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[personal profile] mountain_laurel
Oh boy, this one's going to be complicated.

We open on a couple of fat guys getting their hair cut just like their favorite rock star. Cut to a movie theater, where the rock star is in a commercial for cellphones "that make you want to kiss". Cut to the Budokan, where the rock star is singing to a huge audience. He sings:
Oh baby, two toothbrushes are still sitting in front of the mirror

I'll wait for you, I'm waiting, believing you"

He's the ultra-popular Sakuraba Yuichiro, voted Japan's sexiest man for the third time running. He's also a tragic figure: his mother abandoned him when he was seven, after giving him a Rubik's cube to distract him while she made her getaway.

Cut to his manager's office, where Suji, one of the management team, is complaining about him while another, Taku, opens fortune cookie after fortune cookie, searching for good luck.

Enter Sakuraba. His pink sweatpants are falling down, and he has a sweatshirt stuck on his head. He falls over a chair before getting up to reveal he's wearing glasses and a dorky headband. He is -- a TOTAL SPAZ. A cheerful, impossibly naive spaz who's prone to waving his arms in the air and yelling "banzai!"

This, ladies and gentlemen, is DORAMA GOLD. This is what I watch these for: the stuff you'd NEVER see on an American tv series.

Moving on: riding his scooter home, Yuichiro stops suddenly to avoid a cat, careens down a flight of stairs, and crashes at the bottom. A girl trips in the street nearby and he runs over to see if she's ok. KAWAII! (She's HAWT.) He stares at her in amazement and promptly falls on his ass. She is Ishihara Minami, Librarian, and he's in LURVE.

The next thing you know, they're spending Xmas (a VERY romantic holiday in Japan) together. He's still dressed like a dork, however, so she has no idea who he really is. When he finally meets her family, he gets so excited he proposes on the spot, and then has to come clean. This forces Minami to admit she's divorced and has a child living in America with his father. And! She's not familiar with Sakuraba's music at all!

She finally agrees to marry him after listening to all his CDs. A family argument ensues, and eventually he agrees to marry into the Ishihara family instead of Minami marrying into his (since he really has none anyway). (This is quite rare in Japanese culture.)

That was the first episode. You begin to see the problem.

At the beginning of episode 2, they're married already. Yuichiro's management team is jumping through hoops to keep his marriage a secret for fear it will affect his popularity. Meanwhile, Yuichiro is so excited to be part of a family, he buys them all matching tea mugs, which they hate.

Yuichiro is starring in a dorama at the moment, and the lead actress is in love with him and scheming to get him for herself. Her manager leaks some photos to the press and there's a huge scandal, especially after she calls him to ask for "advice" and he stupidly goes to see her in the middle of the night, precipitating another round of press. The increased press scrutiny could cause his marriage to be revealed! O NOES!

Nevertheless, Minami believes in him and eventually all is resolved. But wait! There's more!

Yuichiro is a terrible busybody, and involves himself in all the family business he possibly can. He arranges a marriage meeting for Minami's older sister Toko, gets all up in younger sister Kitae's face over a pregnancy scare, and comes to the hospital in the middle of the night to play for a patient of Kitae's twin, Nishie's patient, a little girl with an extremely bad attitude who dies of leukemia anyway.

The actress from the dorama, Hikari, has an unscrupulous management team that's connected to the Yakuza. She's supposed to do a press conference to claim she has a relationship with Yuichiro, but in the end she instead admits that she used to do adult films. Scandal averted! Butt! The next day, on set, she admits to him that she loves him "as a man", much to his shock and horror.

Suji, Yuichiro's manager, gets a call from Yuichiro's long-lost mother, asking for ONE MILLION DOLLARS to keep quiet (about what, we are not sure). Suji hangs up on her, but the photographer for Hikari's manager Endo, who's scheming to ruin Yuijiro for no apparent reason, picks her up and takes her to Endo. Endo offers Yuichiro's mother money to find out secrets about him, and calls Suji to set up a meeting.

The meeting is awkward, but Yuichiro is convinced that Fumie is really his mother, so he goes to see her in her bar after hours without permission. He admits to her that he's married, and she immediately turns around and tells this to Endo, who leaks it to the press.

At this point, I'll resort to my notes on the subject, because I'm just too lazy to write up any more of this.

Yuichiro confronts his mother, breaks down, and wrecks the place.
Hikari Blames Herself.
Suji Blames Herself and resigns.
The Family rallies behind Yuichiro.
Yuichiro Vegetates in a Hotel, wanting to Quit the Business.
Minami can't get him on the phone, so she goes to guilt-trip his mom. Angst! Success!
Mom Apologizes.
More Angst!
Mom and Yuichiro solve Rubik's Cube together.
Yuichiro stops Suji from returning to her hometown. Without Suji-san there can be no Sakuraba Yuichiro!
Suji comes back! HUGZ!
Endo's involvement with the Yakuza is revealed and they're all taken to jail.
Yuichiro apologizes to the family for making them worry. All is warm and fuzzy.

And, in the end, he gets away with not admitting his marriage to the public, and everyone is happy for no apparent reason! Then he sings a song! The next thing we know, he's stuffing his face with rice again at the family breakfast. The End! What the fuck?

Quality: 7
Weirdness: 7
Angst: 7
Entertainment: 7

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mountain_laurel

June 2010

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