OP: 「WISH」 by 嵐
Eh, I’m not much for a boy bandish song. However, the style of the OP sequence is quite good with the moving background elements. It also hints at conflict between Domyoji and Hanazawa over Tsukushi.
Makino Tsukushi is a new student at the elite Eitoku school where it seems that everyone is rich but her. However, she hates it there because the school is ruled by a group of four guys called F4 consisting of Domyoji Tsukasa (the leader), Hanazawa Rui, Nishikado Sojiro, and Mimasaka Akira. Whoever rubs them the wrong way or crosses paths with them gets a red notice on their locker signifying that they are being targeted by F4. The entire school, which idolizes F4, plays along and torments whomever the group chooses. One day, Tsukushi’s friend Sanjyo Sakurako accidentally spills juice on Domyoji’s shirt. Not wanting to see her friend under attack by F4, Tsukushi stands up for her, and thus herself becomes their target. The red notice shows up in her locker, and her misery begins. After having her desk dumped outside, trash dumped upon her, paper balls thrown at her, and water dumped on her, Tsukushi runs to her secret stairwell spot, only to find Hanazawa already reading there. He acts quite different from Domyoji and their meeting actually brings a smile onto Tsukushi’s face. The next day, a group of guys drag her into a room to rape her, but Hanazawa happens to be nearby and saves her. At home, Tsukushi blows up at her family over dinner because of the happenings at school. As a result, her parents prepare a special lunch for her the next day that includes lobster. Meanwhile, Domyoji’s personal life is not going so well, and so he takes his anger out on whatever he can. This includes ruining Tsukushi’s lunch and stepping on her lobster. Furious because she knew how much love went into making the lunch, Tsukushi stands up to and punches him, then storms out. The next morning, Tsukushi is kidnapped by several men under Domyoji.
I already like this series a LOT. There’s a ton of differences from the manga, but the basic plot and timeline is kept relatively intact. Tsukushi defends a friend and stands up to the F4, who then targets her. Seemingly by circumstance, she runs into Hanazawa a couple of times and gets a good impression of him. Eventually she hits Domyoji, but then gets kidnapped. However, the drama makes her character seem initially a lot weaker than her manga counterpart. Though she stands up for her friend, she doesn’t immediately confront Domyoji, nor does she declare war on them when she sees the red notice. On the other hand, she seems to have found her strength by the end of the episode when the lobster motivates her to stand up for herself, so the end result is the same.
I think they’re developing the relationships quite well though. The Hanazawa scenes were a treat (it seems like every drama I watch features Oguri Shun), and I almost squealed like a little girl when I heard Otsuka Ai’s Planetarium start to play during the almost-rape scene. It’s a song that I like quite a bit and have been hearing a lot since I first saw it performed on MUSIC STATION last month. Anyway, the entire cast does a great job with their roles (though I’m still a bit unsure about Matsumoto Jun/Domyoji’s hairstyle).
Today’s episode covered about half a volume’s worth of material. I haven’t read a lot of the manga, so I don’t know if they’re on track for a certain stopping point by the end of the series or what, though their current pacing is fairly good. It ends on the kidnapping cliffhanger, and I assume that’s where next week will pick up.
This is definitely a great choice for my new Friday show (replacing Zettai Shounen, which I dropped).