Bus Stop

Reviewed by: sukting

June 19, 2012

Rating: two-point-five

How long
12 episodes

Bus-Stop is a romantic fairytale of the unlikely coupling between an OL and a bus driver. Naoko finds her life at cross-roads, as her career unravels after an unsuccessful project results in her demotion from marketing to data management. Her lover leaves her to move to New York.

When her life is at its lowest point, she meets Masashi, a bus driver whose carefree yet caring approach makes her rethink about her life's direction. When Toshiro returns to Tokyo, she finds herself caught between the two totally different men. Who will she choose in the end?

Story/Introduction on characters
1. Iijima Naoko as Kotani Natsuo
She is an ambitious and classy business executive. Her mother abandons her and her younger brother to marry a politician after her father's death. Thus, she vows to work to the top. She is one of the top personal till she makes a blunder to cause a loss of 2 billion yen. So, she is demoted to the records department to gather feedback from the public.

She breaks off with Kojiro as his mother doesn't want her to affect his career. Thus, he goes to the US alone without knowing it. She is hard and snobbish. To show that she is a true professional and although she feels uncomfortable, she owns an incredible collection of beautiful shoes.

Her car breaks down and she has to take a public bus driven by Musashi. She slowly falls for a lowly bus driver Musashi who spares no effort and expense in wooing her. But before this, she s really mean to make use of him all the time. I don't like her attitude although I understand her frustrations at work.

From here, she gets to know his friends. Knowing that they are going to lose their jobs, she tries to promote for him by shooting a happy picture of them to hang in the public as posters. She is reluctant to quit after marriage so she marries Masahi. Their wedding is a simple one with a bun cake as celebration. I like Naoko here as she is firm as Natsuo. The way that she shows how she is trapped between the two guys is good.

2. Uchimura Teruyoshi as Miyamae Musashi
He is a happy-go-lucky bus driver who wants to find his own Cinderella. He meets Natsuo and falls for her. His unrelenting determination comes across silly to me. He starts out endearing, but ends up being annoying. She gives him a treat to thank him but he insists that it is a date. The ring he gave her with ' my cinderella' in it is the only touching thing. Seeing Kojiro proposing to her, he donates the ring away.

The news is published in the papers so his friends get another same ring for him. He uses all his bonuses on the ring and fireworks to please her. I like Teruyoshi better as the responsible driver than as the lover. That is too much for me to stomach.

3. Yanagiba Toshiro as Sasajima Kojiro
He is Natsuo lover-cum-boss. He has an MBA from the US and is very serious at work. After knowing that Natsuo falls for a bus driver, he finds it unbelieveable. He is actually overseas to revive the company. Natsuo feels remorseful over her mistake in causing the loss and seeing him so weary, she returns to him.

He is kind to give Musashi a chance to prove the bus routes' worth before he makes the decision whether to cancel it. He knows that his space isn't wide enough as the bus for her to breathe so he lets her go. I find him too short, old and also unattractive for the role. He isn't convincing as the boss.

4. Uchiyama Rina as Miyamae Matsuri
She is Musashi's younger sister. She is young, cheerful and energetic. She works as a waitress in the pub. She doesn't understand why the siblings hate their biological mother so much. She is not related to Masushi too. Her mother dies after giving birth to her while his father also dies when he is in secondary school.

He opposes to them telling her the truth when she is only 5 years old but they decide to as she has to know how great her mother is. Although they are not biological siblings, they sleep in the same room as theyare close. They come to Tokyo to work and stay at his colleagues's home.

5. Yoshizawa Hisashi as Kotani Fumiya
He is Natsuo's younger brother who works as a bartender in the pub. Matsuri is curious to go through all his torn letters and drawings to learn what has happened to him. She encourages him to reconcile with his mother to go to her when she is having heer heart operation. He fails to get into the Japan art academy so he decides to further his studies overseas. He promises to be back for Matsuri.

6. Hoshino Mari as Kitahara Haruka
She is a blind girl who is knocked down by Fumiya. That fateful day is the same day as she tries going out alone. Although her operation on her leg is successful, she is scared of failure to try again. Natsuo gives her encouragement after knowing Masashi's story to cheer her up to face it. She recovers with their help.

7. Kokubun Taichi as Abe Kyugo
He is Natsuo's colleague who works like a maid to cook for her when she is back. He doesn't want her to end up with Musashi and reports everything to Kojiro. Thus, Kojiro transfers her back to the previous department after knowing how she has suffered.

8. Amihama Naoko as Miko
She is Natsuo's colleague and roommate. Unlike Kyugo, she roots for Musashi.

Most favourite character
Natsuo – I have mixed feelings over this character. She is selfish at first but who can blame her as she has to work hard for herself and her brother?

Most hated character
Masashi, sometimes, he dreams of the impossible but luckily, his dream comes true.

The theme song "Not Found" by Mr. Children is fantastic and totally blends in with the show.

It is a copycat of "101 Proposals". The development can be very corny at times and not as funny as the previous one. I prefer the scenes of the younger cast. Predictable as it is unlikely to happen in real life but not that touching. To anyone who can bear with non good-looking male leads, you may give it a try.

Sukting's ratings:

On acting : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)

On song : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

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