2 March 2016

37.5°C no Namida Review

There are times when I’m looking for a “really good average Jdrama”. I know it’s a little contradicting but when I don’t want heart-breaking, ground-breaking, or anything-breaking, I want something simple and beautiful to watch that’s consistently good from start to finish. That’s what I call a really good average Jdrama and this drama is exactly my kind of really good average Jdrama. It is by no means a criticism of any sort.

My Synopsis: Sugisaki Momoko's traumatizing childhood has rendered her incapable of genuinely smiling. Despite that she works with kindergartens at Little Snow. As a caregiver, it is strictly forbidden to become emotionally attached to the children but Momoko can’t turn away from dysfunctional families (especially single dad families – wink wink).

Warning: at the very bottom of my post I have a lot of pictures that spoil the ending with regards to who Momoko ends up with. Don’t scroll down there if you don’t want to be spoiled. Otherwise I do try to remain spoiler-free.

Because of its poster I put this drama in the backburner for so long until I finally gave up all the overhyped dramas to try this one out. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved this. Simply from the cover, it looked like the main girl would be helping families for each episode while solving her own problem. It also didn’t look like romance would be a big part either since the drama is dealing with parent and child(ren) relationships. Additionally, I had zero interest in the cast. Basically, the drama had nothing going for it and yet, amazingly, it snatched up all my emotions since the first episode.

Each episode deals with different families but near the middle-half it loses that structure and mainly deals with Momoko’s own childhood. Romance picks up sooner rather than later. However, the romance arc was more like the cherry on top because the savouring part was the resolution, how Momoko mended each broken family.

Episode 4. This boy made me cry. Kid, why are you so good?
Although I started this drama knowing ‘Namida’ meant ‘Tears’, I didn't expect to actually cry. It’s those heartwarming tears though that came with each resolution. I wasn’t crying because the drama was sad but because it was touching.

Momoko's first bento
I love how the drama deals with conflicts when neither the parents nor children are wrong. Except that doesn't apply to Momoko's family. Her mother deliberately abused her, not physically but emotionally. The abuse was so beyond reality, I had difficulty relating to Momoko’s pain. It was bizarre watching Momoko with her mother. For me, that’s when the drama became less enjoyable.

The only saving grace of her Mother’s arc was how it drove the romance.

Renbutsu Misako who played Momoko was always boring and a little awkward to me. However, I think the show really capitalized on her awkwardness and made that side of her likeable. She was perfect for the role. 

Although anyone could have played Motoharu Asahina but Narimiya Hiroki made me root for him and him only.

Spoiler pictures start here. Spoiler pictures start here. Spoiler pictures start here. 

Here’s a scene I like from Episode 1:

Patting her head was deemed as sexual harassment here ^^"
Seeing this scene again, I finally realize why Momoko had that reaction. Her brother used to pretend to pat her head only to yank her hair. Since then, she has psychologically associated the action of patting her head as a form of abuse. Oh poor girl. 

However, at the end of the drama, Momoko completely overcame her trauma! Look at Asahina patting her head like that (: I really love how simple yet meaningful this scene was. 

More pics of the ending that made me smile:

The proposal was cute and all but that'd be too easy for him to get the girl! And why use the snowman when that was his late-wife's memento! = =" Drama, you need to give him another chance to re-do this proposal properly.