The absence of the staple male leads is hitting the Korean drama industry hard. After Encounter, only Romance is a Bonus Book and Touch Your Heart interested me. I’ve been watching more J-dramas recently. Let me introduce them through their OSTs because OSTs capture the general mood of the story.
初めて恋をした日に読む話 (A Story to Read When You First Fall In Love)
OST: Happy Birthday by back number
The story revolves around how a cram school teacher discovers herself, her passion for teaching, and love in her mid-thirties as she helps a former delinquent get into Japan’s top university. The female lead is endearing because even though she is not perfect, she has a good heart and she always does her best. The male characters in this drama are considerate and mature too. They always think about her welfare and how to help her. There is no antagonist in this story. The characters simply face off with their insecurities, failures and life in general.
彼氏をローンで買いました (I Bought A Boyfriend with A Loan)
OST: Life is beautiful by BiSH
A female receptionist is grooming herself to be the perfect housewife to find a rich husband. Her ideals are shaken by a “loan boyfriend” she purchased to relieve her pent up stress. The story is shallow and predictable but you’d still want to watch it to follow how the characters’ hearts change and how their feelings gradually develop.
こんな未来は聞いてない！！ (I Haven’t Heard of A Future Like That!)
OST: ドンフィクション by ときめき♡宣伝部
Young love. Love triangle. Beach setting. That’s it. The element about the female lead’s future self going back to the past to “fix” her love life is poorly developed. You can ignore that as well as the occasional awkward rapping. Kizu Takumi reminds me of one of my cousins. It’s the same cousin who sort-of looks like Kento Yamazaki. They have the same aura. I think that’s why I can’t shake off the older brother feel I get from these actors.