Sakuraba Junko, an English language school teacher, has had no boyfriend even before her 29th birthday and dreams of working in New York. But one day, she encounters a handsome monk in the worst moment when she attends a funeral service at a temple. Because of numbness in her legs, she grabs the altar and ends up emptying the ash from burning incense on him while he is chanting the sutra. Althougha rueful Junko thinks they will probably not meet again, she is deceived by her family and made to go for a matchmaking session. The other party is none other than that monk, Hoshikawa Takane.
Cast & Credits
I had my reservations before beginning this show, since I'm no fan of religiously oriented stories. Should you hesistate for the same reason, rest assured that, aside from the beautiful temple that plays as a setting and a few sutras read in the background, the monk hero is less religious than me - if possible.
In fact, here's one of those rare examples in rom-coms where the leads have physical desires. That a monk has to take more icy showers than your average CEO to suppress his wordly lust is an entertaining concept. Not to mention that, if you're a fan of Yamapi you may find this habit of his very pleasing.
As I said, there's a lot to laugh about while watching. Indeed, I'd say this is a rom-COM, where the comedic aspect wins over the romance. The romantic aspect, on the other hand, is seesawing, and I found myself laughing at the couple, hating the couple, loving the couple, re-hating it and re-loving it. There are in all respect more couples to enjoy here, even though I personally loved the side characters as a whole, not paired, if that makes any sense.
Don't expect some deep characterization because, in perfect from-manga-to-live-action style, the stress is on the characters' present actions, rather than how they came to this point. Hints, however, are given now and again, and I personally found those touching and well played out.
Out of the lot, I found the best acting performance to be that of Satomi Ishihara, solid, elegant and believable. A pity her character undergoes a few unwatchable tests that made me cringe on my womanly seat, but that's the plot and the actress won the challenge whether she had to be spunky or sad.
Yamashita's character requires him to be hilariously robotic, something he does very well, since he manages to convey quite a lot through his eyes. I appreciate this trait of him and loved it here. This monk can stretch your patience to its limits, but it turns out he's truly endearing and I'm very happy at his decision by the end - and I'm not referring to the very end.
Music? Nothing to talk about.
I think I'll rewatch this one day, either because I'm a rewatcher by nature or simply because it managed to draw me out of a slump with some welcomed laugh and a deserved (?) Yamapi fix.
Typical josei romance plot (you'll appreciate this if you're a manga reader). Boy meets girl, the guy fell in love with her, then he pursues the girl. Actually the plot is just ordinary, except for a unique twist that the guy is a monk. The comedic dialogues are present which are good, and I guess that what makes this charming (for me anyway). But what I really liked about the story is honestly the guy's character. His personality is really charming in an enchanting way. I don't know but I developed a deep affection to the main lead not only because of his physical appearance but his character development as well. The girl is our typical josei woman (if you read josei manga, then you know what I mean).
Such handsome and pretty people, I must admit. XD Well, I liked how the actors and actresses (esp the main leads) portrayed their respective roles. I haven't read the manga yet so I can't really say if they had portrayed it well but I can assure you they are really good. Good enough to make my emotions sway every damn episode easily. Ugh, I just so love them all.
BACK NUMBER IS THE BEST! XD YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO IT. YOU'LL DEFINITELY LOVE IT. HAHA Even though I look like I'm promoting, the OST "back number" really suits this show well. I fell in love with this song first before I fell in love with the show, so if you're still skeptical 'bout watching this, then I advise you to at least try listening to the OST. It made me appreciate the show more, maybe it could persuade you as well.
I rated this 10/10 in MDL (personal taste hehe) but I'll go now with 9/10. It's really a good one. I rarely get feels when watching Japanese drama but I must say this is an exception. Maybe because I watched this during Christmas eve and Christmas day. HAHA Welp, I don't really know. But I really like the roller coaster of emotions this drama awakened in me. It made me realize that falling in love is not an easy thing. Again. It brings you pain, suffering, tears, frustrations (lololol hint: lots of drama at the end so beware) but as well as happiness, smiles, laughter, and hope. But at the end of the day, you'll still choose to fall in love despite of the pain it will bring in your heart. Because as they say, love can keep the sadness at bay. It will cure a painfully broken heart as well as warming a cold frozen heart buried with time.
Have a happy holidays. :)