[Jdrama] Zettai Kareshi

July 6, 2008 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

Starring:
Hayami Mokomichi as Tenjo Night
Aibu Saki as Izawa Riiko
Mizushima Hiro as Asamoto Soushi
Sasaki Kuranosuke as Namikiri Gaku
Maya Miki as Wakabayashi Fujiko
Nakamura Shunsuke as Asamoto Masashi
Ueno Natsuhi as Ito Mika
Sasai Eisuke as Shirasagi Yuki
Satoi Kenta as Hirata Hajime
Nekoze Tsubaki as Adachi Kyoko
Lomoto Maki as Sato Nozomi
Kaji Masaki as Tanaka Yoichiro

Zettai Kareshi is the story of Izawa Riiko, a temp working at Asamoto, a pastry company. One day, she meets Namikiri Gaku from a company called Kronos Heaven who asks her what her ideal boyfriend would be like. She visits their company and answers a questionnaire and doesn’t think much of it. That is until the next day a giant package from Kronos Heaven arrives with a guy inside. He’s a lover robot customized to fit Riiko’s ideals, as listed in her questionnaire.

I’ll be really honest. I only started watching this drama because they cast Mizushima Hiro as a main character and I’m semi-obsessed with him lately. I read a lot of the manga this drama was based on and when it was announced there was going to be a drama adaption, I thought to myself that it wasn’t going to be worth watching. I guess I had to take back my words. (although I’m still not sure if the drama itself is worth watching, it is if you’re just watching for Hiro.)

Usually I complain about the changes writers made to the story, but here I have to commend them. They changed it from a weird and annoying high romance with a lover robot (how wrong is that?) with no good (or any, I can’t remember) side plots to still a weird romance with a lover robot with side plots of business and pastry-making.

The romance was the least interesting thing for me. I don’t know if this was intentional on the producers’ part to make Night less like a human and more like a robot, like how he’s very stilted. It’s kind of nice, because you really get the feeling that he’s a robot. The worst thing about Night is that he is so annoying! I don’t understand how Riiko even puts up with him, and then they suddenly become all close. If it was me, I probably would have returned him about the first day. Actually, if it was me, I wouldn’t have been as naive as Riiko was to just go to some random company, which I’ve never heard of, to complete some weird survey on my ideal boyfriend. But whatever. Anyway, I was annoyed by Night for the better half of the series.

As for Aibu Saki as Riiko, it was also annoying to see how naive and indecisive she was. Later on in the series, it became a little less annoying and a little more endearing, but still, not would I call a favorite character. Anyway, onto Mizushima Hiro as Soushi. It’s a little bit similar to Nanba Minami in Hana Kimi, except maybe slightly more matured. I did like the change from childhood friend to superior at the office and making him more charismatic was also nice. I think my favorite character in this series would have to be Sasaki Kuranosuke as Namikiri Gaku. He was quite funny and as a CS student myself, I enjoyed the little bits of programming talk (though I can’t wrap my head around something running on a program and then suddenly have a mind of its own). Maya Miki was also a nice addition; anything I watch her in, I always like her character.

I also enjoyed the patisserie side story (maybe that’s just because I love food), which was rather charming, although it was pretty much your average underdog story. At times, I would think, “enough of this crappy romance story! Give me more pastries!” Also, the character of Mika is just your typical backstabbing ‘best friend’ who gets semi-redeemed at the end.

Generally, if I’m not really into the main storyline but there are side plots worth watching, I’ll still keep watching. That’s the case with Zettai Kareshi. The main storyline is your average over-the-top backdrop for some weird romance story with average characters. The side stories are better and worth watching, but side stories shouldn’t be carrying the entire drama. The idea of robots being integrated in regular society is very interesting and definitely worth pursuing, but not in this shoujo-manga romance way (though there was no getting around that because of the manga tie-in). It would be interesting to see a drama or movie about robots in everyday life without the whole “perfect lover robot” theme in it.

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Entry filed under: dramas. Tags: , , , .

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