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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

The three lovable leading characters embody the reason why this show is so damn brilliant

9/10
Author: Hoban-W from Sydney, Australia
31 August 2006

Nobuta wo Produce may not have the most original premise, however the characters are what make the show an original. They are the glue that holds the show together, they are what make you laugh and cry and then laugh some more. Nobuta wo Produce is written with a wit and intelligence rarely seen in television anymore. There are far too many shows that attempt to mask a rather cliché premise with "out there" characters who end up as 1 dimensional caricatures. Nobuta wo Produce knows what it is and that's what makes everything work so well. The three main characters are written with the utmost love and compassion and it shines through with their endearing interaction with one another. Nobuta played by the continually impressive Horikita Maki, is positively endearing and wonderfully acted. Akira Kusano is wacky, weird and awesomely played by Tomohisa Yamashita who manages to add a depth to his character, who first appears as the stereotypical funny guy. Finally, Shuji played by Kazuya Kamenashi is equally impressive, exuding an obvious understanding for his characters plight and projecting that through his excellent leading performance. All three actors give brilliant performances and all three have such a strong chemistry with one another that it feels like they really are the best of friends.

Nobuta wo produce is so impressively written that it breaks the mold of conventional high school dramas by developing the characters in such a fashion that they each have their own definable arc that lead to a beautifully written change in character. Nobuta wo Produce deals with issues of growing up without the overly sentimental hallmark crap, it is honest and true with its portrayal of high school life and how these characters influence upon each other is what shapes them to become who they are. It may not be written in the most realistic way at times but the characters that embody the story feel real, and you will undoubtedly be in fits of tears and laughter due to your growing attachment to them.

Nobuta wo Produce is an original but not in the conventional sense. It is an original because it has such a large heart, that makes you fall in love with the characters. Who are original in every sense of the word.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

The greatest drama I've ever seen.

10/10
Author: heather_elmes from Australia
18 April 2006

This Japanese drama is nothing short of amazing! Having got addicted to it whilst I was in Japan, I managed to watch about 5 episodes there, and now have watched this drama countless times over the internet. Everything is amazing; from the acting, to the storyline, to the filming techniques. I never thought that such a simple plot of two Highschool boys producing the new student into the most popular girl at school could be made into something so interesting. My favourite character is Akira, and I can't praise YamaPi enough for how well he did this. Kamenashi also did a marvelous job on creating Shuji, and from the articles I've read, he really put a lot of thought into his character of Shuji. Not to mention Horikita's character of Nobuko (Nobuta); so realistic that when I see her out of character, smiling and being normal, I almost can't believe it. This drama made me feel so many emotions- happiness, sadness, loneliness, and inspiration. Overall, I think 'Nobuta wo Produce' is one of the greatest dramas I've ever seen- it had me falling out of my seat laughing, then staring wide-eyed at the screen crying. It's a story about friendship that stays with you for a long time. KON KON!

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

It's amazingly original and has become my favorite Japanese drama

10/10
Author: jin_fuu_chow (jin_fuu_chow@yahoo.com) from United States
12 March 2006

This drama is pretty amazingly original. If you're taking a break from those predictable love dramas this one is good to sit down and watch. Although it looks like somethings gonna happen to the three's friendship, things turns out different. This drama is unpredictable and fun to watch. The storyline is also very interesting and if it isn't, it is always fun to watch what happens to them as they spend more time together. If you're fans of Kame and/or Yamashita, you'll enjoy their acting and characters; especially Yamashita's. His acting in this drama is my most favorite out of all the others I have seen, and Kame's acting was also better than in Gokusen. The girl in the story's acting is also really amazing. These two guys are a great combination. The ending song is sang by Kame and Yamashita. It is really the greatest song and goes well with this these two guys.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Remarkable series

10/10
Author: Colin R. Glassey from Bay Area, CA USA
4 June 2006

Fascinating and quite realistic dealing with important issues in Japanese schools such as: popularity, social conformity, and trust. Not to mention some universal issues of friendship, and betrayal. Lots of plot twists in this series, and some unusual changes in characters.

I fully agree with previous comments about the great job Horikita Maki did as "Kotani Nobuko". She really inhabits that role, very convincing acting.

According to http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Nobuta_wo_Produce this series recently won some major awards: 47th Television Acadamy Awards: Best Drama, Best Actor: Kamenashi Kazuya, Best Supporting Actress: Horikita Maki, Best Director, Best Script, and Best Music. Well deserved awards. As of June 2006 this series is apparently available on Japanese DVDs.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Sweet high school J-dorama

10/10
Author: TetsujiTamayama from Japan
19 February 2006

This was a sweet high school drama. The acting is excellent, and the whole story is very good. At first, it may seem a little weird, because you don't really know the characters and why there acting this way or that way. The whole plot seems to be catching on and then you really get on to enjoying it. I thought Kame was going to not act as good, but I was wrong. He was as good as he was in "Gokusen 2". Kotani played her character perfectly. It made it so realistic and that made it seem so good. Yama (that guy from NewS) was good, but not as good as Kame. Kame was a lot more popular, and out-going. There wasn't any flaw in this wonderful series that made it seem so in depth to real life events. Personally, I would add it to any collection if it came out on DVD. It's just...so real. From the innocent to the bullies, this J-Dorama is just fantastic! A very popular fall series.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Kon kon!

9/10
Author: gemtsoi from Singapore
19 September 2006

Funny and endearing, 'Nobuta wo Produce' (Producing Nobuta) is one of the best Jdoramas to appear in recent years. The story revolves around two high school boys trying to 'produce' a girl from being the most bullied student to the most popular girl in school. At the outset, it seems like a relatively simple story, but go a bit deeper and you'll find a wonderful, touching story about friendship, loyalty, human nature, and love.

What drives 'Nobuta' to success more than anything are the three main characters. All three are brilliant and engaging - the bullied girl Nobuta (real name: Nobuko), who has never had a friend before; the popular boy Shuuji, whom everybody likes but nonetheless feels dissatisfied about his empty life; and the clown Akira, lovably annoying and unrelentingly loyal. Horikita Maki, Kamenashi Kazuya and Yamashita Tomohisa respectively perform their roles with a tenderness and chemistry that is very convincing. All three have their own quirks and faults which endear them. Although there is a good supporting cast, they are overshadowed by the three of them.

Of course, not to forget, Kame and Yamapi are irresistible eye-candy ;) I was impressed with both their acting, but I think Yamapi deserve more kudos as Akira was a difficult role to act. If he had been a lesser actor, Akira would have been extremely annoying, but Yamapi managed to punctuate Akira with a sort of deepness and cuteness that made him a likable, three-dimensional character. Who says pretty boys can't act?

Aside from the acting, the soundtrack is another highlight of 'Nobuta'. The theme song, 'Seishun Amigo' (English: 'Friends of Youth' sung by 'Shuuji and Akira'), is very catchy and was, in fact, the top-selling single of 2005 in Japan. The instrumentals are used to good effect in the show.

The dialogue is another interesting aspect of the show, coming up with fun quotes like Akira's 'kon kon!', Shuuji's 'bye bye bicycle!' and Nobuta's 'Nobuta power, enter!' Although they seem incredibly lame, they are very infectious and, by the fifth episode, I found myself 'kon-kon'-ing all my friends.

I should also give a special mention to the two ditzy CG pigs featured at the end of every episode. It's a very unique presentation of the theme song and the two pigs were funny and cute.

I would have given this show 10/10 but for some strange humour here and there that I didn't appreciate. Still, it doesn't affect my enjoyment of 'Nobuta'. The more I watch this show, the more I love it and its characters. Truly a masterpiece about three misfits coming together to form a deep and lasting friendship.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Japanese highschool comedy drama

10/10
Author: greenhitop from Singapore
28 November 2005

An excellent 11 part TV series featured in the fall TV season in Japan on NTV.

The show utilizes the typical teen school angst genre, but with surprising twists, and characterizations. Focusing on the storyline of a misfit young girl bullied by her classmates in a cruel way that has been the topic of many news stories in Japan. The young girl is saved by two male students who along with their new charge transform her, and themselves. The camera angles, music, and energy is quick paced with in-joke references to other Japanese pop trends. What could be clichés turn out to be fresh moments.

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A Masterpiece! A rare gem! Must Watch!

10/10
Author: Swara Mohan from India
13 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No Words to describe the after effect of completing this show. It left with tears of happiness. The story is so realistic. Its touchy. What a great finish it has.

Mindblowing performances by the three lead actors - Kazuya Kamenashi(Shuji),Tomohisa Yamashita(Akira) and Maki Horikita(Nobuko/Nobuta). The young actors have so much understanding of their characters.Can't think,at their age,I was so intelligent and understanding. Kudos to them.Out of the three my favorite is Kazuya Kamenashi. He looks so handsome. He shows his three dimensional side too well.

Kazuya Kamenashi plays the role of Shuji who is the most popular guy in the school. He wants to make everyone happy and keep up his popularity.Somewhere within he is aware that he is not his true self in front of people.He has this habit of visiting a willow tree at the harbor before proceeding to school as he finds solace it doing that. Tomohisa Yamashita plays a eccentric guy Akira who wants to be friends with Shuji. Though he is rich,he likes to live like dime on street.

One fine day he meets a shy and introvert girl Nubiko near the willow tree which was plucked out by the harbor people. She turns out to be his new classmate.All the classmates bully her because of her low esteem and introvert attitude. Though Shuji acts cool in front of his classmates,he and his friend Akira try to build Nobuko's confidence and make her a popular girl so that no one bullies her. After several persuasion and inspiration from these two guys,she starts putting effort in changing herself.

A deep friendship starts building between these three and they do lots of activities to promote her popularity.

This drama is about friendship between three people.There is no melodrama and no over the top scenes. Everything seems natural. The girl Nobuko(named as Nobuta) doesn't undergo any dramatic change. The change seems gradual and realistic. There is no heavy-duty romance and love triangle as such. The school premises are set realistically and change that happens in the three people's life is gradual. You can understand and feel all the three characters.

Its a rare gem. Very few stories are written so well.Acting is top notch. Though the support cast is good,the lead three actors shine in their roles.

Also,it needs to be mentioned that the theme song "Seishun Amigo" is sung by the two male leads who are also pop idols. The song is great and it is picturised with two cute pigs(anime).

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Touching Drama about Friendship

10/10
Author: nechiev from Philippines
8 December 2015

I've been putting off watching this series thinking it's just another one of those ugly- duckling-turned-beautiful-swan series -- but I was wrong! This is by far one of the best TV series on friendship I have ever watched. It's about a girl who lacks self-confidence that's why she is always being bullied -- she goes through a transformation with the help of two unlikely individuals: one, the most popular guy in school, and the other a comic outcast who is actually the heir to a multi-million company. What is so nice about the story is that while Nobuta undergoes some transformation, her character doesn't change too much. She is still the quiet type of girl who lacks self-confidence, but you see her struggling to get out of her shell -- to talk to people and even play a newscaster in her club! It's this struggle that makes the story so real. And while Nobuta is changing, all the others around her also change -- the people who bullied her, her classmates who make fun of her, and most importantly, the two guys who have started to "produce" her also experience change.

The three main characters are played by a brilliant cast. Maki Harikita played Nobuta so well, and made the character so endearing to the viewers. Despite being quiet and shy, you become empathic to the character and would cheer her on as she tries to change for the better. Kazuya Kamenashi is also a brilliant actor -- he made his character three- dimensional, showing his struggle between maintaining his popularity, and being true to himself. As for Tomohisa Yamashita (or Yamapi), he is my favorite of the three. He played the character so naturally -- a comical, nerdy guy who is extremely rich yet extremely loyal. At first, I thought he was playing an annoying character, but as the show went on, his antics become more lovable, that's why it has become the favorite of many people.

This is an awesome tale of friendship -- how three unlikely individuals will come together and form a bond that no one else in school ever has. There are funny and touching moments that will make you laugh and cry, and sometimes laugh while crying.

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Rare Gem

10/10
Author: RAW EXPOSED
28 August 2014

One word to describe the show: Genuine. This show is a rare gem. In many dramas (especially Korean dramas), acting usually feels forced. But not this one. Great acting. Maybe they picked the right people, maybe the director was really good, maybe it was the music, maybe the editing guy was a genius - I don't know how they did it...it felt very real. There were some over-the-top scenes and I personally found it funny. One major thing I loved about this show is how they expressed the value of friendship. I didn't realize how popular this show was until I googled it! The popularity of this show goes to show how many people value true friendship. Really gives me hope that having genuine friends is not a fairytale.

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