note… that awkward moment where you’re confused cuz you literally just woke up to find that you have notifications from Japanese Twitter accounts. Only to find out that your tweet was liked/retweeted by the actual author and artist of the manga… Thank you Natsukawa Yukino-sensei and Kurosawa Akiyo-sensei for such a great series and for noticing me and my tweet…lol


Anyway, that’s all for today my loves. Sorry for the hella disorganized blog post rant?? My mind has been hella chaotic lately, but I just found the series to be so very interesting. But I’m still pretty rusty on series review posts lol. Also been tired AF and just slowly been working on this post for like…2-3 weeks now?? Anyway, have y’all read or watched the series?? What do you think??? Which one do you prefer?? Let me know in the comments, Discord, or my socials~

Me saying I’m gonna go back to blogging more regularly…only to not cuz I keep getting sick and making myself busy with other things LMAO

Also… Uh…again, yo girl decided to take an online course… I passed the interview and finished the enrollment process~ WOOOOO~ It’s one of them super-condensed-in-6 months types of courses too… It’s been like almost a decade since I was in school LOL So pray for me LMAO So I’ll still be in semi-hiatus status and just post if and when I can… I got a crazy ass year ahead of me. Cuz I’m pretty sure I’ll also be heading to the motherland sometime in spring/summer for an extended period too…so basically right after this program. Again… pray for meee haha~ Anyway, y’all have a wonderful day and take care!~


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Fangirl all the things!~

Hihi! I’m Minty! I’m Thai-American~ เป็นคนไทยค่ะ~ ยินดีที่ได้รู้จักนะคะ~
I’m BAYOG’s hella basic Asian chick, Real People Stuffs expert, K-Novel and Manhwa trash queen, and boba addict. I’ve been a part of the BAYOG Crew since 2017~ I fangirl and mostly rant blog about music, live-action movies/dramas, manga/manhwa/webtoons, and novels~ When I’m not blogging, I’m usually writing/singing Thai-English covers~

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