Men-Dol : 3 of 5

Although there are several more "serious" Japanese dramas I'd like to watch, I kind of stumbled upon Men-Dol because of my recent AKB48 fandom, since the subbed episodes were available on Hello!Online where I download my other Jpop shows. I was interested in the show since the main characters are three of the most popular AKB48 girls (including Haruna Kojima, who also had a part in Gokusen 3), but I had no idea I was in for the craziest, raciest, silliest series I've seen so far! Men-Dol (which is short for Ikemen Idol, something like "hot guy idol") is about three girls who want to become pop stars, but never make it past their auditions. They accidently get mixed up in a Yakuza crime and dress up as boys to escape, which somehow leads them to a lesbian entertainment agent who decides they should have a career as a boy band. It's just as bizarre as it sounds, but everything is played for light-hearted laughs even though the subject matter is often a little taboo! There are several bizarre romances going on - a cute female singer falls for one of the "boys" (often leading to awkward kisses), and a guy record executive is so confused by his feelings for one of the "boys" that he thinks he's becoming gay. This show makes every effort to tantalize the audience with scenes of the girls in their pajamas or getting spanked by their dominatrix agent, but even though it's a little raunchy, it's all in good fun! Don't worry, the usual Japanese drama morals about friendship and following your dreams are also all over the place. Men-Dol is only a 30-minute show, but each episode has nice production values (not a low budget show) and great theme music (by AKB48, of course). This drama is definitely a wild ride and completely unlike any other show I've watched, but it was a laugh-filled blast!

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