34-year-old company president of Samejima Hotels, Samejima Reiji, is the very capable successor of a traditional Japanese inn. His motto is “target, speed, two months”. Even though he has expanded the business into the hotel industry with five hotels, he is feared by his employees who stay away while pretending that they respect him. He is hard to please and goes to the extent of dismissing those whose job performances fail to meet his standard or do not comply with his wishes even for the slightest thing. Reiji has been thinking about getting married lately and has attended arranged marriage meetings.
Reiji’s secretary informs him that he has been rejected by all the females he has met so far, but he does not understand why. In fact, females who get close to him quickly leave once they know his arrogant and obstinate character.
That's when he meets Misaki . She is a mysterious female who cannot read situations and he does not know what she is thinking. Even so, he wants to be loved by the person he likes and pursues her with funny tactics.
Cast & Credits
The plot is not original, it's something we might have seen a thousand times over. If I had to summarise it in under 50 words, this is what I'd say: ''Tsundere president of hotel company falls in love with pretty employee. He's the best at his job but sucks at love. Mayhem ensues.''
To be fair though, this rom-com may be something more than your usual tsundere rich guy/pretty and pure employee story, but don't expect to find out about what it is that makes it different until the very end.
Let's talk about the characters. We have Ohno Satoshi as Samejima Reji, the brattiest 2 years old in the body of a 30-something years old you'll ever meet. He'll make you root for him, love him, then despise him around the 5th episode's mark, and then kinda like him again in the end. It's seriously a roller-coaster.
Haru plays Shibayama Misaki, Samejima's love interest, and does so convincingly. Amazing at her job, she's capable of standing up for herself when needed, which is good, but her habits of speaking in keigo really gets to you after a while. Overall, a likeable character, though.
Let's move on to my favourite character: Muraoki, Samejima's secretary! She's sassy, independent, strong, amazing, and awesome. She tells it like it is and she's quite simply the best. A+.
Finally, I'm not going to mention the rest of the characters, but each and everyone of them was a nice addition. Shout-out to Miura for being the best clueless buffoon ever.
The acting was good, albeit a little over the top at times (but I kinda liked that because it was fitting.) I loved Samejima's facial expressions so much. They were the funniest hands down.
Also, having watched Haru in some interviews and programs and stuff, where she barely speaks or moves at all, I was pleasantly shocked to see she's a good actress. There's nothing, or little, of Haru in Misaki.
I loved the music! The ending theme is, of course, Arashi, and it's a very catchy song.
I'm not one for rewatching doramas, but this was so good, so I'm definitely gonna watch it again sometimes in the next few years.
All in all, this is a great dorama. Funny as heck. Made me go as far as watching it without subtitles because I couldn't wait - and my Japanese is basic at best! Also, I believe the ending is probably hinting to a second season or a SP (more probable), so I'm holding my breath for that.
Definitely recommended for those of you looking for:
-a (somehow different kind of) rom-com
-a tsundere main lead (it doesn't get any more tsundere than Reiji, istg)
-a funny dorama with typical Japanese over-the-top acting
-(kinda) realistic portrayal of some aspects of romantic relationships
Isanami suyao ;)
I can't recall how many times I've laughed while watching this J-drama but if I had to give an estimate of the funny in this show, I'd go with 80% of the time. That's a massive amount of funny, but I absolutely loved it! It's normally unusual to have so much humour in a rom-com but this show is able to do that because of its very simple plot line which doesn't require too much setting up nor too much development to move the show forward. The show is wonderfully focused on the dating hijinks and love trials of a career-successful man who is also woefully under-developed when it comes to human relations or romantic relationships. One man, one target, one mission. Stat.
Because it is so single-person focused, the actor playing our main male lead had to basically carry the entire show on his shoulders and wow, Ohno Satoshi, I have to hand it to him, he did his role brilliantly. I've not seen him act in any drama prior to this, had no preconceptions about his acting ability and was even mildly unimpressed with him in the first episode because his character was such a serious sullen man he came across rather unlikeable. But I was wrong! As the episodes progressed there was so much more opportunity to showcase his expressive and comic ability and it was such a joy to see him flit from one mood to another, or to see him switch from scary boss persona to little man-child cuteness to teenage emo-sulks. His enthusiasm and energy in the courting arena is practically boundless, and he's such an adorable dork through it all! The undisputed star of this show and the absolute main-stay to all the comedy.
He was wonderfully supported by his two trusty side-kicks - his personal secretary, Muraoki, and his chauffeur, Ishigami. Both have their own ways of encouraging him but it's so cute and heart-warming to see them cheering so hard for their boss to achieve success in love all the way through the drama. Reiji Samejima really struck gold when he employed these two.
His own staff members had varying degrees of screen-time but they were hilarious in their little concerted reactions whenever it came to anything relating to their boss. Great supporting cast with pitch-perfect comic timing.
As for our female lead, as far as I'm concerned, she was a complete foil for all these crazy hilarious hijinks going on with her boss, her colleagues and everyone else around her. She was like the steady anchor that grounded the whole show and gave it a foundation to dance its magic on. And what a performance this was.
For those who want a pure fuss-free rom-com with plenty of cute, hilarious 'com', you're seriously missing out if you've not yet seen this show. I need to download the episodes for this one - this show's a complete keeper.
Rating = 8.5/10 with a possibility for an upgrade to 9