Are you ready for my unfiltered thoughts on Kai’s latest acting endeavor? It seems SM is determined to get this boy’s resume full of dramas whether he can act or not. And I have to say that it may be just what he needs to grow into his “skills”.Here’s a quick synopsis for Spring Has Come. This drama is about Kishikawa Naoko (Kana Kurashina), a 31 years old woman who works in an undergarment department shop. By coincidence, she meets Lee Ji-won (Kai – Kim Jong In), a South Korean photographer who changes her life after their meeting, and starts to uncover her family’s secrets bit by bit.
I am going to be honest right from the start. I did not start this drama because of Kai, in fact, he was a huge detractor for me. I wasn’t able to get through the first episode of Andante because of his less than stellar acting chops. But… I found it interesting that they cast a Korean idol actor in a Japanese drama, because Chinese dramas do that then dub their voices with a voice actor, but Jdramas don’t usually cast foreign actors. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is a first for them. Please correct me if I’m wrong. There was the beautiful Japanse/Korean collab with T.O.P and Juri Ueno in 2015 called The Secret Message, but it was filmed in both countries and isn’t the same as a full Japanese drama with a Korean actor in it.
Anyway, the clips Dramafever kept playing on my Facebook feed gave me hope that Kai might have improved a bit, so I decided to give it a try. It’s only 5 episodes, which means it’s not that big of a commitment.
Right from the start I could tell that this director was able to pull a bit more out of Kai. He seems relaxed and comfortable as a photographer. I was biting my nails to see if they’d go the Chinese route and dub his voice or if Kai speaks Japanese well enough to be in a drama. Then he said his first line, and I was transported back to the first time he mesmerized me in one of EXO’s MV’s. His deep voice lends well to the Japanese language, and because he’s a Korean photographer in the drama, they manage to let him slip Korean in as well.
His beautiful smile won the lead girl Noako over, and it seems to be his go to acting skill. I’m not complaining. The story moves pretty fast from them meeting at his first solo photo shoot, to them having dinner and flirting over all the Korean dishes he orders.
The drama unfolds like an interesting twist between the usual Jdrama pace, slow and atmospheric, and throws in cute little Kdrama things like sprained ankles and piggyback rides.
Also, he can COOK. Can’t all Korean men whip up dinner like a professional chef? I do love that they use his skills to bring out her parents and show off is earnest side.
And about 35 to 40 minutes in we get a Kai shower scene. I about died, because he doesn’t get his hair wet, but stands facing the camera and has an internal dialogue. I guess the director knows Kai’s stronger points….
Most of the episode was spent with our couple getting to know one another and falling for each other, but when it ends we start to see that not only Kai’s character a side of his life he’s hiding (not just things his limited acting skills aren’t able to convey) but Noako’s family seems to have dark secrets of their own.
Overall I found Kana Kurashina cute and loveable as Noako. She’s a typical Japanese lead girl, and I thought she did well next to Kai. He needs someone who isn’t as green as him, but also not so talented that he looks wooden next the them, and I think she’s a good balance.
Kai brings a nice warmness to the character that I didn’t expect, which helps me look past some of his more awkward acting moments. And for some reason when he speaks Japanese it does something for me.
Since this is a weekly airing drama that is only five episodes long, it is a nice filler. Especially, if you are starved for Japanese dramas, and you’re a bit shallow. Hey, Kai is really nice to look at.
Until the next shower monologue,
Drama With a Side of Kimchi