What a lovely dorama! The plot was super interesting, I love all the characters, the setting was so mabushii, so bright and colorful and clean.
The story is a very engaging one: the world of mangas and mangaka. To be more precise, the world of editors. They also have to struggle, not only the mangaka do. They need to take care of the mangaka, give them advice, move here to there. There are also moments of tears and frustration. Editors need to walk along the mangakas, they need to be there for them all the time and built a trust, which is fundamental.
Since I am a big fan of BAKUMAN, it was impossible not to link them both. One is from the Mangaka's POV, the other one is from the Editorial's POV. I looked everywhere to read the manga Juhan Shuttai, but unfortunately is not translated :( It really is a heart-warming story, and the art is so cute, especially chibi Kokoro, who looks a lot like dear Sawako from "Kimi ni Todoke".
The cast was marvelous. I was familiar with most of the secondary characters only; more specifically, the mangakas (Mikurayama-sensei, Takahata-sensei...). And of course, Namase Katsuhisa-san. But this is the first time I see Kuroki Haru (Kokoro) and although I've seen some photos of him, this is my first time watching Odagiri Joe (Iokibe-san). I am not sure which one of these 2 were my favorites! Kokoro was the typical bright, positive girl, but she was far from annoying and stupid. Her motto was "Gambaremassu" and she motivated a couple of characters, like emo mangaka-to-be Nakata-kun, and poor, nice Koizumi-kun, whose professional life was a bit depressing at first, but once he was motivated, everything changes for him for better. It was really touching. Impossible not to like a girl with that kind of enthusiasm! Also my first time seeing Sakaguchi Kentaro, who is a real sweetheart! His smile is so adorable, and he acts really well! Can't believe his filmography is so short; he acts like a pro and ten million times than veterans!
**sighs** Odagiri Joe... I've read some lists before were he was mentioned, like "more kissable lips" or whatever, but have never paid him any attention. My, I was so impressed with this guy. Let's talk first about his role. Iokibe-san is one of the coolest guy I've seen in a dorama. Super nice, real intelligent, a perfect mentor, a humble editor, a nice guy, a kind co-worker, a capable editor. Only once he shouts in the whole dorama, otherwise, he speaks with a calm, soothing voice. No wonder Kokoro admired him so much! If I were her, I would have probably fallen in love with him. Because not only he was the nicest guy and mentor, he also looks real good! Glasses and man-bun, perfect combination! With some facial hair, the cherry on top. Sure, some of his shirts were, errr, colorful, but he looked like a model! I loved him and I am glad Episode 9 was more or less about him.
Clothes were colorful, specially in Kokoro's case. Some of her skirts were a bit old-fashioned, but overall her clothes matched her character: young, happy and bright. Editor Mibu was always wearing T-shirts with food drawings on them (I love this actor, he is so funny!), Yasui-san was always wearing stripped sweaters, Takahata-san always in Adidas outfits, Nakata-san always in dark sweatsuits and Koizumi was always in suit. I love that even the clothes were important to the story, every detail meant something!
The sountrack was lovely, and the ending song was ok. But my favorite thing is that it is an inspirational dorama. If you love something, you give it all, like Kokoro did, and for that, she was rewarded at the end. I laughed many times, but I also cried a couple of times. There wasn't a single episode that was boring or dragging, I loved it from Ep. 1 to 10, and I wish it was longer! Nevertheless, it has a perfect ending, because it wasn't really an ending.. more like a beginning :D
I recommend this dorama a hundred times Top quality, top cast, excellent story, I loved it!