No longer “looking for mistakes”? I tried to make a “Cinderella of Midsummer” a drama that has turned into a “Tsukkomi” drama to my heart’s content. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

No longer “looking for mistakes”? I tried to make a “Cinderella of Midsummer” a drama that has turned into a “Tsukkomi” drama to my heart’s content.

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The acting of Nana Mori and the rest of the cast is not bad, but ……

Midsummer’s Cinderella” started off with a bang as Fuji’s first romance drama in seven years for its Tsuki 9 series. The ratings have been stable in the 5% range despite being called a “bomb,” but it seems that the way viewers are enjoying the show is changing a bit: like the morning drama “Chimudo-don” that made social networking sites go wild a year ago, the day after it aired, the Internet was abuzz with criticism of the show.

In the episode aired on the 28th, there was a scene in which three girls, Nana Mori (22), Ai Yoshikawa (23), and Sawa Himura (28), and Kamio Fūju (24) were talking about their memories from high school. I could understand Mori and Yoshikawa, but I had thought that Nimura was older than them, so I was like, “What? The program’s website says that she is a “single mother raising a son she had when she was 18,” and since her son is now 8 years old, that means she is 26 years old. But no matter how you look at it, Mori doesn’t look 26 years old.

Columnist Tamami Hiyama pointed this out. We took the opportunity to ask her to comment on this drama, which is full of points of contention.

One point that has often been pointed out on social networking sites is that the distance between Tokyo and Kanagawa is strange. When listening to the characters’ words and actions, the area around Enoshima, where the main character lives, seems to feel like the countryside.

This really is to the point where the people of Kanagawa Prefecture should be angry,” he said. When Ai Yoshikawa came to Tokyo for a visit, there was no hotel available, and she was terribly upset, saying, ‘What am I going to do? I guess they probably wanted Arashi Shirahama (30) to stay at his house (actually Toshihisa Hagiwara’s house) for the story, but even if it was 9 or 10 pm, it was still enough time to catch the last train, and I could be back home in a little over an hour, so I thought, “Let’s go home” (laughs).

Anyway, the distance between Tokyo and Kanagawa is strange. When a typhoon hit, Shoutaro Mamiya (30), who was worried because Mori did not pick up after repeated phone calls, rushed to his office, even skipping an important presentation. I don’t think there is that much difference in weather between Tokyo and Kanagawa, and I thought that was too much of an exaggeration (laughs).

Some people on the Internet pointed out that, in spite of such distance, the men who are supposed to live in Tokyo appear too often on Enoshima, and wonder when they are working. Some people even asked, “When do they work? The episode about the family of the main character, played by Nana Mori, was also a subject of much criticism.

In episode 7, Nana Mori’s mother (Megumi Yokoyama), who ran away from home, returns for the first time in 7 years, only to find that her parents are a scumbag of the highest order. …… When she was alone with Mamiya, she said, ‘I’m glad you’re my daughter’s boyfriend,’ and I thought, ‘What’s this? When Mamiya refused, he was about to pull money out of the cash register. That’s when his daughter caught him. In the end, Mori gave her the money and the mother left without saying anything to her husband or son.

Speaking of money, there was an earlier incident in which the father (Tomomitsu Yamaguchi) spent the money that Nana Mori had saved to enter a sapphic competition. He said that a neighbor had been injured or something, and he had no money for hospitalization, so he gave it to her. I wonder if there are hospitals that charge money immediately after hospitalization. I guess they wanted to depict a good-natured episode of the father, but it was a bit of a draw. I feel sorry for Nana Mori because both of her parents are such jerks. But she is also too risk averse. The cash register should be locked and the bank book should be kept close to her body! I’d like to tell her to keep her bank book close to her body!

There was also an incident in which a younger brother (Toshikora Onishi) got a classmate pregnant, and the classmate’s parents stormed in. The parents were abusive to the girl and even made her get down on her knees, but the truth was that the pregnant girl had a two-timing relationship and the younger brother was neither the father of the child nor the father of the child, but was just being taken advantage of. Her parents never apologized when they found out. They were too scummy for this, too, and it became a topic of conversation on the Internet.

He said, “It is fatal that the only memorable episodes are the scab stories. In the past, there were episodes in famous dramas that made me cry just remembering them, such as the “muddy 10,000 yen bill” in “Kita no Kuni Kara” (From the North). There are no such scenes in “Midsummer”. If there were even a few such scenes, the viewers would have a guilty conscience and would not be able to make any more tskkis, but since there are none, we can make as many tskkis as we like. I think it’s a great drama as a comedy of tsukkomi.

Also, “Midsummer” is an ensemble drama of eight male-female romances, but the midsummer love story centered on three women and five men, which is a noteworthy point in a romantic drama, seems to have been scattered too many ways and is lost in various ways.

The couple of Sawa Himura and Tsuneji Mizukami (24) also seems to have gotten together, but then Sawa Himura’s former husband comes back to them saying, ‘It’s better for the child that we stay together after all. Nana Mori also has a rival! And then came a brilliant and talented colleague (Kona Yamazaki) who approaches Mamiya. I wonder how many times we have already seen this pattern with this kind of setting. I suspect that they have taken a lot of old episodes from past romantic dramas and made up their own storyline, like a cockamamie or something.

There are love triangles all over the place. The women are so good-looking to both men that I’m starting to think that all three of them are just sluts. I felt that the love story between Shoutaro Mamiya and Nana Mori was not enough to pull me in, so I made it an ensemble drama and added a few extras, and then I lost track of what was going on. In the same ensemble drama, “Summer Stories of Seven Men and Seven Women,” for example, Akashiya Sanma and Otake Shinobu were at the center of the story, and the story unfolded without any blurring. In this drama, however, the story jumps from one place to another, and the eight characters are too intertwined. It was as if there were only eight people in the world.

Mr. Hiyama also points out that the characters have equal presence in the story, and the complicated human relationships resemble that of a “certain TV show.

This drama is like watching a romantic reality show like ‘The Bachelor. It’s like watching a reality show about relationships, like ‘The Bachelor. I felt like all I could think about was that. I watch them thinking, “What is it about reality shows that I find them more dramatic than reality shows?

It has become an enigmatic drama where the only thing worth watching is the point of view. Is this a new type of flame war? Perhaps we, the viewers, are being tested. How many lucky guesses can you make? I wondered. I can only think of it as a challenge from Fuji Television to its viewers.

With only a few more episodes to go before the final episode, it might be fun to watch the drama on a still-hot night, enjoying the TV screen as everyone tuts themselves in a roundabout way.

Nana Mori enjoys a lunchtime drink with friends. It is probably just a break from her busy schedule (July ’23).
  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo, Ichiro Takatsuka

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