Tumbled out

Posted: August 30, 2011 in j-drama
the Kara HIghschool Boys Rhythmic Gymnastics Club

the Kara HIghschool Boys Rhythmic Gymnastics Club

It took me two days, and I finished it. Like a good book, I couldn’t put it down. Now it’s over, and that really makes me sad. There’s no spoilers in this post; I just want to say a few things. It might be weird to admit this, but this is, with out a doubt, the best show I’ve ever seen, including anything I’ve seen in America. It sounds ridiculous, right? To love such a bizarre show about rhythmic gymnastics with an underlying theme of never abandoning your friends, it’s absurd.

But the show made me cry, in at least 7/11 episodes. When they’d get ready to do a competition, or help eachother learn a new trick, or getting a new member involved, you can’t help but stand and cheer at the screen. I think I scream and cheered more at my screen with this show than anything else I’ve watched; no other show made me feel this involved. You can’t help but love all the characters, even though picking favorites is always imminent. You might even be surprised at who you end up favoring at the end. My favorite, Kiyama, at the beginning, turned into Hino and Azuma pretty much equally. And I went from loathing Satoshi to really enjoying his character by the end. Believe me, he makes up for his high pitch squeak of a voice.

The after party for the Kanto region competition was a great way to end it. Everything wrapped up, mostly nicely. Some of the most hilarious moments of the show are in this scene. On the downside, they make you realize, pretty much in the last three minutes of the final episode, that 6/9 of the members are seniors this year, and that the club is back down to 3. So much for my hopes for a second season.

Yamamoto Yusuke as Azuma Wataru

Yamamoto Yusuke as Azuma Wataru

Daito Shunsuke as Kiyama Ryuichiro

Daito Shunsuke as Kiyama Ryuichiro

This show totally set up Yusuke and Shunsuke for their roles in Ouran. Yusuke, who played Azuma, has a major Tamaki moment when he mopes on the stairs at the after party. But aside from that, the passion that his character exudes at a constant level is unwittingly a Tamaki signature. And just like Tamaki, Azuma’s strength was being able to pull all the hurt, pain, hidden pasts and trials that burden the club members and turn them into an unbreakable family.

Kiyama didn’t speak very much through the majority of the series. When he did, it was important. And even though Azuma was the head honcho, it was Kiyama no one wanted to mess with. Shadow King anyone? The difference in character appearance between Kiyama and Kyoya is significant, almost like they’re two separate actors. But on that rare occasion that Kiyama smiled, that’s when you know they’re the same.

Nishijima Takahiro as Hino Tetsuya

Nishijima Takahiro as Hino Tetsuya

Going into the series, these were the two I was looking for, to see how their acting was outside of the purposefully crazy Ouran Host Club. I was quickly introduced to a character who was a total jerk through the first two-thirds of the series. His redeeming process wakes you up to the fact that this kid can act. And apparently he sings and dances too (as a member of the j-pop group Attack All Around), which is exceedingly obvious when they add a dance routine to their number. He quickly becomes a fan favorite.

All-in-all, I loved this show, which I’m sure you’re well aware of by now. The way the underlying theme generally avails itself in the plot line is almost like watching a live action anime. I seriously wish American TV dramas, and by dramas I don’t mean soap operas (which is why I think I paid no attention to Japanese dramas until now), could have such moral ideas and attitudes that keep popping up as their theme.

I would watch this show again, in a heart beat. And every so often I catch myself replaying some of the more brilliant moments in the episodes. I highly recommend this show; just give it a chance to get past any preconceived notions. The plot line is so much deeper than the descriptions give it credit for.

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