When just reading the synopsis, the first thought that comes to mind is: this isn't my type of drama. I don't watch sports drama, I find them too predictable and repetitive. I don't watch any older-female younger male romance drama, I usually find the romance too forced. I certainly don't watch dramas about affairs, because I don't sympathize with those relationship. With that said, I loved every bit of that drama, with the way they bring all those genre and spin them together to produce such an engaging drama. I would first and foremost credit it to the writing. It is smooth, every episode is easy to watch, and at the end of each episode you want more. Sports here is used as a way to connect people. The outcome of every episode is predictable, but the last bowl always manages to have enough stake to capture your attention. I like that each episode introduces a split, that is generally related to our bowlers' lives, and the way to beat it. The last episode's bowl was the one time I thought, - nah, this time there won't be too much pressure whether the hero wins the match - until they put all the stakes of the world on it, captivating me and having pray with all the rest of the character that he wins. As for the romance, it started pretty subtly. The leads had this frank beautiful friendship. They bicker a lot, and they don't shy from mentioning the other's fear, forcing each other to not run away and face their problems. Their conversations, especially those they have during the game are most entertaining and engaging. As things started getting more intense later, that friendship, and those frank conversations continue throughout the drama. Those two were people where the presence of one of them makes the other one a better person. As for the affaires here, the drama neither ignores how wrong it is, nor paints those engaged in those relationships are completely bad or evil. I liked the way it is approached. I have to say what made this drama more enjoyable is the number of different characters making part of the whole bowling center and those visiting on a daily basis. The prostitute and the bar tender had a sweet side story that you can't help route for. The workers grew on me, and the perverted owner was most entertaining. I think my favourite though is Yakuza who challenges them every week. Not only does he help bringing everyone together (against him) but the way he present himself each episode, with a new song sung by him and his lackeys, is exceptional. All this wouldn't have been that great if we didn't have such an amazing cast. Leading here is the reason behind me watching this drama, Kaneshiro Takeshi. He's so charming here, and beautiful. Every word he utters sends me dancing with excitement. Especially when says french and english words - Oui, Madame - Oh yeah! - Yea baby - Jesus - I melt! As for the female lead, Kuroki Hitomi is 13 years his senior!! She was already 42 when the dorama first aired. However her character was so cute, fun, full of life, and badass when he plays bowling. The chemistry between the two was nothing short of phenomenal. I haven't seen that often in japanese dramas in recent years so I miss it. The rest of the cast were fun and on spot, at worst they were serviceable. The theme song used is very dramatic but somehow blends well with the drama. This drama is a must watch for anyone who wants to watch a drama that has engaging characters, sizzling chemistry, fun and smartly written script, directing that merges all the themes seamlessly and Kaneshiro Takeshi fans. I think this type of drama can be entertaining for the majority of people if given the chance.
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