Seikei Bijin/Reviews

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This is a review subpage for the drama Seikei Bijin.

Review by clouds421

Call it a "magical" tale or at least that's probably what the producers were thinking they made Seikei Bijin. This idea is used in the opening theme, an animated verson of something like a warped fairy tales story complete with princess, frog, prince charming, etc., which acts like a prologue to the drama. Seikei Bijin really has everything under its hat. It manages to take a dark subject such as plastic surgery and frame it with romantic comedy that's atypical of romantic comedies.

The heroine, wacky Honami Saotome (Yonekura Ryoko) is faintly reminscent of Minami from Long Vacation in the beginning, shameless need be, and someone who dares to seek love. Born as part of a pair of unsightly identical twins, Honami goes away as an ugly duckling and comes back a bombshell, unrecognizable even by her family--that's because she had literally reconstructed her apperance. That's right, through a complete "rehaul" by plastic surgery, she has transformed herself from someone who was invisible or the butt of all jokes to the center of attention for men, the object of every girls' envy.

Maybe she has had a boost of confidence, no doubt her looks are hitting the hot meter now, but Honami's personality remains the same. She meets Ryusui Fujishima in a couple of odd encounters before she pursues him as her target. From the start, Ryusui was taken by Honami's frank, genuine personality, but he has been weighted down all his life due to being all-important heir to the prestigious Fujishima school of flower arrangment (ikebana). He dislikes the artificiality of the very upper class he belongs to, and Honami is the only one that can crack a smile from his stone of a face. However, love is a nonexistant concept for him, and he doesn't mind marrying someone who would help the business as arranged by his parents.

Shiina Kippei constructs the stiffness of Ryusui so well that when he actually smiles you feel like it's the 8th wonder of the world. In addition, the natural humor in Honami's shameless antics, at her persistance of love from the oftentimes unresponsive Ryusui, and it makes you just squirm when you feel the embarassment every time she's being rejected.

No love story is complete with a triangle and in this case, there are several. Ryusui & his fiancee's engagement were planned by his parents and both parties know this is more of a stragetic move, but his fiancee does truly love Ryusui. Ryohei, Honami's close childhood friend had unrealizingly fallen in love with Honami since long ago. He'd always been by her side but pretended carelessness, because he was in denial of having feelings for an ugly girl.

Meanwhile, Ryusui's younger stepsister finds comfort with Ryusui over a forbidden love in her heart, but the person she has romantic feelings isn't who she thinks after all. The development into the unveiling of these hidden feelings are very well done--not so cliched as to have you know the entire story before it plays out or made you feel like it came completely out of the dark. After the climax's end, everything started getting a little sloppy with details, but nevertheless Seikei Bijin is a drama that's fun, emotional without exaggeration or ridicule.

What do you do when you feel like all doors have been closed to you? How could a hopeless romantic like Honami experience the sweeping love tales she reads in romance novels with her old self. More than that, how can Honami find someone to love the old her? She has been repeatedly hurt by men with one experience being abandoned that is repeated through flashbacks everytime you see her failing to win Fujishima. In fact, the last man she dated wouldn't even make love to her with the lights on, because he didn't want to see her face. Plastic surgery was her answer.

Seikei Bijin casts a different light on the common social sentiments regarding plastic surgery. Ryusui had liked Honami for her audacious personality, one which said and did things as she liked, but in the end, her overall appearance turns out to be fake; is this all there is to a person? Seikei Bijin does have an interesting argument, but it treats plastic surgery as easy as play-do where you can mold and remold your body. To be fair, it made it reasonably clear not to take it seriously, but the ideas here may be floating on thin ice.