Yamashita Tomohisa — Before Becoming a Monk

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These are Yamashita Tomohisa‘s old pictures, but since they look so good and nicely scanned (and nicely Photoshopped), I thought I’ll post it for some drool time, and rant about his latest ended drama, From 5 to 9. I initially plan to write a drama review after it ends; however, I lost my mojo for a proper post. Thus, I’m just going to spill it all out in this one.

A few of these images are from a magazine named WWD Japan, and the others, I have no idea; I just happened to chance upon it on the social media network. So. Let’s talk about From 5 to 9 (also known as 5-ji kara 9-ji made) since I’m not exactly proficient swooning at images with descriptive words.

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— Beware: Ranting in Progress–

I really thought I hit a jackpot—that the romance is finally back in J-drama, but then right after episode 4, I began to lose interest in the show. It became annoying to see Takane’s stubborn grandmother being nasty, bitchy and a complete ol’ fool towards Junko (Ishihara Satomi) unreasonably. This is not someone who serves the buddha should act or behave towards another human being, especially when her job every day is to promote the goodness of humanity and/or the religion/buddha she prays to. Her behaviour was disgusting, distasteful and childish; I wanted to yell at Takane (Yamashita Tomohisa) for letting her mistreat and insult Junko every single time. She does not deserve to be respected, and hence, if I were Junko, I would have given her a good smack down instead of kneeling before her, begging for her approval. Ughhh.

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And then the show went further downhill by introducing Takane’s younger brother with an inferiority complex that I am sure no one could care less, or can relate to, since his character pops up from no where and was so freaking under-developed. His revengeful act is just as misplaced as his grandmother’s disapproval towards Junko. Since I haven’t read the manga, I wonder if this brother actually exist, and whether he is behaving the same way (except I expect his story being told more thoroughly in the books).

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The worst came when the show threw in the noble idiocy card at Takane. It was so unnecessary; it was also very un-Junko-like for Junko to give up her dream for Takane. I’m not convinced about that part, and it was most certainly annoying not being able to see how in the end, Takane decided to stop being an idiot and propose. There was a whole section (a big chunk I must say) missing in the finale episode, which I now have to use my imagination.

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As far as we know, his grandmother read Junko’s letter to Takane, pays Junko a visit, and gave the reason of “because Junko is too much like Takane’s mother, and it was because of her that Takane lost his parents in the accident.” And she still doesn’t approve Junko as the temple’s bride, but she approves Junko as Takane’s bride—Okaaaaaaaayyyyyy. *Rolls my eyes* Maybe if she had told the viewers looooong ago, viewers would have been more understanding, but it didn’t come off as good enough reason when she revealed it so late in the show. Just don’t cut it, grandma. It does not make her less hateful, and it sures does not make her look less of a bitch.

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But seriously, what happened behind the scenes? How did she decided to stop being a bitch? Did she have an epiphony overnight, or maybe Buddha finally decided to whip her in her sleep? I would like to know. Really. How?

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In my imagination: I would like the drama to show grandma received laser treatment for her eyesight, and finally opened up her eyes to see how unhappy and ‘dead’ Takane is, after he decided to let Junko go. Or perhaps show us all the monks beg her to let Takane and Junko together etc. Just something, yunno? It makes no sense she suddenly came around right at the end. It never works trying to bleach an antagonistic character right at the end of the finale—that always fail miserably, show. Please learn from this mistake.

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Having said that, I did enjoy the reversal of having Junko trying to pursue Takane, like he did to her in the beginning. Emotionally, it got me crying along with Junko etc., but I wish there was more meat or impact than what was shown in that last 45 minutes finale. 😦 I want to see Takane shed tears when he sees Junko crying, but he could not comfort her etc.

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Overall, it’s an entertaining and comical drama if we skip through the annoying characters (and that include the stupid girl who have no reason to believe she is the more suitable bride for Takane. *Eyes-rolling*). Other than that, I really don’t think highly of it, or believe it will remain a memorable drama in the history of J-drama.

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Although, I am glad my love for Yamapi rekindle a little after this drama. Only a bit, I guess, for he didn’t end up impressing in his acting/perfomance in the latter episodes. This I blame the writer for not giving the character any breakthrough. The supporting characters are just as under-developed, not that I care, since with 10 episodes, there isn’t much time for the writer to focus on each character.

–End of Rant–

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