I’ve had the drafts of a few drama reviews saved forever so I figured while I’m at the airport waiting for my flight back to school, this would be a great time to finish them off and get them online. I had intended on posting two of these in the summer/fall of 2007, that’s how long I’ve been putting these off.
The premise of Papa to Musume no Nanokan is hardly original. A salaryman named Kawahara Kyoichiro (played by Tachi Hiroshi) is troubled with problems at work, where he’s been reassigned to a new project in the company, and at home, where he has difficulty connecting with his teenage daughter, Kawahara Koume (played by Aragaki Yui). One day while coming home on the train together, there’s a train accident and the two wake up in the hospital, where they realize that their minds have mysteriously swapped bodies!
Cue lots of crazy hijinks as Kyoichiro and Koume are forced to live each other’s lives, ultimately leading to a greater understanding of each other’s problems and a better relationship between the two. Were you expecting anything else?
The highlight of the show is clearly Tachi Hiroshi, who gives a great performance imitating the mannerisms and voice of a teenage girl. He appeared to thoroughly enjoy the role and in some scenes, I felt like he was on the verge of cracking up, me along with him.
Aragaki Yui as a girl with the mind of a weary middle aged man was less fun, though I suppose that’s just the nature of the role. She had parts in My Boss My Hero and Dragon Zakura, where she wasn’t great either (though she looked cute!). Bad parts, or poor actress? Hard to say. Funny enough, in the long delay it took for me to post this review, she has since started a singing career and released a couple of singles and an album.
Other major characters include Osugi Kenta (played by Kato Shigeaki), who is Koume’s love interest at school and Nishino Wakako (played by Sada Mayumi), who is Kyoichiro’s coworker. They were there mainly as eyecandy as far as I can tell since they couldn’t really act either.
Papa to Musume has the typical gags you might expect from a mind/body swap show where the father has to go to school and the daughter has to work in a corporation, but the weirdest one is the bathtub scenes. There were a couple of these if I remember correctly. The daughter (in the father’s body) doesn’t want her father (in the daughter’s body) to take a bath alone and see her naked body so she blindfolds and washes her body for him. The show handled these scenes with the appropriate amount of awkwardness and didn’t make it creepy, but it still felt a bit… ugh.
Papa to Musume no Nanokan is a capable but predictable show that only requires an investment of 7 episodes. Expect a very straightforward comedy that has its moments and can provide a few laughs per episode, but you most likely won’t be watching this show more than once.
On a side note, out of all the dramas I’ve ever watched, this is the only one I’ve actually seen “live”. I caught a portion of the premiere on TV during a 2007 summer vacation in Japan. I also saw a giant ad for it in the Shibuya Mark City complex. The show seemed to get decent ratings.
Aired Summer 2007