Sunday, August 2, 2015


Masamune Asuka is popular high school student who is not only handsome, clever, but also the All Japan champion in kendo. However, beneath all of this, Asuka hides a secret that he loves girly things such as cooking, sewing, sweet food, shoujo manga, soft toys, etc. Conversely, Miyakozuka Ryo, who is recently transferred to Ginyuri High School, is a pretty young lady who is also skillful in martial arts but not in cooking or sewing. They instantly fall for each other but will their story be as rosy as those depicted in shoujo mangas?

My opinion:
Otomen is a Japanese boy who excels in both military and literary arts while hiding his girly hobbies, such as cooking and sewing, his girly way of thinking and and his skills to act as a real man. That is the definition of otomen provided in the live drama.

From the synopsis and the first few minutes of the first episode, I have high expectations that this is going to be a hilarious gender-bender comedy. Unfortunately, this potential is not realised as the story progresses more like a shoujo manga romance with funny scenes as fillers instead of the reverse. The thing is there is not enough "meat" to drive the romance plot. In fact, the story is kinda messy with plenty of sub-plots, such as Asuka and his estranged father, which do not get closure. Even the romance ends up very ambiguous with no couples being explicitly established. There is very little character development as the characters remain the same throughout the show.

The 12 episodes feel rather disjointed with every episode introducing different story with no main plot to connect everything together. The story ends quite abruptly with Ryo deciding to transfer school and the final climax is 'merely' whether the 2 main characters will be honest enough to admit their feelings towards each other. Meh! I was expecting Asuka's being otomen will be revealed and will be accepted by his friends and mother or something along that line. This may be predictable but at least it is something related to the title.

Masamune Asuka is played by Masaki Okada. I think he lacks the presence to be the lead character. Even when he is together with a group of the casts, he just does not have the aura as the lead. For a comedy, he is too serious but this works quite well for Otomen as some of the funny scenes are funny because the characters don't realise that they are being funny. Kaho, who plays Ryo, is very pretty. Kyaaa!! The picture up there does not do justice!! I am surprised that she is not that popular in the sense that she does not play in a lot of popular titles. Quite wasted as I think she plays even better than Masaki Okada, including those serious scenes which are meant to be funny.

While Asuka and Ryo's funny scenes are mostly because their straight faces and serious expressions while doing and saying funny things, the bulk of the comedy is done by the support characters. Funny scenes involving Isono are lame, funny scenes involving Tonomine and Oharida-senpai are pretty hilarious, but the best laughter comes from Tachibana.

My afterthoughts:
I am half otomen too okay! Lol.. I don't do martial arts but I can't cook or sew too. Haha.. I just enjoy reading shoujo manga, eating sweet food, and collecting cute collectibles. So ya, I can sort of relate to what the otomen in the story is going through, from the friends who don't approve and from fellow otomen who approve. But seriously, in real life, girls are pretty okay with otomen.

I missed buying the manga when it was released by Elex Media Komputindo. Before watching the dorama, I was prepared that I would be hooked and would be hunting for the manga after watching. Well, I dorama just kills whatever interest I initially had for the manga. Ooops..

I am actually quite shocked to realise that the last time I wrote about J-dramas was in 2013!! That means I did not watch any in 2014.. Omg.. What happened to my 2014 T_T I had no life..

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