~ 「TGIF!」 Idol♡s unzipped on way back Fridays Presents an all-time favorite drama series…. “Long Vacation” episode 2 (volume 124)

Idols unzipped...

~Reminiscing an all-time favorite drama series continued….~

my Long Vacation DVD box set

my Long Vacation♥ DVD set!

Long Vacation episode 2 (1)Long Vacation episode 2 (2)Long Vacation episode 2 (3)Long Vacation episode 2 (4)

「ロングバケーション episode 2」

(English subtitled)

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

While last week’s episode (1) was extra long, the series now goes to 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!!

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So I got the idea to watch and comment along with this episode before actually publishing this post publicly, as my thoughts/ reactions came to me in “real time”, so hopefully this acts like a conversation starter if you reply to any/all of the comments below and add new ones of your own thoughts if you’d like, on this great episode as you watch along =).

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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60 Responses to ~ 「TGIF!」 Idol♡s unzipped on way back Fridays Presents an all-time favorite drama series…. “Long Vacation” episode 2 (volume 124)

  1. Love the episode literally picks up right it left off! The introduction of Shinji whom turns out to be Minami’s “little” brother and how she initially lies about his identity when her shows up at their door uninvited!! Do note Shinji’s (Takenouchi Yutaka) way of speaking at it’s not only ultra COOL!…but also fits his uber~sexy looks quite perfectly!!!! Yup the man I “once” “wanted” to marry then drops the land mine on Minami by revealing her true modeling highlight LOL OUCH XD!

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    • djv124 says:

      Picking up right where it left off was good. Put me right back into the feeling at the end of the last episode. I do think Shinji is very handsome, and he certainly has a funny introduction. I was SO sure he was going to be Asakura though, the way the first episode didn’t reveal who he was. Yet in a way, He IS Asakura, and so is Sena, as it seems all three men in Minami’s life (Sena, Asakura, and Shinji), are after a younger woman. Did you happen to notice that?
      Gotta love siblings to put you right in your place when it comes to revealing embarrassing past moments lol. Great beginning!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Un they really set up the episode that way making you think that it is indeed Asakura who’s on the way there and then the epic surprise!! Ah that didn’t dawn on me =P and you are very observant! haha YES Miss Downstream Yamanagara not even close to being Miss Japan 😄 and you really immediately get that real sibling feeling with all of the banter going on…mostly by Minami of course =D.

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  2. To have Shinji thinking that Sena is Mr. Asakura,too funny!!!!! Ah may we all end up “cougars” one day! =P Here we also learn that Shinji is quite the talented pianist too!! The look on Sena’s face says it all….to be able to play with that confidence!! =)

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    • djv124 says:

      Totally didn’t expect Shinji to bust out awesome piano skills like he did! Sena was like….whaaaaat? Too funny

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      • It’s an awesome reveal for sure and really Sena’s facial expression speaks volumes!! I truly learned to appreciate the nuances of the piano much more through this drama series, of course it helped that both male leads are HOT!~! =P

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  3. Did I mention just how good looking Takenouchi Yutaka~♥ is!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His slick back look here OMG YUM!~! Of course Kimutaku is of an equal handsomeness, only not playing the bad boy role! =P

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    • djv124 says:

      Yes, handsome he is, and that’s all I think I can say about that lol considering I am a guy and can’t see him any other way but kakkoi. But happy you find him all kinds of oishi! I’ll take your word for it!

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      • I have a prized possession of “his!” It’s actually one of, if not my most prized J-culture related collectible of mine!! Me thinks soon will be a great time to share~♥ it with everyone, you know being that we’re watching this particular drama! =) “Back then” I had this silly fantasy about marrying him and we’d have a boy and a girl and live happily~*~~* ever after =D!

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  4. It seemed that all of the boys from my youth wanted to be in a rock band! =D What a price to pay for tickets although for a chance to date Ryoko~chan why not Sena?! Sena’s awkward shyness around Ryoko is both a bit painful and yet endearing to watch….like to have a guy have that kind of love interest in you all the while you have no clue is romantic!

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    • djv124 says:

      I found it kind of hard to watch, Sena’s shyness that is! It was like I wanted to jump into the episode and cheer him on and help him out. Ryoko chan is pure as the first snow, as Sena says, and a girl like that I imagine could make any man shy or buckle in the knees, but still….painful to watch for sure!

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      • Sena’s character is revealed so much in these scenes, how there’s an inner battle going on inside emotionally. U~n and more on Matsu Takako (Ryoko~chan) later!! She was so perfectly cast in this series, Sena’s snow analogy says it perfectly~*.

        Like

  5. Shy guys need a best bud to shove you back into going for it! =D

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  6. OMG the breast care device!!! LOL and just watching Momo play with it carelessly all the while what a jilt to Minami having only that type of modeling work available for her =(. The girl who plays Izumi~chan was a very popular idol back then! She’s in multiple UTB’s from back in the day as well! Age seems to be even more critical in Japan it seems?? Like one is over the hill even when they’re not that old at all. =/

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    • djv124 says:

      Hysterical! I was laughing so hard when they were playing with the breast pump! Momo looked kind of hot doing that though so I was okay with it. I could’ve watched Momo chan playing with it for, um, hours and hours.
      The girl who plays Izumi seemed like she would be a famous girl. I had a feeling you would say something about that…she has that look of somebody who isn’t exactly the kind of everyday person you would see walk down the street in Tokyo…she seems elevated somehow. But in Japan, as you said, ageism thrives pretty heavily…once you are like 26 you are officially done in Japan lol. It’s the land that treasures youth and yet is full of people who are considered “old” before they even turn 30. Go figure.

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      • One of the funniest scenes!!!! You get a jilt, a pump, Inamori Izumi and an idol too! Back in the CM scene she really stands out as intended but even more so as you say…the age thing is kind of freaky and particularly when you consider how idols have this small window of life to be an idol. There society says that girls should settle down and get married by a particular age, however now much of that perception has changed as careers have taken over as they’ve done here too. I guess in a perfect relationship you’d get married early….. I wonder.

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  7. Watching this drama made me not want to play Pachinko like ever LOL! =P I’d lose all of my money too! xD

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    • djv124 says:

      I don’t understand Pachinko at all, but I wouldn’t play simply because I lose money way too easily when I gamble at casinos, which I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been inside of a casino. So yeah, feel you there.

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      • Any type of machine taking your money is off limits….I do favor card games with friends where nearly everyone has a tell so it’s funny! I did play a little video poker once at Treasure Island years ago and nothing good happened then XD. Back when Texas hold em’ got really popular we’d have games quite often where we’d try to reenact how it’s played on t.v. albeit the money was much much less of course =).

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  8. What a dirty “friend”….. expired tickets =( and yet Ryoko~chan reacts soooooo sweetly~♥. OMG yuenchi! =O I fear rides that go too high, upside down or fast!!!! 😄 Once again Sena’s painful shyness rears itself as he’s not even confident enough to acknowledge that they’re on a date =(.

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    • djv124 says:

      Yeah, I would’ve made sure that friend either paid me back or I would’ve broken something on his body. That was pretty low and dirty for sure. I can’t believe a “friend” would do that. He’s no friend, at least how I see it.

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  9. Heheh ‘sagging breast’….. kinda lucky that mine are just b-sized =D Gravity and age won’t pull so much on those which are little =D. The conversations between Momo and Minami are always so endearing…..what best friends are for.

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    • djv124 says:

      Just B-sized? C’mon…that’s a perfect size! I don’t care for breasts bigger than B’s or A’s. Maybe a small C is okay, but too big and it just gets kind of frustrating because my hands aren’t huge or anything. So much fun to hear Momo and Minami talk to each other. True friends indeed!

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      • OMG!! so it’s the size of a guy’s hand that dictates such taste?? =O I’m half kidding and half amused as that would make me the perfect size for so many LOL….that doesn’t sound quite how it was meant =P. The dialogue is golden in this series, very memorable too where you can get that warm and cozy feeling all over and it stays with you long after as great shows do. ^^

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  10. Drunk Minami used to be fun Minami….it’s unbelievable what she does at that ramen eatery that they frequent albeit she’s drunk out of her mind by then. =O I felt so awkwardly sad for Ryoko~chan….a total cringe moment in the worst of ways….. Sena’s first “date” is officially ruined by that love hotel coupon…..the look on Ryoko’s face spoke a million emotions and yet we see her turn to Sena and put on a brave face when he chases after her. The placement of the two ramen bowls when there is only one…..so sad. At this point Sena goes a bit too far I thought…searing words and yet somehow justified. Do all boys love the pure girls??

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    • djv124 says:

      This was the roughest part of this episode. It kind of made me lose my empathy for Minami and also for Sena, since both of them were pretty awful to each other in that restaurant. In fact, this whole episode was kind of hard to find my heart rooting for anyone because so many bad things were on display here. But I get that they were both wounded and hurt in this scene, and when people get wounded and hurt, they often disregard those around them and lash out. I think in the end of this, I’m going to root maybe for Minami more than anyone else, even with this very mean display of disrespect towards Sena. The more I think about it, she just was super drunk and vulnerable and wanted to hide that vulnerability by lashing out at Sena. Sena put her in her place and cue the self-pity for both of them. I hope they don’t hurt each other too much more like that. My heart hurt to see both lost souls get even more lost by doing these things to each other. So sad.
      And no, not all boys love pure girls…they are often too much to deal with. I personally like a girl who can be a great friend and how can a girl you put on a pedestal because of her purity ever be a friend? The balance of power in the relationship will always be skewed. Girls that have been through some stuff in their lives are the best, because they know the meaning of humility. Those are the real keepers in this world.

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      • The drama was injected most potently during this scene and how we deal with hurt emotions and friendships when put to the test. Ohhhhh but there’s going to be much higher drama on the way, not in a similar vein but of a higher nature and consequence, the much needed ingredient for a total drama allure. I totally get what you’re saying, makes perfect sense. I’ve had one which was like puppy~love and another which was overly possessive and the absolute worst =/….trust, balance, that sounds nice!

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  11. Graphic language warning!! =O This drama is the one that made we LOVE ramen even more than I had previously…..one day I’m gonna eat in a cozy ramen place like that!! =D

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    • djv124 says:

      Graphic language? Maybe I missed that? Ramen….I wish I could find Ramen I could enjoy…just haven’t yet, but I hope someday that I will!

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      • Mmm…the things that Minami was saying to Sena about he and his date and what they “could be doing*…” A lot of Japanese isn’t as direct as in other languages but there were things said that no one would want to hear in that context, the kinda stuff that is woah blush worthy! Sometimes a simpler ramen is nice♥…. first fresh noodles and none of that freeze dried stuff ever that you find in instant ramen YUCK! Then a simple broth with maybe green onions, a thinly sliced luncheon meat and a bit of kamaboko is all that you need~* =).

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  12. Sena’s “snow/footsteps” analogy of Minami was painfully poetic. As Minami needs to sleep over at Momo’s place after what she’d done to Sena the conversation between Momo and Minami is soooo sweet!! And yet Sena waits up for Minami to show up….

    Liked by 1 person

  13. And then there’s the introduction of Hirosue Ryoko’s character. We mutually named her the “piano brat” back then!! 😄 Her blunt and cruel words towards Sena are unbelievable at this point, her personality so closed off and cold and it reflects in her piano playing. Technically sound and yet cold for others to hear. This drama really put Hirosue Ryoko on the map so to speak! Of course she would go onto becoming J-pop star as well as an accomplished actress. Not to mention the cover girl for countless magazines back in the 90’s.

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    • djv124 says:

      Who is “We?” You mentioned that you and somebody else dubbed her the Piano Brat? Just curious.
      Ryoko’s character is cold, but then again, she’s a teen right? Teens tend to have NO filter to what they say or think, so I pretty much expected she would pull something like that the second I saw how she kind of stormed into the practice room. Didn’t realize she would become a JPOP star! That’s cool…I am guessing her JPOP persona is the total opposite of this role?

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      • Oh! a girl friend and I used to “marathon” dramas back then where we’d sleep over at each others house and finish an entire series in a weekend or an single evening till the wee early hours of the morning at times where we’d just end sleeping in the next day! I used to watch a lot of dramas with my Mom too before she got into the Korean drama craze which took over much of Hawaii. Yup! the piano brat! We were like OMG she didn’t just say that!! I want to slap her!! Maybe not slap but just say something back! =P Oh yes Hirosue Ryoko was about as sweet as a J-music idol can be!! I have her music releases and her visual releases on VHS, I just haven’t been able to make them digital due to their copy guards =(. Some of her idol magazine appearances as well as some of her music too is here on this blog.

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  14. Of course you wonder why Saitou (Hirosue Ryoko) is that way…..the answer eventually comes. She was so mean to Sena =(….and yet he’s so supportive of her. And how awkward was that to have Ryoko~chan just happen to walk in and overhear that conversation during that moment =(.

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  15. And “animal” Shinji has spotted the sweet Ryokochan =O. He’s such the bad playboy here and even with Ryoko’s initial refusal you gotta “love” his persistence. To hear her character use that word* here was a bit OMG =P!

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    • djv124 says:

      Shinji came off to me in this scene as one of those ikemen types who try to get girls to come inside their host clubs in the back alleys of Ikebukuro and Shinjuku. But I do love his persistence in this scene. And I love how Ryoko put Shinji in his place pretty fast. When Shinji mentioned he played piano, did you see how Ryoko’s eyebrows kind of went up? Like she was suddenly interested….for a micro-faction of a second lol. Then it was back to being the pure girl that she is. Gotta respect her sticking to who she is. Meanwhile, Shinji’s girl was getting her hair cut right? Did I miss that? What a crazy dude to hit on Ryoko at the same time, if I’m not mistaken here!

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      • He’s so much going out of his element you get the feeling as his bold and brash behavior till now, albeit a tiny sample so far…is not on display in this scene where he comes across Ryoko~chan. What’s attractive about his character outside of him being promiscuous XD, is how confident he is….I know it’s acting but I’ve never met any guy with that air of confidence about him like ever. Oh and to be fair when you look like that, my mind lets my heart do most of the “thinking” =P.

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  16. And I want to eat ramen again! Sena makes it look sooooooo GOOD!~! We have a few authentic ramen shops here but I don’t in particular favor the overly oily type of broths.

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    • djv124 says:

      You know, when I was younger, there was this 99 cent ramen you could buy anywhere at any grocery store that was tomato flavored. It disappeared from store shelves a long time ago and there was no official reason given, it seems, for its disappearance. I probably ate enough of those tomato ramen packets when I was young to fill up the entire state of Rhode Island! That was the only ramen that to this day if it were around still, I would eat it at least once a week. It was THAT good!
      Ramen shops still have yet to impress me…but I’m still going to look for a good one next time I’m in Japan and remember to do so!

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      • Ehhhhh tomato ramen?? That sounds very interesting!! Our cliche growing up and still is the typical chicken or shrimp flavored packets =). Instant ramen was a staple for kids growing up here, probably still is for many….I wish I could find tomato ramen somewhere just to try it! Some of those ramen shops have like long lines formed before they open and then then run out of noodles before long…all freshly prepared in the early morning, you gotta love that! I hope you can find a good place.

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  17. Background soundtrack pulling you in yet? It will! CAGNET….

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    • djv124 says:

      It already has pulled me in and glued me to every scene in this dorama. Music speaks so much to me, and so far, this music is speaking volumes!

      Like

      • Cagnet was a match in heaven! Of course I will have much more to share~♥ when we’ve finished this drama!! Mood music, and it’ll really bring back memories after all is said and watched!

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  18. And there’s that important song again as Sena plays not knowing that Minami is outside listening…..♥. The scene when he opens the door on her drinking outside is so wonderful! And a perfect means for their feelings to reconcile after the worst of days behind them.

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    • djv124 says:

      Pretty sweet to see them reconcile with each other in this scene…but yet neither one actually say they are sorry for the other night. That kind of stubborness is a huge pet peeve of mine when I watch it in TV shows and movies, but I kind of get it in their case. And they did say they were sorry in a way…Minami brought Sena a beer and they toasted…all is well.

      Like

      • U~n it was done through gestures, love when you see Minami stop and go back to buy Sena a drink. I guess it’s a case where words weren’t directly necessary….like sometimes a friend and I can just look at one another and it’s like Awwwuh I’m sorry for calling you a slut last night without a word passing our lips =). But then again the word slut has become somewhat affectionate as in “you look amazing!!” =P

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  19. Sena and Minami’s conversation over a beer….. one of those heartwarming scenes, and do note the background music here as this series really perfected the method of matching so well the mood and type of scene to a specific background song, really! Soon you’re going to totally notice it!

    Like

  20. “Nagai~~~oyasumi……” and how the title of the drama came to be, I mean for the writer’s sake and Sena’s revealing thoughts here are endearing to Minami…..sweet!

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    • djv124 says:

      I thought “Oyasumi” had something to do with the word “Night?” But in this case it means Vacation? Omoshiroi!
      Totally beautiful however it’s meant here. One of the best scenes so far in these two episodes.

      Like

      • Un “yasumi” typically means a break or rest as it’s used mostly and also the idiomatic expression for “good-night…”, but in context it can also literally mean a “holiday” or “vacation” as Sena says it here. Love that the title of this drama actually is addressed literally here and YES how Sena says it to Minami is most endearing too.

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  21. OH! the wedding announcement..a person always knows when you’re hiding something!!! =P Still one of the most devastating scenes to have a funny intervention!! =O In Minami’s worst moment Sena eats his half of the announcement and him declaring the need to take medicine after ‘eating paper for the very first time’……funny! And yet you’re crying still…only a great drama can make one do that right! ^^*

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    • djv124 says:

      Or is everything okay? ha ha ha. I laughed so much at Sena eating the paper and Minami attacking him! Oh…you know what? I just realized what the dirty graphic word was that Minami used in the Ramen shop….I think I realized this just picturing Minami and Sena together, which I’m guessing is where this is all going, or so I deeply hope. They both are soooooo meant for each other, and I can see that as much as anyone else I’m sure by this episode. The fact that Sena wanted to protect her, waited for her to come home the other night…..I mean, who does that unless they feel something for the person?
      The only thing that was kind of ironic is how Sena is giving Minami life advice and protecting her but he needs help himself. I keep wondering who will save Sena from being JUST a music teacher that apparently everyone but himself thinks he can do better than? I hope Sena wakes up and realizes the gift he has in his fingers and composes some killer piano piece that we all get caught up in and cry to at the end of this series! Like Tokyo Sonata, but not so bittersweet!.

      Sorry, just riffing on how this is all going to end. I’m SO pumped for the next episode!

      Like

      • That was REALLY sweet~♥ how he waited up!! If only in real life there were a way to see our significant others when we’re not there LOL…no wait that’d be kinda creepy XD. You really get an early sense here you’re right! So so funny how this one’s ends and Sena eating the paper to protect Minami was fall out of your chair funny!~! …and yet soooo sweet~♥!~! You get this rush of two completely different emotions at this ending and YES it’s only going to get BETTER! ^^

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  22. Can’t wait for next week’s episode 3 right?! It will not disappoint as this drama will only get deeper and better and better…..!

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    • djv124 says:

      Once again, this is going to be a very painful week for me…..this dorama I want to binge watch so bad it hurttttts! This is SO good and I’m hooked already. Minami’s way of speaking makes me smile so much, and I love her I don’t give an F**** attitude. She’s too awesome, even if she is hard to root for completely at this point. Sena…well…we’ll see how he blossoms. And I’m curious how the other characters all factor into this. I can’t wait to see!

      Like

  23. philipleslie says:

    As before, really enjoyed Long Vacation. Plenty of theatrical-like dialogue to enjoy, especially in the early scene when all four are crammed together in the apartment. Love the idea of a Miss Downstream Yamanagara contest. The ramen scene was really good, and I loved when he described Ryoko as pure snow, comparing her to snow which had been trampled on.
    Looking forward to ep 3!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So great you’re able to watch along Philip! U~n the writing and characters are so so great in this series with many more surprises and drama to come! One of the most memorable analogies I think you’ll find in a drama not to mention the scene itself which really created a strong ruffle. The story, the characters, the music….this one’s gonna stay with you! ^^ O~tanoshimi~ni!

      Liked by 1 person

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