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
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)
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 (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 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.
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.
Ryuji Harada (原田龍二)
Seika Furuhata (古畑星夏)
Tomohiro Ichikawa (市川知宏)
Shiori Tamada (玉田志織)
Yo Hasegawa (長谷川葉生)
Iwata Tomoyuki (岩田知幸)
Yukiko Senga (千賀由紀子)
Ikuma Kobayashi (小林郁大)
Hinata Arata (荒田陽向)
Sora Nagano (長野蒼大)
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Review
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 Review
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 Review
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 Review
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 Review
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 Review
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 Review
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 Review
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 Review
"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.
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.
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.