|Five youngsters enter the same university and become very good friends. As they're very close, they're afraid of 'hurting' one another, and this results in even more tragedies.|
|Soundtrack and Theme Songs (3)|
|1. ||True Love [Fujii Fumiya 藤井フミヤ]|| [ LYRICS | MIDI ]|
|2. ||Hitosaji no Yuuki [Touge Keiko]|
|3. ||Just Like Wind [Fujii Fumiya 藤井フミヤ]|| [ MIDI ]|
|Drama Reviews (15)|
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||Sex, Lies, and Shoulder Pads [Rating: 2/10]|
Kimura Takuya, Ishida Hikari, Tsutsui Michitaka, Anju Suzuki, Nishijima Hidetoshi
In a Nutshell:
Five college students play musical chairs with each other’s hearts amid the sexual revolution and sociopolitical tumult (mwahahahahaha yeah right) of the… early 1990s.
(SpoiLert: Major plot revelations!!! Not that you should care!!!)
Good friggin' grief. Am I the only one who thought this drama SUCKED more than a giant monster lamprey? No? Good.
You take a sordid soap opera like... Melrose Place, situate it on a Japanese college campus, and contort the main cast into this SLEAZY LOVE PRETZEL where they do nothing but sleep with each other, then cheat on each other, then sleep with OTHER people, then cheat on other people, then break up, then hook up, then KNOCK another person up, then get outed as gays and DIE. Oh, and not to mention they engage in a few token "let us study because we are college students" scenes thrown in for good luck.
Never mind the atrocious fashion and even worse hairdos--this was the early '90s, after all, so all that's forgivable. It was how the main characters and situations were written (why, Kitagawa Eriko? why why WHY????) that made me want to wring their necks. Okay, maybe not ALL of them (well... helloooo, KimuTaku Prototype, lol). Come to think of it, all I really detested were the Female Lead, Narumi, and the Male Lead, Tamotsu the Little Sh*t-boy. But because the other three friends are, like, IN LOVE with either of the two, they inevitably get sucked into this web of codependent relationships, a black-hole-cesspool of doom and masochism. So, Tamotsu is supposed to come across as a sympathetic hero character because he’s poor and hardworking and has to put himself through college and has a money-grubbing hoe for a mother? And as a corollary, we’re supposed to adore Narumi because she’s this “winsome ingénue” who secretly pines after Tamotsu? Well, let’s add “World’s No. 1 Virginal Little Skank” to her epithets, because that’s exactly what she is!!! She BREAKS UP Tamotsu and his girlfriend but keeps acting like the aggrieved party, strings along Geekboy Osamu (well... hello again, KimuTaku Prototype, hehe) when Tamotsu cheats on her (and later breaks up with her), but doesn’t even have the frikkin’ DECENCY to ACT REMOTELY HAPPY around Osamu whenever they’re together. Argh!!!!! Countless times I prayed that Narumi would get hypothermia and DIE during the 1,876 times she waited for Tamotsu to meet her under the starlit winter sky or whatnot, and of COURSE he never showed up because the Laws of the Jdoramaverse decree that intensifying the heroine’s misery will make her a more sympathetic character (well, it DOESN’T; it just makes her a STUPID one).
And Tamotsu... it defies basic logic and believability that 3/5 of their little college clique are head-over-heels in love with him, overtly or otherwise. He’s a horrible, horrible scumbucket, and half the men that Sensitive Geekboy Osamu and Rich Gayboy Junichiro are. Again, he does nothing but cheat (on his psycho girlfriend and on Narumi) and sleep around and he has the GALL to act SAD and GLUM about the mess he’s just created, which makes Virginal Skank Narumi and Studious Best Friend Saeki AND Rich Gayboy Junichiro FALL for him even more, which creates an even BIGGER mess than before. Aieeeee!!!!!! *tears out hair*
Ishida Hikari (Narumi) and Tsutsui Michitaka (Tamotsu) are terrible actors, and given that, coupled with the writing that precludes any iota of sympathy for either of the two, no wonder I couldn’t bring myself to feel anything for their characters except hysterical, eye-rolling contempt. Anju Suzuki who plays Studious Best Friend Saeki is much better in the acting department, and she’s way prettier than that cretin Narumi, who uncannily resembles... SMAP’s Inagaki Goro wearing a mop, hahaha. Saeki appears to be the most sensible one of the lot (and it isn’t just because she has the most study!study!let’s!study! moments), and you really do feel her pain, her unrequited love for Tamotsu. But somewhere along the way (and it isn’t very clear just when), her character develops feelings for Gayboy Junichiro, and one fateful night, while wallowing in their Tamotsu-centric love woes, the two share an Extremely Weird Moment... that magically spawns New! Life! oh wow. (Parthenogenesis? Immaculate conception? Self-pollination? Mwahahaha) Now you’re REALLY watching a soap opera.
Nishijima Hidetoshi as Junichiro is unremarkable, although a better actor would’ve done more justice to such a relatively small but interesting role. But killing him off was such a disservice to the character and to the story (AND to the viewer), because it was just so frigging SENSELESS. So, homosexual men who are secretly in love with their best friend don’t deserve to LIVE in this world? Because that’s the point the drama seems to make, and it’s a supremely idiotic one at that. Oh, let the sad little f@g boy DIE, because there’s no other way for him to be happy in the story. Gaaaah.
But oh, Osamu. You loved and you lost, and you went to Kenya to “find yourself” (lol), and in so doing you grew up and became a man. You’re too good for Narumi, you always were. That being said, I’d recommend Asunaro Hakusho only if you’re a Kimura fan (which I am, obviously) and/or wish to complete his body of work (again... guilty as charged!). Because he really does shine here, with a role better fleshed than any other character in this pretentious, drippy farce, and he does have the best lines (i.e. the iconic “Won’t I do?” spoken at that playground early on in the drama). And instead of letting his character become this geeky, lovesick caricature of a second-fiddle-best-friend-sidekick, the one left holding the bag as the Hero and the Heroine ride off into the sunset, Kimura keeps it REAL. So that you feel for Osamu, but you don’t feel SORRY for him. There’s a difference, you see. Kimura’s a natural, and that’s more than I can say for the two lead actors, ugh.
It was a bit strange at first to watch Kimura as this scrawny, prepubescent (lol, ok not really), deglamorized dweeb... a mere 3 years before he exploded with that SexLoveMojo in the wonderfully sublime [b]Long Vacation[/b]. But then I look at how much he’s aged (and I mean really, REALLY aged) in the past 4 or 5 years, and I’m thankful that with Asunaro Hakusho, I’m just one DVD away from revisiting KimuTaku in his early years in the business, before the ravages of celebrity and chain-smoking and cosmetic “enhancements” and sustained exposure to Old Man Johnny Kitagawa slowly siphoned off all the youth from his face.
Watch this if you’re a:
1) Kimura completist
2) A sadomasochist
3) A fan of daytime soaps--from any clime or country
4) You were a hairspray-and-shoulder-pad-wearing teen in the late ‘80s to early ‘90s… T______T
|Reviewed by Ender's Girl on 16 July 2009|
|2. ||The Borderline Relationship Between Friendship and [Rating: 8/10]|
A drama about a group of friends and the up and down relationships between each of them. I felt that each actor/actress did a great job portraying their character -- there's a lot of good acting in this show, particularly from Ishida Hikari, Suzuki Anju and Kimura Takuya.
Biased as somewhat of a Kimutaku fan, I admit I watched this because he was in it -- that and I recognized Tsutsui Michitaka from Ohsama no Resutoran. I was thrown off because Kimura-san wasn't the main squeeze, but from that I grew even more impressed that he could play "the friend" character so well -- I felt like I could relate to him.
I also like how the show portrayed a gay man's social struggles and repression of desires for the love of a straight man (in the "friend zone"), further lending to the story's theme -- that of "love for another who doesn't love you back." It's a refreshing use of characterization that serves to strengthen the other characters at the "expense" of one, which really only serves to strengthen him even more.
Everything about the execution of the show I liked... it was very enjoyable to have my emotions tossed around; after all, that's what I watch them for. The only complaints I have are about the situations -- complaints that stem from my own experiences. For example, despite how well this show portrays the relationship of each person, I can't for the life of me understand why Narumi would go after a guy like Tamostu when there is a much better guy that cares much more for her and treats her better in almost any way. I didn't quite understand what her attraction to Tamotsu was. But as that is a misunderstanding that I may never come to terms with, it has no bearing on the production of the show. With that in mind, I give it a 8 out of 10. Despite the few storyline faulterings, it has interesting characters, decent acting, excellent music and is well-paced. I recommend this for anybody who is interested in the intracacies of the borderline relationship between friendship and love.
|Reviewed by chesed on 24 July 2006|
|3. ||Interesting relationships... [Rating: 8/10]|
A story that revolves around five teenagers against the innocent and beautiful campus background, Asunaro Hakusho captures the confusing complexity of youngsters' feelings and thoughts. There is a conglomeration of love, sacrifice, tears, joy and pain heightened by the soothing but melancholic piano tunes of the background.
Kimura's generous personality is to die for. However, cutesy Ishida has a I'm-so-sunny-but-stubborn demeanour that is particularly irritating, and when this manifests in the female lead who appears in almost every scene, you know it spells trouble.
And the next problem is that once the story starts to chronicle their lives after they have left school and entered the working world, the drama starts to take an even slower pace and almost completely loses its watchability.
The show manages to examine the importance of life and death and friendship and love, but Tsutsui and Ishida's on off I-love-you-I-love-you-not business can kill even the most patient romantic viewer.
Watch it for its fantastic soundtrack, But then again, you could simply buy the soundtrack off the shelves without having to sit through this show.
|Reviewed by chentnk on 20 June 2002|
|4. ||the cast is a little inversed ? [Rating: 7/10]|
Good . The fact that she has chosen this baka-Tamotsu is infortunaly quite realistic because good guy are sometimes left aside (not enough romanesque and exiting i think) Even if I liked far more Toride . In fact I find the cast is little inversed . At the beginning of the showTamotsu is described as a cool and a little playboy like guy right ? Don't you think that Kimura fitted more this role ? The actor who acted Tamotsu isn't cool at all i don't understand why everyone (apart toride) was attracted at him at some point . Narumi was a little too stupid too but there is women like this so this isn't really a flaw .I was really sad when Matsuoka died i liked him a lot but it was done beautifully . I liked less the last episodes too nostalgic and sad .
|Reviewed by Grenat on 6 June 2008|
|5. ||Interesting, but Frustrating [Rating: 7/10]|
It wis a well-acted drama with some interesting events. The main actress is kind of frustrating in the choices she seems to make because the guy she "loves" so much seems to be the least interesting character. How she would not love the Kimura character is quite inexplicable. Also, the gay character seems to be easily disbatched dying as a father which then makes him more acceptable which doesn't seem to feel genuine to the character. I enjoyed seing Kimura at a young age and see the beginning of his popularity.
|Reviewed by nickpoliseno on 20 October 2005|
|6. ||sad [Rating: ?/10]|
the story is really sad :( as always, watched it mainly because of kimura. Much to my disappointment he only had a supporting role, and looked really nerdy until the last quarter of the series (when they were all "grown up," lol) I skimmed through the last episode of this one, it really dragged.
|Reviewed by effronterie on 21 February 2004|
|7. ||Best Drama of Takuya! [Rating: 9/10]|
Watch it second time and now I realize something about this drama. Such a great storyline. Whoever can make a drama full with love between friends and full of conflicts? I love this drama and I think this is the best friendship drama afterall. Takuya promise a lot of chance to be a star today.
|Reviewed by Fye_D.Flowright on 4 March 2007|
|8. ||I kinda liked this drama [Rating: 8/10]|
The plot was pretty simple, and it dragged on a bit
but I still liked this drama.
It has this early 90's kinda thing that I miss these days.
Also, Takuya was totally cute.
I mean, who wouldn't want a guy like Toride?
I liked Toride way more than Kakei.
|Reviewed by ilovetakuya on 29 January 2006|
|9. ||Great Plot [Rating: 9/10]|
What an Ordinary Life! This drama is very good in captivating the audience for each episode and I love this drama, but Kake is so not appreciated Narumi's feelings, hat that part! But overall, totally worth watching drama!!!
|Reviewed by for3vergirl on 17 October 2001|
|10. ||Love it so far [Rating: 10/10]|
awesome so far I'll finish this later but I just have to say I feel sorry for Takuya Kimura's character cause he's the only one not in love with Tsutsui Michitaka's character
|Reviewed by Sajen16 on 4 October 2010|
|11. ||It changes my live !! [Rating: 10/10]|
I really love this drama, It was a Japanese Drame film that made me love about Japan, ALL ABOUT JAPAN !!(culture, women/girls, Language), I want to see "the cute Narumi"..
|Reviewed by Sandi on 25 April 2001|
|12. ||Everlasting Dorama.. [Rating: 10/10]|
Great! A story about 5 college student.. Love and Friendship..
The 1st Kimutaku's dorama for me..
Love this dorama for always.. so classic..
The song is so romantic..
|Reviewed by Tha Rani on 16 December 2008|
|13. ||Not that good. [Rating: 6/10]|
a so-so dorama... watched it mainly becos' of TK...
he looked so nerdy in the show...
beginning of the show was alright... but got a little draggy as it progresses.
|Reviewed by kook05 on 22 December 2003|
|14. ||What can i say? [Rating: 5/10]|
The worst drama i've seen so far...
Kimura Takuya is such a nerd with those huge glasses!
|Reviewed by ahweigor on 24 July 2005|
|15. ||so-so [Rating: 7/10]|
Few guys going after 1 girl, but that girl only likes 1 guy
|Reviewed by juliana_phang on 21 June 2003|
|Comments From Users (82)|
This section may contain spoilers! Do not proceed if you
do not want to read about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||Comments by Kitsuchi [Rating: 5/10]|
Dunno what to write, but it was sweet I guess. At least the first few episodes. It only dragged through the rest till the ending.
The Kakei character was irritating, he barely said anything, repeated the "Ahh, that's right" and seemed cold and blunt sometimes.. Didn't understand why all girls fell in love with him, and not Toride.. Kakei was nothing special compared to Toride, who was so thoughtful and caring.. z.z Anyway, I liked the Matsuoka character the most amongst the Asunaro Club. His acting was the greatest and seemed real to me. So great job to him. And of course Kimura, Toride that is, was acting perfectly in my eyes. He's got a talent for acting, even at that young age. I was impressed by his acting, it was only the beginning for him still at that time :j
So, eeh.. As most commenters already have written, the last few episodes was dragging and could have been skipped. Actually, that was probably the main problem, it got annoying. Other than that, the rest is okay anyway, even though. I enjoyed the beginning nonetheless. Up to you if you're going to watch. I won't recommend this, but still okay for killing time.
|2. ||Comments by atleast13 [Rating: ?/10]|
This is by far the best drama I've seen *as of 02/15/06* except the first 2 episodes and the last episode were a bit too slow for me *considering i like slow dramas* but from ep 3 to 10, it's like non-stop climax of beautiful and fucked up of all fucked up storylines. i can't even describe what to feel in this drama. it's a twisted and intertwined connection of friends that totally fucked each other up. it's so painfully beautiful. such an amazing drama. all of the actors were amazing. i actually wanted this to end at around ep 7 or 8 just to have that feel like, damn! this is hella fucked up! definitely a must-see!
|3. ||Comments by Ezalor [Rating: 7/10]|
Estimated six points, so I aborted in the 4th episode. Kimutakus roll is way too small.
Corrected: Now that I'm a few years older and grew up I could see the meaning of this dorama. A group of five people are trying to master growing up. Good acting and also quite a realistic plot. I like that it does not stop after their University years but makes a break showing that they are still struggling and growing up is not a matter of time or the life situation that you are in. But somehow it lacked the "nust continue to watch" feeling perhaps in favor of story-wise realism.
|4. ||Comments by ilovetakuya [Rating: 7/10]|
I liked this drama till about episode 8. Then, the drama dragged a little bit. I like this true love kinda stuff. Narumi's devotion for Kakei-Kun was kinda touching. Toride (Kimura Takuya) was very cute. I couldn't understand why everybody's in love with Kakei instead of Toride! though the plot wasn't fantastic, i still got to really like the characters, which is something.
I heard this drama is based on Saimon Fumi's manga, like Tokyo Love Story. I liked Tokyo Love Story better, but this is still pretty good.
The theme song True Love is also great.
|5. ||Comments by Namielove [Rating: 6/10]|
As I am a Takuya fan I rented this to see him in his early starring roles. Very weird, he was cute of course, but because he wasn't the main character, he didn't have his usual cool persona. Still it was a good drama, some sad parts, but again things get me so mad, I won't ellaborate too much, but it's that double standard on cheating, somehow women are supposed to accept it. C'mon!!
|6. ||Comments by ridzz [Rating: 5/10]|
Aku tertipu dengan cerita ini!! TERTIPU..!! The story is slooow... But i think, if i weren't so impatient, it could be a so-so Dorama, at best. Even the presence of Kimura Takuya couldn't help the fact it's a slow story. But to give credit, where it's due, it tells an interesting of a story of good friends and comradery.. (If only the story is not THAT slow..)
|7. ||Comments by kaonashi [Rating: 4/10]|
Drama about university friendship. Slow & draggy, but if it wasn't for the female lead actress my rating would've been a bit higher. But I really didn't like her at all. I kind of like the main plot but the middle part, before they all split up, is actually the only strong part of this drama. In short, barely watchable.
|8. ||Comments by Lisachan [Rating: 10/10]|
Great drama. I loved it so much. I watched it several times. I rented video tapes to several friends. The last friend lost it. I bought a DVD version a month ago to replace it. Kimutaku was around 20 years old in the drama. Kimutaku, Hikari Ishida, and Tsutsui kun did great performance. AAA+ drama!
|9. ||Comments by chipolata [Rating: 9/10]|
The FIRST Dorama I watched!!
Ordinary life with touching story (although rather sentimentil)
With its goods and bads, it was my unforgetable drama, reminds me of a time when I was young, free, blank and innocent...
One thing I wonder, where did the players go after this dorama? (except Takuya Kimura)
|10. ||Comments by yuka [Rating: 3/10]|
A dorky Takuya Kimura!! Coming-of-age love story of five close-knitted school friends (2 girls and 3 boys). All were in love with the same boy except nerdy Kimura (for once he is not the adored one) with a heart of gold, anguished with unrequitted love for one of the girls. My heart goes out to him.
|11. ||Comments by Yuuki MatsuMiya [Rating: 2/10]|
So... this was a huge success at the time it aired. So... it changed a generation... So... Kimura T. became a star because of it... Sorry. It did not work for me! But I watched because I felt like I should like it like everybody, but... I didn't. Gomen! I really enjoyed the theme song, though!
|12. ||Comments by dummyuser11 [Rating: 7/10]|
The story line is kinda predictable but quite interesting to watch how the story slowly unfolds. Although i wished that the main actress ended up with Takuya Kimura because he did so much for her. But then agian....what kind of love story would that be in the end?
|13. ||Comments by AngelXing [Rating: 7/10]|
The story line is kinda predictable but quite interesting to watch how the story slowly unfolds. Although i wished that the main actress ended up with Takuya Kimura because he did so much for her. But then agian....what kind of love story would that be in the end?
|14. ||Comments by katrinka [Rating: 3/10]|
Kimura's good acting does not save this klunker. If he was the lead, perhaps, but because he's very low in the cast, a lot of bad acting from the rest of the cast and draging script shows. It would have gotten a 0 except for Kimura's acting.
|15. ||Comments by Mabelka [Rating: 4/10]|
I won't hide that I started watching it only for Kimura ^^ drama is pretty lame and boring, main heroine is so not real and sweet so it's really hard to take. Only plus is for taking homosexual subject witch surly wasn't easy in 90'
|16. ||Comments by yanie_chan [Rating: 8/10]|
One of the most memorable drama, in my opinion!!^^ A very good love story, indeed...only, I'm not really fond of the main couple, one of 'em died.....and the atmosphere is too 'dark'...so, in my eyes, it's not the best dorama =P
|17. ||Comments by tetsukei [Rating: 3/10]|
Dark and hideous, but has a youthful cast involved in all kinds of unusual relationships. In the end, you find that almost everybody is in love with just 1 person. Exasperating.
Humour 0/10 Actors 5/10 Music 7/10 Story 4/10
|18. ||Comments by 4julls [Rating: 9/10]|
everlasting dorama ... must watch it ...
sometime see the lead man role wanna kick his **** but ... sometime man can be like that right ???
anyway ... great .. can learn bout love and life :D
|19. ||Comments by teru_teru_bouzu [Rating: 8/10]|
The story about a group of friends. It focused on their school and personal life. It was a great story about friendship. There were tears and laughter. I ended up going to find the manga it was based on.......
|20. ||Comments by yatta [Rating: 10/10]|
|21. ||Comments by oldasianguy [Rating: 7/10]|
One of Kimura Takuya's earlier films...and it shows him being his true self..a kind of nerdy guy...it's only later on that he developes the 'cool' facade...but this wasn't a bad drama..a little above average..
|22. ||Comments by ongrina82 [Rating: 8/10]|
Wow, just bought this vcd not long ago...Kimura-kun looks so young that time...His acting was already good! But the story is abit plain...watch it because wanted to see the younger days of Takuya.
|23. ||Comments by takuya_angel [Rating: 8/10]|
Overall, it's a pretty good show. Worth watching! Takuya was young & kawaii. He also put up quite an impressive performance. A typical college student puppy love plot but pretty smooth storyline.
|24. ||Comments by agni [Rating: 9/10]|
tHis is my fiRst j-0Rama that I have watChEd!!i wAtch this when i was iN eLeMAntaRy(1993). i remember wheN nArumi lOst her eAring..then takuya fInd for hEr!!
i reALy waNt to Have thIS vCd!!!
|25. ||Comments by SYILA78 [Rating: 9/10]|
IT'S 'BOUT FRIENDSHIP. I LIKE THE WAY KIMURA ACT IN THIS DRAMA. OSAMU CHAN SO KAWAII. I HATE NARUMI FOR NOT LOVING OSAMU. OSAMU LIKE HER SO MUCH BUT STILL SHE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT HIM AT ALL.
|26. ||Comments by gomibagu [Rating: 7/10]|
The soundtrack was excellent but he story was a bit slow, the on/off/on romance was repetitive, and at the end the lead actress started to annoy me. Though it did have some good moments.
|27. ||Comments by juliana_phang [Rating: 7/10]|
not too bad..
giving us a picture of teen's love life
some parts r pretty boring..
i didnt watch the whole drama completely..i skipped 2 - 3 cds as there r so much talking n stuff
|28. ||Comments by yijing [Rating: 8/10]|
not too bad...quite a touching plot & it really moves a certain part of you. how we are always looking @ the good old days...but such an attitude is actually not healthy.
|29. ||Comments by quetyas [Rating: 9/10]|
i cried quite a few times.. the story is pretty slow and i'm a lil annoyed with narumi's choices at time n kikei is just cold hearted at times.. but still soo good to watch!!
|30. ||Comments by deathangels [Rating: 8/10]|
Good drama, its just about an ordinary live but the plot make it good to watch. good OST, its support the sad and happy situation in drama. recomended to watch
Read all 82 comments from users
|Users who voted for this drama (18)|
I was quite surprised that i actually enjoy watching this show! I like the storyline alot and i could understand the feelings of each character here. Takuya was absolutely adorable in this one and also quite a poor thing since his love was one-sided!
Great drama. I loved it and watched it several times. I rented video tapes to several friends. The last friend lost it. I bought a DVD version a month ago to replace it. Kimutaku, Hikari Ishida, and Tsutsui kun did great performance.
|3. ||John Morrow|
Does an excellent job of capturing the evolution of friendships over the years with some unexpected twists and turns, as well as one of the most heart-wrenching scenes I've ever seen in a drama.
An interesting dorama, i like the characters and the storyline. although a lil bit draggy at some of the episodes, but still worth to watch. the soundtrack by Fumiya Fujii is very good too.
it just very simple drama, but that's the strength of this drama, the story is not too much and it's about everything that must have experienced in everybody's life
Pretty poor story line...
3 out of 5 people being in love with the least likeable character? Give me a break...
It's a nice teen's Love Story. Especially for a boy who doesnt respect a girl's kindness.
i love this dorama because this is first dorama i've been watched. and i like this story
My very firts dorama.
P.S: the location is my school!!! (Rikkyo~~~!!)
Best Dorama ever *^_^*, well at least for the first half or so
THE DRAMA WHICH MAKE TAKUYA TO BE A FAMOUS
Ever lasting dorama. Touching!
My all time favorite!
|15. ||cursed within|