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Halu (Kimura Takuya) is the captain and star player of an ice hockey team, who is greatly respected by his teammates. For him, hockey is serious business that fully occupies his mind, while he treats romance as if it were a game. Aki (Takeuchi Yuko) is a typical OL (office lady), and is waiting for her boyfriend to return from studying architecture abroad. At this point in time however, he shows no sign of coming back. One day, Aki's friends who are determined to find her a new boyfriend, invite her to watch an ice hockey game. There she sees Halu for the first time. After the game, Aki and her friends join the players for a party celebrating their victory. Aki, however, is not so excited to be there. When she leaves the party, she bumps into Halu, who was slightly injured from a fight. They exchange e-mail addresses and part. The sparks of mutual attraction are ignited in a second encounter between Aki and Halu, arranged with the help of her friends shortly after a party. Hyodo (Sato... Written by
Halu (a Japanese homonym for Spring) is an up and coming star of a team in the small and unpromising Japanese hockey league.
Aki (a Japanese homonym for Fall) is a girl who avoids love by "waiting" for her boyfriend who left for America nearly two years ago and hasn't contacted her since.
Halu meets Aki and since he doesn't need distractions and she doesn't need love, they decide that they're perfect for each other...and so begins a romance that isn't supposed to happen.
Takuya Kimura and Yuko Takeuchi are both talented actors who make a character piece shine, which is why it is a little strange that they are cast opposite each other in Pride which is a mostly plot-driven series. But they play their parts well, Kimura especially with his signature slightly distracted style.
The hockey suffers from Japan's scant knowledge about the sport. The actors can skate (mostly), but there are a lot of scenes of the guys in static poses on the ice during dramatic moments (something that would get a real professional hockey player fired), and protracted conversations between protagonist and antagonist as they approach the goal, when in reality they would only have time for a few grunts.
Still, seeing hockey at all is a refreshing change from the constant barrage of soccer,baseball, golf, tennis and skiing that are the sports of choice for Japanese drama. And aside from a few stretch-your-credulity moments played to be emotionally manipulative, the series as a whole was pretty well written and well acted.
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