It’s a new year in J-doramas as well and the first one on my check-out list is Shitsuren Chocolatier (失恋ショコラティエ Heartbroken Chocolatier) with Matsumoto Jun and Ishihara Satomi. It’s based on a manga of the same name and for once it’s a manga I haven’t read despite it being highly acclaimed, having won the 36th Kodansha Manga Award for best shoujo manga. Normally I’ll go read the source material right away if its something I haven’t read but this time I’ll let myself be pleasantly surprised without a clue what to expect. The full cast in addition to Jun and Satomi are chock full of easy-on-the-eyes talent such as Mizukawa Asami, Mizobata Junpei, Mizuhara Kiko and great character actor Takenaka Naoto. I find the promotional materials eerily reminiscent of Last Cinderella with Shinohara Ryoko, Fujiki Naohito, and Miura Haruma last Spring, and I’m thinking it’s just the copious use of the color pink that is the only similarity. I’m not expecting Shitsuren Chocolatier to be a rom-com and I’ve heard its rather a bittersweet and serious drama. But the first teaser preview makes it look rather cute and goofy, or maybe those are just the faces that Jun makes. Satomi is gorgeous as always but I’m still getting the weirdest “she’s cheating on Oguri Shun!” vibes when I see her with Jun since I’ll always remember the Jun-Shun tandem in Hana Yori Dango. Rich Man, Poor Woman remains with last J-dorama I loved wholeheartedly so I’ll keep my fingers crossed this story and pairing will reignite the fire for me since 2013 was overall a year where not a single J-dorama kept my attention. Shitsuren Chocolatier premieres on Fuji TV on January 13th.
Official drama synopsis:
After graduating from high school, Sota Koyurugi studies bakery at an institute. In high school, he fell in love with beautiful Saeko. Because of Sota’s effort, he is able to have a romantic relationship with Saeko right before Christmas. Saeko though tells Sota that she will be unable to meet him on Valentine’s Day, but can meet him on the day before Valentine’s Day. On that day, Sota gives Saeko chocolate that he made, but she doesn’t accept his gift. Saeko tells him that she didn’t think they were dating. Sota is heartbroken, but he doesn’t give up hope. To make Saeko love him, he travels to France with little money and studies chocolate there. This is because Saeko loves chocolate. 5 years later, Sota becomes a first-class Chocolatier. Now back in Japan, Sota opens his very own store.