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Hajimemashite minna san....welcome to my site on my fave Japanese Pop Culture likes such as dramas, movies, magazine scans, promo events etc. Mainly concentrate on my faves...Keyakizaka46... Erina Mano... Nogizaka46!.... C-ute.... Lee Yeon-Hee!.... if you're a fan at all of any of them then you've come to the right place(!) but many others are featured here besides them. Do mainly quick reviews on things I've watched, try to make the reviews brief, quick to read through with not too many spoilers, just whether they're good or bad and why I thought so plus whether you may find them enjoyable. Many, many screenshots are included from everything I've watched plus any video trailers if they're available. Hope you find something that interests you, don't hesitate to comment, arigato gozaimasu!

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mirei Kiritani: "Atelier" drama episode one recap and screenshots

 In America this series was titled "Atelier" but in Japan it went by the name "Underwear", if you do a search for the show either title will give you the same results.

Start Date: September 2, 2015 in Japan on Fuji-TV. It also aired in the U.S. on Netflix.

Main Cast: 

Mirei Kiritani as Mayuko Tokita, the 'heroine' of the drama and a total fabric geek
Mao Daichi as as Mayumi Nanjo, owner and main designer of the Emotion fashion store
Wakana Sakai as Mizuki Nishizawa, senior designer at Emotion
Masako Chiba as ReikoTanaka, another designer and Nanjo's main assistant
Ken Kaito as Jin Saruhashi, office manager of Emotion
Dori Sakurada as Himeji Sousuke, Jin's assistant 
Maiko as Fumikaoru, another designer at Emotion
Mayuko Kawakita as Yuri Kouno, Mayu's best friend

 As you can see this series started eleven months ago, skimmed through a few episodes back then but it wasn't an enjoyable view due to lack of subs. However the subs for the show came out last month so decided to give it another go, it's only been one episode but unsure if that was wise decision but hopefully it will turn out to be one. Don't think it's a takeoff of the "First Class" drama though both are set in the world of fashion, "First Class" was a solid show and have a feeling it's going to blow the doors off of this show. Actually just watched eight of the ten episodes of that drama, shortly after viewing that episode is when my computer kicked the bucket so was never able to recap the series.
 Mirei plays Mayu who is a recent graduate of a fashion college(?), actually what school she attended hasn't been said yet. Mayu must have done well as upon graduating she was hired by Emotion, a very high class store in Ginza where they design everything they sell. As it says above Mayu is kind of a 'fashion nerd', she knows everything about designs but only from books for she has much to learn about working in a store and with customers.

 Emotion specializes in high class lingerie more than anything else they sell, hence the "Underwear" title that Fuji-TV gave it. Mayu started on a hectic week as the store has their Fall/Winter fashion show in five days, these shows really can make or break a designer. The owner of the store Mayumi has been a highly respected designer for close to thirty years, wonder if the hiring of Mayu was to bring some fresh blood into the store? Mayumi has been in a design slump and has been having such difficulties preparing new designs for the show.
 The other workers have contributed some designs which Mayumi discards rather quickly. This infuriates Mayu to no end, the designs to her were perfect so why were they brushed aside so easily. Think that was the start of Mayu's training as Mayumi begins teaching her the real ways of the design world, just because an piece of clothing may be perfect or beautiful doesn't mean a customer will buy them. The pair have words in front of all of the other designers, Mayu sure has some spunk and guts as she had only been there for a few days.
 That spunkiness did impress Mayumi, so much that she even listened to a few of Mayu's ideas. Mayumi needed one more design for the show so she loosely worked with one of Mayu's suggestions and it ended up being the final design for the show.

 Usually these fashion shows are huge events but this one just had twelve critics in attendance. Mayumi had been in that slump but her new designs impressed all of the critics at the show, even one who was kind of her arch enemy. Later on a customer wanted to buy the design Mayu had thought of but had wanted some changes done to it, Mayu out her foot down and was about to say it can't be done to the customer.
 Mayumi stepped in and gladly told them they would make any alterations that were desired, more training there for Mayu. Mayumi explained to her the old adage of 'the customer is always right', they're in business to sell items and if someone wants a design changed then that's what they'll do. The episode ended shortly after the fashion show, things are looking up now for the Emotion store as the critics are going to give some favorable reviews for their new lines of lingerie. Don't know what that means for Mayu but would presume her next step is moving up to a full time designer.

 This series aired on both Fuji-TV and Netflix, the Fuji episodes were 45 minutes long while the Netflix ones were 90 minutes. Luckily I have the Fuji version which has twelve episodes, don't think I could sit through six 90 minute shows.
 First regular Japanese drama I've started in a few months, been watching mainly late night dramas or Korean series. Will have to say both of those still beat prime time Japanese dramas, lately been on a nice roll with my Korean drama choices and they all blow shows like this away. Not that this was a bad watch, 45 minutes flew right by which is a good sign Another good sign is that most of the introductions are out of the way so now the episodes can concentrate on the main plot, whatever that may be.
 Mirei's character was okay, Mayu is one of those underdog people who will probably make it to the top but to be honest wish she was playing one of the lingerie models! Not sure how many shows I'll post about, the next few for sure and if the series gets a bit better and more interesting then just may recap every show. Few more screenshots of the adorable Mayu.

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