Since a few people have mentioned this drama lately, I thought I’d review it today. The premise of Stand Up! sounds like it’s going to be similar to some American frat boy drama (eg American Pie) – lots of cheap laughs and not much substance.
Stand Up! is the story of four boys who are the last virgins left in their high school. Of course, they are mercilessly mocked for being “doutei boys”. They decide that, over the summer holidays they need to lose their virginity.
So far, you can see that it doesn’t sound like much of a drama (or maybe it does, depending on your point of view).
Shouhei (Nino) is in love with his teacher. I kinda had issues with this part of the plot – she’s the hot teacher, she knows he has a crush on her so she strings him along rather than trying to be responsible. She tells him she’ll meet for a date then brings along another guy… that kind of thing. Basically she bugged the hell out of me.
Ken-ken (Yamapi) is a train nerd and his mother runs the local love hotel. He has a long term girlfriend but she won’t put out. Later he finds out that she actually will put out, just not for him. He’s the “nice” boyfriend.
Udayan (Hiroki Narimiya) is hilarious in this. He is obsessed with seeing panties! Since it was the first drama I ever saw him in, ever after I’ve referred to him as pants guy. He wants to be a rock star but has no talent. He also figures that the best way to deal with being a virgin is to embrace his virginity… and he makes the others swear to a vow of celibacy.
Koji (Oguri Shun) is so damn cute in this – I want to squish his little Oguri Shun cheeks. He’s the sports star. Lots of girls are interested in him but, when they talk to him, he’s so awkward and shy, he can only come out with gibberish. Also he sleeps with his eyes open.
The main obstacle to the boys losing their virginity, apart from their own dorkiness, is that the adults of the neighbourhood think the kids are getting too promiscuous so they start cracking down on teenage sex.
This drama really shows the hypocrisy of adults wanting to protect the morals of the young while being as perverted as hell themselves.
Also, at the start of the summer, their childhood friend, Chie comes back to the neighbourhood. She wants to relive her childhood memories and pick up where they left off. Instead she’s pretty much disgusted to learn that her old friends are just interested in getting laid.
At first no one questions why she’s just randomly turned up in the neighbourhood but later they find out that she is running away from something – and that makes them rethink their attitudes and to start seeing females are real people, rather than just potential virginity-losing opportunities.
I love that this drama actually does make some really interesting comments about relationships. While it’s funny, because there is nothing funnier than dorky boys trying to get laid, there are some really serious issues touched on in the drama without it becoming an “issue” drama.
I highly recommend Stand Up! While the acting isn’t the greatest in some parts, it’s a got a strong story line and some hilariously funny moments. All up, I live it 5 stars.