Sunday, August 4, 2013

Papa Wa Idol (JDrama) * * * *

Papa Wa Idol or Papadoru is a funny family drama. It's about an idol, Nishikido Ryo, a member of Kanjani8, who falls in love with a woman, and marries her. Now, as a European person, this whole idol thing is a bit strange for me. I understand that people think these guys shouldn't get married, because that destroys the illusion of their availability, but in reality, they really aren't available for the average Jane. In fact, ironically, this could be about the realisation of a fan. After all, all fans dream of marrying their idol. If we go by this drama, marrying an idol is the easy part. The life after is the hard part.

The story doesn't show much of the romance, it focuses on the start of the marriage itself. Haruka, the new wife, already has three children from her previous marriage. The drama mainly centers around Nishikido being an idol, and how he tries to become a husband and a father while hiding the whole thing from the public. This provides lots of occasions for hilarity, as well as touching moments. In the mids of it all we can explore what it means to be part of a family, and a father. Some of the more touching scenes had me reaching for tissues. The story helps us realise that there are more ways one can be a father, than what we may traditionally imagine.

Nishikido did a good job, but he had the easy part, as he was basically playing himself. He does seem to be bewildered sometimes, like he's not sure what he's doing. Especially when he's not speaking, it's almost like he falls out of the situation.
Yuka plays Haruka, the wife. Her character is often on the side-lines, which is strange in the story. She doesn't have a lot of lines, much of her part is silent, but that is hard to do, and she does it well. The air doesn't sizzle between the two lovers, it's more like a quiet, easy romance.
Overshadowing the mother's character is the older daughter, Mei, played by Kawashima Umika. She is the strong person in the family, and has a lovely side story.
A fun character is the younger daughter, Kana, played by Kanon Tani. She is an Arashi and Sho fan. I'm a MatsuJun fan, but I can relate. Her adoration towards our favourite band was a constant source of fun.

Overall, this is a good drama to watch. It's fun, but has its deep moments. Culturally the whole "idol" thing was interesting to me as a non-Japanese. I recommend it to all ages. Even to men, who are becoming fathers, because some of the themes speak to them.

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