This is the first of hopefully an ongoing series where I pimp out interesting/fun/mindblowing dramas that I’ve seen. These aren’t reviews, merely a nudge in a certain direction. Today I present to you: Hotaru no Hikari, a Japanese rom-com office and porch drama.
Next to Athena, the drama I have been anticipating the most in 2010 has arrived. No, it is not the titular Hotaru no Hikari, which aired in the Summer of 2007, though it does share the same name. I’m talking about the arrival of Hotaru no Hikari Season 2, which definitely took the long way to get here (a detour of say, three years).
So far, it does not disappoint me one whit. Which is a near impossible task to achieve, considering said drama is a fan-freaking sequel. I can count on one hand, and maybe throw in an extra thumb, how many sequels have properly advanced the story and provided additional pleasure to the viewer.
Hotaru no Hikari 2 is looking primed to be that type of sequel, if two measly episodes aired and watched by me bear sufficient weight to make that assumption. I assume out of hope, and from a suffusion of happiness caused by watching the first two episodes.
I am in love, with a woman who hasn’t a whit of proper decorum inside the home, nor a sense of responsibility. But what she has is a sweet, open clarity that houses a beautiful heart and an adorable personality. Who wouldn’t love her? On second thought, the only person allowed to love her is this guy (below)!
Now, he may look like a average salaryman, with a world-weary demeanor and a straight-laced attitude. You are absolutely correct. But like any character construct worth his salt by a competent scriptwriter, this man (whom we shall all henceforth call Buchou), is in fact THE Buchou (or Manager/Team Leader) of our heroine’s place of work. He has more layers than meets the eye, and it’s going to get peeled one by one by a young woman who wouldn’t know what an onion looks like if it hit her in the head.
But they are well-matched, because our heroine also has many layers. She a young lady that looks like that (above) when she gets home, yet she always looks that that (below) when she’s at work. Is she a superficial and shallow person? The exact opposite. She dresses professionally because she loves what she does and is good at it, hence she must adhere to work place etiquette. But she doesn’t buy into superficial looks, she does it because she is required to.
But what she adores, loves beyond belief, is coming home after working a long hard day, and turning into a himono onna (or a dried up fish woman – connating her dried up prospects at finding love, marriage, and a family, the triumvirate of a woman’s self-worth).
Our heroine, Hotaru, isn’t out there scrounging for love and male acceptance. Those things don’t matter to her, but she’s not adverse to trying it out when the opportunity arises. What does matter to her is coming home and having an icy cold beer from the fridge, changing into her sweats, and laying around doing nothing.
All of this may or may not change when she is forced to co-habit with her Buchou, who just happens to be the recently divorced son of her landlord and is back to live in that house. Can you work together and live together, and be completely different people, without killing each other. The answer is obviously: yes.
The million dollar question is this: can a dried up fish woman find love when its the last thing she is looking for (the first thing being a cold beer). Can a man who has failed at love find it again so soon, when all he wants is silence, solitude, and a clean place to call home? All I can say is, there isn’t anything that can’t be solved by sharing a cold beer out on the porch on a warm Summer’s eve.
At the end of HnH, our himono onna and Buchou most definitely found what they weren’t looking for in each other. In HnH2, it’s time for our hinomo onna to discover whether she is ready to take that next step in life. And I am right there, waiting with bated breath, to take that next step with them. As I am thoroughly enjoying HnH2, I want to pimp out the original HnH, because what’s a good koala supposed to do other than share.