Date (2015)

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After Nodame Cantabile, I think this was the first J-drama that made me LOL till my stomach hurt. While Nodame Cantabile was more towards slapstick comedy, Date was deadpan humor, and often times got pretty hilarious in places that I didn't expect. I just had to pause at certain scenes just so I could continue laughing.

Date depicted the 'adventure' of a highly intelligent but emotionally-challenged Yoriko Yabushita to find a marriage partner before she hit 30. She wasn't initially keen on relationship and thought romance was nonsense. But she overheard her father crying one day brooding on her future while looking at his dead wife's picture. With a sense of filial duty, she signed up with a dating agency to look for the perfect match. 

Piece (2012)

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University student Mizuho Suga (Tsubasa Honda) learns that her former high school classmate Haruka Origuchi (Erina Mizuno) died from an illness. At her funeral, Mizuho meets another former high school classmate Hikaru Narumi (Yuma Nakayama). In their high school days, Hikaru Narumi was famous for being a playboy. Mizuho and Hikaru Narumi were also in a special relationship. Hikaru was outgoing, but Mizuho found it difficult to make new friends. They once kissed in the classroom and went on a one day summer trip together. They weren't friends or lovers and kept their relationship a secret. Meanwhile, Haruka Origuchi's mother tries to talk to Mizuho, believing Mizuho was her daughter's best friend. Haruka's mother asks about Haruka's boyfriend. Haruka became pregnant with her boyfriend in the past. - AsianWiki

Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo (2013)

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It's been a long while since I posted a drama review on this blog. To be honest, I haven't done much k-drama watching these days. If I do, I never finish, or if I finish, the impression isn't strong enough to propel me to sit up and type away. Between this on-off interest in k-drama, I actually managed to finish two Taiwanese series both starring Aaron Yan (Just You and Fall in Love with Me). He was so riveting as an actor I just couldn't stopped watching. And because I thought maybe Taiwanese series weren't so bad these days, I kept looking at the streaming site for any TW-series that hopefully would be as engaging, if not story-wise then acting-wise but none really sticked out. 

I tried Fabulous Boys which turned out to be a remake of K-drama You're Beautiful. The start was decent, but because I watched You're Beautiful quite faithfully, and nothing in this remake seemed to deviate from the original series, everything soon became boring so I stopped. Despite that, it actually triggered my curiosity in all things REMAKE, which also includes ADAPTATION. It reminded me of Meteor Garden vs Hana Yori Dango vs Boys Over Flowers, all three of which I actually enjoyed watching despite them covering the exact same story. 

Then I came across the webpage of Season 2 Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo. Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo is an adaptation of the manga Itazura na Kiss. In a nutshell, イタズラなKiss was a story about a cheerful average teenage girl who fell in love at first sight with a cold-but-good-looking-all-around-super-genius boy at school. Girl confessed, Boy rejected, Boy was mean and haughty, Girl persevered, Boy was won over. Tadaaa~ Sounds typical of your classic high school rom-com, yeah? Well, because it is. But this typical framework can work like a charm every time if done right.