Title (romaji): Nobuta wo Produce
English Title : Makeover
Genre: School drama
Viewership ratings: 16.89%
Broadcast network: NTV
Broadcast period: 2005-Oct-15 to 2005-Dec-17
Theme song: Seishun Amigo by Shuji to Akira (Kamenashi Kazuya and Yamashita Tomohisa)
Kamenashi Kazuya as Kiritani Shuji :: Ahh .. Kame Kame Kame; the man never fails in his acting. Shuji is an the boy who has it all, popularity and a cute girlfriend that makes him lunch everyday. Gee, these two sound like a married couple don’t they. However, he’s missing something .. a close friendship. Then in comes Kusano Akira (Yamashita Tomohisa), who’s his enemy that becomes his closest friend. Shuji is the genius behind all the plans to make Kotani Nobuko (Horikita Maki) popular. Although he’s the brains of the operations, only a few of them worked. It’s okay Kame, just remember you’re smarter than Akira x]
Yamashita Tomohisa as Kusano Akira :: Kon kon! Akira SHOCK~! I LOVE this character. As idiotic as he may look, or as dead as his hair looked as well, the dude is hilarious! Pi does an excellent job at acting goofy and loose. Now, why can’t he get more roles like this!? Darn script writers. Despite living above a small tofu & soy milk business, this guy is LOADED. Gold credit card *___* what’s even more perfect is that Akira doesn’t act like a rich boy at all! Also, nobody knows he’s got an easy cash flow except for Shuji and Nobuta. The friendship he has with the two is awesome and his feelings for Nobuta are so pure. Ah~ I would so fall in love with someone like Akira ^.^
Horikita Maki as Kotani Nobuko :: Nobuta power~ Chunyu! If you’ve ever wondered about the strange and unusual .. well Kotani Nobuko IS the strange and unusual. However, due to constant bullying through school, she became withdrawn from her family and has a hard time making new friends. But have no fear, Shuji and Akira are here~~! Slowly, Nobuta begins to open up and her cute self begins to show, of course more so after she chops off that bush you call hair. Maki plays strange and unusual VERY WELL. I can’t imagine another girl playing the role of Nobuta better.
Storyline & Relationships
I know, high school dramas are a little repetitive. BUT, this drama is 100% original and entertaining throughout the whole 10 episodes. We start off with popular Shuji, the typical popular guy that everyone wants to be friends with. Then there’s .. Akira, certified weirdo, but a VERY cute weirdo, that thinks he’s friends with. Of course, Shuji finds him annoying and avoids any possible contact. I’ll gladly take him off your hands Shuji! NOW, there’s a new transfer student that makes weirdo Akira seem completely normal. She walks with her head facing the ground, she has so much hair that her face seems like it’s hiding behind a bush, and her speech is a bunch of stuttering sentence fragments. Once, Shuji and Akira notice how much Nobuta gets bullied, she’s not alone anymore.
It was actually very difficult to watch Nobuta constantly get bullied by her classmates just because she’s different. I just wanted to smack each girl with my unused school textbooks and make better use of them. Anyway, Shuji and Akira start to produce Nobuta. They (mainly Shuji) came up with many plans and only half of them worked. Throughout each attempt to make her popular, someone kept on trying to sabotage them and it turns out to be Nobuta’s first friend, Aoi. When they showed that Aoi was the evil girl, I just shouted “I KNEW IT!” However, it was so heartbreaking to watch Nobuta cry when Aoi was saying cruel things to her. That’s when I wanted to break Aoi’s leg so she won’t hurt Nobuta anymore! What touched me the most was when Shuji and Akira did not want to hurt Nobuta and tried to take care of Aoi themselves; however, she dropped the bombshell before you know it.
Akira’s love for Nobuta was so .. pure. I just loved those two! Although she had no idea, I couldn’t help but pray for these two’s relationship to further. The way Akira discovered he likes her was very .. priceless, but mostly hilarious. Nobuta is one lucky girl.
Friendship, they come and go. Three lonely people, who are complete opposites, came together and developed a caring friendship. That’s why when Shuji and Akira didn’t end up staying with Nobuta in the end, it made me want to hit someone. I mean when Shuji transferred schools, Akira followed. Now why couldn’t Nobuta as well!? I would’ve dragged those two bakas back to Nobuta if I could. On a lighter note, Nobuta became more confident and has Mariko (Toda Erika), Shuji’s ex-gf, as her friend. Even though all three seemed to be lonely teenagers, the real lonely one was Shuji. His experience with Akira and Nobuta has allowed him to open up and gain a real friendship.