I’m entering the J-drama fans scene late, as I’ve only had my own computer for a month (Wow! It’s been a month! (Actually a month and 2 days)). And I don’t really want to watch the new dramas anyway, because waiting for episodes is just 😐 . I mean, it’s really hard for me. I’d much rather do all the waiting now, and then watch it in a marathon a few months from now. I don’t care too much about being updated anyway, since I only really have a few friends I can talk to about this stuff. So yeah, haha I’m really just doing this for me. 😛
Anyway, I think writing a review would also be pretty useless since most of the people have seen the dramas anyway and have formed their opinions about it, so this is really mostly just a reaction.
NOBUTA WO PRODUCE
So after discovering Yamapi on Proposal Daisakusen (Yes, I saw that before I saw this one. See, I told you I’m watching these things late and so not in the order they came out :P), I began mentioning his name like crazy, and whenever I did, people kept recommending this drama to me. And that’s why it’s my first ever torrent-downloaded drama. 🙂 I’m quite proud of myself, honestly. Because the torrent world is so weird, isn’t it? There’s so much stuff you have to know about codec and others. And then the Asian drama torrent world is even weirder, because there are soft-subs and hard-subs issues involved. Anyway, I managed to figure it all out (I think) from reading pages and pages of text -_- so I was able to watch this drama uninterrupted.
And after that somewhat crazy (and useless (I don’t need to justify why I watch dramas! XD Wala lang, gusto ko lang mag-share)) background, here’s what I think:
[BTW, you have to have already seen the drama (or don’t mind knowing spoilers) to read this, because I might mention some spoilers along the way.]
The beginning was actually a bit dragging. I didn’t want to admit it at first because the 3 main characters– Shuji (Kamenashi Kazuya), Akira (Yamashita Tomohisa), and Nobuta (Horikita Maki) are all so cool. (Okay, I didn’t really want to use the word “cool”, but there’s no other translation for kakkoi 😥 ) But really, because the first episode is mostly just expository, there isn’t too much story in it, or too many events happening. Although it wasn’t that boring, because I still watched all of it. Besides, the ending line “We didn’t know then that we would eventually come up against the most evil of all.” was enough to keep me interested until the end. 🙂
The series picks up around the middle of Episode 2, when Nobuta goes to school in her own clothes. It’s the first time you’ll see Horikita Maki’s entire face, and the first time the 3 main characters really look like friends. After that, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable drama that you’ll stay up until the wee hours of the morning just to see what happens next.
What I like most about this drama is how it was able to use such a simple theme– friendship, and use it in a not so simple way. Unlike when they tackle friendship in some other shows (Mojacko, for instance. Although in fairness to that anime, it was really made for kids.) and it makes the characters seem corny and too sentimental, in this drama it was really nice how they showed how people can do things for other people and not get too mushy about it. 🙂
The only thing I don’t like were the weird unexplained scenes that didn’t seem all that relevant. I’m talking about the last 2 episodes, because those really have some weird stuff going on. @_@
First, the way they ended the issue with Kasumi (Hiiragi Rumi) was really weird–they all had the same dream wherein she leaps to her death, okay. That can be unexplained. Sometimes weird things like that just happen. But why did there have to be a mark on the ground floor of their school that seemed like a person did jump? They didn’t say whether another student did commit suicide or not. And I think that if it was going to be that open-ended just to make things more mysterious, I think the part where the four of them had similar dreams is mysterious enough.
Secondly, the ending was really bad. I mean, I could forgive Lovers in Paris for its weird ending, since it just sort of suddenly implied that it was all a dream. But for this drama, I think the ending may have ruined the whole thing. What was the point of having Shuji move to a different place if Akira was still going to be there anyway? I’d thought that the internal struggle of Shuji was that although he was so cool on the outside, in reality he didn’t know who he really was. And I’d thought that the point of “producing Nobuta” was for him to know himself better, and eventually find himself, so that he can “become a good adult”. So, having Akira beside with him in the new school wouldn’t accomplish that at all. Plus, having only Akira with him and not Nobuta as well made it even worse.
Okay, if the point was so Nobuta could be more independent, then fine. Shuji having moved was a good way to show that they were really able to help Nobuta come out of her shell and handle herself. But having Akira move to where Shuji was just showed that it was only Nobuta who’s able to handle herself, and the two boys still needed each other to go through life, which is just so wrong. Was Nobuta really the only character that had to develop?
The ending scene where Shuji and Akira are playing at the beach and Akira thinks, “We can live this life together, wherever we are.” is just, well, for me, it just sent Shuji’s character right from the beginning of the drama where he didn’t know anything yet. I mean, yes, it’s good to have your friends with you, but if the point was really that they could still be friends “wherever they are” then wouldn’t it had been better if they just had a mini-reunion or something, instead of having one of them follow the other to the the same school? Not to mention that it’s a bit weird to have just 2 of the main characters at the ending scene. As much as I love Yamapi and Kazuya-san, I don’t think any drama deserves to have a weird ending just for fan service or whatever. Really, it was disappointing.
Oh well, save for that ending, the drama isn’t all that bad. In fact I really really liked it, until that part where Shuji saw Akira in the same classroom in his new school. So, again, I’m going to do a little editing in my head and convince myself that that was just an outtake. The real ending was when Shuji said “The next Kiritani Shuji, no matter what happens, will not fall.”
And then he goes into the classroom of his new school, and then the screen fades into white. (While I was watching it, I honestly thought that this was really what was going to happen. I furrowed my eyebrows when the line “Please take your seats.” was said by the teacher, and when Shuji went inside the classroom and introduced himself, I felt that something was really wrong.)
With that new ending in mind, now, I think this drama is really really nice. 😀 Nobuta Powaa!! XD