Zettai Kareshi/ Absolute Boyfriend (Live/Manga)

Original story created by – Yuu Watase (manga-ka)

Mangas are transformed into live action dramas as fast as they are animes these days. So it should have been no shock to manga and drama fans alike when best selling shojo Manga Zettai Kareshi was given announced as getting the full live treatment.

Riko Izawa is your run of the mill shojo heroine. She’s cute, kind, taken advantage of by those she trusts and just a little bit ditzy.She’s not had much luck in her live in the love department. With her past loves telling her that she was too serious.

Still the optimist Riko sets her sights on handsome Ishizeki Hayato, seemingly kind but totally oblivious to her affections.

Unfortunately Riko is shot down before she even gets a chance to ask Handsome Hayato out. But in her dark hour Riko is approached by a curious salesman calling himself Namakiri.

He offers Riko the chance to be a test subject for his newest creation the ‘Nightly Series’ a new technology designed to produce the ideal man for every woman in robot form.Riko accepts and the next day she is delivered a very human looking robot hunk, naming him Night because he is part of the Nightly Series/ he is her Knight in shining armour surely things couldn’t be better for Riko?

However with a back stabbing best friend, childhood friend/ boss who is romantically interested in Riko, the huge debt she ends up with for buying Night and trying to keep Night’s tin man secret, a secret. Riko’s absolute boyfriend could be more trouble than he’s worth.

Ok so first of all the manga and drama have one fundamental difference; in the manga Riko is a high school student and Soshi is her childhood friend. In the drama Riko is a temp in an office for Asamato Confectioners and Soshi is one of her bosses.
Most fans speculate the reason for this is that the idea of a high schooler buying a love doll is controversial; it seems a little less wrong that she’s an office worker in the live version.

Riko Izawa

Soshi’s character undergoes the most change; however he is likable in both the manga and drama.
In the manga he is portrayed as a quiet, reserved and intelligent young man who has always been interested in Riko. In the drama his character is given a complete makeover and instead he is shown as a kind hearted, womaniser (if there is such a thing ^^;). He meets Riko for the first time in the series and is immediately drawn to her pure hearted naivety.

Soshi Asamoto

Night’s character is slightly changed. In the manga he is shown as a lot more human so much so that it is actually said that he fell in love with Riko rather than was programmed to love her. In the drama they seem to be making a point of the fact that he is a robot and I wonder if this foreshadows a greater difference in the story much later on. I guess only time will tell.

Night Tenjo

The acting so far has been amiable. Aibu Saki is perfect as our cute, naive and honest heroine.
Hayami Mokomichi pulls off the robot perfectly, though I’m wondering if he’s more robotic than intended? Sometimes maybe a little bit stiff, but hey it works well enough.
Mizushima Hiro does Soshi well the kind hearted womanizer (if such a thing exists) though he probably has the easiest character to portray as Soshi is completely changed from the manga and so fans having nothing in which to compare him to. Also his role of Nanba in the recent Hana Kimi was very similar.

Still he pulls it off and he has some kind of chemistry going with Aibu, which makes them worth a watch.

Apart from the main 3 characters there is also Ueno Natsuhi playing the daring role of Riko’s best friend Ito Mika and I say daring because Mika is not a nice character. She is cruel and vindictive. The only objects/ boyfriends she wants are those that belong to other people and once they are tossed aside by their owner she wants nothing more to do with them. Personally I think the girl has issues, I’m sure her character will either get her just desserts or will be given a cruel back story to explain her behaviour later on.

A prominent character in the first episode is Kyo Nobuo playing the role of Ishizeki Hayato, Riko’s original love interest.
Whilst his character (As far as I am aware) only appears in the first episode, the whole story completely depends on his role. He is the stepping stone to the start of everything, so love him or hate him; he is needed.

The first episode was a very powerful opener, the proceeding 2 episodes were not quite as strong, but still managed to quite safely hold their own.
After watching the first 3 episodes I have high hopes for this series, which I hope isn’t its downfall.
So many dramas I have had high hopes for in the past and have subsequently ended up disappointing me with their open threads and lack of closure.
If done the right way I feel this drama could leave a strong and positive message. That the perfect person isn’t always the right person.

Anyway case closed, if you are interested after that check it out and see what you think ^-^ it’s a bit of light-hearted fun.

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  • Romanticide

    I didn’t like the manga but for some reason the drama gives me the feeling that could be better… or at least more appealing to me. I’m not sure if I am going to give it a try though.
    I’m sure that the reason of changing Riko into a more grown woman is because it solves the pesky underage sex issue instead of just an underage girl buying a human doll. Also becase it could attract a more bigger pool of viewers. (Grown woman)

  • whoopsy doo

    i watched the drama and was compelled to read the manga. i have to say that i couldn’t bear to finish the manga. the drama was much more chaste and warm and you could really feel the love between riiko and night while in the manga, you just want to bash riiko up for her indecisiveness.