“Second Love’s” main objective is to add sizzle to your Friday night that you won’t be able to sleep at all. Well, they did just that and too much shots of topless Kame is enough to leave you breathless and bloodless from those nosebleeds. Anyway, the first episode got 8.2%, a good number for a late-night drama. However, there are still speculations whether this drama is just love scenes and no substance or story.
Here is a quick recap of Second Love : Episode 1
It was love at first sight for Taira Kei (Kamenashi Kazuya) when he sees Nishigawa Yui (Fukada Kyoko) looking at the sunset, stretching her arms after a stressful work, and eating a candy. He looks at her as if he’s captivated by a spell even though both of them are under tough times.
Kei is between odd jobs and currently works as a laborer in the port area, he refuse to mingle with anyone, he doesn’t even talk when spoken to, and there are rumors that a good-looking guy like him must be having some “special circumstances” that he refuses to talk to anyone (special circumstance like he’s a murderer or theft and went into hiding). Furthermore, he keeps looking on his phone, waiting for a “good news” that’ll probably put some shine on his somber face.
Kei has always been told how talented he is, but his talent lost him his position in a German dance company and it makes him think if doesn’t have a talent at all.
Then, there’s Yui, a Chemistry teacher in one of the most prestigious all-girls high school in the region, Sanou High. Her students would rather self-study for their cram school than listen to her. Everyone thinks that she’s just some old woman who have nowhere to go. Even though she’s a teacher and it’s a stable job, there’s no chance for her to move-up to the career ladder. Yui also knows it and she envies her 17 year-old students on how they can be so confident and arrogant just because they are young.
Kei happen to passed-by Sanou High and sees Yui and despite all his hardships, seeing Yui stretching her hand out to the sun makes Kei aware of her.
The next day, Yui eats her breakfast as her mother do her morning routine. They both watch a TV show that features a man who openly admits that he had an affair and her mom starts to itch. It’s a psychosomatic thing, her mother’s marriage ended because of an affair and everytime she hears about something an affair, she starts itching.
At school, Yui gets ignored by most of her students, she thinks that they pity her for being old and unmarried. Girls putting down girls, shame. One particular student catches her eye and that’s Takeuchi Sora (Koshiba Fuka). Yui talks about it with a co-teacher, Takayanagi Taro (Namase Katsuhisa), on how Sora is obedient but her physical condition seems to be bad. Takayanagi-sensei says that he doesn’t know what to do with someone like Sora and when the two arrives at the faculty room, Takayanagi-sensei sends Yui a suggestive sticker with a text to meet him at the usual place. Okay everyone: EEW. He sent that sticker while he openly talks about how easygoing his wife is. Jerk.
Anyway, Yui goes to her class to find her rude students laughing at her more than a decade old magazine spread when she used to model. To add salt to her wound, or pride, they compare her to a certain Miyopan, a woman who used to model during her time and she’s now a TV announcer while Yui aka Yuitan ends-up being a mere teacher. Seeing the old magazine spread made Yui remembered about her loss and she banish her past thoughts by starting the class.
However, the class was interrupted after they saw a guy standing at the gate. It’s Kei! For some reason, Kei decides to stand there like he was praying as he waits for that call or email about the last audition he did for the season.
Meanwhile, the faculty is in chaos over Kei’s appearance at the school’s gate. They think that he might be a stalker of one of the students and they are wondering whether they should call the police. Seriously, the way they panicked is so over the top. Coincidentally, it was Takayanagi-sensei who went to face Kei and when he asked if he has any business with any of the school’s students, Kei simply said no and left with his bicycle.
Later on, Takayanagi-sensei and Yui are in some motel, having a videoke, and they casually went to eat ramen afterward. Even though they are in one table, they eat as if they’ve never met and they just happen to share a table. Takayanagi-sensei eats some gyoza and subtlety passes it near Yui so she can eat the remaining yoga. The strange tenderness and kindness that he has shown to Yui somehow makes her contented that she doesn’t need marriage. Duh, it’s not kindness, it’s guilt for making you her mistress.
Elsewhere, Kei is doing one of his odd jobs and probably one of the most famous part-time jobs in Japan, distributing tissues. However, since Kei is with his gloomy self, most pedestrians just ignore him and Kei isn’t doing an effort to look friendly. His friend, Noguchi Ayako (Hayami Akari), arrives and helps him with his job. Unlike Kei, she successfully gets passers-by attention by being her sweet self.
The two goes to eat ramen afterward and Ayako sees that Kei keeps on checking his phone. She asks if he got any results from Berlin, Kei didn’t reply and proceeds to eat but his dejected aura is fairly obvious. Anyway, Ayako wishes that he passed the Berlin audition and at the back of Kei’s mind, he wants to pass it too, but he doesn’t have the confidence. He wonders, when did he lose his confidence?
At Kei’s apartment, he lies down at his living room while he stares at nothingness and listens to the leaking faucet at the background. Feeling more dejected than ever, he feels like that he had to change something in his life so he grabs a piece of paper and writes something.
Dismissal time at Sanou and the students open their umbrellas as they go out of the school building. Amidst the pastel colored umbrellas, Yui opens her own transparent umbrella when Kei arrives and the students gave way to the man who was standing at their school gate the other day. Yui stood there, transfixed with Kei’s determined face, as he makes his way toward Yui. He places something on her palm and slightly press it. Without any words, just stares and silent pleading, Yui places the paper on her lab coat, and Kei smiles lightly at her gesture. He makes his way out, ignoring Yui’s co-teachers who were acting as a human shield around their precious students as if Kei might want to stab one of them.
At faculty room, everyone was still in shock about Kei’s appearance but no one is more silently seething than Takayanagi-sensei. He asks if he gave something and before Yui can deny, she automatically covers her lab coat pocket, too late to deny anything, she reaches inside her pocket and when she puts out her hand, it reveals a red-colored candy. Quick thinking Yui. Afterward, Yui goes to an empty science lab room, opens the paper that Kei gave her ealier, and sees Kei’s name and phone number.
At home, Yui searches about “Taira Kei” where she was directed to a Wikipedia-like page for him. She wonders what is a contemporary dancer, she also reads on about Kei’s accomplishments that includes winning numerous awards and being part of Germany’s Fortner company. Yui wonders if he mistakes her for someone else.
Speaking of Kei, he goes to a dance studio to practice his moves and starts off by stretches. At the same time, Yui contemplates whether to call Kei or not. Well, she decided not to call him and since then, Kei have never appeared in their school gate ever again.
Back at the dance studio, Kei looks on at the girls who are practicing ballet and he recalls his past when he met Ayako. Both of them started ballet at such a young age and Ayako asks him why he’s training for ballet when he’s a boy, Young Kei tells her that it’s because he wants to dance.
Speaking of Ayako, she asks Kei that he could teach ballet at that school. Kei refuses, saying that he has other things to do and that he doesn’t like amateurs. Ayako tells him that she can negotiate higher fees for him and that a chance like that might never happen again so he should think about her offer until the news from Berlin arrives.
Kei goes to a bookstore and check’s out the “Dance Stage” magazine with Ichinose Yuto (Onuki Yusuke) on the cover. The guy is hot. Kei knows Ichinose because the last time he saw him was when Kei was fired from his dance company and the person to replace him is none other than Ichinose. Thinking about his past makes Kei more depressed than ever and while passing-by the footbridge, he has this strong urge to jump and end his suffering until he gets a call.
The said caller is none other than Yui, Kei’s knows it even though she won’t talk yet, he asks her about her whereabouts and Yui asks back on how he even knows her. Kei just asks her where she is and the next thing we know, they meet for the second time. Kei asks for her name and Yui says her and asks him if he has confused her for someone else. Kei asks why he would make that mistake and asks Yui to go out with him.
Yui tells him that she didn’t meet him to go out with him but she was just curious and even thought that it was kind of creepy that Kei would just arrive and give his phone number. Kei tells her about the first time that he meets her, on how he was captivated the way she reaches-out her hand in the wind with the setting sun as her backdrop. Kei thought, she looks like a goddess. Kei surely knows how to flatter a woman. After that, Kei waited at the gate because he wanted to ask her out and repeats his question earlier, asking her to go out with him.
Yui says that he doesn’t know what kind of person is he and Kei says that he is a dancer. To prove his identity, Kei shows Yui a mixture of ballet and jazz to capture her heart. After that, Yui wonders if what Kei did is a new type of scam. haha. Is this Ore Ore? She tells him if he’s aiming for her because she’s a government employee with a stable income, if it is, then she has no money. Yui runs away after her “I don’t have money” speech and Kei wonders what’s all the talk about money.
Even though Yui ran away from the dance scene, she keeps on thinking about Kei and his dance moves. She can’t even concentrate at school and Takayanagi-sensei notices this. However, since he thinks that he still owns Yui’s world, he thinks that it has something to do with her students. . Yui says that there’s nothing wrong with her students and he tells her to meet him at the usual place around 6pm when Sora appears. Sora passed-by them and before she can go further, she calls Takayanagi-sensei and says, “I think the usual place is fine”. Uh oh.
Takayanagi tells Yui not to worry about it, yeah right, and Yui tells him that she actually has an appointment later. Takayanagi even sounds irritated when he asks about Yui’s appointment, jerk, so Yui has to make-up something about her mother.
At Kei’s place, he’s having a snack with Ayako and she tells him about a musical audition. Ayako sounds excited as she shares that the musical will run for half a year, which means that Kei doesn’t have to do part-time work, and that they’ll be spending half a year dancing together. However, Kei says that he’s not a back dancer and he doesn’t like musicals either. Ayako insists that it doesn’t matter whether he likes it or not since he needs to earn a living but Kei reasons-out that an overseas company might come and recruit so he doesn’t want to be tied down.
At Yui’s place, Kei is still on her mind as she prepares to take a bath and soon, she finds herself getting dressed as she rushes-out of the door.
At Kei’s apartment, he receives a dreadful news: he didn’t pass the Berlin audition. It was his last chance for the season and he failed it. He goes out to contemplate more about his sorry life. Coincidentally, he goes to the place where he and Yui met earlier and Yui arrives looking just as dejected. Kei sees her and in his mind, Yui always appears when life becomes too painful for him to live. Yui sees him too and the two rushes to meet. Yui complains why is he not answering his phone and Kei just grabs her to a tight hug as he tells Yui repeatedly that he likes her. He gives her a quick kiss on her lips.
Yui asks why he likes someone like her when she doesn’t like herself; she’s just a school teacher and not a TV announcer. haha. Kei tells her that each time he looks at Yui, he feels like he could still carry-on with life then he gives her a longer kiss this time. Well, one kiss lead to another and soon enough, the two are under the sheets doing what you might expect from an adult night melo.
While Kei and Yui make love, Ayako hears them from the outside while Takayanagi acts like a boyfriend appeasing his girlfriend, or a husband appeasing his mistress for that matter.
This episode killed me and the only thing that got me back from dead is that I have to finished this series. All those hype about Kame being sexy, about the love scenes, and how scandalous this “night melo” is wasn’t just a hype; there’s truth in it and I’m glad that even though I have to hold my breath for every one of Kame’s naked scenes, this drama is worth it. Okay, so I exaggerated a bit when I used “naked”, he wasn’t really MACQUIA naked but just topless. 😄
Kame as Kei is just gloomy, he’s so gloomy I can actually see a dark aura hovering around him. He’s at trying times after the very reason of his existence, dancing, was taken from him because he’s not just good enough when he was considered a prodigy. It makes me wonder how much he earns when he was still famous because how come he came back to Japan looking so empty-handed. Other than that, I think the main reason for Kei’s misery is that he got too much pride, like he’s not some back-up dancer and he doesn’t want to teach amateurs. PLS. Fukada as Yui is pretty but I don’t know if it’s botox or so because her face is really not moving, it’s like wax.
On the supporting casts, I can’t picture 3D aka Takayangi on a serious role like having an affair. I mean, I’ve always seen him doing comedy from Gokusen to Legal High and previously at Gomen ne Seishun, and now, he’s suddenly a jerk whose having an affair with someone like Yui. I don’t want to demean Takayanagi but Yui is a Goddess compared to a mere mortal. On the side note, what did Yui see in him to actually allow herself became a mistress? He doesn’t really has the looks or the money. haha. The other side characters are just as interesting like Kei’s childhood friend, Ayako and with Ichinose. I want to see more of them and just see how they will shaped-up Kei and Yui’s love story.
The plot is very adult, two broken adults who found love in a hopeless place. haha. Hopefully, it won’t wreck both of their lives since their relationship for now is very physical. My favorite moment in this episode is not the sex scene but when Kei gave his phone number to Yui, the song at the background is even perfect. As for Kame as a contemporary dancer, he’s not a bad dancer but for someone whose supposed to be a “prodigy”, they should have asked Junno for a double. 😄
For first impressions, I’ll definitely watch more of this since it’s been a long time since Kame did a romance drama. Other than that, “Second Love” gives me those feel-good moments you get from watching those 1990’s romance J-dramas.
Usual credits apply.
BTW, as much I’m a huge Kamenashi Kazuya fan, I decided not to recap this further since I’m not yet done with Oniichan, Gacha and I really don’t have the time to do it. For those who want to download it, izzyosa is subbing this in English and you can find it on d-addicts. For raw, check-out jdramacity. Pls. follow their RULES.