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Otomen 5

Otomen 5 just proves to me, once again, why I love this drama so much, even though I don’t normally fancy this type of shoujo drama. About 10 secs into the beginning, I started laughing so hard I couldn’t stop, and, even though Otomen 5 was strangely short (only 35 mins instead of the usual 45 mins) I found that it didn’t hurt the episode one bit at all. In fact, the way it was condensed probably made the telling so much better, and whoever wrote this particular drama has much wry humour as I do.

So the story picks up pretty much where it left off (the lot of them are still at Yamato’s uncle’s beach shop working their asses off for the summer) and:

The camera pans in and first we see Asuka practising his kendo at the beach....

The camera pans in and first we see Asuka practising his kendo at the beach....

...and who else would he meet but his puppy-dog junior, Yamato? Yamato tells Asuka, "I want to be like you! To grow even stronger so I can protect the people around me..."

...and who else would he meet but his puppy-dog junior, Yamato? Yamato tells Asuka, "I want to be like you! To grow even stronger so I can protect the people around me..."

Yamato then jumps into this bizarre telling of the kind of guy who he wants to be, which was the 10 sec mark that made me burst out into laughter and henceforth continue watching this with a ready smile on my face (you have to see the screen caps to believe this):

In his imaginings, the school is dark and cold and "his" people (or rather, his gang) have been "attacked" by an enemy gang, and as the leader, he is responsible for going to take revenge! (But OH SO CUTE when he bites his lip like that Yamato!)

In his imaginings, the school is dark and cold and "his" people (or rather, his gang) have been "attacked" by an enemy gang, and as the leader, he is responsible for going to take revenge! (But OH SO CUTE when he bites his lip like that Yamato!)

He decides to collect the boys to go for a "showdown" with the enemy and ...

He decides to collect the boys to go for a "showdown" with the enemy and ...

...LOL who else would feature as the enemy but Hajime!?! Poor Hajime, there he is trying to mind his own business, and Yamato's already marked him out as "the enemy"...

...LOL who else would feature as the enemy but Hajime!?! Poor Hajime, there he is trying to mind his own business, and Yamato's already marked him out as "the enemy"...

At this point, Yamato pulls out a photo…of ASUKA (cue: laughter) and he stares at it, muttering, “I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you, and that you were the first to go. But I promise, I will take this revenge for you!”  – whereby the real Asuka (who looks awfully bemused by Yamato’s colourful descriptions) cuts in and says, “Ah..is that so? So..I’m that kind of character?”

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Yamato in turn chirps brightly, "Yes! Asuka was set on by the ruffians on your way back from school and was beaten to death!" and says it with SUCH A BRILLIANT GRIN I almost fell off my chair laughing.

Both Yamato and Asuka become lost in their own thoughts of what the summer would bring (Asuka: time spent alone with Ryo at the beach, watching the dolphins and confessing their love…/ Yamato: the gang fight continued for 10 hours and finally he managed to kick Hajime across the face… LOLs at their thoughts. Boys. How terribly simple.) At this point, Ryo cuts in by appearing with a smile and informing the boys to come in since dinner was ready. Credits roll and the episode kicks off officially.

and LOL it MUST be kicked off with a parade of naked bodies to entice women, mustn't it? Juta and Asuka are trying to "attract" customers to Yamato's uncle's shop (which has absolutely no business because...it looks...haunted. LOL)

and LOL it MUST be kicked off with a parade of naked bodies to entice women, mustn't it? Juta and Asuka are trying to "attract" customers to Yamato's uncle's shop (which has absolutely no business because...it looks...haunted. LOL)

As we find out later, because of this, Yamato's uncle is pressured to sell off the shop in order to pay his mounting debts...

As we find out later, because of this, Yamato's uncle is pressured to sell off the shop in order to pay his mounting debts...

And since Asuka is Asuka, he can’t sit by and watch without doing anything, so late at night, he stays up coming up with new yummy looking drinks for the shop that will appeal to females (man, I’ll put in a screen cap of the drink and can I tell you, that would attract me like nobody’s business!) and Ryo, who has apparently just come out of the shower (toweling dry her hair. Hm.) is surprised to see Asuka still up so late at night (so you can wash your hair late at night but he…can’t sit there drawing? LOL). Asuka immediately asks her to try the drink he is about to make (and thinks to himself: finally! YES! A moment alone with Ryo! CHANCE! which I find hilarious for various reasons).

I put the images of his drawing & the real drink Asuka came up with side by side so you can compare and see HOW YUMMY THIS LOOKS. I am telling you, this will sell.

I put the images of his drawing & the real drink Asuka came up with side by side so you can compare and see HOW YUMMY THIS LOOKS. I am telling you, this will sell. It's called the Love Marine or Fruit Parfait (I think), so it's made out of fruits. (Watermelon and honeydew, as far as I can tell.)

And of course while Asuka prepares the drink (with all his heart!) he keeps thinking of making beautiful summer memories with Ryo and is all excited when he puts his drink down in front of her so that she can be the first one to try it except…

Yamato, from around the corner, goes, "OOooh, that looks yummy!" and promptly plonks himself down and helps himself to the first bite!!! THE LOOK ON ASUKA'S FACE!! IS MAJOR FAIL lol

Yamato, from around the corner, goes, "OOooh, that looks yummy!" and promptly plonks himself down and helps himself to the first bite!!! THE LOOK ON ASUKA'S FACE!! IS MAJOR FAIL lol Asuka (in his head): Why are you the first person to eat it???!

Ryo then excitedly says, “Isn’t this a great dish to put into the menu?” to which Yamato enthusiastically agrees. In gratitude, Yamato bows down to Asuka and Asuka looks somewhat put out (which, again, put me in stitches).

It looked like it was going to turn out happy, except since we’re only about 10 minutes into the show, you know that something is going to go wrong, and so it does…

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Since all the fruits that they needed to make the Love Marine & Fruit Parfait sold out!

It turns out that all the fruits from the vendor (and the beach apparently only has 1 vendor selling fruits, but…okay…) have been bought by the “rival” beachfront store next to Yamato’s uncle’s shop – called:

Sea Dragon (I sense an irony lying somewhere here, but nevermind)

Sea Dragon (I sense an irony lying somewhere here, but nevermind)

So the boys want their fruits, and the waiters at Sea Dragon (I use the term “waiters” here loosely; they look more like ruffians than Hajime ever did) sense competition when their customers start squealing over how cute the three boys (Juta, Asuka and Yamato) are. With their acute business acumen, the SD waiters saunter over to our boys and ask them, “So…what business do you have here with us?” and Asuka replies, “We’d like some fruits. Could you spare us some?” SD Waiter No. 1: “No. Unless…” Asuka: “Unless…?” SD Waiter No. 1: “You come here and work for us.”

At this point, Yamato tells Asuka, “Let’s just go…” and SD Waiter No. 1 goes, “Isn’t that…Yamato? Ehhh, what are you doing back here? Didn’t you run away because you couldn’t take it living here?”

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So it turns out that SD Waiter No. 1 and Yamato apparently go way back, and Yamato (poor boy) bears the brunt of the SD gang's bullying, and Yamato can't seem to walk out of that shadow (now we all understand why he thinks about being all brave and show-downy and gang-leaderish!) which Asuka takes in.

So SD Waiter No. 1 repeats to Asuka again, “Come work for us. Quit that shabby looking store and come join Sea Dragon, you’d be really popular here.” Juta and Yamato look like they’re about to give up and go when Asuka abruptly replies, “Okay.” (Cue: eye-popping) “…BUT. Let’s compete to decide. If we lose, we’ll go work for you. In return, if we win,  you will give us the fruits we need.”

And thus, we have a showdown at the beach, instead of at school, just like in Yamato's imagination!

And thus, we have a showdown at the beach, instead of at school, just like in Yamato's imagination!

Round One: Beach Soccer

Unfortunately you can tell none of the kendo boys understand soccer because they lose bare minutes into the game! (Which I can totally understand...)

Unfortunately you can tell none of the kendo boys understand soccer because they lose bare minutes into the game! (Which I can totally understand...)

Yamato is shoved by the SD Waiters and falls onto the sand, looking really pitiful, which unfortunately gets him not only no love, but instead a harsh reprimand from Juta’s sister, who yells at him, “What are you sitting there for? Get back up and beat them!” …still, our dear boys lose the first round and Asuka knits his brows in worry as they prepare for Round 2: Holding Their Breath.

3 from SD Waiters, 3 from our Kendo boys and the 6 dive down into the deep dark sea

3 from SD Waiters, 3 from our Kendo boys and the 6 dive down into the deep dark sea

The 3 boys from SD

The 3 boys from SD

And our own 2 conniving kendo boys + 1 innocent kendo boy who was tied to a rock by his comrades just so the kendo boys would win Round 2!! LOL this whole part was super funny

And our own 2 conniving kendo boys + 1 innocent kendo boy who was tied to a rock by his comrades just so the kendo boys would win Round 2!! LOL this whole part was super funny

In fact the poor boy almost passed away LOL and we are made to think he has, except since this is a shoujo drama he magically revives towards the end and hops in with seaweed in his mouth HAHAHA

In fact the poor boy almost passed away LOL and we are made to think he has, except since this is a shoujo drama he magically revives towards the end and hops in with seaweed in his mouth HAHAHA

After our Kendo boys celebrate winning Round 2 (since the poor guy never did make his way back up to air), Round 3 (which is the round that will determine the win/loss of our Kendo Boys VS the SD Waiters) is kicked off, and it turns out to be a running in the sand to grab the flag kind of race.

3 races: first up - was supposed to be Juta LOL but when he quaked upon seeing his competitor, Hajime stepped in instead and won (man, I'm seriously starting to think Hajime is kinda cool in his own quirky, psychotic way), second was Yamato vs SD Waiter No. 1 and unfortunately the poor boy was shoved in the sand again and lost (and was once again screamed at by Juta's younger sister).

3 races: first up - was supposed to be Juta LOL but when he quaked upon seeing his competitor, Hajime stepped in instead and won (man, I'm seriously starting to think Hajime is kinda cool in his own quirky, psychotic way), second was Yamato vs SD Waiter No. 1 and unfortunately the poor boy was shoved in the sand again and lost (and was once again screamed at by Juta's younger sister). That girl has no sense of compassion...

The last race, fortunately, is between Asuka and the last SD boy (who is such a jerk I can’t help but wince everytime he opens his mouth) and of course our hero prevails and wins the day, so the fruits are dutifully handed over, and Yamato’s uncle’s shop does roaring business once the Love Marine(s) and Fruit Parfait(s) are out.

Hajime helped out by opening a stall for body art whereby he painted flowers on different parts of the body for girls LOL which ended up in a long queue looking like that! Hajime's really starting to grow on me

Hajime helped out by opening a stall for body art whereby he painted flowers on different parts of the body for girls LOL which ended up in a long queue looking like that! Hajime's really starting to grow on me

However, all this had ignited a spark of jealousy in SD – that night, Yamato was attacked and injured (fortunately, Asuka who was with him was quick enough to realise someone was attacking him and caught the sword in a block by clasping it between his hands, which was, you gotta admit, kinda cool). As all of them sit there debating who did it (…”Someone who hates Asuka..” “Hates Asuka…?” Silence. Everyone looks at Hajime who is happily in one corner about to dig into his ice-cream and I positively died at his expression on his face, it was priceless as he retorted, “…You bastards! Surely you don’t think I did this??” And Asuka calmly says, “Of course it must be the Sea Dragon boys.” Super comic moment here.)

Yamato stands up abruptly and tells everyone, “Thank you, but it’s enough. I think we should go home. Thank you for all you’ve done, but I don’t want anyone to get hurt anymore, so let’s go.” to which Juta’s sister Yuriko (that one has a tongue on her, she does) retorts, “You coward, just because you want to run away doesn’t mean we all want to run away.”

The next morning, as Yamato is about to leave, with his knapsack on his back, Asuka calls out to him and asks, “Is this really okay?” Just as Yamato nods, and Asuka is about to continue to convince him to stay, they are interrupted by sounds of a fight breaking out in the shop, and both boys rush to the front to check out what’s going on. Turns out the SD Waiters are back for more trouble and are chasing customers out by flipping tables, chairs, and yelling at them. Yuriko, in a fury, grabs a pitcher of water off a table and throws it at SD Waiter No. 1 (to which I can only say, You go, girl!) and in reciprocation, SD Waiter No. 1 grabs her wrist and looks like he’s about to hit her. At this point Asuka looks at Yamato and goes, “Stop him. You should do it. Didn’t you say you wanted to grow stronger so that you can protect the people around you?  Fight. You’re a man, aren’t you?”

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And so our dear Yamato does, and yells manfully, "Let go of her." Of course SD Waiter No. 1 laughs in his face and then when Yamato rushes him, he steps aside and gives Yamato a good walloping. All this time, Asuka stops himself from interfering but encourages Yamato to not give up until the end.

Finally, Yamato’s uncle put an end to it by telling the SD boys, “Let’s see which shop will still be there tomorrow, eh?” LOL although he sounded so threatening, when the boys spat and left, he actually sat down and heaved a sigh of relief. Still, it all ends somewhat happy, because Yamato has now grown more confident, since after the fight, Yuriko came up to him and helped him up, brushed him off and asked in concern, “Are you okay?” after which she added, “You were cool, just now.” As he is running along the beach with Asuka, he tells Asuka, “I want to grow even stronger, so that someday I can confess properly to the girl I like.” (Woohoo!! Give you three guesses WHO. LOL. WHO. If you can’t guess, then obviously you’ve never read shoujo manga.) (Also, dramatic irony here, as he is telling Asuka this, Yuriko meets the boy with the flower and as he drives away, sighs dreamily and asks Juta, “Do you know him? Do you know his name?” ARGHHH! Love triangle!! Already!)

And to finish it all off, during their run, Asuka spots Ryo on the beach, in the same exact position of his daydream at the beginning of the episode (she sits back on her heels and is drawing on the sand using a branch) and tells Yamato to go ahead first as he spies his chance of potentially fulfilling his dream!

And everything appears exactly as in his dream! Dolphins break the surface of the water and Asuka blurts out: "Have you heard that couples who see dolphins together -" "Are together forever?" finishes Ryo. Asuka thinks: YES THIS IS IT, SHE GETS IT and Ryo beams at him saying, "I'm glad we're going to be together forever, since we're good..." "Good...?" "Friends." ends Ryo firmly. FAIL ASUKA FAIL. I bet he would headdesk if he had a desk! The girl just doesn't get it. Still, Asuka smiles back sweetly, nods and reaffirms her, "Friends." (The guy is also an idiot. What's wrong with you?! Just tell her you like her, for goodness sake!)

And everything appears exactly as in his dream! Dolphins break the surface of the water and Asuka blurts out: "Have you heard that couples who see dolphins together -" "Are together forever?" finishes Ryo. Asuka thinks: YES THIS IS IT, SHE GETS IT and Ryo beams at him saying, "I'm glad we're going to be together forever, since we're good..." "Good...?" "Friends." ends Ryo firmly. FAIL ASUKA FAIL. I bet he would headdesk if he had a desk! The girl just doesn't get it. Still, Asuka smiles back sweetly, nods and reaffirms her, "Friends." (The guy is also an idiot. What's wrong with you?! Just tell her you like her, for goodness sake!)

The whole episode was much shorter than I expected (since somehow they managed to shortchange us of 10 minutes) but still packed with hilarity and action, and I just have to say that Otomen makes my week since it releases all the tension that Buzzer Beat has been building up for me! I wonder how they’re going to play out the love triangle, which I personally think is kinda cute except Yuriko grates on me sometimes (fortunately she doesn’t have much screen time). Hajime’s quirkiness is really growing on me, and Yamato’s wanting to be all macho somehow just struck me as superbly funny. It’s not too bad, except Ryo’s denseness and Asuka’s hesitance is starting to grow a bit old, so I’m hoping something good will happen to shake them up a bit in the next episode (like, can’t Ryo take the lead and tell Asuka, “Actually, I like you.” or something?!?! …then again, that could just spell the end of the drama so we never know…!).

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2 responses

  1. LOL…oh gawd raine, reading your review alone was enough to make my belly burst from laughing…and I’m still giggling now…oh dear, I better watch this one soon…

    I laughed the hardest at Yamato’s wild imagination. You know why?? Screen caps #3-#5 ~ that is so from Crow Zero!! Screen cap #3: I’m sure Yamato meant for himself to look cool by putting on that dark alluring look, but OMG I laughed so hard because I couldn’t help but feel that, that is a hilarious imitation of Genji! Seriously Crow Zero scene there ~ those umbrellas proves my point even more. *sigh* I’m so tired from laughing…

    This is good…will be updating myself with Otomen next…keke. Thanks for the review Raine!

    September 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    • rainerust

      LOL m’dear screen caps #3-#5 were TOTALLY CROW ZERO. I died laughing too, wait til you watch the full version of it! It was amazingly funny, but I do think Yamato or rather Koji Seto (the guy who plays Yamato) managed to appear quite different from his usual puppy dog self but OH it was SO GOOD, you have to watch this soon!

      The ending of the episode was good too LOL a little suspense (love triangle!), and a little comedy and a little bittersweet-ness as Asuka fails (once again) in making his confession to Ryo!

      September 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

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