I decided to watch this drama out of curiosity on Takahata Mitsuki, she’s a rising young actress in Japan and rumored girlfriend of Sakaguchi Kentaro. But more than that, the storyline got me hooked because it’s now rare in J-dorama world to actually have a love story.
So, here’s a summary of Kahogo no Kahoko
[may contain spoilers]
Nemoto Kahoko (Takahata Mitsuki) grew up privilege and overly protected by her mother, Izumi (Kuroki Hitomi), whose just ecstatic to be serving her daughter. Kahoko’s dad, Masataka (Tokito Saburo), is aware that they’ve raised Kahoko wrongly but he find’s it hard to argue with his wife and that Kahoko, for all her faults, is the sweetest daughter a father could have.
Thus, Kahoko’s life revolves around her mother, who does everything for her even though she’s already a graduating college student. Izumi wakes her up, chooses her clothes, prepares her bento, drives her to school, and their favorite bonding is watching Kahoko’s childhood videos. If you think that Masataka-papa has no place between the mother and daughter, well, you’re not wrong. Even Masataka feels like an outsider in the mother and daughter relationship and his only role in their lives is to provide.
Aside from Kahoko’s mother, her mother’s side of the family, babba and jijii (grandma and grandpa), also views her as that sweet little girl who will always be innocent and pure. Kahoko’s grandparents on her father’s side also treats her just as special.
However, Kahoko’s life made a turnaround when she met Mugino Hajime (Takeuchi Ryoma), an aspiring artist who wants to be the next Pablo Picasso. He’s the complete opposite of Kahoko; he’s overly independent, he doesn’t have an overprotective parents since he grew up in the orphanage, and the idea of a loving family is an alien thing for him. He also made fun of Kahoko’s naivety, even taking advantage of it since it seems fun to see her suffer like making her run errands for him in his part-time job.
Despite that, he quickly realized that even though Kahoko’s world is different from his, she works hard to attain her goals even though more often than not, it would take time for her to realize what it is that she really wants.
For Kahoko, Hajime is this guy who arrived into her life like a meteorite that crashed into the earth. She was always treated special and Hajime is the reality that her parents have protected her from. Slowly, Kahoko experienced a lot of first in her life through Hajime. She experienced to want something so bad, she realized her dream to make people happy, she discovered his art and how he works hard to pursue his dreams, she realized that she doesn’t really have dreams, she learned that her loving family has their own problems, she fell in love, and she decided that she wanted to be independent.
Kahoko’s love for Hajime and her wanting an independence is like a red flag on Izumi’s side. She can’t accept that her baby doesn’t need her anymore and felt like Hajime is taking Kahoko away from her. Izumi loves Kahoko so much that she’s willing to outlived her daughter just so she can look after her is now being taken away by a guy, an artist, who she thinks won’t be able to provide for Kahoko and that he’d rather pursue his dream than be with her daughter.
On Hajime’s part, Kahoko confession that she likes him came as a surprise, he rejected it at first, but he quickly realized why Kahoko’s parents love her so much that he ended falling for her. He knew it won’t be easy with Izumi being a thorn and all, so he became Kahoko’s shoulder to cry on, the person she told her problems and everything that goes on in their family that she can’t tell Izumi, and he helped Kahoko in dealing with her family’s problems.
On Kahoko’s part, he also became Hajime sort of conscience when he refuses to deal with his own problems and insecurities. In fact, it was so cute to see them crying in each other shoulders.
Soon enough, a part that I didn’t expect, the two decided to marry. Izumi rejected it and even tells Kahoko that she’ll be disowning her, but well, love wins, and the two eventually marry.
The two decided to live at Kahoko’s babba and jijii’s house since babba have passed away and so that jijii will have some company. It was also babba’s wish that Kahoko takes care of the family after she’s gone. Kahoko decided to take a childcare license and helps her grandparents and aunt from Masataka’s side with their daycare business. Hajime is still not as big as Picasso was, but he switched to sketching portraits than his gaudy abstracts.
All in all, Kahoko is still not on par with how her grandmother took care her of everyone, she’s still young, still naive, but she’s on her way there and she has Hajime by her side.
Frankly, Hajime aka Takeuchi Ryoma is the saving grace of this show because I was about to give up from the first episode because Kahoko and Izumi are so annoying, they are the type of people who I don’t wanna be friends with. Then Hajime came, in his perpetual all black fashion, and I began to understand why Kahoko is like that and why Hajime came along in her life.
The moment they met, sparks flew, and although it’s more like an annoyance on Hajime’s part, and just something puzzling on Kahoko’s part, you can see that it’s the start of a beautiful love story. One of my favorite scenes are the two of them falling asleep inside the famiresu after Hajime sketched her so beautifully it made me cry.
I also find it cute that even though Hajime is Kahoko’s first love, she dealt with her feelings head on and even confessed first. It was also cute that during the short time they broke up, she didn’t mope that much and actually look for ways to move on even though it involves attending marriage hunting events. That part also shows that she may be overprotected but she’s not really spoiled and she can deal with heartbreak like a pro.
As for Hajime, who only owns two shirts and one pants, is that friend who would slapped you with truth even though it would hurt you. It’s cute that he became Kahoko’s voice just as Kahoko bravely makes him see what he has been avoiding, particularly the issue with his mother. Ugh, that part really made me cry as much as when babba died.
As for Izumi, I don’t have a child so I don’t want to judge her but based from how my parents raised me, an only child, I slowly started being independent the moment I started commuting to school when I was in high school. I can understand Izumi’s love for Kahoko but I also find it odd that she loves her so much that Kahoko spent teenage years without friends. I think that part where her life revolves around her mother is what makes her upbringing quite wrong. There’s nothing wrong with loving your family, but the world is huge and it would be pure selfishness on the parents’ part if you would not let your child explore the world.
I understand Izumi’s objection when Kahoko and Mugino decided to get married. They are way too young, Kahoko is too clueless, and they don’t really have stable jobs yet. But Izumi really shone during Kahoko’s wedding, the lengths she went through just to chase Kahoko’s wedding ring courtesy of babba.
All in all, Kahogo no Kahoko may have started annoying, that it’s hard to understand how can someone with that attitude was able to live that long and survive in this cruel world. But slowly, the overprotective world of Kahoko starts revealing its cracks, and Kahoko blossomed into a woman who no one ever expected her to become. Kahogo no Kahoko gives a refreshing feel in the heat of summer and some warmth in the coming fall.