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Review: ‘Ohitorisama’ (episode 2)

November 4, 2009

I snuck in the second episode of Ohitorisama today! There was absolutely no time for it, but I’ve been having a trying night (sliced my finger for one… I’ve almost mastered the nine-finger typing technique by now). That always calls for drama… of the Asian type, of course.

800px-Ohitorisama-banner

I sincerely love Akiyama’s enjoyment of being alone. I’m the kind of person who needs people around me, but I value solitude as well. I think it’s true that many people would think a person on her own might appear lonely, but sometimes it’s very satisfying because you don’t have to think about anyone else. Selfish? Maybe, but it doesn’t make it less true!

Really though, this show has a spark to it that I can hardly put my finger on. Maybe it’s humanity? They’ve added so many things that aren’t necessary individually, but as a whole you can get a clearer picture of everyone and their personalities.

Of course, Ohitorisama isn’t without it’d cliche characters, but they often act as comic relief more than anything else. I sense a few expected story lines ahead, but if this show stays on track with its current laugh-out-loud goodness, I think I’ll be okay with that. I mean, Ohitorisama isn’t much of a comedy, but it works the human character well enough that you can’t help but chuckle once in a while.

Less ambiguous thoughts are beyond this point! Character analyzing happens. Not too many spoilers.

How cute are the two main characters? I think they’re the best.

Akiyama is one of my favorite-favorite fictional people right now. She’s a beautiful, strong woman, but she’s not perfect. She is not cold, but it’s not like is she is warm either. She’s just herself. I’m so sick of J-dramas (and any other dramas, for that matter) giving women the weakest roles. It’s like the Victorian era rehashed or something. On the other hand, I hate MEGA!!ULTRA!!!! independent-woman depictions equally. There is a happy medium. Akiyama is the perfect compromise. She doesn’t NEED nor WANT a man, but that isn’t to say she never wants to be in a relationship.

Not to mention that she’s in her thirties and she’s clearly awesome. Of course, she worries she is taken as an old woman (she doesn’t want anyone assuming she’s an old maid), but she doesn’t consider herself a reject of society or anything.

In essence, I simply love how Akiyama does not a depict the stereotypical thirty-something single career woman.

Likewise, Kamisaka is just one of those characters that doesn’t quite fit into a box. He is close to being your run-of-the-mill weakling, but he’s somehow more complex than he seems. Even the fact that he’s orphaned (partly? In whole?) doesn’t make me mad. Perhaps it’s the way he doesn’t gripe or moan or seem particularly martyr-ized about his hardships. He’s simply a guy who doesn’t know his place in the world. Furthermore, he’s pretty poor. But it’s not like he’s achieved beggar-status. I guess you could fault Kamisaka for being too cheery for all this, but his outlook is rather balanced by his lack of confidence.

Maybe that’s what makes this believable, or at least enjoyable. For every character’s good point, there is a bad point to even things out (and vice versa). However, none of it is tragic or dramatic. Even if things are exaggerated for comedic effect, it’s doesn’t hit you in the face.

For me, a really good scene in this episode was when Akiyama realizes she should buy some self-defense items. Although she feels awkward buying them, she doesn’t lie and say it’s for someone else. You KNOW that many dramas would take this as a “funny” moment and give the character a pointless complex or something–totally unnecessary. Even when she runs into Kamisaka later, she doesn’t really get flustered about telling him what she bought. What seriously made all of this cute/amusing was NOT all the pointless embarrassing stuff that could have happened (seriously, self-defense is no joke, so I’m glad they didn’t go there even if just for that reason). Instead, it was the easy honesty of Kamisaka who pulled out his self-defense item. And the amusement didn’t come from him HAVING the item, but his sweet, matter-of-factness.

I’m going on too much, but I basically want to get closer to understanding why this show is standing out to me. What do you think if you’re watching? Does this show seem at all different in any sense, or is it just me?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. j-pop fan permalink
    November 18, 2009 6:25 pm

    Everything about this show is average and predictable to me, but I really like the lead actress and adore her character. For me, she’s what’s making the show standout :]

  2. angel_23 permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:41 pm

    i agree with u on the strong and weak points of the characters…i find myself also drawn to the show also…though i’m not a j drama fan…it’s good to see a good drama once in a while and this is one of them!

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