Thursday, February 21, 2013

JDrama Review: Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend)

Picture credit: dramawiki
The Gist: Izawa Riiko (Aibu Saki) is working hard to fulfill her baking dreams as a temp worker at a large desserts company. Executive Asamoto Soshi just starts to notice her, when she is chosen as a beta tester for a company who designs boyfriend bots. She tries to hide the fact that not only does she have a man living with her, but that he isn’t human. Soshi teams up with Riiko to try and make a delicious dessert together, but Riiko finds herself less interested in him the more she spends time with her boyfriend bot, Night (Hayami Mokomichi).
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I’m a big fan of both Hiro and Mokomichi, but I just liked Hiro’s character better. Watching him want something, struggle, try, and fail made Night seem shallow. As much as Night does for Riiko and grows to care for her, as much as a boyfriend bot can, Soshi’s emotions resonate more deeply. The scene where Soshi and Riiko stay at the office trying to bake their carrot cake dessert was my favorite of the entire series because it felt more real than any of the scenes with Night.
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After watching this show and reading the video comments, I can’t help but feel like I was supposed to like Night more than I actually did. I think there’s just a block in my brain that lets me be happy with Riiko and Night as a couple. Still, Mokomichi does a great job acting a robot, so I have to give him props for his skills.
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I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is that I don’t like about Riiko, but she isn’t a very memorable character. As far as heroines go, she’s pretty bland and not super original. I guess most of all I just don’t love how she treats Soshi and it left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.
3.The Baking
I realize that the baking and her company are only framing devices for the plot, but it was just not that interesting. It made the story feel slow and long. Though, since the romance is at the forefront, I’ll just let it slide… of course that brings us to~
1.The Romance
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It’s sort of a big problem when you hate the romance of a romantic drama. I felt though that this drama’s support of Night and Riiko was bizarre. I mean, to me it seems obvious that given the two options you should always go for the real boy. As much as people like the actor playing Night, I do not think the two make a good pair because his feelings are manufactured! It’s not like there’s no example of movies with good AI romances, but since she had a parallel relationship forming with Soshi, that just felt more genuine. It’s ok to appreciate Night, but to love him and settle for Soshi was a terrible plot.
So… I don’t really like this drama and though I can see why it’s as popular as it is, I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Soshi is really the only thing I liked about this show and he kind of gets shafted. If you really like Night, then you should like this drama fine, but even then, the romance isn’t fantastic. I can't fully endorse a show that leaves me putting two of the three main characters in the Meh category. Boyfriend Bot. Not even once.

Final Grade: D+


  1. haha.. it's look u don't like this drama so much.. r u already watch taiwanese n korean version??

    1. I haven't! Are they any better? I didn't have much incentive after I disliked this one so much. I haven't read the manga either, so maybe I'm just coming at it blind.

  2. Honestly, there was no chemistry between the main male and female lead until the very end. They were simply roommates who had lost of problems happen to them. The male lead, Knight is very much in love with her but that's his program.. Real chemistry didn't happen until towards the end when he's starting to actually "feel". I think it was the last 3 to 4 episodes when she actually felt true feelings and attachment for Knight. Before that she was all over the pastry guy. So yeah, although the drama was about them, I felt like it wasn't really about them, more like about her and her troubles with her pastry dream while Knight tags along with heart shaped eyes.

    The ending was pretty sad, in my opinion. I feel like it's only sad because he knows he's shutting down but he still remains with her and doesn't let her know of his condition.