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That which thou canst undo.

So I have more ramblings. This one's going to be about Nobuta wo Produce, another Japanese drama.

Nobuta wo Produce is a good drama. Painful at times but with important lessons and -I'm going to say it- good acting. I started thinking about this when complaining about Yamada Taro. What jdramas so I like and why? Well, Hana Yori Dango is the most addictive. But Nobuta wo Produce is the best. The one that actually made me think about life. Specifically, about the way people create identities for themselves, how people are driven by their own self-conceptions in their relation to other people. And, Nobuta wo Produce made me realize that Kamenashi Kazuya can really act.

Okay, plot summary. Kamenashi Kazuya is Kiritani Shuuji, a guy to whom popularity means everything. He has built up his image at school, dating the most popular girl and forming a group of friends. But to him it's all fake, all a game. He partners up with Kusano Akira (Yamashita Tomohisa acting like a cracked out monkey under a strobe light) to make the new, bizarre girl Nobuko Kotani (Maki Horikita) popular, to "produce" her.

I entered thinking it would be Kotani who undergoes the biggest change, but I was wrong. This drama is definitely Shuuji centered and in some ways, although he seems the most "normal", he's the one who has the most to learn. Akira and Kotani's disregard for how they should act according to everyone else is contrasted with Shuuji's extreme need to be liked by everyone. You might be asking, "but Kotani wants to be popular, doesn't that show she wants to conform?" Well, yes, in a way. The drama strikes a balance. Kotani wants to be popular, but she still wants to stay true to herself and resists Shuuji's attempts to change her in ways that make her fake. In ways that make her lie to other people.

So, as contrasted with Yamada Taro, the girls in this drama have strong personalities. In addition to Kotani, we have Shuuji's popular girl girlfriend. She's smart, perceptive, sensitive and plays basketball. It make's Shuuji's fear of her a symptom of his disfunctionality (guilt from lying to her?). The fact she likes him at all confirms what the audience already knows, that despite the fakeness that taints Shuuji's motives he cares about people and deserves our support.

Other pluses of this drama include Shuuji's awesome family, especially his adorable younger brother, and an ending that'll have slashers everywhere raising their eyebrows. Heck even my mother picked up on the vibes.

Here's a picture of the guys -L, Akira. R, Shuuji-

Lastly, I'd like to say I'm really enjoying Arashi's new album Time.

Little sidenote: Both the guys in this drama are from boybands, but neither are in Arashi. Kame is from KAT-TUN and YamaP is from NewS.

Villian, what hast thou done?

Hi Journal! Long time no see!

So. I've decided I can't live without fandoms. That is, without being fangirly about something. Being super excited about bands/books/movies/tv shows makes life so much more exciting. It gives me something to think about, a way to direct my free time to maximize excitement, some passion in life. And passion in any form is awesome.

In any case I've decided to brush off my LJ and write about the stuff that I'm excited/passionate about.

So right now, this leads to Arashi! I really like these guys. I also like how they do so much you can't exhaust all the material. And they're coming out with more now!

I tried watching Nino and Sho's drama "Yamada Taro Monogatari" with my roommates but it didn't work for us. I liked it cause it has Nino and Sho and they're in Arashi and I love Arashi, but the show itself was missing something plot-wise. We decided it was because all the female characters were really lame. The love interest is obsessed with money. The mother of the family is useless and "sickly". The female teacher of the honors class, who could've been really cool, is shy and lacks self-confidence. The only female character that showed potential was the main female character's mom, but then she was mean to Nino who we are attached to because he's the main character and an amazingly nice guy.

Short plot summary: Yamada Taro (Nino) and Mimura Takuya (Sho) are the smartest/most athletic boys at their school. In fact they seem to have "pop idol" status at their school and all the girls are crazy about them. Naturally, everyone assumes they're super rich. This is true of Sho, who has the rich-boy-bored-with-everything character down. But not at all true of Nino. Nino's family is incredibly poor and he has to work super hard supporting his adorable younger siblings and useless mom. Apparently the dad is "selling" paintings in Italy, though no one but the mom holds out much hope on his return. The drama comes as everyone slowly finds out the real state of things in Nino's life, and all their various reactions.

One funny thing about this drama is it would work if Nino's character were a girl. And Sho's the guy. It would even be interesting if Sho was the girl and Nino the guy. Because so far their relationship seems to have the most interesting growth potential and they definitely have the best chemistry. The actual girl is vapid and annoying and obsessed with finding her rich "prince" so she doesn't have to be poor. This might be okay if she had anything else going for her. Something to offer that would make viewers want to see her change and accept a relationship with the pennyless Nino, but as it stands he is way to good for her.

That's what I'm thinking about now. As my mind is focused mainly on jdramas/arashi expect similar posts in the future. Possibly with pictures.