Our Dining Table – Series Review & Ending Explained

Our Dining Table is a Japanese BL series about a shy protagonist who bonds with a heartwarming family.

Our Dining Table is a Japanese BL series about a shy protagonist who bonds with a heartwarming family. The main character lives by himself and leads a lonely life. One day, he befriends a cheerful child and his older brother. The siblings welcome him into their home, where they enjoy meals together every weekend. Thanks to their companionship, he learns to open his heart, conquer his insecurities, and overcome his past trauma.

From cozy chats to sensitive protagonists, Our Dining Table is a wholesome BL drama filled with warmth and sentimentality. Each episode contains positive messages about building self-esteem or strengthening interpersonal relationships. The delicate love story melts your heart with sweetness, happiness, and hopefulness. Also, the adorable child actor is like a beam of sunshine, carrying the series with boundless enthusiasm.

Our Dining Table Summary



Series Info:

Thailand (2023)


4 hours

Total Episodes:

10 episodes




Our Dining Table is a nice & heartwarming BL drama.


Yutaka gives a riceball to Tane.

Yutaka is a shy single man in his early 20s. He lives by himself and has no friends. Yutaka works at a design agency, where he keeps quiet and doesn't mingle with colleagues. His coworker Ohata tries inviting him to group meals. However, he never attends these events. The unsociable Yutaka prefers to eat by himself.

One day, Yutaka sits on a playground bench alone. He enjoys a homemade lunch in quiet solitude. Suddenly, an unaccompanied child approaches him and asks for the riceball in his hand. Yutaka is surprised and hands it over to him. Tane, a seven-year-old boy, eats the riceball and compliments its excellent taste.

Tane's older brother, Minoru, arrives. He scolds Tane for running off and bothering a stranger. Meanwhile, Yutaka is sorry for giving away unauthorized food. When Yutaka comes to the park for lunch the next day, he sees Minoru and Tane waiting for him. The two siblings want to apologize for what happened yesterday. Tane raves about how delicious the riceball is, calling it a "grenade". Sensing his happiness, Tane gladly offers another riceball to the child.

Minoru has a suggestion. He wants Yutaka to teach Tane how to make the riceball himself. Minoru invites the talented chef to his house for a cooking lesson over the weekend. Yutaka says yes partially because he doesn't want to upset Tane. In addition, he's also slightly intimidated by Minoru and doesn't want to upset him, either. Yutaka arrives at the house as scheduled. As Yutaka gives various culinary tips, they enjoy a fun day of making riceballs together.

Yutaka wants to depart after the lesson, but Minoru and Tane ask him to stay behind to enjoy the meal together. Yutaka nervously admits that he gets shy about eating in group settings. Despite his concerns, Minoru puts him at ease. It's the first time in a long while that Yutaka has happily eaten with others. At the end of the day, Minoru asks if he can visit again next weekend. Yutaka happily agrees. He looks forward to spending time with Minoru and Tane each week.

Our Dining Table Trailer

Our Dining Table Cast



Atsuhiro Inukai (犬飼貴丈)

Yukata is portrayed by the Japanese actor Atsuhiro Inukai (犬飼貴丈).

Yutaka is a shy 23-year-old man who lives alone and has no friends. He works at OST Design, an agency specializing in home designs. However, he keeps to himself and doesn't socialize with colleagues. Yutaka has a rocky relationship with his family. He doesn't stay in touch with them despite their efforts to reconnect.

Atsuhiro Inukai

Atsuhiro Inukai (犬飼貴丈) is a Japanese actor. He is born on June 13, 1994.

Atsuhiro Inukai (犬飼貴丈) is a Japanese actor. He is born on June 13, 1994. His first BL project is the 2021 comedy, A Man Who Defies the World of BL. He also appears in the 2022 sequel, A Man Who Defies the World of BL 2. In addition, Atsuhiro stars in the series Kei x Yaku (2022) and Our Dining Table (2023).


Hiroki Iijima (飯島寛騎)

Minoru is portrayed by the Japanese actor Hiroki Iijima (飯島寛騎).

Minoru is a 23-year-old man who lives with his father and younger brother. Minoru's mother passed away two years ago. Since then, he has been responsible for raising and looking after Tane. Minoru's father works at a pottery shop. Minoru has paused his university studies and works part-time at a restaurant.

Hiroki Iijima

Hiroki Iijima (飯島寛騎) is a Japanese actor. He is born on August 16, 1996.

Hiroki Iijima (飯島寛騎) is a Japanese actor. He is born on August 16, 1996. His first BL project is the 2022 drama, We're Both Grooms. He is the star of the 2023 series, Our Dining Table.


Kuuga Maeyama (前山くうが)

Tane is portrayed by the Japanese actor Kuuga Maeyama (前山くうが).

Tane is Minoru's younger brother. Despite their age difference, the two siblings have a close relationship and often spend time together. Tane's father is busy working at the pottery shop, while his mother passed away two years ago. Tane bonds with Yutaka and calls him "Yukata" as an affectionate nickname.

Kuuga Maeyama

Kuuga Maeyama (前山くうが) is a Japanese actor. He is born on September 13, 2015.

Kuuga Maeyama (前山くうが) is a Japanese actor. He is born on September 13, 2015. He appears in the 2023 BL drama, Our Dining Table. Kuuga has a twin brother, who is also an actor.

Supporting Cast

Ueda is portrayed by the Japanese actor Ryuji Harada (原田龍二).


Ryuji Harada (原田龍二)

Ohata is portrayed by the Japanese actress Seika Furuhata (古畑星夏).


Seika Furuhata (古畑星夏)

Yuki is portrayed by the Japanese actor Tomohiro Ichikawa (市川知宏).


Tomohiro Ichikawa (市川知宏)

Nao is portrayed by the Japanese actress Shiori Tamada (玉田志織).


Shiori Tamada (玉田志織)

Mika is portrayed by the Japanese actress Yo Hasegawa (長谷川葉生).


Yo Hasegawa (長谷川葉生)

The manager is portrayed by the Japanese actor Tetsuji (てつじ).


Tetsuji (てつじ)

Yutaka's father is portrayed by the Japanese actor Iwata Tomoyuki (岩田知幸).

Yutaka's dad

Iwata Tomoyuki (岩田知幸)

Yutaka's mom is portrayed by the Japanese actress Yukiko Senga (千賀由紀子).

Yutaka's mom

Yukiko Senga (千賀由紀子)

The child version of Yutaka is portrayed by the Japanese actor Ikuma Kobayashi (小林郁大).

Young Yutaka

Ikuma Kobayashi (小林郁大)

The child version of Minoru is portrayed by the Japanese actor Hinata Arata (荒田陽向).

Young Minoru

Hinata Arata (荒田陽向)

The child version of Yuki is portrayed by the Japanese actor Sora Nagano (長野蒼大).

Young Yuki

Sora Nagano (長野蒼大)

Cast Highlights

  • Yutaka's actor (Atsuhiro Inukai) has starred in A Man Who Defies the World of BL (2021) and its sequel A Man Who Defies the World of BL 2 (2022). He also appears in Kei x Yaku (2022).
  • The actor portraying Minoru (Hiroki Iijima) is the star of the 2022 drama We're Both Grooms.
  • Yuki's actor (Tomohiro Ichikawa) has a supporting role in the 2022 series Candy Color Paradox.

Our Dining Table Review


Drama Review Score: 8.3

Minoru and Yutaka share an intimate moment at night.

Our Dining Table is a heartwarming BL drama. The wholesome story contains many uplifting exchanges with positive messages. From cozy chats to pleasant pep talks, every interaction promotes kindness and encouragement. This series relies on your sense of optimism. The more you believe in the goodness of people, the more you'll feel enchanted by Our Dining Table. Immerse yourself in this therapeutic journey where genuine connections are formed and personal growth is celebrated.

In Our Dining Table, the shy protagonist befriends a family who welcomes him into their nurturing home. They enjoy cute moments of domestic bliss, like making riceballs or grocery shopping. These ordinary activities are memorable because of their genuine charm. Each scene feels so sweet and innocent that I can't stop smiling happily. Also, Tane's performer (Kuuga Maeyama) brightens the exchanges with his bubbly charisma. The talented child actor exudes boundless enthusiasm. He is the highlight of Our Dining Table, bringing so much joy, warmth, and liveliness to the series.

Both protagonists are gentle souls who treat each other compassionately. When one feels insecure, the other reassures his partner. Like every couple, the leads face occasional communication issues. Yet, they don't lose patience or have heated confrontations. Instead, each character takes time to introspect, empathize, and understand one another. I appreciate Our Dining Table for portraying a healthy relationship built on mutual respect. It provides an empowering representation of a gay romance, showing two sensitive young men who support their loved ones.

Yutaka and Minoru's relationship takes time to progress. The early episodes establish an emotional bond, while the second half of the drama slowly grows the romance. We see the characters develop a crush and navigate their confused feelings. While there aren't any sizzling encounters, the light BL content seems appropriate for this mild-mannered series. Our Dining Table emphasizes fondness and affection over lust and passion. With that said, the couple is missing a flirtatious spark. A few more lovey-dovey scenes would've strengthened their connection.

I respond well to some emotional moments in Our Dining Table. My favourite is when Tane senses Yutaka's sadness and gently soothes him. His childlike sincerity is precious. However, other sentimental exchanges can be slightly cheesy. The series leans toward predictable storytelling with saccharine themes, resembling an after-school special than an adult drama. Also, several plots are too simple. Yutaka's family backstory doesn't move me because the scenes seem superficial. Our Dining Table lacks grit and doesn't execute melodrama with enough complexity.

Our Dining Table has a happy ending that confirms Yutaka and Minoru's ongoing commitment to each other. Initially, I was annoyed by Yutaka overthinking his relationship. However, the finale redeems him through a few poignant exchanges. Despite my earlier criticisms, I often enjoy the schmaltziness in the story. I particularly adore the last scene, which sends a powerful endorsement of Yutaka and Minoru's love. Overall, Our Dining Table is a delightful BL series with many positive affirmations. This feel-good family drama fills my heart with comfort and hopefulness.


Positive story

Our Dining Table is a wholesome story with many positive messages. Although slightly schmaltzy at times, the family-oriented series is full of domestic bliss and heartwarming sentimentality.

Mellow romance

The love story takes some time to develop. While the BL content isn't passionate, the series portrays a sweet and sensitive romance. Both leads have a healthy, mutually respectful relationship.

Adorable acting

Tane's actor (Kuuga Maeyama) is the highlight of the series. This adorable child actor dazzles with his bubbly charisma. He brings so much genuine joy, warmth, and liveliness to every scene.

Happy ending

Our Dining Table has a happy ending where Yutaka and Minoru confirm their commitment to each other. The finale contains several moving exchanges, including a powerful line in the last scene.

Warm artistry

I love how the series decorates Minoru's house with toys and drawings. It successfully conveys a warm and cozy atmosphere. The zoo scene in Episode 3 stands out as particularly special.


Our Dining Table is a heartwarming BL drama with positive messages and adorable moments of domestic bliss. Supported by an endearing child actor, each scene exudes joy and hopefulness.

Our Dining Table Episodes

Episode Guide

Minoru and Yutaka go on a date.

Our Dining Table has a total of 10 episodes. Each episode is around 24 minutes long. It is a medium-length BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 4 hours. Our Dining Table started on April 6, 2023 and ended on June 8, 2023.

Episode 1
Episode 2

Episode 1

Episode 1 Review
Minoru makes a scary face.

My first impression of Our Dining Table is that it feels like a gentle and wholesome series. Combining the Japanese food drama genre with a cute BL romance is a winning recipe. The vibe of the first episode is so relaxing, instantly putting me at ease. I also love the cozy exchanges, sensitive characters, and the adorable Tane. Watching Our Dining Table is therapeutic for the soul and fills my heart with mushy sentimentality!

In real life, I can't imagine inviting a random stranger to cook and eat in your home. You meet a guy at the park, talk for several minutes, and ask him to make riceballs in your kitchen. This type of hospitality doesn't happen in my cynical world. However, I like this quirky chance encounter in the fictional universe of a BL drama. Despite the unusual circumstances, Yutaka's first visit doesn't feel awkward. The scenes are written lightheartedly. As the characters get acquainted, their interactions are comfortable to watch.

"The older brother seems pretty scary." As Yutaka says this, a flashback shows a dreamy close-up shot of Minoru's face. He glances up at the camera with an innocent boyish expression. A gust of wind softly ruffles his hair. I'm sorry, but Minoru looks the opposite of scary? The juxtaposition between Yutaka's description and Minoru's appearance is ironic. Despite making a "scary" first impression, our protagonist is a sweetheart. Both leads are compatible because they have pure hearts and kind personalities.

"RICE BALLS ARE FREEDOM!!!" 🍙 I love this silly one-liner. The best dramas are those that can pack philosophical messages into catchy slogans. On the surface, Yutaka says this line because he takes making riceballs seriously. He doesn't want to be restricted with his choices of ingredients. On a deeper level, it also alludes to how the definition of happiness is customizable. You don't have to follow tradition to make a riceball or find family comfort. Yutaka is free to pursue what's best for his life, even if it means doing things differently than others.

Episode 2

Episode 2 Review
Minoru has a close relationship with his brother Tane.

Our Dining Table is my third time watching the actor Atsuhiro Inukai in a BL(ish) drama. In the past, he starred in A Man Who Defies the World of BL and Kei x Yaku. I really love his eagerness to sign onto these BL projects. To be honest, I prefer him in his previous roles, which better showcase his flair and flamboyance. As the meek Yutaka, he doesn't seem as much fun lol. Nonetheless, the goodwill from his other works carries over into Our Dining Table, making me like him anyway.

I have also watched Hiroki Iijima in a previous BL drama, We're Both the Grooms. However, he didn't leave much of an impression on me in that short one-hour special. By comparison, he's more memorable in this series. I like his exchanges with Tane, giving off a cool older brother vibe. The actor also brings a softness and warmth to Minoru's character. Overall, my opinion of his performance is favourable. I become a fan after Our Dining Table!

Oh my gosh, Tane's actor (Kuuga Maeyama) is super adorable! He lights up every scene, injecting a burst of excitable energy. Despite his noisy and childish antics, he comes across as endearing instead of obnoxious. Also, he shares a comfortable rapport with all the actors. Each family interaction seems warm and genuine. Honestly, this seven-year-old kid is carrying the series with his bubbly charm. I'm so impressed by his performance. Without him, Our Dining Table would not be anywhere as enjoyable.

Episode 3

Episode 3 Review
Yutaka makes a lunchbox for Tane.

I love Tane carrying that reptile doll on his back. How adorable! Seeing the long-tailed reptile creature in a baby carrier creates a funny visual, hehe~ 😆 I also admire the homemade zoo at the end of the episode. Transforming an ordinary living room into a make-believe safari is an imaginative idea. When I first saw the zoo, a sense of magical wonder filled my heart. It makes me want to become a kid again to experience the same whimsical feeling.

The lunchbox is another cute idea. Yutaka works so hard to give Tane a memorable meal. Days of preparation have gone into perfecting this lunchbox. You can tell that every food item is made with love. I also appreciate how Yutaka's coworker eagerly helps him. Her sketches with instructions are a special touch. Oh my gosh, everyone in this series is adorable! Their selfless gestures are uplifting, reminding me of the goodness in human beings.

With that said, doesn't it feel like Yutaka puts in too much effort? He has no relations with Minoru or Tane. At most, they're friends. Yutaka still dedicates time and effort to this family despite having no obligations. On every visit, he makes delicious food for them. Yutaka's responsibilities are similar to hired help, like a part-time nanny. However, Minoru doesn't pay him, so Yutaka's motivation stems from altruism. The only compensation he receives is their companionship. He gets to spend time in a nurturing home environment, basking in their family warmth.

Episode 4

Episode 4 Review
Minoru and Yutaka meet during lunchtime.

It's a slow episode. The series spends too long recapping what already happened in the past. However, I like seeing some slight progress between the leads. Yutaka and Minoru start meeting each other without Tane's presence. So far, I get a bromance vibe from this BL drama. I would like more emphasis on their romance. In addition, I appreciate some tension in the story. The first few episodes have been too pleasant, almost bordering on saccharine. Let's spice up the plot with a conflict!

Due to the limited flashbacks, Yutaka's childhood is not that complex. We only get a shallow depiction of his family trauma. From what I can see, Yutaka's brother seems like an asshole"When he's around, the food suddenly tastes bad." And the parents just sit there, letting that awful comment slide. While the series tries to redeem Yuki in the later episodes, I'm not buying it. He sucks. 😒 With that said, the story implies there's a possibility Yutaka may be an unreliable narrator. His memories only remember the negative moments and overlook the happy experiences with his family. 

Episode 5

Episode 5 Review
Minoru, Yutaka, and Tane are in the kitchen together.

I adore the cooking scene. Minoru & Tane prepare a homemade meal (ramen fried rice) with their mom's recipe, containing a special ~magic~ that cheers up Yutaka. Physically, the magic refers to the sprinkle of ramen. Symbolically, it describes the happiness that goes into preparing the dish. I like how the siblings have inherited their mom's culinary legacy, carrying on her tradition of heartwarming meals. It's also lovely to see them cook for Yutaka, repaying the favour since he has been making food for them.

Minoru compares Yutaka with his ex-girlfriend. They have different reactions to Tane spilling drinks on them. Earlier, Nao seemed reserved around the mischievous child. She kept her distance from his beloved little brother. In contrast, Yutaka's response contained warmth and reassurance. He behaves casually, not making Tane feel bad about the accident. As Minoru draws parallels between the two incidents, he realizes Yutaka's values align with his. Minoru wants his partner to be kind and patient with his brother, a quality where Yutaka triumphs over Nao.

Minoru and Yutaka continue to bond after dinner. Lately, there have been more scenes of them spending time together without Tane. I love seeing them play Othello. That's such a wholesome couple's activity! Despite the cozy atmosphere, there's still subtle tension since Minoru is curious about Yutaka's family. Yet, he refrains from prodding into his partner's personal life. Yutaka will tell him when he's ready. The episode ends optimistically as the protagonists reconcile, moving on from their past drama. Both are noticeably happier in each other's company.

Episode 6

Episode 6 Review
Yutaka rests his head on Minoru's shoulder.

The way I gasped when Yutaka blurted out, "Are you leaving now? I'm feeling a little lonely…" Typically, this innocuous remark wouldn't get a reaction out of me in another BL drama. However, it seemed absolutely SCANDALOUS in the context of this wholesome love story. For a moment, I thought Yutaka planned to make a ballsy move and seduce Minoru! My spidey senses predicted they might kiss at the end of the episode, but it didn't happen. The couple still shared a decent moment of emotional intimacy.

Even though they haven't kissed yet, it's only a matter of time before the couple gets together. Minoru has obviously fallen for Yutaka. His actions go beyond what platonic friends do for one another. Yutaka should have picked up the romantic signals if he weren't so oblivious. Considering Yutaka's health, this episode may not be appropriate for a love confession. However, I'm getting antsy, waiting for this relationship to progress. Our Dining Table has established the emotional bond between the characters. From now on, I'd like to see more flirty interactions.

Episode 7

Episode 7 Review
Tane comforts a crying Yutaka.

Yutaka is distressed after opening up about his family trauma. In one of my favourite scenes, Tane comforts Yutaka by patting his head. "There, there…" He reassures his friend in a soothing voice. Wow, I find his gesture so moving. Despite his young age, Tane's empathy shines through. Tane doesn't understand the whole situation. Yet, this innocent child senses his adult guardian's sadness and wants him to feel better. The exchange highlights the emotional bond between Tane and Yutaka, transcending age or family relations.

Yutaka describes his childhood, "I feel like, as a human, something is missing…" His adopted family deprived him of love, warmth, and comfort. Yutaka developed a phobia of socializing because of them. After hearing his backstory, Minoru asks to wear Yutaka's glasses. While this gesture seems playful, it also serves as a metaphor. By wearing those glasses, Minoru is willing to view the world through his partner's eyes. He sees Yutaka's perspective and shoulders his burden. This episode marks a significant breakthrough in their relationship as the couple becomes closer than ever.

Although I sympathize with Yutaka, his backstory doesn't resonate powerfully with me. I find the flashbacks lacklustre. The scenes of Yutaka's childhood seem superficial and don't convey a nuanced picture of his upbringing. I can't emotionally connect with his family trauma after just a few vague encounters. I would've liked to see more of how his adoptive parents and brother mistreated him. Give me substantial memories and specific instances of Yutaka's unhappiness.

Episode 8

Episode 8 Review
Minoru and Yutaka have their first kiss.

Ugh, can Minoru and Yutaka be a couple already? I don't want an entire episode dedicated to the protagonists being confused after their first kiss. This relationship drama is tedious. 😩 Technically, Yutaka didn't outright reject his partner. He just froze on the spot and looked stunned. However, Yutaka's silence after Minoru's love confession is disheartening. We're on Episode 8 with little time left in a ten-episode series. C'mon, no more indecisiveness. Just accept his love!

There's such a stark difference between Minoru and Yutaka's living environments. Minoru's house exudes warmth with its spaciousness, cozy atmosphere, and toys scattered everywhere. It looks like a lived-in space filled with vibrant memories. In contrast, Yutaka's apartment looks small, tidy, and minimalistic. With barely any decor, the place is devoid of personality or personal touches. Minoru's residence has the comforting ambiance of a home, whereas Yutaka's flat is merely a solitary container. Without Minoru or Tane, Yutaka's life seems sadder and lonelier.

Episode 9

Episode 9 Review
Minoru and Yutaka start dating after they kiss.

"YOU CAN TOUCH ME!!!" Yutaka exclaims during his love confession. OMG, I'm screaming! Once again, I feel scandalized by Yutaka's comments. He says the line so sincerely. Yutaka wants to convey that he's comfortable with physical intimacy. However, he articulates his consent in a cute, clumsy way. Since Our Dining Table is a family-friendly BL drama, there isn't much spiciness in the love story. Its wholesomeness makes the innuendos unintentionally funnier.

Finally, the leads are together! They even shared a meat-bun-flavoured kiss in the middle of the night. Narratively, I like how both guys pursue their romance after chatting with their families. Yutaka overcomes past trauma with his brother and parents. He finds a sense of belonging in his family. Meanwhile, Minoru's dad ships his son with Yutaka so badly. He wants Yutaka to be his future son-in-law lol! "Seeing you have so much fun for the first time makes me happy." Aww, he's such a supportive parent.

Sorry, I don't forgive the brother. Despite his half-hearted redemption arc in this episode, I still think that guy is a jerk. During their childhood, Yuki is the culprit in making Yutaka feel unwelcome in his new home. Even as an adult, he still talks down to his brother and makes belittling comments. Yet, Yuki dares to act as if Yutaka is in the wrong. The parents are oblivious and believe Yuki is a good older brother. No, your beloved son bullied Yutaka and caused years of anxiety! While I'm glad Yutaka resolved the tensions from the past, he's better off with Minoru and his family.

Episode 9
Episode 10

Episode 10

Ending Review
Our Dining Table has a happy ending where Yutaka fits in with Minoru's family.

Initially, I was annoyed by Yutaka's insecurities about his relationship. However, the storyline led to a sentimental chat between him and Minora's father. I like the poignant message about grief being a part of the experience when you love someone. Also, I admire how the father includes Yutaka in his family, welcoming him without reservations. "Mika, Minoru, Tane, and you." We've seen many parents in BL dramas act cruelly toward their gay child. In contrast, Minoru's dad provides a refreshing example of kindness.

I also enjoy Minoru and Yutaka's heartfelt chat in the following scene. The two boyfriends sit face-to-face, holding hands. Minoru tells him, "If something is bothering you, I want you to talk to me." This simple statement conveys a profound depth of emotional support. In a previous storyline, Yutaka kept his unhappiness to himself, causing him to drift apart from Minoru. Now, Minoru extends an open invitation for honest communication. He creates a safe space for Yutaka to share his concerns. I love that Minoru gives Yutaka this comfort and reassurance in their relationship.

"I will never forget about tonight for the rest of my life. The sweet sound of Tane breathing while he's asleep. The warmth of Tane's touch while we secretly hold each other's hands." I love how Yutaka articulates his happiness. You can tell how much he cherishes their companionship. On the surface, it seems to be an ordinary evening. Yet, Yutaka basks in so much family warmth that the night becomes a special memory. He wants to remember this moment forever, like a capsule of pure bliss. His words capture the beauty of the simple moments shared with loved ones.

I adore Yutaka's line in the final scene: "No, I am family." His words may seem presumptuous, considering he has no official ties to the household. Yet, it reflects Yutaka's confidence in the deep emotional relationship he has formed with Minoru and Tane. He gives a powerful affirmation for their future together, committing to be an integral part of their lives. The series sends an empowering message about how families aren't solely defined by blood or legality. The dining table symbolizes Yutaka's new home, where he forges lifelong bonds with his loved ones.

Episode 10


Special Review
Minoru and Yutaka celebrate Tane's birthday.

I know the Our Dining Table special episode is lighthearted and not meant to be taken too seriously. However, I dislike Minoru's jealousy over misunderstanding Yutaka and Ohata's relationship. One, it's an overplayed trope in BL dramas. Please come up with a more original conflict. And two, it undermines the meaningful message in the finale. Minoru just finished preaching about open communication. Yet, he throws a secret tantrum after seeing a text on his boyfriend's phone. His childish reaction makes me feel less reassured about their romance.

Minoru redeems himself with the love letter in the end. His gesture is so corny, but I giggle anyway. Also, I like hearing about Minoru's plans for the future. This dropout decides to go back to school. After his mom's death, Minoru put his studies on hold. His life has become stagnant due to grief. Upon meeting Yutaka, Minoru feels motivated enough to continue living. His boyfriend has inspired him to make positive changes and move forward. Minoru's character growth ends on a satisfying note.

Our Dining Table Information


Mita Ori (三田織) is the original creator of Our Dining Table, which was adapted into a live-action BL drama in 2023.


Our Dining Table is co-directed by Kashou Iizuka (飯塚花笑), Naho Kamimura (上村奈帆), and Yuho Ishibashi (石橋夕帆). It is the first BL project for all three Japanese directors.

  1. Hi! Love your analysis.
    There are some points I thought I could help to clarify in terms of how the spoken Japanese language is used to characterize the various characters. Specifically in connection to Yuki. Yuki and Minoru are both older brothers that speak roughly, and therefore are in direct contrast to each other in this drama about family relationships.

    To start with, it's important to understand that it's not uncommon for Japanese boys to be more rough with their language. A prime example of this is Minoru himself.
    Minoru speaks quite roughly and could maybe be considered somewhat "unrefined" (certainly not upper-class vibes). Coupled with his dyed-blonde hair, he very much comes across as a punk. Yutaka straight up says he was scared of getting beat up by Minoru.
    It's also important to note that Minoru speaks roughly with Tane. In fact, he speaks softer to Yutaka than he does to Tane. He is not particularly sweet or pampering with his words to Tane. Their father speaks very different to Tane than Minoru does, and this allows Minoru's role to not be tangled up in the parenting role. His status is solidified as "brother" and not "replacement parent". Minoru takes on the duties of his dead mother, but he remains distinctly in his "older brother" role. The way Minoru speaks to Tane would be a little iffy if he was his parent, but as his brother, it's entirely appropriate. Minoru is, from the get-go, shown as a warm and genuine person, so to the viewer his language doesn't come across as rude or offensive. Importantly, Tane never reacts negatively to Minoru's language. Tane is loved. Tane FEELS loved. Language and speech is shown to have no impact on that.

    The contrast to this is Yuki. Yuki also uses rougher language, but seems to speak downwards to people. This both is, and is not in line with his upper-class upbringing. That he speaks down to people is not exactly shocking, but I would have expected a more refined way of speaking (not necessarily nice or kind, but just more proper). As a viewer, what causes us to have a near allergic reaction to Yuki is not his way of speaking, but rather Yutaka's negative reaction to it. Unlike Tane, Yutaka does not feel loved. But why does this have to be limited to Yutaka? There is no reason why this cannot extend to Yuki.
    The recurring sentiment from Yutaka is that despite the wealth and splendor, he never felt familial warmth. Notably, Yuki is never shown to be warm or bright, rather he is prickly from the first time we encounter him. Coupled with his speech, and parents' seemingly neglectful behavior, I would venture to say that Yuki was also not feeling truly loved and/or seen (long before Yutaka entered the picture). Either way, Yuki is no Tane. And unfortunately, neither is Yutaka.
    Minoru's mom died, and the family had to adjust their responsibilities but continued on with their roles.
    Yutaka's parents died, and suddenly both him and Yuki were expected to play happy family with a pair of evidently neglectful parents.
    It's not hard to imagine that a young teenager deprived of proper affection would react poorly to an unknown child intruding into his space and co-occupying the already limited attention of his parents.
    Regardless of what really did or did not happen in the past, and regardless of what role Yutaka and Yuki played in the happenings, it was never Yuki's responsibility to care for a traumatized child. Or any other child, really. The failed integration of Yutaka into the family is a direct consequence of poor family management by the parents. Which is so stupid to me. What were they expecting? Did they think Yutaka would be all "Haha yeah both my parents just kicked the bucket, but don't worry I'm perfectly well-adjusted"?? Did they think Yuki would go "Haha yeah I love unknown traumatized kids coming to live with me. Fun!" ???

    Anyway, I found the family reconciliation scene to be a big let down (and a bit stupid. Really? Playing happy family at this point?) and I found especially distasteful the ease and delight with which the mother reminisced about the past, as if she never noticed any of the tension or unhappiness in her house. Part of me had hoped for a fat conflict or a clean cut.
    But I suppose the scene was never about Yutaka reconciling with his family, but rather about him reconciling with himself. About recognizing that life doesn't just happen to him, he's an active player in it. He had been unable to let go of his victim role (perhaps because he felt it was the only thing he had), and consequently isolated himself from everyone and everything. Now, after lots of healing affection from his new family, he's finally ready to fully let go of the victim role, and acknowledge that he played a part in shaping his past. And that he can play a part in shaping his future.

    Conclusion: Burn the Parents!
    Thanks for coming to my Ted-Talk.
    I originally only wanted to write like 5 lines, but I clearly have no self-control (:

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