Bizarre Feelings on the Drama Sprout

Ok, so the last time I mentioned what dramas I was watching, I briefly discussed my feelings on the first two episodes of Sprout here.  I wasn’t particularly complimentary, I’m not going to lie.  Many of the issues I had with the drama still remain, i.e. that it takes itself way too seriously, the romance is slightly maudlin (I mean, what, Miyuki hugs some other guy just because Souhei looked at Miku? Call me crazy but that’s SERIOUSLY possessive behavior, and borderline psychotic!), and people really need to learn to smile more!!! However, this show has somehow, bizarrely, hooked me.  I don’t know why or how.  I don’t even really like it when I’m watching it all the time.  I find myself eye-rolling through large portions of it, but the rest of it, I’m squealing and giggling like a little 12-year-old girl.  The logic of the show is nonexistent, and the acting is very very limited (though serviceable for the most part).  However, when each episode is over, I’m left with a bittersweet feeling that makes me want more.

***btw, spoilers for episode 6 and 7 are below, so if you haven’t watched the show yet, beware!!****

I think what’s really intriguing about this show is its mood and its stellar soundtrack.  For those of you watching the show, you already know, but for those of you who don’t, whoever is directing Sprout has awesome taste in music.  They’re using the band Grouplove for most of its OST, which was a brilliant decision.  The songs help to create an atmospheric, fantastical, alternative, romantic, hazy feeling.  The song below (Betty’s Bomb Shell) is a light, sort of accoustic folky song that manages to  generate a sense of both longing and hope that really fits the message of this show.

 

Likewise, Itchin’ on a Photograph is another great song, and the director or sound editor is really really good at choosing moments to slowly bring its first few guitar notes into the story.

 

This drama’s tone is completely transformed by these songs.  Really, without them, it could be borderline High School Musical, borderline annoying angsty teen romance drama.  However, the songs give it an almost independent, alternative, even raw feeling, which I certainly wasn’t expecting at all.  When the songs come in, I can really feel the rush of young first love, which is at once painful, hopeful, and really innocent.  It’s done really wonderfully.  Also, I’m not good at technical words, but the way the shots look is really pretty.  The director has done something to the coloring which makes the drama feel hazy and soft and warm, and really goes well with the feelings of the main characters.  At first I didn’t like what I felt was over-exposure, which created too much pink and sweetness on the screen.  However, now I think it matches the tone of the show perfectly.

There is also a really beautiful piano instrumental piece in the drama.  I don’t know it’s name, but if anyone else does, let me know, because I want to download it.  It again lends this drama an emotional depth that is not captured within the plot or on the screen.

In terms of story line, I’m still not very happy.  However, I have started shipping these two characters like none other.

*apologies for the dramacrazy logo… I’m too lazy to cut it out right now.*

These characters are really adorable together.  From the start, Hayato was just bundles of cute when he tried to protect Miku, and Miku is actually NOT ANNOYING when she hangs out with him, which honestly, is a pretty big plus.

The guy playing Hayato, named Jessie Lewis, is not great at acting.  Admit it guys, he has pretty much one expression, and that is “dead log”.  However, he is a VERY PRETTY dead log, and a very sweet dead log, so I’m willing to overlook his other deficiencies.

Morikawa Aoi is doing better as the series progresses.  Her acting in the first two episodes was wretched, but by episode seven, she’s actually really improved quite a bit.  Also, I’m struck by how insanely pretty she is.  She doesn’t have “typically cute” features like the other girl *whose character I HATE* but her big eyes are really striking.  She’s definitely very pretty.  I go through phases of liking Miku and wanting to slap Miku.  At times she’s very likeable, at other times all of her desires and complaints seem ridiculously childish and immature.  However, considering her young age, it’s possible the writers actually want us to have that reaction.  When people are young, it’s impossible for them to be 100% amazing and independent all the time.  Miku’s insecurities and problems are at least realistic, though I wish she wasn’t so fatalistic about love and romance.

Chinen Yuri as Souhei is cute and serviceable.  He’s doing a good job acting like the boy next door, who you want to bring home to mommy and show off.  I don’t feel emotionally invested in his character, which is something a more mature actor would be able to do, however I really don’t mind him.  I have a feeling his more emotional scenes will be coming up in the next few episodes, so hopefully we’ll have some growth on his part.

Ugh.  I hate this girl.  So much.  I realize her character is meant to be wishy washy and generally dislikeable, so I have to give the actress props for actually succeeding at making me dislike her so much.  Kojima Fujiko is obviosuly very pretty, and is doing a good job at acting the cute, perfect girlfriend (a.k.a. horribly possessive, freakishly unemotional, and overly cheerful).  May I just say, as an actress and person, I have nothing against Kojima Fujiko.  However, as a character, I seriously dislike Miyuki for acting so ridiculously fake!  No one can be that happy, and she has shown us that when things don’t go her way she can be really manipulative and mean, so I just DON’T LIKE HER!! Sorry, I don’t think I can rationalize this.  My logical mind has flown the coup and has been replaced with irrational hatred and a desire to get my icepick out of the closet and fly to Japan with murderous intentions…

Either way, this love square has some serious problems in store.  At the moment I’m hardcore shipping Hayato and Miku.  However, I have to admit, I was squealing like none other at this scene.

I know it’s so cliche and horribly sexist for a girl to faint and be all weak and “ooh come save me please” but still, when a guy picks a girl up and has close eye-contact and intimate beats… where they’re suddenly aware of each other’s presence… and they’re hyper-aware of the physical contact… and they look into each other’s eyes… asdfghj’;lkjhjgh… damn is it sexy!!

So that’s the way I feel about Sprout.  I honestly don’t know how it happened, but I somehow like this show.  It has lots of heart, and feels really fresh and young, and the music is so awesome.  The OST honestly made this show go from negative 2 to 6 in my book, which has never happened for me before.  Anyways, what are your guys’ opinions?  Who are you shipping?  Do you dislike Miyuki just as much as I do?  Comments are loved!!!

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11 thoughts on “Bizarre Feelings on the Drama Sprout

  1. Everything you’ve said about the drama, exactly my sentiment! While the acting and the plot left a lot to be desired, you can’t help but be drawn to the drama.

    I cracked up at your apt dead log description. He’s a very pretty dead log with to-die-for voice. I was asma;cx,”fg;ad= when he asked Miku if he could eat her bento. His voice then… /dead.

    • Ha! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! And yes, I’ve noticed his voice. Damn, it’s so sexy! But he’s also like five years younger than me, so I feel like such a perv watching this show at times!!

  2. i really enjoyed reading your review! it was such a good read! i don’t think i can put my thoughts as coherently as you have. but i definitely agree even though i didn’t exactly realise till you pointed it out that the music added so much atmosphere to the drama. i guess that explains why i feel all warm and fuzzy everytime i hear Grouplove’s songs on my Ipod. The OST is in the drama. The drama is realised/completed/materialised (not sure if this is quite the right word but I think you get what I mean) by the OST.
    And of course I love the “dead-log” and his voice.
    I’ve never imagined that it would be so comforting for someone to offer to eat your cooking or your watermelon for you, was totally killed by his double “食っていい”。
    YAY TO SPROUT!!!
    Waiting for your future posts about the drama (that’s if you will still post about it) =)

    • Awww thanks so much! I actually wrote this pretty late last night so I’m surprised it’s coherent! The music really adds the warm, fuzzy, hopeful feeling that keeps me coming back to watch the next episode! I’m not sure if I’ll write too many more posts on this show, though I’ll probably write one after it’s finished. But you never know, if there’s a really good episode coming up, I may end up spazzing on here about it! 😉 Maybe I’ll do recap/reviews of the remaining episodes!

      • Definitely right abt the ost’s. I was so” hooked” (!?) I don’t think il be fine without them in my playlist. Love love hayato. Sohei’s a total cutie but hayato is way hotter. Can’t wait what he looks like when he’s bit older. And the dead log seems to add to his appeal. Not sure though if reallyhe’s upper lip biting orjust my eyes. Just the same, KUDOS to you for describing well the general feeling of the story. Couldn’t agree more. I’m really rooting for hayatoxxmiku. Gambatte

  3. My ship is with Hayato and Miku, their scenes in episode 7 were too cute. i literally squeeled the entire episode…the OST is just superb. I’m a Grouplove fan,so when I listened their songs in the first episode, I was a goner. The “dead log” captivated me with the kiss scene in the 1st episode, he’s too cute!!!

    • Haha, I’m glad you’re on the Hayato Miku ship. I’ve seen on tumblr an overwhelming amount of support for the two of them! However, I’m trying to keep myself open, because I have a feeling the next few episodes I’ll be rooting for Souhei (especially if he has to deal with emotional angst from his evil girlfriend).
      I personally love and hate the kiss scenes at the same time. They’re cute and sweet, but obviously so not real that it disconnects me sometimes. I’m not a fan of the artful camera angle kiss, i.e. the actors tilt their heads and the camera makes it look like they are kissing when they’re really not! I want a real passionate smooch, but that’s just my pervy mind!

  4. Pingback: 30 Day Jdrama Challenge: Day 5 | ksquish

  5. Yeah, I felt the exact same way when I watched this! I thought it would be corny, and it was, but for some reason I didn’t care and was excited to keep on watching. I think most of the appeal of this drama for me came from the OST which was AMAZING. I loved those two Grouplove songs! Otherwise I think til the very end the main love-interest was very boring, stale, and only pretty to look at. The writers gave him nearly o depth at all. Otherwise, that was my only real dissapointment with this drama. HAHA! I hated Miyuki too. Lol. 😉

    • Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it! I’ve still not actually gotten around to finishing this drama for some reason. I’ve only got like three episodes left! I should probably get around to it 😉

  6. I really liked your review. A lot of what you said was very true, but I think I know why I like this drama so much. It’s much less corny than you think. It’s actually pretty realistic, compared to all the other dramas I’ve seen, and considering the bashful and modest nature of most Japanese people. This drama actually takes into consideration the other characters’ feelings and doesn’t just focus on one character the entire time (I really hate it when Asian drama’s overemphasize one character’s feelings and completely ignore the other characters). It also has a pretty fresh (I guess you could call it) and cute feel. It seems like you kind of noticed that too throughout your review. I think the producers made this drama a little more intimate (in a way I suppose) with the unique camera angles and good use of text to convey each of the character’s feelings.
    And you’re a completely correct about the music. Grouplove is one of my favorite bands and it made this drama superb.

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