I fall short of words when describing how Japanese dramas make me feel. In a world where Korean romantic dramas boast of high production value, good-looking cast, over-the-top sets and wardrobe, and hot kisses, there exists Japanese dramas that are simple, realistic and heart-warming. I always feel that there is a certain level of honesty and sincerity in Japanese storytelling which never fails to strike a chord with me. My Instagram friend strongly recommended Tatta Hitotsu No Koi and after watching the drama, I thanked her zillion times for recommending it. This drama for me was earnest enough to make a special place in my heart.
Tatta Hitotsu No Koi (Just One Love) (2006) (10 Episodes)
Nao Tsukioka (Haruka Ayase) is the daughter of a wealthy businessman who owns a popular jewellery brand. Hiroto Kanzaki (Kazuya Kamenashi) owns a loss-making repair factory that was passed onto him after his father’s demise. One day, his friends and he, are on their way to sell fish to a restaurant when he accidentally bumps into Nao and drops the bucket of fish over her. Hiroto despises rich people and behaves badly with Nao because she is rich. Later that evening, Hiroto and his friends attend a party meant for students attending the university. Hiroto once again meets Nao and ends up jumping in the pool to save her. His gesture moves Nao and she develops a soft spot for Hiroto unaware that he is no university student and is an underprivileged boy who has never attended college.
Let’s weigh Tatta Hitotsu No Koi on our drama beam balance and see what makes Nao and Hitoro’s love story so special.
Music: The soundtrack is magnificent and suits the tempo of the drama. It builds the mood for the scene and will have you totally involved with the characters.
You can listen to two of my favourite tracks on YouTube.
Cool Whispers by Sasja Antheunis
Only Love by Ike Yoshihiro
Ayase Haruka and Kamenashi Kazuya: Haruka is cute as a button. She is gorgeous and plays the role of naïve and innocent Nao to perfection.
Ditto for Kame. Kame looks extremely bony and at times I wanted to stuff some meat on him because it became unbearable to see someone so skinny. But it works for his role as he plays a poor chap over-burdened with family responsibilities at a very young age.
Kame and Haruka bring Hiroto and Nao to life with such ease that makes their characters relatable. They share a sparkling chemistry which works great for this drama and makes them a memorable couple.
Sweet Moments: This drama may not have several kisses as expected of a romantic drama but it has several sweet moments that will surely touch your heart. For instance, Nao lives in a high-rise building and can see Hitoro’s house from her balcony. One night she flashes a shiny ball in her balcony as a sign from her side. She wants Hitoro to flash a light in response to her so she knows that he can see her. She feels dejected when there is no response from his end but a few seconds later he flashes a torchlight and Nao jumps like a little-excited baby seeing the light. Nao looks so damn cute in the scene. Similarly, there are many such delightful moments that make Nao and Hitoro an adorable couple.
Script: The premise of this drama is the regular rich girl meets boy and falls in love with him. However, the script makes the drama stand out. Hitoro and Nao’s love story is nothing that you would expect it to be. They do have their struggles like every other couple but they do not follow drama clichés. Hitoro does not suddenly become rich nor do Nao’s parents accept their daughter’s love. The drama sticks to reality and does not follow the usual drama path of showing impractical solutions. Also, there are no forced kisses, no wrist grabbing and certainly no accidental falls. Just sincere characters and their honest approach to life and love. This is what I love about Japanese dramas. They try to be as real as possible. All the characters in the drama feel real and relatable.
The supporting cast have their parallel storylines that are intertwined with Nao and Hitoro’s lives. I liked all the supporting characters as they add to the story and make the drama more enjoyable.
Nothing. I would say Kame’s bony face did make me cringe a little but I will let that pass as the guy acted well.
Tatta Hitotsu no Koi is not flawless but is very endearing and I love absolutely everything about it. I loved its music (that is playing on my PC as I write this), the lead characters, supporting characters, the cast, the plotline, and just about everything about this drama.
I give Tatta Hitotsu No Koi 4.5 out of 5 rating. I have ignored all the minor flaws in this sweet drama and am strongly recommending it because it warmed my heart with its fresh appeal. Do watch it if you love watching lovable romantic dramas.
If you are still contemplating about watching this drama, then have a look at this MV. It gives you a glimpse of Nao and Hitoro’s love story.
Image Courtesy: NTV