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Cheer☆Dan japanese drama review
4 people found this review helpful
by Rin
Sep 16, 2018
10 of 10 episodes seen
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10.0
Music 10.0
Rewatch Value 10.0
The story isn't anything special. Anyone who's watched any drama about high school sports can probably guess how the story would go. The charm of this drama isn't the outcome of the plot but how each episode zoomed in on different problems and different characters. Not only were the core members of the cheer dan team developed well, the parents and the teachers were also given depth and their own personality. Also, the soundtrack is beautiful! The instrumental track in the OP sequence always gets me excited for the coming episode and the theme song that plays at the end of episodes somehow always makes me tear up…

I think at the core of this drama, it's just a story of regular people supporting the people they love — early on, they mentioned the importance of a "cheer spirit" in doing cheer dance, but as the drama progresses you see how many forms this "cheer spirit" can have in real life outside of cheer dance. You can see how the girls came to develop a sense of cheer spirit that was crucial in their cheer dance. (By the way, it's interesting to note that in the final competition towards the end of the drama, the participating cheer dance teams were very courteous to each other and genuine in their support of each other's success. It was a refreshing thing to see, when normally you'd expect some rivals to be jerks. Hooray "cheer spirit"!)

As a fan of Tsuchiya Tao, it may be bias speaking, but I think she did a really great job on this drama. Her character, Fujitani Wakaba, initially doesn't seem very interesting and is often overshadowed by some of the other more eccentric characters in the ensemble. But as the story progresses, you get to peel her personality layer by layer to understand that she is more than just a cheerful simpleton. Another character I like is surprisingly, the Vice Principal (who is a father of a member of the team). His subplots with his daughter are some of my favourite moments in the drama. I also liked the character of Taro-sensei, the teacher in charge of the Cheer Dance club. I liked how his relationship with Wakaba was painted as a relationship of mutual respect, and how genuine he was in supporting the girls' dreams without any hint of lewd intentions. I was initially a bit wary about whether any romantic feelings would sprout between him and Wakaba (it's a genre Japan seems to be fond of lately after all) but I'm relieved that there was none of that kind of bullshit. His relationship with his wife and son was healthy and nice to watch too.
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