Sunday, December 12, 2010

Love Shuffle (JDrama) * * * * *

The frame of the story is that eight people, four women and four men, date each other for a week to find out what they want out of their love lives. As is usual for a Japanese drama; it ends up being about more than just love. It discusses our motivations to live and love, what we really look for in a relationship. Sometimes you just need to give people a chance, and find out who they really are. In the beginning you may think you have it all figured out, but the ending will surprise you. Half the fun is trying to predict who will be with whom.

This is also a drama about finding friends, and then letting them help in the course of their lives. No one is left untouched by the shuffle.

Tanihara Shosuke plays the psychologist Kikuta Masato. He is in a way the main character and motivator in the shuffle. As the oldest member of the team he pulls the strings, and helps the others deal with the hurdles in their lives.
I do have to note that Daigo, the singer of BREAKERZ has his only longer-than-one-episode role in this drama as the shy, but wealthy Oishi Yukichi. If you thought his singing voice was unique, his speech voice will surprise you. It does take a bit of getting used to, but he is as cute in his role as he is while singing. His character first seems really boring, but he turns out to be more devious than expected.
I'm not going to go through all eight characters. They're all unique and interesting. I'm going to leave it up to the viewers to get to know them. Let me just tell you, that they all have a secret, and all will be revealed by the end.
For the women out there, I do also have to note that this has more male nudity in it than usual.

And for everyone, this also has more sexual themes than is usual for Japanese dramas. Also, I warn you, you will never think about the word "Panda" in the same way.

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