Sprout: Eps 1-4
After Asuko March aired last summer, I think it’s pretty much a given that EVERY summer season should have some sort of fluffy school-life jdrama. Somehow Sprout is the only one around that feels just right for summer. And, surprisingly it differentiates itself from your typical live actions with its bittersweet, melancholy tone, a cast that actually looks the part, and a very flawed and human heroine.
From the start, Sprout’s premise might sound like the perfect set-up for a fluffy cutesy idol drama–The main character, Miku, suddenly has to live with other young strangers when her parents decide to rent out some extra rooms to open a small “boarding house”. One of the new tenants just so happens to be the most popular guy at school–AND HER CRUSH–Souhei. Plus he already has a girlfriend, who’s the “perfect beauty that looks like she came straight out of an anime” type.
Sounds like the perfect scenario right?? I was all ready for lots of mindless humor and fluff and cuteness!!! Well Sprout actually takes a totally different approach; instead of focusing on the hijinks that could ensue with the boardinghouse situation, it follows Miku’s experience with her first love. Miku is not your perfect heroine who’s pure, kindhearted, and all full of warm fuzzies. Instead she’s insecure and confused and moody……..in other words SHE’S A TEENAGER. Miku embodies the awkwardness and angst of the teenage years! And I love it because it makes me feel all nostalgic inside!
So YES, I think that Sprout is a coming of age/slice-of-life drama more than anything! Miku is just as confused about her feelings as any other teenager is. She also struggles with feelings of inadequacy and jealousy as she compares herself to Souhei’s beautiful girlfriend, Miyuki. I love it when it shows Miku’s actual thoughts towards Miyuki in text (as in, it’s typed out on the screen) which are usually spiteful and jealous. There’s this one AWESOME moment when Miku overhears some girls talking bad about Miyuki and then in the…text..(I really wanna say voiceover but that’s not it o_o) it shows her thought: “I think so too”. It goes perfectly with the superficiality of the teenage years as well as the question we all encounter–“why can’t I be like her?”. Now that I think about it, if you’re a girl, you’ll probably understand and enjoy this drama much more. I mean, I’m sure we all get that the jealousy of “perfect girls” IS REAL. THIS STUFF HAPPENS.
As much as I find Miku’s dream of finding her one true love to be idealistic and silly, I CAN’T BLAME HER FOR BEING CONFUSED BETWEEN HER TWO CHOICES!!!!!!! This girl is caught in between two awesome guys–Souhei, the really friendly charming guy who oozes with Kazehaya-vibes, and Hayato, the cool perceptive I-will-watch-you-from-afar guy. They have an awesome bromance because..THEY’RE BESTIES. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. I’M READY FOR THE DRAMA!!!!!!!!!!!
AND!!!!!!! AND!!!!!! Maybe I’m reading too much into this but there are a few hints that MAYBE Souhei’s girlfriend (Miyuki) actually liked Hayato first, but he rejected her.
GUESS WHO’S SHIP I’M ON???? HAYATO ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I admit that Souhei is pretty tough competition. But the problem is that he’s nice to EVERYONE and he’s clueless about Miku’s feelings until she actually confesses to him. Also HOW CAN HE COMPETE WITH HAYATO’S AWESOME LINES!?!?!? OMGGGGG. Hayato is all, “I know what you’re thinking because your thoughts are written on your face, and I can’t get tired of looking at you” OR SOMETHING TO THAT EFFECT. And he says that he knows she’s already yearning for Souhei BUT HE’LL WAIT. AWJEAWSJGSOLAEJGHSAJHAE. HE’S TOO AWESOME. I LOVE HIM. At first I didn’t see how cool he is, but in the scene when he HOLDS OUT HIS HAND TO MIKU, I WAS FLOORED.
JUMP ON HAYATO’S SHIP, EVERYONE!
Anyways, the first thing that really struck me is the cast. They actually look like high schoolers, and if I’m correct, they’re all around 18 or 19 years old in real life. So they actually feel like high schoolers, not like a 20-something year old wearing a uniform. *COUGH* KITAGAWA KEIKO *COUGH* Also their acting is pretty natural even though most of them are not very experienced actors. Maybe it’s because Sprout aims for the high school awkwardness vibe or something, I don’t know. But I love how you can just tell that Miku isn’t completely comfortable in her own skin.
Every episode is quite short but they still manage to make my heart hurt just enough for me to come back the next week. I think a lot of people are coming back because they’re anxious to see what’s going to unfold with our love square, but I’m more interested in how Miku is going to grow up and find her own path.