Kingyo Club (金魚倶楽部)
Synopsis: Irie plays Hiiragi Haru, a third-year high school student with no real interest in women or higher education, instead choosing to live his life idly. When he notices a first-year student named Harukawa Koto being bullied, he lends her a hand, and the two form a “goldfish club” just for themselves. While love begins to bloom between them, the bullying against Koto continues to escalate.
Genre: Romance, school, drama
Casting: Irie Jingi, Kariya Yuiko, Yoshizawa Ryo, Kurihara Goro, Mizuno Erina etc…
Kingyo Club had all the ingredients to be categorized as dull, too classic for its own good. But it was surprisingly better than what I had expected. Most Japanese dramas -which take place in schools- depict the hard life of students and more specifically: bullying. Kingyo Club was not an exception to that as we got to see, from the start, our heroine being severely bullied by three of her classmates.
Harukawa Koto (Kariya Yuiko) perfectly played the role of the victim as she had all the required feature for it (a silent, cute, little first year) while Hiragi Haru (Irie Jingi) took the classic part of the hot yet cold hero who never seemed to be bothered about anything before meeting Koto (I even thought him selfish and childish at times. But fortunately he belonged to the category of hero, who eventually come to reflect on themselves along the episodes). Everything in the writing looked, in that way, more than predictable. Yet, as simple as it was, it managed to convey strong feelings and to be more than what it had seemed at first glance (cause even if I originally like bullying stories -because of their realistic zest- it’s always nicer to see a plot moved away from the classic rope).
I got quickly involved in the story as Koto and Haru started sharing their feeling. I was both melt by their sudden complicity and saddened by the reasons of it. Koto’s mum played actually a great role (apart from the end where she seemed more likeable) in my affection for our heroine as she could not have been more bitchy with her daughter, while the scriptwriter kept me afloat with Haru’s character by playing the mystery card about what had triggered such insensitivity in him (I had not foreseen such background story about him. I was expecting an irrelevant family issue- as it is often the case- nothing more). That’s where the scriptwriter managed to break the predictability of the show. Everything before the discovery of Haru’s past was easy to guess -either it was the love story, or the second lead turning evil. But then everything seemed a bit harder to tell as I had not expected the story to go that far in the first place. By doing that the scriptwriter managed to make a drama, which could have been just nice into a good one. I’m not saying that it suddenly became completely unpredictable (of course the ending was a given -for all characters) but it brought a welcoming touch to the plot.
In the end the only thing I could retain against Kingyo Club would be Motoi’s character who was too crazy for his own sake. More explanation or maybe a slight feeling of repentance on his face could have make the drama even better- though I’m still glad that he didn’t break the “realistic” atmosphere displayed in the story.
To sum up Kingyo Club was both at the same time a cute romance and an eventful drama. I liked almost everything about it whether it was the discreet ost -though I wasn’t really convinced by some instrumental piece at first- the acting, the atmosphere or the topic of the plot. It was far from being a masterpiece but I would still strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to spend a good time in front of a short drama.
Note de Dushbadou: 8/10
Note de Whoovy: 7/10
Note finale: 7.5/10