(2007– )

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Screwball Comedy
sillyman-28 April 2009
I loved this. I bought it on Amazon.com as I am a fan of Chiaki Kuriyama and it was great to see her in something where she was being light-hearted and not getting killed.

It is about Ichiro (Koki Tanaka), an arrogant young man determined to make something of himself, who ends up as at a third-rate university. He joins a club in order to meet girls but for some reason, joins a club of train enthusiasts. Chiaki Kuriyama plays Terumi, an office temp. Early in the first episode, in a Maralyn Monroe moment, a gust of wind allows Ichiro to see that her knickers feature a picture of the train on which he was born. This convinces him that she is his destined to be his girl. The series then follows the ups and downs in the relationships between Ichiro and his two buddies from the train club with Terumi and her two fellow office temps. All six characters are very well-developed and the series is funny and tragic in turn as the characters have their career and love hopes raised and dashed.

The DVD set is very good value as it contains 11 episodes, lasting eight and a half hours. All other reviews I have seen of this have slammed it, saying Ichiro is a seriously annoying character and it is impossible to get through the first episode. I do not disagree: the first episode is certainly very hard to get through but if you manage it, the rest of the series makes the effort worthwhile as Terumi (along with us) begins to see the innate qualities of Ichiro that he keeps so well hidden behind his annoying facade, realising that he is prepared to sacrifice his own chance of happiness for the sake of friends and family.

Why only 7 out of 10? It's because of the subtitles. These are outstanding for the first ten episodes, allowing the humour to come through and showing the different speaking styles of the characters. The 11th episode of my DVD is a different matter, however, appearing to be a very bad, virtually unintelligible, translation of a version previously translated into Chinese as different names are used for the characters. This was a pity as I had enjoyed the series so much up to then.
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