How would you behave if you were so cute that everyone clamored to please you? How would you react if you were told it was all coming to an end? That is the precise situation we have in the Japanese drama My Cuteness is About to Expire! Read on to see if you think Kosuke Maruya’s cuteness is about expire too.
Even when Kosuke Maruya tries to do his best at something, the results are only average. However, he has found that turning on his megawatt smile smooths out any difficulty. Now he depends on his good looks for success at his job, with his girlfriend, and just about everything else. He means well, but we must admit he is a little shallow.
Then one day Kosuke meets a stranger in the elevator who tells him that his good looks are about to end. It is, of course, his worst fear and he wants to know more, but the man slips away. In the next few days, Kosuke sees him fleetingly several times and finally catches up with him. Amazingly, the man claims that he is from the future, and makes a startling remark Kosuke struggles with for the rest of the show.
Whether it’s a coincidence or not, things start going downhill for Kosuke. He is upstaged by two new juniors at work. Kei Ichinose is much younger than Kosuke and his enthusiasm wins out over Kosuke’s efforts every time. Kosuke is sure he’s losing his cuteness and compulsively tries out every anti-aging remedy he can find.
Izumi Sanada is the brainy type, and comes up with great new ideas that are chosen over any of Kosuke’s suggestions for their team. She seems expressionless and flat at first and though she slowly mellows out, we are surprised when Kosuke starts to like her.
A couple of new administrators are brought in to help the team’s performance. One of them likes Izumi too, and the other one spreads rumors about her. This is the turning point at which Kosuke has to decide if he’s going to slide along in life or be more assertive and get serious about Izumi, about work, and in general grow up a little.
Kosuke seems to have swallowed the stranger’s story hook, line, and sinker. They develop a slightly adversarial relationship, and it’s very amusing to see how they treat each other. Watch for a scene where Kosuke demonstrates how he wants the stranger to act, and just see how the stranger takes it. He starts introducing himself as Kosuke’s father, which leads to some of the funniest scenes in the show!
This show had a slow start, except for the cliffhanger in episode one. I’m not a big fan of the slapstick that so many Japanese comedies have, or of the tropes they threw at us in the early episodes. But one thing I noticed was that Izumi has qualities you more often see in a male lead: she’s brainy, stoic, and has goals. She’s the one who can hold her liquor, and she’s the one who gives a handkerchief to Kosuke when she finds him crying.
Kosuke, on the other hand, behaves more the way you would expect of a female lead. He is emotional, worries about how he looks, and is super bashful in romantic situations. We even have a fish kiss, which you don’t see that often anymore. (Just so you know, there are some better ones!) I was surprised at how fond I got of these characters I thought were a little stiff at first. I binged the last half of the show to see what happens to them, and what becomes of the claim of coming from the future.
I had been looking for cute, easy-watch dramas, and this turned out to be one of my favorites. It is on Viki and is one of the shorter ones: nine episodes that are mostly 23 minutes long. I hope you make time to watch it!
Until the next easy watch,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi
3 thoughts on “Japanese Drama: My Cuteness is About to Expire!”
Nice review! This is an endearing drama. I appreciated the quirkiness and the underlying serious message that life is short and youth is fleeting. The relationship between older and younger Kosuke is fun.
I was wondering how this one went over! So many Yamada Ryosuke / Hey!Say!JUMP (male lead) fans were on the fence – a lot of them commented that this drama was an indirect commentary about him! Especially since they casted Ohashi Kazuya (Kei Ichinose) his real-life jr as his work junior… very interesting.
More importantly, it sound like a lot of fun even just having the usual character troupes inverted for the female lead and male lead! Thanks for putting this one back on my radar!
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