I’m still finishing up the last bit of spring dramas, but the summer season has already started. There’s not a lot really jumping out at the moment, so I don’t think it will be quite as good as last season, but there’s still a few I’m waiting to air so I’m keeping my hopes up.
Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto
Starring: Kiritani Mirei, Yamazaki Kento, Miura Shohei, Nomura Shuhei, Nanao, Ohara Sakurako
What it’s About: After losing her job, Misaki (Kiritani Mirei) is at a loss at what to do with her life. However, when she runs into her old crush Chiaki (Miura Shohei), he invites her to live with him for the summer while working at his restaurant. It’s like a dream come true for Misaki, who hopes to re-ignite her love life and her career in one swoop. Little does she know that Chiaki won’t be her only roommate; she also has to live with his younger brothers Kanata (Yamazaki Kento), the chef at the restaurant, and Touma (Nomura Shuhei), a student.
Thoughts: One girl living with three pretty boys sounds like a prime shoujo manga set-up, but believe it or not, Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto isn’t based on a manga, though it certainly plays out like one. It’s sort of strange to see Kiritani Mirei in such a normal role as she’s mostly played mean girls or nuisance characters in the past. Misaki’s likable enough; she’s your typical hard-working, but clumsy heroine who’s more worried about her love life than anything else. She gets off on the wrong foot with Kanata who’s kind of annoying me so far because he WON’T STOP GRABBING MISAKI’S FACE. Seriously Show, I get it, he doesn’t like Misaki because he doesn’t think she takes her job seriously. You can stop the manhandling now. This is really bothering me so I can’t comment on if Misaki and Kanata have chemistry yet, but the two were paired off in Heroine Shikkaku last year so now that Kanata has started to tolerate Misaki, watching their relationship develop shouldn’t make me want to bang my head against a wall. Because in case the poster didn’t tip you off, Misaki’s ending up with Kanata.
Neither Nomura Shuhei or Miura Shohei are given a lot to do in the pilot, though I suspect Touma isn’t studying to be a chef like his brothers believe and Chiaki will probably be fighting for the restaurant at some point. So far, Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto isn’t bad (except the manhandling), especially considering that the screenwriter’s last drama was the terrible yet addicting Koinaka, but nothing’s really hooking me; the comedy’s flat and the emotional scenes don’t really hit. I don’t have a problem with unoriginality, I love shoujo-esque dramas, but Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto is in desperate need of some energy. I’ll probably give it a few more episodes to see if anything catches my interest, but if you’re looking for something new in your romance dramas, then I’d keep looking.
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo
Starring: Kuroshima Yuina, Kikuchi Fuma, Takeuchi Ryoma
What it’s about: There have been numerous adaptations and sequels of Tsutsui Yasutaka’s novel The Girl Who Leapt Through Time; a handful of dramas, several live-action action movies, and an anime movie. You’d think by this time they’d be tired of it, but it’s never too late for a remake. This version follows Mihane (Kuroshima Yuina), a third-year high school student who has no plans for her future and is bored in her little seaside town. Of course this changes after time traveler Shohei (Kikuchi Fuma) accidentally gives her the ability to jump through time and Mihane uses her new found power for her own gain. However, once it starts backfiring, she decides it’s better to to keep everything the same, at least until her childhood friend Goro (Takeuchi Ryoma) confesses to her.
Thoughts: I haven’t seen any of the previous The Girl Who Leapt Through Time adaptations, but I’ve heard enough praise for the original story to have high expectations and the first episode did not disappoint. Kuroshima Yuina is charming as Mihane, who’s kind of loud and rough, but very down to earth. She sleeps at school and breaks things in art class, but she (unsuccessfully) tries to hide her crush on the guy at the convenience store and is self-conscious about her terrible haircut. She initially freaks out about her ability, but spends most of the episode using it for small things, like fixing her hair and doing well in school, and eventually bigger things like becoming a national idol.
The chemistry between the three leads is surprisingly good; I could watch Mihane, Goro, and Shohei just goof off and hang out all day. No one knows Shohei’s secret as he’s manipulating the memories of the people in town so everyone thinks he’s Mihane and Goro’s best friend. He’s kind of mysterious as we don’t know why he came here, only that he can’t get back. As someone who comes from a future where love doesn’t exist, he takes an interest in Mihane and Goro’s relationship and begins changing Mihane’s memories of Goro, which sucks for Goro since he’s been honest with his feelings and has always been a good source of support for Mihane. I’m not sure if Shohei actually likes Mihane (he did seem touched that she saved him) or if he’s just doing this for experimental purposes, but it’s implied that something bad is going to happen further down the line, so I’m just going to mentally brace myself for the worst.
The drama’s only slated for five episodes (so short!), so I’ll stick with it.