Every once in a great while when the stars, planets, and fates align – a new Japanese drama comes out that really grabs my attention. I’ve found another one. Last year I wrote a post about Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu and that drama was pretty solid, but this new one I’ve found pretty much blows it out of the water. It has two of my favorite J-drama stars in it and even though the season is only halfway aired currently, I know this will be one of my all-time favorites.
Is This as Good as You Claim it is, John?
Why yes. Yes it is. A little while ago I had the strong desire to watch a Japanese drama. This happens every once in a while, but most of the time I check out a few shows and end up coming away disappointed. Recently though, I came across the drama Summer Nude.
In fact, just reading about Summer Nude got me all excited with anticipation to check it out. It stars two of my favorite J-drama names (Yamapi and Karina, both of which I featured in my Favorite J-Drama Actors post), it’s a rom-com drama (my favored drama genre by the numbers), and it’s getting decent viewership ratings from Japanese viewers as well.
Plus, I talked to my Japanese homestay sister and asked her what dramas she/her friends were watching. She told me that all of her friends were watching Summer Nude and were pretty excited about it. My suspicions had been confirmed. This was a show that I needed to check out.
But What’s it All About?
Okay, so we’ve got Yamapi playing the main dude, Asahi Mikuriya. Asahi works at a photography studio by the ocean and is always hanging out with the same group of friends. They live in a small coastal town and live relatively comfortable, quaint, simple lives. When Asahi was little, he dreamed of becoming a famous photographer, though he currently spends his days photographing normal things like weddings and local events.
The issue with Asahi is that he was deeply infatuated with a woman, but this woman up and left the town without a trace, giving no reason for having left. Asahi is super hung up on her, even though it is now three years later. The girl was somewhat of a local celebrity because she did an ad campaign for a local brewery, and her face is plastered on a huge billboard in the middle of town.
Every day for the past three years, Asahi has said good morning and good night to this billboard, pathetically reminding himself of the girl he lost three years ago and can’t seem to move on from. He is still holding onto her in the hope that she will one day return.
And then there’s this other girl, Natsuki Chiyohara (Karina), who works as a successful restaurant manager in Tokyo. But then she quits this job to start a new life with the man she’s going to marry. Asahi is hired on to photograph the wedding, but Natsuki’s husband ends up taking off and leaving her during the reception.
Through a series of events, Natsuki ends up working at the local restaurant in Asahi’s town and gets close with him and all his pals. Meanwhile, Hanae (Erika Toda) is crushing super hard on Asahi like she has been for the past ten years. And then there’s another guy crushing on her! And then there’s a model who comes to town and throws another wrench into the mix! Talk about your typical j-drama love pentagon, ammiright?
Who will Asahi end up with? Will his love ever return? Will he give Hanae a chance? Will he end up dating Natsuki? What about the other people? Everyone is crushing on everyone and there is just so many love chains and triangles going on in this show it’s insane.
So Many Feels!
Oh. My. God. Every episode of this drama is absolutely packed with feels. As you can tell from the summary, there are a lot of feelings happening in this show – I didn’t even cover them all! It starts off kind of complicated, and then it gets even more complicated from there. It’s awesome.
Most of the time I have difficulty explaining to someone the convoluted love relations that happen in dramas, but I think Summer Nude has taken the cake for me. But really, if you have a weakness for J-dramas, this one will pull at your heartstrings multiple times every single episode.
The music accompanying the scenes really fits well with everything, the beach scenery featured in the show is great, and there are great actors to be seen in the show. I know not everyone is a huge fan of Yamapi, but I really like him.
But Wait, This Can be Both Entertaining and Useful!?
Like all great recommendations that come from this fine site of ours, Summer Nude is both fun and educational. Well, it doesn’t have to be educational, but it can be. Koichi wrote a while ago about how to use dramas for studying up on your Japanese, and Summer Nude is no exception. You should probably also check out Jordan’s article on Going from Loving Japanese Media to Studying It. You can do it! Yeah!
In the show you get a healthy smattering of male and female dialogue to listen to and learn with. It’s mostly informal speech, but there’s some formal language thrown in here and there as well.
Or if Summer Nude isn’t really your kind of drama, you can always head over to DramaWiki and check out their entire list of currently airing summer dramas and find one you like. It’s a very enjoyable and potentially
rewarding time consuming treasure hunt.
Yamapi Sings a Song
Also, Yamapi himself sings one of the main songs for this show. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sing before (I knew he sang, I just never watched any of his stuff before), and he ain’t bad – but it feels weird to see him singing when I’m just so used to him being a stoic actor. It’s still an enjoyable song though – I think it fits well with the show.
So, have any of you seen Summer Nude yet? If you like the same kind of shows that I do (see my top ten here), then you should definitely check this one out.
Are you following any dramas this summer? I’m planning on checking out Yamada-kun to Nananin no Majo and Hanzawa Naoki at some point, but Summer Nude is more than enough for now. I’ll probably check those out once I get caught up with the Summer Nude episodes and have to start waiting a week to see the next one (the horror!).
Do you have any other recommendations for summer J-dramas this season? Share your picks in the comments!