April 13, 1967 was a fateful night, when both Shinobu Mastumoto and Chizuko Daimaru were born under the same mysterious star. Their family backgrounds couldn't have been more different. Chizuko was born into a family of power and wealth, and her mother died during childbirth. Shinobu's family was poor, and her father abandoned the family and became a petty criminal, drifting in and out of jail for years. But despite their differences, Shinobu and Chizuko share a common destiny, intertwined by a secret that could end up tearing both families apart.
Chikyodai (commonly known in English as "Stepsisters") is one of those wonderfully over the top 1980s J-Dramas produced by Daiei TV. The first episode starts out somewhat slowly with a lot of exposition, but this show doesn't take very long to get just as bonkers as any of the other Daiei dramas. It even features a moody biker gang leader who expresses his rage through jazz trumpeting, and a theme song that's a cover (with very different Japanese lyrics) of the cheesy 1980s bubblegum pop-metal classic "Runaway" by Bon Jovi!
This series is adapted from the 1934 Nobuko Yoshiya novel "This Road, That Road". The novel also had a 1936 movie adaptation directed by Yasushi Sasaki, and a 2005 Fuji TV drama titled "A Winter Round Dance".
This series is a joint project with the fine folks over at The Skaro Hunting Society, who sub a bunch of old drama and even older anime. Go check them out!