Long Vacation

by mo on 01/10/2009

Today I finally finished Long Vacation, one of the classics. A 1996 Fuji TV drama, starring Kimutaku (Kimura Takuya) as Senna-kun, opposite an older Minami (Yamaguchi Tomoko).

I actually saw the first 20 minutes of this show in Japan, and kept rewatching the first 20 minutes over and over for a couple years before actually continuing with the rest of the show.

The first 20 minutes are SO GOOD because they involve Minami, dressed up in Japanese bridal clothes, running through the streets. She ends up at Senna’s apartment panicked, looking for her groom (Senna is the groom’s roommate) to find out that her groom has run away, never to be seen again. A couple days later she moves in with Senna (surprise!) since she correctly concludes there must be an empty room in his apartment now, right…?

The story grows from there, and we watch Senna and Minami’s dysfunctional love/roommate relationship grow as the both pursue other interests, both love-wise and roommate-wise. Kimutaku is really not very convincing as a pianist, but that’s okay because he’s not really convinced he wants to be a pianist either. He’s astoundingly young in this show (I’m used to seeing Kimutaku on SMAPxSMAP, a good 10+ years later… now quite so fresh anymore) and has amazing chemistry with Yamaguchi Tomoko, who is totally crazy (obviously, judging by her moving habits) but fun and an interesting character.

Her craziness reminds me of the leading lady of Love Generation, another Kimutaku drama, this time opposite Matsu Takako, who also appears in Long Vacation as Ryoko, a shy withdrawn pianist. So to put this in SAT analogy terms…

Yamaguchi Tomoko : Long Vacation :: Matsu Takako : Love Generation

Except that Matsu Takako is also in Long Vacation.


If that wasn’t confusing enough, the other relationships in Long vacation can be quite complex. There were a lot of moments where I would pause and think, “Wait… so why is he giving his ex-girlfriend-slash-musical-competitor advice about how to date his ex-roommate-slash-love-interests’s brother who also happens to be his current roommate???”

But the whole thing was totally cute and 90’s. This was really right when the whole drama thing was starting to take off. Ahh classics.

To make the whole relationship thing either more clear or totally more confusing, I made a graph of it. Surprise! Click to view more closely.

You can watch Long Vacation online here at mysoju.

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