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Dramataku: Proposal Daisakusen - JAPANATOR






Dramataku: Proposal Daisakusen


3:00 PM on 12.09.2008



Life is full of regrets. There will be times that you will ponder about the what ifs and if onlys -- choices that may have seemed insignificant in the past, but can affect everything in the present. Along this path of life we walk on, we may lose something along the way, and anyone who has experienced loss will always surely experience some kind of regret.

If somebody gave you the chance to change your past, what would you change? Would you be a better person? Would it be to change an important decision? The possibilities are endless, but to change the past means to change what we are today. But what if changing yourself in the present already proves a challenge? I've rambled long enough about about regret so why don't we just get on with our latest featured Japanese drama.

Tonight on Dramataku, we learn about life's regrets and how a man who wants change his fate, so he can be with the woman he loves.

Proposal Daisakusen: Operation Love
Based on the manga by Kaneki Shigeki and Endou Saya
Original Japan Broadcast: April 16, 2007 - June 25, 2007
Theme Song: Ashita Hareru Kana? - Will the sun shine tomorrow? by Kuwata Keisuke

Second chances are really hard to come by in life, but Ken Iwase wants another chance to start everything all over again. You see, Ken has always been in love with his childhood friend, Rei Ishida, but Ken has always to much of an coward and an idiot to do anything or even say those three small words. Well now, things are different: Rei isn't at Ken's side anymore like she's always been; now she's at another man's side--- the one she just married.

Ken, cursing himself for all the time he wasted, is confronted by a mysterious man at Rei's wedding reception. The man gives Ken a chance to go back into certain moments in the past through photos on a slide show presentation at the wedding reception. Ken agrees and goes back -- but is it that easy to change someone's heart and maybe even yourself?

Based on a the 2007 manga of the same name by Kaneki Shigeki and Endou Saya, Proposal Daisakusen's plot may sound like another sad love story, but to call it that would be unfair. Even I passed up this gem the first time I heard about it, but Proposal Daisakusen has a lot more to offer than just the regular J-drama love story. Proposal Daisakusen utilizes the time traveling concept in a different way, reasoning that peoples' hearts can't be changed that easily, making it a bit difficult for Ken to change his fate.

Each episode takes place in a part of Ken's past represented by one of the photos in the wedding reception slide show. The only drawback is that Ken has to use his limited time until the the photo is taken. Proposal Daisakusen doesn't get into a complicated time traveling mess like the latest season of Heroes and the story moves forward with the characters at an even pace.

Proposal Daisakusen entertained me in so many ways. The time-traveling fantasy element provided some great twists in the story and references relating to each episode's time period add charm to each setting. The funny bits brought cheer to what may seem to be a sad bittersweet love story. There were plenty of moments when I was on the edge of my seat just cheering Ken on to do something that actually takes some guts, and many moments where I started shouting at the screen when Ken fails to do something or when he misses an opportunity. Maybe it's just me, but it's those moments that prove how good a show is when you find yourself lost in its narrative. I also found myself sharing Ken's scorn of his past self's mistakes whenever he is confronted by it.


As I've mentioned in last week's Dramataku, Yamashita Tomohisa (Stand Up!!, Nobuta wo Produce) is again on Dramataku just cause he's so popular lately. He gets a chance to flaunt a wide range of his acting abilities while portraying the weak-willed idiot Ken Iwase. Nagasawa Masami (Last Friends, Touch) plays Ken's childhood friend and first love, Rei Yoshida, as Nagasawa embodies the kind of childhood friend you'd want to fall in love with well. Hiraoka Yuta (Monster Parent, First Kiss) plays Enokido Mikio, the cool guy of the group. Eikura Nana (Maison Ikkoku, Hitomi), plays Oku Eri, Rei's bestfriend and special props goes to Hamada Gaku (Kanojo to no Tadashii Asobikata, Sumire no Hana Saku Koro) who plays the ridiculously funny Tsurumi Hisashi, who provides the best laughs in the show.

Each show ends with the hauntingly beautiful Ashita Hareru Kana by Keisuke Kuwata which gives that longing, bittersweet feeling which is just perfect for Proposal Daisakusen's tale of love. Proposal Daisakusen also has a great insert song, Chiisana Koi no Uta by Mongol 800, which has lyrics that really relate to the show, urging listeners to look to that "important person to you who is right beside you."

Proposal Daisakusen is more about life than it is about love, it's about realizing what really is important to us before it's too late. Proposal Daisakusen is definitely one of those dramas that can really teach you while it entertains you. A wise man once said "Only those who look to their past will see a better future." No words ring more true with this drama. Watch it, or you might regret missing it the first time like I did.

Dramataku: Proposal Daisakusen photo
Dramataku: Proposal Daisakusen photo
Dramataku: Proposal Daisakusen photo
Dramataku: Proposal Daisakusen photo
Dramataku: Proposal Daisakusen photo





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