Thoughts on: Juhan Shuttai!

My internet chingu Mookie truly put it down best in her latest post.

When a dorama is in its distilled, minimalistic finest, it needs none of the tired trope filling delectable space where the characters live, feel and breathe. These characters are all charming simply because they are allowed to be human beings with their quirks and unique shortcomings and ordinary strengths. Charm is not quantified solely by how attractive it is romantically to the opposite sex, here it is fondness soul stirring between human beings nodding to a collective passion towards something as ‘trivial’ as manga publishing.

That there truly is the essence of a well made jdarama and the main reason I have so many I go back to every once in a while. Well, the length does help too. It’s way easier to re-watch ten 45min epis than a full length kdrama or tw-/c-drama.

Juhan Shuttai has been my happy pill this week. It’s a perfect drama to boost up your spirit and to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling only a lovely, heartwarming story can. 🙂 I started reading good things about Juhan Shuttai pretty soon after the first fiew epis had aired but lack of time prevented me from picking it up right then. Just as well, as it’s sort of perfect for a semi-marathon. I know there are quite a fiew people who are allergic to work place dramas but when done right the stories can be pretty engeaging. Especially if it’s about a bunch of people passonate about something they believe in. That sort of sentiment is kind of contagious.
Veteran actors in any country are the backbone of shows, imho and I love it when they are given more to do than just providing a background for the leads. Jdramas are generally quite good at this, so they tend to have older actors in prominent, supporting roles. I also think it’s pretty common to have only one, ‘real’ lead character, which is the case also with Juhan Shuttai. Unless it’s a romantic drama, jdramas don’t usually rely on romance to bring in the viewers, which leaves them room to tackle other topics. I don’t read manga, never have but I found the plot quite interesting. It’s a nice peek into the world of manga publishing and all the various people that are part of it – the editors, sales and marketing personel, bookshop employees and the mangakas themselves. Each episode has a theme centered around one or two of the characters and I loved how just about everyone got their spot in the limelight.

Haru Kuroki is adorable as the former judoka turned noob manga editor! I’ve liked her in everything I’ve seen her in so far. She may not be pretty in a conventional (plastic) way but I always find her really winning in her roles. Odagiri Joe’s roles on the other hand don’t always appeal to me, but he is sort of perfect here as the warm and smexy (how’s that mix even possible?^^) mentor. I really liked what Nagayama Kento (Eita’s younger brother btw) was doing as well. Haku could have easily been quite unlikeable but Kento got the nuances just right. The cast as a whole is great, even the bit parts are manned with people who bring something unique to the characters they play.

I was meaning to take just a fiew screen grabs but somehow I ended up with enough for a gallery, LOL!

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24 thoughts on “Thoughts on: Juhan Shuttai!

  1. thank you so much for recommending this jdrama! luv-luv the characters, each of them are fleshed out given the short episodes as compared to kdramas… I’m still not well-versed on how long jdramas should be…

    this is great writing + amazing cast, just lovely! The parallelism from iokibe mentoring kokoro, then kokoro recognizing the talent of nakata and being a full-pledged editor, growing pains… this is a good workplace drama, it shows the many facets of putting up a weekly magazine. from the crazy editor-in-chief, to kokoro’s officemates then koizumi’s eventual love of his work. even the store seller bits revealed how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts saying is true…

    • *beams* You are welcome! I’m glad you liked it.

      That is the magic of well made jdrama right there. It just gives you the warm fuzzies. 🙂 There is hardly ever truly evil characters even in the more serious dramas (which are not crime shows or psychologial thrilles), just very flawed human beings, which is one of the things I love about jdramas. Another thing I appreaciate is that in the work place dramas the characters actually work (what a novel idea 😀 ) and the office or whtever is not just some sort of backdrop to… say, romance. Even the cops in procedurals tend to be mostly competent, ha.

      • so true about romance being the dominant factor in most kdramas, sometimes it derails on what might have been if they have more content than the usual boy-meets-girl set-up and the dreaded love-triangle, wahhhhh…

        that’s why i luv IRY & TEotW, there’s a thread of romance but they’re like actual people, like you said, work, hahahhahaaaa…

  2. just started this last night, what can i say, i cried in epi 2… the main leads’ energy is infectious, she’s like an energizer bunny, hahahhahhaaa… also luv the fact that she eats a lot, that’s real life right there!!! This is just my 2nd jdrama, tend to watch mostly kdramas, but I just finished dear my friends and was looking for some slice of life, which I heard jdrama does best. I’ll try to watch 2 epi at a time, so as not spoil myself, wish me luck!

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Her cheer really is infectious, isn’t it. 😀 You can’t feel down for long while watching her do her thing.

      Yes, slice of life is what jdrama tends to do very well. The worlds they build feel real and populated with living people. One factor probably being that the actors mostly look ‘normal’ and not like they just stepped out of a photoshoot or beauty contest. And there ain’t a chaebol in sight, LOL! I love how quirky some of them can be without going too silly or ridiculous. There’s also lots of warmth and acceptance for people being flawed creatures.

      • Do you have any jdrama faves?

        I digress, it’s actually my 4th one, my mistake. I’ve watched woman (heartbreaking), saikou no rikon (it’s ok), nagareboshi (stayed for the male lead & ost). seems like I just remembered woman, hahahhahaaa…. I’ve started a few jdramas, eventually lost interest or just not enough time…

        Yes, chaebol leads doesn’t cut it anymore after watching kdramas for 4yrs. Trying to be selective but fluffy viewing doesn’t hurt, especially for a cute oppa! Meaning lucky romance for RJY:)

        • Oh, I’ve got several jdrama faves, not all of them are slice of life though. I have an odd fondness for their crime procedurals, you see. 😀 If you have time to browse through my jdarma-tag you’ll find quite a fiew. Here are some of the slice-of-life variety that I truly liked, in no particuar order;
          Yasashii Jikan, Shinya Shokudo, Beach Boys, Tiger & Dragon, Arifureta Kiseki, Nemureru Mori no Jukujo, Soratobu Kouhoushitsu, Priceless, Kita no Kuni Kara, Bijo to Danshi, Dakara Koya, Gomen ne Seishun!.

          Jdramas can be a bit of hit and miss with me too but there are some really great ones out there.

          I’m not averse to fluff and cute oppas either, but just in small doses. XD

          • finished ep 4 last night, kokoro’s learning the ropes & standing up for herself:)

            thank you for the list, keeping them on file!!! will come in handy especially during drama droughts… much appreciated!

    • It’s a lovely little drama and very addicting. I had to pace myself so as not to watch everything at once. XD

      Didn’t you just watch a manga centered movie too? To get a threefer, you should pick up ‘Yami no Bansosha’ next, ha. Unless you’ve already seen that. It’s a good one too.

      • It is! I too had to restrain myself from marathoning it on one go 😉

        Yes, Bakuman movie is the other reason i’m starting this drama. And no, i haven’t watched that one. I watch a lot more K than J dramas, haha. Is that a mystery drama?

        • When Japan gets a drama right, it really does get it right. 😉

          I’ve been meaning to watch Bakuman, guess now I have to give it a go. Yes, Yami no Bansosha is a mysery drama, one of the very good ones. It’s also set in the world of manga. It was interesting how they inserted all these bits about manga making in the story. Here’s a short, nonspoilery review by Junny.

          • Thanks! Will check that out after i’m finished with Juhan. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a good thing 😉

            Oh, you haven’t watched Bakuman? Did you read my review, though? It’s spoilery, as you may have noticed from my other posts…

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