Domo Arigatou, Mr. Roboto.


Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend) is a live-action Japanese romantic comedy based on a manga about a girl named Riiko whose biggest problem is that she has NO game. She's sweet, cute, and earnest. But the people in the series keep calling her "Omou" (heavy), meaning that she treats things in life-- specifically romance-- too seriously. For most people this would be a good character trait, but since this is a Japanese drama, her wholesome purity of heart has to be both a strength and a character flaw. Par for the course.
I went into this show expecting it to be like any other formulaic J-drama about a 20-something girl in an office who is hapless at relationships but inevitably, through her inherent goodness and purity of heart wins the love of some ultimate rich, handsome "prince charming". So I was caught off-guard when they introduced the character of a lifelike robot designed to be the "ideal boyfriend" for Riiko.

The wholesomely-adorable-as-warm-milk-and-cookies Saki Aibu, who plays Riiko, will inspire loads of moe girl-love. Cuz she's just so cute with her slightly awkward mannerisms, poochi little bowl cut, and adorable outfits.

Soushi Asamoto, whom I'm assuming will be the one she ends up with, is played by Hiro Mizushima, who looks a lot like Matsumoto Jun (lead-singer of Arashi who played Doumyoujji in 'Hana Yori Dango'). At least to me, he does.

The "ideal" boyfriend-bot is played by Hayami Mokomichi. I suppose Japanese women must think he's hot or they wouldn't have cast him in the role. He's not really my type though. He's very.... tan. He'll be the it boy for the next month or so anyway; the fickle fancy of Japanese fan-girls goes out quicker than the tides.

As an added bonus, Maya Miki (Himitsu no Hanazono, LIFE) who is always one of my favorites plays a supporting role as the worldly, wise in love, advice-a-plenty bartender.

The show is weird, funny, and sweet. Does anyone remember that show in the 80's that had that little girl who was supposed to be a robot? It's like that, but with Japanese people and a focus on romance instead of family bonding.
I've watched 3 episodes so far and haven't gotten bored with it yet, which is a small honor for a j-drama. It's basically tv-lite with few plot twists (a snakey back-stabbing fake-friend) and lots of robot- related ridiculousness.

You can watch the Episode 1(split into parts) on Veoh, which is a treasure-trove for Japanese dramas, music shows, and animes. You can only watch the first 5 minutes on the website, but instal the free Veoh TV player and you can easily download and watch the whole 1 hour episode off-line.

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