Wednesday, December 23, 2015

HARD TO SAY I LOVE YOU: But it's harder to say 'Sunao ni Narenakute'

My Crunchyroll adventures are leading me more and more into the world of J-drama. Usually I only go so far as general tokusatsu -- I'm being a good girl and getting caught up to my super sentai and Kamen Rider and all that goodness, as you do. But streaming sites don't tend to run those.

What they do tend to run are short dramas, sometimes based on manga or anime. And I'm becoming versed in those bit by bit, whereas before my exposure to the J-drama was limited to trying to find out what sort of stuff Hiroki Narimiya got up to before he was Phoenix Wright.

Enter catalogue shows, such as the 11x45 It's Hard to Say I Love You.

I was iffy about this at the start, in large part because it's a show relying heavily on Twitter interactions and I'm the typesetter (there was another J-drama I typeset, as you may recall, with enough onscreen text to make Sherlock look inhibited). Fortunately, I was spared as the characters all speak the onscreen text at the same time.

But yeah, Twitter. It's a show about five people who meet through Twitter (or rather four and a friend of one who joins in). Throughout the show, they're referred to by their Twitter handles -- Haru, a teacher; Nakaji, a distinguished photographer; Doctor, a ... well, doctor; Linda, a prestigious writer; and Peach, a flight stewardess. Except not. In reality Haru is a struggling substitute, Nakaji photographs gravure models for trashy magazines, Doctor is a medical equipment company's worst salesman, Linda is a magazine writer whose job is only in place because he sleeps with the boss-lady, and Peach is a sales clerk.

And now they are all IRL friends and wonderful and terrible things start happening. Mostly love geometry and weirdness with their families.

Like many things I work on, this is not a show I'd have picked out on my own. J-dramas in general are not something I'd pick out on my own. The problem here is, whether they're my style or not, I get hugely invested in any J-drama I edit. Like hugely. Like they become my soap operas. I don't know how this happens. I just know I spent a heck of a lot of time yelling at Haru and Nakaji to hook up and weeping over Linda (who, incidentally, plays Jigen in the new Lupin III live-action movie). I have no idea if this would happen if I just stumbled across the show on my own, or if it's because the show is now my foster baby and I care what it grows up to be.

Regardless ... yeah, regardless. This is a damn cute show at first, and then awful things happen and people are sad, and then a few people are happy with sad people and vice-versa. J-dramas tend to turn morbid at varying speeds. This one's no exception. But by God, I kept on watching.

Oh, wait. I had to. Right. I keep forgetting.