I’m not really sure whether or not it would 100% fall under the category of drama but the other night I watched a TV-special called Love Riron and it was hilarious. I did a Google search afterwards and found a book selling on Amazon under the same name so I think that might be the original work, there also seems to be some Manga works too. Unfortunately, searching on Wikipedia didn’t give too much more information. Anyway, in the drama version there are 3 guys working at a convenience store who are all hopeless with women…
The first is a creepy Otaku-type character who has trouble even talking to women. He’s never had a girlfriend in his life and he seems to prefer anime action figures over real women. He actually has a crush on a girl that works part-time at their store but has never been able to have a proper conversation with her. The second guy is overweight and even though he was born in Chiba he uses Kansai-ben all the time. According to the narration he taught himself Kansai-ben because he thought it would make him more popular with girls. It’s funny because there are real Japanese people I’ve talked to on Skype who actually believe this too. His problem is that he gets too attached to one girl and doesn’t play the field or hedge his bets. The last guy is actually really good looking but his problem is that he’s only popular with really unattractive girls and that he’s all talk. This has an impact on other areas in his life too. For example, he’s a graduate of a pretty prestigious university in Japan but instead of looking for a proper job he settles for working at a convenience store. His reasoning is that none of the jobs that are on offer are really “good enough for him”.
One day a new Manager is hired for their convenience store, his name is Aiya Mizuno. The Area Manager comes to introduce the new Manager to them at the start of the episodes. He’s really, really creepy and weedy. Just from a glance you would think that he would have way worse troubles with women than the other 3 guys. He also is constantly being told-off by the Area Manager for not being good with customers and not doing things right. But Aiya Mizuno is keeping a huge secret. When he takes his glasses and hat off he becomes a totally different person: a huge player. No, I don’t think that description really gives it full justice, let’s go with a ‘pick-up genius’. He watches the other guys struggles with women at the store and catches them alone afterwards, he then takes off his glasses and hat and transforms to his alternative persona who offers the guys a chance to learn from him.
While they all seem pretty reluctant at first, taking his advice leads to them being more popular with girls. With Mizuno’s help the creepy Otaku character is able to have his first full conversation with a girl(albeit the one he has a crush on at their work). The fat Kansai-ben speaking character is able have two girls chasing after him at once and the good-looking but all-talk guy ends up taking a model back to his place a day after meeting her(he does manage to fuck it up pretty badly though – and not in a good way – you’ll see what I mean if you watch it). The tips that he gives them weren’t all that bad either, I’ve seen some of the tips that those English pick-up manual things give and the ones on this show are nothing like that. They also managed to make the advice-giving hilarious at the same time. There were some tips in the last section that were kind of questionable though, so follow them at your own risk.
The two Christmas specials I talked about last week were kind of average and I didn’t really recommend that anybody should watch them unless they had some serious free time on their hands. This is different. This is entertaining enough to recommend, and that’s what I’m going to do. You should watch this. It’s actually got me interested enough to want to read the original book…Now I just need to find somewhere online that sells Japanese books that won’t charge me my organs for postage.