jdrama

last cinderella

originally written in April 2014. time out from kdrama, here’s a nice japanese drama!

for this month, i opted to watch a japanese drama from last year (2013) starring ryoko shinohara, naohito fujiki and haruma miura. i love japanese dramas like this because it tells a story about ordinary people and their worries which are very timely and relatable.

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just some thoughts on the show:

episodes 1-4

the characters – i absolutely love Sakura! she is older, confident about herself, so funny to watch her act around her younger bf and adorable to see her bicker constantly with tachibana! but i feel bad how she is being manipulated by hiroto 😦 i guess she will eventually find out about hiroto’s deal with chiyoko and i wish she will kick hiroto’s ass (or maybe im assuming that by end of the series, hiroto will be totally in love with her for real and it serves him right when she dumps him for tachibana!!)

tachibana — hay.. naohito fujiki is so hot!! loved him since hotaru no hikaru! he is a little bit of a jerk sometimes to Sakura but he is the one who is there for her when needed.. when Sakura is sick or needs a shoulder to cry on. when chiyoko asked tachibana is he likes someone and he said “yes but she is out of my reach”.. im assuming he is talking about Sakura but i wonder why he thinks so!! if he really likes her he should just go for it! or maybe he is just waiting for the right time. i dont mind, i love seeing them get closer in every episode and i know he is the person that can make sakura happy!

hiroto – is such a man whore. he is really cute but i dont like how he seems to be so nice to sakura yet is sleeping with momo and now kissing chiyoko! so im confused what he is really feeling. is he really getting jealous of tachibana or he is just saying it for sakura’s sake? or maybe he is starting to really like sakura. i also dont know his relationship with chiyoko!

chiyoko – i hate girls who are pretty yet manipulative. cmon – if you want tachibana, fight for him fairly!! but it’s funny how she is young and pretty but secretly is jealous of older and less pretty sakura! there was one scene where she ran to tachibana and kissed him but i dont know what happened next! how did tachibana feel? and what really happened to her.. im so curious.. did she get raped? but why is she saying it’s all hiroto’s fault and she has this big scar on her back! i hope she also heals and have the courage to fight for tachibana (though i know she has no chance at all. mwahaha.)

miki, miki’s wife and shima — argh!!! totally feel bad for miki – she is putting up with her jerk husband and her evil mom in law – i dont know what she’s going to do when she finds out about her hubby and shima. i wish she would divorce him, maybe he will wake up and see how wonderful she is! as for shima, im glad she stopped flirting with him as soon as she found out about the guy, but i also wish she stops seeing him. even though she means nothing, if i ever found out my best friend is hanging out and giving my husband sex advice, i would seriously freak out!!

episodes 5-6

i can totally understand why hiroto will fall for sakura- she is so cool! but i do wonder what she really thinks of him.. he doesn’t seem to be impressive enough aside from being cute and nice. there must be something else about him that she likes (and the writers still haven’t revealed/explained). i am getting confused with tachibana – he says he doesn’t like sakura but the way he looks at her is quite telling. i mentioned that i want sakura and tachibana together but since the first half is about the blossoming romance between sakura and hiroto vs the comfortable friendship between sakura and tachibana.. i think i will be happy either way.. as long as they write it well (eg. if sakura will end up with tachibana, there should be that one thing that would wake them up and realize how much they mean to each other and if sakura will end up with hiroto, he must do something that will make up worth of sakura’s love). oh and hiroto started as a player but now i think he is not a bad person, just young and not yet sure of himself. and hiroto and chiyoko are siblings.. ok that explains much about their behavior though hiroto kissing her back is kinda creepy given the situation. sad that chiyoko got dumped but i hope she wont become that kind of scorned woman who will hurt sakura!

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episodes 7-8

miki finally sees takeuchi and shima together. i like the way they handled this situation. it takes some time to heal but we can see how much they love each other. and im so glad saki finally told her grandma off! hopefully she takes the hint and leaves the house and hope that miki comes back home.

another secret revealed.. hiroto tells tachibana about his pact with chiyoko. i still dont know why tachibana has to “take care” of chiyoko.. shows you just how much he is willing to go for sakura.. is this for love or friendship? i love how they bicker all the time but at the same time they can sit down have a beer and talk about their life and their worries.. mostly because they’re of the same age and faces the same problems. tachibana’s ex gf coming back to visit was a shocker – i wanted to slap her for leaving tachibana and just coming back assuming they can just resume their relationship! ugh!! but nice to see that she realized that she is no longer wanted in his life. everyone is seeing how tachibana is in love with sakura except himself.. but i think that accidental kiss they had is the “trigger” that i’ve been waiting for.. but i dont know if tachibana will act on it or will he be okay being a friend to sakura?

the more deeper sakura and hiroto’s relationship is getting, the more i’m liking the pair. sakura is too cute and so in love with him and he loves everything about sakura.. even when he makes fun of her “old man” ways, you can see how much smitten he is. and i love how she makes him want to be a better man. but i agree with sakura’s worries — he is too young to get married or even think of children, that’s why as much as i love for them to be together, i also can’t help but think that tachibana is a better match. but so far, aside from remembering their kiss once, i dont think sakura likes him as more than a friend. and with only 3 episodes, it would be awkward if she will suddenly develop feelings for him! but everyone seems to be pushing sakura and tachibana together (tachibana’s mom, the bar owner, the ex gf.. is that a foreboding or it’s just meant to tease us further?)

lastly, we also get to hear the history between chiyoko and hiroto (so they’re step siblings!). somehow i dont feel bad for chiyoko.. she is pretty and rich.. she can get any boy she wants.. not even sure if the scar will scare the boys.. or she should have had it lasered or something (will that work?). im glad tachibana is giving her a chance like she asked but she should back off it if really doesn’t work for them!!

i’m definitely interested to see who sakura ends up with… im tempted to read the reviews but i dont want to spoil the surprise!!! i wonder how and when sakura will find out hiroto’s secret and how she will react? on to episode 9!

episode 9

happy to see that miki and takeuchi have patched things up! so tachibana is finally realizing he likes sakura – now i feel too bad for him and i wonder if he will fight for her since looks like she still doesn’t see him as a man. nice that hiroto is growing up and thinking of sakura, i am surprised that he proposed marriage to sakura — kinda of fast in the relationship isn’t it? and even more surprised that sakura easily accepted, having been swayed by his words. i dont think they need to get married that fast, despite sakura being older. chiyoko is still as pathetic as ever and she just ruined everyone’s life with her selfishness. i understand how shocked and hurt sakura must feel, but she shouldn’t have run away and talked to him instead. i agree, it was a jerk thing to do but that was at the start when he didn’t know her. it’s possible he fell in love with her after getting close to her. thus, all the more reason why she shouldn’t have accepted his marriage proposal and they should have waited. now tachibana has a chance! may the best man win sakura’s heart! and i hope sakura chooses well!

episode 10

Team Tachibana or Team Hiroto? argh!!!

the first couple of episodes, i didn’t like hiroto for being a player and young wasteful guy. then the next couple of episodes, i started to like him because he is seriously making sakura happy while i didn’t like tachibana because he is being so passive. then ep 9 and 10, tachibana has finally stopped denying his feelings and i love his sudden confession to sakura! he’s older, more mature and when sakura was being attacked, tachibana ran over and protected her (now that’s a man!)

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on the other hand, it’s quite obvious sakura still likes hiroto and only thinks of tachibana as a good friend. i understand how sakura feels by not replying to hiroto and i love how hiroto continued to give her roses. i love the twist — when sakura is past her anger stage and is now willing to meet hiroto, chiyoko comes in with her usual manipulative self and stops hiroto from going to sakura. (on a side note.. it’s not the scar that repels boys chiyoko.. it’s your selfishness and insecurities!). and then… hiroto sees tachibana protecting sakura and out of his true love for sakura, lied to her and told her it was all lies so they will break up as hiroto assumes sakura will be happier and better off with tachibana. while what hiroto did was cute, i would have preferred him to chase after sakura – felt like he just gave up.

so to my earlier question – team tachibana or team hiroto? neither. i’m for team sakura!! i dont know how the writers will end this show — will she follow her heart and go to hiroto or will she follow her good friend (and maybe eventually love) tachibana? i’m good either way. i think what i’m getting from this show, aside from there are two types of love, is that we all have choices and we are responsible for our actions/decisions. so it’s important to think about what we really want.

oh, and i love shima and miki – i think they are cool bffs for sakura. and shima’s omiai was so funny! i hope she hits it off with the lucky guy!

episode 11 (spoilers ahead!)

first half of the episode – really loving the happy ever after feel.. from miki and takeuchi’s wedding, to chiyoko finally letting go of hiroto and being free herself and shima and kondo’s relationship.

now for sakura’s decision to go with new york, i wondered if she decided because she settled for tachibana or when reading the vocabulary words that tachibana wrote her, she felt touched and thought that “i can be with this person, with or without love?”. the little revelation of sakura whispering hiroto’s name in front of tachibana was predictable and cliche, but still served the same purpose – of tachibana realizing how sakura really feels. when he left her ticket at his place it meant he already decided to let her go, when he faked that hiroto was injured it meant to confirm his question and when he told sakura that he just asked her to go to NY with him and not to live together or date was he really telling the truth or lying to save face? either way, i loved the way they parted – you can really feel that they somehow loved each other and no matter what, they will still be friends even from that distance.

as for hiroto, while i’m glad sakura ended up with her “love”, i was a little disappointed on their final scene when hiroto declared his love for her.. i just felt his declaration was coming from a man-child (which he is) and not from a man who can protect sakura. i was hoping that when he proposed again to sakura that she would decline, not because she didn’t love him but because they should take time to know each other — marriage is not always the end goal, what’s more important is building a relationship with the person you love. marriage can come later when hiroto has a job and they are both more stable.

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OVERALL, i loved this series. i loved all the characters and their problems. i love how the love triangle was resolved. to be honest, i’ve never heard of miura hiruma before but i was familiar with naohito fujiki.. i did wrote in my earlier post that i was expecting sakura to end up with tachibana because i thought this was the twist (like most jdramas i’ve watched) and because naohito was more popular than hiruma. thus, i am also suprised that she ended up with the younger guy. (i did also wonder why googling this show that naohito’s name was further down the cast list – now i know why). it also makes me wonder if the writers simply changed their mind in the middle of the story and let sakura end up with hiroto instead? what do you think?

if i was in sakura’s place, i would choose Tachibana over Hiroto but then again, sometimes you can really be in a position where you are so insync with a guy and yet feel nothing for him and be totally in love with someone who is your exact opposite! so i can understand sakura’s dilemma/decision.

if i was in tachibana’s place, i would also choose to let sakura go knowing she doesn’t love me that way i want her to. i would prefer that i let her go and be happy wherever she is. and letting her go doesn’t mean we stop being friends.

finally, you know what would have been a fun ending? if tachibana and sakura go to NY as friends and hiroto follows to the us to realize his dream of becoming a bmx rider (remember in one of the episodes someone was offering hiroto to join him in the us?) that way, hiroto and sakura will be together and sakura and tachibana can still be the bickering neighbors! (but i would pity tachibana if that happens – or maybe another alternative ending is for tachibana to meet a girl on the plane that looks and acts like sakura!! haha!)

rating: 8/10

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