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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yamada Tarō Monogatari / 山田太郎ものがたり / The Story of Yamada Taro




2007 TBS drama that stars a couple cuties from the JPop group Arashi: namely, Ninomiya Kazunari and Sakurai Sho.


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This is yet, another spin-off of a manga series, and in 2001, Taiwan based Ping Qiong Gui Gong Zi : Poor Prince (with Vic Zhou) on the same premise.

Kazunari plays Taro Yamada (An-chan), a boy living in poverty with his okaasan and six, younger siblings in a dilapidated shack tucked neatly away somewhere in Tokyo.

He's extremely intelligent and makes it into a prestigious high school, where on the first day, he happens to enter the grounds at precisely the same moment as the real rich dude with just as notable good looks, Takuya (Sakurai Sho).

In increasingly annoying, Japanese teenage girl fashion, a daily procession of cheering twits in uniform line both sides of a 'red carpet' that leads to the school, and the two, handsome boys make their way through the adoring throng acting as if it is natural, expected, and no big deal.

I would beg to differ, but that's just me.

In actuality, it breaks my heart to think about the way Asian pop stars are idolized, worshipped, and their private lives scrutinized while their private decisions are severely sanctioned by agents and a totally whack fan base.

Mob mentality, hero-worship, and misguided assumptions all cater to and encourage an entire country to adopt the ways and immature mind-set of an already generalized segment of the population that has no idea of the difference between their head or their ass.

Scary sh*t.

Anyway, Taro is adorable and unassuming - caring only about food and making enough money to keep the family going.

Takuya finds him to be interesting and strikes up an immediate friendship with the guy whose smile sends the entire school (boys included) to the floor in a swoon.

Taro gets high marks all the time, and an annoying woman (made to be annoying on purpose, since this is a tweeny-bopper drama, so making 'old' people look stupid is only natural) is determined to change Taro's mind about not entering college.

There's a girl who is crazy about Taro (even though they all are) and since she is determined to become --- "ama no koshi", she pursues him under the misinformed notion that he is wealthy and therefore socially acceptable.

Y'know, this is actually true over there?

yeesh ---

on with the story.

So, rather early on in this interesting piece of work, An-chan's otousan arrives, and I'm sorry, but when I first saw him, it made me gasp in shock.

Matsuoka Mitsuru of SOPHIA






Having a rock & roll dad would be cool, yes?

I'm not being mean, either - I swear it.

He just shocked me at first because ... well, because he looked like a plastic surgery nightmare is all.

It just seemed, to me, that there was something overly fake about his face - (like he had on a mask or something) - but then I got used to seeing him and it didn't bug me anymore.

The weird didn't end there, though.

Turns out this guy portrays a wandering artist who travels the world on a whim.

Yea - like, while his wife and seven kids are stuck in that hovel scraping together pennies for food, and he's traveling around having a good ol' time doing what he wants to do, when he wants to do it, and to hell with responsibility.

THEN they had the audacity to make him out to be paternal and wise!



Regardless, it was minor and not a big deal - but still a tad on the irksome side for me.

Yamada Taro Monogatari was a nice drama with a feel-good attitude that I would recommend despite a few flaws and annoyances.



1 comment:

  1. JAJAJA i saw this dorama because mitsuru-sama!!
    in SOPHIA, look the same! and this band is 90´s, today has 40 years old!!! XD
    (sorry, not speak english ^^U)

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