Saturday, June 28, 2008


“Ask and you shall receive!” the fairy tells Iwase Ken.

“Hallelujah…chance! NOOOOOOO!”

Iwase Ken is back to where he started.

Iwase Ken (Yamashita Tomohisa) looks pitiful. His childhood friend Yoshida Rei (Masami Nagasawara) is getting married not to him but to some other guy. For 14 years, Ken wasted his chance to confess his love to Rei. He regrets it. He regrets it so bad he wished he could go back in time and change it. His grief didn’t go unnoticed. Out of nowhere, a fairy that lives in the church appears to him and gives Ken the chance to change the past. Without hesitation, Iwase Ken takes the opportunity to rewrite his life and win back the girl of his dreams. This is the story of Proposal Daisakusen.

What can I say except to shower praises to the Japanese for producing another classic dorama? Like most doramas I’ve seen it is well-written, touching and funny at the same time. I’m actually hesitant to watch this at first for I don’t like redoing the past type of story line for I find it so unreal and sometimes painful (reminds one of his own regrets which he cannot change). But I got hooked courtesy of my sister again. It wasn’t painful and in fact the series is fun. It has the right blend of comedy and drama. The lead actor played by Yamapi carries the series. He is the right guy for the role – his actions and ad-libbing are hilarious. There are some cultural references that only the Japanese can relate to (like Kosuke Kitajima’s catchphrase - the guy is an Olympic gold medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympics and other fads that came about in Japan). Usually delivered in comic situations its impact is reduced to non-Japanese viewers. Even the explanations provided by fansubbers can’t make up for it though at least we understand what they are talking about. However, when Iwase Ken asked, “What should I do Yon-sama?” (referring to a Korean actor Bae Yoon Jon famous in Japan for his series Winter Sonata) I understood that one.

In Proposal Daisakusen, few tears are shed but the scenes that make the huge emotional impact are scenes that don’t have any crying. One can really be touched by it. When I was young, I was forced to watch Mara Clara and after watching the female lead gush out 1284 gallons of tears I was affected too – to turn the TV off but other members of the family including the maid would be affected too and would put me to sleep. Things like this make me want to go back in time too!

Note: Possible spoiler, please skip if you haven’t seen the drama yet (left-click and drag to view).

The lessons imparted are universal. Human character is very difficult to change or can “capricious gentleness” capture someone’s heart instantly. We can only change today to have a much better future. Those who say they’ll do it tomorrow are fooling themselves when there is something important to say – say it now. I know that very well but why am I not doing it? Regret is a painful thing.

No spoiler here.

All I can say to myself is "Carpe Diem!" for I want to live free and not be held hostage by regrets. Unlike Iwase Ken, there is no “Hallelujah…chance!” in the real world. The moment the day started it is our “Hallelujah…chance!” so make the most out of it.


An anthropologist on TV once said ancient Filipinos have a different concept of time unlike the west (I’m not talking about being late) which is once time has passed it is over and one can’t go back to it anymore. Though he didn’t manage to elaborate or maybe I just can’t recall what he said clearly anymore (something about time – it revolves according to our ancestors) but I remember evidently when he said one thing’s for sure ancient Filipinos are optimists – there’s always a second chance to them.

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