Last Cinderella: Ep 2

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

Last Cinderella makes me happy.

I am still loving Sakura! She is the kind of character that makes me smile because she is so earnest and goodhearted, yet also very blunt and tough.  She is not always lamenting over her woes as an unmarried-almost-40-woman, but there are also moments when we see her vulnerability.  Sakura may not have a partner or a promotion in her job, but I think she is still living her life to the fullest in her own way. Anyways my favorite parts are actually when we see the cracks in her armor because, as tough as she may be, she is still insecure in other areas of her life. 

One thing I noticed is that some people are comparing Sakura’s character to Hotaru’s character in Hotaru no Hikari.  I think Last Cinderella’s script really slipped up by having Sakura talk in an old-fashioned way (when she’s just chilling at home) because that gets dangerously close to Hotaru’s way of talking.  Anyways, although Sakura & Hotaru are similar in their himono-onna-ness, they are different in personality.  Sakura is much “rougher” and tougher than Hotaru is.  She has no problem with getting in someone’s face and insulting them whereas Hotaru is more gentle.  Also Sakura doesn’t have to put on a facade when she’s at work, instead she openly shows her true personality and ossan-ness.  Everyone already knows her true self (except her weaker side) so she doesn’t have to hide it.  There is no, ‘oh no what if someone sees me in my sweats’ dilemma.  She is past that! 

As for Fujiki Naohito’s character Rintaro, I have concluded that he is a jerk. T_____T  I didn’t exactly catch on in the first episode, but now I see that just like Sakura says, he has a bad personality indeed.  There are so many moments in this episode that scream “I’M NOT A GENTLEMAN” that I cannot ship Rintaro with Sakura at this point.  So I think I’m neutral for now.  Rintaro is like a kid that has a crush on a girl, but he hides his crush by picking on her.  Every time Rintaro opens his mouth, it’s to put down Sakura.  I think they are trying to make Rintaro’s crude jokes humorous but they are not in the least funny.  T_____T”

HOWEVER.  Rintaro clearly cares for Sakura!  Whenever he sees Sakura with Hiroto, he acts nonchalant but he grimaces a bit.  Also he gazes stares at Sakura as she happily fawns over Hiroto’s text messages.  So there are hints that beneath Rintaro’s teasing he is worried for Sakura…but of course he would never admit it!  

Part of what makes episode 2 so interesting is that there are still mysteries surrounding the main characters.  I am not surprised that Rintaro has a dark past with his ex-girlfriend, but I am wondering exactly what happened and how that affected who he is today.  Also I wonder, why did he come to Sakura’s hair salon?  He says he got assigned there, but surely he must’ve had the option to turn down this job position?  What if he CHOSE to go there? 

Also there are juicy secrets of RINTARO AND SAKURA’S PAST TOGETHER.  There is this awesome scene when Rintaro totally cuts his crap-talk and gives Sakura his honest opinion.  He says that Sakura is a beauty and that she is too scared to jump in since she was hurt before.  At this moment, Sakura remains calm but after Rintaro leaves, we see her eyes tear up (AWESOME MOMENT, my favorite moment of the episode!).   OMG!!!!!!!!  DID SOMETHING HAPPEN BETWEEN THEM??   Maybe it was just me but I got the feeling that they are not just bickering buddies, they must’ve had some sort of fall out or something in the past.  Anyways I also find it interesting that Rintaro emphasizes that Sakura is a beauty.  This makes me wonder if maybe she was different back in the day? 

And lastly, Hiroto.  The guy that all of you are intrigued by.  I find his back story to be not that compelling…of course he is the prodigal outcast son of a rich family.  He is not a successful BMX biker and therefore turns to his sister (I THINK Choko is his sister, I got those vibes) and his…girlfriend or whoever she is..for money.  I am curious about Hiroto’s mysterious girl that he always sleeps with, I wonder if she is his girlfriend or his money-supplier or what.  Anyways, as cute as Hiroto’s smiles are, (*SWOONS*) I am not quite feeling the chemistry between him and Sakura.  Sakura and Rintaro feel so natural together, but when Hiroto and Sakura are together I just go “meh”.  Granted, they are supposed to be kinda awkward together because Sakura is keeping her distance from him.  But still, I am not satisfied by their chemistry just yet. 

One of my problems with Sakura’s character is that she falls for Hiroto WAY TOO EASILY.  Why does the older woman character in these dramas ALWAYS fall for the younger guy right off the bat?  They always make it seem like the older heroine is so out of touch with a love life that she will just fall for any guy that hits on her.  (lol except maybe not in Ohitorisama)  NO!  THAT IS NOT THE WAY!  NOT ALL OLDER SINGLE HEROINES SHOULD BE NAIVE AND INNOCENT!!!!  I sound kinda cruel but I am waiting for Sakura to find out the truth about Hiroto!

Overall
There are lots of cliches–Rintaro & Sakura living next-door to each other!  Rintaro & Sakura letting out their frustration at the batting cages!  Hiroto cutely wiping ice cream off of Sakura’s mouth!  The inevitable kiss-under-the-sakura-tree scene!  The “catch the Sakura petal in your palm” scene!  BUT!!!!! IT’S FUN.  AND THAT’S WHAT MATTERS.

Another scene I liked was Shima’s scene with Miki’s husband.  Shima didn’t know that the guy she was cheating with was actually her friend’s husband.  I liked the moment when she tells him that Miki would never cheat on him, so he better not cheat on Miki either.  She says to erase her number, and that it’s over.  GOOD JOB SHIMA!  As for the preview which shows Shima and Miki’s husband still meeting each other, I feel like they may not be cheating…actually they may be trying to fix the husband’s……problem……if you know what I mean.

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • So it seems it’s not a disappointment after all… I was a bit hesitant to judge the drama by only a single episode, but your review seems to give me more hope that it would be much better than I previously anticipated.

    You are right, as long as you have fun and you enjoy the drama, the story is really not that important. It’s fiction and while everyone involved in the production are trying their best to make it as real as possible, sometimes it’s the chemistry between the actors that make these dramas so addicting. Cheers! 🙂

    Our heroine has a charm all her own and that’s what makes her such an awesome actress!

    • For me it is all about how much fun it is. I think that since I am leaning more towards the serious dramas it is really refreshing for me to see Last Cinderella. But I am rather biased because I absolutely love Shinohara Ryoko. 😉

      By the way I am happy to see you are covering Minna! Esper Dayo! with ~SOMETANI SHOTA~ AND KAHO! And thanks for adding me to your blogroll 😉

  • Ah, this episode. I don’t know why, but I said it in my recap that it reminds me of How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor. Two people who start out bickering but are really the best of friends. Of course, in that drama the guy falls for the girl who falls for a different guy who soooo doesn’t deserve her. I was sad to see the girl end up with lead #2, but I really loved the friendship in that series.

    This series. Yes. Tachibana is a jerk. But I think he just has a foul mouth that doesn’t really say what he necessarily thinks as you are right, throughout this entire episode you can see how concerned he is about her. I was also shocked when he called her a beauty not once, but twice. And as worried as he seems to be about Hiroto’s true intentions, he’s still encouraging Sakura to open herself up and take a chance on love.

    I’m also curious about Tachibana’s and Sakura’s hinted pasts. I had a feeling Tachibana probably had some really bad relationship tucked away in his closet. He kept saying in episode one that he wonders what happened to all the “innocent” and “shy” women. Makes you wonder if his ex was the exact opposite. And Tachibana knew Sakura for about 10 years or more which is the exact period of time that Sakura has been boyfriendless. What the story is there and how she was once hurt, remains to be seen.

    Yes, Shinohara and Fujiki have some great onscreen friend chemistry. They just kind of spark when they are together (in a non-romantic way for me). When you get Haruma and Shinohara together, I just kind of get a mother-son or older sister-little brother chemistry going, especially thanks to the bowling and tennis scenes. I was chuckling when she made that granny shot in the basketball game 😛

    I’m really curious about Choko’s obsession with Tachibana and just how long its been going on. We know Hiroto’s age, but not Choko’s. Is she the older sister or younger sister? Like Sakura is nearly old enough to be Hiroto’s mother, Tachibana is likewise old enough to be Choko’s father almost. And lets add in the fact that it seems like Choko used to frequent Sakura’s shop back in the day, probably when Tachibana was working there as well. If you do the math and she’s had a onetrack mind like this for about 10 or so years…that’s one disturbed person.

    • OOOOO GOOD POINT! I wonder if her not having a boyfriend for 10 years has anything to do with Rintaro!!!!! (LOL I’m really determined to find out their past!)

      Gee if the drama ends up like that movie, I don’t know how I will take it. I’m still not sure who’s ship I’m on but…I guess I didn’t consider the inevitable heartbreak that will result for the guy who doesn’t get Sakura. I highly doubt Rintaro will end up with Choko since Choko is your classic scheming villain. Plus like you said, Choko must’ve been at this for a really long time, there is no way she’s gonna give Rintaro up that easily O_____O”””

  • Well I’m finally on board with this drama, but not really loving Sakura’s character. I’ve got no one to compare her to, but wouldn’t you think a hair dresser person would, I don’t know, have prettier hair? Or at least put it up into a slightly more artful bun? That aside, I like the drama. I want to say I love Miura, but that’s the fangirl talking. Right now I don’t seem to have a real preference, though I agree I don’t feel the chemistry between Sakura and Hiroto. He’s also a little too cliche. Then again, they all are, sort of. Makes for good fun.

    • I think Sakura’s casual hairstyle is fine since it goes along with her laid-back personality.

      There are a lot of Miura fangirls watching, I wonder how many fangirls there are for Fujiki Naohito?

  • Instead of relating tis to Hotaru, i actually got a lot of Anego vibes in ep 1 especially where the strong mature heroine gets drunk n awakes to a young bishonen in bed. Yes everything so far is cliche but i luv the cast n especially Shinohara Ryoko. A fun lighthearted jdorama to watch.

    • Hmm I feel like I’m getting a bit more Hotaru-vibes than Anego-vibes. I liked Shinohara Ryoko’s character in Anego more though. Maybe it’s because her Last Cinderella character is way more naive than her Anego character.

      • Yes i agree her Anego character’s much more likable than Cinderella. Also Anego had a stronger story overall compared to cliche Cinderella. Its definitely my love for Shinohara that’s enabling me to enjoy the overdone old maid Cinderella that much. Nevertheless, Cinderella is definitely my fav of tis jdorama season besides Galileo.

        • Exactly, Anego’s story is much stronger, not only because it develops the side characters really well, but also because it doesn’t try to define itself as an older-woman midlife crisis drama. It is less about the older woman-younger guy cliche and more about Anego and how she influences the people around her. *flashbacks to Anego*

          Ahh how is Galileo 2 doing?

  • I’m enjoying this drama, although I agree, it is a little cliche. I’m hoping that Miura and Shinohara will have more chemistry once the character actually likes her. I think it’s supposed to come off as unnatural right now because he’s faking. I saw a hint of real regard, or at least respect, when he saw her trying to help the lady on the bus.

    I do think her Anego character was stronger just because she had more realistic dimension, but I’m hoping as more about her past is revealed here the Sakura character will flesh out.

    I didn’t find Rintaro to be that abrasive. I feel like, in his own way, he’s as scarred as she is. I’m just a little bummed because it seems like he’s destined for second lead shunting, and I looove his dynamic with Sakura.

    • If I were Sakura I would’ve gotten annoyed if my friend kept on pointing out how I wasn’t a woman O_O Even if the friend is joking, geez the joke gets old fast! But that is a really nice point there, maybe this is the way Rintaro is coping with his past. Maybe he needs someone to take out his frustrations on?

      I HOPE RINTARO ISN’T THE SECOND LEAD :'( Even though I don’t really like his character on his own, I think he is better paired with Sakura than Hiroto.

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What’s New?

-Wrote up 10 New Year's Resolutions for dramas! Read it here.

-It took me a really long time, but I'm finally done with my end of the year 2016 dramas review! Check it out here. It includes Good Morning Call, Juhan Shuttai, Princess Weiyoung, Imperial Doctress, and so much more! Happy New Year!

-Tried the new WOWOW jdrama Rakuen, starring Nakama Yukie (Gokusen). It's a suspenseful, dark drama that has some mystery to it. Will watch ep2.

-Started Quartet 2017, written by Sakamoto Yuji and starring some of my favorite actors/actresses Mitsushima Hikari & Matsuda Ryuhei. The drama so far has some humorous moments that I could laugh at, even without subtitles. Fingers crossed that it'll get subbed!

-On an indefinite hiatus.

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