SHITSUREN CHOCOLATIER and the different kinds of one-sided love

(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?

 

jun

 

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?

 

kaokuro

 

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?

 

olivier

 

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.

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11 thoughts on “SHITSUREN CHOCOLATIER and the different kinds of one-sided love

  1. I haven’t started watching yet (or even cracked down on the manga), but even from the synopsis I already know that I’m going to hit Sota multiple times right along with you. Saeko, too. 🙂

    MatsuJun’s not my ichiban, but I love his acting. I don’t necessarily like all the characters he has portrayed, but he does an excellent job of absorbing the personalities of said characters and leaves nothing of himself when the camera’s rolling. Totally different from Mizuhara Kiko, who I love, but it’s not the first time she’s done this type of role. No idea if it’s her choice or not, though.

    I’m pretty excited to see how this series will end. Will we or will we not have to smack Sota by then? Who knows.

    • Will we or will we not have to smack Sota by then? Who knows.

      I certainly hope we won’t have to smack Sota or that will be three months of time and emotions invested in a drama that you’d like to file under “better forgotten and not revisited”. it will remind me of LAST CINDERELLA lol

      yeah, I love how J absorbs the characters he portrays. there’s one hilarious moment in SHITSUREN in ep3 that no one will ever imagine the cool and kakkoi Matsumoto Jun doing in real life.

  2. Yesssss! I totally agree on the Sato Ryuta part. He needs more screen time, and while it is fun to see him squealing and acting all flamboyant, I hope that the writers have some scenes ahead where we get to see a deeper side to his character. I haven’t read the manga series, so I don’t know what his character is actually supposed to be like, but he’s playing a gay character crushing on a straight guy; there’s gotta be something other than comic relief in this role!

    I am so hooked on this drama. It’s just the right mix of humor and heartbreak. And right now, the web of relationships is just so messed up I’m really curious as to how it’s all going to untangle in the next seven episodes. I actually thought things were getting pretty interesting in Ep 2 already, when Jun got all into being the “bad boy” and we got a glimpse of all the other one-sided loves falling into place (Olivier’s, Erena’s, Rokudo’s, Matsuri’s, Kaoruko’s).

    I am with you on Jun’s diversity as an actor. He’s done the standard romance, comedy, action and, as you mentioned, the “internal” acting (I would also add Hajimari no Uta on there as a representative of J showcasing some realism/internal acting), I just ignore people who stubbornly insist that Jun must stick to the HYD mold. Jun’s already proven to the world (and to me) that he’s capable of embodying a wide range of characters, As a fan, that’s enough reason for me to continue to look forward to his future dramas/movies, even if I might not like all of them in the end. Haters gonna hate 😛

    Right now though, I’d say that ChocoJun is most definitely a WIN for our darling J in terms of quality (which sadly doesn’t always translate to awesome Hanzawa Naoki level ratings). There is honestly not a single storyline that I find skippable when I watch it, and not a single character to be extraneous. While I don’t think I’ll ever meet someone as delusional as Souta in real life (and it’s true that he’s not very relatable), I think that is is sometimes important to have a non-realistic, adorably-eccentric lead with enough drive to carry the show. The more relatable characters (for me, that’s mainly Kaoruko and le-sigh Olivier) can then have an interesting premise upon which they act/react.

    Aaahh I cannot wait for ep 4!!!!

    • Omg I was smiling reading your comment coz it’s one of those rare times I read someone going into the subplots of the drama. I am not as invested as you on SC maybe coz I watch it live and by the time I watch the subbed version, the novelty of the episode has since worn off. Maybe I should try not watching it live this week and see what happens.

      I want more Sato Ryuta and yes, beyond the squealing, crushing kind lol

      You’re right, haters gonna hate. But I just hope that if they don’t like it, then they should stop watching instead of whining every single bloody time. I guess their curiosity is getting the better of them lol

      • Oh you should definitely wait for the subbed versions! I personally don’t really like watching raws of anything because my Japanese is so shitty I can only watch things like VSA raw (and I probably understand most of what’s going on only because they caption all the important dialogue haha).

        I’m developing a tender spot for Olivier after Ep. 3. That couch scene and that solemn “Onii sama” scene was just too precious ❤. It’s doubly cute when you consider how he’s pretty much everyone else’s love guru and yet just can’t stick to the plans he sets for himself (the short shorts on our oh-so-vulnerable sleeping beauty were a brilliant touch).

        Ah~ I could go on forever about every subplot haha but I won’t cuz I have work to do. Your article was a fun read 🙂 “Le sigh” is an excellent way to recap pretty much everyone’s plotline so far. Hahaha!

  3. Having read only the first few chapters, I totally despised Saeko’s character in the manga. And I think Satomi’s portrayal as the sweet, ‘naive’, ‘build-me-up buttercup’ girl is quite effective. I initially thought Saeko would have to be played by someone like Kiko Mizuhara because I can totally imagine her being saccharine-level annoying as Saeko. 🙂

    Anyhow, episode 3 is amazing. I love how Saeko is starting to show some human side, and I am willing to give her character a chance. Either Souta’s ‘bad boy’ scheme is simply working on her, or there is an actual story behind Saeko’s feelings. Are her feelings real? Is it love? Or just a case of jealousy or bruised ego?

    I am cheering for Olivier and Kaoruko-san in their one-sided love! I think their characters serve as a good counterbalance to Souta’s and Saeko’s. The quiet and mature way to nurture a one-sided love versus the scheming kind.

    I agree with you about Rikudou; I expected to see more of him right after the first episode. Same goes for Takenaka Naoto-san! He hasn’t really appeared much since.

    Finally, thumbs up to this! >> “The fan kind, the biggest one-sided love there is ever hahaha.”

  4. I can’t really relate to any of the characters – at most Kaoruko though I wish she were more sarcastic and dismissive of Saeko, because I CAN’T STAND Saeko – and it’s not really my kind of story either, I think precisely because I can’t relate to the characters. How does Olivier like Matsuri when she’s a cheater? I have no pity for Matsuri, because she’s asking for pain with relationship, it’s her own choice. I don’t dislike Erena, though she is, as you say, yeah, a bit too liberal for my book. Saeto: don’t understand his love for Saeko at all. I really, really, really hope that he gets over her, that would be the only thing that would make this drama worth it. I’m not entirely convinced it will happen though, since it’s pretty clear that Saeko married some random bloke, not someone she loves (well, personally I think the only love she’s capable of is self-love).

    I’m only watching this because of Jun, in the hope it’ll go somewhere that actually makes sense….

    • THIS: “The only love she’s capable of is self love.” It’s a good thing it’s Satomi playing Saeko so I am still able to tolerate watching her onscreen lol

      Wouldn’t if be nice if the story really winds up with Sota getting over her? I mean that should be the whole point of the story, right? But then we’re not the writers so yeah…

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