Sunday, 6 June 2010

Currently watching: Tsuki no Koibito

It’s weird, but sometimes you meet people who really impress you. They’ve got a confidence and an air about them that makes me want to like them. Although I’m old and cynical and should be above being so easily led and even though when I think back and look at it dispassionately, I’m sometimes left wondering about my eagerness to please.

Tsuki no Koibito has a similar effect on me. If you were to describe it to me, I wouldn't give it a chance. But having watched it, I find a super confident, charismatic show that’s clearly had a lot of money and talent thrown at it. Japanese is joined by Chinese and English in the dialogue to give it a jet-set international feel, and it’s all done with such chutzpah that it’s easy to get swept along.

Set in a successful company that runs up-market department stores, it follows the adventures of the dispassionate president (Kimura Takuya, Mr Brain), his scheming PA (Matsuda Shota, Liar Game), the President’s girlfriend who’s more of a business deal than a life choice (Kitagawa Keiko) and a Chinese woman made unemployed by the company and then hired as a model (Lin Chi Ling) on the orders of the President, who’s in love with her. Maybe.

Should this sound too glamorous, there’s the down-to-earth designer (Shinohara Ryoko, looking fantastic in casual clothes) and her assistant who seems to take a similar delight in the gossip as the viewer is supposed to. Add some neat cameos, and you’d be hard pressed to find a weakness in terms of performance.

The story, too, is solid. Although there’s an uncharacteristic dip into sappy cliché at the end of episode one when the opening of the company’s first store in Shanghai is accompanied by the usual feel good images, which don’t really sit well with the rest of the show. Obviously, the main story continues throughout the series, so my guess is that this scene was added on just to give some kind of conclusion to part one. Things are looking interesting enough that I'm going to give this a shot.

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