First Impression: Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni KagayakuJuly 31, 2010
YUI – Please Stay With Me
I turned to Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku (trans: Summer Romance Shines in Rainbow Color), or its shorter name Natsu Niji (trans: Summer Rainbow), when I was searching for Unuburo Deka/Keiji, which is surprising hard to find in English subtitles. Even though I like Matsumoto Jun (from boy band Arashi, Gokusen, Hana Yori Dango 1 and 2. Seen on left), this drama isn’t on my watch list this season; I only have four shows that are on my list. The second lead is Takeuchi Yuko (Pride, Bara no nai Hanaya. Seen on right) and I’ve seen her around, but never actually seen her perform. The first episode aired July 19, 2010 and caught a rating of 15.7.
EDIT (8/14): Screen shots are in better quality and added insert song.
BEGIN . . .
The summary of the drama was able to grab my attention. I was hoping for a mellow romance and a story about how Kusunoki Taiga (Matsumoto Jun) would grow as an actor. Sadly, I didn’t find myself absorbed into the story; well I was the about the first 25 minutes. There were plenty of times when I lost interest and stopped watching because it was clichéd and felt rushed. I wish Omori Mika (the writer of Buzzer Beat, My Boss My Hero, Kimi wa Pet) added more of a back story to Taiga and his family so I could feel more connected with the characters and the plot wouldn’t have felt straight to the point.
The more needed back story could’ve answer so many question that should have been answered in this first episode. We’re left with snippets and pieces of Taiga’s family life, details of him studying abroad, and why he doesn’t try harder to break from his father’s shadow. I wish that was more focused on in the first episode instead of forcing the two leads together. I know these issues will probably be approached as the drama progresses, but if they were answered now I’d feel more sympathy towards Taiga’s situation. In addition, I would have been more engrossed in the drama. Much more.
I am actually more interested in Taiga growing as an actor instead of the romance him and Kitamura Shiori (Takeuchi Yuko) will have in future episodes. Taiga’s father, Kusunoki Kotaru (Shiro Ito), is a famous actor and Taiga is in his shadow. Taiga is a character that I believe will develop well throughout the drama. He’s spoiled, insecure, overanalyzes things and blames his father for him not being recognized as an actor. I would love to see how Taiga ripens as a brilliant actor, but I don’t think I could stick around for long. I’ll probably be watching this on a rainy day.
Now, Shiori is a strong and courageous woman who can sometimes be very outspoken, and I like her a lot. I know for sure that Shiori will be at Taiga’s side as he evolves into a talented actor. It’s good that Taiga can have support, reassurance, and an honest opinion from someone that isn’t family, a friend, or from members of his talent agency that have been with him since the start of his unsuccessful career. She’ll give him that push he needs to lead him to his dreams and flourish as he discovers his hidden talent.
One of my many pet peeves is when a main character falls in love with another main character at the start, what type of developing relationship is that? Natsu Niji did it anyway. As the last scene was closing, Taiga says he is in love with Shiori and I was thrown into a confused state. The progress of falling in love was never shown, it just happened. It happened way too fast. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Taiga and Shiori, so why would he fall for her so quick? I wanted them to have more interaction; I guess that’s why Omori kept making those two coincidently meet up the entire episode. Heh, that didn’t help too much. There was still no scenes that made me get all, ‘Oh my gosh‘ or ‘How cute‘. After I watched the first episode, I pranced on over to the promotional trailer. That made me baffled because there was so much chemistry in that short 30 seconds.
Hit, miss or somewhere in between: Surprisingly, I like Taiga and Shiori despite not being able to connect with them. They’re fun and kept me entertained. I wish to see how much Taiga grows as an actor by the end, but I don’t think I could watch this because the plot left me unsatisfied. The acting was average, it wasn’t impressive or terrible. I’m growing curious about Yuko, I like how she played Shiori and I want to see her other works now. I also love the directing. The director caught a lot of stunning views like Yuko watching the waves of the ocean, the sun, and so on. This drama is somewhere in between, while the chemistry and plot seem to be lacking there are some aspects that I do like. If you can deal with a weak plot, interesting (and a bit whiny, meaning Taiga) characters, average acting, and nice directing try this drama out. MatsuJun fan? Go right ahead. Otherwise, stay clear of this, you may just want to miss this.