From 5 to 9 (5→9～私に恋したイケメンすぎるお坊さん～)
Synopsis: Sakuraba Junko, an English language school teacher, has had no boyfriend even before her 29th birthday and dreams of working in New York. But one day, she encounters a handsome monk in the worst moment when she attends a funeral service at a temple. Because of numbness in her legs, she grabs the altar and ends up emptying the ash from burning incense on him while he is chanting the sutra. Although a rueful Junko thinks they will probably not meet again, she is deceived by her family and made to go for a matchmaking session. The other party is none other than that monk, Hoshikawa Takane.
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Manga
Network: Fuji TV
Duration: 54 min
Casting: Yamashita Tomohisa, Ishihara Satomi, Furukawa Yuki, Hayami Mokomichi etc…
From 5 to 9 was this strange mix of originality and banality. The concept (having a hero as a monk) was refreshing but the romance in itself was rather hackneyed. You could see its every twists coming from afar: the grandmother, the brother, the love revelations, the break-up, the end…nothing surprising. Even the joke and the humour were quite commonplace. Junko’s family is for example the kind of family you can find in almost every Japanese’s rom-com: a caring, happy family who makes other envious of their constant lively mood and tend in the meantime to annoy or make the audience smile by its heavy-handed humour…
I think I would have actually preferred to see a drama a bit less centred on its comic side cause in term of romance it only made it awkward, too lovey-dovey and repetitive. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy or laugh at some of Junko and Takane’s interactions but it might have raised the overall quality of the drama (not that it was bad. I’m just saying that it could have been a bit more thrilling) and make their relation more believable if it had been more serious (cause after all Takane-kun was supposed to have some experience in the dating department. I know that we were in dramaland and that they probably based everything on the fact that it was his first time falling deeply in love of someone, but still). I would have also liked to see their romance less rushed…I mean on Takane’s side (cause it took quite a while for Junko to admit her feelings on her side). His feelings toward Junko were too quickly displayed. The only explanation to justify that, might have been the scriptwirter’s desire to make a “love at first sight” story. But in my opinion it wasn’t a good choice. It didn’t give us the time to get attached to Takane’s character and their growing love for each other.
From 5 to 9 was a pleasant drama nonetheless. I liked the friendly atmosphere displayed in Junko’s workplace. It was a risky challenge to make all those Japanese actors teach and talk in English but in the end most of them got by fine -though I can’t say it had 0 impact on their performance and that I could understand everything *cough* I liked all the relationship between the second lead and even wished for some of them to have more screen time. In other word From 5 to 9 was a nice entertainment with bunch of handsome actors and actresses. Nothing more, nothing less.
Sakuraba Junko (Ishihara Satomi) was just like the drama: a double-edged character that I both liked and disliked. I had both a hard time getting used to the actress and the character in fact. Ishihara Satomi is a gorgeous actress but in the firsts episodes she seemed to overacted, while Sakuraba Junko was the kind of girl, hard to follow. She was this pleasant heroine who happened to be stuck in a crazy love triangle with three good looking guy -though Mishima Satoshi (Furakawa Yuki) was mainly there to decorate. The classic recipe of dramaland in other word. Except that here this love triangle wasn’t well dosed out. It took me a while to be 100% sure of Junko’s feeling toward Kiyomiya Makoto (Tanaka Kei) for example. This latter was in my opinion a bit too easily erased from her memory -poor guy- and I didn’t like how she played with Takane after her romantic disappointment with Kiyomiya. Yet she didn’t annoyed me more than that, despite her fickle feelings. Probably because the scriptwriter managed to show quite well her struggle between the two men. In my opinion she only loved the good memory she had of Kiyomiya and the shiny future he seemed to embody for her. Sakuraba Junko was a strong character with strong resolutions and I liked her overall personality all in all.
I was a bit sad to see Yamashita Tomohisa once again in that kind of role. He always seems to play expressionless hero and Hoshikawa Takane didn’t break that rule.
I can’t say that I was fond of our hero at first. He appeared as a stalker and selfish character. It was therefore difficult to really appreciate him. They broke that image afterwards of course, but made him too sweet to my taste (he rather appeared as a control freak to my eyes when he planned his first date with Junko. I know that it was to reflect his ignorance and naivety about realtionships etc…but still). I would have felt so oppressed by him -just like Junko did actually). He was too caring and I didn’t like how the scriptwriter tried at times to make us pity him by making him misunderstood by Junko. In other words he didn’t make a striking impression on me. His personality was at the same time funny and on the verge of creepiness
(the push and pull only came from him -apart at the end but then again it wasn’t shown as much as his own chase after Junko- and always brush past obsession. I’m not really fond of that kind of romance personally). I only liked him because he was an original character who had a good chemistry with the heroine. Otherwise he made me quite indifferent (which is not particularly a good thing for a hero).
I don’t want to hang about over the grandmother or Takane’s brother cause they were quite plain. They were only used to challenge the main couple and were way too easy to read to really grab my attention.
On the other hand Momoe and Masako were really pleasant supportives roles. Momoe and her craziness made me laugh more than once. I found her character refreshing and I liked her relation with Arthur (though this latter was sometimes more ridiculous than anything else with his overreactions) and Junko. As for Masako I liked how sly she could be when it came to men. She appeared at first as a bitch as she lied and tried to control Mishima Satoshi. But then I liked how she was cornered by Renji Hachiya and how both played with each other (for the little we saw)…I guess I needed some sexual tension and real push and pull to compensate with the main couple who was too nice and lovey dovey.
From 5 to 9 was in other word a light-hearted Japanese rom-com. If you have no particular expectations, this drama is made for you. If you’re looking for something more than just a good entertainment, I advise you to look for another show cause this won’t revolution your world.
Note de Dushbadou: 7.5/10
Note de Whoovy: 7.5/10
Note finale: 7.5/10