Koyurugi Sota looks up to and adores his senior in school, Takahashi Saeko. With his one-sided love for her, he decides to leave for Paris to learn the art of making chocolates, as she loves chocolates. After returning from Paris, Sota opens a shop. Saeko, his one-sided love show up demanding he makes her wedding cake. ~~ Based on the manga series "Shitsuren Chocolatieri" (Winner of the 2012 Kodansha Manga Awards) by Setona Mizushiro.
Cast & Credits
Usually in J-dramas the topic of sex is one that is not addressed at all; in this drama, it is there and openly seen, but not in a lewd and raunchy manner (unfortunately which is seen far too much in American dramas) so that is a relief. We see characters actually acting like adults and not middle school students that are afraid to hold hands. There are actually kiss scenes that are quite believable and not overly awkward to watch. The romance scenes are not too steamy to the point that you would get uncomfortable if someone were to walk into the room when you were watching.
Another positive point is the music, setting, and atmosphere. This drama was beautifully shot and has a great soundtrack of memorable songs that get stuck in your head for the entire week after watching an episode. I myself have been listening to the soundtrack a lot. Ken Arai did a great job in capturing the perfect compositions for the various moments in the drama. I also like how the theme of chocolate was included in the drama. It is not strictly a food drama but the importance of this beloved treat in the various love interest's lives is an interesting and apt addition, without overriding the other aspects of the plot and making it another culinary porn type of series.
Things I did not like about the drama were the lack of characterization for certain characters, especially Rikudou and Sekiya , and to an extent Saeko. Rikudou could have been a very memorable character if utilized properly, but unfortunately his presence was one that contributed very little to the drama as a whole. Sato Ryuuta did a great job in all of the scenes that he was in. Sekiya was just a pointless throwaway character. The actor's performance was not memorable and neither was the character. As for Saeko, I feel like we could have seen more what makes her the person she is, like a bit of her past, her hopes, dreams, ambitions. Instead, she is regulated to an empty manic pixie dream girl who really is defined by the men she is with. Sure, there were some good instances of female bonding with Kaoruko , but the character was not developed enough. The same can be said about Olivier as well.
Also, the drama does a poor job of addressing heavy subjects such as domestic violence and infidelity. I feel the characters have done things that are taboos and generally accepted as wrongs, but very little repentance is shown. It really sends a clouded message. As for the ending, I very much though that it summed things up nicely, apart from certain unrealistic and overly optimistic aspects. I'm glad the ending wasn't the typical drama ending, but this opinion may not be shared by others.
All in all, it was a entertaining drama from start to finish, though definitely not perfect. So for that, I give it an 8 overall.
The story is a fairly basic one, but I thought the actors in the show played their parts very well. I haven't read the manga, but I thought each of the actors looked great (love you MatsuJun!) and at no point was I cringing due to wooden acting. I really hated Saeko, and I thought Ishihara Satomi played her part to perfection. However, I felt the strength of this show was in it's supporting characters- Rikudo, Sekiya, Kaoruko etc. They provided the comedy when the main storyline got a bit too much.
The music was great- not only did I LOVE the Arashi song, the other music was very well suited to the show.
I probably won't rewatch this show again- hence the low rewatch value score, but overall I enjoyed this drama. It's definitely a great one to watch when you want an interesting mix of melodrama and comedy.