This review may contain spoilersMy initial interest in watching this drama comes from the fact that I was curious to see one of Yahagi Honoka's more recent works, as I have not seen any since her role as Kotoko in Itazura na Kiss. And for viewers who were not fond of her character there, let me be clear and say this drama is definitely not for you. The characters are very similar.
STORY: The story follows Saeki Riko (Yahagi Honoka), who is a college student lacking in both career aspirations and success in relationships. While she has dated others in the past, she eventually backs out of her relationships when they want to get serious because she doesn't actually love the men she's with. She's oblivious to her friend Shindou Shin's (Nakao Masaki), longtime crush on her as well as her best friend Amamiya Yoshino's (Kamura Mami) crush on Shin. With such an oblivious character who can't read her own heart nor her surroundings, there is bound to be plenty of drama to ensue and that's exactly what this drama is. A big emotional mess. Once her childhood friend and first love Ichihara Shuuji (Mizuno Masaru) comes into the picture after many years apart, she suddenly realizes he's the one she has loved all along, hence why she was never able to love anyone else, and tries her best to pursue him. But things aren't exactly smooth sailing as he's already somewhat taken by his co-worker/"lover" Fukai Midoriko (Iriyama Noriko).
I don't mind the whole childhood friend concept even though it's been overdone, but in this particular case it was off-putting because she's head over heels over someone who said they would marry her when they were just a little kid. And I mean a kid. They literally had no contact for years. Even her best friends told her she has a problem if she was actually taking a childhood promise to heart. Upon reuniting, he clearly rejected her advances and yet, she still kept pushing for him just to admit he was her childhood friend and would interfere in everything he was doing. The drama as a whole was difficult to watch, almost everyone was doing something shady at one point in order to get who and what they wanted. Riko was constantly oblivious to everything, whether it was Yoshino being annoyed and angry with her, or Shin being jealous or sad. She only had Shuuji on her mind the whole time. What I did like though is how Yoshino and Shin would sometimes call her out on her questionable behavior, such as the incident when she was following Shuuji like a stalker, when she herself had recently been scared by her past boyfriend doing the same to her. That kind of behavior is not cute or romantic, it's scary.
ACTING/CAST: Everyone was decent as their characters, but then again this drama didn't exactly need any noteworthy performances. While Saeki Riko might have been an overbearing main lead, Yahagi Honoka really nails this kind of character. Very innocent, sweet, but also clumsy and naive. When it comes to Ichihara Shuuji (Mizuno Masaru), I felt the acting was very stiff, especially for being a main lead. Even though he supposedly loved Riko, you could barely tell because he didn't have many facial expressions and he was also making out with Midoriko to cover up his feelings. I felt his demeanor really came off as him seeing Riko as just a childhood friend and nothing more, so I was skeptical when he admitted he was in love with her in the later episodes. It seemed more like he gave in. While the acting may not have been the best though, I did like how Riko and Shuuji's encounter helped each other to both realize and pursue their dreams.
Oh and for those who didn't watch until after the ending credits, the little promo/preview skits with the cast were cute. Poor Shin always getting ignored lol
MUSIC: The opening song "Blue Star" by COLOR CREATION was a nice choice for the drama
REWATCH VALUE: Would I sit down and watch this again? No. The ending itself was also underwhelming and questionable. On a positive aspect of this drama though, the episodes are only about 24 minutes long, so it's decent for something quick to watch. But there are way better romance dramas out there. I wasn't impressed with the story and while Yahagi Honoka's character Riko may have been similar to Kotoko in Itazura na Kiss, I definitely find the latter to be the better character and drama in all aspects.
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