Holy cow, am I seriously watching two Japanese dramas at the same time, after not having watched any for 3 years? Not since Love Shuffle, I believe.
Speaking of which, Last Cinderella feels like a mix of Love Shuffle, Hotaru no Hikari and Sex in the City. So basically a distinctly Japanese romcom with some sex thrown in there for good measure. Everyone rejoice and indulge in the glorious sight of Miura Haruma’s buttocks.
Wait, not yet.
That’s Sakura’s butt. She is our heroine and she is awesome.
She has a substantial beer collection.
Doesn’t care about the way she looks.
And drinks energy drinks in the morning, like a man
And even grows whiskers to complete her oyaji-gal (middle aged man) look. Which is almost like a himona-onna (from Hotaru no Hikari, women who don’t give a shit basically), but with a touch of manliness. I’m really amused by the tenacity of the Japanese people to come up with all these terms to describe women who are anything less than perfect. Gee, God forbid a woman doesn’t transform into a sex Goddess as soon as she steps into her house after a 12 hour work shift. See rant at the end.
Sakura is actually very cute and friendly once in the haven of her workplace as a beautician.
But that’s about to change, as her long-time rival, Mr. Creepy Mustache, gets assigned as a Manager to her branch.
Well, to be honest, I’m still torn between Mr. Dashing Smile and Mr. Creepy Mustache, so please hold your pitchforks.
I know it’s blasphemy not be madly in love with Fujiki Naohito, but I have a thing with mustaches, even scruffy mustaches like that, and I don’t remember Naohito having a big effect on me in Hotaru no Hikari either.
These are Sakura’s friends whom I simply adore – one is a nympho, the other is a housewife, with an alien for a husband who doesn’t want to have sex with her. Ugh, can she leave him already.
Sakura and friend go for drinks in the middle of the day and I love this little meta of Sakura’s thoughts literally engraved in the scenes. “For now a beer please. Instead of water.”
And the cat! So perfect.
And of course, they run into Creepy Mustache.
And he spews some misogynistic diatribe about how the reason she is not successful is because she doesn’t suck up to men.
Conveniently there is cake, so that’s what he gets. To the face.
And friend gets to have sex in the bathroom with a stranger. It’s great.
We are introduced to some other players: gorgeous Choko-chan, who has a crush on, okay fine, Mr. Dashing Smile for now, and who can see right through his bickering with Sakura to know that Sakura is major competition.
And so Choko-chan hatches a plan to employ Hiroto, the God of sexy buttocks, to distract Sakura.
You are welcome.
Lest we forget this drama is actually called Last Cinderella, we get a ball. A hook-up ball. And Sakura gets a majestic outfit from a fairy Godmother.
Well, if you can call a two piece from the 60’s majestic. But then it’s Sakura and she won’t be fazed that easily.
Enter our Prince.
Doing the “lip wipe”, which according to Eat Your Kimchi is a sign of arousal, but in his case probably more like an attempt to inspire arousal in others.
Going for a kill with Sakura…
Aaaaaaaand producing absolutely no effect. Hahahaha.
She is a lot more interested in getting thoroughly trashed.
Friend has sex with another stranger and at this point I start to feel bad for her a little because really, that toilet is less than glamorous.
Oh, this turn of events I honestly did not expect. She picks up some mumbling guy at the reception and drags him to her hotel room, without realizing it’s her friend’s husband.
You can tell Sakura is having a good time.
Well, I certainly am because Miura Haruma is on my screen.
Everything goes as planned (or not, but we will never know what really transpired *sob at all the missed footage*) and Hiroto plays his part well.
“Should we do it again?” YES, PLEASE, WE MISSED IT
Sakura instantly turns on her “coy, flirty” side tailor-made for dealing with romantic situations.
“Will you go out with me?” I think we are suppose to swoon here but I’m too distracted by Hiroto’s too-obvious puppy eyes.
“Staying out all night, because you are that age and should avert the public’s gaze”
Oh thank God for not living in Japan and not having to care about judgement of any kind.
Another reason to dislike Creepy Mustache, he makes her help him move and she agrees for some inexplicable reason!
They bicker all the way to work and I admit, it’s sort of starting to grow on me…
But Sakura feels that something is amiss with a guy like Hiroto being so insistent on going out with her and so she tells him it won’t work between them and she doesn’t want to even try.
Hiroto calls her a “pain in the ass woman” but that’s not really the reason why I capped this scene.
You are very, very welcome.
Sakura is smart enough to know it’s not a good idea to get involved with him but that sure doesn’t stop the butterflies.
I think the lip wipe worked finally because she finally agrees to go out with him!
The cheater husband and the friend realize what they’ve done and attempt to almost literally sweep the whole thing under the rug.
The date doesn’t go as well as it should because Hiroto’s friends make a jibe regarding their age difference.
And surprisingly its Mr. Dashing Smile (fine, he gets that for this scene) who baits Sakura to keep trying at it with Hiroto, “you want it but you are afraid”
I sincerely liked their interactions in this scene and Dashing Smile teaching Sakura to hit the ball properly and saying “once you get it right once, you will keep doing it”. Could it be…? No. Still don’t ship them.
I think I might make a drinking game of Hiroto doing the lip wipe…That actually means I want more of that. Honest.
I loved this scene so much because Hiroto finally gets a dose of the real Sakura, as opposed to some mutant “trying to attract a man” cutish Sakura, as she gets into a scuffle with a jerk on a bus.
I’m no good but I cracked up when he yelled “old jeezer” at her.
The date was fun but the kiss seemed a tad underwhelming to me. And despite how much I actually support her going out with him, I don’t really ship them yet. Not because Hiroto is faking his interest (I know he will fall for her soon, and that’s actually the most potentially intriguing part of their romance) and not because of their age difference per se, but so far it just seems like the drama is positioning Rintaro/Sakura as endgame OTP and I’m not ready to put my heart into something that is likely a dead end. Sakura/Rintaro have the bickering part down, and history dating way back, and it seems like Hiroto is just a distraction, a fling of sorts to open up Sakura to the possibility of real love. I would be okay if the drama went into Rintaro/Sakura direction despite not shipping them yet, but I would be freaking ecstatic if they actually made Hiroto/Sakura work in the end, because I’m a huge fan of unlikely/impossible romances. And obviously, I just like Hiroto so much more. *shallow fangirl is shallow*
Now, moving on the topic of Sakura and what appears to be a central theme of this drama, her “manliness” or rather the loss of her “femininity”. I find the term of “old-man-woman” (which sounds outright disgusting in English) problematic because it has so many gender connotations. I don’t think Sakura is manly or tomboyish at all and not only because she turns so drastically girly and innocent in her interactions with Hiroto. The only tomboyshness I recognize is the one that involves a person actively wanting to be perceived manlier, either as part of their sexuality or their desire to identity as male. Sakura is neither. So, what actually made Sakura deserve the oyaji-gal term?
1) She doesn’t care about fashion.
So? Caring about sexy lingerie does not a girl make. Same goes for guys who do care about fashion. It does not make them more feminine at all.
2) She cares deeply about her work. Perhaps at the expense of her love life.
This might be the most offensive of the ones I’m listing. Why is the image of career and hard-work still exclusive to men?
3) She is loud, aggressive at times, doesn’t mind engaging in conflict in certain situations
I agree that those characteristics are more masculine but again, to me it’s just part of her personality and she is no way on the extreme end of it.
4) She drinks and eats like a “man”
Why don’t women get to drink beer and sputter food all over the place again? Shhh, I will tell you a secret, women do that all the time when they are alone. We are actually human.
In conclusion, Sakura is not manly in any way. She is a woman, or rather a person, with her own issues and quirks. I know it might seem strange for me to get fixated on one term like that but Japan’s gender issues are still a mess and I really don’t think terms like that do them any favors.