*This review contains spoilers*
Love Song is a nice change of pace from the usual romance-filled getsu9. The title is obvious but it’s not like a blatant love story where a guy or girl falls in love with each other. At least they added new elements like the musical aspect of it. I really like that because as a music lover myself, it brings a certain excitement to my ears even if it’s just guitar strumming in the background. It’s also refreshing to see a new face in the lead role, not to mention, a real-life singer-songwriter, adding more charms to this show. Of course, Fukuyama Masaharu, being an experienced actor and singer-songwriter himself, shines in his role. I really, really like how music oriented some episodes are – from showing us the process of songwriting, editing, production, live shows etc. Those episodes ended up being some of my favorites.
Besides the musical aspect, they also added a complex for the lead role. I don’t think I’ve seen stuttering being portrayed by a lead character in recent years (I may be wrong though). The educational aspect of it – daily struggles of a person who stutters are thoroughly shown and speech lessons etc. The little quirks of the lead role for example, her unique way of braking her bike never fails to amuse me.
Acting is good despite Sakura being a total newbie. She’s convincing and doesn’t mind making herself look unattractive to fit the role (don’t get me wrong, she’s pretty of course). As for the rest, it’s expected for them to deliver because they’re veterans (Fukuyama Masaharu, Miki Mizuno) and even the young ones (Masaki Suda, Kaho) did great for their respective roles. I couldn’t have asked for more.
It’s a drama that also touches on friendship and encounters. Sakura’s surrounded by really good childhood friends and the encounter with Kouhei changed her life. She found solace in music, gained confidence and the world seemed less intimidating or hateful. In return, Kouhei also discovered his love for music once again and embraced his past.
What I didn’t really like is how they added cancer towards the end (recycled and tired). It’s as if they couldn’t think of any other suspense method to make you watch till the end, that they had to shoehorn cancer for the lead character. It just feels slightly forced for me and though I pity her, it doesn’t give a huge impact. *no Kleenex required* Not to mention, it’s also predictable that she didn’t lose her voice. So that was a bit meh for me. The bright side? Fukuyama graced us with his rendition of 500 Miles at the hospital.
Another thing is the romance part. Sakura falling in love with Kouhei…I just can’t see it. It just feels off for me. I can’t see them two together lol It’s probably my own problem or maybe it’s the age gap or something. Well, the ending is an open one so we’ll never know whether they actually got together or not. Perhaps not? Because even though Kouhei sort of admit he likes Sakura, I don’t think it’s really that kind of love. I was rooting for Kouhei and Natsuki to be a pair though.
The finale felt a bit lacking. The attempted suspense of the surgery didn’t work for me. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of open endings without proper closures. However, considering the nature of the drama itself, being laidback and slower paced, I guess it fits the atmosphere of the show. Guess we’ll have to make do with it. I’m glad Sakura continues singing. Moving away from her comfort zone is also a huge development, becoming more independent and confident.
Overall, a good attempt at delivering something different from the usual getsu9 pattern, few bumps here and there, but still very watchable.