Shitsuren Chocolatier Episode 1

The long awaited (by me) Shitsuren Chocolatier is finally here! If I had to summarize my reaction in one word, it would be: Wow. It seems to be the type of show that raises some reaction among its viewers, be it love or hate. And this story really has a lot of elements to gather people in both camps.

First off, I did not read the manga before this. I hadn't even heard of it at all. And now I definitely want to read it, because let's face it, this type of story is usually best left to the 2D world, but I'm going to restrain from reading it until the drama ends. I don't want it to bias my view of the drama, which it most certainly will (that is a story for another time). What I'm saying is, I had no expectations whatsoever when I began watching other than: Pretty Matsujun, pretty Satomi, pretty chocolates, pretty pink. (The over-pinkness of the official poster is beginning to get to me. Now that I think about it, Dokushin Kizoku was another obnoxious shade of pink. Coincidence?)

The Japanese Perspective

The show is at the coveted spot of Monday9. Although people claim that no one cares about this spot any more, it does still make you wonder what's currently airing at that time. The ratings for the first episode were 14.4%, not too bad, not too good. It does have the advantage of its airing spot, after all. What's more interesting is whether the ratings will increase or decrease.

I took the liberty of browsing some Japanese websites, and the comments seem to be divided mostly in three camps:

  1. People who watched it because they read the manga, and they wanted to see what the adaptation would be like: These people all agree that the story is very true to the original, and most are impressed especially by Matsujun's performance, which came as a happy surprise to many.
  2. People who just couldn't get past the kiss scenes: These are the people giving all the 1 stars, and cannot imagine why anyone would make such a show. Many seem to feel sorry for Matsujun that he got stuck with such disgusting scenes in such a cheap drama. They also think Satomi is trying too hard to play the role of an adult "bad" woman. A common sentiment is that they will not bother watching the rest of the show, although one wonders why they bothered to go online and write comments about it. 
  3. People who really loved the whole thing: Can't tell for sure, but these seem to be mostly young people. Some were impressed with the visuals of everyone and the whole show, some claimed it's a lot more interesting than the usual stuff on TV, and some even complimented the music. 
The Good

I think it is hardly an opinion that this drama is made beautifully. This is quite a nice change from normal Japanese dramas, it's almost like they aimed for movie-type shooting. It actually looks like a real production, and not like someone put a webcam in the living room. I was delighted to see that not only the actors and chocolates, but pretty much everything is eye candy in this show. That being said, it bears repeating that Satomi is the cutest I've ever seen her. Matsujun is also styled well.

The visuals are mostly thanks to the color filter, though.
The acting is going great so far, in my opinion. Matsujun is not over-acting, and I don't feel that Satomi is trying too hard. She looks exactly like the mentally challenged airhead she is supposed to be. Especially this expression she has is just priceless:

Someone's got the dumb blank stare down pat.
The kiss scenes, I consider them a positive. I understand how it might be awkward to see that type of thing on TV with your kids on a simple monday evening, but I think it's even more insulting to constantly put in the frozen statue kisses so that nobody will complain that it's too "mature". I hope that other Japanese dramas take some notes and stop catering to the old-fashioned crowd all the time.

Super attention to detail, she always has really cute nail art.
But it's really the story's fault here, not the drama. Clearly they all knew what they were getting into when they decided to adapt this manga into a drama. That includes the resident Matsumoto. I don't think he needs your pity, Japanese netizens. He looked perfectly happy in his first episode launch.

The Bad

The plot. Seriously, I would read this as a manga, but I would never consider making a drama from it. It really doesn't stand out in mangaland, but a drama just makes it seem more "real" and while we all know dramas don't represent reality at all, this is just...

Two groups of people get away with everything: The elderly, and cute girls.
Take Souta. "Love"?! Seriously? What do you even know about this girl? Only that she's pretty. And it doesn't look like she actually has any ability other than maintaining her beauty. One would think she could seek a job like some professional chocolate taster, since she claims to be so good at it, and she does it all the time anyway, but why work when you can not work, right? So, what else do we have along with these lovely qualities? A completely annoying personality. She is not nice, she is not thoughtful, she is not polite, she has no real personality and not even any superficial redeeming points. She is just downright dumb, and annoying. So far she doesn't even seem to be smart enough to be actively manipulating anyone. While I will admit she is super duper cute, I hate everything else about her.

You don't get to be sad like that, you had it coming.
So yes, there is nothing good about Saeko. And Souta's no innocent either. All he ever does is fantasize about her, but of course, there's really nothing else to think about her so he can't exactly be blamed for that. I realize you don't get to pick and choose who you love, but at least, if someone is clearly cheating on you, you slap that person, you do not say "Oh it's okay you can have us both". I don't feel too bad for him that he is stuck with an infatuation for this girl, because he's perhaps even more stupid than her anyway.

And that scene where she comes for the cake tasting. I know it was just him imagining things, but "you're asking for it since you wore this short skirt"? Really? It wasn't even that short, seriously. Little things like that piling together make him a really unlikable hero.

Last, but not least, the chocolates. Seriously it is not fair that we have to watch this and not get any chocolate along with it (magically). They look way too good.

This texture right here looks perfect. Please share, drama :(

I'm looking forward to seeing what's going to happen for 10 episodes in this story seeing as how the leading girl just got married and she has zero interest in the leading guy. You can usually tell that a couple will end up together, you know, but there's really nothing from her side.

Honestly I hope they don't end up together. I hope they both grow up, he manages to see real love and gets over her, and she just... I guess settles down as a good housewife and stops leading on passerby. But of course, it is pretty much guaranteed that that's not going to happen. So, show, please do a good job of convincing me that these people deserve to have a story about them.


  1. Enjoyed your comments. My suspicion is that we'll have a situation like Summer Nude where the girl of the male lead's dreams disappears for a while. Then he finds another love interest, only to have the first girl reappear and make things messy.

  2. i love to read your bad and good opinion, at the first time i watched it, i really wondering what make matsujun, satomi and asami take this drama. well, it is true the mangaka get a grand prize for this story but the story itself really over unrealistic, who's gonna go to french just to please an-angelic-face-bitc*. i mean, satomi is the most beautiful bitc* that i ever see lol. just watching the first episode make me wanna slap her (that's how powerfull her act) and the other one that i wanna slap is matsujun (he make my heart broken just by watch it), gosh...what a man, at first he give an air pure-angelic-love for saeko but in the inside he just another dirty-ojisan. But it interesting to see the SM game between saeko and souta, i wonder will souta will stop loving her if only she willing to say "i love you" back. the manga itself is unfinish and the great poin of this drama indeed the cinematography.The packaging of this drama is so beautiful, the actor/actress make up, the cakes secne, the clothes, the snow scene, the glowing paper at souta room, the wedding scene, not like the most common j dorama. This kind of cinematography use to be korean drama speciality but it interesting to see it in j dorama.

  3. Oh my gosh, i love your review on shitsuren chocolatier. Actually, i'm planning to watch this dorama, but i think i better read some recap and review about this dorama first. I don't want to be disappointed again.