Zettai Kareshi : 4 of 5

Since I read the entire Zettai Kareshi (or Absolute Boyfriend) manga in Shojo Beat (I’m so glad they finished it before the magazine was canceled!), I thought it would be fun to see how this story translated to Japanese drama. The basic idea of the plot is a girl with a robot boyfriend, but other than the character names (which remain the same), the drama decided to completely change the story, morphing it from a high school romance (which was pretty goofy) into an adult office environment. But as soon as I got used to this big switch, I was quickly addicted to the show, and watched all 11 episodes in record time! I was amazed with the characterization of Night (the robot boyfriend), who is often hilarious (I enjoyed the little servo motor sound effects at times), but also an entirely sympathetic character. He’s a lot like Pinocchio, in a way, since he does his best to learn about love and how to make Riiko (his owner/girlfriend) happy as he starts to become "real" (or self-aware). Riiko works at a dessert-making corporation (her dream is to become a famous sweets chef), so there is a nice love triangle between her boss and Night, and there are plenty of other characters to keep things interesting (such as Riiko’s backstabbing “friend” Mika and Riiko’s crazy landlady who keeps hitting on Night). It’s so hard to explain how such a completely silly show could capture my emotions, but by the 10th episode I was literally sobbing! There’s something so bittersweet about Night’s love for Riiko (which of course goes beyond his original program) with its star-crossed, unrequited quality. There are some wonderful moments when Night is happy only because he has made a new memory with Riiko, and I just found these times so emotional that I broke down (but it was kind of fun to cry so much!). It’s hard to compare Zettai Kareshi to other dramas that I’ve seen, since it’s really a comedy at heart, but I can definitely say that something in the story flipped my switches more than they’ve been flipped in a long time!

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