|The main characters: Nobuko, Akira, and Shuji.|
For some, studying in a new school means having new friends with the exception of Nobuko Kotani (Maki Horikita), who remained unpopular and bullied because her fear of rejection, low self-esteem, and lack of self-confidence always gets in the way to the path of popularity. Things will change as Shuji Kiritani (Kazuya Kamenashi) and Akira Kusano (Tomohisa Yamashita) decided and collaborated in a project no student would want to be involved—to make Nobuta bask in fame. What makes them qualified for such task or ordeal anyway?
Known by everyone in the school and loved by his family, Shuji teaches Nobuta the charming gesture and kind words, I’d like to call Fame 101. Can his charm be rubbed off to Nobuta? Other students may envy the attention he gets, but the work he had to do to attain such pedestal isn’t envious: He always try to help; he can’t say no to a favor; and the hardest of all, he has to pretend just to put up a show at the expense of hurting others. Amidst it all, he was able to redeem himself and found real friends, who see his true color not disguise by the glitter of fame.
And what about Akira, a carefree student, can contribute to the joint project? Whenever Nobuko needed moral support or a boost of confidence, he is always there by her side; and even made his self-coined “Nobuta Power,” a funny gesture that is supposed to give energy and confidence boost in an instant. If Shuji lives with his family and in good terms with his father, Akira is on the contradicting side—he lives with his uncle as a rebellion against his father’s will for him to inherit the family business some day. But Akira doesn’t want to be like his father, who was also compelled by his own father to takeover the business. History repeats itself.
The dynamic duo that offered to help Nobuko isn’t perfect yet strives to fulfill the agenda hampered by the challenges of a high school life, bullies, and a cunning antagonist. All their efforts are watched and thwarted by someone who wants to ruin the friendship, the bond that continuously grows stronger.
Why You Must Watch Nobuta wo Produce
My favorite character next to Nobuko is Akira Kusano; I think those who watched the show will choose likewise. The odd combination of the trio sets it apart with other high school drama. It makes it hard to guess what will happen next.
To appreciate the story more, you have to listen well and not just watch. There are scenes and lines of characters that will encourage you to think deeper, to see beyond the situation, even after the episode ends. Most of the time after watching the show, I find myself digesting the lessons: some are evident and others require more pondering. I have to commend the writer, the director and all who have worked to make Nobuta wo Produce your-not-ordinary high school drama.
The actors, especially the main characters have played their part well. The characters they are portraying have come to life; a person can relate himself in looking back to the academic period caught between the carefree of adolescence and complexity of adulthood.
Although I really like the story, I am disappointed of its brevity (only 10 Episodes). That’s my primary complain, and though I don’t want to be a spoiler, I’ll reveal a less detestable part: the story ended in another school where some of the casts have transferred.
The lesson of Nobuta wo Produce is to connive with people for you to reach the top, trampling whoever gets in the way. Actually it’s an advice from a villain, nobody should heed. To be true to yourself and not ending up as a copycat of someone else is the moral of the story. And do value friendship, a bond that surpasses distance and differences.
May the “Nobuta Power” rest upon you.
(Don’t forget Akira’s move. If you have no idea then watch the show and feel free to contradict or agree with my review.)
Photo credit: dramacrazy.net/nobuta-wo-produce-images/186/Image/1839