Friday, March 8, 2013

JDrama Review: Kimi wa Petto

Picture credit: wikipedia
The Gist: Iwaya Sumire (Koyuki) is a driven career woman, who has trouble with men. When she finds a boy lying in a box outside her apartment building, she takes pity on him and decides to keep him as a pet. This way, there will be no unwanted developments in their relationship, allowing them to be friendly but strictly platonic. She ends up calling him Momo (Matsumoto Jun) after a childhood puppy, but his actual name is Goda Takeshi. The boy turns out to be an incredibly skilled dancer and despite the distance Sumire keeps between them (not to mention their age difference), the two grow a lot closer.  
1.The Relationship
Really, trying to figure out the relationship between Sumire and Momo is this entire drama. Now, notice I didn’t say Romance is what I love from this drama. While their relationship is definitely working towards a romance, I think the friendship/companionship aspect is the stronger one. Something simple like just wanting someone to come home to – husband, roommate, or pet – is expressed really clearly in their developing relationship. Also, since their relationship is a bit unusual, it’s very interesting to see the limits they set on themselves, and how those limits change throughout the series.
2. Hasumi Shigehito
Played by Tanabe Seiichi, Hasumi is actually a pretty boring character, a little too perfect, but I like the obstacle he presents to Sumire and Momo. I feel like we learn just as much about Sumire/Momo when she’s with Hasumi than we do when the pair is together. The fact that Sumire feels like she just can’t give up Momo, even when the “perfect” guy shows up really shows that maybe she’s looking for something different than she thinks. Also, the level of comfort she has with Momo really can’t be achieved with Hasumi and that closeness is obviously important to her.
3.The Casting
Obviously, I am biased because I just love Matsumoto Jun no matter what he’s doing, but for an odd role, I felt like he embraced it fully. He was just like a little puppy sometimes, which made it just that much starker when he became bolder with Sumire. Somehow, he seems to get cast against older women a lot (Gokusen, that love shining rainbow thing), but it works for him. Koyuki is wonderful as the leading lady, often kind of a stoic woman. Again, this trait makes for a good contrast when she is able to relax with Momo.
1.Little Bit Weird
Ok, a lot of dramas take reality with a grain of salt, but come on – how is keeping a young boy as a pet not kinky at all? The concept is definitely odd. However, if you can possibly get past that issue, the drama handles it very cleanly. It’s really more a story about friendship than it is about a dominant/submissive relationship. Still, your friends will probably be like… you’re watching what now?
2.The Age Difference
So, Sumire needs to be a bit older to really make the story work, but the age difference feels much wider than it is. In reality, the age difference between the actors is seven years, but to me at least, it appeared larger. I also felt that since Momo acted a bit childish, I thought he was a teen, but Matsujun was 20 when this was filmed. Sometimes, that difference came across a little uncomfortable because they’re in different stages of their lives. But again, the show handles it well enough that you can accept it fairly easily.
1.Too Simple?
I’ve been trying to figure out exactly why this drama wasn’t one I was totally obsessed with. The characters are good and the relationship building was good, but I never really felt the need to re-watch or really dwell on it. I think that boils down to the fact that it’s a tad too simple. The plot never gets very complicated and perhaps I would have like to see more of the romance side of things. I feel like we build up to this moment and then, the story is over. I don’t have a problem with simplicity when done well, but this drama might just be a bit bland.
So… I give Kimi wa Petto credit for being original. I don’t think I’ve seen another show where a boy is kept as a pet. The leads are wonderful and the relationship development between them is concise and pleasant.  However, the plot leans towards the simpler side, so if you’re looking for fast pace and intrigue, this is probably not the best choice. But also, Matsujun.

Final Grade: B
Picture credit for all uncredited:


  1. Can I ask you a favour? I need you to watch a particular JDrama and curious about your judgment about it. It's got Fujiki Naohito. I'm really a fan of Fujiki. If you could look it up "Love Revolution" and please give a review, would appreciate it very much. I loved the show but just curious about your opinion. Arigatou

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I am almost done with the behemoth beast that is In A Good Way (26 1.5 hour episodes!), so I'll be looking for a new drama soon. If I can find it on a player that doesn't drive me crazy, I'll check it out!