‘Fishbowl Wives’ is a Japanese drama series on Netflix. Based on a manga, the story revolves around six women and their encounter with infidelity, given their unhappy marriages.
Fishbowl Wives centres around the lives of six women who live in a luxury apartment complex and how and why they slowly crossroads with infidelity.
Sakura and Takuya are a married couple who are also business partners. Takuya is a repeated cheater and Sakura is aware of it. One day, she goes discovers a goldfish shop in the neighbourhood and instant sparks fly between her and the owner, Haruto. In a fit of rage, Takuya hits his wife and tries to rape her. She runs out into the rain where Haruto spots her and takes her to his place.
Yuka wants a baby in her life but her husband is not ready to take the next step. They have a happy marriage and enjoy each other’s company while playing video games. Searching for the lacking physical contact between her and her husband, Yuka gets back in touch with her ex-boyfriend, Jun.
Noriko is a great cook and enjoys making bento for her husband every day. Tsuta is a single young man who lives alone and appreciates Noriko’s art. Noriko’s husband is Tsuta’s senior and at his request, Tsuta is dragged into the married couple’s home and their sex life. Noriko’s husband finds pleasure when other men touch his wife and Noriko feels obliged to fulfil his wishes. Tsuta becomes an unwilling participant.
Saya used to be full of life and energy but now she just lays around on the couch. Sato and Saya bought a new apartment in the luxury building and Sato has to work extra hard to make money. Saya quits her job to help the home running. Sato and Saya used to love running together but they don’t anymore. Both expect different things from one another. After a fight, Saya meets Takuya and follows him to his place.
Hisako bumps into Baba in a garden and for some reason is unable to stay away from him irrespective of her strict principles. She has frequent migraines which keep getting worse. Her husband is away on a foreign trip. Baba lives alone as he has been kicked out of his home for cheating on his wife. One day, Hisako’s son tells her that he knows her secret.
Yuriha’s mother-in-law is moving in with them and her husband turns out to be a big mama’s boy. Their home is getting renovated and she walks on eggshells in her own home due to her mother-in-law’s nosiness. She realises that she has more in common with a married carpenter than her rich husband.
Running away from her husband, Sakura goes and works at a small hair salon in the country. But Takuya tracks her down. He hits her and tries to rape her again. Haruto appears just at the right time and informs Takuya that he has called for the police.
If you still have doubts from the ending, here’s a breakdown.
Fishbowl Wives ending explained in detail:
Haruto’s ex-girlfriend and Kazama group’s financial advisor, Masako, comes to meet Haruto. She spots Sakura snd notices her bruises. Unsettled with the view in front of her, Masako confronts Sakura. After listening to the entire story, she confirms if Sakura really wishes for a divorce. She explains that taking legal action will be the best option as domestic violence is a legal basis for choosing to divorce.
Haruto’s father hands him a very last chance to become a part of their company and asks him to meet with him. Haruto does go and confess that he plans to marry Sakura. Hearing this, Mr Kazama assumes that Haruto might want to join the firm to support his future family.
But to his surprise, Haruto refuses the offer explaining that the safe and sound way of life isn’t his calling. Haruto finds meaning and happiness in taking care of the goldfish. His father doesn’t pressure him anymore is proud of his answer.
Takuya’s business is failing due to his carelessness and poor management skill. Now that Sakura is not working with him anymore, most of his business constituencies, including his trusted employees, all give up on his brand.
A thing called love
Turns out, on the night when the incident took place, Sakura had recorded the whole incident on her phone. So, even though Takuya refuses to agree with the divorce, things may become lengthy but they’ll still be relatively easier.
On the day of the settlement, Takuya declares his love for Sakura. He admits everything he has done and explains how they were a result of his insecurity of losing her and his male ego.
After the divorce, Takuya spirals into his downfall, left with no money, no work, no wife and no home. Sakura feels bad for the person she had once loved.
Haruto gets to know about Takuya’s situation and gets the feeling that things might change because of this. Sakura convinces all their business partners and former employees to help them in re-stabilizing their falling business.
Sakura and Haruto go to the aquarium festival together where he reminds her of her promise of working together. Back home, even before Sakura could say something, Haruto realises what’s coming. He thanks her for her time and love. Sakura tells him that she is happy to have met him. They break up and Sakura moves on to help her ex-husband and rebuild their business.
Two years later
Sakura has opened her own salon near the beach that she and Haruto had once visited together. Haruto is also in that area as he has expanded his business. Both look at the same sky filled with fireworks but they are on their own this time. Both are happy in their own spaces.
Yuka is finally pregnant, though she’s not sure whose baby it is. Tsuta gets all the delicious lunchboxes and love from Noriko. She is not with her husband anymore.
Sota and Saya run together now, matching each other’s pace. Hisako, Baba and their son live together happily. Yuriha is still adjusting with her mother-in-law and husband but is having an affair with the carpenter.