I wanted to start this New Year with a good drama that would pump me up and kick-start 2018. I picked Kahogo No Kahoko because (once again) my Insta friend strongly recommended it. When she strongly recommends a drama, I am sure that it has to be something really good. And as expected, this drama was amazing! Kahogo No Kahoko is about a young girl who is overprotected by her parents and has hardly any experience interacting with the outside world. This drama is well-written with some beautifully sketched characters. I enjoyed this drama a lot and here is what I liked and disliked about it.
Kahogo No Kahoko/Overprotected Kahoko (2017) (10 Episodes)
Nemoto Kahoko (Takahata Mitsuki) is the only daughter of her Mama (Kuroki Hitomi) and Papa (Tokito Saburo). Her mother conceived her with great difficulty because of which she is over-protective about Kahoko. She is always beside her and takes all major and minor decisions for her. Kahoko too is happy growing in a cocoon till she meets Mugino Hajime (Takeuchi Ryoma) who openly expresses his resentment towards an over-protected child like her who has never faced any difficulty in her life. His views stir something within her and she decides to find a job and work hard in life.
Let’s weigh the sincere and cute Kahoko’s story on our drama beam balance and see if this drama is worth a watch or no.
I enjoyed watching Kahogo No Kahoko because…
…Kahoko is a very adorable lead. She (like most drama heroines) is naïve beyond imagination. She has been living in a bubble all her life and has no idea of how the outside world functions. She has no friends and relies on the internet to solve simplest of queries such as ‘how to console someone’, ‘how to impress a guy’ and even ‘how to get over heartbreak’. She loves her family and will do anything to see them happy. She makes faces that amuse and confuse people. She sleeps like a baby, anywhere and anytime after she has had her fill. You may find her childish and annoying at first but trust me, the girl is too cute and will eventually grow on you making you love her.
…actress Takahata Mitsuki’s portrayal of Kahoko is mind-blowing. I was amazed at how well she got into the skin of the character and adopted a body language of a slightly nervous, mostly clueless and a totally inexperienced young girl. Her hands flailed like a little child each time she sprinted. Her shoulder slouched each time she felt cornered or intimidated. Her face had a new expression each time she experienced an emotion for the first time. Bow down to this amazing actress!
…Japanese doramas do not need a kiss to create some romance between its characters. Most Asian dramas have to have a kiss scene to show love between the main leads, but Kahogo No Kahoko proves that love can be shown without getting intimate. I am not against kissing scenes. I, like most drama fans, wait for my favourite couple to kiss and seal the deal. But some dramas are written with such depth that you are convinced of the love without any ‘love’ scene. Kahoko and Hajime share such deep a connection that I did not need to see them kiss or even hug to convince me of how much they felt for each other.
…this drama, like a lot other Japanese dramas, promotes family love. I am very close to my family and I know the importance of inculcating family values in children. Kahoko too is close to her parents and her extended family. Like every other family, hers too is not perfect and she sees her uncles and aunts often quarrelling amongst themselves. But she accepts them as they are and struggles to keep them together. This is also the beauty of Japanese dramas. JDramas often promote family values. They do not shove it down your throat forcing you to accept their idea of family love but they very subtly explain the importance of being loving towards the people who matter to you.
…it is a good break from fluffy romances. I always say that Japanese dramas try to be close to reality. Character predicaments and the solutions to them may not always be practical but are often believable. If you have watched a lot of dramas you will expect to see the hero standing right behind the heroine just when she needs him. But that does not happen in JDramas. Here the heroine, no matter how helpless she is, has to somehow find her own solution and if not then has to make her way to find help. Nothing comes to the heroine by ‘coincidence’. Kahoko has been dependent on her mother all her life. When she decides to break free from it, she does not fall dependent on Hajime but finds her way on her own, with some guidance from him. This is why I love Kahoko so much.
I did NOT LIKE Kahogo No Kahoko because…
…I did not like the fact that Kahoko never looked for a job for herself. The drama starts with her getting rejected for jobs but she is determined to find one for herself. A few tries later she completely forgets about finding a job and gets busy helping solve her family problems. Things do fall into place for her eventually but her determination dimmed too quickly for my liking. I understand she was not meant to be a regular office goer but still, it would have been better had she at least tried working somewhere.
…I did not like the end to Kahoko and Hajime’s love story. [[Spoiler Alert: Kahoko and Hajime eventually get married to each other by the end of the drama. Hajime is a struggling artist and Kahoko has no means to support herself. Such young kids get married just because Kahoko’s grandma wanted to see them together. I appreciate the fact that the writers did not make Hajime rich overnight to have them married, the way most dramas do. Hajime remains a poor artist but how can they just get married? It may seem fancy in a drama but in real life it sucks. I did not like how they concluded Kahoko’s love story but I enjoyed the drama overall.]]
I give Kahogo No Kahoko 4 out of 5 rating. A gladsome girl, an earnest love affair, a loving close-knit family make this drama a good watch. Do give it a try. You may find Kahoko annoying at first but do not give up on her, trust me, you will gradually warm up to her.
Image Courtesy: NTV, MyDramalist