Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku Episode 1 Review

Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku Episode 1夏の恋は虹色に輝く

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?

Takeuchi Yuko, Matsumoto JunSo, 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.

Matsumoto Jun

MatsuJun as Kusunoki Taiga

The basics:

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.

Takeuchi Yuko

Takeuchi Yuko as Kitamura Shiori

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.

Highlights:

  • Matsumoto Jun, Takeuchi YukoWhen 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 flyingNatsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku
  • Shiori has an adorable little girl! Total shock to Taiga who fell in love with our zany heroine at first sight

My thoughts:

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.

  1. 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
  2. We have a feisty older woman
  3. We have a feisty older woman with a daughter
  4. Our feisty older woman with a daughter has a very odd connection to our star
  5. With no experience in the entertainment industry, our feisty older woman is hired into a company to basically look after our arrogant star
Matsumoto Jun

Crying for father

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).

5 comments

  • Have to say I’m not feeling much of the love story. I mean, seriously, that was easily like a 10-ft drop after cutting the parachute strings. What tickles me though is the fact that MatsuJun is playing a 2nd rate actor– I mean how much of that is real and how much is make believe? ROFL xD

    The father-son relationship in the story was rather effective. Too bad it was cut short and it ended abruptly. You kinda get the sense that the son wanted to impress his father and the father was already somewhat proud of his son, which makes the father’s passing all the more tragic. Don’t know if I can keep watching this show while it’s airing. Will be looking out for your reviews/recaps to guide me accordingly.

    • Right now the love story is plain narration. It kind of always annoys me in dramas when they have such instant love with no reason, which I suppose can happen at times, but it is just silly. I really liked the father-son storyline and couldn’t believe they ko’d the dad in episode one, but it was the most touching and effective part of the drama. Didn’t seem as fake as everything else. Sigh.

      MatsuJun, MatsuJun. The 2nd rate actor is probably more him than anything ^_^ but he’s not the worst. I think Yamashita Tomohisa has that market cornered. How his dramas get decent ratings is beyond me. Though, I admit to liking YamaPi, just not his acting.

      • I know what you mean about how it’s unrealistic for Jun’s character to instantly fall in love with Yuko. And the fact that Yuko happens to be his dad’s biggest fan… well, isn’t that just convenient. And now she’s working at his agency, too. Oh well, let’s just wait and see what they’ll come up with next.

        “The 2nd rate actor is probably more him than anything ^_^ but he’s not the worst. I think Yamashita Tomohisa has that market cornered.” >>> LOL. I get tickled every time I see MatsuJun play the struggling actor. All that swagger and people can’t even remember his character’s name. Ooh, a bit harsh on Yamapi are we? I can understand why though. The last drama of his that I saw in full was ProDai and I shudder every time I see him don those blue scrubs. Which reminds me… I have to find time to finish MatsuJun’s “Smile”, I’m like 3 episodes away from seeing the end of it. 🙂

  • P.S. I forgot to mention that everything else about this drama seemed a bit cliched and “fake” as you put it. I mean, how many times in an episode will they have a rainbow appear?

    • I know. It was ridiculous, but I guess they have to do that to show how Taiga really “shines” like Shiori said. I don’t see it, but whatever.

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