PROPOSAL DAISAKUSEN, or "Back to the Future: Tokyo Drift," or "The Boy Who Leapt through Time" XD
Really, I would've watched this even without YamaPi (heh heh) in it because I liked the CONCEPT. The premise is really a sort of vicarious expiation for anyone who's ever loved and lost, and who secretly yearns for that One Chance to go back and redress a wrong, or a series of wrongs. And what better way to do this than by the finger-snapping and heel-clicking of a benevolent fairy taking an interest in mortal affairs? (Waiiit... that saturnine looking, bowler-hat-wearing dude's a fairy? Looks more like an oversized leprechaun to me. T___T
And the unusual spin on the narrative structure was promising enough, though a bit dicey--all that zipping back through time and ending up at the same wedding reception, where the Leprechaun of Love gives YamaPi another pep talk before zapping him back again into the next photo, could get tedious after a 4 or 5 episodes. Still, props to the writers for taking the risk. Time-pretzel plots always have that intrinsic mind-screwy quality to them, and the sooner you stop vivisecting your brains thinking of how changing the past alters the future and all that, the better for you.
But oh--a twist! YamaPi has to do it all within the time it takes to frame one day's events in a single snapshot. Does he have what it takes to win his One True Love back? Can he finally pull off... that buzzer-beater and win? =P Can the Leprechaun of Love singlehandedly outwit, outplay and outlast the Cosmic Juggernaut of Fate? And in the end, will it all have been in vain? Everything will be illuminated in due time... Hallelujaaaaah... CHANCE!!!
Oh, YamaPi, whyyyy ssso sseriousss... :twisted: It just ain't the same without watching you flap your arms and giggle spazzily and dig your chin into Kame's bony shoulder! I think I like you best weird and silly and flaky, YamaPi. Don't grow up and become a man just yet. (Come to think of it, all that high school friendship stuff strangely felt more real in Nobuta wo Produce than it did here in Proposal Daisakusen. Nobuta Powwah, entah! *flashes V-sign*) But, seeing YamaPi in all that pain... (Kame, hold him... lol) I was Team YamaPi all the way! (And well well well... I see someone's been working out since NwP, ehh? *hentai leer*) As for Fujiki Naohito--what the eff, man? :crazy: All that charisma and Buchou mojo from Hotaru no Hikari--where'd it all go??? Here, Fujiki's just this creepy nerd who hits on his student--then dates her, then waits for her to graduate so he can marry her, ugh! An F for you, Fujiki! F is for Fail Fail Fail!!! F is for Faculty Members Who Apparently Forgot to Read the No!Screwing!Of!Students! Clause in the University Ethics Manual!!! >D (Buchou, where are you when I need you... *swats randomly at fireflies between swigs of beer*
And one nitpicky thing: This drama operates on the assumption that time is still essentially LINEAR, and that each "pit stop" that YamaPi makes through time, in which he Does Something that incrementally alters his relationship with Nagasawa Masami, has no bearing on other events involving themselves or the people around them. In the Proposal Daisakusen framework, one snapshot (or "pit stop") leads to the next, whether or not YamaPi goes back in time to change a few things. It's conveniently reductionist of the writing to disregard the "ripple effect" that one seemingly inconsequential action makes on future events. In contrast, take for instance the 2006 anime film The Girl Who Leapt through Time, where the eponymous heroine goes back to "tweak" the past, only to discover that one altered action can have more far-reaching consequences than initially thought.
Well, whatev, man. Like I said, this drama is better enjoyed if taken at face value. I didn't LOVE it, and I didn't think much of the YamaPixNagasawa chemistry either (YamaPixKame 4vr!!! lol), but the drama does have some poignant moments between the two leads, where regret and heartbreak and hope intermingle afresh with each revisited snapshot. And a picture really does paint a thousand words. =)
The last episode's main weakness, however, is that The Way Out of the shoulda-woulda-could've-been-lovers' predicament comes by way of Fujiki Naohito's Final Act of Selfless Love (lol), instead of arising from Nagasawa Masami's personal decision (after realizing she doesn't want to be some stuffy professor's Lab Assistant with Matrimonial Benefits after all, hehe). If Fujiki Naohito were... a different kind of man, and instead had said, "Screw it, woman (lol), I'll fight for your love!!!"--THEN WHAT? Game over, baby. So I felt that the resolution was too conveniently placed for Nagasawa Masami's character, who seemed powerless to change her own fate. But but BUT I did love the drama's final moment on that deserted road, when the camera zooms in on YamaPi's face as he looks off in the distance. This little scene doesn't exactly spell out What Happens Next, but it leaves no room for ambiguation, either. No open ending here in my book.
That being said, IMO the renzoku's finale did NOT necessitate the 2008 SP--which wasn't a BAD tanpatsu, just rather... superfluous. The story focuses more on their friends' (Funny Hobbit-boy and Pretty, Popular Girl) impending wedding about a year after the drama's events, and if you're a fan of the drama as a whole (which I'm not), you'll probably enjoy these added scenes. The SP also tackles the inevitable fallout from the renozuku's finale--getting the Parents'!Approval, dealing with the Jilted!Groom!, Nagasawa Masami and YamaPi's clumsy, tentative attempts at a Serious!Relationship, etc. That's all very... admirable (lol), and the final declaration of love on the beach is very... Happy Ending-ish, but the SP somehow diminishes the original drama's afterglow (as most SPs inevitably do).
Anyway. Life is short, so make the most of it, and all that. Because (to recall an old movie tagline) NOTHING is ever as big as your First Love. Hallelujah, chance!