Tatakau! Shoten Girl (Japanese Television Series)

PLOT: "Pegasus Bookstore is going through hard times due to competition from internet bookstores. Aki Kitamura (Mayu Watanabe) and Riko Nishioka (Izumi Inamori) are employees at Pegasus Bookstore. Aki Kitamura is 23 years old. She has a strong will and freewheeling personality. She places her job and dreams above marriage. Riko Nishioka is a 40-year-old single woman. She is the vice-manager at the bookstore. She has pride in her work. The two women have completely different personalities." (asianwiki.com)

(In Japanese with no English subs)

Broadcasted by Fuji TV and Kansai TV (www.ktv.jp/shoten / Twitter @shotengirl8), the television series is based on the novel "Shoten Garu" by Kei Aono (published March 16, 2012), with the literal translation of "戦う!書店ガール" being "Fight! Bookstore Girl" (Romaji: Tatakau! Shoten Garu).

I am surprised being drawn to this series, as it depicts everyday happenings, problems and challenges, without the outlandish concepts seen in my current other K-dramas, as "reality based" as they seem to be. There is no specific slapstick involved, and though the "drama" and scenarios might be heightened a tad for television entertainment (but with no over-the-top hysterics seen so far…), they are still grounded in the everyman, which in this instance, are happening to employees of a bookstore.

We see their life, loves (for books and of course a triangle relationship troupe), fears, failure and victories unfold every week - centered around the bookstore, their homes, and a neighborhood pub/restaurant, which has since become the connecting neutral zone LOL

Each episode is framed by a "book cover" concept :)

This series is very "female"-led, with the male(s) either tagging along, pining for, and/or against them. And while I would hesitate vehemently to label this "sexist", I insist this is hardly the case, and as well presents a welcomed perpective, IMHO.

And not a whole lot of tomfoolery too, which is welcomed. The tone is cheery and upbeat, even amidst the downs the characters constantly face. Ever the silver lining awaits those who fight for what they believe in.

The introductory to people and people/relationships from the first four episodes has since given way to a more serious round of company politics from Eps 5 onwards … whatever "charm" I might have enjoyed earlier, now feels "threatened".

I am not too sure how I feel about that. But if a tv series can make me "feel" these, then perhaps they are doing something "right"? :)

I had chanced unto this series by way of actress "Mayu Watanabe" (www.watanabemayu.jp / Twitter @karaage_mayu), after her very decent performance in Majisuka Gakuen (1&2), I tried Saba Doru but lost interest after two episodes (a tad too "close" the notion of AKB48 again, IMHO), but found Mayuyu on "Tatakau! Shoten Girl", and decided to stay. She has done a fine job here and I am looking forward to seeing more of what happens to both Aki and Riko in this series.

FYI: The theme song for this drama, "Deai no Tsuzuki", is sung by Mayuyu, and is to be released as her fifth solo single on June 10, 2015 (Source):