Archive for July, 2007

Nobuta wo Produce

*spoiler alert*

After almost one year of hiatus, finally I finished Nobuta wo Produce.

nobuta.jpg

Why one year hiatus? Well… I watched the first half at my friend’s place last winter and we agreed it’s quite interesting but just way too slow. It’s almost like the plot stands still… so we fell asleep (and it’s three in the morning). I then learned that it has garnered such popularity, and probably it has something to do with the two eye-candies in the show: Kame and Yamapi. Being ignorant with Japanese teens idols and harbouring a personal dislike for girlish Asian guys who deny their natural hair colour (beautiful black), I had no idea who these guys are, and when I found out I wasn’t that impressed. I have to say acting-wise they’re not bad though, the characters are interesting, and that Akira guy is funny.

Also, this J-drama because it constantly walks dangerously on the fine line between quirky and corny. And as a result, it’s both ^^. I have mixed feelings about Shuji’s signature greeting “Bye bicycle…” ergh. Do you know something that’s so corny it becomes funny. It’s that. Here’s another: the trio’s signature “Nobuta power up” gesture. But then again, it’s the reason why this series is likable too. The vice principal is one quirky lady, Akira’s drunken gesture is weird but funny.

Recently I got to finished the last half and it’s so much better than the slow start! It changed my mind about the whole series. Episode 8 is my favourite, when Shuji all of a sudden lost his popularity and became the ignored one in class (something that he feared really badly form the start), when Aoi showed her true colours to Nobuta (I knew the makers wanted us to think that the culprit is Mariko but I knew it’s not her), and how their friendship was strengthened after that. Wah! So sweet! And I missed my high school best friends all of a sudden.

The orchestral music background is a plus too. And Nobuta? She’s a great character and it’s unique that she became popular not because of the usual makeover stuff, but because the way she is. And they still make fun of her, in an affectionate way.

And the ending too. Many thought it was disappointing, and it involves these two in a sweet (non-intended) gay moment.

Shuji to Akira

in fact, it’s not unlike Nana, pure platonic same-sex friendship.

nana2.jpg

But I think it’s the best ending possible. Shuji indeed left the two of them, just like that, without the familiar frantic chase at the airport (because he’s leaving on a truck) and big hug and “kajima” or “saranghae” (wait, those are Korean) and eventually Shuji’s decision not to leave. Now that would be cheesy. Instead, Shuji left after a realistic and sweet goodbye with his classmates, and Nobuta asked Akira to go after him *gasp!*, because she realised that Shuji’s the lonely one who needs a friend the most, and that she’ll be ok by herself. Rather sad, but nice, nice ending! And I love how the Japanese don’t over-saturate their dramas with romance but still manage to make them really sweet and touching! After a slow start, Nobuta has the one of the greatest endings in Asian dramas.

Links
Official website
DramaWiki
Torrent at D-Addicts
Crunchy Roll

Verdict
Start: 6/10, ending: 8.5/10

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Soulmate OST


Track listing (alphabetical):

  • Blue bossa – Lasid
  • Broken dreams – Basement Jaxx
  • Byun hae gan se wol sok eh suh (with Cabinet Singalongs) – Peppertones
  • C’mon through – Lasse Lindh
  • Don’t turn away – Peking Laundry
  • Everyday I fall in love again – Linus of Hollywood
  • Eyes – Sung Hyun
  • Fly me to the moon – Olivia
  • Hwan chung – Blue Sorbet
  • Get your hands up – Aquibird
  • Geu gut do mo reu go – The Note
  • Goodbye to romance – Lisa Loeb
  • I love you – Eniac
  • I miss you – Eniac
  • In a manner of speaking (Tuxedomoon) – Nouvelle Vague
  • Milod – Brynhildur
  • Mo deun to yo il – Casker
  • More than paradise – Port of Notes
  • Paris Paris!! – Monla
  • Play our love’s theme – Toki Asako
  • Satisfy me – Blue Sorbet
  • Shi gan ee heu reun dwi en – Postino
  • Since you’ve gone – Laurel Music
  • Soulmate – Monla
  • Stop in the name of love – Big Gang
  • That’s why – Physical Function of Groove
  • The servant – Coco Suma
  • The stuff – Lasse Lindh
  • This is not a love song – Nouvelle Vague
  • Till it happens to you – Corrine Baily Rae

Sorry the link I found has died.

The music coordinator has a liking for Nouvelle Vague, Lasse Lindh and Fantastic Plastic Machine, their songs are used frequently. I detected some Moby tracks too.¬†Soulmate has a playful, jazzy, bossa nova feel thanks to the great music! In fact, each time a track is played I’ll be all panicky, trying to jot down lyrics to hunt for the songs, and thus distracted from the show itself. But it’s just me and The OC syndrome again. But then, while the OC’s website has oh so kindly provided track listings for each episode, I have difficulties finding info for songs featured in Soulmate. So hopefully all the above helped.

credits: D-addicts, fivespotting.com for image.

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