Let’s face it. Entertaining yourself can be serious bizness sometimes. But luckily for you, this week I extend my scrutiny to the dramas of Kimura Takuya, pretty boy extraordinaire! Part 2 of my Kimura Takuya addiction, this guy has been holding onto the spotlight longer than some of us have been alive. If you’ve somehow missed out on the face of Kimura Takuya all this time, then it’s about time you checked him out ;)
Today I bring you my top 4 Takuya dramas in no particular order. Maybe I’m getting way too mature, but nearly all my favorite KT dramas put him on the older more respectable side of the Takuya equation. Lawyer, engineer, politician, if it’s got old and dying written all over it, then I’ve probably enjoyed the ride.
PRIDE - 2004
Here it is. The only drama in the ENTIRE world about Japanese Hockey! If that alone didn’t make it worth watching then maybe Takuya’s new combination of butt-kicking attitude and intriguing Engrish wordplay (I kid you not) will catch your attention. Featuring a soundtrack nearly completely composed of Queen songs and showcasing Takuya’s well-calculated (and strangely complicated) “bad boy” image this is nothing less than my favorite asian drama of all time! Oh hell yes I did just say that. It’s really that good. PRIDE’s odd mix of courage, cold-heartedness and sportmanship pits Takuya as “Halu”, the ruthless star player of a Japanese corporate hockey team. Things get complicated when he casually strikes a deal to be in a strictly open relationship with heartbroken “Aki” (Yuko Takeuchi) who’s been waiting for her missing boyfriend to return for over a year. Maybe living in Canada has made me biased towards hockey, maybe I have a thing for Japanese people in ridiculous situations, maybe I love the opening theme song better than the actual show or maybe this drama is just a damn good waste of time! You won’t be disappointed to find out which. Whether you’re already a fan of pride PRIDE or not, you won’t regret seeing this opening just one more time:
Despite being heavily episodal (mystery–>plot twist–>case closed), Hero finds a special place in my crowded heart for just being so god damned formulaic. The feeling is indescribable, but after a long day’s work, there’s nothing like kicking back and watching law-clerk-sidekick Amamiya (Takako Matsu) getting utterly confused and Takuya reaching his daily ball-shattering epiphany. Trust me, by the time the credits roll you won’t even remember why you sat down.
KAREI-NARU ICHIZOKU (”GRAND TRIBE”) - 2007
Can you say obscure (well obviously not to you guys)? Unfortunately, if you’re used to seeing Takuya acting anything remotely like himself, then you may be hurt to know that you won’t find your usual mix of buttkicking action, young love, or dirty sleuthing action here. However, what you will find is that a complex socio-political drama that may be too much for the average drama fan to handle. Those sticking it out will not regret it however, as GRAND TRIBE packs an ending with an explosive punch and a one hell of a plot twist that will still manage to leave you disturbed in a way only JDramas know how.
Celebrating the 55th anniversary of Japanese broadcast station TBS, GRAND TRIBE is a movie that casts Takuya in the role of the owner of an up and coming steel manufacturing company and also the son of a powerful and manipulative banker. A story about cut-throat business politics and the fragile ties that bind a rich family together, GRAND TRIBE will satisfy the evil cunning deceptive business(wo)man in all of us, while leaving the rest of you totally confused. But not confused enough apparently, as this series has been widely recognized as some of Takuya’s best and most refreshing work to date.
CHANGE - 2008
And last but not least, I want to introduce CHANGE, a drama that casts Takuya in an even maturer role as a politician destined to become the president of Japan. Being Takuya’s most recent work, CHANGE really shakes things up from his usual renegade attitude to a clean-cut clueless school teacher (Asakura Keita played by Takuya) turned even more clueless politician with a large heart.
After the Prime Minister of Japan dies in a random plane crash, his renounced and largely unknown son (Takuya) is dragged into the spotlight as a surprise candidate for the leadership of Japan. It is up to pathetically down-to-Earth Takuya and his perky team of inexplicably skillful campaigners to win the election and morally save a corrupt Japan. Shock, awe and political maneuvering follow in a mix of deception and straight-up honesty that define CHANGE as one of the most interesting drama’s of yesteryear.
Something about the excessive attractiveness of the main players has me guessing that you will not find CHANGE to be the hard-hitting critical examination of the political process that it sets itself up to be. But despite the major change of pace, CHANGE is guaranteed to leave a very different taste in your mouth. Almost like milk, which has been left past its expiry date….just kidding. Even I wouldn’t go that far.
It’s well known fact that everything that Kimu-Taku touches turns to gold, no matter the drama he ends up in. If you’re looking for a little more of Takuya’s usual style, be sure to check out Beautiful Life and Good Luck!!. Till next time Ningin!
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