Pretty Proofreader (2016) – JDrama

Profile
Drama: Jimi ni Sugoi! Koetsu Garu Kono Etsuko (地味にスゴイ! 校閲ガール・河野悦子)
Network: NTV
Episodes: 10
Release Date: October 5 – December 7, 2016
Runtime: Wednesday 22:00-23:00
TV Ratings: 12.4%
Language: Japanese
Country: Japan

Plot
A girl who dreams of becoming a fashion editor at Lassy magazine ends up getting a job as a proofreader at Keibon Company.

Main Cast
Satomi Ishihara – Etsuko Kono
Masaki Suda – Yukito Orihara
Tsubasa Honda – Toyoko Morio
Munetaka Aoki – Hachiro Kaizuka

Review:
Yay! Absolute gem of a drama! I love Japanese dramas because they are short and sweet, but sometimes there are dramas where I wish was a little longer (or maybe with the special or season 2). This is one of them.

I love Kono, she was a happy little ball of optimism and energy that brought sunshine to everyone around her. I love how she is always smiling and passionate with her work despite the challenges, and not having a lot of experience. I also liked what she said that she is really learning a lot about proofreading, and it will help her in honing her skills when she gets to be the editor of Lassy someday. I like that she is able to see an opportunity even though some people may think her job is not what she really wanted.

You weighed your work as a proofreader and the chance of being transferred to Lassy, and you chose proofreading. And that’s because you know that you belong to the Proofreading Department. If you had treated your job as a proofreader as a filler until you could become an editor at Lassy, I would have looked down on you. But even though you have another dream, you still put everything into the work in front of you.That’s why everyone in the Proofreading Department took you in. You aren’t half-hearted.

Kaisuka to Kono, episode 10

Kono was also not afraid to speak up and do more than the work requires her to do. I didn’t really know what a proofreader’s job really is aside from checking for mistakes. I didn’t think and most certainly her colleagues also didn’t think to do fact checking and recommend if the plot or the book didn’t make sense. At one point, I was wondering if she was crossing the line and doing an editor’s role. But I guess if I were the editor like Kaizuka, instead of getting angry or jealous at the proofreader, I would appreciate her frankness and her suggestions because it will also make the editor learn and do a better job. I particularly liked the episode where Kono helped Ms Fujiwa shine. She’s the typical strict, stick in the mud colleague who hates change, but Kono was able to melt her heart and inspire her.

Since Ms Kono came, our PD has been changing bit by bit. This dark basement room used to be so dull, and you used to feel inferior and lacked confidence in your work. But little by little, you have gained that confidence…Our job is to find the mistakes in books and correct them, but when it comes to our colleagues, we find their strengths and learn to accept each other, instead of looking for faults.

Mr Takehara to the Proofreading Department

I loved each episode since they showed different types of writers and books. The first case opened with Mr Hongo’s book. I thought that was it, but he ended up being a significant character in the latter episodes. I also liked the episodes about the aspiring writer (episode 6), Takehara’s story (episode 8), episode 9 where they showed how there are some jobs that we take for granted but are necessary to our daily lives.

More than the story of Kono and her proofreading journey, this drama also tackled about dreams. We see Yukito, a writer who’s having a writing slump and trying to figure out what he wants to write about. We see Morio who used to be jealous of Kono and half-heartedly doing her role as assistant editor of Lassy Magazine. Then we hear the Japanese restaurant owner’s story of wanting to pursue this passion. I love the message of this drama, that we are allowed to have a lot of dreams, some may happen, some may not. As long as we keep doing our work well, while pursuing our own dreams then we can still have a happy and fulfilling lives.

You just said that you couldn’t make your dream come true, but you’re still writing novels, aren’t you? Then you’re still in the process of pursuing your dream.

Kono to Ishigawa, episode 10

For the romance, at first I was expecting Yukito and Kono to end up together. I thought they were so cute together. But as the drama progressed, I kept wondering that Kono liked about him, other than he’s handsome. He seemed boring and didn’t know what he wanted, so very different from her. Kono seemed to have more fun (less puppy love look) when she and Kaizuka are together. They are both cheerful and passionate and they matched well. Likewise, Morio and Yukito’s energy seemed more matched. They were more reserved and calm, and understood each other more. So while I’m surprised that the 4 leads didn’t end up together I’m actually happy about it.

In this world, some people’s dreams come true, but others don’t. Some jobs stand out, but others don’t. Among them, there are those whose dreams have come true, but the reality is not what they imagined. But no matter how they feel about it, or what kind of job they’re doing, giving everything to the work in front of them is the only way to turn the ordinary and repetitive daily life into something truly irreplaceable.

Yukito’s monologue for his non-fiction book.

Overall I loved this drama. I think Kono really suits being a proofreader than an editor but I’m rooting for her whichever career she chooses!

Rating: 9/10

This Guy is the Biggest Mistake in My Life (2020)

Profile:
Drama: This Guy is the Biggest Mistake in My Life (この男は人生最大の過ちです)
Network: TV Asahi, ABC
Episodes: 10
Release Date: January 18 – March 21, 2020 (TV Asahi) / January 19 – March 22, 2020 (ABC)
Runtime: Saturday 26:30 (TV Asahi) / Sunday 23:35 (ABC)
Country: Japan

Plot:
Sato was mourning the loss of her dog Chocolate when a guy hit on her in a bar. She gets angry and scolds him. He was shocked and immediately fell in love with her. The next day, he turns out to be his boss and calls him into her office. He tells her to treat her like her slave and follows her everywhere.

Main Cast
Mokomichi Hayami – Kyoichi Amagi
Airi Matsui – Yui Sato
Michiko Tanaka – Sae Mishima
Jingi Irie – So Natori
Yuta Hiraoka – Koshiro Aida

Review:
I really liked the first 5 episodes (or up until their trip to the ryokan.) The drama was laugh out loud funny and light. But the second half felt different, with the addition of Sae and Aida and got a little boring.

This is a manga adaptation so i threw all logic and real life out of the window. The guy is creepy and stalkerish but he sounds sincere and seems to really like Sato. He just needed to tone down his obsessive ways or learn to control himself and listen to Sato. Moco was so good at portraying Amagi. He never got angry or raised his voice. He loved her for who she was, gave her everything she wanted and more. I think if he actually stopped stalking her and treated her properly, Sato would have fallen head over heels for him too. I know it’s wrong, but I laughed every time Amagi holds on to and smells her ankles. And that episode where he brought a whole feast to her office so she can have dinner. The food spelled out her name and the dessert was a cake with her face. ROTFL!!!

I wasn’t really sure how Sato really felt which was disappointing because the show kept emphasizing that people need to be honest with their own feelings. Half of the time, it felt like Sato liked him back but just got creeped out of his behavior, sometimes it felt like she was pitying him, then she would burst and slam him to the floor. “Stop following me!” But she kept joining him for dinner, talking to him, cared for him. When Sato though Amagi died, she laid out her honest feelings to Amagi but when he woke up, she denied it and beat him up again. Between the two, I actually felt bad for Amagi and wished he wises up and leave Sato to find another nicer woman.

Good thing this drama was short. 10 episodes at 20 mins (or less) per episode. So this was a breezy watch. There’s not much character growth though and nothing really happened story-wise. The guy just kept pursuing Sato. Sato will feel bad, think that maybe she likes him, then will beat up Amagi And stalk off. Amagi gets turned on and continue to pursue her. Repeat 10x.

I didn’t like Sae. I thought she was an unnecessary nuisance to the story – meant to make Sato feel jealous. And she didn’t. or so I think. It felt like she was jealous or is it more like being possessive because Amagi’s affections are not centered on her?? (But she still won’t accept his feelings).

A part of me thinks she should have just chosen Aida then Amagi will stop chasing her. (But Aida is also a little bit weird).

I didn’t expect the ending (is that it???). I thought the time alone would have made Sato realize that she likes Amagi but when Amagi showed up and gave her the curative medicine, she just got angry again and beat him up. I saw the medicine and thought “Awwww. he really likes her!!” It was the sweetest proposal I’ve seen. Can’t she appreciate his efforts even if she turns down his affections?

Another laugh out loud moment was the realization that Amagi was in every picture of her trip. It was so dang hilarious!!!

Do I want a season 2? Not really.

Rating: 7/10