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君も問題ガール 普通になんてなれないでしょう
Oops, I dropped the ball on making a monthly post in February >_< I actually feel like I've been having a few creative sparks recently and there's been stuff I wanted to post about, but I just feel like I have no energy lately. T_T And then I went and got sick last weekend. And now I've been trying to write this post for about a week. orz I just need to finish it tonight.

Anyway, one of the things I've been wanting to post about is the jdrama I'm watching this season! I want to post about it every season, but most of the time the season ends and the next begins before I get around to it. orz Today, though, I'll just be talking about my favorite jdrama this season: Mondai no Aru Restaurant! Because I have a lot to say about it ^^;

I feel like in the past year or two I've been seeing more jdrama with feminist themes, and Mondai no Aru Restaurant is one of them. If I were to describe it in one sentence, I'd say it's about a group of women plus one crossdressing gay man starting a restaurant and fighting the patriarchy. xD What sets Mondai no Aru Restaurant apart for me, though, is all the other jdrama I've seen so far with clear, major feminist themes have ended up (in my opinion) dropping the ball on one issue or another or undermining their own messages in some way, but Mondai no Aru has yet to do that. Yeah, so if it continues on has it has been, Mondai no Aru Restaurant will probably be the best jdrama I've ever watched. ^^

Every character, every storyline, every detail, every hint and piece of foreshadowing, every element of this show works together to create an amazing story. I keep thinking about each episode for weeks after it airs, and I'm always looking forward to the upcoming episodes, to learning more about these great characters and to finding out what happens next in their stories. I could go on and on about it, but one episode that really wowed me was the Valentine's Day episode (episode 5). There are always several different stories going along on any given episode, but for the first few episodes seemed to each focus on a different character's story. The Valentine's Day episode (and Valentine's Day did happen in this episode) seemed to focus on one character getting stalked and hit, but ultimately I feel like it's about her learning her own self-worth, learning to cherish herself and her body more and learning to say no. It didn't really hit me until a little after I watched the episode though, how much it meant that they chose to do that for the Valentine's Day episode. Every time the dude who was stalking her did something that would be considered romantic if he was doing it at someone who actually liked him, they just focused on her face and how horrified she looked. They chose to make the Valentine's Day episode about romance going horribly wrong and hurting someone.

But yeah, the story is just super well-constructed. Watching through it, I feel like there are so many places where a simple line or action from a character is just super meaningful because of their pasts, and I feel like there's a lot of worth in rewatching it because there's a ton of hints at future revelations, too.

Okay, one last thing about Mondai no Aru Restaurant that I really love is that it has one of the best if not just the best representation of an LGB character I've seen in a jdrama. Like, yeah Haiji fits some stereotypes but he's not just a stereotype and he's not there to be laughed at. In fact, when other characters make jokes at his expense, he gets upset and calls them out. Also, they seem to have done a good job understanding the differences between sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender presentation, which, wow, is something mainstream pop culture anywhere I know of has trouble understanding, so good job, Mondai no Aru Restaurant.

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After reading your post, I decided to give Mondai no Aru Restaurant a go. Tonight, I watched 8 episodes in a row. It was so good. One of the best dramas I have ever experienced and it's not even finished yet! I love Chika and everyone else. Just like you said, the whole drama is so detailed and each story line is so touching and realistic. I cried so much but the empty tissue box was worth it.

I'm so glad my post inspired someone to watch it! It really is that good. I'm rewatching scenes all the time and showing the series to my brother too.

But yeah, maybe I should have warned that it's a tear-jerker. ^^;

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