It’s Spring in Japan, which means beautiful Sakura (cherry blossom) trees, great weather, and the start of new Japanese Dramas! I’m always looking for new J-Dramas to get into, since their story-lines tend to be different than what you can find in the United States. I’m especially fond of romantic comedies, because I like to have a laugh while watching. And this season, the drama I’ve started watching is 崖っぷちホテル (Hotel On The Brink)!
So here is a synopsis of the story as mentioned on the Official Website.
Nestled in the suburbs are the remnants of what was, in the old days, a small-but-grandiose, classy hotel appreciated by people in the know. As the years went by, however, it found its way to rock bottom and on the brink of bankruptcy (Hence the title, Hotel on the Brink!), staffed by people with zero motivation and skills. It’s truly a gathering of sketchy losers!
Today, like any other day, the lifeless lobby is manned by yawning employees. Suddenly, into the classical ambiance enters an extremely casual-looking young man. He is out of place in the surroundings, and the unmotivated but overly-arrogant staff members turn their malicious eyes on him. Not one person has any inkling that he is about to turn this rock-bottom hotel upside down.
Drowning in debts totaling 300 million yen ($3 million U.S. Dollars), this classic hotel has morphed into a den infested with useless staff notorious for their shadiness and horrible service. It’s so on the brink that moving one block will cause the whole thing to crumble, literally and figuratively.
If you’re thinking there’s not much you can do to change your current situation anyway, look no further. This Sunday evening comedy will help you laugh the blues away! Gathered in a single hotel armed with their own unique shadiness, the colorful characters will weave together an outrageous sitcom just for you. Just a one-hour “stay” every Sunday leaves you laughing and laughing until you suddenly realize you’ve been touched profoundly. That’s the experience this hotel promises!
Sounds like a fun story, doesn’t it?
The cast of characters includes the following people:
Takanori Iwata plays “Naoya Ukai”, a mysterious new hotel guest. He dresses like a bit of a slob, but asks to stay in the most expensive suite in the hotel! Everyone thinks his requests are strange, but they soon realize that he is the Vice President of a famous Paris Hotel. Though he criticizes the hotel, he announces that he is willing to help turn that place around. His methods already appear a bit strange, but no one can argue with the results, as the hotel is already starting to change.
Some of you may recognize Takanori-san, as he is a member of the Japanese boy groups Sandaime J Soul Brothers and the uber-powerhouse, EXILE.
Toda Erika plays “Sana Sakurai”, the Hotel’s General Manager, who has seemed to have given-up on rehabilitating the bad reputation of this place. At heart, she is a hard-worker that dreams of bringing the hotel back to its former glory, in the same way her father used to. She has fond memories of how this place used to look when she was a kid, and she is ready to roll-up her sleeves. Ukai-san seems to give her the kick-in-the-butt she needs to start making changes, even if Ukai’s methods don’t really make sense to her. It looks like she and Ukai may have met when they were kids, but neither knows yet. Sounds like romance is coming!
Fans of J-Dramas will definitely recognize Toda-san, as she has appeared on some very popular J-Dramas in the past, including “Liar Game” and “Code Blue”, and was also Misa Amane in the movie “Death Note”.
Of course, there is a group of hotel employees that are making things both fun and difficult for our two lead characters. Here are a few:
We’ve got Hamabe Minami as “Haru Horai”, an enthusiastic young chef who wants to make everyone happy with her food. She is definitely a glass is half-full person. And she is working with the older and more experienced Nakamura Tomoya as “Ryuji Eguchi”, a former great chef who is now lazy at work, and spends most of his time listening to sports instead of focusing on the food.
Working at reception is Otawara Taishi as “Cookie”, the hotel reception attendant who looks like a creepy ghoul with a permanent frown on his face. And the bell-hop Chad Mullane as “Pierre Tanaka”, the English-speaking guy who tells everyone that he can’t speak English–because he is lazy too. And he is also very clumsy, with plenty of physical comedy.
And then we have some of our villain-types, Kozue Edagawa as “Ryo”, the hotel bartender that spends more time drinking the liquor than actually serving it to customers. And she seems to complain about many things. And joining here in their secret planning is Tokisada Masao as “Ikkei Watanabe”, Staff Manager who seems to love scheming ways to make money, and a jerk!
And there are more characters that add to the fun!
So I’ll be bringing you weekly reviews of each new episode. The first episode was last week, so I’ll probably make two reviews tomorrow. I’m looking forward to watching each episode, as there hadn’t been any J-Dramas that have caught my interest this past season. So I hope you have a chance to enjoy this show, but don’t worry if you can’t watch as I’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest news!
See you tomorrow!