Title: Kimi wa Pet [You're My Pet/Tramps Like Us]
Starring: Koyuki and Matsumoto Jun
Genre: Romantic comedy
While reading the manga series, Tramps Like Us, I found there was a drama based off of it, which is the main reason I watched it. It's one of my favorite manga series!
Iwaya Sumire is an elite working woman, who devotes her life to working hard and being successful. Not only does she have high standards for herself, but she has the same for the men she dates. They must meet three important requirements: high pay, high education, and high height. One evening, after work, Sumire comes across an abandoned cardboard box with a beaten and bruised young man curled up inside it. Attempting to get some assistance by a few businessmen rushing to escape the downpour of rain, she decides to take him in and nurse his wounds. Once the young man recovers, she tries to get him out of her home and to his own, but the young man doesn't have a place to go and convinces Sumire to let him stay. But the only way he can live under Sumire's roof is for him to be her pet. She ends up nicknaming him after her childhood dog, Momo. He questions the name for a moment but accepts it.
We later find out that his real name is Takeshi Gouda and he is a dance prodigy. He gets offered to go abroad to a great performing arts school. Following Sumire, she later finds a man from her past that fits her three "highs" which stirs up the storyline to create comedy, romance, and drama.
Kimi wa Pet does an excellent job of moving the story along at a steady pace as well as making a cliche formula of a refreshing young man entering a workaholic woman's life. By changing it with twists and turns and letting the characters interact from past and present, it keeps this drama entertaining and interesting.
Koyuki does an amazing job keeping the emotion and strength of Sumire. She is able to keep a subtle sadness to her character and is able to act out the conflict of being frustrated with herself and her relationship with other people. Physically, she also embodies Sumire by her appearance and the way she carries herself in different places. From the slight tense, professional stance int he office to the soft, caring, and almost playful aure while bathing Momo, she has a definite range. I couldn't imagine a better actor to create the lively spirit of Momo than Jun Matsumoto. He has the perfect look and range to bring his character to reality. He tries to be a strong and carefree individual, but he gets tugged from every direction to decide and act on his future whether it's his relationship with others close to him or the hug opportunity to embrace his love of performing on stage.
Aside from the obvious main characters, the other actors and actresses do just as good as a job bringing the manga characters to life for us. Such as Sumire's best friend, Yuri, who gives us the chance to learn Sumire's personality before she was stuck behind a desk. She also brings a little comedy and intelligence to the drama by being open with her opinions. Ishida Yuta does well by being suave, but subtle. He tries to be kind to everyone despite their intentions against him. Sometimes he is a bit oblivious and lost, but overall he is a good guy and smart as well. The two problematic female characters, Fukushima Shiori & Shibusawa Rumi, are the perfect women to keep the story interesting and moving into other possible directions you think the story may lead to. They bring attitude and also a negative response from viewers for them to disappear. Lastly, Magii as the quirky, comical therapist was a lovely addition, although he doesn't exist in the manga. He also managed to keep the story together and keep the viewer's attention.
Kimi wa Pet also does a good job of following the manga series, although it does condense the storyline and changes a few minor details. If you enjoyed the manga, you'll be satisfied with the results translated into a live-action drama. You won't be bored, even if you know what's going to happen, but if you haven't read the series, it should keep your attention.