15 May 2011

Sunday Drama: Kimi wa Petto

The other night I was walking home in the rain and it reminded me of this drama so I thought I’d review it.  I think a lot of Japanese dramas can be a bit fluffy, not that there’s anything wrong with that – you can’t be all deep and angsty all the time – but Kimi wa Petto, while being an enjoyable drama to watch, touches on a lot of issues about how women are treated in Japanese society and also about the nature of relationships.


Kimi wa Petto is the story of Sumire (Koyuki), who is a tall, strong, intelligent and emotionless woman.  She works for a newspaper and isn’t well liked by her co-workers.  The drama starts with her going to a therapist because she’s just broken up with her boyfriend who couldn’t handle that she had a much better job than him.


The therapist asks her when was the last time she cried.  She tells him when she was a child and her dog, Momo, dies.


Sumire returns to work to find one of her staff has slacked off on the job.  She tells the girl off and the girl, in the manner of cutesy Japanese girls, goes crying to the boss (in a very manipulative manner).  The boss puts the blame on Sumire and, in the ensuing argument, sexually harasses her.  She responds by punching him and knocking out one of his teeth.


Already at this point, I’m liking Sumire.  I’m pretty much identifying with all of this.


So she goes home, it’s pouring with rain and, outside the door of her apartment building, she finds a boy (Matsumoto Jun) who has been beaten up in a cardboard box.  She’s not sure what do do with him so she takes him and treats his wounds.  He sleeps on her couch and she expects him to leave the next day.




Back at work she is in a shitload of trouble – because this is Japan and apparently it’s perfectly okay to sexually harass your staff but not okay for them to respond.  She’s demoted from the “real” news to the light entertainment section – where they don’t want a snotty, well educated woman working either.  They give her all kinds of shit jobs that involve stuff like dressing up in costumes.


When she gets home, the boy is still there.  He wants to live with her but she doesn't want him.  He offers to be anything – friend, lover, maid…   She tells him all she wants is a pet.  Of course, she doesn’t expect him to agree to that but he does.  And she calls him Momo.



While the relationship works quite well between them, things become complicated when other people find out about it.  How do you explain to your friends that the hot young guy living in your apartment is actually your pet?


kimi wa petto (5)

Sumire’s college infatuation comes back from working overseas and that further complicates things.  Momo becomes jealous and, of course, Sumire doesn’t want him to find out about Momo.


kimi_wa_petto_10Sumire has to sort out her own feelings for Momo.  But Momo has issues of his own, mostly involving interpretative dance.  Because issues involving interpretative dance as the best issues of all.  They are also issues with his mother – and mummy issues aren’t so fun.


My sister and I had tickets to a rock festival on the day we started watching Kimi wa Petto.  We had to stop watching this drama halfway though… drive across town to catch the couple of bands we wanted to see, then race home to finish watching the last few episodes.   Naturally, at the festival, we were like “Billy Corgan, cut the guitar wank so we can get home and see Momo”.


I’d give this drama 10/10.  It’s got the cute and it’s got a real storyline.   There is a Korean version of this being filmed at the moment with Jang Geun Suk which could be good but the Korean chick in it looks annoying and not right for the role.


  1. Sounds Utterly freaky.

    Then again, I've seen enough strange Anime for this to not surprise me.

  2. Mmm...more of a summary than review wouldn't you say? Guess it's helpful though...

  3. "because this is Japan and apparently it’s perfectly okay to sexually harass your staff but not okay for them to respond. "

    I know 2 teachers that work for the Education Board and have been sexually assaulted...not only harrased but are afraid to file a complaint because they..THEY will never get a job in this prefecture again.

    FACT. Hard to conceive but it is totally real...in 2011.

  4. Chris, that's fucked up.

    Also sorry if I gave the impression this drama is creepy or weird. I thought that before I watched it, just on the description too but it's really not. Maybe I didn't review properly... it's a lot about her being able to open up because she sees him as a pet and, I guess learning to trust people. It really is fantastic and sweet.

  5. Kathryn, I'm assuming you're watching these as like, re-runs on tv? Because you realise you keep adding more shows to my list of 'JDrama that will help with my immersion' (in theory) list, but the older episodes are proving really hard to come by on the net. I've been trying to watch the first episode of Jin for weeks now, but the streaming is painfully slow and it's very frustrating.
    If you reviewed crappy shows I wouldn't be so tempted to seek them out!

  6. Heather - mostly through sites like Drama Crazy. Often the Asian DVD shops have older dramas too (sometimes, strangely enough even new dramas before they are released on DVD!~)

  7. I was thinking that if the weather is rainy why not to watch a drama movie. I was very surprised to see that there is no drama! Anyway, i'm still a fan of this movie. I like it!

  8. Waa I want to see it!!! <3 <3 <3

    Have you seen a Dorama called Last Friends???
    I think you'd like it...a friend sent it to me for my birthday :)
    I found it to be one of the more confronting J Doramas out there.

    Tokyo Dogs is is less confronting, but it's really funny, though (^_^)
    Have you seen Buzzabeato before???

  9. @Magenta - to be honest, I hated Last Friends. I found the main character, Michiru??? so annoying in it and so passive, expecting everyone else to solve her problems for her.

    Loved Tokyo Dogs. I'm a huge fan of Oguri Shun. Have you seen Crow's Zero - I loved that as well.

    Buzzer Beat was great. Normally I'm not a fan of those kind of romance dramas were not much happens but it was fun. I loved the side plot with the housemate and her little bf.

  10. I think she was supposed to be passive and annoying on purpose. It frustated me a lot, but then it's not uncommon for friends and families of dv victims to get so frustrated that the victim ends up losing support from them and gets into and even worse position~ so it kinda reflect that feeling a little bit (^_^)```

    I think the Actor of Mizuki plays a quirkier role in Proposal Daisakusen, though <3

    Oo yeah, I was a big fan of Oguri Shun from before I lived there for 10 months, after I saw him in Hana Kimi. I haven't seen the Crow's Zero, but I have seen a Dorama called Stand Up which has Oguri Shun from when he was a kid in it. It's a kinda awkard Dorama, but then at times it's really funny too <3
    The ending of Tokyo Dog's is one of the weirdest Dorama endings I've seen (^_^)```

    I lurved Buzzer Beat <3 <3 <3
    The sub plot was cute, but it was really intense watching to see if Riko chan and and Naoki would end up together. Okasan and I were baracking for it like a soccer game~ :)

    What's your favourite Dorama, but?!

  11. @Magenta - I think I just really don't like the actress. She's annoyed me in every thing I've seen her in.

    It's so hard to pick a favourite drama. Maybe I'd have to say Kisarazu Cat's Eye.

    I think Hana Kimi was the first Japanese drama I watched. I really loved it at the time but maybe it'd annoy me now with all the wacky hi-jinx. I loved Stand Up. Such a great drama - really funny but in the end having such a serious message.


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