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Mannequin Night Fever japanese drama review
Mannequin Night Fever
5 people found this review helpful
by mikimika101
Mar 21, 2023
6 of 6 episodes seen
Overall 7.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This review may contain spoilers

The Jokes are Funny, but Not the Best Story

As someone who understands Japanese, I was able to watch this without subtitles. The storyline itself is quite boring and feels like a fanfiction, but comedy is hilarious. That being said, I realized that a lot of the comedy wouldn't be funny to someone who doesn't watch Japanese TV or owarai gags. If you watch it with subs, some of the jokes might not translate well, especially the owarai gags and the special guest comedians. Anyways on to the review.

•❅✧❅✦ STORY •❅✧❅✦

I'll just spoil it because it seems like no one will be subtitling the drama anytime soon.

One day 8 mannequins at Shibuya's PARCO department store are magically brought to life by Maneki Towa. She reveals that she is half-mannequin, half-human. She tells the 8 mannequins that she has brought them back to life to allow one of them to become a human forever, however there is a catch. Only one of them will become human and the others will stay as mannequins forever. There also needs to be a trade off where a human will permanently become a mannequin in their place.

Maneki gives each of the mannequins a name based on their "personalities."
Chui - He's always giving warnings (chui) to others.
Matome - He is constantly trying to round up (matome) the others and situation.
Mukuchi - Not his personality, but Maneki thought he'd be cool if he didn't speak much (mukuchi).
Pocket - He always has his hands in his pockets.
Mysterious - Not his personality, but Maneki thought that he'd be cool if he were mysterious.
Lady - He is the most flamboyant and feminine of all the mannequins.
Necho - Not his personality, but Maneki thought it would be cool if he was macho. However since he's not macho he should be a negative macho (necho).
Tekito - He is not serious and half assed (tekito) with everything.

After giving each of the mannequins a name, Maneki begins to teach them how to become human. She teaches them about various emotions, sometimes inviting guest mannequins over to help in her teaching. While learning how to become human it is revealed that one of the mannequins had been a human in the past. Necho begins to suspect that Matome is the former human because in one of their lessons Matome had given a very realistic example of how a human would react in a certain situation. Matome denies it's saying he made it up based on watching how humans interact at the store. Necho is not convinced. He adds that Matome can play the harmonica, something only human's can do. This leads to Matome bringing up that Maneki told everyone that they all have a human talent. That even Takito can play the guitar. Surprised and wanting to find their own talent, the mannequins try to find their Talent. Chui can do magic, Mysterious can make cocktails, Lady is flexible, Pocket can change his eyelids from a monolid to a double lid, and Pocket can fart. When it's time to find Necho's talent, he can't seem to find it and leaves depressed.

While depressed, Necho is forced to continue to learn to be human with the other mannequins. Maneki invites an old mannequin who is said to bring bad luck to all the stores he's been at to talk to everyone about misfortune and sadness. The old mannequin is bare and naked because whatever clothes is put on the mannequin, the clothes do not sell and the store becomes bankrupt. Necho, Mysterious and the others cheer the old mannequin up and put clothes on him. After he leaves, Mysterious suddenly turns back into a mannequin as a result of the old mannequin's bad luck. They all try to help him turn back into his human form, but they cannot. Maneki explains that even if he is a mannequin, the lessons must go on, so they continue with their lessons. In the lesson, Necho is told to get upset at mannequins, using Mysterious's mannequin as a stand in. Necho yells at Mysterious his dislikes about being a mannequin. After Necho yells, they all can suddenly hear Mysterious's voice. They continue on with the lesson and Necho ends up bringing Mysterious back to life with his passion, which Maneki reveals is his special talent. They all celebrate Mysterious's return until Maneki reveals that tomorrow will be the last day of their lessons. That tomorrow one of them will be a human and the others will be mannequins forever.

Following Maneki's departure, the 8 mannequins reflect on their last day together. Necho wants to be human, but he doesn't want to leave his friendship with the others behind, becoming a human by himself. The others agree until Lady suddenly comes forwards saying he doesn't want to lie. He actually was human in the past and had met Maneki who turned him into a mannequin. Lady revealed that from a young age he knew that he wasn't like other boys; that his romantic feelings were not with woman, but with men. When he tried to act on his true nature, he was met with harsh criticism and hated life, it was at this time that he met Maneki and he willfully became a mannequin.

Necho is shocked until one by one the others became to reveal that they too were human.

Chui was working as a business man. His co-workers were jealous of his success and complained to his boss. After that everything that he did was criticized. He realized it was stupid to try and work hard because only the person who used dirty methods would achieve greatness in life. It was during this time he chose to become a mannequin.

Matome always dreamed of becoming a soccer player. He was so good that all of his schools and town was looking forward to him becoming a professional. During this most important match in the country, he missed the PK shot. After that everyone turned their back on him and hated on him. Giving up on his dreams, he got a normal job. At the job, his brought up his painful past and mocked him for it. He hated that all his years of hard work turned him into a laughing stock, so he chose to become a mannequin.

Pocket was a delinquent all his student years. After graduation he became a construction worker. There he met a nice senpai who told him it was okay to dream about having his own car company. Pocket began to save his money for his dream until his senpai asked for help with some money issues. Pocket loaned him some money and even became a guarantor for a loan. The senpai eventually ran away with the money. Pocket gave up on life and became a manequin.

Mukuchi was never talkative and aways shy. While working as a real-estate agent he couldn't get the results he wanted. His co-workers told him he needed to change his personality if he wants to succeed in life. He couldn't understand why his personality was wrong, so he became a mannequin.

Mysterious was a bartender who was looking to marry his girlfriend. She told him that his love was too heavy for her and she left him. He couldn't move on because he couldn't understand how his love was too heavy, so he chose to become a mannequin.

Tekito's parents placed lots of expectations on him, that he needed to go to an ivy league school to be perfect. When he failed to get into an ivy league university his parents lost interest in him. He didn't know how to live his own life since his parents had always told him how to live life, so he chose to become a mannequin.

After learning the truth, that Necho was the only one born a mannequin, he felt betrayed. He felt hurt and lied to. The others however, are adamant they didn't mean to hurt his feelings. That they only pretended they wanted to return to being human because Necho was very enthusiastic about becoming a human. That while they don't want to be humans again, they want Necho to be happy and live as a human if that's his desire.

Necho is chosen to become human and Maneki chooses to sacrifice her human status to become a mannequin in his place. After becoming a human, Necho choses to work as a security guard at Shibuya PARCO, watching over his mannequin friends.

•❅✧❅✦ ACTING •❅✧❅✦

Honestly it wasn't too bad. The members of Exile Tribe's FANTASTICS are all singers and dancers before they are actors, however, some members have done some acting work while for others it is their first time acting. Usually when the whole idol group makes a movie or drama, usually the acting is terrible, but for FANTASTICS it's not that bad. Not all members are the best at acting, but more screen time is given to the members who can act so it's not that bad at all. The actors of Necho, Tekito, Matome, and Chui are pretty decent.

•❅✧❅✦ COMEDY •❅✧❅✦

The jokes are hilarious, and I heard some of them were improvised on the spot. That being said, if you're not a fan of Japanese comedy and owarai, then some of the gags might not translate well. As a Japanese speaker, the jokes are funny though. Also, this isn't slapstick, so I'm not sure how well the jokes will translate to someone who isn't Japanese.

•❅✧❅✦ OVERALL •❅✧❅✦

It's not a bad watch. If you like the members of FANTASTICS and are looking for something to watch, then I'd watch Mannequin Night Fever. It's a situational comedy with fanfic like plot, so if you're looking for a great drama this isn't it. However, if you like FANTASTICS are looking for something funny to watch with jokes that actually hit the spot, then this is for you.
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