I finally finished Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge! (That took a while…)
In general, it was fun and ridiculous, but the last two episodes were particularly heartbreaking. Let’s just say, I cried in the ninth episode (I RARELY cry by the way, and if you do, it’s almost always because the lead male actor is crying) and felt incredibly sad and incredibly happy within a span of five seconds in the last episode.
I like the manga, but I REALLY like the ending of this drama.
*Spoilers Abound – since I will discuss parts of episodes 9 and 10!*
Kamenashi Kazuya was a pretty decent actor for this drama. He had some of the craziest, cheesiest lines at times, and he pulled them off with such a straight face that I believed him. His costar Miyao Shuntaro (who was the playboy Ranmaru) would over-exaggerate sometimes. The child actor Kato Seishiro (as the cousin Takeru) is adorable – he had such a heartbreaking scene in episode 9 that he tore my heart apart. As the stoic Takenaga, Uchi Hiroki pulled it off well and he stayed pretty boring to the end (nice face though). Tegoshi Yuya as the pretty boy Yuki was borderline too much – he went a little overboard with his role in trying to act cute, but then again, his role called for it. Now as for the main girl, Oomasa Aya was quite annoying. I did not like what she did to her character Sunako, because she deepened her voice to try to sound scary, and she was pretty stiff throughout. Always cowering and always slouching, it got to the point where I so frustrated and just wanted her to stand up straight! I never imagined Sunako to be or sound like this, so I guess that’s where it was most off-putting.
Like most Japanese dramas, this was very episodic, with each episode having the characters encounter new problems. Each of those four boys got an episode solely devoted to them about their own problems with love or family, and there were plenty of ghosts to possess them – usually Sunako.
Episode 10 was plain cheesy – especially with the elaborate attempt to get Kyohei to admit his love for Sunako. However, every time Kamenashi tears up, I tear up! There’s something so sincere in his face when he cries that it’s amazing…
One thing Japanese dramas do right is their kissing scenes. I remember in Hana Yori Dango when Jun Matsumoto and Inoue Mao shared their first kiss and it was backlit by the setting sun. Similarly here, Kyohei manages to put Sunako’s aversion to his “brightness” (read: handsomeness) under control with a skull, and then lures her into a kiss…backlit by a golden yellow sun in an attic. It’s beautiful and sweet – and totally made the cheesiness from the last 40 minutes completely worth it.
What’s sweet is that no one ever forces another to change. Ranmaru doesn’t change his playboy ways, although he is starting to slowly become more of a monogamist with the girl who loves him unconditionally. Noi (Kanbe Ranko) never pushes Takenaga to do too many couple activities; she suggests them, but it gets dropped later on in favor of helping Sunako. Noi thinks of her friends first, her love life second. It is only in the end that she finally asks Takenaga if he really likes her at all (which is warranted, since he was sort of stringing her feelings along throughout the series). Yukinojo learns that waiting for his love has merits, and Kyohei never forces Sunako to become a “lady” by its most common meaning (read: looking pretty and girly). Instead, he loves Sunako for what she is.
The last episodes were heavy on the fear of loving again, which is kind of depressing and felt like they were trying to insert some meaning into this lighthearted series. It was much too dense for this kind of fun, but fine – every drama needs its melodrama, right?
I’m glad everyone got their happy endings, but I really wish there were more episodes. Then again… we’d probably just have to deal with more mommy/daddy issues, and a couple more ghosts before we get to the end.
Rating: 6/10 (Extra point for making me cry, Kame)
artwork from lightning_noctis_xiii