Massugu na Otoko: Honest Man, Bitchy Girl,
Boring Ending

by mo on 03/26/2010

About six episodes into Massugu na Otoko, it occurred to me that the best episodes were behind me, and I was only continuing to watch for Fukuda Kyoko’s fashion sense. Oh boy.

Massugu na Otoko (“Straight Man” or “Honest Man” in english), an extremely recent drama (aired Jan-March 2010 in Japan) stars Sato Ryuta as Matsushima, an incredibly honest, upstanding dude who is confronted by the existence of Narumi (Fukuda Kyoko), a cheating, mischievous girl who effectively tricks Matsushima into giving her money, free food (mostly parfaits) and, eventually, falling in love with her. Whoops!

Fukuda Kyoko has left a bad taste in my mouth since Strawberry on the Shortcake so she made the perfect pretty bad-girl. She is bitchy, she’s self-centered, she can’t hold a steady job, she had a rocky childhood, but even though she’s borderline homeless at times, she still manages to have perfect hair and makeup and a killer wardrobe. Hmmm…

Fukuda Kyoko (left) doesn’t need a roof over her head at night to maintain flawless makeup.

Sato Ryuta on the other hand, normally a pretty funny guy, had way too straight of a character for this show to be any fun. He’s great because he’s bizarre, not because he can lecture people about ideals of honesty during coffee break at work better than any other actor. His main skill in this role was being able to pull off naiveté like nobody’s business, which is pretty important, as only really naive people ACCIDENTALLY FALL IN LOVE WITH CRIMINAL WOMEN.

And then decide to raise someone else’s child for said criminal woman.


But I guess on the inside, Massugu na Otoko is just another Upstanding Guy Meets Unconventional Girl and Falls In Love genre of drama. Let us recall: Nodame Cantabile (Nodame is freaking bizarre, and can’t keep her room clean), and Hotaru no Hikari (Hotaru definitely does not have her act together whatsoever, also does not have a clean room). In both of these other dramas, as well as in Massugu na Otoko, the girl just kinda shows up and throws herself into Upstanding Male Costar’s life, wreaking havoc on the perfect world he has constructed around himself.

The side characters were as slimy and perfect as the main two: Kanjiya Hihori played the good girl-next-door, who Sato Ryuta was SUPPOSED to be in love with. She’s just the girl next door and boy is she boring.

The girl next door could use some help with her wardrobe

And finally, we have Watabe Atsuro, the creepy ex of Narumi, who kinda just hung out with her at the bar, constantly. I guess they slept together sometimes? It wasn’t clear what his role was, because although he was unreliable theoretically, he did seem to ALWAYS SHOW UP AT THE BAR whenever she wanted. I guess she just wasn’t that into him.

Watabe is just as smiley and weird in this show as in ROOM OF KING

There was also a female bartender who seemed to exist for the sole purpose of (other than serving the occasional drink), making sexy eyes at Watabe Atsuro for no reason.

This also brings us to an important point about jdramas that will need to be eplored later: WHY DOES EVERY SHOW HAVE A FREAKING BAR IN IT!? I know they’re convenient sets to have, but it’s getting a little odd how almost every drama has a minor character who happens to own a bar that is doing so poorly that only the 3 main characters in the show ever visit said bar, and yet the bar never goes out of business and is never closed. Either something fishy is going on, or all of my friends in Japan also must own bars and I’d better get into the bar-owning business right away because it seems to run on magic and dreams and fairy dust.

Empty bars are an essential part of Japanese social life.

Sadly, as expected, Sato Ryuta manages to turn Fukuda Kyoko into a nicer, more upstanding young lady. I’m not sure whether they live happily ever after, but I do know that when Fukuda Kyoko’s character turns good, I worry that her fashion sense may suffer.

Also, she has a giant Rilakkuma pillow that I am insanely jealous of. If you are a fan of mokudekiru, please buy me this pillow immediately!!

AND a kotatsu? Fukuda Kyoko is LIVING MY DREAM here.