I am no stranger to Japanese television, especially when it comes to anime. I had only watched a handful of Japanese live action dramas before stumbling upon Netflix's Good Morning Call last month and after watching all the episodes available to me at the time (I am still up-to-date and cannot wait for Friday's new episode because some serious sh*t went down last week) I suddenly found myself actively searching for more Asian dramas to wade through. Don't worry, I will clue you in on all that I found in the coming weeks but today, let's talk about where it all began:
Good Morning Call...
Based on a shōjo manga series by Yue Takasuka (and published by Shueisha), Good Morning Call is one of the many Netflix original series that's ours for devouring & one that has found a special place in my heart. IT IS SO FUNNY [Fact]. The show centres around Yoshikawa Nao, a bubbly, kind-hearted high school student who finds out that her brand new swanky flat has an unexpected guest who is reluctant to leave resulting in tantalising tension, cringe-worthy moments and _ laughter. How does a high school student end up living on her own? Who is this unexpected guest? Why do I care? Watch the show and you will find out.
Trust me, you want to find out.
Airing on Fuji Television and Netflix, Good Morning Call definitely falls into the romantic drama genre and two people to thank for this show being around are the creators themselves: Mayuko Okamoto and Akimistu Sasaki. I am not quite sure what I like most: the strong, funny, ever-evolving story-line; the catchy, stirring music; the language or the ridiculousness of some of the characters; I just know that I love it. Although the show does what live action dramas that are adapted from manga series do best (seamlessly blending animation story-telling techniques and conveying exaggerated emotions), it does deal with very relatable issues. I, personally, have not read the manga series GMC is based on (matter of fact I don't think I have ever read a manga series before) but believe me when I say I have hunted this down and will be reading it at a slow pace as you know me, I can't stand spoilers.
Under the direction of Yo Kawahara and Takashi Fujio, the cast deliver great performances episode after episode. Granted there are some characters that get under my skin just by showing up but that is to be expected. The sweet Yoshikawa Nao and the man of few words, Uehara Hisashi are played by Haruka Fukuhara (Mars: Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru ) and Shunya Shiraishi (Nirvana Island: The Last 47 Days; Strayer's Chronicle; Kamen Rider Wizard). Moe Arai (Sweet Poolside; Piece; Tomie: Unlimited), Shugo Nagashima (Sono otoko, ishiki takai kei ) and Dori Sakurada (Orange; Underwear; Samurai High School) star as Nao's very good friends Marina Konna, Yuichi Mitsuishi and... Daichi Shinozaki. And if there was ever a character that was proficient in pushing my buttons it's freaking Daichi. Tell me I am not alone in this; the guy has zero chill! Anyway, these characters and a bunch of others will give you a handful of reasons to belly laugh, cry, cover your eyes in shame, shake your fists with frustration and grin (in equal measure... almost) even days after you watch the episode. I kid you not. Just the other day I was at work losing my patience with trying to estimate how much carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide will be in the gas phase of fluid from an oil well I was analysing once it gets to the surface, when a scene from episode 10 popped into my head and I instantly started giggling to myself. Don't worry, my work colleagues are used to me by now. But like I was saying, GMC can only have a positive effect on you. Watch it and you'll see what I 'm talking about.
I've popped the trailer below in case you wanted to find out more about the plot because I know I have not said much at all (yet somehow I have written over 600 words...). Personally, I say take my word for it, go in blind and give it a go with zero expectations. And if you do, let me know how you get on. Talking about Good Morning Call is now one of my favourite things to do!