Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta
Miura Haruma as Kashiwagi Shuji
Erika Toda as Natsumi Uemura Natsumi
Takei Emi as Saeki Hikari
Shinoda Mariko as Todo Sayaka
Uchida Yuki as Mizutani Aya
Gouriki Ayame as Sonoda Nozomi
I first learned about this drama because of a good friend of mine who insisted that I watch it. I was pretty game for it because it had Miura Haruma and Erika Toda who I personally think are pretty good actors. I have been a fan of Erika Toda’s ever since I saw LIAR GAME. I had heard mixed reviews about this drama from different people. Some said that it was good, some said that it was enjoyable, and some said that it was awful. So I decided to watch the drama with a very open mind. And the verdict after the ten episodes? I simply LOVED it.
This drama tells the story of two teachers at a private co-ed school, Natsumi and Shuji who are engaged to each other. However, on the night before the first day of school, Shuji wakes up to a horrible realization. There is a strange girl beside him in bed…and the worst part is that his and her clothes are strewn all over the floor. Things get a little bit more complicated when he learns that this particular girl is a student….from his homeroom class.
The rest of the drama deals with the aftermath of these events, which do have consequences that shake the very foundation of the relationship that Natsumi and Shuji had with each other. We see how Shuji grows to care for the student- Saeki Hikari, and how these three characters deal with the consequences of their decisions and actions.
There are many people who do end up hating the character of Hikari (Takei Emi), but I think that her character was essential for Natsumi and Shuji to be able to understand each other more, and in the process, being able to come out of it as more mature individuals capable of facing the challenges that life would bring them.
It was refreshing to see a drama like this, because in most dramas that have this particular storyline- a love triangle in which normally the guy ultimately leaves girl number 1 for girl number 2 and the viewers all take sides as to whom they side with. In this drama, we are able to see things from all of their points of view, as to be able to understand why these things are happening.
Another thing that I like about it is because it is one of the few Japanese dramas out there that really show you what mature love is all about. What kind of love a couple should have before they get married. Here, Natsumi allowed herself to break up with Shuji so that they both could grow and become more mature. They subconsciously pushed and challenged each other to become better, and by the end of the drama, viewers can see the growth that all of the characters went through.
But not only did the main characters grow, but the secondary characters were given depth and a journey as well, from Shuji’s class, to Hikari’s parents, as well as her best friend and mentor.
The storyline and the plot of the drama was well done, there were no gaping holes, or points where I wished that it could have been improved on. The script was fresh, simple and sweet, and the music was beautiful.
Before watching Taisetsu, I watched another Erika Toda drama- Keizoku 2: SPEC (which I will write about soon), in which I was amazed at her performance in playing totally against her type. In Taisetsu, she plays a more mature version of the nice, popular, plucky and happy schoolgirl that she usually does portray (LIAR GAME, Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, Nobute wo Produce). Her acting in Taisetsu added to my previous amazement at the astounding growth that she had as an actress.
I had high expectations of Miura Haruma since I really loved his performance in Bloody Monday. Although there were many times that his facial expression was the same, especially in the first few episodes whenever he got found out, I think that he was able to portray Shuji pretty well. There were some nuances and subtleties that were able to show us how vulnerable his character really is.
The surprises for me over here came in the form of Takei Emi (Saeki Hikari) and Gouriki Ayame (Sonoda Nozomi). I was impressed with both of these girls. For Takei Emi, she was able to show the tough girl side of Hikari, and how weak and vulnerable her character really is. She also was able to make that switch instantly in the progression of her character’s development in the story, and her expressions are pretty interesting, and intense as well. That being said, I am looking forward to Takei Emi portraying Kaoru in the live action version movie of Rurouni Kenshin which will come out in 2012.
Gouriki Ayame (Sonoda Nozomi) impressed me as well. It’s amazing how she can look so cheerful and carefree, but you can see deep inside, that there’s something sad. She has that certain happy yet sad yet wistful expression that she pulls off so well.
Taisetsu, despite it’s long name, definitely lives up to the high expectations of a drama that aired in the best time slot in a drama season-yes, it was a Getsu 9 drama, and no wonder. With an amazing cast and a solid storyline, nobody can contest that this drama is definitely a must see.
Overall rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Other dramas that you might like: Asuko March (Takei Emi); Tatta Hitotsu no Koi (Erika Toda), 14 Sai no Haha (Miura Haruma)