Second Love (2015)

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Drama: Second Love (セカンド・ラブ)
Network: TV Asahi
Episodes: 7
Release Date: February 6 – March 20, 2015
Runtime: Friday 23:15 – 24:15
Country: Japan

Plot
Kei is a 28 year old contemporary dancer, who used to win awards and worked in a foreign dance company, but is now struggling to to pass auditions. He is currently working as a loader in a fishing company. One day he failed another audition and wanted to die, but he sees Yui Nishihara in the middle of a bridge, stretching her arms to the sun like a goddess and was captivated by her.

Meanwhile, Yui is in her 30’s and a teacher at prestigious female high school. She is having an affair with an older colleague who has a wife and a child. She also lives and supports her mother. She is not happy with her current situation. Kei goes to the school where Yui works and hands her his name and number. Yui took courage and met up with Kei. What happens next will change both of their lives.

Cast
Kazuya Kamenashi – Kei Taira
Kyoko Fukada – Yui Nishihara

Review
Yay! I actually tried watching different Korean/taiwanese dramas but couldn’t find the drama that will get me hooked. I tried watching Marriage Not Dating – the lead girl was annoying and Hotel King – Lee Dong Wook is gorgeous but i heard the story is bad, so I didn’t continue. I also tried watching 2 other taiwanese dramas but they were too cheesy.
So I ended up watching Second Love. I saw one reviewer totally trash this drama but i actually liked this drama a lot. I have expected japanese dramas to be more fast paced than the korean dramas so while i was suprrised that they were already sleeping together by the end of episode one and moving in together by end of episode 2 (or 3), it was okay for me since i know this show also has 7 episodes.
I think despite the relationship that seems fast forwarded, it was still able to tell the complete story. Boy meets girl, fall in love, move in together, boy becomes busy, girl feels bad, they fight and break up, years later they meet up and got back together.

the story was realistic. the guy is younger and girl is older – obviously they are at different points of their lives. The guy is still trying to jumpstart his career while the girl is settled and wants a family. of course they will clash. I dont blame Kei – he has worked so hard to redeem himself as a dancer and be respected and earn money that if i were his girlfriend, i would have encouraged him too and supported him coz i also want him to succeed. But i also understand Yui – she wants to settle down and Kei can still earn money and dance in Japan, why does he have to go overseas to work and leave her? But i love that both of them were mature and sensible. Even though it was painful, they knew they had to let each other go, especially for Yui, since she wasn’t selfish to Kei and at the same time, she didn’t break like her mother.

As for Kei, sometimes i wanted to shout at him. I dont know if it’s just bad acting but Kazuya had the same expression in almost every scene, i dont know what he is feeling or thinking most of the time. Kei loves Yui and yet ignored her when he became busy. and he kept insisting that he loves her and without Yui he wouldn’t be here right now (is it really love or he is just thankful)? it should not have come as a surprise to him when Yui broke up with him and refused to go with him. When the actor cried, that’s the only time i saw that Kei actually loved Yui too. But alas, i thought it wasn’t the right time for them.
A year later Kei comes back and realizes that work he did was great but it wasn’t meaningful because Yui was not beside him. he found her and begged her to take him back and i’m glad Yui resisted. kei can’t just come back as if nothing happened. Yui has her own life now, one that she is actually happy with and it doesn’t make sense for her to drop it and follow kei. (she didn’t do it before so why should she do it now?) this happened in episode 6 so i was actually scared that they will not end up together. They said their last goodbyes and went their separate ways for the second time. Super happy that by episode 7 they were finally together. at the right time. at the right place. at the right mindset.

There were several side characters that were both interesting and frustrating.

First is Yui’s mother. I hated her for being so dependent on Yui and being so selfish, not wanting Yui to have her own life. but it was nice to see that in the end, when Yui was sad and broken hearted, it was her mother who helped pick up the pieces and protected her.

Second is Naginagi, the older guy Yui had an affair with. First off, what the heck did Yui see in him? He’s not even good looking! Second, while he was nice enough to “hand” Yui over to Kei, i could understand when he got terrifying at Yui. His wife and kids left him and now that he’s free to be with Yui, Yui doesn’t want him anymore. And he sees Yui looking so sad. If i were Nagi, i would probably feel angry too. and i realized he must have really loved Yui that much. I’m glad they became friends in the end.

Now, on the other hand, Kei’s ex girlfriend is an annoying know it all meddling b*tch. I can’t believe the gall of her, talking to Yui like that. and I wish Kei was able to talk to Ayako and tell her to back off. He should know Ayako is ruining his relationship. Though i know Ayako means well, she still does not have the right to break Yui like that.

Fourth, the older lady teacher with the younger boyfriend. I thought she was cool! i’m glad Yui had someone she can talk to. I would also love a cool “sister” like her.

Lastly, the school girl who likes Yui. I honestly think she was unnecessary to the whole story. Like who cares about her?

Oh and i also found out that the two leads are actually dating in real life! That must be why there were sleeping scenes in every episode. Either i have not watched a lot of Jdramas lately or this was an exception.

Overall, this was a simple fast paced story – dont think too much about it and just enjoy the story and romance.

Kahogo no Kahoko eps. 9-10 (end)

I have mixed feelings about the last two episodes.

First, is sadness because Baaba died. I believe she was the strength that tied thr whole family together. She was wise and cheerfuland i will so miss her. I feel that she deserved a better family though because her children keeps fighting, are jealous of each other and selfish. It was only when she died that they kind of acknowledge and remembered the old times when they were kids and enjoyed each others company.

I also feel sad for Jiiji. He seems so lost without Baaba. Throughout the series they portrayed him as this hot tempered funny Jiiji so it was nice to see another side of him.

I feel frustration for Tamaki and Mamoru. So we find out they were both weak people and got married to support each other. But things got hard and they bailed and got divorced. What?!? They could have just separated first without divorcing. Why did they rush it only to make up in the end? But i think the purpose of the whole break up was for them to realize and reset. They got married because they thought they needed each other. But now they realize that they cnat live each other and they are getting married again. This time with better intentions.

I didnt like how they resolved Ito’s storyline. Upto the last few scenese she was this big rebelling brat who didnt care for her family. Then she had that showdown with Kahoko preventing her from selling her cello and her parents dragging her off the van. A few scenese later she make this one big apology and everythings fine. I dont think so. She hurt a lot of people because she was hurting herself. But that did not excuse her behavior. She shouldnt have been given a free pass. In a way i actually liked that she was veering away from music. I thought it was just pressure for her but i guess she really loved it in the end.

Izumi didnt really change much. She was still sulky when things dont go her way. What i have come to appreciate is no matter how strict or mean she looks she only has best intentions and she will come and rescue everyone from disaster like a supermom. I loved how she handled Baaba’s passing and Kahoko’s near disastrous wedding. As for the dad, he is speaking up more and i hope he continous to be the sane one in the family.

Biggest dismay of thr show is Hajime and Kahoko’s wedding. I feel it didnt makr sense that they will go and get married so soon aftet they met, and so soon after Baaba’s death. It feels like they were rushing to be together whrn they have a whole lifetime to do it. And i disagree with what Hajimr said when he was trying to convince Kahoko to continue the wedding. He said something like it is the right time to get married so there will be joy in the family. That’s BS. If this was real life i will say Hajime is smooth talking Kahoko. So no, i object to the wedding and didnt feel family that it happened.

I felt happiness however that Kahoko finally found her true calling, which is to take care of other people as much as the love she has received from her fmaily over the years. Seems correct that The overprotected is now the one protecting. She seemed to like kids so its nice to see her interacting with them

I did feel that it was unfair for Baaba to pass on the burden of continuing to take care of family in Kahoko’s hands. She is too young and still too naive. Also surprising that Baaba didnt leave it to Izumi. I think its because Kahoko has more heart than her mom even though she still makes mistakes her earnestness makes up for it. And it was correct that Kahoko and Hajime moved to the big house to take care of Jiiji seeing that she became the new Baaba. So nice to see her doing the housework a year later. For a second i thought she would be pregnant lol.

Overall it was a happy ever after for everyone. I wouldnt say i was 100% satisfied with the ending but it was still a good way to end the show. Im looking forwardto see more of the lead actress shows in the future. I hope she plays a different character than Kahoko.

Kahogo no Kahoko ep. 8

I didn’t like this episode mainly for two things. One, the two younger sisters are terrible!! i understand they have their own problems, but how can they just say that they can’t help shoulder their mom’s funeral expenses and take care of their father? if i were the parents i would feel bad that my own children do not care of me. as for Izumi, as the eldest sister, i think she is right to take charge as she seems to be the rational one and is the head of the family but i dont like how she always sulks if she doesn’t get her way. she can just work with her sisters or convince them to help rather than drop everything and say she will never help out. that’s exactly what she did with Kahoko and now she is doing it to her own sisters too. hay. i feel like this family is hopeless. Even Ito’s actions is just too pathetic. i thought after the party she would at least have a little heart, but no, she just kept on rebelling. to the point of going to Hajime, fully knowing he just broke up with her cousin to ask him out. i think she doesn’t really like Hajime, she just wants him to get back at Kahoko. I’m glad Hajime is smart enough to known and put her in her place. The other thing i didn’t like is the sudden progression of Hajime and Kahoko’s relationship. hasn’t it been just a few weeks since they met, dated, broke up and now they suddenly decided to get married? that’s absurd! Kahoko does not even know what she wants, she can’t even decide for herself, now she thinks she can just go and get married and be fine since they love each other and she will just support Hajime? if this was real life, they would have broken up and divorced in less than a year. A little backtrack, how they ended up in a marriage proposal is Kahoko finding the orphanage where Hajime used to live and them meeting his mother. I didn’t expect Hajime’s reaction to seeing his mom. It was definitely full of resentment and anger, while the mom was full of regrets. I wished that somehow they could mend their relationship. not as quick as Hajime and Kahoko’s relationship but at least Hajime will be open to talking to her now and then, not totally cold and bitter. I’m still sad that Baaba is dying and I dont think there’s a way for her to get better as all the doctors are saying it’s useless and the last scene we find out that Baaba collapse. I hope if she ever dies, that they won’t show it at all or I will bawl my heart out.. the way Jiiji was crying. I haven’t been posting updates on the father’s side of the family because they are just plain boring. Oh i liked the marriage hunting party scenese that Kahoko went yo. Thr guys are hilarious though its not as if Kahoko is really a catch if you think about it. And funny that Hajime and Kahoko meets in one of the parties.

Kahogo no Kahoko ep 7

Two main things were tackled during this episode.. How will the family discover Baaba’s sickness and Kahoko and her mom’s continuing silent war.

Lets start with Baaba. I felt it was quite unfair for her to tell Kahoko not to disclose her sickness to the family.. That is such a big burden to keep, esp since the last time she tried to hide a secret.. Her cousin lost her chance of playing cello again.

Meanwhile, kahoko has no one to confide in but Hajime who has been such a nice guy supporting her and listening to her. He even went to Baaba’s house since Baaba wanted to meet him and distracted Jiiji when the conversation but too difficult.

Hajime also joined Kahoko to go to Ito’s house and wait for her. It is Ito’s bday and Baaba wanted the family to have a nice meal and Kahoko is trying so hard to convince her to attend her own bday party which she rejected. I am really annoyed with Ito. I hope something bad happens to her so she would realize she is being such a b*tch.

Theres more family problems as we see Tamaka and her husband have marriage troubles. Turns out they married because they thought they could help each other si ce both are week. Tamaki shoplifts when her asthma acts up while her husband is a drunk.

Poor Kahoko. Her bag gets heavier as she takes more and more family problems. And i feel bad seeing her try to put abig smile on her face as if her family is not falling apart.

Surprisingly the silent war between mom and Kahoko did not become such a big deal this episode. But it looks like it’s her mom who is having it harder than Kahoko as Kahoko is preoccupied with other problems. I think mom is slowly finding the balance between getting too interfering and to learning when to stop and ask questions when needed. I also liked the mom for stepping up and supporting Kahoko in this episode. I hope she is finally seeing Kahoko is not as useless as she thinks she is but is actually very strong girl.

Case in point, Kahoko worked really hard to hit the ball to buy Ito the frog.. It wasnt the teddy bear but i thought it was such a sincere effort for her to do it for a cousinwho is not worth it. Im shocked that Ito is still cold hearted and still told everyone that she didnt consider them as her family. what nerve!!! If i wad the mom i would have slapped her and make her leave the house. That ungrateful kid.

The family meal was such a disaster. Ito washer usual self, which Izumi agreed and said i dont like you for ridiculing my daughter and thinking youre always better than her. Of course that trigfered Ito’s mom to defend Ito and tell Izumi that she is the arrogant one. Then Tamaki and husband starts fighting. Not to mention the endless interrogation of Izumi with Hajime and how he doesnt have a good future and Izumi doesnt like him for Kahoko.

When all hell was breaking loose, Kahoko couldnt stand it and scolded her family.. And ran away.

After kahoko ran away, Baaba finally had the courage to tell everyone that she is dyingand Kahoko was just helping them have a good dinner.

Hajime ran after Kahoko who started scolding him about the importanceof family etc until Hajime got so angry that they are so different and they should breka up . Which Kahoko agreed. I think Kahoko was totally wrong here. She was forcing Hajime about family family family when he clearly was uncomfortable. She should have listened more and supported him rather than forcing her opinions on him. Hence i didnt feel an ounceof pity when she cried after Hajime broke uo with her. She needs to wake up and realize everything is not always about her . Hajime has being nothing but so good to her.. Supporting her, listening to her, giving her advice yet she took him for granted. I wohld love to see her grovel and ask forgiveness in the next episode.