(May contain spoilers)
Being in a one-sided love kills you every day.
Or something along those lines I’ve read before.
Going into episode 3 of SHITSUREN CHOCOLATIER, I think I can see why Matsujun accepted this drama. His career choices have not always been popular with the fans especially those who want to see him forever as Domyoji. There are those who think he does romantic dramas all the time.
But that is not exactly true.
NATSU NIJI may have been a romance drama about an older woman and a younger guy but it explored the growth of a second-generation actor who had to suffer in the shadows of his father. SHITSUREN CHOCOLATIER is, well, as the title suggests, about a heartbroken chocolatier and his journey to success and getting past that big heartbreak (and I hope you do, Sota, or I’m seriously getting inside the screen or that manga to make you see the light).
What these two romance dramas have in common is how they focus on the internal struggle and growth of the characters that Jun plays. (In other words, internal acting people, not the in-your-face kind of acting.) These dramas are not entirely about love and Jun’s characters can’t be considered le-sigh-he’s-so-perfect ideal kind. (In Sota’s case, it’s le sigh, he’s so pathetic kind.)
So when people accuse Jun of always taking romantic leads and moaning about the fact that he hasn’t done anything to take on challenging roles, I don’t really get where they are coming from. It’s either they are stuck in the HANA YORI DANGO era or they don’t know his body of work at all.
I don’t count KIMI WA PETTO and TOKYO TOWER as part of his “romantic lead” works because they came before HYD, which brought Matsumoto Jun to everyone’s consciousness. And even then, they were not the boy-meets-girl variety either. And surely, BAMBINO, SMILE and even LUCKY SEVEN were not of the romance garden variety?
Now, SHITSUREN CHOCOLATIER may be about love–the many sides of one-sided love if you may–but it’s not garden variety either. And in episode 3, the story is about to hit the high gear.
I’m sure many can relate to at least one of the characters in the drama because we’ve all been through one-sided love at one time or another.
Delusional love: Is it the Sota kind who can never get over that one girl he has idealized most of his life and still loves no matter what, even if she’s already married?
Le sigh love: Is it the Kaoruko kind who is content to work alongside the person she secretly loves and dies inside every day as she sees him pining over someone else?
Do you want to have sex love: Is it the Erena kind who tries to play around knowing that she will never be with the man she loves simply because he is out of her reach?
Gomen I love you love: Is it the Olivier kind who tries to be patient and upfront about his feelings even in the face of rejection?
Forbidden love: Is it the Matsuri kind who knows she is hurting her best friend by being with her boyfriend but still continues anyway because she loves him?
Boy love: Is it the Rokudo kind of love who is unabashedly infatuated with his rival?
Indeed, this drama is full of angst and the he-loves-her-but-she-loves-someone-else merry-go-round. It does sound familiar like an ouchie.
But to be honest, I can’t relate with all of the characters, especially Sota’s. I want to bang his head against the wall most of the time. I like Satomi but her character Saeko is starting to get on my nerves and I can’t, for the life of me, understand why Sota is so hung up on her. Dammit, he’s been to Paris and he’s famous, surely he could have met someone more deserving of his devotion?
Ah, but as Olivier wisely says:
“The people we meet in our lifetime are very limited. It’s like a hamster who ends up liking the other hamster in the next box.”
Olivier’s character is easy to relate to and he’s more sensible than the others when it comes to love–except for that moment of weakness that became a trigger for him to be more upfront with his feelings.
I like Erena too, even if she may be too liberal. Her vulnerability is very endearing and you can’t help but root for her–either with that band drummer that she likes from afar
(is it GD… I mean… CNBlue’s Kang Minhyuk, Erena?) or with Sota. At least she’s not like Saeko who strings this guy she knows she has wounded in her little finger and takes advantage of it with no regard to his feelings whatsoever.
But I’d like to see more development in the boy love kind and have more Matsujun and Sato Ryuta scenes. Ryuta is so underused in this drama I hope they are not going to totally waste his name on the marquee by putting him in one token scene per episode. Or else I’d really think he accepted this drama because he needs the money.
All in all, it’s still not my kind of story but I’m still watching because: I’m curious where it will go; and all that hate against Jun has made me more protective (he’s my ichiban after all). I guess this is another kind of one-sided love. The fan kind, the biggest one-sided love there is ever hahaha.
With all due respect to those other fans who eat
bitter gourd bittersweet chocolate every day.
(Photos: #shitsurenchocolatier tag on tumbr)
© Yasminka Lee (blogging since 2001). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the contents in Orange Jasmine Purple Yam without permission from the author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Yasminka Lee/Orange Jasmine Purple Yam with appropriate link to the original content.