Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku Episode 1 Review
Romanized title: Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku
English title: Summer Romance Shines in Rainbow Color
Broadcast station: Fuji TV
Broadcast dates: 19 July – 20 September 2010
Cast: Matsumoto Jun, Takeuchi Yuko, Sawamura Ikki, Kiratani Mirei, Kasahara Hideyuki, Nagayama Kento, Matsushige Yutaka, Ito Shiro, Matsuzaka Keiko
Theme song: “Love Rainbow” by Arashi
Insert song: “Please Stay with Me” by YUI
Synopsis: Kusunoki Taiga is an awful actor living in the shadow of his popular father. He meets Kitamuri Shiori and falls in love with her. Will she be able to whip him into shape? Will he be able to accept her as a widow with a daughter? Can Taiga climb out into the spotlight on his own?
So, Matsumoto Jun is a fairly decent actor out of Johnny’s. He is pretty good at playing cold, arrogant characters and did a good job as Momo in Kimi wa Petto. So I was anticipating this drama, unlike fellow Johnny member Yamapi (the kid can’t act, or should I say he can only seem to act one character, i.e. Akira from Nobuta wo Produce, though his turn as a con artist Kurosagi wasn’t too awful). But enough of the digression. Main point is MatsuJun is an okay actor. Now, this drama is not supposed to be all that serious, it is a romantic comedy, but there are a few points of annoyance early on.
MatsuJun’s soliloquy when he is blown off course when skydiving is awful. His screaming and begging is completely fake. He does a much better emotional portrayal when he thinks his father died earlier in the episode. And bringing up fakeness, his costar Takeuchi Yuko did a horrible job with her initial crying scene. It sent shivers down the spine with how fake and overdone it is. I know that this is a comedy and Japanese comedies are prone to slapstick and somewhat over-pronounced acting, but come on. A show can still have humor without having such bad, trite and overdone displays. But, other than that, it was an okay start to the series and thanks to Hana Yori Dango, MatsuJun’s character isn’t all that different. He is arrogant, naive, innocent, and ignorant in a lot of ways. Not much of a stretch for him to play.
This drama follows the story of second generation actor Kusunoki Taiga who has been living in his father’s shadow all of his life. People only notice him due to his father’s success, which hurts Taiga. But it is not just his father’s shadow holding him back in his acting career, but his own personality as well. He dislikes small, bit roles and has a tendency to over think roles and situations, causing him to fail many of his auditions. Taiga is also upset with the fact that no one seems to recognize him whatsoever. Even his best friend, fellow actor wannabe, and also a second generation gets recognized as so-and-so’s son.
While going skydiving one day, Taiga’s one control breaks and he is blown way off course near an ocean. He lands in a tree without serious injury and sees a woman hurrying beneath. He calls for help, startling the woman who couldn’t find him. At first she thinks he tried to commit suicide, but he states that he very much wants to live and needs help getting down. The woman says she’s in a hurry and asks him to make up his mind. He can’t, so she climbs up the tree and cuts the strings to his parachute, releasing him. From that point on, even though Taiga says the woman annoyed him, he begins falling for her. Fate keeps bringing the two together. The woman, Kitamura Shiori, is a huge fan of his father’s. Small world. And when his father passes away suddenly, Shiori seeks out Taiga and gives him the last letter his father wrote.
Shiori begins working for Taiga’s company and we find out she has a daughter. Add into the mix a famous child actor who seems to have some odd connection to Taiga’s father and this is starting out to be fairly complicated.
- When Shiori gets fed up with Taiga’s indecision and climbs up the tree to cut him out of the ropes holding him up. He falls a good distance and Shiori at first freaks out and starts slapping him to wake him up. Gotta love it.
- Shiori is the first person to actually recognize Taiga for who he is (we learn later on that she recognizes him because his father sent her a letter and DVD asking her to support Taiga and watch his work thus far)
- When Taiga learns that his pay will be cut to only show how much he has actually worked which means he will take a very dramatic pay cut as variety doesn’t pay well and he rarely gets any drama roles
- When Shiori slaps Taiga and gives him a good dressing down about the realities of his acting. He needs to stop putting blame on his father and on others and look to his own faults for the reasons behind him not being able to land a role
- Taiga tries to kiss Shiori, earning him a punch that sends him flying
- Shiori has an adorable little girl! Total shock to Taiga who fell in love with our zany heroine at first sight
Definitely worth watching as it has some serious advice about looking to yourself before blaming others and you know you are going to see MatsuJun being whipped into shape by Takeuchi’s Shiori. An overly familiar plot device. Actually, after coming off of Korean drama Oh! My Lady, the plot is almost redundant. I know it’s not the exact same plot, but there are definite ear markers.
- We have an actor who can’t act and is arrogant and selfish (though with real feelings and buried insecurities) Although, unlike Min Woo who realized that his acting sucked, Taiga has no idea that his really does
- We have a feisty older woman
- We have a feisty older woman with a daughter
- Our feisty older woman with a daughter has a very odd connection to our star
- With no experience in the entertainment industry, our feisty older woman is hired into a company to basically look after our arrogant star
Need I go on? Oh, wait, one more. Shiori seems to have had work and financial troubles (not to the degree of Gae Hwa, but still). We also have another woman with ties to Taiga’s father, but what will become of that, who knows?
I am not doing a hugely detailed summary of this because it is a lot of exposition that can be summarized fairly easily (and has). There is a lot of preaching and eye openings and a shocking, yet downplayed death. Wow. I do feel bad for Taiga as he didn’t get to say goodbye to his father properly, but you knew his dad was going to die from the moment his brother, mother, and father play-acted his death (originally Taiga’s father was in the hospital for a sprained ankle and ended up dying later of a stroke).