Episode: Episode 2/10 of completed JDrama series adapted from a Josei manga series (English sub version)
Other Names: Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai
Online: Wikipedia (Re: Manga), MyDramaList, AsianWiki, IMDB, KissAsian, DramaCool
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, Drama
I am back with my review of the second episode in the Please Love the Useless Me live-action TV adaptation.
After Ayumu Kurosawa (Dean Fujioka) mistakenly kissed Michiko Shibata (Kyoko Fukada) while drunk at the end of the last episode, our heroine wonders about the woman that he whispered the name out in his groggy state. Encouraged by Ayumu who is completely unaware that he kissed her, Michiko begins to push forward with her job-hunting and lands an office position. Though she falls back into some self-destructive people-pleasing habits, Michiko manages to gain the attention of a young man that she’s met by chance several times before, Daichi Mogami (Shohei Muira).
This episode might have changed a few scenes here and there, but we see it staying close enough to the manga to hold the charm and adorableness of the original. I was happy to see some more iconic scenes from the series also be added to the script for the live-action. Then again, most readers of the series would have got upset if they’d been dumped.
I have been waiting for the meat pillow not-a-date sequence since I first discovered this adaptation existed, and I wasn’t disappointed with how it played out in this second episode. It is one of those sequences in the manga that sums up the characters of Ayumu and Michiko so well. It is that energy and a seemingly simple act of kindness that also shows what the two characters offer each other as human beings and friends. Ever since I read the sequence in the manga, I’ve wanted one of those damned meat cushions as well. I might have to convince my hubby to get one.
To Mogami, it was evident from the first episode who he was. Shohei Miura does an awesome job of capturing his youthful enthusiasm and naivety as well as his openness about his feelings for Michiko, an appropriate opposite for Dean Fujioka’s Kurosawa. We know from the start that his relationship with Michiko is not going to work out, but we still root for him because the character is a nice, hardworking guy.
We get to see more of Ayumu’s ex-girlfriend Akira Ikushima (Maho Nonami) again. She was a staple in the manga as well, and it is really nice seeing how well Maho Nonami portrays her character. The more that I see of her acting, the more inclined that I am to check out more of her roles. In this episode, we see her friendship with Michiko developing nicely. Michiko’s own life also puts her own into perspective, making their friendship make a lot of sense from a psychological point of view.
We got to see more of the two friends that Michiko had back when she was Ayumu’s subordinate. Aki Yoneda (Kinako Kobayashi) and Erika Fujimoto (Izumi Fujimoto) are such wonderful, supportive characters that offer a lot of insight into Michiko’s past. Without them, we wouldn’t get to see more of Michiko’s life beyond her dealings with Ayumu.
This episode did a good job of reaching important milestones in the life of our heroine. Whilst it might deviate ever so slightly from the manga, such as change of setting seen in the drunk kiss sequence, it still manages to hold true to the original. As such, I will be happily continuing this series.