Coffee & vanilla review – no this is not a Starbucks coffee drama!

Like many dramas, Risa, a naive Japanese girl turns out to be a typical countryside girl without a notion how the city works and relies on her friend to guide her in her questions. However, her friend is in my perception unreasonable and somehow pretends to have the knowledge of how the world works, even if she falls for the tricks, she tried to warn the protagonist.

The friend, Natsuki, ends up falling in love at first sight for Risa’s new boyfriend, Fukami, how ironic!

The Jdrama story is an adaptation of the manga series with the same name ¨coffee & vanilla¨ (japanese: コーヒー&バニラ / kōhī ando banira) by Takara Akegami. Coffee & vanilla manga started to be published on the monthly manga magazine cheese! Since June 2015. Cheese! (チーズ! Chīzu) is a monthly Japanese shōjo manga magazine under the publication of Shogakukan.

The television drama adaptation ran from July 5, 2019, to September 6, 2019. And currently available on Viki and Netflix. It’s a total of 10 episodes.

How do i describe this drama and the social issues?

Well, the soft dark side of society which is represented by the greedy and corrupted-soul man and boys. These people try a few nasty moves with risa, which kind of triggers me in my wishes to hit someone in the nose! (Internal thoughts: violence is not the answer, and repeat)

Forcing kisses, trapping into a corner, and fighting over Risa like she isn’t the one that decides her fate. In my perspective, Risa is a representation of the pure and innocent in a society with emotional damage and creeps. When i speak of emotional damage, i speak about Fukami, the one who grew too fast because he lost his parents, which means whenever there is an issue with Risa, he instantly hugs with the fear she will also leave him alone. He is a bit possessive and has a puppy love that has a good level for both, not something toxic.

Coffee and Vanilla – Main synopsis:

Shiroki Risa (Fukuhara Haruka) is a beautiful young woman who grew up in the countryside and decided to move to Tokyo to continue her education life as a university first year. Although, moving to the countryside to the city, her life, and the attention around her shifts. In Tokyo, at university, male students fawn over her, but she is unimpressed by all of them. And when they stop following and go away, she is suffering a panic or anxiety attack because she is not used to it.

But her life changes fast when she meets Fukami Hiroto (Dori Sakurada), a dashing, heroic stranger who works in the world of business. Although he treats her kindly and is gentle, he appears to have a dark secret that he carefully hides.

Regardless, Shiroki Risa finds herself irresistibly drawn to the new man in her life, and soon discovers that the feeling is mutual, which means her first relationship ever. Many challenges come with it.

Can true love bloom from a passionate romance? And will Fukami Hiroto become the coffee to Shiroki Risa’s vanilla?

Main actor that plays the role of Fukami

Dori Sakurada (桜田 通), born December 7, 1991. He is a Japanese actor and singer. You may know him from the series Alice in borderland season 1 and 2 as the character Nigari.

Personal thoughts about him: he is good, his facial expressions are good for love stories due to the gentle charisma he shows. But sometimes, i wonder what he would look like if he did more ¨action movies, like samurai or Godzilla stories.

Main actress that plays the role of Risa

Haruka Fukuhara (福原 遥) born august 28, 1998. She is a Japanese actress, voice actress, singer, and model from Saitama prefecture. For the ones that follow the many Jdramas and anime, you will probably recognize her voice or her looks.

In 2016, Haruka transitioned from child to a young adult in her first major drama, good morning call, where she becomes the naive Nao Yoshikawa.

Personal thoughts about her: she is amazing! For the list and filmography, she already did, i can tell she tries her hardest. I have no doubt that if she could have an opportunity to do an international movie or something like that, she would do even great and improve a lot more.

For now, I will leave you with the opening song:

 Good On The Reel – you & i

I love the strings work. And the tune is just felt right with the melody.

 Do you know Good On The Reel?

The Band was formed in 2006, when the members were going on the same school. The band name means “something feels good”. The members are Voice – Takahiro Chino; Guitar – Ryota Imaruoka and Kohei Okazahi; Bass – Tomohiro Usami; and Drums Makoto Takahashi.

Official website: https://goodonthereel.net/

Those were my thoughts about the drama coffee & vanilla, let me know if you agree or disagree. And don’t forget future posts every month on the days: 5th, 15th and 25th.

Mischievous kiss love in tokyo 1 and 2 (2013) jdrama review

A few of Itazura na Kiss versions

The so called in English “Mischievous Kiss – love in Tokyo”, is the second Japanese adaptation to the manga and anime “Itazura na Kiss”. Across Asia there are a lot of adaptations: “It started with a kiss” and” They kiss again” 2005, in Taiwan; “Playful Kiss”2010, South Korea; “Kiss me” 2015, Thailand; and a new version from Taiwan “miss in Kiss” 2016.

However, the First adaptation was Itazura na Kiss, 1996, Japan. Its alternative title in English: Naughty Kiss / Teasing Kiss

The creator of the story was Kaoru Tada(多田かおる), who still made part of the staff for the 1996 adaptation, before her dead in 1999.

 The Original Plot goes like: As Kotoko ran to a meeting, she bumped into Naoki and their lips met. Naoki showed his disgust and Kotoko started to idolize him because he was good at everything. When Kotoko’s house burned down, her father’s good friend Machiko invited them to move in with her family. It was then that Kotoko realized Naoki was the elder son of Machiko, who took up the role of a fairy-godmother to bring the two together. Gradually, the icy-cold Naoki who disliked girls started to feel for Kotoko.

As far as I noticed, only the 1996 adaptation starts with a Kiss. The other adaptations that came after start with the Love letter. The most recent Japanese version “Mischievous kiss love in Tokyo 1” (2013) follows the same path. Its starts with Kotoko trying her love letter declaration. So, in honesty the name should change to “started with a letter”. This fact creates a gap that doesn’t answer “how did Kotoko fell in love?”. No, it wasn’t with the Irie’s ceremony speech, but rather the accidental first kiss that happen moments before the ceremony started. Another difference the last part of the drama adaptation from 1996 and original story, which is Kotoko moving to college abroad to study nursing, doesn’t happen on this 2013 version.

Of course, the story and character follow him can be seen as Cringe behaviour. But are you any different when you meet your first love? The first love looking from the outside can be 90% seen as cringe depends on the person that sees the behaviour. The first love is that pure and innocent love which never meet rejection and deception, and that makes one of the reasons why in Japan people under 19 years old die from “broken heart”. No, I don’t mean heart attack, I mean reason for their suicide. In the 2020, around 150 people under 29 years old committed suicide by broken heart.

Mischievous Kiss:Love in Tokyo – Official Trailer(English Subs)

So, in every version, Kotoko gets rejected by Naoki on the attempt of delivering the letter. However, between Japanese versions, 1996s version shows Kotoko study in another prefecture, while the 2013 that moving away was Kotoko and her father moving to a different house because they felt guilty about Naoki missing the Tokyo University Entrance Exam.

There are few main points I would like to mention regarding all adaptation’s versions:

  • Japanese are not known to be disrespectful against rescue, or firefighters, forces. In one or two of the versions at least, there is one character that seems to disrespect the society norms and invade an unsafe place against the authorities’ orders. The Japanese hazards events such as earthquake and tsunamis, you don’t risk your life for a photo. In my perspective, if you didn’t remember at the time the world crash, what’s the point of going back. If I was on that situation, I would grab my cat.
  • The whole concept between Class A and Class F. This concept is shown of the highest score students in the A and B, which can also include the people with interest in the science and math departments. While the other classes have lower scores in the exams and have people with desire, or interest, in English learning and Arts. So, we can easily say the representation in all animes, mangas and dramas are a little exaggerated. Because the degree of the preference to separate the highest score from the lowest also depends on the school policies.
  • English knowledge. Japan is known for not having a high level of English speaker skill. What you can say or write in Katakana way will have more success than the real English speaker talking. However, do to the Tokyo Olympics that scenario change a little as the borders open slowly, the returnees , also known as the people returning to Japan at this moment, find Japanese Speaking English and guide people in the airport for the next flight, which might be on another terminal and outside the typical Bag Tag system( airlines inside Oneworld alliance, like JAL, share Bag Tag system which allows you to catch the next flight without having to check and recheck. Airlines inside the Staralliance, Like ANA, share the same bag system. In a normal day, alliances don’t share bag systems).
  • Another thing not really in tuned with all versions, its how creative people are destroying Kotoko’s house: We have fire, we have little earthquake with 1 or 2 intensity , we have stones falling from the sky, we have shaking floors due to the car passing by … I am surprise they still haven’t come up with something more extreme like a sinkhole and godzilla appears. ( I am joking but you know what I mean)

Finally, if you still question yourself about how good the Jdrama is on Viki, which is Part of the Japanese Platform Rakuten, 44 434 viewers rated the drama and the total result 9.3 score out 10.

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