Thursday, August 5, 2010
Bijo ka yajuu popularly known as Kiss or Fight or Beauty or Beast is a work, romance, comedy drama starring beautiful Nanako Matsushima and Japan's most popular bachelor Fukuyama Masaharu. When I read the actors' names and the genre, I was excited. I was eager to see this drama. let me give you the synopsis first.
After graduating from the Tokyo University School of Law, Makoto Tamiya goes on to Harvard University where she earns an MBA. She later works at one of the "big three" networks in the United States as a news reporter. While covering a story on an international symposium in Paris, Makoto is scouted to work for JBC Television in Japan. The news producer at JBC wants to use Makoto to help raise low viewer ratings. He persuades her to work for him for an absurdly high salary, and also gives her the right to hire who she needs.
While Makoto is being brought in to be the savior of the News Department, one man gets transferred from the Variety Department. His name is Hiromi Nagase. Since joining JBC Television, all he has done is variety programs.
So now the News Department has Makoto who thinks high ratings are the meaning of life, and Hiromi who values the success of a program as just a tool for the full enjoyment of life. These two totally different personalities mix it up and somehow reach a mutual understanding, creating a delightful "light comedy".
So, that's the synopsis.
It starts with Nanako Matsushima's obsession with work, her hard rules and craze of TV ratings. She meets Fukuyama Masaharu, a useless slacker who wastes most of his time eating junk and browsing adult magazines.
In the first episode, she interviews everyone in the Office and asks them who needs to be removed from the department. They all agree that it should be Nagase Hiromi.
Later, he makes some changes in the weather programme and increases the viewership. He talks about his past relation with Nanako Matsushima but she tells him not to talk about it.
Most episodes follow the format of Gokusen. They start with comedy and end in sentimental scenes. The drama dissapointingly focuses on work. Nanako Matsushima shows no feelings for Fukuyama Masaharu until the very last scene in the very last episode and it seems fake or forced at that point. I started seeing this drama expecting the two to fall in love but nothing of that sort happened. Most of the episodes are wasted on reforms in the news division and some even on personal problems. Nanako Matsushima and Fukuyama Masaharu act well but I felt that the script wasn't too good and did not live upto expectations. The drama was aired promising that it would be a romantic comedy. The comedy was very less and there was hardly any romance which, I again emphasize is very dissappointing.
Whenever Fukuyama Masaharu would go looking for her or even try to trigger some romantic scene, Nanako Matsushima avoided it. I always kept my fingers crossed and expected that their love would take off but it didn't happen. They talk about their past relationship in some episodes but categorize them as 'past' and do not take the relationship furthur.
The drama is far too work oriented to have any entertainment value. The sentimental scenes are good and some dialogues are good too but the drama does not head in the right direction (at least that was what I felt).
Towards the end, the misunderstanding is cleared but Nanako Matsushima goes back to America. Fukuyama goes to the airport and the one and only romantic scene in this drama takes place there. I am talking about the last episode.
The drama was still, good overall if I minus the romance part. The sentimental scenes were good and themes were relevant. I did not find too much comedy in the drama but it was enough to keep it going.
The couple had great chemistry but unfortunately, the romance was not developed. A drama starring the ultimate good lookers could have been better with more focus on romance. When Fukuyama rused to the airport in the last scene, I felt like strangling him for not doing it earlier. There was no romance except the last few minutes of the last episode in the drama.