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"Mukodono 2003" does not continue the "Mukodono" dorama from 2001 but happens to be a new version of the story. Nagase Tomoya and Shinohara Ryoko appear again but only Nagase plays his old role of cool musician Sakuraba Yuichiro for a second time. The series was at no time as successful as its predecessor in Japan, but if anyone thinks of "Mukodono 2003" as a simple copy, he would be mistaken.
Sakuraba Yuichiro (Nagase Tomoya) is one of the coolest singers in Japan who has millions of female fans. What they do not know about their idol: In private he behaves as childish as no adult else. Instead of wearing exclusive designer suits and his casual sunglasses he prefers dressing up as nerd with a sloppy jogging suit and an 80ies-style headband. When entering leisure-time there is nothing of his calm, cool constitution left, but Yuichiro turns into a somewhat crazy boy. You could say there exist two opposed characters in one person - and manager Sujiyama Michiko (Matsushita Yuki) has to try everything to prevent that anybody gets to know the private side of Yuichiro.
Her efforts become harder though when Yuichiro asks her for permission to marry into the family of his big love Ishihara Minami. When being a young boy Yuichiro had been left alone by his mother and therefore he wishes nothing more than to have an ideal family life. The Ishiharas seem to fit perfectly into that picture because Minami and her four sisters live together with their father under one roof. But soon after the marriage a tumultuous time starts for Yuichiro because he has to keep his marriage a secret and capture the hearts of his new family's members.
"Mukodono 2003" starts as a crazy comedy series that profits from the somewhat split personality of main character Sakuraba Yuichiro resulting in complications for the public life of a superstar. But as the main story develops and the problems that Yuichiro and his new family have to deal with, get more serious, the plot develops more earnestly and dramatically - and with that the characters grow in depth. Viewers experience something like a true emotional roller-coaster ride, when the mood changes from one moment to another from funny-silly to dramatic-sad. If you do not laugh or cry here you do not have a heart.
This enormous bandwidth of emotions provides the strength of the "Mukodono 2003" series. The characters appear altogether authentically, the actors appear to be involved with all of their hearts. And Nagase Tomoya seems to fit perfectly into his role when he masters to change between the foolish nerd and the extremely professional superstar without effort. In the end he even taps the full emotional potential of his character Sakuraba Yuichiro.
Beside of that the series' developers use their chance to poke fun at Japan's show business at it's best. And then only one question is left behind: What kinds of person are kept a secret behind all Nagase Tomoyas, Oguri Shuns or Ueto Ayas? And we realize that all those so-called superstars are just normal people like you and me, who all have their own cross to bear.
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