Shaken Baby: Episode 1
This J-drama from 2010 is a little strange. I’ve never seen so much time devoted to describing a girl’s boobs… lol.
So it starts with Odagaki Hiroshi (Yamamoto Yusuke) getting dumped by his girlfriend Akemi ( Endo Mai) due to his extreme “normality.”
That’s when suddenly a woman dressed as an office lady comes up to him and mentions having three girls he can meet… he freaks out and she tells him he’s too “normal.” Then a monk comes up to him and starts spouting about his future: not too rich, but not too poor, that he’ll have a normal job with no great upheavels in his future, etc. making him too “normal.” And finally a nun asks him if he believes in God, or fate, and offers to help him solve his problems (he gets a little sidetracked with her boobs – so irreverent lol). When she hears that his problem is girlfriend related the nun tells him that she doesn’t want to save him anymore because his problem is so “normal.”
Cue cool looking guy who pulls him into putting up posters announcing Shakespeare’s plays. Hiroshi however once again get’s caught up in “appreciating” the boobs on the girls in the posters.
Cool looking guy is called Shun (Takaki Ishida) and he takes Hiroshi to a hotel and plays with his mind by making Hiroshi think about his girlfriend and imagining her there, which Hiroshi promptly does. Then he asks Hiroshi to pretend to be a girl, again Hiroshi falls for it and starts acting like a shy girl.
Cool Guy turns out to be , one of the main members of “Shakespeare Research Team” which get’s shortened to : Shaken. And the whole thing in the hotel was a way to “audition” Hiroshi and see if he could fit in with them and apparently he does meet Ryuta’s standards because he takes him to meet the club members- some of who were the office-lady, the monk and the nun that called him “normal.”
Then we get a weird scene with one of the actors going off script as he follows his own way of expressing the script – through “feeling” rather than “thinking.” We learn that his name is Yamaoka Ryuta (Mizubata Junpei) and he’s never had to think hard to make any of his choices.
This is where Hiroshi’s story line ends and we pick up another thread of this strange fabric.
We meet a girl- Sakurako (Nozomi Sasaki) – who has decided to join Shaken because she wants to be the center of attention “because women look more beautiful as they receive more attention.” This kind of pisses off Shaken’s resident “sexy” beauty Kaoruko-san (Yumi Sugimoto) who vows to “destroy” Sakurako’s confidence in her ability to attract attention.
Apparently one of Kaoruko’s ways to destroy Sakurako is to bring attention to Sakurako’s lack of “boobs” while showing off her own larger ones – every member in the Shaken team can attest to Kaoroku’s breasts being “big, soft, and with a sweet scent.” So Sakurako’s lack of boobage equates not sexy which means she can’t play Juliet at least according to Kaoruko’s way of thinking.
Since Sakurako can’t compete with boob size she turns it around and says that she’ll play Romeo and she sort of cross-dresses but she’s still wearing women’s shoes. Kaoruko gives in and tells her that ok, fine Sakurako can be Juliet, but smirks because Shaken isn’t going to be doing Romeo and Juliet that year.
Then there’s’ apparently a love line with Kaoruko and Eita (Shunsuke Daito). Kaoruko tells him that she’ll only date him now because after college she’ll be going back to her hometown, work at a local newspaper and marry a good man, after which she’ll become a good mom. Eita doesn’t see it and asks her if she doesn’t want to try and be an actress for real like he’s going to try, but she has no answer for that.
After Kaoruko and Eito finish drinking they go for a walk and when she’s about to start runnign he grabs her hand and pulls her to him and plants a kiss on her. She asks kind of in a stupor if they’ve really kissed and Eita nods and says they just did and walks off all cool as you please.
Ok this was such a strange experience, perhaps because I haven’t seen that many J-dramas in the last couple of years (with an exception to those starring Macchan) due to my k-drama obsession, but this drama was so strange.
First of all, it shoe-horned in so many characters in thirty minutes or so that I’m not sure that I got anything substantial from any of them. The ones I mentioned above in the recap were about a third of the one’s that actually had face time in some shape or form in this first episode.
I think I got vague sketches of three characters:
Hiroshi- normal guy with a boob fetish
Ryuto- a ditzy foolish sort of person who likes the english word “feeling”
Sakurako- a self-absorbed girl who likes to be pampered and treated as the center of attention
Then there’s the issue that though all of these characters appeared in the first episode there was nothing that really explained why we jumped from Hiroshi as the center of the story to Sakurako, and then to the relationship between Kaoruko and Eita.
oh and there’s a strange fairy person flitting around quoting Shakespeare at random “important” moments.
There’s also a lot of strange editing going on that seems to only make the transitions between the scenes even more awkward than it already is…
I’m not sure if I’ll continue watching this drama, I’ll decide once I watch the second episode- whenever the subbers finish it.