Hakuba no Oujisama finished off it’s run a couple of days ago and I watched the last episode(Episode 13) lastnight. I think everyone watching was hanging out to find out who Takako would end up with, although I’m sure most people already had some vague idea of how things would finish off. That being said, the plot of this drama made it seem like it was going to go on forever…and ever…and ever.
There would always be developments with Takako and one of the three male-harem roles(Ozu-Sensei, Kurozawa-Sensei and Egawa-san) but then there would be some kind of misunderstanding that would bring everything back to square one all over again. This happened way too much particularly with Ozu-Sensei and Takako. “I like you!”, “I like you too…But I’m going to waste 3 episodes trying to decide if I’ll break up with my fiancee or not even though it’s clear I have no feelings left for her.” Or “I like you”, “I like you too! But I’m too old to wait around for you…” It was pretty much a rinse and repeat of this same stock scenario with minor changes across all four characters in the love square. I do have to give the writers props for making it a love square though, I don’t think I’ve seen many dramas that break out of the typical love-triangle storyline and I also don’t think I’ve seen many love dramas where the female lead character is in her 30s.
And while I’m on the topic of the love square, you really have to feel bad for Egawa-san. His last girlfriend died years ago and he still hasn’t fully come to terms with all of it, he finally opens up his heart to someone and starts liking them and they betray him completely…And to top it off they run away with one of his friends. I think I’d have major trouble forgiving either of the two if this same thing happened to me. In the final he finally meets Takako and she apologises him. He accepts this apology and says that he’s used to being inconvenienced by women from his last girlfriend and then gets up says “Sayonara” and leaves. I was pretty impressed by this reaction. His character appears so nice and forgiving but at the same time I admire the way he just cuts off the relationship between them completely and doesn’t get conned into any “being friends” compromises.
So who does Takako end up with? Surprise, surprise: Ozu-Sensei. You also see him propose to her in the ending credits and the last episode finishes with them overlooking a wonderful view on what looks like the porch of a their house or something. What a beautiful happy ending. Now I think about it this drama could probably have just been one long 2 hour special and it would have sufficed. I suppose there were some twists and turns but none of them were that interesting and everything felt a bit stretched out. While it was pleasant to watch I think 13 episodes was a bit much.
Then again my opinion is is probably a bit more gentle than that of a normal Japanese person or someone who can’t speak Japanese and just watches dramas for the stories, rather than with an ulterior motive of maintaining their language skills. If I was going to give this drama a star rating it’d probably say 3 out of 5. If you’re bored and looking for something to watch to kill time go for it. If you’re hanging out for a masterpiece or you’re looking for a “good” drama maybe this one is worth thinking twice about.