The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Itsumo Futari de - いつもふたりで

Always the Two of Us

As per usual, this is a 2003 JDorama that I absolutely ADORED, and which no one else seems to agree.
Perhaps it's the adult population of the world with the quietest voice, or the least amount of influence, I can't be too sure.
I'm in the minority because AS an adult, I'm not ashamed to admit that I watch Asian dramas?
Whatever ... by now, I'm used to being on the INside, looking OUT. =)

Itsumo Futari de was something I found while browsing, and it was the storyline that grabbed my attention, NOT the hunky actors.
To my utter surprise, hot-ass Sakaguchi Kenji appeared before my eyes, taking my breath away, and then I had to pause.
Wait ... why hadn't I caught this GORGEOUS creature's name in the credits?
Oh, that's right, it's because they didn't PUT his name there, on the website!

He's only the CO-STAR, nothing BIG like, say a bit-part or a cameo. o_0
Since I first saw him in Tentai Kansoku, I've adored this guy, but that's neither here nor there anymore.

Itsumo Futari de is a story about a YOUNG girl (26) who lives in the cold, snowy town of Hokkaido and has lasting aspirations of becoming a famous, novel author.
(Matsu Takako as Tanimachi Mizuho)

Mizuho is conned into thinking she's won a writing contest, hands a stranger her granny's life savings, and travels to Tokyo to claim her award.

Alas, she ends up on the street with no money. She needs a place to stay since she can't return to her hometown until she's become successful, as she had claimed to do at the train station before she arrived in Tokyo, so she contacts a childhood friend who moved to the big city.

Her girlfriend can't help since she's married (though we never see her husband) so, she suggests Mizuho contact another, old friend instead.

Her other friend, Morinaga Kenta (Sakaguchi Kenji), is a mild-mannered, unassuming HUNK who works as a brown-noser to a highly successful TV personality, for whom he also writes script.

He lives in an ab-fab apartment with totally cool chachka scattered throughout, including magazine image cut-outs glued here & there, a wall sconce that gives off the most beautiful light pattern, and walls of all, different colors.

Why had it never occurred to me earlier to become a SET DESIGNER?? Sigh.

At the start, Mizuho treats Hachi (Kenta) like he's still a little kid, and since he was once a sickly weakling with no backbone, she still looks at him that way, though I can't see HOW, but ...

She literally bursts onto the scene, moving in and taking over his life.

She has to find work to survive, and she ends up at the last place on her long list of possibilities ... a run-down, ancient publishing house in a less glam district of the city.

Now, this apparently is where the controversy surrounding Itsumo Futari de comes in.

I mean, I noticed something different in episode 3 of the 11 episode drama, when the eccentric, goof-off inheritor of this dilapidated publishing company went from being mildly attractive to ... huh? Who the hell is this guy? But, not enough to make me NOT want to watch anymore of the show, that's for certain.

Not so for the many, teen fans of a guy named Kashiwabara Takashi, who did the first, two episodes as Okuda Naoyuki. Episode 3 and beyond, it was this guy: Katsurayama Shingo.

Bloggers claim if Kashi stayed, that the show would have had better ratings.

Um ... what about the STORY?

Of course, most of these dramas are predictable anymore, and sometimes so sappy, sweet that you feel like you need to brush your teeth when you're through watching them.

But I'm sorry, to me Itsumo Futari de was worth watching beginning to end.

Kenta's younger brother, Morinaga Kohei ( Eita ) and his silly girlfriend, Irie Chika (Hirayama Aya) or Honey nearly stole the show, but not quite.

Kenta's overbearing boss, Fuwa Keijiro (Nishimura Masahiko) started out as a man with an ugly personality when, half-way through the show, he began to take on a human aspect to his otherwise heartless personality that made me say 'wow' a few times.

I think this is quality writing, if anything. I appreciate that someone can make me switch gears and end up seeking the truth about my OWN personality as a result of my embarrassing, judgmental tendencies toward others.

I mean, it's obvious NOW that Fuwa had that in him all along, and that I was too blind to see until he lost everything and I had no choice but to feel compassion for his plight.

The writer made it so that I didn't, even have the heart or the inclination to say, "He deserves it!"

Anyway ... Mizuho ends up realizing that her feelings for Kenta are more than just friendly, and in the meantime, she has to play matchmaker and go-between for him and the girl he's had a mad crush on for awhile now, Kinoshita Yuko (Sato Hitomi).

Mizuho ends up having to accept the fact that her life-long dream of becoming a prized author is futile, and Kenta must learn to face facts if he intends to get ahead at work and in life.

At the end, there is a kissing scene that needs to be ranked up there with the top-ten, or even top-five.

Maybe because I'm biased, who knows, but what I wouldn't GIVE to have a guy look at me the way that Sakaguchi does before he kisses a chick! Jello knees, butterfly flutters, ... sigh. (*^.^*)



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