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Kitajima Shinnosuke, a cowboy from the USA who goes to Shibuya to find a group of girls to dance Para-Para. Along the way, he becomes a new type of hero, helping to solve problems that afflict Shibuya-Gals. [wiki.d-addicts.com] Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Here comes the "Para-Para" girls roaming around in Shibuya which they actually exist in real life. My goodness! Haha.
Just to tell some of its interesting facts:
* "Para para" is form of dance where everyone does the same dance moves.
* "Para para" dancing groups and "gals" aren't something made-up for Galcir, again.. they actually exist in real life! They are usually found in a district in Tokyo called Shibuya.
* "Gals" is common term used to describe a certain group of younha females in Japan. These "gals" are characterized by their unique tastes in fashion, music, social activity, and being part of a "para-para" group
It has the same elements with GTO except all girls around here. The most ridiculous ending ever I've watched so far but it made me laugh my lungs out for their stupidity that I can't tell if this drama is trying to be a comedy or not. There wasn't really a plot into this one but rather it's hilarious because of the Cowboy Hero's ignorance.
Just to tell you that I like its music transition though. You would want to watch this one if you'd like to pass time and like to rest your brain for a while. Come on! You don't have to be a serious person all the time, you know! *laughs*
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The main character is Shinnosuke, born Japanese but brought up as a “cowboy” in Arizona, USA, who is sent to Shibuya, Tokyo, by his Native American friend Geronimo III (Furuta Arata, always a pleasure), to search for a girl named Imoko. This is the overall story arch that keeps the whole thing together. Imoko is supposed to be 17 years old, but Shinnosuke soon learns that Shibuya is full of girls that age. Some of them have dropped out of school or even left their homes and they only live for their club, Angel Hearts, where they do the “para-para” dance. (This too looks very strange to me but I’ve read that this is a thing that exists!) He befriends them, and also meets other people in the neighborhood, along with Geronimo’s daughter Momo.
In the beginning I even wondered if it was watchable at all. “What is this?!?” I thought to myself, but soon I realized that it’s not meant to be taken seriously. The drama is full of very strange things that can’t even happen in the real world, and it’s full of repetitions (stuff in one character’s shop always gets knocked over in the exact same way once or twice ever episode, and things like that). It’s completely over the top all the way. Nobody can be like that. Why the American characters all speak fluent Japanese is a mystery, for one thing. Only Shinnosuke’s speech is sometimes sprinkled with English. It’s just one of the things that you have to accept and let go to enjoy this... The way they dress and act, too. The writer of this drama has clearly been looking too much at old children’s books about “cowboys and Indians”, and no other characters ever change out of their work clothes…
Of course, there are “serious” topics thrown in, too. Each episode deals with a certain issue one of the characters has to deal with, and “the cowboy from Arizona” helps them gain new insight. Mostly it’s the girls in Angel Heart that he meets. He helps them “grow” and “learn from their mistakes”, and even if the girls get angry with each other and fight a lot, they make up before the end of the episode. This is the part of the drama that makes me roll my eyes. Shinnosuke’s speeches about respect and compassion may carry good messages, but these “life lessons” are a bit too much sometimes! At the same time this makes them kind of funny, too. Just when you think it’s getting way too cheesy, it falls back into the silliness again. At least sometimes. (And at least you can watch Fujiki Naohito’s face while he talks and forget the rest…)
That’s one reason why I didn’t give it a higher rating, and one reason why I watched this drama slowly. One episode every now and then to make me laugh, that’s fine. On the plus side is that there is very little romance and only in the last few episodes – this feels like a good thing to me, in this kind of drama.
At least I think that Shinnosuke was a cute character. A strange mix of seriousness, silliness and naiveté, but it sort of works once you accept that that’s just how he is. (To be honest, at some point I suspected that his true identity was not that he was Japanese, but from another planet…) Some of the girls were pretty interesting, but the main character among them, Erika Toda’s character Saki (the one who gets most attached to the cowboy), can be a bit annoying. (Or maybe it’s just me that for some reason never really like the actress that much, even though I accepted her in LG…) The Patrolman (Sato Ryuta) was a character that developed a little bit. And I liked how they Skyped with Geronimo and how some of the characters sort of bonded with him online!
The music – I got very tired of the song that Angel Hearts danced to. It was a boring piece of music, and they always practiced the same dance to the same song. The ending theme was kind of cute and fitting for the drama (and sung by FN, “Hey! Friends”) but not something I would actually listen to.
So, what do I say, finally? I think it was a pretty good comedy drama after all; it made me laugh, so there’s that. Not every episode was hilarious but sometimes it actually was. The ending was incredibly stupid, but again in a good way to really follow through with the overall silliness of the drama. But it’s not one of the really awesome comedies that you’ll remember forever. It’s the kind of drama that put a lot of emphasis on friendship, being honest and trying hard, and find something to do with your life.
I don’t rewatch dramas, so I don’t know about that, but I don’t really think there’s a lot to rewatch this for. Fujiki Naohito is cute here though so if you’re a fangirl like me you might find this worth your time (but he always wears his cowboy outfit and even though the character kind of suits him, I’d only give this drama 8 for eye-candy). That is, if you can stand the speeches about what is right and good and how to treat other people, etc…
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