Do you still dream about your 1st Love?

First Love: Hatsukoi (Netflix / 2022) – Yae Noguchi

Before I start, I delayed this post for a few days due to the high peak of work. I am sorry for it.

To compensate for this delay, I came to bring you the most recent love story from Japan with the wonderful soundtrack sung by Hikaru Utada, named First Love. The music is not recent but it was brought back to life with this Drama. As well the Love inside the Drama was connected to this music. A man and a woman retrace their memory of an unforgettable first love. They first met in the 1990’s and grew up together in the 2000’s.

Hikaru Utada – First Love

[1st Love] is a Drama about finding the very first and keeping on re meeting your loved one, what are the chances of meeting your soulmate so early? The one that you can not forget and you make the ultimate sacrifice to move to another country. 

Satoh Takeru, the Rurouni Kenshin movie actor, has brought us international involvement to our little drama world. He plays the character that has to see his 1st Love and soulmate continue her life, after an accident that erased all her memories and her friends.

The word sacrifice will always be a little too strong. If you really love the person, would you even call it sacrifice? I would rather call sacrifice those domestic abuse situations, where you love the person but you are unable to let them go in spite of the pain they cause you. 

But that’s not the case for this Drama. There are some challenges like “if you really love them, you have to let them go and if they come back , they are yours” , I call this the ultimate belief. In this situation, the pain is caused by the act of letting go.

This Drama main action is situated in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Yae Noguchi (Hikari Mitsushima) lost her memory of her 1st Love, the one that was always connected even faraway. Namiki Harumichi, the Yae’s 1st Love. What caused the most pain in Namiki wasn’t the decision to walk out but the fact, they had their first fight and were on the phone making up, when the crash happened,  in Tokyo. The fight was about her friends and university colleagues’ behavior being too harsh or direct, which Namiki calls being rude. 

For the ones that don’t know , based on my research and readings, this behavior, or complaints about it, are common due to racism and discrimination against the Ainu culture descendants. Of course, this is a very old story due to the pure race beliefs from the past, which have been changing after the second World War.

For me, racism is a double tip blade, just because a person A suffers it doesn’t mean she is allowed to do the same to others. These unique situations are fed by the press and media because they sell more and none tells them they are wrong.

Back to the topic, Hokkaido, Osaka and Okinawa, are the places where you will find more racism and discrimination against Ainu, Burakumin,… etc. However, in the Drama,   there is not much evidence if the characters are descendants by any unique origins. They are portrayed as normal people of Japanese society , as they should.

You may recognize the main actress from the “Death Note” movies – Hikari Mitsushima , in my eyes a very good actress.

Are you an Age Gap difference fan? This is the Jdrama for you!

To be honest, I am not a lover for age gap love stories, but I did enjoy this one.
I understand for some people the age gap difference might be creepy or somehow a gold digger’s story, but Japanese women don’t really think of love and marriage that way. Some after reaching a certain age or losing hope in finding love for themselves. They end up searching for help with a professional matchmaker, or even peer pressure from their Parents.

The Drama ¨An incurable case of love¨ describes both situations: an age gap love and age gap love fighting over a matchmaking set up by parents.

In this case, the story starts with a young lady, Sakura Nanase , on a school trip to Tokyo. She visits the temple where the god of marriage hears your requests. Her goal is to avoid bad luck in men, like her family women before her.

If you are interested in it, it’s the Imado Temple, Tokyo. ( 1-5-22 Imado, Taito-ku, Tokyo ).

As she walks out the temple, she sees an elder lady fall to the floor. While screaming for help, the “shining knight” comes along and his name is Kiari Tendo, a doctor at a local hospital. All the sudden Sakura believes Kiari is “the one” for his willingness to help and for his gentle smile.

Fast Forward, that event alone makes her life decision easier to make. If Kiari is a doctor, she would become a nurse to work with him and maybe have her fortune in love with him.

When she achieves to become a top student at the nursing school, She goes to work at the same hospital as Dr.Tendo. However, He has changed and lost his smile, and treats her a little cold, in spite of always watching her movements and checking her work which brings a more friendly and social vibe between doctors and patients. By talking to the patients, she discovers a lot of issues in the patient’s personal choices that resulted in their illness. I believe this to be a representation of what the Japanese hospitals need more, and that is a more personal approach , because sometimes it’s just tea from an uncontrolled source that triggers a sickness we never had.

Did you know ?

In Japan, the grading system from A to F, it’s a practice in health checks and when you reach a certain age, it will be possible to get an automatic D score. The reason for that is when you age after 35 years old , you have more probabilities to get diseases like diabetes and heart issues.
Then again Doctors can also behave like divas when they dont get breakfast, as you will see in Episode 2. It’s funny how annoying they get!

One of the messages the drama carries is to enjoy your minutes of good health to be with loved ones and say what you need to say before it’s too late, Because at any time people can get sick or experience an accident that can lead to complications. And your regrets may delay taking risks that can trigger a late response to the health issue. and that delay will cause emotional distress to the doctors when they are unable to save you.

Official Soundtrack :

I love – Official Hige Dandism – official soundtrack : An incurable case of love

Celebrities in the Jdrama :

Satoh Takeru plays the Kiari Tendo persona. Satoh is one of the most known and cherished actors in Japanese society by his roles in Kamen Rider and Rurounin Kenshin.
Takeru Satoh (佐藤 健, Satō Takeru) was born 21 March 1989, in Saitama. He is best known for his leading role as Ryotaro Nogami in the Kamen Rider Den-O franchise, and as Himura Kenshin ( Yes! the samurai one…) in the live-action Rurouni Kenshin film and its sequels. I can tell I personally like the Rurouni Kenshin, and I can tell it’s just like the Anime version. It is reported that during the film he didn’t use any doubles to perform the stunts.

Mone Kamishiraishi plays the gentle Sakura Nanase persona.

Mone Kamishiraishi (上白石 萌音, Kamishiraishi Mone) was born 27 January 1998, Kagoshima, south of Japan. She is an award-winning Japanese singer and actress. She was born on January 27, 1998, in Kagoshima, Japan, and made her acting debut on stage, television, and in film in 2011. She can speak English and a little bit of Spanish.

Official Website :

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