First Impressions on Summer Japanese Dramas: Woman, Starman, Summer Nude

 

For Spring 2013, I watched Otenki Oneesan, Galileo 2, Itazura na Kiss, and Last Cinderella. The gem would be Itazura na Kiss and Galileo 2 was not as I expected but I waited for Summer 2013 dramas with a hope that things will be better. I’ve watched three new summer dramas and two of them are about single mothers. The other has Yamapi, Erika Toda and Karina, talk about heating us up in summer with such a cast.

Woman

Woman is a brilliant drama about single mothers who really have it hard. After Koharu’s husband, Shin, dies in a train accident, she has to bring up two kids alone. Financial difficulties ultimately lead her back to her mother which she hasn’t seen for 20 years. I’ve never watched Mitsushima Hikari in action before so it’s really fresh for me. And Suzuki Rio is such a gem. I’m just glad Japan can present new children actors, instead of staging Ashida Mana all the time. I like Ashida Mana though, no offence here. Episode 1 shows how Koharu deals with her situation in 3 years before meeting her mother. You can see her slowing breaking apart, initially she is patience towards Nozomi’s and Riku’s antics. But as time pass, she can no longer hold in her frustration. The part where Riku’s stroller was pushed down was every mother’s epic nightmare. Riku wasn’t in the stroller however, and she just breaks down in public. Things like that occur and it pains me as an audience because these do happen. It’s not aiming to be a sob story but it does show very tragic scenes so it’s somewhat a life drama.

There’s a few particular things they touch on motherhood like how motherhood is not a switch you can turn on and off. Once a mother, forever a mother. However, there are mothers who never chose to be mothers and there are mothers who can abandon their children. It’s somewhat unspoken that mother and child bond is probably most of the time stronger than father and child bond. But in real life, not all mothers are wholeheartedly dedicated to their children. Some put their own lives first and it may not be wrong if you look at it from a perspective. For Koharu, she says a few times that she isn’t fit to be a mother but I think it isn’t really whether she was fit to be a mother or not. She WANTED to be a mother, and that was all that matters. She won’t abandon her children because she wants to be their mother who nurtures them and brings them happiness.

Starman

Kono Hoshi no Koi or Starman brings another single mother story to the summer dramas. Except this is more upbeat compared to Woman so I recommend you watch this after you watch Woman just to lift your mood. The ensemble of sons are cute and I LOVE the youngest son. The story is set in the countries where all is idle and there aren’t much of any young people around. Uno Sawako(Hirosue Ryoko) has three sons and lives with her grandmother. Her husband ran off years ago. She however still holds hope of meeting a ‘nice’ guy who loves children. Cue the entrance of an amnesiac guy, played by Fukushi Sota. He’s young, hot and has no memories whatsoever. Which makes him perfect candidate as Sawako’s husband. Everyone in the family, down to granny is into the plan together but the eldest son is not fond of the idea. The youngest son however is overjoyed to have a father since their father left when he was really young and helps out with his mother’s ‘conspiracies’. Really cute conspiracies. Now named Hoshio ( because he likes to stare at the starry skies), he lives with the Uno family. Kin-chan from Itazura na Kiss is here too! And he is still the eager character with a not- so- happy girlfriend. Give the guy a break… Anyhow, a comet fell in the town a night before Hoshio was found, coupled with how he feels nostalgic when he looks at stars leads to a theory that he might be possessed by an alien. Seriously. No Kidding.

Summer Nude

Summertime rekindles old flames and brings in new ones as well. Summer Nude brings us a hot cast with Yamashita Tomohisa, Erika Toda and Karina. It’s a story about Asahi who still holds feelings for his missing lover, cameo by Nagasawa Masami. She was also  in Proposal Daisakusen with Yamapi. Erika Toda stars as Hanae who holds a crush over Asahi for what it seems to be a long time but never acted on it. He knows, but he still hasn’t gotten over Kasumi( Nagasawa’s character). I would find it hard to get over too if she’s in beer adverts all over my town. Asahi works as a photographer and took pictures for Natsuki’s(Karina) wedding. He also took pictures of Natsuki’s devastated state after her just married husband left in a taxi. Natsuki is an experienced chef so Asahi head-hunts her to help out in his friend’s restaurant/beach hut. She’s reluctant but eventually has to get involved. So in this drama, they’re trying to display three love situations with one guy and three women. Oh well, easier to keep track instead of giving us three couples. I can’t shake off the feeling of how familiar it is to me because it seemed a bit like Nada Sou Sou, minus siblings and tragedies and death. It’s got beach and Nagasawa Masami is there that’s why I got that impression.

I don’t know how exciting the drama will get but I know I’ve got my supply of eye-candy this summer. Yamapi never seems to sport a very different hairstyle though and for me, he plays nearly just one type of character. I won’t be expected much from him since I’ve watched quite a few of his dramas. He isn’t versatile but at least he can fit into this kind of dramas. Erika Toda’s character seems like a jealous crush. She sees the possibility between Asahi and Natsuki, and gets instantly jealous and she’s very frank with it with Natsuki. I don’t know how I can like her character although I love Erika. First episode has given more exposure to Natsuki’s story and given more development to Natuski x Asahi pair. So it is too early to tell which couple I wanna ship.

Verdict

Too early to say I’ll drop anything but I’ll probably continue giving reviews whenever I feel like it. There are quite  a few dramas that I’m still expecting to see that haven’t premier yet. So far so good though.  SUMMER, BRING IT ON. o(^^o)(o^^)o

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6 thoughts on “First Impressions on Summer Japanese Dramas: Woman, Starman, Summer Nude

    • dramamochi says:

      I’m watching it casually but I haven’t dropped it. It’s quirky, slightly weird and for some people some characters over react but there’s something that keeps me watching. There are quite a lot of holes in the story but it’s warm somehow. Or maybe I’m just too bored, I’m watching anything now. Surprisingly, I dropped Woman because I can’t handle anymore sad or dramatic scenes after since heartless city and shark. Going all out for more upbeat dramas now…

      • heisui says:

        Ok thanks! Yeah after Cruel City I’m just…..meh. Even Woman is getting to be very heavy for me. I think I really need to find myself some more happy dramas to watch, HAHA!

      • dramamochi says:

        EXACTLY. Just too much heavy for me the last few dramas. I’m like hands up and outta this. Let’s just watch dramas with rainbows and unicorns in them 0.0

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