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 hitsupon 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.
Cast & Credits
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 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.
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.
*Generally speaking this is a rom-com with a psychological aspect. The drama contains several twists that makes the storyline catching.
*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.
--->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.
*I can’t possibly think about a negative point in this drama’s storyline; it was really great.
*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!
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.
*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.