Hotaru no Hikari 2: Drama ReviewOctober 11, 2010
Title(s): Hotaru no Hikari 2 / ホタルノヒカリ 2/ Glow of the Fireflies 2
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Broadcast Network: NTV
Aired: Jul. 7, 2010 – Sep. 15, 2010
Cast: Haruka Ayase, Fujiki Naohito, Itaya Yuka, Yasuda Ken, Mukai Osamu
Description: The first season focused on a young office lady named Amemiya Hotaru, who has no interest in romance and instead prefers spending her time lazily at home. Her life begins to change when certain circumstances leads her to live with her boss, Takano Seiichi (Buchou, Fujiki Naohito). In Hotaru no Hikari 2, Hotaru Amemiya (Haruka Ayase) comes back from working in Hong Kong for three years. She is romantically involved with Buchou and the two are now seriously considers marriage……
Ikimono Gakari (いきものがかり) – キミがいる (Kimi Ga Iru)
After falling in love with the first season, I needed more, especially after the ending. I started watching Hotaru no Hikari 2 near the end of August and finished a bit late due to school. All that matters is that I finished the series! Hotaru no Hikari 2 is packed with new faces, issues, and romance. No worries, the show still retains its humor and we still have our their comedy couple, Takano Seiichi (Fujiki Naohito) a.k.a Buchou and the lazy and lovely Amemiya Hotaru (Haruka Ayase).
Unfortunately, there is a completely different staff members at the interior design company beside Sachiko Yamada (Itaya Yuka) aka Yamada-neesan and Futatsugi Shouji (Yasuda Ken). I was sad that everyone from the company had left and been replaced, as I said in my Hotaru no Hikari review, everyone grew on me. They were lovable, fun, and an entertaining supporting cast. I admit, I don’t like the new supporting cast as much as the original, but I like them nonetheless. The new crew is a funny and younger bunch with some interesting characters. We also are introduced to a new character not working in the company, Asada Konatsu (Kimura Tae), who use to be Buchou’s former lover. No, Konatsu is not the type of woman who is trying to destroy Hotaru for Buchou. She’s actually kind and generous with no intentions to rekindle her past relationship with Buchou. She’s there to guide to Hotaru through her love troubles, like Yamada-neesan. I love it when past girlfriends don’t turn evil to get their love back! Amongst the new cast members, Seno Kazuma (Mukai Osamu) is my favorite though.
Dokyunko dokyunko nyan nyan!~ ♫ Seno made me laugh so much and not to mention Mukai Osamu is a complete cute-y! I haven’t seen much of Osamu, I remember he was in Nodame Cantabile, but my memory of him in that drama is vague. Anyway, Seno is a merry, unpredictable, and eccentric character. Now if only Makoto had this type of personality. Seno becomes interested in Hotaru as the show progresses and sparks are definitely visible, I loved every second of it. Yes, I almost did want Hotaru and Seno to be together. Almost. Seno’s quirky charms and funny humor nearly had me converted.
Throughout the series, I managed to stay on the Buchou/Hotaru bandwagon. The duo maintained their hysterical and delightful humor that I fell in love with in the first season. There was plenty of unusual yet entertaining situations that had me laughing out loud like a hyena! My absolute favorite episode was with the bitter melon (goya) that Buchou despises, but Hotaru loves. I fell off my seat laughing so hard! Despite the charming humor, I found some flaws this time around. I felt the romantic bit of Buchou and Hotaru’s relationship was lacking and the amusement of those two shift the focus away from romance. They only kissed once, maybe twice, through the whole series. It was good that they understood each other and there relationship was gentle and slow-paced. A part of me wished there was more physical intimacy (holding hands, hugging, etc.) I normally see when watching romantic drama. I wish that the screenwriter had balanced out the comedy and physical intimacy of the couple. I would have been much more satisfied. I was craving moments that made me sigh like a hopeless romantic.
The storyline follows the same route as Hotaru no Hikari except for a few tweaks. Just toss out Makoto and replace him with Seno, and don’t forget about Konatsu, then we have our love square and a half. Also, remember Buchou and Hotaru are planning to get married. During the course of the series, I was engulfed in the entertaining and charming tale. There were some moments I found myself losing interest, but it quickly regained with the previews of the next episode. The ending was a bit of a let down since Hotaru and Buchou never even got married, but I was happy that Yamada-neesan and Shouji did. I found the ending to be quite similar to last season’s, but you know what’s going to happen. [; I saw a rumor that a movie was planned for the Hotaru no Hikari series next year (2011), following the life of Buchou and Hotaru after their marriage. Hm, guess we’ll have to wait and see.
OVERALL: Hotaru no Hikari 2 is a nice sequel especially with the open book ending from the previous season. The story begins exactly where it left off (not counting that 3 year jump). The viewers are introduce to brand new obstacles that Hotaru and Buchou must face and new characters, including love interests. The drama has plenty of humor that holds great throughout the series and will definitely lead to hysterically laughing – unless you don’t like the humor. The storyline was engaging and made me want to watch more, especially with the quirky Seno thrown into the picture, a much better love interest then Makoto’s stiff personality. Now, the problem I had with the series was Buchou and Hotaru’s relationship, it seemed to lack that physical intimacy. I guess the best way to put it was they lacked that skinship, or as the Japanese say sukinshippu, such as holding hands, hugging, etc. Despite that, Hotaru no Hikari 2 was a pleasant and entertaining follow up to the last season. If you’re planning to watch this, make sure you’ve seen the first one!
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Loved it? Liked it? Loathed it?