Don't worry, it IS HAPPY ENDING! [Rating: 9/10]
Another Tsutsumi Yukihiko's direction -- together with Trick, Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Kisarazu Cat's Eye, Stand UP!, Sekaino Chushin de Aio Sakebu (TV drama ver.), Keizoku, Pika*nchi, Pika*nchi Double, etc.etc.
About the ending, so many people are mistaken that this drama ends sadly. But NO! When you come through to the end credits, slow down the video and stop at the very last frame. Though for just a nanosecond, you can see someone lying in futon, holding a newspaper (earlier in this footage, some piles of newspaper are shown on the table, with its front-page headline reading: "The road reopened after 10 months from the tunnel rock falling.") In that room (with a name plate "Ichiban" on its door,) Ichiban's mother's photo is in the family altar, meaning that the person living in this room is her family (that should be him only). If he were dead, his photo should be there too, but only if there's the slightest chance of his remote relative living in this newspaper delivery shop. So, he's alive and still working with the same colleagues (probably at SMH) as another photo on the chest shows.