I took only one day to finish this series. I would say this drama is indeed…… clever.
( I got to give credits to SARS fansubs who provide the subs so i can fully understand it)
There are so many themes in this drama and especially on how the contemporary society of Japan was exposed in the drama. This is my review of what types of issues are in the drama.
Ikebukuro is just like another Shinjuku/Shibuya, with commercial, entertainment, shopping departments and where these contemporary issues took place.
First of all, I would like to point out three most important categories of issues here.
One, the sex industry or culture, second, the gangster culture, third, the social issues.
“Enjo kosai” or compensated dating was very vivid in here. Random girls have walked over and invited men out for a meal in their favourite expensive restaurant. There were a few characters in the drama that represents that role. Those girls would ask men, mainly those salary men, to take them there, eat really expensive food, ripping money off them. Enjo Kosai does not necessary always include sexual intercourse, but it usually starts from a meal, karaoke, usually the girls will try to rip as much money as they could.
The character, Rika commits the enjo kosai, and after she met with Makoto, she quit her behaviour and break off with the middle age, salary man who she asked to buy a 20,000 yen lollipop. She didn’t have any intercourse with the men, yet she was later found dead in a love hotel.
Another part in the drama would be the telephone/dating (TELEKURA) club where the student which claims to be pregnant with Masa, but she was just ripping money off Masa. Since she is just 15, her friends threatened him to pay up for the abortion or else he would be reported to the police.
Hostess/ Host/ Dating/ Sex clubs is also highly seen in the drama. Chiaki, Makoto’s neighbour works in the sex club, mainly she is a prostitute. The optimistic thing about her character was she was a good person, it is only her career that pollutes her image, but that was not much of an offense in this drama.
Another character which Koyuki (The pretty girl from Last Samurai) acts as Kana, she is a yakuza’s lover, works in Makoto’s fruit shop, likes Makoto, and works at night time as a role-playing partner who took the role of a nursery teacher, much like a “cosplay” but in an “image club” which prosititutes took on cosplaying roles.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<(This scene totally disgusts me)
Makoto was brought twice into a club I don;t know how to describe. where girls will surround him with their large boobs.There would be a special time in which this harem of women trying to be Gorilla… and OMFG. (.This scene reminds me of Akihabara @Deep. The rival Maid Cafe did something like this. The difference? That is my Tegoshi’s close senpai dayo!
(Thanks God I am not so much of a Nagase fan. I will freak out)..
Makoto and Hikaru went to this “couple kissa” to investigate on a suspect who killed Rika. It is a coffee shop which couples go to… and you know…. stuff happens. This Nagase’s expression will show you and explain to you without me snapshot-ing the things happened.
As for the host club. Makoto went to be a host once, to earn money to help Masa.
Young Gangsters culture, I am not an observer of gangs, but the coloured gangs in this drama is interesting. It reminds me a bit of Getbackers in Shinjuku area…… But then yeah, The G-boy, the Black Angels…. are two gangs which want to be king of Ikebukuro. So they have riots, fights, some one murdered… and that happens to be the guy I love too much….but then yep. Even though there are gangs and stuff, i think it is rather an anti-gang drama. Makoto was never involved as a member, but as an outsider. Rather impressive with that touching speech he made. On another note, Takashi the king of G-boys…… has an incredibly cute personality. Even though he is twisted. I find his personality rather animated and cute.
Yakuza, I am dead sure that I should not bash them, but they are just like what you would have imagined… all thrown into this drama. Trying to rule a terriorty, playing puppets behind the scenes including death threats, support of either gang for influence, drug dealing…. and couple of other stuff….including handsome, young Satoshi having his pinky finger cut off because he was unable to protect the yakuza’s daughter from being raped, kidnapped, murdered and those were all on the video. But Satoshi didn;t die.
Hikkikomori, I have written about them before, somewhere in this blog, so I would not say much about that they are. But It is good that focus on this part, about how those shut-ins are having a difficulty, and society expects them too much. However, if just one person tries to open their world and bring them out, i guess that would be helpful.
Voyeur/ Stalkers has an episode. There are a 24 hour online camera, like a Big Brother show but the pretty girl will be in there, while the peverts would watch them and sometimes, stalk them. This is indeed a good topic to raise up because I suppose idols are being stalked! Have you heard the girl who recieve the clip where a man dances in the clip, but the room is her room??!??! That urban legend might be true. Who knows? I know this girl stalker who stalked my wushu friend for a while. But that was ages ago. But a oyaji otaku stalking girls can be scary.
Death of an God, how can he still look so cute even though he suppose to be dead in the drama? This has nothing to do with this essay I wrote, I just want to include him in. Tegoshi’s admired senpai. Yamashita TOMOHISA, 8 years ago.
I will just be addressing this parts that I can focus on.
It will be a 3000 words essay If i account on all, just those parts that interests me.
Ratings for this drama, I would give an 8.7/10.
I love the storyline, the acting and the way how this drama moves.
But I totally hate the main girl in here. Annoying as hell, and her voice is too high.
Anyway, a drama you might watch (before you get older and forget the youth life you had)
Yamapi and Tegoshi forever rocks..
and Nagase too…. He is my fave senpai in JE!