Hotaru no Hikari – Review

14 Apr

It feels like a long time since I watched a pure, unadulterated romance from Japan. It seems that many Japanese dramas now days aim for ‘hard-hitting’ and ‘artsy’ rather than ‘fuzzy’ and ‘romantic’. It was kind of a relief to watch a drama that breaks that trend.

Hotaru no Hikari is such a simple, silly, yet somehow strangely wonderful drama about a woman who prefers to laze around instead of play around. This changes when her boss becomes a live-in roommate, and a new guy at work takes a shine to her. The drama basically documents her trials to move past her ‘dried up woman’ status, and regain her ‘womanhood’.

It’s kind of hard to describe WHY this kind of drama is so appealing. Maybe there’s something relatable in Hotaru’s relaxed attitude to life; in her wanting to do what she likes rather than what the rest of the world thinks she should. Watching how she lives her life, you can’t help but question, WHY bother with such things as dating, romance, when sitting on the porch with a cold can of beer is just so much more enjoyable? Haha, does it show that Hotaru’s character had quite an impact on me? I think she’s wonderful, with all her cute tics and idiosyncracies (“itadakimambo!”).

I’ve already touched on the fact that this series is a romance through and through, so I can’t help but mention the guys in Hotaru’s life. Firstly, there’s her bucho. He plays her confidant, advisor, and all-around go-to guy for all her problems. Then there’s the initial love interest, who’s the more typical male-lead material. Makoto is good-looking, grabs girls attention wherever he goes, and takes an instant liking to Hotaru. From the two outlined, any seasoned drama watcher will know exactly who she gets with in the end, but for those of you who don’t want it spoiled, my lips are sealed. Basically though, I can’t imagine anyone watching the show will be rooting for Makoto (or maybe I’m just really biased).

Gah, I’m struggling to round this (short) review off with something conclusive. I feel I’ve said everything already. I liked this drama a lot. I liked that it wasn’t pretentious. I liked that it never tried to be something above it’s level. I liked that I got the ‘doki-doki’ feeling when Hotaru and her bucho hugged. All I can really finish with is that I can’t wait to watch season two.

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