I Am Reiko Shiratori! is a fun show to watch with kids. It’s about Reiko, a nineteen-year-old girl who has unlimited money, can talk her parents into anything, and whose only problem is that she told the boy she likes that she won’t go out with him. It was adapted from a manga that was written for teen and pre-teen girls, and is really targeted to that age. It retains many of the qualities of a comic book, with a lot of magical-looking special effects. Just expect it to be silly!
The Exaggerated Cartoon Style
They lifted a lot of scenes right out of the comic book. Most of the characters act normally, but the rich people always dress up like they are going to a party and red carpets show up unexpectedly. You may recognize the way they incorporate the cartoon effect with written sound effects like “pow” appearing with a flash of light. In this one, Reiko has a fake laugh that produces a flash of light with sparkles and rose petals. I thought it was a special effect the characters couldn’t see, but it turns out that they do. Every so often something strange and magical like that happens and no one seems too surprised.
The Main Characters:
Reiko has a lot of pride. She thinks it is beneath her to like common people (the non-rich) or to help them, but she really wants to be included and to cooperate if she can preserve the image that she is better than they are. So she tends to refuse people at their first request and then tries to get them to ask again so she can be condescending about giving in. She is pleasant but somewhat of a ditz, and so are her parents, and the rich guy her father wants her to marry.
Tetsuya, on the other hand, is very humble. He really has no status; his family is poor and he is a second-string player for the school basketball team. However, he is very kindhearted, which is perhaps the reason that he has no less than four girls after him in this drama. Of course, they may like him because he is good-looking. Since he has a hard time telling anyone “no,” the way he manages (or fails to manage) all these wanna-be girlfriends enters into the plot.
Tetsuya makes the mistake of telling Reiko he likes her in front of her friends. With this audience she is embarrassed to admit she likes him, so she says she doesn’t and then follows him to college to get him back. By the time we start to get tired of her selfish ways and annoying laugh, she runs into another rich girl, and the way they clash is pretty funny.
After that, we get a bittersweet flash-back episode to Reiko and Tetsuya’s childhood. And then we get another magical event that had me wondering if I was watching the right show! The way everybody reacts to this event, and the way Reiko and Tetsuya deal with their differences is surprising and interesting. No one thinks things through very far in this show, so go along with it and just enjoy the fixes they get themselves into!
This is one of the recent Japanese dramas I found on Viki looking for something light and fluffy. My husband disliked the silliness of the very first scene and wouldn’t watch with me, but my thirteen-year-old granddaughter laughed out loud at this show, and liked it a lot. If you have kids to watch with, I recommend it! I hope they like it too.
Telzeytalks of Dramas With a Side of Kimchi