A Japanese take on “The Beauty and The Beast” story, which is as romantic as it’s beautiful.

Drama: Born to be a Flower

Japanese: 高嶺の花

Episodes: 10

Broadcast: 11-July to 12-Sep 2018

Network: NTV

Rating: 3.9/5.0

Theme Song: Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley

Takane No Hana Born to Be a flower

Plot: Momo Tsukishima (Satomi Ishihara) comes from a prestigious family involved with Ikebana (the art of flower arrangement). She has everything beauty, career, wealth and a fiancé she really loves. But things change when she finds out her fiance is cheating on her and got some other girl pregnant. After breaking up the engagement she loses her confidence and gets depressed. Then, she meets Naohito Kazama (Kazunobu Mineta) owner of an ordinary bicycle shop. After their meeting what unfolds is a story of “Beauty and The Beast”.

Cast:

Satomi Ishihara – Momo Tsukishima

Kazunobu Mineta – Naohito Kazama

Fumiyo Kohinata – Ichima Tsukishima

Kyoko Yoshine – Nana Tsukishima

Naho Toda – Ruriki Tsukishima

Yudai Chiba – Ryichi Utsunomiya

Takane No Hana Review:

I was eagerly waiting for this dorama when I heard Kazunobu-san was going to be the lead. He was simply great in Kiseki No Hito(watch it after Takane No Hana) and I think producers must have seen it as well before they chose him. His character is quite similar to the one in Kiseki which is not a bad thing. Satomi Ishiara is beautiful as always and I think this is her best performance of her career without a doubt.

Even though Takane No Hana shares a lot of similarities with other shows (reverse Cinderella trope ), the story feels quite new and refreshing. Classical Japanese instrumental BGM really goes well with the whole premise of the show. Colors are quite vibrant and popping, emitting beams of beauty( feels like flower porn). Dialogues  (written by Nojima Shinji) of Kozunobu ar as artistic as Satomi’s Ikebana. If you are here just to know that should you watch this series, the answer is simple, go watch it.Takane No Hana

If you haven’t seen Kiseki No Hito than you will enjoy it more ‘cos you don’t have anything to compare it to. But if you have already seen that one already, then you would notice the chemistry between Ishihara Satomi and Kazunobu Mineta is not what he had with Aso Kumiko(my favorite Japanese actress). It doesn’t mean it’s negative or nonexistent but it just falls short when compared with each other.

Moving on, I have already said that this is Ishihara’s best performance of her career. So, I am not sure what else there is left to say. She looks so beautiful, doesn’t matter if she is wearing flamboyant dresses(when pretending to be a bar hostess) or in her ceremonial attire. Her acting is on the mark, she is cute when jealous, pretty when angry this is dorama is the best present for her fans (still reading go watch Takane No Hana).

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Kazunobu plays the role of “The Beast” but he is the real beauty of the whole show. His character is a little dumb, kind-hearted person and someone who could see in your soul with just one glance at you. He never had a girlfriend and his knowledge of romance relies on his dead mother’s teaching. His looks are not of your usual romantic hero, so maybe not everyone’s first choice as a lead but he was fantastic (“it’s what’s on the inside that counts”).

Takane No Hana

I have always been a fan of his music (he is the vocalist of Punk band Ging Nang Boyz) but his acting in the movie Boys on the Run(awesome Mohawk) showed that he can act too and now two great performances in two dramas as a lead. I can’t wait to check out his next project, movie titled Ichigo no Uta, which is based on a novel he has co-written which is further based on seven songs by his band.

Takane No Hana

Now, this guy(Yudai Chiba) is your bad guy. This was such a miscasting, he doesn’t have the face, presence, arrogance, attitude, aura or anything else that you need in a good(i mean bad) villain. He is more of a pug than a bulldog and with that stupid hairstyle and that annoying earring, I just wanted to skip forward every time he was on the screen (which I did, unless Naho-chan was in the shot as well).

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His opposite lead was Kyoko playing the role of Nana, the younger half “sister” of Momo. unlike your cliched drama universe’s half-sisters, she was very loving and caring towards her sister(and vice versa). But I didn’t really care too much about her story, there were far better side characters who were a lot more interesting and funny(her parts were skipped forward as well even when Naho-chan was sharing the screen with her.).

Takane No Hana

Ichima Tsukishima(played by versatile actor Fumiyo Kohinata), the leader of Tsukishima household was a real mystery from start to finish. It’s really hard to describe if he was the good guy or the bad (i can say for sure he wasn’t ugly). He will use his family members for his benefit while thinking he is doing what a great artist will do for his art form. In the end, it turns out that whatever he did be the best thing for that character. Did he truly mean it that to happen or was it a blessing in disguise? (to find out watch the series). He was more shrewd than a devious concubine in a King’s harem(watch Empress In The Palace).

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Naho Toda(Naho-chan) plays the stepmother Ruriko Tsukishima, her character didn’t do much other than looking beautiful and sleeping with the guy her real daughter liked(the guy with stupid hair and annoying earring, arrrggghhh). She was being manipulated by her husband and that guy while thinking that she was using them. Her character made her acting felt lackluster as well.  Nothing else to say really, oh, did I told you guys she was blazingly hot (“it’s what’s on the inside that counts”- note to self).

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Naohito’s friends, people at the bar and their interrelationships were far more interesting than Tsukishima household. Cosplay girl with her cosplay was a lot more enjoyable than the second lead’s lovely (if they have a love line[i skipped forwad]). Some people may differ but I think the story of the guy on the bike was alone worth watching the series. Watching the hatred disappearing from his heart was quite soothing. Guest appearance by Karina in last few episodes raised the mercury in beauty meter quite high.

This is going to be on my list of best 2018 Japanese dramas(if I make a list).

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Rating: Absolutely worthy of your time.

P.S. – My favorite Ging Nang Boyz songs “Baby Baby” and

 

 

 

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