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

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge / ヤマトナデシコ七変化

Perfect Girl Evolution

This is the start of a slew of 5-star reviews.

It was difficult for me to decide which of them I should even showcase first, so don't let that have any affect on your judgment since it wasn't that way for me, either ~ I simply decided it was best to just highlight them in the order that I watched them.

And, you can blame it on for taking this long to upload these shows, too, not me.

Now, with regards to Japan's 2010 Yamato Nadeshiko ...
It was another of them '...taken right from the pages of Manga' dramas filled with overly colorful imagery, out-of-this-world scenery AND characters, and a whole lot of nonsense mixed in to make this what it was ... fun from start to finish.

Four exceedingly handsome boys (one of whom is actually kicked out of his house for being too gorgeous) end up boarding together inside the lavish manse of an eccentric widow with a kindergarten son who declares himself to be head of the household while his mother is jetting about the world in search of another man to love.

They all attend the same high school, where, of course, all the ladies are waiting with banners, streamers, fan cards, and screeching shouts of joy each and every day that they arrive before the bell.

This doesn't occur too often, however, because the gist of this story revolves around a spooky chick who hides herself under the black cloak of doom after being jilted by a boy in middle school.

She asked him out and he said he wouldn't date anyone who was ugly: thus began her downward spiral into goth territory and the macabre.

She ends up visiting her little cousin at the Manse and bumps into 'shiny brightness' in the form of Kamenashi Kazuya as Takano Kyohei - the boy so handsome that his own mother ordered him to leave the house so she could get some peace & quiet from the thousands of admirers who stood outside their apartment to see him, phoned him non-stop, and stalked him in a creepy stalker kind of way.

Even straight men wanted to be gay just to get close enough to touch our unbelievably magnetic Kyohei.

This is Kyohei in the anime version - which makes it seem even creepier than a creepy, stalker-chick if you ask me.

The license they give to pedophiles over in Japan just boggles the mind, I tell you.

Anyway ... Oomasa Aya as Nakahara Sunako is the wrecked boogie man spiriting around in the black cape so she can hide her ugliness from the outside world.

Here, she is relieved to finally have back her beloved Hiroshi-kun (a mannequin with exposed body organs).

and her anime version

Sunako has surrounded herself by all things gloomy, ugly, and Gothic in order to feel comfortable and has completely retreated from reality and society.

The Grande Dame of the house orders the boys to transform her niece into a Japanese High Society swan or risk being kicked out of the 'boarding' house.

She does this via video screen while aboard a lavish jet liner headed for nowhere in particular, and always somewhere exotic in order to meet yet, another candidate for new daddy for her adorably kawaii son.

The other boys are 'dazzling' in their own right with one (Tegoshi Yuya as Toyama Yukinojo) being a baby he/she kind a kawaii thing none of the gals can resist (he's into teddy bears, talking soft, and opposes violence).

Another is a rich snob (Uchi Hiroki as Oda Takenaga) born & bred to take over his authoritative father's flower arranging business (which seems to be a running theme in our manga turned anime genre - and perhaps because I'm not Japanese, I'll never understand why other than it seems a high-brow sort of hobby).

The fourth irresistible gentleman (Miyao Shuntaro as Morii Ranmaru) is a ladies man with all the charm of a viper who flits from one, amorous female to the next - not at all interested in something as passé as ai.

This means there are actually five stories balled up into one, ten-episode drama that had me begging for more so much so that I ended up not waiting for to upload the rest after episode seven, and I risked possessing a massive wipe-out PC virus by opening ANY file at ...

well, I didn't, actually ~ I opened the file there, and then pop-ups started attacking my task bar, so I hurried the hell out of there and searched until I finally decided on Youtube ~ you know, ten minute cut-offs and annoying ads at the bottom where the subtitles are?

whatever ... it was worth every, annoying second just to be able to watch this one clean through.

The subtitles weren't too bad, either - but they were in an eye-irritating pink outline that was sometimes blue.

So, Kyohei is sexually harassed all the time, which means he's got one hella bad temper, and it isn't unusual for him to pop someone in the mouth every, few minutes of this drama :)

So, too, does our unlikely heroine, Sunako, who goes absolutely berserk any time she hears the word ...

She's not, too fond of anyone that dazzles, either, and head-butts them if they get close enough to blind her with their brilliant light.

Besides having mad fight skills and a quick temper, Busunako can cook; something that truly pleases our hot-headed Kyohei to no end.

Guy's always hungry for a reason we're supposed to believe is a way for him to suppress his inner emotions about being abandoned by his parents and treated like a sex slave by absolute strangers.

Anyone else get the impression that our handsome Kyohei's mother had an affair with some gorgeous guy underneath that tree and THAT'S why she couldn't bear to look at her child anymore?

Of course, Sunako is by no means busunako - in fact, it's quite the opposite!

She's got huge, black eyes, porcelain skin, and great hair along with a nice set of legs, but she remains well hid beneath the cloak and wears her bangs to her chin in order to hide her busunako-ness from the world.

A lot of the comments at were unfavorable with regards to Sunako's inability to fully realize her potential and totally break out of her shell.

Yea, I disagree.

See, what I got out of it was that Kyohei liked her almost immediately because she was not only different from the other girls, but she was also obsessed with looks from the opposite standpoint as he was.

Kyohei hated that he was so gorgeous while Sunako hated that she was so busunako.

Kyohei worked to help her transform, but only so that he wouldn't get kicked out of the boarding house by having to pay an exorbitant amount of rent he couldn't afford because he wasn't able to keep a job long enough due to the sexual harassment that always forced him to use brute force on an overly amorous boss.

Eventually, the two had no choice but to come to terms with their reality, and because Sunako was as much in love with Kyohei as he was with her, it stood to reason that she remain at least slightly in that shell since that was what attracted Kyohei to her in the first place.


In the nine days since it was uploaded, and still at only seven episodes, more than 20,000 viewers have logged in to watch, and an overwhelming majority of them gave this one 5 thumbs-up, too ~ me included.

I also loved the running theme background music, so in my book, that makes this a winner all around.


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