This Review of Suki na Hito ga iru koto (A Girl & Three Sweethearts) Contains Spoilers
There is this strange need to finish dramas no matter what that in all my years of drama watching I haven’t been able to shake. I do try to be a little picky when choosing a drama so that I can, hopefully, watch dramas that I will enjoy. No matter how careful you are, there is really no controlling how you’ll enjoy dramas. In my past years I haven’t watched many currently airing dramas, maybe 1 or 2 a year while they were airing. So I am able to research and read reviews so that I can better understand the drama and what happens in it. Which has helped me avoid dramas that I might drop. This year I’ve watched 3 dramas as they have aired and currently watching 3 that are airing now. So there aren’t any completed reviews for me to read to determine if I’ll want to watch the drama from beginning to end. Which is the case with A Girl & Three Sweethearts, I watched this as it aired.
As I watch dramas I do my best to find the things I do adore and focus on those elements. Usually I can find enough about a drama that I enjoy and can finish it. Usually… and combined with my strange need to watch to the bitter end I rarely drop a drama even if it becomes a chore to watch. I am trying not to do that anymore. My drama watching hours aren’t limitless and I want to spend those hours on shows that make me giddy with joy (like Love O2O).
Then there comes a drama in which the things I can find that I like are heavily outweighed by things that I can’t stand. Such is the case with this drama. And it is so sad. I feel terribly guilty too that I’ve finally decided to drop this one. My guilt is a little built justified. I mean, I’ve watched through to episode 8, there are only 10 in total. Seriously, I can’t just buckle down and watch 2 more episodes? That’s pathetic! But then I think about hitting the play button on episode 9 and I feel like I’m about to take a test for a class I’ve never attended. I just can’t do it guys!
Let me take a moment to talk about what I did love about this show. Because there were a few things that I did enjoy. First the scenery, the location where the drama was filmed was absolutely gorgeous! I mean the seascapes and the town and the whole feel of the views. Wow, just magnificent. The restaurant where the story circles around, Sea Sons, is probably the prettiest little restaurant that I’ve ever seen. It has a fresh, ocean feel to it that I would love to sit and eat and hang out in for hours! I really love the story premise, gal, Misaki, living with three very different brothers, Chiaki (the oldest), Kanata (middle son), and Touma (youngest brother). They are in a seaside town while working at their family restaurant. The setup is cute and could provide some truly entertaining scenes. Show did take advantage of this at times, but I always felt that it missed many opportunities.
Misaki is initially infatuated with Chiaki and confesses her woes, dreams, and desires to Kanata. He is in love with Misaki, but at first she doesn’t know. Kanata always is there for his Onee-san. Whenever she needs to vent or talk he’s there to listen. He even makes an effort to make her wishes come true. Then he confesses to his Onee-san! Guys this is a Noona Romance or well Onee-san Romance! Which makes me even sadder that I couldn’t hang. He’s adorable in his love for her. They have some truly cute scenes together, especially their trip to Tokyo. Their teasing and flirting is fun. And lastly, the love between the brothers is inspiring and amazing. Their bromance is one of the best parts of the show!
Sadly that is all that I could find enjoyment in.
The things that bothered me and that I didn’t like started right away and they outnumbered the good things a lot. First, Misaki over-reacts to everything. I had a hard time watching her in scenes when she was upset, embarrassed, upset, sad, angry… Ok fine I just had a hard time watching her without fast forwarding or muting her. She was annoying. Not only was she annoying the character was dumb. Truly dumb and no common sense and no understanding of relationships or anything. Ugh, she couldn’t do anything without being told what to do by her younger friend or Kanata or Touma. It was just tiresome.
So, this next one was almost a deal breaker for my right away. Yet I just adjusted my perception and kept going. In hindsight I should have dropped it earlier. Alright, so Kanata is emotionally and physically abusive to Misaki from the very beginning. When she talks to him he grabs her face and squishes it in his hand so she can’t speak. That bothered me! Like a lot. And he would say cruel things, really cruel in the guise of advice. Yet it was too mean and too emotionally crushing to be anything helpful. Even after he confesses that he likes Misaki he still manhandles her and says things that are just meant to be cruel. It took a lot of fast forwarding to be able to keep going with the show just because of these scenes. Yeah it was just not ok. Maybe if he had stopped this once he had confessed to Misaki I wouldn’t have minded so much,
Having watched a few dramas in my drama watching years I’ve come across a manipulative second lead in my time. On top of the other things that I didn’t like the second female lead, Kaede, just pushed me over the edge. I found myself fast forwarding through her too. She and the older brother Chiaki were nearly engaged and then she left. Her lie was that she was studying piano in Boston, when in fact she never left Japan and only went to work off her brother’s debt. Now that Misaki is crushing on Chiaki the second female lead decides that she can’t have that despite that Chiaki isn’t interested anymore. Kaede manipulates Misaki and Chiaki at every turn and it got old fast.
Next is the fact that they tried to pack so many story lines into this show. For 10 forty minute episodes it felt like too much. None of the side stories could be given enough focus to really get my buy in. There were so many birth secrets, a mob like boss trying to blackmail the brothers, Kaede’s secret life, the younger brother’s drama, along with the love lines and the restaurant business stuff. It was just to chaotic and I didn’t have a chance to really feel for these new stories as they were introduced.
So, what was the straw that broke the camels back? Episode 8. Friendly neighborhood warning for extreme spoilers. Kanata was really abusive this episode and they’d just had such a sweet time together, but he was terrible to Misaki. To the point that I had a hard time watching. But then the end of the episode… oh man I walked away from my computer, I had to! After Misaki and Kanata declared they were going to see where their feelings would take them and Chiaki had made his choice that he wanted to be with Kaede he changes his mind. Kanata and Misaki are going to have a stay in date, she’s at the restaurant to make a cake for him. Chiaki shows up… and knocks the cake from her hands! And then gives her a back hug and tells her that he likes her! Ugh! Why?? He’s dating Kaede, he left a date with Misaki to go to Kaede and then from that moment on started to date her. And then when Misaki doesn’t like him anymore he can’t handle that and declares to her? Ugh! At episode 8 it was just dumb! There’s nothing wrong with a love triangle, but to huck that in at the end of the show? Yeah I couldn’t do it anymore!
So I took a few days to cool down and decide if I could hunker down and watch the last 2 episodes. Yeah I just can’t! Considering that I fast forwarded through a lot of the show just to watch each episode anyway it seemed dumb to put myself through the torture of two more episodes when I would probably just fast forward so much anyway. From the preview I saw that Kanata just gets meaner and meaner and Chiaki is still pursuing Misaki despite being with Kaeda… yeah why put myself through all of this when I have so many more amazing dramas to watch I don’t need to finish it.
So I’ve pushed this one into the dropped pile and I’ve moved on.