Last Cinderella: Ep 3

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

Major developments in this episode: 1) Hiroto looks way better with his hair tied up.  2) Sakura and Rintaro care about each other!!!!

So, the main question I had when going into this episode was, what will Sakura do when she finds out Hiroto might be “cheating” on her or that she is not his only woman.  She sees Hiroto & Momo (I don’t remember if this is her name or not) kiss.  The real clincher isn’t that they kiss, but that Hiroto SMILES after the kiss.  I should think that Sakura’s spidey senses & intuition should’ve kicked in and made her question his real motives.  Unfortunately I think she was more focused on the hurt of just seeing him with another woman, rather than questioning what the heck he was doing with Momo.  Anyways, just the fact that Sakura is so hurt by seeing Hiroto kiss with Momo shows that she does have feelings for him.

AND YET…somehow she lets it slide!!!!!  The good part is that she confronts Hiroto about the kiss.  The bad part is that she just lets it go and tries to smooth things over with him, rather than putting her foot down and showing him that she’s not gonna be toyed around with!  That being said, even though Sakura is a really naive character, I don’t think she’s SO naive that she has no suspicions about Hiroto.  She clearly forces a smile when she accepts Hiroto’s request for time to work things out with Momo.

I AM A FICKLE SHIPPER.  I SAID I WAS NEUTRAL BUT ALL IT TOOK WAS ONE FLASH OF A SMILE FROM FUJIKI AND I HAVE JUMPED ON HIS SHIP.

You know how I was complaining about Rintaro’s bad personality in my last post?  Well now I like his character way more than I did before!!!  Maybe it’s because he has toned down his crude jokes towards Sakura in this episode, or maybe it’s because we can see more and more how much he appreciates Sakura.

Anyways, my favorite scene with Rintaro actually isn’t one with Sakura!  It’s the one when Choko asks him if he has someone he likes.  He replies that he does, but she’s no longer in his reach.  I assume that this means his love is dead.  That was a perfect moment because of Fujiki Naohito’s acting.  The way he looks like he’s about to tear up, but he holds it back and smiles was so perfect!  It was all so quick (and I actually noticed it more the second time that I watched it) but it said so much.  It’s possible that the person he’s referring to is also the woman that Choko was talking about in episode 2, the one she said hurt Rintaro a lot.  So if Choko knows it, then I guess it’s not much of a secret?  I wonder if Sakura knows about it or not?

I was just kidding when I said I was a fickle shipper.  Nawww I’m not THAT fickle, I actually really love Rintaro’s chemistry with Sakura!  My favorite scenes with these two are when they are suddenly serious with each other.  Like the moment when Sakura goes, “Oi.  Win.” and then Rintaro goes “yeah!” and makes a fist pump.  Sakura smiles knowingly and Rintaro dashes off to win his hair styling competition.  SHORT MOMENTS LIKE THAT are even better than the much longer bickering scenes.  Those moments show how beneath all of the arguing they still have a deep mutual understanding of each other.

The scene when Sakura kneels to beg Momo to be Rintaro’s model felt a bit….blah.  It just didn’t feel like it was executed as well as it could’ve been.  But it does show that Sakura cares about Rintaro enough to even forgo her pride for him.  AND AFTERWARDS Rintaro talks about how Sakura, the baka, got it all wrong and was still lowering her head for him.  He’s unaware of it, but his words are oozing with fondness and affection towards Sakura!!!

^Hiroto looks much better with his hair tied up!

I’m still waiting for the chemistry to develop between Sakura & Hiroto.  They are giving off brother-sister vibes that does not translate well into romance. T_T Of course they have their cute moments but it still feels kinda forced.  Also their relationship has pretty much remained unchanged since episode 1, so I think they need something big to happen to change things up.  Like Sakura beginning to get closer with Rintaro, or Hiroto falling for Sakura, etc. etc. 

I think we’ve all come to the consensus that Miura isn’t quite pulling off the sexy-playboy character yet.  T_T  Don’t get me wrong, I loved him as Kazehaya in Kimi ni Todoke!  The thing is that his acting in Kimi ni Todoke was much more natural since the Kazehaya character was more in his comfort zone.  Hiroto’s character is harder for him to portray since he is trying to make the leap from boy to man.  He improved some in this episode but he still has a ways to go. 

lce4.4

^GEE I WONDER WHERE CHOKO IS…..

Choko is still meddling but I have to admit I am kinda curious about where she is coming from.  She implies that she can’t get involved with Rintaro because of her family restrictions.  (they are a rich family so they probably want her to marry a rich guy or something)  I felt bad for her in the scene when she tells Hiroto that he knows the best why she can’t get with Rintaro.  The usual unrequited feelings thing, right? 

BUT THEN….Choko PROJECTS RINTARO’S PICTURES ONTO HER BEDROOM WALL IN THE DARK, AND HUGS THE WALL.  UM……………I’M PRETTY SURE THIS IS GOING BEYOND THE UNREQUITED FEELINGS…………..

So what is she?  Is she secretly stalking him?  Is she obsessed with him?  Is he her fantasy that she uses to escape from her life at home?  HMMM!

Overall
I’m glad that this episode focused a bit less on Sakura’s friends side stories, but somehow it feels like the episode didn’t accomplish much.  There was no major break through, no important development.  It is like we haven’t even moved forward from where we left off in episode 2. Sakura should’ve gotten a wake up call in this episode, but it didn’t happen.  I’m hoping that they won’t drag on Sakura’s lovey dovey phase too long, I want her to be more realistic and really consider whether Hiroto is right for her.  At this point it feels almost like a fling, she is not really thinking about whether they can have a long-term relationship.  Of course, maybe she doesn’t expect a commitment ( marriage) in the first place since she knows Hiroto is young and does not have the same mindset as her. 

However, I’m glad that this episode gave Rintaro more screen-time because I think he deserves to be on equal footing as Hiroto.  I’m REALLY HOPING that both guys are lead characters because it would suck big-time if one guy is labelled as the second lead, AKA the guy doomed to never get the girl!  I refuse to believe that Rintaro is a second-lead because he has so much chemistry with Sakura that there is no way they can’t develop it into something more!  And we already know that Hiroto will fall for Sakura, and that Sakura already likes Hiroto so…….

Both guys must be lead characters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They have to be!!!!!!!!  Anyways, anyone with me on team RINTARO? 

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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  • Sadly, I hated this episode. I just don’t like that we are getting a Sakura is making lovey-dovey eyes at Hiroto and acts like an idiot, to the point that she barely blinks when he admits to having relationship with Momo and just smiles on saying he’ll talk to Momo and work it out. YOU’RE RIGHT. That’s the moment you cut your losses and remove the cheater from your life, because, guess what, you deserve someone better AND there are plenty of better people in the world.

    My problem is that Sakura is supposed to be in her late 30s. She has had relationships in the past and has been hurt, so she should know better and have some self-value. Plus, in the first episode we had a character that was self-confident (wearing awful clothing to please an old lady, not caring about what anyone thought). Now we have someone acting like a love-struck teenager that has no experience in love, accepting someone who has said he is with someone else. She has known him for a few days (or a few weeks, at most), so this isn’t even a scenario were you struggle to let go because you’ve been in a relationship/in love for so long that it makes separating difficult.

    I was hoping that once she saw Hiroto & Momo kiss, maybe Sakura would go on some wicked revenge path (you know, “If you’re playing with me, I’ll play with you and make suffer”), but no….

    I’m checking out of this one. Fortunately ep. 5 of Itzura na Kiss was awesome (honestly, Kotoko – who is a teenager for the love the first time – is acting more mature and has more self-respect than Sakura)!

    • URGH, Sakura really needs to get herself together and show Hiroto that she’s not as easy as he thinks she is. And how in the world is Hiroto & Momo’s relationship not sending blaring warning signals to her? I really want Sakura to show some GIRL POWER but at this point……..she is not. T_T

  • I am not a fan of the dopey love stricken Sakura. It’s just so disappointing. But at the same time I did like how she tried to change but came to the conclusion she was ok the way she is.

    Scary stalker Choko. The one moment I was starting to pity her the did the projector scene. Talk about warped.

    I really enjoyed seeing just how good of friends Tacibana & Sakura are in this episode. It was nice to see them worrying, laughing & supporting.

    I also get a sibling vibe with Sakura & Hiroto

    • I feel like I am going through Drama Go Go Go again. T______T Yeah at least Sakura isn’t sooo driven to change that she totally changes her personality. But I like the moments when she does show her maturity and seriousness, like when she was serious with Rintaro for a split-second. That is when I admire her much more. I wish she would focus less on her cutesy innocent behavior and more on her maturity as an adult.

      • I sort of feel there is an inconsistency with her character. Like she’s strong at times (wearing what she wants, sticking to her messy look, speaking up when she sees perceived wrongs like the guy snatching a seat on the bus or the smoking girl, willing to publicly beg for forgiveness from Momo), but then her brain checks out when it comes to love. I just find that very difficult to buy. If she saw someone else cheating, say, on a friend, I’m sure she’d totally tear them apart, but with herself she’s just like ‘okay’ and still wants a kiss.

        I mean, iiiiiick, why would you want a kiss from a guy who kissed another girl just earlier that day? And not accidentally, but because he’s in a relationship with the other girl?

        • *sigh* I know, that is it, she is supposed to be this strong person yet also a wishy washy person when it comes to love. Come on, I want her to have some spine!

          I do not get where the writer is going with this. It would’ve been great if she broke up with him and refused all his advances after seeing him with Momo. That way it would give Hiroto a challenge to pursue her.

        • I completely agree with being annoyed and pissed at Sakura for being inconsistently confident, and I want her to change ASAP. However, I have known people who are fabulous and confident in all aspects of their lives except for love, so I think that her character isn’t entirely unrealistic. I think it’s more exaggerated than it would be in real life, but I hope this means we’ll get to see her develop. A lot of times with badass heroines, the woman doesn’t actually develop or change over the series, but Shinohara Ryoko is great at portraying strong but vulnerable characters, so hopefully we’ll see Sakura woman up 🙂

          • Oh, I know people who are fabulous & strong in life but struggling with love – that’s not farfetched at all. But I don’t know anyone personally like this that would also stick with someone who admits cheating after they have known him for a few days/weeks.

            The only ones I know that stick/stuck with cheaters were young when they started the relationship (under 25), or had infested a significant amount of time before they found out (and maybe had complications like children).

            Of course, it’s not the sort of thing people would advertise openly, so who knows…

  • I tried to get into this drama because Fujiki Naohito is super duper awesome but… I seriously can’t handle it if he’s going to be second lead.

    I mean, even if you accept that a kid like Hiroto would go for someone that much older, what woman in her right mind would be attracted to a two-timing, good for nothing manchild? Such relationships in real life are rarely more than flings.

    Urgh. Sometimes the level of delusion in Asian dramas really makes me shake my head.

    • HE CAN’T BE THE SECOND LEAD, HE CAN’T! I HAVE FAITH IN HIM!

      I also wonder just what Sakura is even expecting from this relationship. Is she just trying it out with him so she can experience the feeling of first love again? Or is she really looking for something deeper than that? You are right, this is just like a fling that is inevitably going to end.

  • Oh yeah, and the ‘no chemistry’ thing is pretty damning in my book. Sakura and Hiroto just don’t look right together (in so much as they can given how much older she is).

  • Great review! I’m waiting for Hiroto to get some more dimension, because at the moment, Rintaro wins, hands down. Anyway, I’m still hoping once Hiroto actually falls for Sakura, the chemistry will happen. Please, Drama? Side note: if you want to see Miura Haruma with his hair back, I have three words: Samurai High School. Sure, it’s probably geared towards teenagers or younger, but WHO CARES. Plus Yuko-san in high school!

    I was also disappointed in Sakura this episode. Still, I sort of like that we see that side of her character, because I actually think it gives her more dimension than if she’d been confrontational right off the bat. This way, she has room for growth and development, which I appreciate. If she’d been this way in episode 8, I’d be pissed. Since the drama is also about her becoming confident in herself, though, I’m expecting a beatdown in the near future.

    I am not sure what the deal is between Choko and Hiroto. Are they siblings? Step-siblings? It looked like he was kissing her in the preview for the next episode? The way Hiroto reacted to her comment, it made me think that Hiroto may have had a relationship that scarred him, or that he was privy to a similar one for Choko. I think that may be why he’s so cavalier about people’s feelings; I think he’s walled off his own so he can become a heartless gigolo.

    Anyway, I don’t mind this episode fleshing out everybody’s relationships without moving the plot forward much. I just hope Shima stays strong and helps Miki and her husband. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

    • I think that Choko & Hiroto are siblings, or at least step-siblings. I got the feeling that Hiroto is the black sheep in the family, but he only keeps contact with Choko. They had this feeling of camaraderie going on between the two of them, when Choko talks about how she can’t be with Rintaro. I thought she was implying that they both know how restrictive their parents are. But maybe I’m wrong, if the preview really is showing Choko and Hiroto getting it on. O_____O By the way I don’t think Hiroto is a gigolo but he is a playboy/freeloader.

      I also think that Sakura has potential to grow into a more confident character. I just hope it won’t take too long for it to happen. T_T Oh, and I’m VERY scared for the possible PREGNANCY that the preview hints at. I wanna see Rintaro get protective over Sakura though! *hopeful thinking*

      And lol at the Samurai High School reference, that drama totally slipped my mind! I will go look up pics of Miura now *W*

  • Hi Heisui, it’s cherry/pelicia 😀
    I’m shipping for Rintaro all the wayyyyyyyyyy (since I watched the drama cause of Naohito lol), though I have a feeling Sakura’s going to end up with Hiroto..
    I actually kinda fell for Hiroto this episode, just cause he looks better with a ponytail. I’m so shallow I know.

    And I totally agree with Sakura-Hiroto having no chemistry. It just feels so weird seeing them as a couple. Hiroto’s character also seems a bit forced, or it might just be me not being used to seeing such a playboy Miura Haruma.

    By the way, I just saw your Itazura na Kiss screenshot, what a surprise! I screenshot the same thing, Kotoko’s expression is just priceless!

    Okay, back to Last Cinderella. I really enjoyed reading the review, especially since now you’re shipping Rintaro-Sakura! 😀

    • Hello Cherry! I recognized your gravatar, hehe!

      YES! YES! ALL IN FOR RINTARO! WE MUST HAVE FAITH IN HIM! LOL and yeah…I liked Hiroto a bit better because of his ponytail too 😛 But I like Rintaro better so the ponytail didn’t persuade me!

  • Geez, I thnk this is me(Sakura). Turning 40 is not fun especially if you didn’t have a boyfriend in 15-20 years. It takes time to get back in the game, not like younger women bec there are a lot to consider , like is the guy willing to go serious about this relationship bec as I grow older, my chances of having kids are getting slimmer too, I just don’t want to waste my time on a guy when time is running out, I guess.

    • Thanks for your perspective! :3 I think it would’ve been better if they had shown this dilemma a bit more..tastefully in LC then. Or hopefully Sakura will show that she is thinking about this stuff because..she might be pregnant O_O

  • I’m so glad I found this blog! I just watched all three eps last night and my first impression was “OMG, she’s me!” That is if I was a skinny, Japanese, hairdresser that drinks beer, which I’m not. I am however a 38 yr. old unmarried woman who hasn’t been in a relationship in 10 years, who sets multiple alarm clocks, has horrifying chin hairs (I’ve also hurt myself trying to pluck them), is messy and disorganized, dresses more for comfort then fashion, and for the most part is comfortable in my own skin. I have a weakness for flower boys in dramas so this is like my fantasy put into a drama. That said I loved the first episode, but I’m liking this drama a bit less with each subsequent ep. I agree with Rina. Putting myself in Sakura’s place (because she is me) there is no way I would tolerate Hiroto’s behavior. He’s adorable yes, and I’d be flattered beyond belief, but I’d also be looking for the ‘catch’ and seeing him getting kissed by another girl and then smiling (their body language screamed they were sexually comfortable around each other) would be the kiss of death for him. I probably wouldn’t kick him to the curb because lets face it, how often do 38 yr. old women get flower boy candy chasing after them like that, but I would harden my heart toward him and treat him even more like a little brother. As for Rintaro that would be where I would be swaying because although I like the idea of a flower boy I would feel ridiculous being with one and I’m getting the sense she’s getting that as well. I wouldn’t be obverse to showing off this boys interest to Rintaro either. Especially after his insensitive jokes about my femininity. I really dig their push/ pull relationship, but then I like those types of relationships. Keeps things interesting!

    One other thing thats been kind of bothering me, why does the acting in Japanese dramas come off as so stilted? I tend to watch more Korean dramas because I feel like their interactions appear more natural than the Japanese ones (not the only reason I watch Kdramas though). Is this something to do with the way that the Japanese interact amongst each other?

    • I love your comment, it is great to see how people can relate to Sakura’s character. From what you pointed out, I think it would’ve been more realistic if Sakura didn’t put up with Hiroto, or at least if she had stopped viewing him as a romantic partner. LOL now that I think about it, yeah Sakura has every right to prove Rintaro wrong by showing that a younger guy is hitting on her. I just hope Rintaro gets jealous, HAHA. 😉

      I really don’t think we can generalize about Japanese acting. It depends more on the actors themselves, not on whether they are acting in j-dramas or k-dramas. But keep in mind that this is a rom-com, and oftentimes rom-coms may have a lower quality of acting. And it is the rom-coms that are often most popular amongst j-drama fans. There are still lots of more serious j-dramas that have superb acting, but simply are not given as much exposure as the popular rom-coms.

    • Sorry, passing through again because dramas are more fun than grad school. I completely agree on what Sakura would do with Hiroto in real life, but my real interest is in the last bit of your comment. Apologies for the length, because I have many conflicting feelings about this subject that, at the end of the day, is really a matter of opinion.

      I think your comment about acting in j-dramas v. k-dramas is accurate for some, but definitely not all. I would be interested if it is specific scenes that you are talking about, or just a general feeling you get from j-dramas. I am biased towards j-dramas because they were my first, but I do think they tend to be more formulaic and/or episodic than k-dramas, and there was a long period when I switched over to k-dramas entirely. I also think that J-dramas are focused more on portraying platonic friendship than romance, but I often wish there was more of a balance between the two.

      However, I think that the non-episodic j-dramas tend to have tighter writing and directing than k-dramas, since Korean dramas are longer, always need to fill time, and have that pesky live-shoot system (compare Hana Yori Dango with Boys Before Flowers). Also, I think that Japanese dramas have more instrumental soundtrack pieces than cheesy ballads, which I think is always the worst part of otherwise good Korean dramas (e.g. the overwritten love ballads in Gu Family Book are killing me right now).

      As far as stilted acting goes, you’ll see good and bad acting and writing in both countries. I think J-dramas tend to be based on manga more often, and they do consistent broad comedy better than most Korean series, with less tendency towards meeeelodrama (see: Hana Kimi, Nodame Cantabile, Gokusen, Seigi no Mikata). Even rom-com K-dramas tend to be cute in the beginning, and then have all angst, all the time in the last quarter. And again, there’s always variation between actors, as with the Song Seung-hon phenomenon. Even when J-dramas are not based on a manga, the dramatic beats tend to be in that style, so I think it might be an artistic quirk more than bad acting. I tend to like the trendy comedic ones more, but if you want to see fantastic acting paired with awesome directing, I would recommend Nobuta wo Produce, or Yasashii Jikan. Even in the Japanese procedurals like Boss, I still see moments of well-executed emotion, when they’re called for. I was just rewatching the totally goofy Samurai High School (baby Miura Haruma! who… looks the same as now?), and even in that one, there are moments when two friends are walking together that seem more natural than similar scenes in Korean dramas.

      I agree that Korean series tend to be better at portraying realistic romance, but I think that’s probably a symptom of media disconnect from reality than a representation of how things are between Japanese people. I’m not sure about this, but there may be more regulations in Japan about what can be portrayed on screen than in Korean ones. I haven’t ever heard of Japanese cable channels, not to mention the stranglehold Johnny’s Entertainment seems to have on the stories portrayed and which actors (most of whom are idols, i.e. not actors) get lead roles. Honestly I’m surprised at how good some of the Johnny’s are. Still, dramas in Japan are slowly getting more realistic in portrayals of romance, as with Shinohara’s Anego.

      Anyway WOW I obviously think about this a lot. I agree with you overall, although it probably looked like I was defending J-dramas. I think there are a lot of cultural differences between the acting and story styles, but I think it is mostly personal preference. I would like to hear your thoughts on the subject!

      • “because dramas are more fun than grad school.” AHAHAHA.

        I’m sure we could write a book on this issue, that is how complicated it is. Actually both Korea & Japan have their fair share of idol dramas and bad acting. I agree that k-dramas focus heavily on romance, even if the genre is not romance, they will find some way to add it into the plot. In general, J-dramas may not be as realistic in their portrayal of romance but then again I’m not so sure k-dramas are super realistic either O_O

        • You really could write a book on this stuff, and maybe people have. I need to learn to read these languages so I can find it! I just love thinking about how culture influences visual storytelling mediums.

          Both countries have their strengths and weaknesses. I have noticed that there are fewer poorly-made dramas in Japan than in Korea, probably because of the live-shoot system in Korea, but the well-done Korean ones are REALLY well-done. I think in Korea you are more likely to see sloppy technical work or unintentionally absurd stories (apparently their JIN interpretation was one for the ages). In Japan, if the story is zany, it’s generally intentional and pretty well-calculated. Except for the Hong sisters, I don’t think I’ve seen a Korean series as funny as Seigi no Mikata or Hana Kimi.

          As far as romance goes, I do think there are more k-dramas like Soulmate, The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry, or (I hear) I Need Romance that portray relationships that could be real. Similar j-dramas like Around 40 come off as less natural, although I still really enjoyed that one (Amami Yuki and Fujiki Naohito FTW!) Even the aesthetic of Coffee Prince, with its crazy concept, is more natural than a lot of j-dramas with all the indie music. Still, I think that Proposal Daisakusen (j-version, haven’t seen the k one), as an example, had a pretty realistic portrayal of friends becoming lovers that you wouldn’t really see in a k-drama, just with the supernatural stuff as the framework.

          Often I fantasize about a super-drama with the best elements of both countries coming together. I think there have been some collaborations like Rondo, but I haven’t watched that one yet.

          • Heh, I have thought of attempting to write a post about this issue..but it is so tricky and I feel like it would step on a lot of toes. Maybe I shall attempt it someday. O_O

            But I totally agree, what it all boils down to is..every country has its strengths & weaknesses in their dramas! Actually I think a lot of people take pride in the high production values in k-dramas. Even if a k-drama has a bad plot or something, it will usually have really high production values in cinematography and such.

            As for j-dramas, they can go all out with the craziness and still seem…kind of normal. O_O Like it is expected. i.e. Hana Kimi, etc.

      • “because dramas are more fun than grad school” Hehehehe. I know what you mean somehow….

        I agree with most of what you say except:

        “I agree that Korean series tend to be better at portraying realistic romance”

        Not sure about that. While there are plenty of J-dramas that are not very good portraying realistic romance, I find generally with doramas you can find realistic ones, while with K-dramas I feel it’s like once in a blue moon. Especially when it comes to romance – so much more pretense about adults & intimacy (and even more of those wooden plank kisses than in J-dramas).

        • Heeee wooden plank kisses.

          I guess I haven’t seen that many full-on romance j-dramas. I feel like Japanese dramas are more subtle in general, whether the budgets are lower or what, I’m not sure. They do quiet scenes really well, but again- major generalization. I guess with the current trend of women! In the city! Dating! dramas in Korea, you get a semblance of romance without the real stuff. Which ones do you mean when you say there’s pretense about adults and intimacy?

  • “so much more pretense about adults & intimacy (and even more of those wooden plank kisses than in J-dramas).”

    LOL, I remember thinking after I had seen a few dramas (both J & K), “Do Asian men not know how to kiss?” I even teased one of my Korean friends about this when I was visiting him recently. He just groaned and pointed out that Korean dramas are not real life. In hind sight I should have made it a point to test that theory when I was in Seoul, I would have liked to have personally found out that it’s not true. Hmm, next time! With very few exceptions, I would not agree that Korean dramas are better at portraying romance though I still think the way they interact with the other characters in general appears more natural. It’s always the romantic scenes though when things get awkward. The Coffee Prince is one of my favorite dramas because the romantic scenes seem believable. They are affectionate with each other and touch which just felt really natural to me. I would also agree about the differences between HYD vs BOF, but I honestly loved them both. I first watched BOF, in fact it was the first Asian drama I saw but I caught it after only a few episodes when it was still airing. I enjoyed it so much that I looked up the actors online and discovered it was based on the HYD so I went and watched HYD in it’s entirety before I’d finished watching all of BOF. I went completely gaga for Matsujun which was just embarrassing. To be a 34 yr. old woman completely moony for a twenty something Japanese pop star, and objectively speaking he’s not even the cutiest of the HYD crew nor Arashi, but I <3 him. I've since worked through my crush (mostly- ahh Matsujun! <3<3<3) so no worries. I just feel like he would be too particular about things in RL based on interviews I've seen with him and as I've pointed out before, "I'm Sakura." I went mad crazy at the beginning watching entirely Japanese dramas, pretty much anything I could find with Matsujun in it (loved Bambino). I also stumbled across Absolute Boyfriend (Zettai Kareshi) which I loved, and Kimi wa Pet which I also loved but started to cement the idea in my head that Japanese dramas could get pretty weird with their plots and I felt like sometimes the way they speak gets pretty outrageous. Make no mistake, I still love them, but I go through long periods where I lean more towards Korean dramas. But then I've also gone through periods where I was watching mostly Taiwanese dramas so there you go. I love a good rom-com but even more I love the school dramas. When you combine them like in HYD I am in absolute heaven! Gokusen was great for that as well. How I longed to be the teacher with Matsu crushing on me.

    • Ahhhhahahaha ohmagah wooden plank kisses. So true! I admit I’ve watched a lot of dramas, but I still have a really tiny sample size of straight-up romance ones. The thing is, unless it’s billed as a romance j-drama, they generally don’t get to the kissing stage, and even then, it’s anyone’s guess how much physical intimacy there is.

      I am so with you on the school drama love. My first asian drama was Gokusen, and then is was all “wait, the students are in… Hana Yori what now?” and that was all she wrote. I think I could map all the dramas I’ve ever watched on a tree connecting the actors. After HYD, it was Hana Kimi, then Nobuta, then Kurosagi, then Proposal Daisakusen, and Nodame made it in there somehow because you just can’t ignore her. After that it gets a little murkier, but I have a huge softspot for the school dramas, episodic and on-the-nose as they may be. I am rewatching Samurai High School and I love it. I mean, sure you could cut glass on Miura Haruma’s cheekbones, but the whole thing is just hysterical. I do like the Korean HYD, mainly for Lee Min-ho’s insane charisma, but stand by the Japanese one as superior to all other versions quality-wise.

      It’s funny, I loooved Matsujun’s Domyouji but I couldn’t get through 2 episodes of Bambino. I love the zany ones, but I love Yasashii Jikan, too. I enjoyed Zettai Kareshi but didn’t love it until the very last episode. I don’t think I actually finished Kimi wa Petto; the actors were great but the whole thing bordered a little on the creepy side for me. But then, Mei-chan no Shitsuji? Candy for my soul. It defies logic.

      I’m the same way with long periods of Korean dramas in between my j-drama binges, but k-dramas can get pretty cheesy too.

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