Honestly, my sole reason for picking up this drama was because of the hype that it has received so I decided to see for my own eyes. I have heard that it starts off well but then goes downhill but I shall see how I fair with this. (:
I am always up for a Cinderella drama because the plot is concrete so you can’t stray too far from it. It is always solid and knows the direction that it wants to head off too. Admittedly, I have seen numerous Cinderella dramas, so I am always keen on watching one that puts a spin on the Cinderella story. Last Cinderella has that spin; it takes the Cinderella story on a path that I have never seen before and it makes me eager to see how it will develop.
One always associate Cinderella to being a ragged-girl partaking on the tough jobs, in need of a Prince Charming to save her and most importantly, being a gentle, kind-hearted girl and sweet girl. The Cinderella that we have here has most of those boxes ticked but what differentiates her is that she is quite masculine. Not the girl that everyone associates the title of Cinderella to. This is the very point that makes me anxious to see where the story will take it because I want to see how masculine Cinderella, Toyama Sakura (Shinohara Ryoko) will be transformed into a Cinderella wearing a pretty wedding gown!
The drama is not just about Cinderella, it is about three woman approaching their 40’s lost for love, or more precisely having love problems. The woman are three best friends who are on very different stages in their love life. There is Sakura who is looking to blossom for the first time, Takenouchi Miki (Otsuka Nene) who is facing some marriage difficulties and then there is Hasegawa Shima (Iijima Naoko) who is a divorcee having flings with whoever she pleases. The three woman have to go on a unique adventure for this love quest of theirs and I just wonder where they will all end up.
The start is very promising, very promising indeed. The premise is good, starting off quite strong. Sakura quickly finds herself entangled with a man 15 years her junior, Saeki Hiroto (Miura Haruma) who is trying to pursue her, but little does she know that there is a back story to this. This type of financial initiated courtship storyline is not new to me but yet I am always keen to see how it develops and neither is an ane-otouto relationship anything out of the ordinary. However, put them together and you get an entirely differently perspective towards this courtship. It is a courtship powered by benefits from one party and genuine love-searching from the other.
What I found myself liking about their relationship in these first two episodes is that I have no idea when the storyline will turn! That is what is keeping me on my toes. There are clues being dropped but it doesn’t leave me a clear-cut outline of how their relationship will turn out to be like, and this is what is keeping their relationship exciting for me. What’s more is that I am looking forward to the changed man that Hiroto will be coming out of this.
Hiroto is proving to be a very interesting character predominantly due to his courtship of Sakura. He is only chasing Sakura because of financial gain but it is only a matter of time when he falls for her. I love the ways that he is using to get her; he really is making the effort to get her to fall for him though he is yet to fall for her. He really knows his way into a woman’s heart! At the same time he is also quite mysterious. His character is quite well built up with a very solid background. What I like about his character is that his background leaves a lot of holes for viewers to be intrigued about how they will fill up. Other than his relationship with Sakura, his relationship Ogami Chiyoko (Nanao) is one that I really look forward to seeing unfold. They have a large background behind them and I would love to see the picture that it carries.
Sakura’s life is also entangled by another man, Tachibana Rintaro (Fujiki Naohito), who is her superior as well as her next door neighbour. They bicker and aren’t too fond of each other but he is always giving her advice and the way he treats her is friendlier than two bickering friends. He is aware of her life and helps her out in a not-so obvious way. I like their communication because they do so in their bickering way but there is no hard feelings about it. Their relationship is definitely growing, and it is growing at not at haste but also not too slow. The way their relationship is written out is quite strategic because it leaves plenty of room for growth and provides numerous pathways.
The feelings that Rinataro has for Sakura is quite interesting because it is at an in-between stage of bickering friends and having romantic feelings for her. This state is what gives Sakura-Rintaro’s relationship some depth. Rinataro probably has feelings for Sakura but he is yet to discover it himself and he is definitely not ready to admit it. Though, the signs are obvious that he really does care for her. There is the pang of jealousy knowing that Hiroto is pursuing her but not enough for him to evoke any feelings.
Sakura’s personality is a perfect reflection of her character. She doesn’t care about how she looks or dresses despite her job being a hair stylist but she does care for how others are treated. She is willing to stand up for injustices and she is not afraid to speak her mind out. She doesn’t even care shout how people view her or call her, she just isn’t going to allow bullies to get away. The scene on the bus where she gave the man a huge lecture for taking up the seat which she freed up for a mother is indicative of just how upright she is. I am really keen on how this personality of hers will impact or change her in her path of finding love.
Age does not appear to being playing a very big factor to Hiroto and Sakura’s relationship which I am liking. I think for them age is not a barrier that they have to cross, but this would be something that brings them together. Though, why they decided to give each other a go is because they are both looking to gain something; she is desperate for love and he needs his financial gains. She slowly warms to him, but I did find that her suspicion towards him is quite lacking so I hope that his won’t become an obstacle to their relationship development.
It’s a very promising start but I know not to get my hopes up as I know it will fall downhill. And when it does fall downhill, I will be happy that there is Haruma for me to look at. (: However, I am quite curious as to how the story will develop, especially with how Sakura will change.
[Credits: Pictures from https://www.facebook.com/LastCinderellaFujiTV]