The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: This Guy Is The Biggest Mistake In My Life [Japan]

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Do you guys remember when I dropped Graceful Family because I felt like it wasn’t quite hammy or makjang enough to be truly glorious to watch? I’d wanted it to achieve heightened pinnacles of blithe makjang-ness, trucking out trope after trope of juicy makjang nonsense, kinda like The Last Empress, and because it didn’t, that show kinda fell flat, for me.

Well, this is almost sorta the same thing, except what I’m wishing for, from this show, is more weirdness.

I know that sounds, well.. weird, but hear me out.

WHAT I LIKED: The amped up bizarre bits

This show is based on a manga, and the premise is on the weird and bizarre end of the spectrum, with our male lead boss fetishizing being our female lead’s slave.

Show starts strong, with a zany pair of episodes where everything is just as oddball and peculiar as the premise promises, and I felt quite happily entertained.

For reference, in my mind, a show that does a great job of this all the way through, is 2007’s Hana Kimi (also known as Hanazakari no Kimitachi e). I don’t have a review proper for Hana Kimi, but I do talk about it at some length in my review of To The Beautiful You, which you can find here.

In Hana Kimi, everything feels quite random and wacky, with kooky events taking place on my screen on a pretty intense, regular basis. It was zealously weird, and it was glorious. I loved that show from beginning to end, and rewatched it several times.

Unfortunately, in terms of This Guy, only the first 2 and last 2 episodes achieved that intensity of kooky weirdness, for me.

The first 2 and last 2 episodes serve up a rollercoaster of events and emotion that I found pitch perfect.

[SPOILER] For example, in episode 1, first, we see that Sato (Matsui Airi) is heartbroken as if for a lost dead boyfriend, but it turns out it’s her dog that’s died, and then, Amagi (Hayami Mokomichi) comes along and talks down to her like any aloof CEO would do in a drama, and then Sato fights right back, not just tripping him and causing him to fall flat on his face, but she rebuts everything that he says, and with fiery badassery too. All in the space of just a few minutes. I’m.. slightly blindsided, but in a positive way.

And then I kinda love it when later, Sato loses her cool in Amagi’s office and throws him against the wall for offering her a credit card in exchange for allowing him to be her slave. What makes it hilarious is Amagi’s look of pure wonder, as he responds by asking her for more of the same treatment. [END SPOILER]

It’s all very bizarre, but strangely entertaining, and I was hopeful that Show would keep this up all the way through. Unfortunately, Show’s middle stretch was quite the let-down.

WHAT I LIKED LESS: The middling middle stretch

From episodes 3 to 8, I have to say that I felt a lot less entertained.

For one thing, the premise is less fresh by this point, and therefore, so are Sato’s repeated run-ins with Amagi, where she often roughs him up, to his delight.

Show also lets up on the intensity of the random and weird, and that doesn’t do Show any favors, unfortunately. It allows my brain to go to more normal places, because of the relative normalcy on my screen, and that’s when Amagi’s behavior feels much more starkly disturbing, because my brain forgets that I’m supposed to be in Weird Manga territory, where normal people rules don’t necessarily apply.

I also didn’t like the pockets here and there, when we see Sato softening to Amagi. I found that unsettling, and I much preferred it when she stuck to her guns and told him off for being creepy.

On the upside, The Weird comes back in episodes 9 and 10, so it’s not all bad.

WHAT I LIKED: Matsui Airi as Sato

I like Sato because she’s consistently commonsensical in her thoughts and voiceovers, even though she may not always voice her thoughts out loud. She’s curious and quizzical when it comes to weighing what’s going on around her, and why she might feel a certain way. She’s almost like an analytical bystander of her own life, and I feel like her quizzical reactions help to keep everything grounded.

I also like that Sato is never swayed by Amagi’s position or power, and stands her ground that he’s creepy. Also, I like that Sato’s smart and thinks fast on her feet. [SPOILER] I loved that right in episode 1, Sato uses Amagi’s whole slave fetish to her advantage, by ordering him never to approach her again. And he actually complies! Ha, how cool. [END SPOILER]

Additionally, I have to admit, even though this did get a bit old, after a while, that Sato’s got some nice moves. Each time she throws Amagi down, her moves are quick, slick and effective. It’s almost like she only has to flick an ankle or something, and he’s down on the floor, asking for more. I do like the air of badassery this lends her, and I do like that she keeps this badassery hidden until provoked.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH: Hayami Mokomichi as Amagi

When Show is at its best, I find Amagi creepy, but in a ridiculous and entertaining way.

[MINOR SPOILER] For example, in episode 1, the way he bows on the floor and makes all the company researchers apologize to Sato is bizarre, and the way he matches her bow and strives to bow deeper than she does, is stupidly hilarious. [END SPOILER]

However, like I mentioned, in episodes 3 to 8, it’s much easier to see how problematic Show is, Amagi’s behavior in particular.

So, let me put on my serious lens for a bit.

Show normalizes and even glamorizes violence, like how Amagi is basically blown away and turned on when Sato is violent with him, and keeps seeking out more of the same. It also normalizes troubling behavior like stalking, coz Amagi is basically stalking Sato, and even gets the cops called on him by neighbors, because he’s just being that creepy. And OMG is he creepy.

[SPOILER] For example, the way he fetishes Sato and sniffs her scent off the bedding after she’s left, is just freaky. I’d find it sweet if this was a boyfriend delving into the covers to revel in the scent of his beloved, for a bit, but he’s not her boyfriend. He’s basically an almost stranger who just happens to be the President of her company, who’s decided that he wants to be her slave, whether she wants it or not. That makes it creepy. Also, the way that he’s pleased with himself after she leaves, saying to himself that his plan sort of worked, shows that he’s working to manipulate Sato into wanting to be around him, and this, combined with everything else, just comes across as very stalkery and creepy. [END SPOILER]

Amagi basically keeps up his manipulating ways through the entire show, and in the middle episodes, without the Intense Kooky to distract me, this all landed as extra creepy and obsessive instead of ridiculous and entertaining. I didn’t enjoy that much.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

How a story ends makes a huge difference to how I ultimately feel about a show, and I have to say, I’m more satisfied with Show’s ending than I’d expected to be.

Thanks to my rom-com expectations (which were no one else’s fault but my own), I’d been expecting an ending where we would see Amagi and Sato mutually in love, living happily ever after, together. And, to be honest, this had been niggling at me, particularly in Show’s later episodes, because I agree with Sato; Amagi, for all his hidden angst and positive qualities, is still a creep.

So, I’m pleasantly surprised that Show turned all my expectations of the ending on their head, and instead, gave me an ending that was the opposite of what I’d imagined, and which I like a whole lot more.

I was extremely annoyed at Amagi for pretending to be dead, while Sato made her tearful confession that she maybe-probably liked him, and that’s why she’s been feeling unsettled. BUT. Once Amagi shows that he’s well and alive, thanks to being stabbed right in the thick stack of Sato’s photos that he keeps with him at all times (ha), Sato is quick to go back to keeping him at a distance, and when Amagi presses the issue by having her transferred to work directly for him in his office so that they can see each other constantly, Sato quits her job on the spot. You go, girl!

Amagi’s secretary Natori (Irie Jingi) delivers a suitcase full of money to Sato, and on his knees no less, to persuade her to accept the so-called severance pay. Sato reluctantly obliges, then decides to use the money to travel the world. We see her twirl and pose in front of various famous landmarks, as she jets around the globe on her generous severance package.

When she gets to Dubai, Sato decides to send a few photos of her travels to Aida (Hiraoka Yuta), which is when she discovers that in each and every photo, Amagi’s somewhere in the background, just waiting to be spotted, kinda like a creepy Cheshire cat version of Where’s Wally.

..Which is exactly the moment that Amagi pops up outside her window, dangling upside down like a bat, wearing his signature Cheshire cat grin. Cue more love declarations amid Amagi’s admission that he’d planned it all, as Sato throws him down yet again, while he relishes being roughed up, yet again.

As Sato races out of the hotel, thinking to herself, “I can’t stand this, he’s creeping me out!”, Amagi runs after her, practically tripping over himself as he gushes about how happy he is. Which is when Sato yells at the universe, “This guy is the biggest mistake in my life!!!”

Haha. I can totally see this as the ending frame of a manga, so that’s quite perfect. I would much rather have Sato continue to resist Amagi’s creepy ways, instead of actually giving in to his questionable charms. And, to end the story with a view to a future that’s essentially one long-running gag of Sato continuing to dodge Amagi and his dubious devotion seems about right, for this manga-inspired story.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Weird and quite bizarre, but mostly, not quite weird enough.

FINAL GRADE: B-

TEASER:

You can check out a teaser here.

MV:

Opening:

Full song:

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

22 thoughts on “Flash Review: This Guy Is The Biggest Mistake In My Life [Japan]

  1. Ha, this is still on my HDD. I think I will watch that next days when I‘m in the mood (since the start of the pandemic I read a lot for whatever reason and not in the mood to watch something except while sewing). It sounds like I would enjoy tremendously. Japanese Drama often are hit or miss without anything between. Even my Japanese friend complained a few years ago about that fact. But there always are some for me I still like. Last Year is was Perfect World and Perfect Crime (the actress is just delectable).

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    • Ooh, I’d be interested to hear what you think of it, when you do check it out, Usi! 🙂 It seems to me that people are divided on this one. I’m curious to see which camp you land in! 😉

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  2. Soooo from what I read here plus my research on the plot …. this show is not on the weird/bizarre end of the spectrum … it is far beyond that.
    I am intruiged by what you wrote but I have to say the whole slave thing might be a little to much for me…
    Maybe I will give it a try when there is nothing else to watch.

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    • Larius24 – It’s nothing too deep or riskè. In fact, I would feel comfortable watching with kids in the room because the smaller ones wouldn’t understand and the teens would “get” it, but nothing – not a thing – is shown or stated outright. And it’s all played for very light laughs. In fact, the women’s clothing made an impression with me for how very modest it is. Skirts are pleated and at ankle length. I didn’t spot one mini skirt (although, I don’t remember what the “villainess” wore.) The villainess with her many men whose job it was to mani-pedi her is the most scandalous thing in the show but even that is mild with nothing blatantly sexual going on and on the screen for 10 seconds. Everything is innuendo and not even good innuendo – meaning it’s totally where your mind knows they’re very weakly hinting at . I’ve had much better (funnier) innuendo in Kdramas and we all know how conservative Kdramas are.

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    • I think this one is one of those “your mileage may vary” shows, depending on your appetite for weird. I actually found the middle eps not weird enough, whereas there’re viewers who thought the show was great just the way it was. And then there were viewers who were happy with the middle eps, then were completely thrown by the wacky weirdness of the last 2 eps, saying that the writing in those last 2 eps was terrible. I think it’s all a matter of lens and expectations. And like Beez said, it’s actually pretty tame in execution, though it sounds far out, in concept. 🙂

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  3. I’m afraid the synopsis wasn’t enough to drag me in when it first started. Do have a look at Wife, Handle With Care (Hazardous Wife) sometime way down the track. It’s a a story about a young housewife who is all not what she seems – very handy to have by your side when faced with bad company 😂

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    • Lol. I checked this one out coz someone told me she’d found it hilarious, and she’d found the female lead strong and badass. I was a little underwhelmed by the middle, but liked the beginning and end – but I do concede that this one’s not for everyone. 😜 Thanks for the recommendation on Hazardous Wife, I’ve looked it up and it sounds quite interesting. I’ve added it to my list! 😀

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  4. This is the first Jdrama that I actually watched more than 10 minutes of. Like you, I found the first couple of episodes hilarious! The best moments for me were when Amagi was begging at her feet for more punishment. It was totally his facial expressions that had me laughing. But because the subject matter of stalking is not to be taken lightly, you’re right, it needs to continue to be so outlandish and ridiculous that the real life implications stay far out of our minds. I don’t mention any ramifications of S&M because if people mutually like that, it’s none of my business.

    Although I finished the show, I hated the middle and felt the end was unfinished. Like “that’s it?” It probably didn’t help that throughout its run, I couldn’t find any sites confirming how many episodes there were so I didn’t expect it to end with episode 10.

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    • Aw, doesn’t sound like you enjoyed this one too much, Beez! 😅 I’m learning that J-dramas have a very unique sensibility, and that sometimes – especially with the quirky ones like this one – we need to have a very specific quirky lens in order to enjoy it. In this case, it was the manga lens that helped me appreciate the ending. I actually liked that that’s where we ended, because I couldn’t see Sato and Amagi having any kind of happy ending, coz I found Amagi too creepy to wish him on Sato. So to have it end on this heavy hint that they’ll just keep on bickering like this indefinitely, worked better for me.

      I’m still learning as I go, but I’m quickly finding that I need a different lens for J-dramas as a whole, coz they are completely different creatures than the k-cousins that I’m more familiar with.

      I think one J-drama that you might enjoy, is We Married As A Job, which is more similar in concept to the kdramas that we’re familiar with. Contract marriage, handled with heart, sprinkled with cute, and some quirky on the side. I loved it, and think you just might too! 😉

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  5. Yes, it lost its appeal the moment it lost its weirdness 😆
    The Sato actresses was great though… and I loved the intro (and backward credits).

    …and… are we getting Hana Kimi review soon? Wink, wink 😀 I watched it many many years ago and even with my terrible memory I can still remember the wacky clubs… and how my heart bled for the second lead…

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    • Oh yes, I liked the intro too, I thought that was very nicely done! Especially the part where the top frame has coffee being poured out, and the bottom frame has a cup receiving the coffee. That song is earwormy too, despite the bemusing slave theme – which wouldn’t have been such a problem, if Show had just maintained its weirdness! 😜 The backward credits were useful to remind me what I just watched, haha! 😆

      Gosh, I wasn’t planning a Hana Kimi rewatch, actually, but your question intrigues me. I did love that show a great deal. I wonder how it’d stand up to a rewatch, so many years later..? 🤔 If I do rewatch it, I’ll be sure to post a review! 😉

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