Love Shuffle

Love Shuffle (2009)

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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,943 users
Reviews: 22 users

Usami Kei is a salaryman who has risen in status due to his engagement with Mei, the wealthy daughter of his company's president. Shortly after she breaks off the engagement, a power failure leaves him stuck in the elevator of his apartment building. Trapped with him are three others living on the same floor - Airu, a trilingual interpreter, Ojiro, a model photographer, and Masato, a psychiatrist. While waiting, their conversation hits read moreupon their love lives and the question of whether there is truly only one fated partner for everyone. As a result, they decide to try "shuffling" their relationships with each other.

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64 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 30, 2011
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
I stumbled upon this little jewel of a drama while following the filmography of Hiroshi Tamaki, the actor who basically introduced me to Asian dramas. Soon enough, I found myself forgetting about Tamaki-san, caught in the whirlwind of this surprising, thrilling, daring plot.

This is usually referred to as a romantic comedy, but the definition is not really accurate. It is romantic inasmuch as it deals with love, but it's neither cute read more nor lacy/flowery/traditionally romantic. And although it has numerous comedic situations and dialogues, it touches serious issues, leaving their final verdict suspended, making the viewer be the judge.

The cast is brilliant. Every character comes to life and has a wonderful screen presence. None is either completely good or bad, though. They're over the top, at times obnoxious, often surreal, always human. And because the game they are involved with requires them to interact with one another in turn, each time a different side to each character is unveiled.

It's an adult drama. Not because it shows anything improper, but because it deals with adult feelings, failures, expectations and needs.
The music serves its purpose brilliantly, moving at the same rhythm with the plot.

Definitely a must see, in my book.
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22 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 10, 2012
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
1) The reason I watched this:

At the time, I watched many stupid romantic comedies so I needed something different from those usual dumb stories and so I found this drama somewhere. I read the synopsis that seemed appealing enough to give it a go with a medium level of expectations.

2) Storyline/Plot:

*Generally speaking this is a rom-com with a psychological aspect. The drama contains several twists that makes the storyline read more catching.

Positive Points:

*At the beginning (First 15 minutes), everything started really slow that I began to lose interest yet the writers were clever enough to take the story into another different level that attracted my intention.

*The story was captivating all the way through, it was short, psychologically romantic and most of all funny that’s why it hadn’t any dragging or slow moments.

*Main genres:

--->Romance: The romantic aspect in this drama is different from any other romantic comedies that I’ve seen before; there were mature feelings in this drama, the kind of feelings that go deeper and deeper each episode yet it doesn’t fall into the melodrama level since there were childish moments to make it light. I have to give the script writers credit for many "Wait, what happened?" moments while following the romantic development, many plot changes were really surprising and added a great taste to the storyline.

--->Humor: This drama’s funny scenes were smartly written, it was light and enjoyable. Like other Japanese dramas, it was ridiculously fun with all the weird situations.

--->Psychology: The romantic psychology was fairly interesting; there were many strange and sweet situations related to many great philosophic minds in this drama. The psychological cliffhangers were simply amazing, writers managed to keep all the twists captivating by inserting psychology into it.

Negative Points:

*I can’t possibly think about a negative point in this drama’s storyline; it was really great.

Story: 9.5/10.

3) Acting/Cast:

*Actors made it really believable and enjoyable; they knew how to deliver feelings even when they are trying to be funny. Matsuda Shota and Akira are the most talented actors here; I will add Tanihara Shosuke who portrayed the psychiatrist role perfectly.
Other actors were good too but I wasn’t touched by their acting skills like the three mentioned above.

*As for characters, you would get invested in every character since they always showed interesting developments into their personalities.
Ai-Ai was a great character that portrayed a strong woman personality while having the feminine feelings when she needed too: I would say that her character can represent woman power.

--->O-Chan was a character that would make you want to see him more on screen; it was really nicely done with good personality developments.
--->Kiku-rin was the strongest character in this drama, it manages to make you love him, hate him then love him again: It was a challenging character that added a great storyline development.
--->Usami was a weak character (basing on the storyline so it has nothing to do with Tamaki Hiroshi’s acting skills), it had many flaws but it managed to get through near the end.
Other characters were either average or annoying (……)

*Appreciated character: I was attracted by Kairi’s darkness especially near the end; it was a very appealing character to me.


--->Romance: Since it’s a shuffle we can’t talk about specific couples yet there were chemistry all over the drama with all those intriguing feelings.

--->Friendship: It was present in a good way here, ever since the first episodes there were many signs of good friendship which made characters appear in a great harmony even if there were problems every once in a while.

*Favorite line: Uso da to itte yo, Joe!

Cast: 9/10.
Acting: 9/10.

4) The ending:
Well, it seemed a little unnatural but that doesn’t mean it was bad. Anyway, this drama had a good ending overall.

The ending: 8/10.

5) My impression (How did it affect me):

*Watching this drama was really fun, I got to see a mature drama after a long time so I had great feels about it.

*Is this drama memorable: Yes, It is! Who wouldn’t remember watching a great mature drama with superb actors and awesome characters? This drama touched me in a good way, an unforgettable production indeed.

My impression: 8.75/10.

6) Overall:

*If you’re looking for a mature drama then you should watch this.
*If you’re looking for a great romantic J-drama then you may like this.

*Love Shuffle is a short light drama without any shallow feelings. It’s one of those dramas that are directed to the mature audience out there.

Overall: 9/10.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (17)Recommendations

Both involve MULTIPLE RELATIONSHIPS, psychology and comedy-darkness blend.

In KMHM there's 7 characters/7 relationships due to male leads multiple personality disorder; meanwhile in Love Shuffle there's several different relationships due to a group of people deciding to "shuffle"/swap relationship partners with each other multiple times, to test if there exists such a thing as "soulmate"/one person that's better for you.

While both have multiple relationships, both also have a couple of rootable MAIN couples/OTPs with a good romance arc; making shipping easier, while keeping the complexity of the relationship/s and story in tact!

Recommended for fans of psychology, drama-comedy combo, deep and complex characters and story and believable OTP/romance.

Both high quality dramas that deserve a better rating on MDL.
Recommended by JulySnow2

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Comments (61)

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  • Reply
    KT-nam May 27, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    ReilaNimu May 2, 2017

    Yay, panda!

  • Reply
    ReilaNimu May 2, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    ReilaNimu May 2, 2017

    Oh my god this is so good. Well, at least the first episode is. Lovely leads, tons of chemistry everywhere, good humor, mature yet not crude. So good.

  • Reply
    KenWong Mar 29, 2017

    Love this one drama. I watched it 5 times, already.

  • Reply
    anastassia Mar 7, 2017

    one of the very best

  • Reply
    Zid Jan 22, 2017

    The ending seemed kinda rushed for me, but I really enjoyed this! :)

  • Reply
    Patricia Jan 21, 2017

    I loved watching this drama!
    Such an original story and it was also so beautiful and hilarous :)
    They had me with just 20 min of the first episode.
    And it was hard to stop watching... I just had to rewatch some episodes ♥

  • Reply
    Heathenkitties Jan 16, 2017

    Loved this fun drama! It was light-hearted, but it also tackled some serious issues. I just wanted something that wasn't too heavy, but also not overly ridiculous. I watched this one straight through!

  • Reply
    veronicaruiz Jan 13, 2017

    This dorama was so addicting! Probably one of the best romcoms I've seen. I loved the Ojiro x Kairi couple!!

  • Reply
    kitamu Nov 30, 2016
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    JulySnow2 Nov 10, 2016 - edited

    WARNING: This drama will RUIN Abba's "Dancing Queen", you will never look at it the same way ever again!

  • Reply
    JulySnow2 Nov 10, 2016

    Other dramas feel so shallow compared to this, especially ordinary romcoms! This is a drama that tackles heavy subjects, disguised as a romcom, but while others are fluff and fun, this really dives in deep. After watching this, every other drama is lacking depth, even deep ones! It just feels like something is missing.

  • Reply
    JulySnow2 Oct 5, 2016 - edited

    I almost watched this whole dorama with no breaks (10 hours straight!), only reason I didn't was because I got so tired I had to sleep...That's how good this was! Endlesslessly fascinating! Now added to my "favorite dramas" list!

  • Reply
    Ineta Aug 4, 2016

    My first introductions with Japanese dramas and movies were honestly so bad I thought that maybe I shouldn't add any more Japanese things to my PTW list because I felt that I won't find anything I'd like. This drama changed my opinion.
    Overall it was a very enjoyable ride, the actors did an excellent job and the drama did make me smile a lot; most of the times I, someone who isn't too fond of the comedy genre, since I often find it done too badly, did find the funny moments funny.
    The bad thing is that I wasn't able to get close and understand all of the characters, and there were quite a few that annoyed me until the last few episodes. Another thing that could have been better -- I felt like they sometimes threw things into the plot and then forgot about them?
    But anyway, this is the best Japanese production I've seen, so I would definitely recommend to watch it. :)


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  • Aired:

    Jan 16, 2009 to Mar 20, 2009
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  • Duration:

    45 min.


  • Score:

    8.1 (scored by 3,943 users)
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