Monday, 13 May 2013

Last Cinderella「ラスト シンデレラ」Episode 5 Recap

Last Cinderella J-Drama

Last Cinderella Character Chart

Japanese Drama makes a comeback with Last Cinderella

I have always enjoyed the work of Hauma Miura so I was particularly curious when I stumbled across the new Japanese drama Last Cinderella. Last Cinderella is currently airing Thursday evenings on Fuji TV. 

Before I begin, I must mention I have been a little disappointed with Japanese dramas of late. Just how many crime dramas can one nation produce? Countless... apparently.

Now, I'm afraid of my own shadow so the horror, crime and thriller genres are definitely out from me and I really don't really care for tear jerkers either (With the odd exception) so I had turned to the talents of South Korea to fill my drama void.

However, I am pleased to see Japan is finally making a comeback and one drama I am currently enjoying is Last Cinderella.

The series centers around Sakura Toyama (Ryoko Shinoharaand her clumsy attempt to find true love.  Sakura works as a hair stylist and thus far there are two possible love interests - Hiroto Saeki (Haruma Miurathe younger BMX bandit come playboy and Rintaro Tachibana (Naohito Fujiki) a co-worker she shares an amusing love/hate banter with.

So lets recap on episode 5. Images and potential spoilers after the jump! 

Last Cinderella - Sakura's brother Satoshi
Sakura's younger brother Satoshi drops in for an unexpected visit

Last Cinderella - Satoshi's girlfriend Rie Chan
Along with him is girlfriend, Rie

Last Cinderella - Satoshi and Rie Chan plan to elope!
And as it turns out, the couple have eloped! Sakura seems thrilled! 

Last Cinderella - Hiroto apologises for standing up Sakura
And after the briefest apology in history, Hiroto is back in the good books. Rather disappointed Sakura didn't hold her boo more accountable. Where is her sense of self worth? Pft! 

Last Cinderella - Hiroto spends the night
 Admittedly Hiroto is a total babe so I guess I can understand Sakura's behaviour. 

Last Cinderella - Hiroto unaffected by Sakura's poor kissing skills
 Ugh, why does she pucker her lips and...

Last Cinderella - The morning after, Sakura flirts with Hiroto
offer up her neck like that. So cringe inducing. 

Last Cinderella - Miki's annoying mother-in-law with the purple hair
Meanwhile, Senior Mrs Takenouchi is really starting to grate on my nerves. 

Last Cinderella - Miki steals a sip of beer while hanging out the washing

Last Cinderella - Miki enjoys a sneaky, late night sip of beer
 I love that Miki steals secret sips of beer to revive herself. 

Last Cinderella - Shima breaks it off with Miki's sleazy husband Kohei
 Shima and Kohei wisely decide to end their interactions. Finally! It was getting a little old and Kohei can be such a slime ball at times!

Last Cinderella - Shima's cleavage on show during yoga class

Last Cinderella - Shima's cleavage on show again at the cafe
Seriously, what’s with all the sleazy cleavage shots?

Last Cinderella - Hiroto warmly reflects on last night's gathering with Sakura, Satoshi and Rie Chan

Last Cinderella - Is Hiroto longingly gazes at a couple photo with Sakura on his cell phone
 Oh what?! Is Hiroto developing genuine feelings for Sakura? 

Last Cinderella - Tachibana displeased to find himself sitting next to Chiyoko Chan at the baseball game
Tachibana is tricked into attending a baseball game with... 

Last Cinderella - Chiyoko Chan increases her efforts to win Tachibana's heart
Chiyoko Chan! Who sadly appears to be loosing some of her charm in recent episodes. And have her brows always been so drastically ill-matched to her hair? 

Last Cinderella - Momo's brother confronts Hiroto and the BMX Competition
 It's finally the day of Hiroto's anticipated BMX Tournament but things get snarly when Momo's brother turns up to settle the score. 

Last Cinderella - Hiroto is relieved that Sakura wasn't hurt by Momo's brother and his gang of thugs
Naww, cute moment. Hiroto totally lurrrrves her. 

Last Cinderella - Sakura anxiously watches Hiroto compete in the BMX Competition
Despite a bloody lip, Hiroto manages to ride in the competition. 

Last Cinderella - Sakura can't bear to watch Hiroto attempting dangerous manoeuvres during the BMX Competition

Last Cinderella - Sakura prays for Hiroto's success at the BMX Competition
 And Sakara proceeds to make some excessive and rather unglamorous expressions. 

Last Cinderella - A triumphant Hiroto carries aways a sleeping Sakura
But it was worth all the worry because Hiroto wins! 

Last Cinderella - Sakura is completely smitten with her boo
And Sakura is completely smitten. 

Last Cinderella - Semi nude shower shot of Hiroto.
And we will end with the obligatory semi-nude shot of Hiroto. Because I'm certain there would be complaints if I didn't screen-shot this one! lol!

I really hope Sakura’s character receives further development in future episodes. It is obvious Sakura’s heart is in the right place, so it’s difficult not to like her, but I feel the character is lacking the necessary charm to completely win over the audience.

For example, Sakura’s interactions with Hiroto are particularly grating. Sure, the guy is damn fine but the way Sakura dissolves into a giggly mess whenever they are alone is completely overdone. Sakura’s love-sickness for the swoony Hirtoto Kun is really hammed up and unappealing. Now I understand Sakura has suffered through a hefty 10-year dating drought but surely she is not so completely out of the game. Would that dedicated and hard working woman we know from the Happy Go Lucky hair salon really behave like that? Not to mention she is 39 years of age. I just don’t buy it. Personally, I much prefer the unrefined version of Sakura, who enthusiastically guzzles down beer and scoffs convenience store baked goods at every opportunity.

The trouble is, I don’t find myself rooting for Sakura so much as wondering what embarrassing mess she will get herself into next and I predict Episode 6 is going to get rather messy.

And what is the deal with Hiroto and Chiyoko Chan? At the end of episode 5 Tachibana discovered the pair share the same surname. Does this mean they are siblings? But what about everything that went down at the end of episode 4?!

My guess is they’re not siblings but they are somewhat related… maybe Hiroto is an orphaned relative from the ‘bad side' of the family that nobody likes? Or maybe Hiroto is the illegitimate son of Chiyoko’s father, begrudgingly taken in after his mother passes away in some tragic accident? Either way, I don’t think he should be making out with her back like that. And I wonder how Hiroto is connected  to the scar on Chiyoko Chan’s back? Hiroto obviously holds himself responsible which is why he is completely under Chiyoko’s thumb and willing to  do all her manipulative bidding.

Needless to say I'm pretty pumped for next week's episode! 

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