Theme song: Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono by Arashi
Viewership Rating: 10.2
Genre: Human drama, romance
Broadcast period: July 4th to September 12th 2003.
Ninomiya Kazunari as Asai Shouhei
Yamashita Tomohisa as Iwasaki Kengo
Suzuki Anne as Oowada Chie
Narimiya Hiroki as Udagawa Hayato
Oguri Shun as Enami Kouji
“Four schoolboys find themselves the last virgins left at school. During the summer holidays, a girl they knew as children 11 years ago, moves back to the neighborhood. Despite their childhood attraction to her, they realize she is a mere shadow of the “princess” they all thought they knew. This story of summer – love, friendship, school, family, the hypocrisy of adults, complications of life, experience and failure is set in an everyday shopping district and shows the clumsiness of children who have developed a little later than their peers. It’s a bright romantic comedy that both young and old can appreciate.” –TBS
Information taken from here: DramaWiki
Shou-kun, or Shouhei is the main character of the story and is the little nervous guy who has a big crush on his English teacher. Shouhei lives in a pharmacy taken care of by his father, who is also vice-president of the neighborhood committee. Played by Ninomiya Kazunari, Shouhei is one of the most common characters that I’ve ever seen in a drama. He’s practically the essence of being real and nerdy!
My first drama crush, Kenken (rarely called Kengo in the drama) is a childhood friend of Shouhei and is the calm character of the group. His mother is the owner of the love hotel in their neighborhood and the boys consider it as their Headquarters (and perfect place to spy on couples doing their “business”). Kenken is the only one who has a girlfriend, but unfortunately for him, she isn’t ready to move on to the “next step” until she goes to university.
Goodness, Suzuki Anne is an actress to follow! Very, very, convincing as Chie, I could say I was flabbergasted at her acting. Chie was the childhood crush of the four boys before she moved and recently came back for summer vacation. The Chie the boys fell in love with isn’t the same ever since she moved. She’s become a slightly annoying (and unattractive) person in their opinion, but what Chie wants is just to return to the good old days where everyone was innocent.
The most hyperactive boy of the group, Udayan is the most perverted boy of the group (DB4- Virgin boys). Frustrated by the fact he can’t, well, you know, and that everyone around him except his friends have already lost their virginity, Udayan decides to create a group that has the goal of keeping their virginity until marriage. Played by Narimiya Hiroki, Udayan is the main comical relief of the drama due to the way he gets bullied by girls and how ridiculous he is.
And finally is Kou-kun acted by the one and only Shun Oguri! The um, nearly invisible one of the group (since I’ve remarked that people who watched Stand Up !! rarely remember him) is the one that also voices out what a reasonable person would think during the most bizarre moments.
It’ll be stupid to say that Shun Oguri isn’t a good actor, but he just didn’t really “shine” in this drama. Still loved him away~
Ah, my first Japanese drama. What good memories. I remember watching this during winter vacation as obsessed as a housewife watching The days of our lives. The Humor was present, the ever-present friendship was there, and the occasional dramatic story was there as well. Aside from a few things that could get annoying such as the characters, some bad-acting and how cruel some characters were, this is really a drama I’d recommend to anyone(unless you’re 13 that is, lol).
My Note: 7/10