~ 「TGIF!」 Idol♡s unzipped on way back Fridays Presents an all-time favorite drama series…. “Long Vacation” (volume 123)

Idols unzipped...

As promised last Friday, tonight we shall begin watching an all time most beloved drama… that of course being “Long Vacation.” And let me just say…I love this series so much and I think it’s the best drama ever written! Stars Kimura Takuya, Yamaguchi Tomoko, Takenouchi Yutaka, Matsu Takako, Ryo, and Inamori Izumi and it really was that launching pad which enhanced their careers so much in terms of not only the drama world but in the media as well. You’ll also catch a very youthful idol in Hirosue Ryoko in a few episodes and another famed idol from yesteryear and you’ll know just whom I speak of when you see her albeit it’s a bit of a tiny role at that. So there you have it, the idol connection for this beloved series not to mention that one of the main stars in Inamori Izumi was actually an idol way way back…. just check last week’s “Idols Unzipped” to see an idol-image VHS she released many moons ago as it’s quite the rarity~.

However before we begin here’s a quick walk down drama memory lane as I present my VERY outdated and yet still relevant =P list of favorite dramas of all-time:

~My Drama ♥ List~

(a list in much need of an update!)

35. Q10

34. Yasashii jikan

33. Love Generation

32. Nobuta wo produce

31. Orange Days

30. Taiyou no kisetsu

29. Kamisama Mou Sukoshi Dake
A tragic but moving love story involving a young girl who contracts aids (played by Fukada Kyoko) who searches for refuge in a popular rock musician (played by Kaneshiro Takeshi).

28. Oyaji-i

27. Renai Kekkon no Housoku

26. Summer Snow
A sheltered girl (played by Hirosue Ryoko) begins to live life fully finding love and adventure in a seemingly unlikely relationship. (Also stars Domoto Tsuyoshi)

25. Otousan

24. San Nen B Gumi Kinpachi Sensei (silly me can’t remember the season number but the theme song is “Atarashii hito e.” This is the first time that I saw Ueto Aya and she played quite a controversial role here! Such a beautiful series as you can really relate to the situations that face these characters in a show that always promises multiple story lines all of which are explored fully.

23. Strawberry on the Shortcake
Wonderful soundtrack and a very engaging show starring Fukada Kyoko & Takizawa Hideaki!! One of the cutest dramas that I’ve ever seen!

22. To Heart Koishite Shinitai
Fukada Kyoko and Domoto Tsuyoshi star in this story of a young boxer and the trials and tribulations he faces in his daily fight to succeed. Add in the adorable Fukakyon and mix well!:)

21. Second Chance

20. Koori no Sekai
Takenouchi Yutaka & Matsushima Nanako star in this mystery/murder thriller that will have you guessing till the very end! Also has one of the best theme songs ever: “Diamond Dust” by Himuro Kyosuke!!

19. Aoi Tori
Great moving drama starring Toyokawa Etsushi, Nagasaku Hiromi, and Suzuki Ann!

18. Riso no Joshi

17. Hoshi no Kinka
Stars my favorite non H!P pop idol Sakai Noriko along with Takenouchi Yutaka and Osawa Takao. An often tragic drama about a hearing impaired nurse who falls in love with a doctor only to have him lose his memory in an accident.

16. Musashi
The most wonderful year long drama (and you thought Korean dramas were long!!…well actually they are!) which chronicled the incredible life of one of Japan’s most revered figures in history, Miyamoto Musashi!

15. Pure
Beautiful drama although the ending may have you thinking…eh? The theme song is Mr.Children’s incredible song “Namonaki uta.”

14. Virgin Road
Stars Wakui Emi and Sorimachi Takashi in a romance stemming from a chance meeting of destiny. Theme song is Amuro Namie’s beautiful ballad “Can You Celebrate?”

13. Hitotsu Yane no Shita 2
I could write an entire post about this one show…you just have to see it! The cast is amazing as this show stars: Eguchi Yosuke, Fukuyama Masaharu, Sakai Noriko, Ishida Issei, and Oji Megumi along with many other familiar faces!

12. Kagayake! Rintaro
Powerful drama about an advertising salesman and his journey filled with love, heart, humor, and life situations anyone can relate to. Stars Karasawa Toshiaki, Kiki Kirin, and Esumi Makiko.

11.  Konna Koi no Hanashi
Sanada Hiroyuki plays a wealthy but cold and lonely businessman who learns that he only has a short while to live as he’s developed cancer but finds love and redemption in a relationship in which a crucial business deal may forever affect. Also stars Tamaki Koji and the beautiful Matsushima Nanako!

10. Mou ichido kimi ni propose

9. Litre of Tears

8. Sekai no Chuushin de, Ai wo Sakebu

7. Gokusen

6.Ruri no shima

5. Majisuka Gakuen

4. Hana yori dango

3. Aishiteiru to Itte Kure
The first Japanese drama that I watched and it came by chance one night while going through the channels! A hearing impaired artist played by the incredible Toyokawa Etsushi finds an unlikely romance with a young actress (played by Tokiwa Takako) and the inevitable trials and tribulations of such a relationship ensue. Incredibly moving story and performances!

2. Hitotsu Yane no Shita
While its sequel is great this one’s even better!! Six siblings must cope with every day life on their own as their parents are killed in an accident. The story may sound simple but I can’t stress enough how much this drama will engross you and have you in deep anticipation of each next episode. Make sure the Kleenex is right beside you at all times!:) Incredible cast including: Eguchi Yosuke, Fukuyama Masaharu, Sakai Noriko, Ishida Issei, and Oji Megumi just to name a few!

So YES! I’m going straight to #1!


1. Long Vacation

my Long Vacation DVD box set

~Reminiscing an all-time favorite drama series~

「ロングバケーション episode 1」

(English subtitled)

So I’ll be posting each episode singly one episode per week every Friday …all 11 episodes here ^^.

Do note that this first episode is extra long as the episodes to follow are of the normal 45 minute average run time for hour-slot Japanese dramas.

And as aforementioned I think “Long Vacation” is the best drama ever written! Stars Kimura Takuya, Yamaguchi Tomoko, Takenouchi Yutaka, Matsu Takako, Ryo, and Inamori Izumi…. not to mention it also has one of the most iconic theme songs of all-time in Kubota Toshinobu’s “La La La Love Song” and if by chance you don’t know it, trust me you’re gonna fall in love w/ it head over heels I promise and even the opening credits remains as one of the very best cast montages!!

About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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50 Responses to ~ 「TGIF!」 Idol♡s unzipped on way back Fridays Presents an all-time favorite drama series…. “Long Vacation” (volume 123)

  1. Matthew says:

    Happy Friday!! Nice list of dramas you have. Where do you mostly watch them at?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. djv124 says:

    Oh man…it’s SOOO ON!
    So last night, I watched this on my phone while laying down in bed. Just had my headphones on, chilling, relaxing, you know? But I was blown away and hooked instantly from the beginning. Watching Minami act so crazy, though understandably so, right at the beginning as she got stood up on the day of her wedding, made me realize I’m about to watch a beautiful story unfold.
    Sena’s story, too, started to unfold as well, being that he’s not being as honest with himself and with others as he could be. His lack of showing emotion is interesting, and I suspect as this dorama continues on, he’ll learn to open up so one day he will be able to perform at Suntory Hall. I feel like there will be a great, great moment of him doing a piano recital somewhere in the future of this story!
    My girl Izumi had a much smaller role this first episode than I had anticipated. I actually thought when you suggested we watch this dorama that it was because Izumi was the main character, but I’m not complaining at all. Not in the least. Minami is hysterical. I love her expressions, how fast she is with her comebacks talking, and how she tried her hardest to still believe in her almost husband and his promise to call her right after her birthday. it set up the final scene nicely between Minami and Sena kind of going at it with each other, arguing the way two people do who live together and overstep their boundaries. Well, Minami had a great reason to do so, right? And then we see Sena give her a lovely birthday tribute on his piano, and yes, yes, yes, my heart is hooked, lined, and SUNK!
    Total A+ first episode. Has everything I need to root for all the characters involved. Still curious about the two in the car who are going crazy spending money and gambling, but I imagine that must be Minami’s ex and the girl that Sena introduced to him. I guess we’ll find out soon yeah?
    Really, I can see why this is a favorite, or rather, your absolute favorite. The story is already beautiful and full of heartache, as all good doramas tend to be. I know this story is old enough to be considered an archetype for a lot of future doramas after it. When I asked one of my Japanese friends if they had seen this dorama, that friend shook her head up and down and said….”it’s the best there is.”
    That got me pretty pumped as well. I watched it again on my computer today, though I had to pause it for a little while to do some stuff but I just didn’t want to miss too much and also because it was THAT good I wanted to check it out once more.

    Waiting for next week’s episode is going to be rough lol. But I won’t peek ahead anywhere. I am really looking forward to going through all the episodes and seeing where this story takes us. I’m curious if you have a favorite character in the show, maybe one I haven’t seen yet?

    Oh, and the theme song…YES! Instantly imprinted on the brain and the heart.

    Thank you for this MB, truly. I am curious about your thoughts and memories regarding this first episode and when you first saw it. Care to share? I’m all ears.

    Bring on episode 2 this upcoming weekend! YES!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya Derek~kun!!

      First, thank you so much for watching with me!!!!!!!

      I decided to split up my thoughts as the “comment” was becoming ridiculously large and I think it’d be easier and more enjoyable to chat in little comments so I’ll be doing it like this in little comments for the entire drama series…. hope that makes sense =).


    • If you scroll down the other 27 comments are now posted separately =).


      • djv124 says:

        Wow, your comments blew me away. I really appreciate all of them and honestly, it makes me really wish you were here or I was there in Hawaii so we can just hang out and talk about this in person, face to face. I want to see your reactions to the episodes and I want you to see mine. I’m a great person to watch any show with, because I really let in a story when it’s told great. And so far, this story already has me hooked. That’s rare for me to like something after only one episode, but there were too many great moments in this first episode, as we’ve discussed.
        A few points…
        First, maybe we could talk about this in emails instead of comments, yeah? When you left me all those comments, my entire inbox got filled up with notifications and I had to go through each one and delete them after reading lol. I really, really, really love that you shared SO much with me, so I’m only thinking it would be easier for us both to do just emails instead? Let me know your thoughts. If you want to keep it this way, I’m totally okay with that too. I read your comments in my inbox, not on your actual blog, so I have no problem with how the comments look on your blog when you write them.
        Second, the bouncy ball…I am thinking I might want to use something like that in my book I’m currently writing. Like an homage or tribute to long vacation. I am going to put that in there in a small kind of way, and maybe you’ll be the only person who will understand why that’s in my book. That is, when my book becomes a series on HBO of course lol. A boy can dream, can’t he?
        Speaking of dreams, it was rather melancholy that scene when Minami and Sena were in their separate rooms, wanting bigger dreams for themselves, but the reality of their lives kept them apart both from those dreams and from each other. Not that they have any reason to want to be together, but I kind of get the feeling that is where the show is headed. Or even if they had just decided to be together in a close friendship born from circumstance kind of way, that might have been helpful to heal their souls in that moment with both of them in separate room.s Minami certainly tries to do this, it would seem, by sharing all that wine with him, but at the same time, Sena is guarded, and yet…and yet, playing that song at the end for her…it just really made me see he wants to open up and have somebody in his life too.
        Speaking as a musician, I love the music and I love the fact that Sena is a musician. I kind of relate to his journey and struggle, and that instantly put me into the show and rooting for his character. I really can’t wait to see how all of this plays out, and again, you are really awesome MB for sharing this with me. I could probably talk to you for hours about this one episode alone, and I appreciate the fact that you’ve stimulated my mind so much already. It’s kind of like those first few minutes when the cart you’re in is making its way up the long, long hill of a rollercoaster, right before everything gets crazy. Truth be told, that’s almost my favorite part of riding a rollercoaster…that anticipation, that view getting higher and higher, wondering what comes next. Long Vacation, episode 1, is that hill for me.
        Thank you.


        • Oh no I totally didn’t say that right xD. When I mentioned wanting our blog watching to be like a “chat” I was meaning that with the individual tiny comments, that they’d be like a running conversation where you could react to my thoughts and me to yours. That way it’s not just a gigantic blob comment, because with a drama series each episode brings up so many thoughts and reactions versus how one might comment on a single song for the most part….so I was thinking that having the tiny comments would make is so much more fun and easy to respond to one another without having so many things said at once in a single comment, like how if we were having an actual conversation over this drama…. I wouldn’t speak for ten minutes straight without you reacting and likewise I just thought that this way would be much more engaging point by point. Philip and I did it this way during two drama series and it was much more fun =).

          Hmm..as far as having so many comments to delete, for some reason with Gmail any comments left during the same day are all placed into a single e-mail….they just add a number next to it showing how many notifications are inside this one e-mail so it never gets cluttered that way. And also you’d really just visit the drama post once and stay on it scrolling down the thoughts and reactions and replying to them that way and with each reply WP refreshes the post with your new comment so that you can just keep scrolling down.


          • djv124 says:

            Hi how are you?
            Two issues with what you’ve just wrote…first, my Gmail is set up so I don’t do the threads where all emails from the same person are posted under one email in my inbox. I can’t do things this way because I get over several hundred emails a day for my work and other things and if those emails are hidden in threads, it gets too confusing to try to sift through them all. So that doesn’t work for me.
            Second issue is that we are online at different times of the day and night, so like in this case, you posted all those comments, and I wasn’t able to respond to them until much later, and I gave you my initial comments that took you some time to respond too. If we want to do the chat thing, lets just do a chat somewhere, like maybe the chat we used before that one time? And designate a time and day where we both know we’ll be online and can use it. That makes more sense to me, yeah? I want to respond to every single post you left, indeed, because your comments were awesome and I had a huge smile on my face reading every single one of them, but when you post them all and I am not here to respond to them, then I feel bad because I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate them or anything like that. And my Gmail inbox shouts at me, ONAKA IPPAI!! Lol.

            Anyway, I’ll do whatever you want on this, but I’m asking you to consider my way since logically it makes more sense. Lets chat together, instead of trying to hope we are online at the same time and using a blog to leave comments. We can do skype if you want too, yeah? Or even better, lets just talk on the phone a certain day after we watch the episodes. Then we can really explode with dialogue and discussion lol! Knowing me and you, that would end up being a six hour long conversation on the phone I think. I would greatly love that.
            But again, whatever works best for you my friend. I’m seriously so grateful you are even sharing Long Vacation with me. I’m really itching for episode two, by the way today. It’s like I’m a junkie or something ha ha.
            Talk to you soon. Let me know your thoughts on a better way to do the comments that works for both of us (e.g., separate chat room we both are in at an appointed time, phone call, skype or skype chat, email, etc.). Thank you so much!


            • Ah I’m not speaking very well again xD… it doesn’t mean that one needs to reply to each comment right when they’re posted, they’ll remain there as they are right now and they can be replied to or not…whenever the other viewer reaches them. =) Phillip lives in England so we were never able to watch episodes and comment on them at the same time…. he or I would leave our little comments scrolling downward whenever we watched the new episode and whenever the other person was able to be online those comments would be waiting.


              • djv124 says:

                Ah, I see. I mean, I would do that but again, the comments pile up in my inbox so can you at least consider what I’m asking? Don’t you think it would be more fun to talk to each other in person? I mean, we’ve been talking for awhile now…I see no reason not to take this to a more personal level and at least just chat about it in person, via phone, webchat, or otherwise? Is there a reason you wouldn’t want to do that?
                Your blogs, by the way, aren’t ghost towns. I live on your blog, and even if I’m the only resident at times, you should always know that the hard work you put into all of these posts is DEEPLY loved by this guy. I have really over the past year grown to enjoy your posts. I mean, I comment on just about everything you put up that I like or can get into. And sometimes I even check out stuff I know I wouldn’t like just to see why you like it. So I think talking to you personally at this point wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, given that I feel me and you are friends now, yeah?

                And again, the way my gmail is setup, the separate comments are difficult for me to have in my inbox. If you absolutely can’t do what I’m asking, then I’ll leave it alone and just do it your way and no worries at all. I really mean it when I say I’m just grateful to have a chance to watch this dorama with you every week, however we end up actually doing this “together,” being it’s me responding later in time to comments being left or it being one of the ways I’m suggesting. I am so excited for the next episode so whatever lol.


        • So you see your thoughts up above would actually fit perfectly into my individual comments I left below, creating a chat between us.

          MMm… and as far as using e-mail, it’d sort of make blogging a non factor…I mean then this post would be just like a ghost town (as most posts here are as I do seem to attract lurkers rather than those whom wish to express themselves XD…) and having our thoughts archived in a post keep memories so you know you can say remember that time we watched such and such? And you’d have all of our thoughts there neatly side by side =).


          • djv124 says:

            Ah, your logic here makes sense, but the issue I see is that if I’m not online to respond to all those comments when you leave them, it’s the exact same thing as leaving me one big long blog comment or sending me a big email with a long commentary…because I can’t respond to them individually in most cases until well after you’ve left the comments, since we may not be online at the same time when you leave them. You see what I’m saying?
            Anyway, read my other post I just left and let me know your thoughts. I get having memories and also the idea of this being a blog and discussing things here, but I’m more interested in connecting with you about something we both mutually like. The medium that we do it shouldn’t be the biggest factor here, IMO. It should be about the fact that you’re sharing something with me and I’m wanting to react to that share in a way that’s convenient, easy, and accessible for both of us, yeah?
            But again…whatever you want to do lol. This is so much fun regardless, and I suppose if I have to go through my inbox every week and delete comments, well, Shouganai 🙂


            • It’s exactly the point, you can respond at any time, doesn’t matter….each individual comment can sit for days and days during the week until responded to or not and together they’re like having a “long distance” conversation and vice versa if you left your thoughts in tinier comments, and whenever I am able to respond, could be hours or days later but then our thoughts and reactions will be much more compact and easier to follow.

              Like I wake up the next morning, see you chain of thoughts and can go through them in order and there’s no need for you to be online at that moment. I think using the word “chat” was a mistake but putting it in quotes was meant to say the time lapse comments would be “chat” like and not live.

              Philip and I conversed on a drama series in this manner here and the date of the response didn’t matter:


              Well this way back drama idea is from the blog, so I don’t know what to say about interacting elsewhere. I’d say don’t subscribe to comments here, unsubscribe really and you could instead click on commented posts from time to time to see if there’s anything new…then I won’t be overfilling your inbox.

              Your last thought sounds like you’re a bit ticked off so I will say nothing further.


              • djv124 says:

                lol, why is it that anytime I disagree with you, you think I’m ticked off? You make me smile too much at how girly you are sometimes, MB, I swear.I’m not mad at ya even in the least.
                Anyway, I get the whole idea of wanting to keep this on the blog, being that it’s a blog posting, and I could always just unclick subscribe to comments so I can instead check back and see what you’ve posted, but my thinking was that we simply could move this to a more personal setting, being that for me, I like to watch shows with my friends, and I consider you a friend. And I felt a way to make it seem MORE like we were actually watching it together was if we could just chat or talk on the phone about each episode. This way instead of writing out all those comments, we can just go back and forth in the moment either while talking on the phone about this awesome dorama or doing a chat in live time so we can react in live time. I mean, those are memories we’d be making too.
                Seriously MB, not mad at all, not even a little…though, to play the Devil’s advocate with you, It does make me wonder though why you wouldn’t want to just talk to me apart from the blog now that we are doing weekly dorama watching and we constantly talk to each other anyways here? To me, collecting comments on a blog isn’t nearly as fun as having a real live in the moment discussion with somebody about something you love, you know? But hey, like I said, whatever lol. You would prefer to keep things just on your blog, then that’s cool. I just want to enjoy the dorama and talk with you, so if the only way you want to talk to me is through your blog in a way that emulates what you did with another person, that is totally and truly and completely cool with me. So no worries and stop thinking I’m mad at you lol! You are the best MB!

                Liked by 1 person

                • To answer honestly it’s two-fold, during my late teens a “friend” whom I thought was a dear friend became distastefully mean and went way beyond the I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…which I don’t do and my parents ended up disabling my webcam albeit in an interesting way and I was forbidden from using it thereafter. And even now under my own decision I’ve kept away from it as just the thought of it is awful….and then there’s well, on second thought I’m not going to go further as it’s probably neither here nor there in a sense. I’d rather do a V-log on my own but that’s for another day and my Mom believes that that will only attract unwanted attention as in this one guy from somewhere in Europe I forget where….ACTUALLY proposed to me as in he wanted me to marry him! =O I don’t know him in the slightest, he only sees me physically and he went on about having all of this wealth HOWEVER and open wallet does not mean that I’m going to open my legs for anyone…and now I’ve said too much and will shut up promptly (-∀-`)。

                  In any case after some brainstorming I realized a way to alleviate your e-mail woes caused by me, while still being able to comment tiny as I re-watch each episode. I hope they act as conversation starters as I wrote them in real time as I watched through =).


                  • djv124 says:

                    First, I deeply appreciate you even telling me what you just did. I am sorry to hear you have had some bad luck with people online. Have you ever heard of the term “catfishing?” That’s something I think that’s really huge these days, where people pretend to be guys when they are really girls and vice versa. MTV even has a whole series about it, where these girls/guys lure people in online into thinking they are somebody they are not. I mean, can you imagine? I know that’s not exactly what you dealt with, but it’s kind of in the same ballpark, you having a guy want to marry you after just seeing your picture. I will never understand how anyone can like somebody just based on their looks alone. There’s so much more to all of us, you know?
                    Second, there is no worries about not wanting to do more than just keep this all about your blog. That’s cool. I just felt like me and you have talked enough over the past few years that maybe perhaps there was enough trust to talk on the phone or skype or whatever. I only say that because I honestly do consider you a friend and you’ll find I’m not judgmental in the least. I would never judge you if, for example, you told me that you had some huge shameful secret you couldn’t tell anyone. I was a counselor for six years and heard the worst stuff that anyone could possibly tell another human being…it gave me really thick skin and also taught me to NEVER judge a person, no matter their circumstances. I mean, even if I were being catfished, like with all those poor souls who fall in love with people online only to find out they aren’t who they say they are, I would be very open-minded towards the person doing the catfishing. My thinking is that there must be a really huge reason for them wanting to pretend to be somebody they are not, and I would be more curious about what that reason is than hurt of feeling betrayed. That’s just me though. Others would probably go psycho on somebody who did that to them.
                    So in that sense, whatever your reason or reasons are for not wanting to put pics up of yourself anytime you’re asked, or to talk on the phone with people online, or VLOG, or Skype, I completely accept you as you are MB. I want you to know that. I really love your blog, I love your intelligence, and if you ever do want to share with me your “other reason” you said you didn’t want to get into for not being more open about yourself here online, I’m always willing to listen. And I promise not to judge you either. So we can leave it at that. I’ll never ask again to have more of a connection past this blog and my blog. I mean, if you ever did want to talk on the phone, that’s all it would ever be for me, as I respect boundaries completely, but again, enough of that right? Lol. Lets get on with EPISODE 2 of LONG VACATION! I can’t wait to watch it!!!!!!


                    • interesting, so you think that guy was not rich or even a guy? I’ve not heard of people doing such things but that would make it even weirder and pointless really. So if I had no sense of safety and was a gold digger where would that go? Thinking back though, I began writing on this blog from a friend’s recommendation to join Vox when I didn’t even know what a blog was and when they got bored and were going to delete it I tried to really make it a place to release myself into and have fun with, and share with others my personal interests. If I wanted a ME place I’d likely open a Facebook and share what I’m eating, wearing and what I’m doing but not only am I not that interesting, that’s not what this blog is about and I’m not a look at me person or an exhibitionist personality or anything but quite the opposite. And where sooooo many blogs out there have cartoon images or their pets and the like as their “profile” I think it’s rather brave of myself to have profile photos as well as a goofy video where so many people like to make fun of the way you look or just be cruel…. when I could just have easily put up an image of my cat or my favorite flower or super hero or something like that. This is a post about a favorite drama of mine, you’re making my head spin =/.


                    • djv124 says:

                      Lol, you are so right, this is your blog and we are talking about your favorite dorama. But to quickly answer your question you just asked, I was just implying that people you talk to online can be anyone and you would never know until that fourth wall is broken down, you know? But I think if somebody is proposing marriage to you, that’s kind of over the top. And so is pretending to be somebody else online…that kind of almost surreal online behavior, I think, was the connection I was trying to make between what happened to you and what I was saying. Hope that makes a little bit of sense.
                      Also, you make a great and very fair point about how you have put up something of yourself on this blog site about you when you could actually have just put up, as you said, a silly image of an animal or cartoon character. Kudos to you for being brave, though not gonna lie, I do wish I could see more pics or videos of ya on here because you are very pretty! But that’s me being a guy…my apologies lol.
                      Anyway, on to the second episode of your favorite dorama! And btw, GREAT job figuring out a way to cure the email issue! I saw what you did on the second episode post. SMART SMART GIRL!!!! Very happy with you right now , I gotta say. Thanks for solving that one MB.


  3. One of the greatest first episodes ever! Yamaguchi Tomoko plays the female lead Minami spectacularly, bringing that brash honesty and brash demeanor which so much make up the endearment of this drama. Just the way she storms into Sena’s place looking for his roommate is hilarious in itself and being dressed in full bride attire complete with traditional headpiece ups the situation’s humor and charm.


  4. Sena’s character played by of course the awesome Kimutaku!!…. does indeed come off pretty instantly as this laid back and almost painfully shy character whom you imagine has big dreams and yet …haha can’t give anything away! I must be sure to comment episode to episode and not ever get ahead of things, I’ve literally watched this drama series from beginning to end more than anything other series and it’s still a series which will never get old ever! It’s Sena’s confidence which holds him back, an enemy onto himself.


  5. I crack up every time in that opening scene where Sena asks the “pushy” Minami to remove her hand from his piano! =D


  6. A quick note about the background music, instrumental and otherwise….they are so much a part of this drama in the sense that they really depict the type of scene being shown, it’s something you pick up on after watching a few times much more. There’ll be time to get into the soundtrack a bit later as I’ve posted it here awhile back.


  7. Minami’s desperation in asking Sena to “ clean himself up and marry her” was so so funny and his expression, priceless!!


  8. Sena being a musician, I was thinking you’d relate or be interested in that!


  9. That “Don’t worry be happy” sign (Bobby McFerrin!) and really this building Sena lives in become such sweetly familiar visions….the building always seems a bit drab and darkened like being a symbolic character in itself and notice how you don’t see neighbors walking around freely… I’ve always loved that about it.


  10. Opening credits, song! and YES cast introduction are to die for! Well in a drama sense that is =P! La La La Love Song is simply one of the greatest J-Pop songs of all time, and this drama just made it that much more iconic and likewise for drama as a great song always enhances a show no matter what adding that element of sweet music familiarity …gets you excited and in the mood to watch every time.


  11. Now when we finally see Minami in regular clothing, so funny that not even Sena initially recognizes her =P. And she’s so goofy~funny making up her fake dog “Joe” and mispronouncing Sena’s name before stalking him all the way home. =O


  12. After watching this drama I so wanted a mini-fridge like Sena’s!! Just seemed so cozy to have one!


  13. And to have her movers already outside before getting an okay to move in =O LOL!

    And how rude was that to just mention Sena not having a girlfriend LOL…. and that he may need a new roommate. Imagine in a matter of a couple of days having this happen to you =O.


  14. Fubuki Jun, the first landmine of this drama, many more to come! I love how sassy and confident Minami is in that scene … “how he wouldn’t know” =).


  15. Realizing Sena’s job is being a tutor to children, I mean he is playing the piano and teaching it but not like we imagine he’d like to. Further developing his character here.


  16. The girl in pink shooting that CM was a popular idol back then, I even have a few UTB’s in which she appears. Momoko~chan aka: Inamori Izumi appears! Isn’t she just soooooo adorable!~! Playful, aloof and even a bit “light headed” LOL I’ve been called than when I was younger so I’m allowed to say it =P! She’s Minami’s best friend so she’ll appear more as the series progresses.


  17. Ryoko, played by the incomparable Matsu Takako gets a mention early on…. and you can see how uncomfortable Sena is with just the mention of her name….guys and crushes huh?


  18. Momoko’s little jab saying that you needed to be under 25 to audition for that CM, a landmine between friends.=P

    Momoko flirting when first meeting Sena…. shamelessly hilarious!! Her winking and demeanor are priceless, and likewise Sena’s reaction each time.

    YUP if only we all had pink elephants in our heads LOL ^^!


  19. The couple you keep seeing intermittently played by my love Takenouchi Yutaka and Ryo are yet a mystery and you keep hearing them phone the house….btw Takenouchi~san has never looked HOTTER!!!!!!!! Just had to say that!


  20. Now eating in a little ramen place like that is my dream~*!!!! btw I began eating a lot more ramen during and after watching this drama! =D This place appears enough times to leave a memory.


  21. We had those bouncy balls when we were little!~! Never tried to bounce one that high up before, wish I had!


  22. Ah seishun??? XD You feel so bad for Minami in how he’s treated at her modeling agency, like she’s over the hill =(.

    Two unfulfilled souls, love that first time you see Sena return home with Minami there at the fridge and when you see them in their separate rooms and with that song playing in the background it’s makes you feel so melancholy with their emotions getting to you.


  23. Until watching this drama, I never realized how much the piano requires one to be so emotionally engaged and open in order to perform their very best, the conversation with his friend and mentor suggests so much and yet we’re unsure if Sena can see it too. “To play for someone else….” “Get rid of that wall….” That was deep.


  24. And Sena couldn’t even bring himself to enter the room where Ryoko~chan was playing, and she somehow sensed he was there. Oh the dynamics and things to come involving everyone.

    Again note the background music as for this drama they really nailed how it relates to scenes perfectly as if categorizing them in a sense… not in a stiff way.


  25. Ah wine!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe one day I’ll get to try a 1965 wine! =P Drunk Mimani = fun but she also can become so emotional. So funny how Minami lightly teases Sena about his encounter with Ryoko~chan! =P Isn’t Yamaguchi Tomoko so darling!! (Minami) And now that particular bottle of wine is symbolic to her birthdate…. bitter sweet.


  26. There’s such an awkward albeit unintended moment between Sena and Ryoko when she lets slip that “he’s too good of a pianist to be teaching there…” Makes you so sad for Sena and yet he accepts his life this way.


  27. And little do we know that Minami then mentioning her birthdate and Asakura~san being the first to call her on her 27th birthday to Sena….would later lead to this episodes emotionally charged moment~*!! I love how it all plays out: The aforementioned bouncy ball and the miracle from the third floor. Take note of the piano piece playing in the background! Minami going to find the ball the next morning despite declaring it unimportant to Sena the night before…heartwarming. And then the phone call. First time Ryoko’s called Sena and to hear another girl’s voice….you know what’s going on inside Sena’s head @ that moment. And then the competition notice, bad news …and then Minami laying landmines in the form of Sena just being a piano school teacher and “lying about recitals…” And then Sena loses it, I can’t blame him though but that was rough to say… =(. When I first watched this scene with Minami then threatening to leave I felt as if I’d watched an entire drama’s worth all at once as this one opening episode packed in so much story and character development. And then when Sena realizes that today’s Minami’s birthday… OMG and now I’m teary and then the episode’s moment~* arrives! Sena YES playing Happy Birthday on his piano, and when you consider he doesn’t like to play for others it’s really two-fold in its meaning. And there you hear that piano piece again, the one I had mentioned a bit earlier in these comments…it really is an important one! A beautiful one full of emotions and here Sena’s putting real emotion into it…. you’ll come to love it I’m sure. ^^ You can see it in his face when she returns, how much he actually played “for her.” So sweet! “Christmas and Birthdays are important….” Love when Sena says that!


  28. Cliffhanger: Mysterious couple calling again! And just as a reluctant Minami goes to answer…?

    Still one of the greatest first episodes ever for drama series!!

    Happy you’re into it! Really happy!~! ^^*


  29. And to make sure I cover your original comment with anything I may have missed:

    You’re having some perceptive thoughts on Sena’s character and how he’s closed up emotionally when we first see him, can’t give anything away so I’ll have to leave it at that!

    Momoko~chan’s a secondary character but she does get decent screen time throughout albeit she’s not a central character as in Sena and Minami. Happy you’re finding Yamaguchi Tomoko’s character “Minami” amazing and this is really her best role!! I can’t imagine any other actress delivering those lines quite the same way and with as much conviction, emotion and hilarity!

    YUP Sena finally opening up a little and playing Happy Birthday and that lovely song afterward was this drama’s hook~~>line~~>and sinker for fans!!!! How emotionally epic of a moment was that!!

    Oh the guy and girl in the car will be revealed right away when episode two begins!! And you’ll be surprised as to whom they are, maybe more so of the guy! Everything about this drama is perfect~*, characters, story, music, acting, and the amazing cast all-around…it really launched some of their careers that much more too! I mean Kimutaku was already KIMUTAKU♥, so perhaps more so for the other actors in this drama series.

    So cool you’ve already watched it like twice!! =D And yes NO CHEATING ahead!!!!!!!!!!! The anticipation for each next episode is part of the experience like how when you’re watching in real time you have to wait as you battle patience! ^^*

    Hmmm…favorite character? Minami for sure! You’ve only begun to see her fireworks of demeanor, emotion and just being “Minami” as only Yamaguchi Tomoko could! Now if we’re talking strictly YUM~factor♥ it’s 1)Takenouchi Yutaka 2)Kimura Takuya!

    I’ve got a great performance of “La La La Love Song” where Kubota Toshinobu was a guest on SmapXSmap that we can watch later! This single was epic back then!! It was like one of the most popular drama theme songs like ever when it hit shelves!!


  30. Denny Sinnoh says:

    … and why do these young guys in romantic comedies RESIST so much?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. philipleslie says:

    Hi mb, I was so pleased to have watched this. At first, your blog page took so long to load I was able to boil the kettle for tea, but ai’m glad I persisted. Not only did I end up with a cup of tea, but a really lovely first episode that played without problems and cheered me up no end. Loved every second of it, but my favourite moments were the rose coloured scene in the apartment with the green powerball. I’m sure those colours will come into play in a big way. They’re sort of opposites, pink and green. The best bit for me was the Happy Birthday sequence. I shouted at him to put his head out of the window and yell おめでとうございます。Instead he went one better and played it on the piano. Loved the cliffhanger, too. Great characters, especially Momoko, who made me chuckle. Also fun to see people smoking. It’s a big no-no now, isn’t it. Quite recently a CD of Rachmaninov’s music came out in the States with a photo of the composer on the front… Except his cigarette had been airbrushed out. Can you imagine some Classical music loving person buying that CD and being inspired to rush off to buy a packet of Marlboro? “Every time the second piano concerto starts, I reach for the packet…cough cough.”
    A great shame UK TV doesn’t do more romantic dramas. They’re almost all police procedurals. Occasionally there is a series of non-crime dramas, but it would be relegated to the afternoon slot for stay at home mums and the unemployed to enjoy.
    As for the green ball. They were marketed over here as Powerballs (which sounds like the character Stan Lee never got round to developing). I destroyed many of my mum’s ornaments with one.
    Hopefully I’ll be able to see episode two…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ohhh I’ve added a few caps for episode 2 so I hope it doesn’t hamper the loading for you xD. Oh we did speak of color themes awhile back when we were watching a drama together didn’t we! Symbolism is all around if only one takes notice, It’d slipped my consciousness it seems.

      Un! the birthday song at the ending was epic!!!! The emotions running so high there and I’m speaking of myself LOL =P! Momo’s such a cute and aloof character at times, Minami’s best friend surely makes her impact felt throughout this series.

      The smoking thing really did change for even Hollywood all those years ago as politically/healthfully correct began winning the battle. In older movies and such, smoking was like the norm….but how times have changed and some character writing has evolved. It’d be shocking times a zillion to see a classical dude smoking on his CD’s cover OMG I can’t even imagine and so funny that they airbrushed it out! =P

      We used to get those incredibly bouncy and seemingly indestructible balls out of loose change vending machines when I was little! I’d forgotten how dangerous they were around household items which they potentially would brake when we were playing with them…and then Mom said “not in the house!!!!”


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