It's a somewhat liberating feeling to realize that I can blog about any random subject in the world now! So let's talk about Japanese dramas!
I like Japanese dramas--Jdrama for short--I've been watching them for the last three years or so. Unlike American TV, they're not long-running series; instead, they're usually 10-12 hour-long episodes. Knowing that a TV show is that short actually changes the focus quite a bit from what we're used to. The dramas tend to be more compact, focused on one main plot and several small plots, and they wrap everything up by the end, usually. It cuts down on the anticipation factor that you get with American TV, but it also makes it sort of sad when the show comes to an end so quickly. Think well-acted miniseries on non-serious topics like romance and you've pretty much got Jdramas. They're not all fluffy and they're not all romances, but a good proportion are.
And the one we're going to discuss today is a romance as well. It's called Kimi wa Petto, which literally translates to "You're a Pet". It's sort of a twisted drama too, but I really wanted to watch it because the main actor Matsumoto Jun is in it, and I like what he does. To my utter shame, I actually liked the drama though.
Kimi wa Petto is a set in a not-quite-real Japan, where female journalist named Sumire decides to keep a younger guy, Takeshi, as a literal pet. She finds Takeshi unconscious and bleeding on the street, brings him home to patch him up, and he manages to convince her to let him stay. She dubs him Momo, after her childhood dog, and Takeshi takes up the role. They end up developing this relationship which is half-platonic and half something else, as they live together (but never sleep together) in Sumire's apartment.
What makes it a good show though is that you realize that the characters are doing this because they are so deficient in certain things. Sumire can't ever reveal her true emotions to anyone but Takeshi; she's so buttoned-up that she refuses to show anyone who she is, and adapts to who they think she should be. But when she can pretend that Takeshi is a not a guy that she would ever be attracted to (although she is), she's able to relax and be herself. To cry and to laugh and to not be so painfully, painfully shy. Takeshi, on the other hand, is a modern dancer who needs a place to stay for three months before he goes abroad to Germany. He takes up the role of Momo to avoid having to return to his family, and face things he doesn't want to face. At first it's just a role to him, a way to get free food and housing and hang out with a beautiful woman... but then he makes the mistake of falling in love. And realizing that he can be himself around her too.
Because the chemistry is so good between Matsumoto Jun (who plays Takeshi) and Koiyuki (the actress who plays Sumire), you actually end up rooting for them to end up together, despite the twisted nature of why they're living together. Which is either a mark of a good show or just good acting, but whatever it was, I actually liked it. It's worth a watch, if you can get past the premise, which is completely not as bad-porn-movie as it sounds. =)