Currently Watching – Okitegami Kyoko no Biboroku

Hello my dear readers, few and nonexistent though you may be.  I felt like leaving you with a quick, mid-series review of the currently airing Japanese Drama Okitegami Kyoko no Biboroku, also known as The Memorandum of Kyoko Okitegami.

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I must admit it’s been a while since I’ve properly watched a Japanese drama.  Korean dramas,  Doctor Who, and (really embarrassingly) America’s Next Top Model have been holding my fancy instead, and unfortunately it’s been nearly two years since my last Japanese drama crack.  Kyoko, though not a crack drama that keeps me riveted in my seat biting my nails until the next episode, is a well-crafted, cute series with good actors who have great chemistry.

So, what’s it about? (Mild spoiler alert btw!)

The show follows the fate of Yakusuke Kakushidate (played by Okada Masaki), a man who is constantly beset by misfortune.

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Yeah… he always looks this confused

He blames his misfortune on his parents ridiculous urge to name him Yakusuke, with the character Yaku standing for… you guessed it… misfortune.

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Please don’t give me misfortune for posting this!!

For those of you who don’t know, Japanese names are made up of different kanji letters, all of which can be read different ways.  Most names specifically are chosen with good meanings, like brave, beautiful, or kind, for a hope that in the future their children will manifest these traits.  Yakusuke… on the other hand, is saddled with perpetual bad luck due to his parents’ crappy naming.

Constantly besieged by people who are convinced he’s a criminal, he has gotten used to having a detective on call.  However, when his old private investigator leaves town, he employs Okitegami Kyoko, played by the ever adorable Aragaki Yui.

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Her hair is natural apparently…

Kyoko is smart, nice, and… has a condition that results in her losing her short-term memory every time she falls asleep.  Every time she falls asleep, whether it be for a nap or for a long slumber, her memory resets.  While she has her long-term memories from before whatever incident caused her condition, any recent memories are entirely erased.  This, surprisingly, makes her ideal for a detective.  Confidentiality takes a new meaning to a detective who literally forgets her employees deep dark secrets the minute she goes to bed.

Yakusuke, unfortunate as ever, is completely entranced by Kyoko and her unique situation.  While they start out as simply employer/employee, he quickly develops a crush on her while she remains blithely unaffected by him, forgetting everything about him each night.

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Real smooth Yakusuke… realllll smooth

Review

I really enjoy this show so far.  I’ve only gotten through episode 5 because I’m trying to slowly enjoy it, especially considering the last episode hasn’t aired yet.  However, the show is billed for ten eps, so we’ll be getting a finale next week!

The chemistry between Aragaki Yui and Okada Masaki is really sweet.  They’re not heating up the screen, and I’m half convinced that this will continue to be a typical Japanese drama which hints at love but never really delivers.  However, there is a very gentle, warm partnership that is beginning to develop between the two of them, and I hope that they continue to develop it as the show progresses.

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Lookit how cute they are!!!!

The rest of the characters don’t seem to serve much of a purpose, however their roles are growing as the show progresses.  There’s the cafe owner (Mitsuhiro Oikawa) and waitress who is surprisingly good at martial arts (Rio Uchida), who for the most part provides comedic relief.  But they do play the role of generally disinterested, occasionally helpful sarcastic commentators quite well.

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If I open my mouth wider does it make me look like I care?

There’s also Nuru-kun, who is “Every man’s secretary” and basically does odd jobs for both the cafe and Kyoko as long as a fee is provided.  He’s played by Arioka Daiki, apparently from Johnny’s group Hey! Say! JUMP, and while he doesn’t have much of a screen presence, he’s cute so I’m not hating.

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Don’t look at me… I’m just here for the free food

There are two bumbling detectives as well, but so far I remain unimpressed by them.

Basically, the saving grace of this show is Aragaki Yui and her delightful portrayal of the quirky detective with short term memory loss.  She’s sassy, blunt, straightforward, and her motto is that she has to live each day as if it is her last, because for her… it literally is the last time she’ll remember it.

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Don’t we all honey

So… if you’re interested in a light-hearted story with simple mysteries and cute characters, I recommend this show!  Besides, it’s worth it for the way Masaki looks at Yui.

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Are you watching this show?  Thoughts?  Opinions?  Comments are loved!

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