Friday, December 28, 2012

Yamato Nadeshiko Shinchi Henge

Blessed with good looks, Takano Kyohei is always suffering from the unreasonable behaviour of customers who want him and the sexual harassment of his store manager. Because of his hot temper, he loses his head on this occasion and is fired from his part time job. Then one day, the glamorous house owner, Ms Nakahara proposes, "I'll give you free board and lodging if you can turn my niece, Sunako, into a lady!". Kyohei, and Toyama Yukinojo, Oda Takenaga, and Morii Ranmaru, the other guys living together in the same boarding house, are enthusiastic, but the person who appears before the four of them is a spooky girl whose hair covers her face and who loves horror and vampires. And so, their tumultuous communal life begins..

My opinion:
On the surface, the story looks "usual" with typical shoujo manga elements such as: an ugly and antisocial girl who stay with 4 uber handsome and popular guys, school/dormitory life, conflicts with family, etc. The personalities of the 4 guys are also typical: the hot-headed one, the "girly" one, the cool and quiet one, and the womaniser. But hey, this is the best dorama of 2010. There have to be plenty of reasons.

First reason is the humour. Being another dorama based on manga, the humour and jokes can be over the top. So it is cool when these over-the-top things can be made realistic, believable, and still hilarious on screen. And this is closely tied-in with the actors who play their roles well. And the actors are the second reason. Well, perhaps the more accurate one is the acting. They can switch modes from being lame, funny, serious, angry, frustrated, sad, touched etc easily. This applies not only to the main 5 people but also to the supporting casts. Basically, that makes the dorama very watchable. The supporting casts are not mere decorations as there are few subplots which centre about them.

Third reason is the plot. The theme of "don't judge book by its cover" is a common thing. But people tend to relate it to someone ugly or stupid. Has anybody thought that good looks can also bring problem? I would say that it is a genius to think that way. While on one side we see Sunako's problems with her peculiarity, on the other side, we are also presented with the problems from the ikemens due to their good looks: stalking, sexual harrassment, just to name a few.

People will expect that in the end, the ugly duckling will change into a beautiful swan. I don't know about the manga but in the dorama, it does not happen. So words like "What matters most is your heart, not your face" or "Be yourself" said by the characters are not empty words. That is another bonus point for me. Having said that, it means that throughout the series, there are very few opportunities to show the pretty side of Oomasa Aya (who plays Sunako). I love her bad-ass side especially during the fights in episode 1 when she is wearing kimono. Yea...

My life is not perfect. At times, I hate my job and I hate my life. There are times when I wish that I were born to a rich family.. Or that I were born damn handsome or talented so that I can make a living from being a movie star or something. But hey, the grass is always greener at the other side although in reality the greener side may have more shit as the fertilizer.. After watching this, I don't think it is a perfect life to have strangers stalking you or to have parents forcing you to take over family business and maintain family status. Which is better or which is worse? I don't know.. What's best is to make the best out of what I currently have and who I currently am.

And at my current age, it is kinda horror to challenges in love lives that guys commonly face: scared to commit, worried of being rejected, scared that other people see our weaknesses. And the most horrific thing is to watch Ranmaru's love story. While I am NOT a womaniser, I see some resemblence with him: my friends are mostly females but yet I am still single. Other than the common horros that guys face, I have to admit that I am still selfish and I love myself so much that perhaps I am unable to love another person yet. Gosh.. looks like an arranged marriage or even a matchmaking is fine with me at this stage of life sia =x

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