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!!!