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Monday, April 10, 2017

5-ji kara 9-ji made (2015)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 10 episodes
Genre: romance, comedy
Cast: Ishihara Satomi, Yamashita Tomohisa, Tanaka Kei, Furukawa Yuki, Kaga Mariko, Takanashi Rin, Saeko, Yoshimoto Miyu, Nagatsuma Reo, Takada Hyoga, Tsunematsu Yuri, Terada Kokoro, Nakamura Anne, Hayami Mokomichi, Toda Keiko, Ueshima Ryuhei, Shison Jun
Synopsis:  After accidentally throwing the ashes on the priest on funeral service, Sakuraba Junko is embarrassed to death, but relieved not to see him ever again. She has a dream of working in New York and everyday she is getting closer to this dream in ELA - English Language Academy - where she is one of the best language teachers. For her misfortune, she is set up for arranged marriage with Hoshikawa Takane, who happens to be the same priest from the service. To add to it, Takane ends up falling hopelessly in love with Junko and has set to make her his wife no matter what.
Rating: 5/5
Another drama that I waited a bit too much to see, not sure what were the reasons. "5-ji kara 9-ji made" is a very comical drama, that is easy to watch and does not make you feel depressed from too much drama.


Our leading lady is Junko, who loves her independence and has great authority at home and work. Though, in a way you can see similarities with Hotaru from "Hotaru no hikari" as Junko is also very neat and lady-like outside, but at home she is more laid-back and has tendency to drink beer in the middle of the night when something is bothering her. Despite Junko not noticing it, she is always herself with Hoshikawa and showing out her true emotions. Or it might be due to the fact that he stalks her all the time and she just has no other possibility. It is nice to see how she is developing feelings towards Hoshikawa, though the realization and change in her attitude might come a bit unexpectedly. Ishihara Satomi definitely proved herself to be great actress and I was amazed by her English.
Hoshikawa is one of the most misunderstood characters in the drama. For sure, he is not my taste of a man, because I do not like so persistent guys who go around and say "Only I can make you happy, "I love you (though I know you just few days)" and stalk around. Of course, we can explain his situation with the fact that most of the time the meaning of his sayings was vice-versa as "Only YOU can make me happy" and in the end, this was his first time being in love. Though we all might think that we would  not mind having this kind of handsome man running around us, and in the end he is a monk, but the rational side of me reminds you that you that you should never take stalking lightly. But sure the drama and their situation  is a fun laugh.
My favorite moments were when he was actually showing his emotions and you could really see that deep down he is just a boy looking for real love. Many are again complaining about Yamashita Tomohisa's "dead eyes", but I do not have to remind you that his character is "a monk who is trained to show lack of emotions in his face" and "man who has devoted himself to the temple". That's why it was so important how Junko is able to bring emotions to his face. His true acting skills come out when he is allowed to show emotions and I want to see then who says that this man cannot act. Yamashita Tomohisa made marvelous performance. At first I was worried about Yamashita Tomohisa's English prounciation, despite hearing him talk before in English and watching "Route 66 ~ Tatta hitori no America~" documentary. But he really managed to surprise me with how much his English has improved with the years. Between years of 2014-2015, he also had his own TV-show about English and the entire 2nd season was connected to the cast of "5-ji kara 9-ji made".
Is it possible to have a drama without a mother or grandmother who does not want bad for the main lead? It is, but not in this case. Grandma of Hoshikawa is the one ruling over the temple. She is the woman behind every single action going on in the temple and that's why she feels that she is the right person to choose the wife for Hoshikawa. Of course Junko does not apply for any of the requirements that she has for the wife of the main priest. In the end of the drama you will get to know more about the Grandma and her reasons, but still it does not make sense to me why she got involved also when she had the perfect chance to get rid of Junko if she would not have interfered. Anyone who remembers "Hana yori tango" will also remember Kaga Mariko playing as a similar character. Nothing to say, but this woman rocks her characters.
Grandma's choice is sweet Kaori, that is the perfect match for the temple, but does not arise any kind of emotion in Hoshikawa. For most of the time I felt so sorry for Kaori, because all the situation was unfair to her. She had serious feelings for Hoshikawa and in reality only accepted this offer with the thought that she is going to be Hoshikawa's wife. In addition, there was nobody on her side - Grandma cared only that she will be the wife of the main priest, no matter which one of her grandchildren it will be.
It is surprising how many men are circling around Junko and how ignorant she can be in this subject. Kiyomiya is her old language teacher, who two years ago gave her the idea of becoming a language teacher herself. He has not only been her mentor, but also her great friend and first serious crush. Kiyomiya is also misunderstood character and in a way I feel sorry for him. Despite being successful and fulfilling most of his dreams, he also has a bad luck following him when it comes to relationships. I do enjoy that the scriptwriters give you a chance to see two very different Kiyomiyas. One who is at work as a boss and other who he is at home with his gay-couple-friends. Though the whole scene went a bit over-the-board with "This is how it is in USA" and everything, I would have liked to see what would have happened if things had gone differently..
I guess almost the only character that I felt was a little bit unnecessary was Mishima. No matter what - I felt that Mishima was forced character in the drama. Being a successful businessman, he kind of thought that he can have everything in the world, but he could not get the vibe that he was so far in the friendzone for Junko, that he had totally 0% chances with her. No matter what I was unable to bring myself to like him. Of course the same does not apply for Furukawa Yuki, even though by appearance he still stands less chances than Yamashita Tomohisa or Tanaka Kei, who I just adore.
Though at first Momoe looks like just another colleague of Junko, she ends up being one of her closest friends. From plain view, she looks just a usual woman, but in reality she is one of the biggest otaku's in the history of dramas. To make the situation more difficult, she is especially into BL - Boys Love. But the truth is, once some people, like Junko and Arthur, get to know her secret, she is becoming much closer with them. Due to being an otaku, she has never had relationship nor she really has had any real feelings for another living person. That's why the more Arthur tries to get closer to her, the more she thinks that he is playing with her, because he knows her drak secret.
Out of all the characters, I guess Arthur has to be my favorite. He is a huge ladies-man and basically every single woman falls for him or at least has slept with him. That's why it gets so interesting to see how all his attempts to seduce Momoe are blown against the wall and seem to have no influence on her. In the start of the drama it seems that he also has some kind of interest for Junko, but disappears as soon as he sees all the other men waiting in line for her. In addition, that adds a lot of plus points to him, is the fact how easily he sees through people's emotions and understands them. He becomes the biggest supporter of getting Junko and Hoshikawa together, while at the same time resolving Kiyomiya's emotions. In addition, I became big fan of his accent.
You can easily understand that Junko was the smartest person out of her family. Her mom and dad only wanted her to get married to a good man and be happily married. I would say that you can feel the generation difference as Junko is one of  the best examples of young people of the 21st century. I really liked how they brought out the sister's relationship as it is something that is at times easily overlooked, unless it is a family-drama. They showed all the emotions that are normal for sisters and also the way of teasing each other.
Needless to say, it is based on same-named shoujo manga by Aihara Miki. This is why there are many lines taken exactly from shoujo and for me they ruin the mood a lot. I am not the fan of people always saying "I love you" and things like that as it loses meaning to me if it said too often. There are many things that seem to be "exaggerated" or "it would be better without it", but it is only because of the manga context. In addition, who still has not understood it then "5-ji kara 9-ji made" means "From 5 to 9" - meaning the hours when Junko had to work for the temple.
Some people also complain about lack of physical connection, which leads us back to the fact that we are actually dealing with a monk and a woman who is still living with her family in a small apartment. No matter what, you cannot have too much lovey-dovey one-on-one time when there are so many people around and every person should understand that it is not socially acceptable, especially for a priest, to do some stuff in public or in the temple, without being actually married. I think the fact that their every kiss is interrupted adds things to their relationship and makes you understand that the emotional connection is more important than any physical connection.
In spite of having few moments of boredom due to "overly-dramatic" scenes and having many times predictable story line, I still consider this a really great drama as there is a lot to laugh about. I think more than just a romantic drama, people should watch it for the comedy and see the better side of the drama. In the end, it was the best drama of the season.
If you are still not convinced whether you should watch it or not, just check its teaser.

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