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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Boku, unmei no hito desu (2017)

Country: Japan
Format: drama, in 10 episodes
Genre: romance, comedy
Cast: Kamenashi Kazuya, Yamashita Tomohisa, Kimura Fumino, Nanao, Mitsushima Shinnosuke, Sawabe Yu, Okano Maya, Seiichi Tanabe, Watanabe Eriko, Ookura Koji, Sugimotto Tetta, Ishino Mako,
Synopsis: Masaki Makoto always seems to fall for wrong women. At the age of 29, he is once again single after his previous girlfriend is arrested by police. One night a mysterious guy appears in his apartment, he introduces himself as "God". "God" says that Masaki has a destined soulmate waiting for him and through out life they have had countless number of meetings. In fact, his destined person happens to be Kogetsu Haruko, who works next door to Masaki.
Rating: 5/5
One drama that made almost everybody waiting for Saturdays and stare on their TVs/computers. After 12 years a long waited reunion of Kamenashi Kazuya and Yamashita Tomohisa took place and that is enough to make everybody go crazy. The last time they played together in "Nobuta wo Produce" which has become one of the classic Japanese dramas. It was also my first drama which got me addicted to Japanese dramas, so it was a pleasure to see them together on the screen again.
It is difficult not to put great expectations on the drama before watching it. All the cast is well-known and amazing, the screenwriter is Kaneko Shigeki (Proposal Daisakusen; Sekai Ichii Muzukashii koi; Hatchimitsu to Clover), main director Sakuma Noriyoshi (Nobuta wo Produce, Yokai ningen bem, Akumu-chan). There is just little that can go wrong and luckily even that little went all right.
Our male-character is Masaki who at first glance can look timid and clumsy. He is rather naive when things come to women and that is the reason why he always ends up being used. At the same time his will to succeed is bigger than most of the guys and "not giving up" attitude is the thing working for him. It is surprising that he is willing to do things that make no sense, but I guess that might be because of his personality to believe that "it might work".
What made me fall for him, is the fact that once he has the courage and confidence, he does things that make every woman's heart stop for a second and then beat as fast as if it is going to explode. Or maybe it is the fact that in a way Masaki is very average man and not so extraordinary? Kamenashi Kazuya is amazing in the role. He is a natural for the character and I feel that as if there is something similar between Kamenashi's and Masaki's personalities. With years I start to like him more and more.
To match with our leading man, also the leading lady is rather average and down-to-earth woman. Haruko has been hurt a lot by love and that has made her cautious about falling in love. A lot of times she has negative attitude and despite wanting to marry, she has distanced herself from going out and meeting new people. That all causes her to reject Masaki many times before she notices that Masaki is not exactly like other guys. With time she starts to believe again that there might be a thing called "destiny" as in the end, most of us want to believe that there is someone for us.
Despite being in the entertainment business for more than 10 years, Kimura Fumino has been rather unknown until recent years. It might be due to the fact that she just looks rather average, especially as most of the years and dramas she has had the same natural black hairstyle. That's why most of people find it refreshing to see her very different. I admit, the first time when the cast was announced, I did not recognize her, despite having seen her before. I believe we can see more of her in future for sure.
The most mysterious character is "God", played by Yamashita Tomohisa. I am pretty sure that they let Yamashita Tomohisa do a lot of ad-lib - meaning most of the things he is saying was not written in the script. He is known for doing it in his previous dramas too, so it would not be any surprise if they just wrote him few main-lines and let him say what he wants. "God" is saying a lot of things that do not make sense, mixing languages and making a lot of references to some other movies, songs, sport legends etc.
Though his screen time is nothing compared to other characters, he is the most important keyperson in the story. Yamashita Tomohisa is awesome in the role, because it has been a while since he had an non-serious role. In addition, it has been a while from his last bath-scene. Yamashita Tomohisa has played in Kaneko Shigeki's dramas before - Proposal Daisakusen, Summer Nude. In fact, there is at least 1 Johnny in every Kaneko's drama.
Mitsue is Haruka's best friend. She is having a lot of boyfriends and when one relationship ends she gets into another one. She is exactly opposite of Haruka as she has decided to try out all the time until there is a relationship that works out. She is very easy to approach and her appearance is stunning all the time. Compared to Haruka, who can be a bit dull, Mitsue is like just arrived spring with bright colors and fragrances. Mitsue's and Haruka's friendship is definitely best, especially their "food-sharing-lunches". Though Mitsue is not a big fan of Masaki for a long time, she appreciates his courage and stubbornness. Nanao and Kimura Fumino starred together also in previous season drama "A LIFE" and years before in "Siren".
Without Masaki knowing it, Sadaoka has been his life-long rival. Sadaoka, who is successful in everything he does and his having his best year of his life, decides to have another try with Haruka, as he had a crush on her already in high-school. If you are afraid that you might receive a second-lead syndrome from him, then you can relax as he becomes one of the biggest Masaki's supporters. He is very kind and outgoing and sometimes he can be a little bit too positive, but that is exactly his charm. I became a big fan of Sadaoka, because he saw through most of the things, but decided to keep things to himself and help as much as possible without asking too many questions. I believe that this role opened a lot of doors for Mitsushima Shinnosuke. Though he made his debut already years ago, he has had mostly side-roles. By the way, his stunning looks are thanks to his grandfather who is French-American.
There are many characters in the office who play a little role in the story itself. At Masaki's office there are Kazuo and Sekihara who have crush on Mitsue and drag Masaki out to drink all the time. There is also the boss who is timid man and hates carrots. It is interesting to see the workplace relations and how they are really working for the same outcome and taking their job seriously, while still having fun.
From Haruka's office they do not show so many characters. There is just Hatosaki, who is their boss. She is middle-aged woman who is still actively looking for love. Though a lot of her references of love do not make sense, she likes to share her wisdom. In a way Mitsue is looking up to her as she is not willing to end her life as single woman.
There is nothing told about Masaki's family, but you learn a lot about Haruka's family. Her parents and their marriage is the role-model what Haruka is longing for. Her parents are long waiting for Haruka to marry and start her own family, but at the same time they do not know many things going on in her life. Her parents meet with Masaki much before they even know the connection between Masaki and Haruka. It is nice to see different kind of input from the family as usually the family is either not shown at all or they are "half-stupid" and almost selling their daughters away.
The highlight is Kamenashi's and Yamashita's onscreen chemistry. Some people have complained that their chemistry is so good that it even out-lights the romance between Masaki and Haruko. Between the drama, the bromance is even extended to MasakixGodxSadaoka and it is just a dream come true. Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest bromances in the history of jdramas and it is a nice match to AkiraxShuji from "Nobuta wo Produce". In addition, Kamenashi and Yamashita made a duo Kame to Yama-P in order to sing the theme song "Senakagoshi no Chance" and they gave out full single, just as they did during "Nobuta wo Produce". They had talked for years about making a drama together and this was finally the outcome after 12 years.
I guess the main thing why it is a great drama is that it is light and very easy to watch. Characters are true-to-life, there are no bad characters that get annoying and the over all story is naive in a good way. Though there might be a thought that things get too predictable (or as Yanne commented once "the pace is the same in every episode"), then it actually has many unpredictable situations that bring up the heat again. Also, I find this drama like a small reminder that love conquers everything and in the end there is someone meant for everybody, you just have to not give up and notice all the hints.
I am not surprised if they are earning some awards in the end of the season or even in the end of the year.


SPOILER-Review: 
I do not know why I did not think about the possibility of "God" being Masaki's and Haruka's son before it actually happened. It does make more sense than him being "God". But at the same time, I am not sure what version I liked more. Never the less, his sudden disappearance definitely broke my heart and I just hope that in future once he is grown-up, they get along better.

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