A popular student, an outsider and a bullied girl…three extremely different characters destined to be friends.
“People aren’t meant to be tested…they’re meant to grow.”
This is my second viewing of this 10 episode dorama. After talking about the cast with my friend, we both aren’t keen enough toward Yamapi, I somehow had the urge to rewatch this dorama. I finished all ten episodes in three days.
野ブタ。をプロデュース (Nobuta wo Produce) was based on a novel by Shiroiwa Gen. It’s a story of three high school students but don’t think that this series is same with high school in America. This teenager story is closer to students in my country than to US.
|Kiritani Shuji (Kamenashi Kazuya) was a very popular guy. He is popular because he was an easy going person and knew how to behave well toward everybody. He gave impression that he was going out with the most popular girl in school. No one knows that Shuji’s popularity came from his ability to fake his own emotion. His true self was not what his friend saw. He tried to be a person that everyone would like. To him, life was a game and to survive in high school, he had to act nice to everyone.
|Kusano Akira (Yamashita Tomohisa) was an outsider. He acted as he pleased. He made joke that no one found it funny but he laughed as it was the best joke ever. He moved around like a drunken kid. His weird attitude made him a person without friend in his class. However, he always assumed that Shuji was his friend…in fact Shuji terribly hated him. Akira came from a very wealthy family but he decided to life with a tofu seller instead of in his expensive apartment.
|Kotani Nobuko (Horikita Maki) was a new student who had been a victim of bullying since elementary. Being bullied since early age made her distrust everyone. She never smiled and walked with her head down, she sort of looked like Sadako (Ringu). The moment she entered the class, the naughtiest girl in the class started picking on her. Things changed after Kotani met Akira and Shuji, she even had a nick name. They called her Nobuta.
The story began with Shuji preparing to go to school. He had a little ritual before coming to school, he had to touch a willow tree near the river. One day, he found the willow tree was no longer there, in the middle of his shock, a girl step out and said that the willow tree had been pulled out. Shuji was scared because the girl looked like a evil spirit. Few days later, the girl was introduced in his class as a new student. She was Kotani Nobuko.
At first, Shuji tried to ignore the fact that Kotani was bullied by his other classmate. Things got out hand when the girls poured water on Kotani. Shuji felt sorry and helped her. Akira who also saw the incident came along. The three of them sat on the school’s roof. Akira wanted to help Kotani. Akira said to them that to help Kotani was by changing her into a popular girl, to do that Akira needed the help of the most popular guy in school. Shuji agreed, he would become the producer who would produce the popular Kotani. At that time, both Shuji and Akira made nickname for Kotani, she was called Nobuta.
They tried everything to make the shy and gloomy Nobuta to be a popular girl, all their conspiracies were done on the school roof. They did this project secretly. About half of the series was about making Nobuta popular by making her read in special book store, making a haunted house for school festival, creating a key chain, changing they she dressed and many things. But, where there were good people there would also be bad people. Someone kept ruining Shuji and Akira’s plans.
All the ups and downs made them closer then ever. Their friendship got stronger and Shuji no longer cared if his friends knew that he was closed to Nobuta. Nobuta finally got her popularity just by being herself. The last few episodes were more into their friendship rather than their effort to popularize Nobuta.
I love their friendship, I love how it misled me to the wrong bad person (at first), and I love the ending too.
Here are the parts that I like the most (SPOILERS!)
When Shuji was having hard time because no one trusted him anymore but his two best friends showed him that they still trusted him. Because of Akira and Nobuta, Shuji could smile again and said “It doesn’t matter if everyone doesn’t believe me as long as these two believe in me.”
When Nobuta broke a branch of a sacred tree (everyone who broke it will put his/her most important person in the world in danger). She was given one charm to break the curse but she wanted to give both Akira and Shuji the charm because they were her most important people. In the end, she threw away the charm and said let the danger come to all three of us.
When Nobuta was dreaming of being visited by Santa Claus and he asked her what she wants, she said “I don’t need anything, please go to Shuji’s house”. At Shuji’s house, Santa was sent to Akira’s house because Shuji didn’t want anything…but Akira broke the chain by telling Santa he wanted Rice Bread…hahaha that was quite funny.
I really enjoy this dorama, high school life is a fun thing to observe. To be honest, I like Japanese teenager series more than US series because it is closer to our culture. Beside that, Japanese series always give good moral that can be used by their teenagers.
I first watch this dorama in 2006 and had reviewed it in Bahasa Indonesia (here) and see it again last week…it took 6 years to view it for the second time and maybe 6 years from now, I will watch it again
A fan made trailer by The Berkano
Title: 野ブタ。をプロデュース (Nobuta Wo Produce – Producing Nobuta)
Genre: School drama, comedy
Broadcast period: October 15, 2005 – December 17, 2005
Staring: Kazuya Kamenashi, Tomohisa Yamashita, Maki Horikita, Erika Toda, Rumi Hiiragi, Takashi Ukaji, Yuto Nakajima
Screenwriter: Gen Shiroiwa, Izumi Kizara
Producers: Hidehiro Kawano
Directors: Hitoshi Iwamoto, Norika Sakuma
IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0481046/
This dorama won big at 47th Television Drama Academy Awards Japan as:
Best Drama: Nobuta wo Produce
Best actor : Kamenashi Kazuya (Shuuji Kiritani)
Best supporting actress: Maki Horikita ( Kotani Nobuko)
Best Director: Iwamoto Hitoshi( Nobuta wo Produce)
Best Scriptwriter: Kizara Izumi (Nobuta wo Produce)
Best Musical Arrangement: Nobuta wo Produce
Extra Note: People who know I like Japanese Dorama often mistaken my reason for giving Kame as my first turtle’s name. They thought I named her like that because I am a fan of KAMEnashi Kazuya. I do like Kamenashi because he is so cute (Cuter than Yamapi) but he is not the reason.