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?
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.
Sumire 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.