Kishikawa Naoko, a 31-year-old single woman, works at a department store. She lives with her family but has a boring life. However, one day she meets Lee Ji Won, a cameraman from South Korea, who inspire her to change along with her family.
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Cast & Credits
While the story is generic (guy meets girl, falls in love, encounters challenges, etc), there are certain twists and turns that will keep the viewers glued. What works here is the on-screen chemistry between the lead. I don't watch Korean drama simply because I write Japanese movie/drama reviews exclusively. I just had to grant the request of my twin sister who also enjoyed the show as I did.
The use of silence here and how 'awkward' the two actors are - in many of their scenes - is deliberate and intentional. Unless you expect everything to be automatic or 'logical' you may not enjoy the show. Perhaps if you're an avid fan of the Kpop member you may justify everything to be fine. That makes this show particularly good because not everything is what it seems. Kuroshina is a veteran Japanese actress who did plenty of supporting characters in her career. She was excellent in the two-part March Comes In Like a Lion LA, sharing scenes with one of Japan's foremost young actors, Kamiki Ryunosuke. In this drama, she's a 31-year old shy, vulnerable and no-confident woman who never had the chance to experience love until now.
Kai, who is first and foremost a performer, is surprisingly and convincingly good as a first-time actor in a Japanese show. Unlike some of the Korean dramas I saw, which rely heavily on impressive production values, special effects, and music, Haru ga Kita has a simplistic yet effective approach. This style suits Kai quite well because he manages to put on a character which is slowly revealed as the drama progresses. A Japanese actor, Fukushi Sota, has an uncanny similarity to this EXO band member, yet Kai is the better actor. He's not a deadfisheye at all.
What I loved about this drama was it was about family and the romance was actually not the main point of the drama (it was there I promise). The romance had cliches, but I think it was about Naoko and Ji Won learning about each other through her family. It was also Ji Won's acceptance and influence changed her and her family's views of each other and life. I did like that each episode was about each family member and Ji Won and their life.
The acting was not ground-breaking, Kai did a good job for what he was given. Kai does a fantastic job in sad scenes(emotional). Even with the language barrier, I thought he and Kana had a nice chemistry (especially in the beginning). I also give a shout out to Sano Shiro who plays Naoko's father. He did a nice job protraying someone that had a lot of inner conflicts with himself (watch for yourself).
Music was something I wasn't paying attention to, but loved that the BGMs matched the tone of the show. But I really did like the ending theme song "Loving you Mo(re?)" by EXO.
You will either like or hate the ending. I actually like the ending because it was open ended. I felt that even though it didn't end like I expected to, but Ji Won and Naoko are going on with their lives better than they have known if they didn't met in the first place. (Pitch forks are probably aiming in my direction).
Overall, I like the drama for what it was, a family drama with a dash of romance. You might prepare tissues, just in case because I did cry in some parts of the drama. If you like dramas about family and make you think a little bit, then this drama is for you. Also if you are a Kai or any of the actor's/actress fans, then this drama is for you.