Based on Fumi Yoshinaga's manga "Seiyo Kotto Yogashiten". This story is about four men who work in a confectionary. Tachibana Keiichiro (Shiina Kippei) is the owner; Ono Yusuke (Fujiki Naohito) is the superb baker that has a mysterious and mesmerizing aura; Kobayakawa Chikage (Abe Hiroshi) is the waiter and close bodyguard of Tachibana; and last but not least is Kanda Eiji (Takizawa Hideaki), the ex-boxer who loves cake so much that he becomes a waiter at 'Antique'. This is a refreshing, yet heartfelt comedy about the 4 very unique personalities that work until the wee hours of the night at the small confectionary. The series follows the romance, family life, and most importantly friendship that these 4 men from different generations experience.
This is a confectionary with a "flavor" not like most. Located in the middle of an ordinary residential area, "Antique" stays open until 2 a.m. Every single thing in the shop is antique, in fact even the sherry glasses that water comes in look like they would cost 50,000 yen. On top of this, all the sweets that are sold are unbelievably delicious. The thing that is most peculiar about "Antique" though is that all 4 of the men that work here are very handsome, and each has an interesting past. Those that frequent the store also have a story to tell.
Cast & Credits
The plot is simple, like the synopsis says, and at first, it mostly revolves about introducing each character (the men at the bakery as well as some of their customers) and it feels a bit “episodic”, but gradually, as you learn more about the characters and their backgrounds, you realize that there are plotlines that connect them, secrets that are gradually revealed. This is pretty interesting, and I also enjoyed the little details in each episode.
Antique is a fun drama; not so that it makes you roll on the floor laughing, but it makes you giggle and smile very often. The characters are almost over the top silly sometimes, but not so much that they become annoying. I have not read the original manga, but I suspect that it falls into the comedy/slice of life genres. (Speaking of the manga, I’ve been told that the live-action version differs quite a lot in some important ways that I won’t reveal since that would be spoilery…)
The cast/acting is very good. Shiina Kippei and Abe Hiroshi is a fun duo; their interaction is what gives me most of the “manga feels” I get from this drama. Takizawa Hideaki does a very convincing job as the charming young boxer who loves cake with all his heart. Fujiki Naohito, the baker who teaches him all his skills, is here seen in one of his earliest roles, portraying a withdrawn man who has found a way to deal with his insecurities in a way that has everybody (including me) convinced, until his past is revealed in one of the later episodes. And just like in “Kimi wa petto”, Kato Koyuki plays a journalist, but of a different character. Together with the rest of the supporting characters, she adds color to the drama.
Let's not forget, there is so much eye-candy in this drama! I’m talking about the amazing cakes. Seriously, sometimes I felt that the close-ups of the cakes alone made the drama worth watching, I’m not kidding! Then, of course, there’s the male eye-candy as well… and Kato Kayuki is so adorable! I must admit I have a soft spot for Fujiki Naohito, though. Somehow, the softness of his cute face, together with all those delicious-looking cakes, makes me all starry-eyed. That’s the effect this drama had on me…
I don’t have a lot to say about the music, except that I liked it.
I was never bored whiled watching this, but often amused. I think it’s because I do enjoy this kind of light, heartfelt slice-of-life kind of stories… If that’s not your cup of tea, you might not like it as much as I did. In my opinion, it was well worth my time, but I don’t think I’ll re-watch Antique anytime soon. If I do someday, well, then it’s probably because I want to enjoy those beautiful cakes once again…