Thursday, May 14, 2009

Review: Anna-san no Omame

Title: Anna-san no Omame [The Best Friend of Beautiful Anna]
Starring: Becky, Sayuri Anzu, Shuji Kashiwabara
Language: Japanese
Genre: Romantic comedy
Episodes: 10

Before took a vast majority of the videos down to become a more legitimate place as well as avoid possibly lawsuits, I came across this interesting little Japanese drama. I was a little skeptical that it'd keep my attention, but I made it through the whole series and I even managed to buy it.

Anna Saionji is one of the most beautiful and intelligent women in town that every man dreams of, but...the story isn't about her at all. We follow the series with probably the most misunderstanding and overconfident woman named Lily Momoyama, who is Anna's best friend. In Lily's mind, she believes that she is the most beautiful woman in all of Japan (maybe the world) and every man she comes by wants to be with her. In reality, they're either promoting some charity group, trying to talk to Anna, or, in Kyotaro's case, just trying to be friendly to her. Kyotaro is Anna's boyfriend who's just seeking Lily's approval. Somehow she misinterprets his friendly gestures as a form of flirtation which carries the series through many entertaining and ridiculous antics between the two characters.

Anna-san no Omame is a very entertaining comedic drama. As ridiculous as the situations that occur during Kyotaro's struggle to fix things in Lily's mind, you get attached to the characters in some way. The atmosphere and characters are both equally colorful and it becomes difficult to stop watching. You can tell that the creator had a specific design thought out for each characters' appearances as well as the details of where they work and hang out. It also coordinates with the mood that they want to portray to emphasize the character's emotion.

Although I found her voice and character's personality to be annoying the first three episodes, Becky did an amazing job committing herself to the lovable Lily. Being conflicted with being loyal to her best friend, but also tempted to give into Kyotaro's "affectionate" ways can be a difficult task. Deep down inside, she is a loyal friend and just wants to have a love of her own, if the reality of someone liking her truly hits her. Shuji Kashiwabara as Kyotaro kept his focus of trying to please Anna by taking care of Lily, trying to be loyal to Anna, and also attempting to keep everyone happy while trying not to lose his sanity by fixing Lily's misunderstandings. He doesn't come off as a jerk, but just a kind and frustrated character that you wish you could help during his little crisis. Even though Sayuri Anzu's character Anna doesn't have a huge part, she manages to keep her character memorable by being this loyal, sweet, and understanding friend to Lily. She reflects a true bond in their friendship, despite their first meeting and starting of their lasting relationship. Aside from the three main characters of the series, the other characters were also very delightful and interesting seeing how they interact with Kyotaro and Lily's relationship.

Overall, the drama is a bit of a hit or miss for the general public that enjoys Asian dramas. Some may find the drama to be a bit tedious and annoying with Lily's personality and immediately give up on the series all together. For me, it is definitely worth seeing. I found the storyline to be unique and entertaining and Kyotaro was nice eye candy for 10 episodes. Even though Lily's character is a bit annoying and you kinda pick up her catch phrase after a few episodes, you learn to love her and embrace her misinterpretations.

Rating: 4.5/5

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