Kurofuku Monogatari is an 8 episode drama that aired in winter of 2014 on TV Asahi. Its cast features Sexy Zone’s Nakajima Kento, AKB48 members Kashiwagi Yuki and Iriyama Anna and gravure model Sasaki Nozomi.
Based on a manga series of the same name, the story is about a young man by the name of Akira (Nakajima Kento) who is preparing to take an entrance exam for medical school. Having failed twice already he is prodded at taking the exam again due to pressure from his parents to inherit the hospital they own.
Miserable and sick of the constant studying Akira decides that he no longer wants to be a doctor and quits going to prep school. After a day of getting thoroughly hammered he stumbles drunkenly down the streets of Tokyo and eventually passes out. He awakens in an alley in Ikebukuro where he prevents a woman from being attacked by thugs. The woman he saves is Kyoko (Sasaki Nozomi), the number one hostess a club called Juliet.
While sobering up Akira ends up finding Juliet where he naively ends up racking a large bill. Taken to the back by the male employees for an ass whooping he instead negotiates a deal to work at the club to pay off his debt and secretly somehow get closer to Kyoko.
Diving head first into the night life Akira is subjected to ridicule and abuse from his co-workers who don’t want him around. His early career at the club is a trial of testicular fortitude and whether he can dedicate himself and take pride his new line of work.
Things get especially tough when Akira starts to battle a high level employee by the name of Harada (Yamamoto Yusuke) for the affections of Kyoko as the conflict begins to affect the entire club negatively.
It is not until Akira embraces his new world that his situation starts to get better in his professional and personal life. When he finally realizes his potential he discovers that the adversity was all worth it and he has a place in the universe after all.
I don’t recall how I found out about this drama. I do remember there was something at the 2014 Janken where Kashiwagi and Sasaki were whoring (no pun intended) out the drama to the masses. Regardless of how I found out, I did eventually end up getting around to watching it.
Given that this drama is 8, one hour long episodes the pace of the show is brisk but not moving so fast that important plot points are missed. Many of the storylines in place are closed up rather nicely by the end of the series and probably not to the satisfaction of everyone.
The lead character Akira is what my senpai would label as a “big poo-say”. At least he is at the beginning of the show. During the run of this drama he does man up while getting his ass kicked in the process. I would think that perhaps his nickname should be Timex because he takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
The supposed chemistry he has with his love interest Kyoko is fairly non-existent. He actually has more heat with his charge Miki. Personally I was hoping they would hook up (and they came pretty damn close) but alas, it was not meant to be.
There were a couple of things I noticed while watching this drama. One, Kashiwagi Yuki looks quite good in those evening outfits. Well to me she looked good. I don’t know about the rest of you blind bastards. XD Second, all that bad hair on the male actors. So much bad hair.
The only ones who were heavily featured that had a decent haircut were the main villan who eats all the peanuts, and the bald boss of club Juliet. The rest are all varying degrees of awful hair.
Whether this drama accurately portrays the hostess club world accurately is a mystery to me. I’ve never been in one (and don’t know if I’ll be allowed in one since I’m a foreigner) and don’t know anyone who would openly admit they have frequented one in their lifetime.
Whatever the case, this is an engaging and entertaining watch if you’re willing to invest some time and perhaps suspend some disbelief in some of the situations presented in the drama.
Kurofuku Monogatari (DVD Box Set)
Kurofuku Monogatari (Blu-Ray Box Set)