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[Review & Recap] Shitsuren Chocolatier Episode 1

One of the most awaited dramas this Winter 2014, Matsumoto Jun‘s drama comeback is aptly called “Shitsuren Chocolatier” and just like it’s title, this drama has broken my heart with just the first episode. They say that love makes you weak, but this drama will show us that love makes someone stronger.

Here is a QUICK RECAP of Shitsuren Chocolatier: Episode 1

It was year 2007 and Koyurugi Souta (Matsumoto Jun) only love two things- chocolates and Takahashi Saeko (Ishihara Satomi). One can say that his love for chocolates is merely an extension of his love for Saeko, who loves chocolates more than anything in this world (aside from herself, I think).

It was merely months since the two started going-out but Souta has been in love with Saeko since forever. It was love at first sight back at high school and despite Saeko’s notorious dating track record, Souta is fine with just being close to her. Aside from getting close to Saeko’s current boyfriends, Souta also joined arts and crafts club despite being the only guy in the club.

It was lovesick, but as what Souta say, meeting Saeko the first time had his heart beating so strongly, defying logic, like his very existence feels like an omen. As Valentines Day approaches, Souta prepares Saeko’s honmei chocolates. It looks weird for a guy to be making a chocolate (in Japan, girls gives chocolates to the guy they like on V-Day) and while Inoue Kaoruko (Mizukawa Asami) dreamily looks-on at Souta, he can only picture Saeko enjoying the chocolates that he makes.

Despite being a couple, Saeko would rather spend Valentines with someone else, so Souta is okay with meeting her on the eve V-Day. Saeko was rendered speechless as she opens a box of chocolate, filled with her favorite flavors, and all handmade by Souta. She sadly says that she can’t accept Souta’s honmei chocolates since it’s a testament of Souta’s true feelings for Saeko, that he is indeed serious about her.

Souta was quick to retaliate that there’s nothing serious with the chocolates that he made, it’s something natural for him since his family owns a cake shop; making chocolates and cakes is like an everyday norm. However, Saeko then drops the bomb and admitted that she got back with her ex-boyfriend right after Christmas. Uh oh…

Souta was crush, Saeko was two-timing him all along, something that Saeko didn’t agree. Although they did kiss back in Christmas Eve, but they never had sex so that doesn’t count as “going-out”. Let me use Souta’s own words, “Eh? Is that how the society works today?!” No sex=not dating.

Despite Saeko’s admission, Souta decided to salvage his wounded pride and heart by saying that it’s okay for him even if he is just the second guy, he will still be there once Saeko’s (on and off) boyfriend decided to go somewhere again. Oh, poor and stupid Souta.

However, Saeko didn’t agree with Souta’s suggestion, something I’m thankful and it means that she’s not really taking advantage of Souta. She said her goodbye and gives back the chocolates. But Souta says that if Saeko really feels sorry for him, she should at least accept the chocolates. It doesn’t matter if she throws it afterwards, accepting it would do.

Then, the snow fell as if it’s trying to ease the pain in Souta’s heart. Major first heartbreaking moment.

Souta became a shut-in afterwards until he saw the box of Bonheur chocolates (the brand in legit btw) with a dream-like Saeko-fairy flying on it. He remembers Saeko’s love for that particular brand of chocolate and how she loves it most in the world. With a renewed sense of hope and fueled by revenge, Souta gets up and head to Paris.

 

Upon Souta’s arrival in L’atelier de Bonheur in Paris, he immediately asks to work for the shop. He met Olivier Treluyer (Mizobata Junpei), half-French and half-Japanese, and son of famous patissiere- Treluyer. It makes you wonder why he is working for the competition. Souta begs Olivier to introduce him to the manager in exchange of the latest Shounen Jump manga. Really.

As Souta starts showing-off his tempering skills, he only has Saeko in his mind, he will be a famous chocolatier to the point wherein Saeko would regret leaving him.

After 6 years, Souta is back in Japan and he is famous. Not only is he featured in different gourmet magazines, he is also likened as a “Prince of Chocolates”. With plans to renovate his father’s cake shop to a chocolate shop, he is ecstatic to open his own shop and more ecstatic when Saeko drops by to say hello.

Saeko’s motto must be “let bygone be bygones” as she looks equally happy to see Souta again. It might be late, but she thanked him for the chocolates he gave her 6 years ago. She said that each time she eat a piece of those chocolates, she felt sad, because she knew that she can’t buy those chocolates anywhere else. That line was rather sweet.

As she left, Souta lets-out an orgasmic scream as he thinks that “this is it!” when Saeko asks to meet him properly and personally in the weekend.

Olivier, who is now freeloading at Souta’s house, is particularly happy for Souta and even suggests that they named the shop “Chocolate de Saeko”, which something that Kaoruko finds annoying because the woman who broke Souta’s heart is back again.

But there is no stopping Souta as he meets Saeko one fine Saturday, looking all handsome and giddy until Saeko drops the bomb, again! Saeko is getting married next week and she wants Souta to do her wedding cake and chocolate souvenirs for the guests. Souta could only hold back his tears as Saeko’s engagement ring flashes in his eyes. Second major heartbreak moment.

Despite Kaoruko’s objection, Souta decided to agree with Saeko’s request. Ouch. He reasoned-out that he won’t let any other guy make her wedding cake and he will definitely make it. However, Olivier has other things on his mind, he said that Souta should just seduce Saeko and get it over with.

Taking Olivier’s suggestion, Souta invited Saeko to his home and seduces her, or so in his dreams. He can’t do it after all and he could only stare as Saeko tells him why she is marrying that guy. It wasn’t part of her dream or fantasy, it just that she feels like God has softly opened a door for her, saying “this is the way…”. Wow, I never though that Saeko is religious or what.

Anyway, Olivier is disappointed that Souta didn’t do it after all. Souta is firm on finishing Saeko’s wedding cake and souvenirs that he collapsed right after he’s done with the cake.

Kaoruko decides to vent her pent-up jealousy at Saeko when she looked for Souta when they brought the cake. Kaoruko says that it’s her fault and more so, does she really think that [Souta] would do all those things for her for nothing?

Back at the chocolate shop, Olivier asks Kaoroku if she likes Souta. She says that the first chocolate Souta made, she’s the first one who ate it. That’s when she realized that Souta has the talent for it. Using Souta’s words when she first met Saeko, Kaoroku says that her heart beats so strongly, defying logic, like her very existence feels like an omen. Kaoroku also added that while she doesn’t have dreams for herself, looking at Souta, she feels like she’s seeing various dreams. Team Kaoroku anyone?

Souta woke-up after a bad dream. In his dream, he is giving a speech during Saeko’s wedding reception where he states what kind of a bitch Saeko is yet, he also said that he will never give up on Saeko even if it will adulterous now that she’s married. Phew, I was glad that was just a dream though the things he said about Saeko was spot-on.

While Souta was thinking about Saeko, she calls and asks him if he is alright. Being Souta as Souta, he denies collapsing and his reaction was merely a mixture of relief and sleepiness. Saeko thanks him for the cake and how wonderful it is, she also added that now that Souta has his own chocolate shop, she can eat Souta’s chocolates everyday.

Souta can only mutter his congratulations as he wishes that Saeko would hurt him more. Maybe, if Saeko continues to hurt him, he will  grow to hate her and will eventually end his love for her. For the pain that Saeko is giving him is not yet enough, and instead of hating her, he might actually become addicted to her. Souta is a masochist. Period. Third major heartbreak.

As Souta’s  “Choco La Vie” opens its doors for the first time, Souta manages to catch the eye of two people from a rival chocolatier- Ricdor’s.

REVIEW

Shitsuren Chocolatier” lives-up to its name as it gives us heartbreaks in this bittersweet love story. Borrowing a famous quote from Forrest Gump, “Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”. In this drama, the characters do know what they’re gonna get but they’d rather make the dare and taste that particular chocolate.

Matsumoto Jun as Souta is just as lovable as he is pitiful and as I’ve said earlier- masochist. There should be a limit to one’s foolishness when it comes to love but I guess, all is fair in love as with “love is blind”.

With Ishihara as Saeko, my “Kimi wa Petto” feelings for her is returning, in short, her very existence is annoying. Nothing personal. What is more annoying is that she seems undisturbed that she’s hurting Souta. Just like when Souta tells her that she’s two-timing, she had the gall to ask why is she “two-timing”? Uhm, really, you don’t know? Saeko is a testament that being experienced in love doesn’t make you wiser or more mature. I just don’t get what are her real feelings for Souta; is she being playful or is she just using Souta’s weakness, or is she just really sweet to guys who aren’t her boyfriend but the guys are obviously enamored with her?

For that reason, I see myself joining Team Kaoruko for her love for Souta is as genuine as his love for Saeko.

Though, I’m not closing my doors for any Olivier x Kaoruko pairing in the future. I mean, this is just the first episode and while the writers have shown how annoying Saeko is, there’s still room for other love pairings to develop. BTW, judging from this drama’s main poster, it looks like Souta’s little sister –Matsuri (Arimura Kasumi)- will fall for Olivier.

It’s also just a matter of time before Kato Erena (Mizuhara Kiko) enters the picture and judging by her appearance in the last minutes of the first episode, she’s surely the va-va-voom vixen here.

Characters aside, the plot is refreshing change to a slew of medical and police dramas this season. A change that is very much welcome and though the plot is a manga adaptation, the characters were all real and not something shoujo-like. It more of josei since it’s mature but there are also light moments for us to laugh about.

All in all, I love how they started the first episode, it was full of contrasting emotions and just like the chocolates that Souta makes, I’m hoping that the succeeding episodes will be equipped with variety of flavors to keep viewers glued to TV.

Shitsuren Chocolatier” is definitely worth to watch.

CREDITS

Raw : tomapiya

Subs : akamiso

Screencaps : mine [taken by VLC]

PLS. NEVER EVER UPLOAD TO ANY STREAMING SITES!

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5 Comments

  1. Aili

    Hmmm, actually it s the other way round for Olivier and souta sis
    Olivier will have a crush on her who is having an affair with her best friend’s boyfriend
    So Olivier love line will be as bitter and heart broken as souta
    But he has loved someone who is ordinary looking and who is having an affair with her own friend s boyfriend and keep telling Olivier her problem in love
    She rejected Olivier when Olivier confessed
    Because she feel Olivier is too good and she is too ordinary and bad l
    This s from the manga
    Even Olivier s not the main character I think if the story goes by
    Many girls will fall for Olivier as to me
    I prefer Olivier than souta as the Girl souta like is very pretty but Olivier doesn’t care about the look and like an ordinary Girl
    So when souta realize Olivier love his ordinary looking sister, he can’t believe as Olivier is so good looking but like an ordinary looking girl
    Souta can’t believe
    This s my first time watching a drama not because of main character but Olivier because I m a fan of mizobata junpei recently
    But After reading the manga I still think I ll prefer Olivier as a guy who love without pretty looking girl

    So I m hoping to see more Olivier scenes

    Like

    • Thank you for that info! I’m quite sad that there’s really no hope for Olivier and Kaoroku. =(
      But I’m looking forward to see how Olivier and Matsuri will develop.

      Like

  2. dee

    I’m loving this drama, it’s so quirky, and endearing yet full of dark comedy. It’s very different from most romantic asian dramas.

    Like

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