Zenkai Girl is about a girl who wants to make it big in life after having a poverty-ridden childhood. It is about a man who only wants to love his son even when he is not related to him biologically. It is about a father who may not have much to provide for his only daughter but will give everything he has just to see her happy. It is about a mother who will provide only the best for her daughter even if it means never being there to see her grow up. Seems like a melodrama, right? But Zenkai Girl is not a melodrama per se. It is a sweet romance drama with a lot of life’s lesson to be learnt. It is about how ‘not-so-rich’ people (rarely found in dramas) live a ‘not-so-fancy’ life. This dorama offers a lot of depth and unadulterated sweetness. If you have been yearning to see some good performances and are game for a little bit of emotional drama then hop on, Zenkai Girl might be the destination you have been looking for.
Zenkai Girl (2011) (11 Episodes)
Ayukawa Wakaba (Aragaki Yui) dreams to make it big as a lawyer. She joins a top-notch law firm where her boss Sakuragawa Shouko (Yakushimaru Hiroko) assigns her to babysit her 5-year-old daughter if she wishes to ever join the firm as an employee. Wakaba takes it up as a challenge and resolves to manage work and babysit Shouko’s little daughter, Hinata. While dropping Hinata at her playschool, Wakaba meets Yamada Sota (Nishikido Ryo) who is the father of Hinata’s friend Pitaro who also attends the same playschool. Wakaba despises Sota initially owing to a misunderstanding but as she meets him frequently she discovers the actual good side to him and falls in love with him which is against her plan of marrying a rich man because Sota is a chef at a small eating outlet.
Let’s weigh Zenkai Girl on our drama beam balance and see why this dorama should be watched.
I enjoyed watching Zenkai Girl because…
…I have come across people like Sato and they are JUST like him. I don’t think Sato’s character is a complete work of fiction. The writer must have based him off some real-life person. I personally have seen people like him who are extremely helpful and forgiving. I too can imagine being in his place and living life just the way he does. Sato for me is not an imaginary character but someone similar to me. I am not saying I am as accommodating as him. But yes there are some things Sato does selflessly that I too would have done in real life. (No. I’m not talking about adopting someone else’s kid when still unmarried.)
…Nishikido Ryo played Sato like as if the character was based on his real life. His scrawny physique, tanned skin, and unkempt hair suited the role beyond perfection. His apologetic smile and awkward body language made me forget that he is actually a popular singer in Japan. There is not a trace of the famous Japanese idol, Ryo in Sato. Not even a smidge.
I did NOT LIKE Zenkai Girl because…
..the kids spoke and behaved like adults. Hinata and Pitaro are five-year-old kids who identify two adults’ feelings for each other. They plot to have them together and even scold them for not confronting their true feelings. They even give relationship advice to Wakaba and Sato. I would have believed it had they been teenagers but to have little kids read between the lines feels completely implausible. The two kids even kissed each other. I know it was for an important scene but I personally don’t like to see children doing adult stuff.
…I fail to understand Mr. Shindo who I do not know why is in such a haste to marry Wakaba. Wakaba is smart, hard-working, sincere and beautiful so it is likely for him to be attracted to her. But why would a person of Mr. Shindo’s stature be so insistent on marrying a girl he hardly knows. They hardly spend any time together. He has never even held her hand and he wants to marry her. He is a flirt so I understand him chasing after her but insisting on marriage was a little too much. Never seen a guy so eager to commit before.
I give Zenkai Girl out 3.5 of 5 rating. A typical Japanese drama about love, ambition, kindness and a lot of life’s other lessons. This drama might move you with its honest appeal.
Image Courtesy: Fuji TV