Old Fart Who Loves Japanese Pop Culture 日本の大衆文化を愛する中年

Japanese Dramas, Manga, Anime and Japanese Movies, Jpop, and anything else about Japanese pop culture that I find interesting.


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Location: Akihabara@DEEP, NY, Christmas Island

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Himitsu no Hanazono

English Title:The Secret Garden

I like manga and I like dramas, when the two are combined I am usually a big fan of the show, but I’ve posted on dramas based on manga before. This show isn’t based on a manga but rather it is a comedy about mangaka who create them.

Kayo works at a fashion magazine, staying all night to complete a co-worker’s assignment, in the morning the job still isn’t done but she’s informed by the co-worker not to worry about it, it wasn’t really important anyways. Kayo has missed her birthday for the 5th year in a row over an unimportant assignment. She buys a birthday cake and as she eats it alone that night for dinner she decides to quit.

The next day as she tries to hand her superior a letter of resignation, her boss Ryoko, interrupts and informs the entire office that today is the last day for the magazine and that the entire staff is to be laid off, except for Kayo who was always such a diligent worker. Ryoko has obtained employment for Kayo as an editor of a shoujo manga. Kayo is shocked; she’d never read a manga.

Kayo is sent by the manga editor to meet with the mangaka she’s been assigned, a famous female mangaka, whom Kayo had never heard of. After being put through hell by who she assumes are the four male mangaka assistants she demands to meet the mangaka. That is when she learns the four assistants are the mangaka and brothers and that she can never reveal it. Not only would sales would suffer if a shoujo manga was found to be written by men, it would ruin their careers.

I really like this show; it has the right mix of comedy, family issues and romance. The characters are interesting and have room for development. I knew I’d like this show when one of the brothers refers to Kayo as “Moe” when she’s forced by one brother to model a rococo style dress, causing another brother to think her hobby is cosplay. After watching the first four episodes that have aired in Japan I’d say it’s my pick for the most fun and interesting new show of the 2007 winter season and a strong second to HYD 2 as my favourite current drama. I can’t wait to see what happens in episode 5. I also like the catchy theme song by Amuro Namie entitled “Baby Don’t Cry”.

Cast List from Fuji TV

Kayo Tsukiyama Portrayed by Yumiko Shaku
Wataru Kataoka Portrayed by Masato Sakai
Osamu Kataoka Portrayed by Tetsuhiro Ikeda
Satoshi Kataoka Portrayed by Jun Kaname
Hinata Kataoka Portrayed by Kanata Hongo
Ichiro Tanaka Portrayed by Susumu Terajima
Ryoko Kawamura Portrayed by Miki Maya

You can download the raw video files right now for the first four episodes here. The subs are being done by dancestar. She does an excellent job translating and quickly releases them, if you've seen Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, Suppli or Ns' Aoi you've used her subs before . Please thank her for her work if you enjoy it. You can download the soft subs here.

Screen caps below are from the first 10 minutes of the show and contain no real spoilers. I hope more people give this show a try because I really love it.

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