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Dekichatta Kekkon: Shotgun Marriage


There are about 12 million dramas about marriage. But the one with a combination of the most funny moments and intense stares, would have to be Dekichatta Kekkon (Shotgun Marriage) from 2001.

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Chiyo-chan (Hirosue Ryoko), sleeps with Ryuunosuke (Takenouchi Yutaka) one night, and they don’t talk again… until she realizes she’s pregnant. Ryuunosuke resigns himself to marry her, and hilarity ensues when the two of them attempt to become a couple, face Chiyo’s overprotective and potentially violent father, and deal with the antics of Reina, Ryuunosuke’s stalker, who befriends his completely ridiculous mother.

Meanwhile, Chiyo’s older sister is at wit’s end putting up with a 10 year relationship with Abe Hiroshi’s character, who will NOT propose. But he can give a damn good massage. On the side, there is the slutty friend of Chiyo’s, who keeps throwing herself at Tsumabuki Satoshi’s character, who is extremely tempted, but keeps quoting his grandfather’s conservative advice about love and sex, all in his grandfather’s Kyuushuu-ben accent (or wherever he was supposed to be from). And Chiyo’s doctor, who is hopelessly naive and enthusiastic about everything (especially Chiyo’s pregnancy) to cheerleader proportions, falls hard for Chiyo’s sister.

d-addicts had a relationship chart already, but it was in Japanese and very wordy, so here’s the translation:

And now a couple of screenshots.

Chiyo, realizing she is pregnant and her father will never allow her to marry Ryuunosuke. Crap!
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Ryuunosuke. Asking the dudes for advice, and then not listening to it:
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Abe Hiroshi. “Marriage, for a guy, is the END OF THE WORLD.” Says the guy in the 10 year relationship. And man, wtf is up with your hair.
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The doctor, with his unbridled enthusiasm, out of proportion to the situation.
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Yeah Chiyo, you’d best be listening to their advice. Look, Tsumabuki Satoshi is even wrinkling his eyebrow at you.
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More groups of 3 people sitting in a line. As usual, Abe Hiroshi is complacent, Tsumabuki Satoshi is sincere, and Ryuunosuke has some decision regarding Chiyo to deal with, in which he will have good intentions but everything will spin out of control. Just the way it is.
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Overall the show is pretty funny. Eventually, the baby becomes more important to the story, and it takes on a little bit of a touching/serious tone, but still, the two leads are great together, and the other characters keep things lively and ridiculous. This is the first time I’ve seen Hirosue Ryoko and liked her, and Takenouchi Yutaka was certainly way less sketchy of a dude in this show than in Long Vacation.

Other fun fact: Hirosue Ryoko herself, a couple of years after starring in this show, had her own dekichatta kekkon, when she became pregnant and proceeded to marry Takahiro Okazawa in 2004. The two divorced last year, according to Tokyograph.

This drama might be a good older drama to check out, especially in moments when you need to get your Abe Hiroshi fix (or, your < insert favorite wildly popular star among this cast here, since they're all really famous > fix)

And finally, one last gratuitous screencap of Abe Hiroshi:
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SOS: Strawberry on the Shortcake


When you have a piece of strawberry shortcake, do you eat the strawberry on top first, or last?

SOS (Strawberry on the Shortcake) is the story of a total creepster, Irie-kun. In the first couple of episodes he does delightful things such as:

  • Tries to shoplift, but fails to work up the courage
  • Thinks about killing himself, but fails to work up the courage
  • Mail-orders a knife, brings it to school, and threatens some bullies
  • Steals his teacher’s bra from the drying laundry at her home
  • He meets Yui, a strange girl who seems to be following him, to learn that she will be his new sister when their single parents wed. Yui, played by Fukuda Kyoko, is equally selfish, greedy, creepy and annoying — in short, she and Irie are a perfect match.

    SOS is from 2001, so Tackey (Mr. Creepster Irie) is a little bit young. Up until this point, I’d entirely managed to avoid Tackey (Takizawa Hideaki) dramas, and so I knew him merely as his 2006 self, where I saw him appear as part of his music duo (courtesy of Johnny & Associates, Inc.), Tackey and Tsubasa. They frequented TV programs and terrorized the nation with their song “Venus”:

    Anyway, let’s get back to the point. Preventing Irie and Yui from their psuedo-incestuous relationship are two supporting characters, who thankfully save the show. Sawamura, Irie’s childhood friend, who has had a longtime crush on him, gets into a dating situation with Irie because he is too passive to ever say no. Eventually, when she takes him to a love hotel and he uh… fails to perform, she figures out that he’s really after Yui (before he does) and decides to turn her efforts to helping out with that, rather than being bitchy about the loss.

    Meanwhile, Yui has a crush on their classmate, Saeki-sempai, who is actually 20 years old (and still in high school) because he is hopelessly in love with his teacher (the same teacher Irie-kun stole the underwear from). So now Yui’s jealous of her teacher (and even attacks her at one point) and Irie is jealous of Saeki on several levels, and suddenly this show has teacher/student relationship and the pseuodo-incest relationship. Things just keep getting better.

    The show keeps going, Irie invents a fake character, Hirase Ai, and sends fake letters back and forth to her to mislead Yui, Yui plays sick, they both continue to be greedy, deceptive, obsessive, and rather disturbed, while their teacher remains completely confused as to whether she likes Saeki or not, while managing to be the blandest character of them all.

    The whole thing gets more and more complicated/stupid, so I drew a graph to help out. Notice the unrequited love progression (the thick red arrows), starting at Sawamura and continuing all the way to the teacher. Those red arrows, are really the main problem this show deals with.

    But what is this whole strawberry business? The whole show, other than resting emotionally on the line, which runs through Irie’s head several times per episode, “That’s why I won’t forget you,” is built on a solid philosophical base: the question, “If you have a piece of strawberry shortcake, and you like the strawberry on top the best, do you eat the strawberry first, or last?”

    Throughout the show we learn the answer each character would give. Turns out, Sawamura and Irie-kun would eat the strawberry last, because they like it, and Saeki and Yui would eat the strawberry first, because they like it. Really deep, I know. Gives Socrates a run for his money.

    So SOS kind of sucked. The two supporting characters kept it from being a total disaster, but I’ve never seen another show where the two leads were both so disgusting. However, after a few episodes, it was like watching a train wreck and I needed to see this disaster through to the end. And hey, the show made good use of ABBA.


    Smile Episode 7: Matsujun vs. Oguri Shun


    Just when I was starting to wonder if Oguri Shun had disappeared into oblivion…

    Smile is this season’s Friday night TBS drama, starring Matsumoto Jun (Matsujun) and Aragaki Yui. Matsujun steps outside his typical role as an overly arrogant, overly rich, overly permed high school student, and instead plays Vito, a half Philippino aspiring cook with a dark past and a dream of creating a shiny happy multiethnic restaurant.

    Shiny, happy, half-gaijin Matsujun (who is currently nervously talking to Aragaki Yui):

    He’s about as un-gaijin of a gaijin as you can get though — as is repeated many times throughout the show, he was born and raised in Japan, has never even been to the Philippines, and can only speak Japanese. Still, he has to deal with a lot of racism from those around him (getting asked to show his passport on the street by policemen, getting called “Phillipino bastard!”, etc.) and has certainly developed a gaijin-complex about his identity.

    But hey, Aragaki Yui’s character can’t talk (as the result of some traumatic experience). So, we’re all messed up in our own special ways!

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    But the whole show is the viewer just waiting for it to all go to hell. It’s told from the point of view of conversations between Vito and his lawyer, Kazuma, as Vito sits in prison in 2015, looking back on the events of 2009. Lawyer guy wrinkling his brow in 2009:

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    None of this is the awesome part of the show though. The awesome part of the show, is the bad guy. Guess who? Oguri Shun.

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    Oguri Shun??? A bad guy?? I know, he’s about as bad as a snowflake falling on Christmas Eve, but you gotta suspend your disbelief, and just roll with his evil laugh.

    Apparently he was the ringleader of this gang Vito used to be in, and Oguri’s character, Hayashi, keeps picking on Vito and framing him for crimes to keep himself safe.

    Oguri bein’ bad by the bus stop in a suit:

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    Oguri bein’ a bad guy peeking around some sketchy corner (in a parking garage/alley/whatever). Now that’s bad!

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    Oguri bein’ bad having a smoke with Matsujun, pulling the old bad-guy-gone-good “you’re the only one who can help me” line… and Matsujun is good enough and stupid enough to fall for it.

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    I’d just like to remind you that last time we saw Oguri & Matsujun together was in 2007 in Hana Yori Dango 2. Things could get pretty serious back then too — especially when Oguri (on the left, in white) decided he liked Tsukushi, just like Matsujun (on the right with the awful perm) did too. Oh, the drama!!

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    The end of Smile, episode 7. Let’s just say the reason Matsujun is sitting in jail in 2015 — no longer a mystery. A gun is involved and here are the last moments of Oguri, squirming on the floor, peering up at Matsujun. But Oguri deserved it, because he was REALLY BAD. I promise.

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