Reaching episode 10 of LAST CINDERELLA, I have to say that the reason why I got this far with this drama without giving up on it halfway (or once Miura’s hair became uglier and uglier) is because of Fujiki Naohito. And maybe, a small part of it is my curiosity on who Sakura will end up with.
Is it Hiroto, the young BMX rider who is 19 years her junior? Who has a f*cked-up relationship with his stepsister? Who lied to Sakura the first time they met but eventually fell in love with her? Who looks like his hair has been unwashed for months?
Or is it the mature Rintaro, who bickers with Sakura but is the first one by her side whenever she needs someone? Who will even “date” f*cked-up stepsister just to protect Sakura and let her date the younger guy peacefully? Who would rather step back just to let her be happy?
It’s not just Miura’s hair that has made me dislike the character of Hiroto. It wasn’t even the fakery with which he started his relationship with Sakura. It’s how Miura has attacked the role. Of course I don’t blame him entirely because a great part of it is all thanks–or no thanks–to the writer, who made the character of Hiroto into a scamming “hero” trying to win sympathy given his family background. But I can’t have even an iota of sympathy especially when he tries to be cute when he’s with Sakura (okay, so he’s only 19 years old, supposedly) and be all like superman when faced with his rival. If trying to act grown-up in front of Rintaro because he’s threatened is what Miura is trying to do with his character, it just does not translate onscreen and resonates with me as a viewer. But maybe it’s his tough luck that he’s against Fujiki, who has owned the roles given to him even if they’re largely in the background or very similar to one another (Rintaro reminds me of HOTARU NO HIKARI’s Bucho for one). Or maybe I just don’t like how Miura’s characterization reminds me of Matsumoto Jun’s early roles that MJ was able to get away with successfully.
Something has to be said in episode 10 when I’d cry over Rintaro’s unlikely confession to Sakura that’s so simple and unexpected while the tear ducts refuse to budge in Hiroto’s dramatic scenes. And the boy is given so many dramatic highlights here: his confrontation with f*cked-up stepsister which only makes him come out as lame, his confrontation with Sakura where he owns up to the lie but proclaims his real love for her, and after the “break-up” scene when he breaks down. No tears and all I could think of was, in spite of having a hairdresser as a girlfriend, Hiroto badly needs a decent haircut and shampoo.
Fujiki, on the other hand, is given so little to do, which I find unfair. Sure, there was that back story about his college sweetheart who dumped him to marry someone else and then goes running back to him when she divorces. But I suppose that also says a lot about the character of Rintaro, how he is so reliable despite his sharp tongue, and that women tend to treat him like a comfort pillow more than husband-potential.
Meantime, Shinohara’s portrayal of Sakura leaves the door wide open for criticisms, especially in her scenes with the young boyfriend. I can’t decide if it’s because she’s with a young guy so she thinks she needs to act like a simpering virgin or that being with a young guy turns her into a clueless teenager; either way, it’s uncomfortable to watch, and if only for that reason, I would vote for her to be together with Rintaro, who gives her security and stability and lets her be herself, a woman who just turned 40 and not 14.
So if I were Sakura, the choice is very clear. Just look at them.
For all it matters, the production behind LAST CINDERELLA has done a good job in keeping the audience guessing on who Sakura will end up with. Even the OBB remains very vague on who gets to put the glass slipper on Cinderella.
We will know next week.
I hope Zobar (the bar in the drama) serves YELLOW cab cocktail because I’d like to have one.
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