|Business & Economy||Science & Technology||Education & Society||Sports & Fashion||Arts & Entertainment|
|Top Picks||Back Numbers||Search|
TOMORROW YOU WILL FIND ROMANCE:
Strangers Act Out Love Scenarios on TV Show
January 16, 2001
Fact or Fiction?
The most popular series thus far was the fifth, in which a Japanese man and a Taiwanese woman overcame the language barrier and came to understand each other. "Arriving at [a certain Japanese] airport, he rings up the girlfriend he has never met," begins the diary. This entry is followed by other instructions such as "He takes her around the town where he grew up." In the course of various dramatic episodes that take them even to Taiwan, they are gradually drawn to each other. But, as is always the case in the show, in the end they must part.
The true climax begins here, however. The "actors" are free to make their own choice and follow their hearts' desire. How the rest of the story goes is up to their passion and luck. In the fifth series the two, by now an ocean apart, are shown a diary entry that simply says, "The two meet up at ----." Both head for the same place in Japan, and there, no longer obliged to say or do things against their will, they finally kiss.
Romeo and Juliet
Another reason for the show's popularity is that the story is punctuated with numerous mean twists, in which the actors, though in reality beginning to hold romantic feelings toward their counterpart, are forced to act contrary to their feelings. Such frustrating experiences help to heighten their yearning for one another. A psychologist explains that the various challenging situations set out in the scenario strengthen the attraction between the cast members--a phenomenon known as the Romeo and Juliet effect--and witnessing this fascinates the viewers. One young person admits, "In real life, you can't experience pure or exciting love like in a TV drama; but watching Mirai Nikki makes us feel as though we too are the stars of a love story."
The title of the theme song for the fifth series outlined above, "Sakurazaka" (sung by Masaharu Fukuyama), is the name of the place where the two kiss at the end. For some time after the series was aired, the quiet suburban neighborhood was crowded with couples every day. Due in no small part to the popularity of the TV series, both "Sakurazaka" and "TSUNAMI"--another theme song performed by the Southern All Stars--became smash hits.
Copyright (c) 2001 Japan Information Network. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.