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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Katagoshi no Koibito / 肩ごしの恋人

Over-the-Shoulder Lover



Summer, 2007, JDorama that was a romantic comedy about two thirty-ish females with opposite personalities who, despite that fact, have been life-long friends.

Hayasaka Moe (Yonekura Ryoko) was raped and now has this sub-conscious aversion to commitment, and with little faith in men.

She's a working chick at a cross-roads in her life when a sixteen-year old runaway (Sano Kazuma as Akiyama Takashi) enters her life in the most unexpected way and ends up living with her in a platonic fashion for the most part even though he's instantly infatuated with the tall beauty who likes to drink, smile, and bear the brunt of everything bad that comes her way.

I especially liked the way her life actually came full-circle, but I'm not sure many noticed or even cared about that interesting yet realistic twist to the plot.

Her ditzy friend, Takaoka Saki as Murono Ruriko, begins the show by introducing that ear-piercing, helium-sucking whine of an Asian female voice tone that made me want to pick something else to watch ... but, I just covered my ears instead and decided to bear with it since I knew she wasn't the star and might not be onscreen for a majority of the nine instead of eleven episodes.

WRONG!

Still, the bar scenes where she gets drunk and acts like a total ass-bitch were tolerable because by then, I was sucked in completely and wanted to find out what would happen to each of the interesting characters.

Ruriko gave the impression of being a mindless twit with nothing but her looks to sustain a shallow presence in life, but she sometimes said things that actually made sense or caused our doubtful Moe to think twice about what she was currently undergoing.

Ruriko truly believed that marriage was the answer to all of life's woes; especially for a woman, and that Moe needed to figure that out if she wanted to find happiness.

Moe wasn't totally against marriage or dating even, and she had indiscriminate sex rather frequently for a former rape victim - but, I guess that could be beside the point, who knows.

What she couldn't do start to finish was to commit, and that was what this drama was about - commitment.

She lived in a totally cool apartment despite her meager income and the eventual loss of her go-nowhere job, but I didn't mind.

She hooked up with a hot guy who attended Ruriko's wedding, had sex with him that afternoon, and then kept meeting with him even after discovering he was married.

He introduced her to two, interesting characters at a gay bar in a gay district of Tokyo, and one of the gays was Ryo (Kaname Jun) - a brooding, young man who worked at a porn shop up the street.

The other guy, Bun-chan (Ikeuchi Hiroyuki), owned the bar, and even though he carried his military service with him; wearing fatigues and keeping his head shaven, he had a nasty thang for the guy Moe seduced, leaving the viewer to wonder for a few episodes if he was bi.

I'll let y'all find out the truth on your own.

Ruriko finds out that her husband is having an affair with a nasty piece of work from the office, and at first she's willing to make concessions for his behavior, but eventually, her third marriage ends in divorce.

She moves in with Moe and run-away Akiyama Takashi, but it seems imperative that we sort out their lives: finding a man for Moe, returning Ruriko to her wayward hubby, and forcing Takashi to see the error of his childish, misguided ways.

When Ruriko finds out about Ryo, it is then that she decides she wants nothing more to do with her cheating husband, but Ryo isn't going to change his ways for the whining, pushy female and remains as gay as the day is long despite Ruriko's annoying efforts to work on him her female charms.

Does the handsome, wealthy man forsake his snobbish, wealthy wife for Moe?

Does Ruriko return to her repentant hubby?

Will Takashi ever figure out what life is all about and do the right thing?

WHO is the father of Moe's baby?????????????????

I liked Katagoshi no Koibito, and I think you will, too.

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