Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Drama Review: My Girl

This drama is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I was really excited when I heard about this at first because it’s Aiba’s first lead in a drama! I’d never really thought he’d be a great actor beforehand, but I really think he did a bang up job. The little girl who co-stars with him is absolutely adorable too, so if you like sweet family stories with cute children, this drama’s really great. While it wasn’t usually terribly exciting, the warm-hearted aspects of the show made it a pleasure for me to watch.

Masamune Kazama (Aiba Masaki) is a young man whose dream is to become a photographer, although he isn’t really progressing in his job as he often lets people walk all over him. He dearly misses his high school sweetheart, Tsukamoto Youko (Yuka), from six years ago, who he had a great relationship with until she suddenly told him she was moving to America and wouldn’t see him again. Masamune has always been waiting for her, until he suddenly finds out that Youko had passed away. Through a twist of fate, he meets a sweet little girl named Koharu (Ishii Momoka), who he quickly and unexpectedly finds out is his daughter! With Youko gone, Koharu is left to Masamune, who has no idea how to be a father. The show follows the story of Masamune and Koharu, who develop a close bond despite the many obstacles they face.

From the very beginning I knew I would like this drama, as I tend to enjoy the cutesy family stories. Masamune has believable flaws and continuously grows throughout the show, and despite his clumsy ways he always has good intentions and is a loveable character. Koharu is one of the cutest girls I’ve ever seen and she’s so sweet, polite, and mature for her young age. The relationship between father and daughter is so heart warming and entertaining to watch; Masamune is completely clueless about things like cooking or sewing, and his tough work life gets in the way of a lot of things, but Koharu adores him nevertheless. I really felt like Aiba and Momoka had a great bond off-camera, and the chemistry translates really well in the show. The emotional moments are effective too – both father and daughter are still dealing with the loss of Youko and the rough social transition that comes with a family, among other things. I shed a couple of tears throughout this show because, like I said, I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories, but the majority of the time the drama is light hearted and leaves you smiling.

Having said that, I don’t feel there was that much more to the show other than its cuteness. The plot isn’t too deep or complicated, and some of the acting did bother me a little. Don’t get me wrong, I adored Momoka, but sometimes her character was a little too polite and mature, to the point of it being unrealistic. I was really impressed with Aiba, but I could also sort of sense that he is still a fledgling actor. The music was nice, but not spectacular, and there were several supporting characters I didn’t care for (except for Tomoya Sensei <3). Also, the ending was a little unsatisfying for me – and I mostly mean literally the last ten seconds or so of the show. I also just sort of wished something a little bit more perilous and exciting had happened at some point, but this simply isn’t that kind of drama. Just don’t expect too much and enjoy it for what it is, and the show can still be a very pleasurable experience.

Ultimately, this drama is full of fluff, and I really loved it for that very reason. If you’re looking for something serious or full of action, then stay away from this one, as it might be too happy-go-lucky for you. If you don’t mind loveable characters, a cute plot, and many warm-hearted moments, though, then definitely consider this drama!


  1. Oh I wanted to watch this but I just haven't got around to it yet where did you watch it? How were the english subs?

  2. I actually haven't watched this one with subs! That's what's really nice about it if you're learning Japanese - the show is simple enough that you can understand the story pretty well without knowing much Japanese.

    I sometimes watch Japanese TV through Keyhole or occasionally I'll buy a DVD for a drama if I come across it, but there are also definitely ways to download shows as well if you do a little searching. I recommend Livejournal for a lot of it :)

  3. u may try here.. am watching now :)kawaii~

  4. Not much more than cuteness? This drama is a total cultural critique of Japanese family life, their standards for work, childrearing, and the controversy involving dedication to your work (culturally valued as the bread and butter of adult life) vs. putting your child first. This drama both reflects the current Japanese culture, explores serious controversies within it, and opens up many questions to the audience concerning Japanese society. My husband is Japanese and he saw endless flaws in the drama, representing things about Japanese culture that the drama seemed to condone, but which he seriously disagrees with (ie: chasing your dreams and leaving your child behind, or over involvement of extended family in the raising of a child, and the discrimination of single parents, especially women). Overall it's a very provoking work of cultural critique with many layers, the "cuteness" being only the thinnest and uppermost of them.