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I just finished watching NTV’s Rebound, and while I had hopes for the drama at the beginning, I ended up liking it less than I hoped.
The Japanese drama stars Aibu Saki as Oba Nobuko, a woman that has been struggling with her weight since she was a child. On one of her depressed forays as a young child, she found Ange, a bakery, where she discovered a strawberry shortcake that rang the bells of happiness in her mind.
Nobuko grew up, lost weight through hardwork and medication, and got a job at a fashion magazine. Nobuko’s parents run a tonkatsu shop, and want Nobuko to take over the business. Nobuku lives with her best friend, Mimura Hitomi (Kuriyama Chiaki), and meets up again with an ex-boyfriend, Kazami Kensaku (played by Katsuji Ryo), who suddenly wants her back.
One day, Nobuko goes back to Ange to write an article on the famous bakery. She realizes that Imai Taichi (played by Hayami Mokomichi) has taken over from his father. After eating his cakes, she honestly writes that these cakes do not ring that bell of happiness in her mind. Her article causes Taichi to lose everything, and he becomes depressed and lost. Nobuko, feeling responsible, helps him to find that one cake that will ring that bell of happiness. She encourages him, even exploding at him when he doesn’t cooperate, taste tests for him, despite being worried about her weight, and when she has gained all of that weight back due to eating his cakes, she pretends to be someone else, so that she continue to encourage him and be there for him.
The two fall in love, and eventually discover that the other has had weight problems since they were children. Both promise to work hard at keeping their weight down and try to happily date. But problems, such as Nobuko’s career getting in the way of Taichi’s plans, Hitomi falling in love with Taichi, Kensaku wanting Nobuko back, and Nobuko’s parents wanting Nobuko to take over their tonkatsu shop in Gifu keep the couple apart for about half of the drama. Nobuko breaks up with Taichi, stays apart from him, but in the end realizes that she can only be happy with him. Thereby, forcing herself to find a solution to bring cakes and tonkatsu together.
In the course of the drama, Nobuko also realizes that she needs to stop dieting, and that her weight is a part of her. She learns to accept herself the way she is, and gives away her exercise machines and her weight machine. She stops taking the pills that were hurting her, and stops forcing herself to become what everyone else wants. Even though she decides to try her best at everything, because that is just how she is, she stops giving in to everyone. She does all of this with that final little push from Hitomi.
I wanted to like this drama, because I like Aibu Saki and Hayami Mokomichi. They are good together, but their characters just didn’t work for me. Imai Taichi was just too whiny and self-involved for a large part of the drama. In the end he did grow up, take responsibility for his own dreams, and accepted Nobuko for who she was, but it just felt like it was a little too late.
And Aibu Saki’s character and acting got annoying. I did not like how the fact that her weight gain was based on a lack of portion control. That isn’t a problem that I had with just this drama. It’s a problem that I have with all shows that show fat people are fat because they cannot control how much they eat. And that also show that fat people are fat because they are constantly eating. Nobuko sat down, at the end of the drama, and ate nine slices of cake! Who does that? Also, the fact that she gained 40 kg in a month? The last time that happened to someone I knew, they had a thyroid condition, and, even then, it took more than a month to gain that much. The portrayal of overweight people in this drama was just wrong! Additionally, I did not like how Aibu felt the need to use her hands so much, clenching and waving them around, or the way she deepened her voice when she was fatter. That just doesn’t happen.
On top of the mildly irritating main characters, we had a whole host of random things happening around the couple. Kensaku’s pursuit of Nobuko got old fast, but I did like how Nobuko told him off about wanting her only because he can look down on her. Additionally, Hitomi’s falling in love with Taichi was out of left field, but I liked that Hitomi never considered being with him because she knew that Nobuko loved him. Finally, Nobuko’s mother getting tired of her husband or Nobuko’s father losing interest in eating were threads that came out of nowhere and felt tacked on so that Taichi could make his cakes.
The drama lacked cohesion, and left me disappointed. I would say … watch it if you have nothing better to do, otherwise, give it a skip.