Food, Love, and Powerful Punch
I never had any intention to watch this, seriously. So, how do I end up giving this drama a mega-review anyway? Well, pookie-pies, it all started on one Saturday afternoon, when I was in the midst of my boredom. I didn’t have any mood to continue watching BNIJ at that hour. I just want to watch something light and mellow-free. So I decided to have a long time no see re-watch session with Detective Conan: Kudo Shinichi e no Chousenjou. Buuut…turns out all my episode video files are broken. Gaaaah…!!! Sucks. So, in the end, I randomly pick 1 Pound no Fukuin (1 Pound Gospel) as my passerby watch. But turns out, this drama is so retardly entertaining, as every episode always manages to make me laugh hard. I once said in my previous previouuuus post that I’m not a fan of comedy drama right?! I know, I know. But there’s something about 1 Pound Gospel that’s very addictive. I’m not saying this because it has Kame as the main role, but it’s simply bcos this drama has high level of crack-kerfuffle. Lol. Okay then, without any further of my yappy trap-trap, let’s just punch our way to the main topic!! POW!!!
(Warning: it’s so slippery spoilericious!! agagagagaga!!!)
1 Pound Gospel (1PG) is a manga based-sports romance comedy drama that tells a story about a guy named Hatanaka Kosaku (Kame). Kosaku is a talented young boxer who lacks motivation and just can’t control his appetite. He is the real omnivore bcos he eats anything that called food anywhere anytime he gets a chance. This gluttonous trait of his makes him having difficulties to maintain his weight class and always have to do an extreme diet method at the last minute before the boxing match weigh-in. One day, bcos of his extreme method of not drinking any water, Kosaku collapse due to dehydration while he’s doing his morning run at the park. And there comes Sister Angela (Kuroki Meisa), a nun of St. Eliseo Convent who’s on her way back to the church after did her morning errands. And Sister Angela becomes a Good Samaritan by helping Kosaku and gives him a glass of ocha to drink.
But turns out, her gentleness and sincerity warm Kosaku’s heart and he falls in love with her right away at that time. And thus begin Kosaku’s journey to capture Sister Angela’s heart and also process that shapes him to be a better boxer and a more mature person.
1PG starts with a happy-retard note, as we follow Kosaku’s daily life in three different segments. One, at the Mukoda’s Gym Club, along with his fellow boxer friends (Ueda, Ishizaka, Kojima, and Horiguchi), the gym owner, Mukoda Seiko and her son, Katsumi (Yamada Ryosuke) and the coach, Mitaka. Some of them have their own problem that are being the half-themed on each episode, like Katsumi and school bullying; Ueda, his dad, and his on-the-edge boxing dream; and Ishizaka being dumped by his girlfriend.What I really love is how the drama portrays the bond between everyone in the gym club and the brotherhood between Kosaku and the other four boxing buddies, for they always be there for each other in the time of need; especially Ueda, who is Kosaku roommate and also best bud cos he can tolerate all Kosaku’s man-child-ness and even give full support to everything he does. Two, is about Kosaku’s personal struggle with food and weight, which always shown in almost every episode– along with Kame and his spandex boxer WHICH ALSO always shown in almost every episode; but don’t go doki-doki first, my nuggets, since his do-re-mi twiggy body is not sexy at all. Lol– And the number three is his shameless love chase towards Sister Angela. There is not a single episode without Kosaku excitedly screaming “SHISH-TAAAA ANJELLAAAA!!!” in public place while waving his hands crazily like a castaway asking for S.O.S.
Man…can you imagine how embarrassing it is to be Sister Angela? I bet all the neighborhoods know that Kosaku likes her. Hahaha… Keep your faith, sister!!
That’s what KAT-TUN said. This drama starts with episodic format in a couple earlier episodes (01-03) with the same storyline: Kosaku being weighed and he’s over, he does the extreme diet method; he meets Sister Angela and going gaga for her; there’s a conflict between him and sister, problem solved, and end with Kosaku fighting in a match. But the drama begins to be more like renzoku from the fourth episode till the end due to the plot development between Kosaku and Sister Angela. And the turning point of this drama is probably on the fifth episode, because in that episode, the table is turned, for Sister Angela comes to a realization that she INDEED likes Kosaku and this time she’s the one who’s going bonkers in jealousy over him and Noriko, the restaurant owner’s daughter where Kosaku has part time job.
1PG main theme is about love being the ultimate power source. In the earlier episodes, we can see how lack-of-drive Kosaku is, as he only can be motivated with food and promise that he can eat whatever he wants if he wins the match. Then later on, we can see that Kosaku’s motivation slowly changes 50:50 to his love for Sister Angela and his love for food. But, in the end, Kosaku realizes that nothing can drive him more than to have Sister Angela by his side.
Buzzer Beat’s motto may describes this drama best, for “Love makes me strong”. So,
Akira Yamapi, give that billboard to Shuuji Kame. lol. But despite the romantic concept, this drama contains around 70% comedy, which explains why almost every scene per episode feels so retard and funny. But when it comes to serious moments, this drama can be real serious, even though it’s only about a face-palm-worthy problem, like in the third episode when mini-Chinen Yuri tries to make Kosaku eats so he can punch him to win a bet with his parents, and in the end Kosaku’s diet are all ruin bcos of him. And then Kosaku’s boxing buddies are all mad like hell and screaming their ass off to the mini-Chinen by saying like “WHY DID YOU FEED HIM, HUUUHHH??!!” And I was like, “omggg, seriously, this is the main problem??? What the…” but since everyone is so damn serious at that scene, I was automatically become a serious viewer as well.
I think one of the most important requirements to watch this is ‘don’t think too much, and then you can fully enjoy this‘. Hah! But not all the problem in this drama are absurd; in fact, everything starts from the half of seventh episode till the end is not a laughing matter, since it’s the final closure of Kosaku’s boxing career, and also the relationship conclusion between him and Sister Angela. And I must say that it’s all executed nicely, although the trigger of all the problems—Sister Angela being deceived by the host dude—is kinda meh.
Seriously there’s a fine line between being naive and being dumbo, drama. But in the end, Kosaku, who’s at first just wanted to pay Sister Angela’s debt, become a Japan fly-weight class champion. Well, God works in a mysterious way, right, Shishta Anjella? Teehee… One of the things that I also like from this drama is that, it doesn’t drag the plot, which is about the title match between Kosaku and the champion, Kurenai Ryusuke. The fight begins at around the last 10 minutes of the eighth episode, and I was thinking, “Geez…It’s gonna go on and on till the next final episode…” But turns out, it doesn’t, bcos twist of a twist (for me) Kosaku wins over the champion quite easy, by screaming, “It’s not about the debt, IT’S LOOOOVEE!!!!” and then POW!! *punching Kurenai’s face* (See, I told you, don’t use your brain when you’re watching this retard-fest. lol) and Kurenai the champion just KABOOM!! K.O!
Out of context a bit, I really can’t stand Kurenai, I mean like, omg, he’s wearing damn sparkly glitter eye shadow with glossy lip gloss!! Omjayjay, cry me a gutter for national champion boxer to look this sissy… *sigh*
But because the match turns out to be short, the drama can finally focus the whole last episode to the main trajectory which is the love story between Kosaku and Sister Angela. And that’s the way I like it! Aha~Aha~! *crazy wave dancing* Aside from all that, this drama even can also manage to give us scenes that I describe as…heart-breaking, which happened at the fourth episode. In that episode, Kosaku has misunderstood Sister Angela’s good intention for helping the restaurant owner guy as a sign that she agrees to have omiai with him. And at that scene, Kosaku’s expression is so heart-broken, but he tries his best to keep smiling and congratulate Sister Angela. And, as if it’s not sad enough, there’s another scene after that where Kosaku is sitting on his knees in the middle of the gym boxing ring and he cries, like really really cries, with all the dropping tears. That time, I was like “Oh noes…Kosaku-chan…” *grabbing own chest* bcos that scene felt so sad. Damn…I never thought this bonehead drama can bring me into an emotional rollercoaster. *sigh* Well, as everyone says, don’t judge the drama by its cover, rrright??!
Okay, so now, let’s talk about the main characters. First, we have Hatanaka Kosaku. Kosaku is a simple-minded guy who’s over-bubbly, loud and noisy; not to mention dense as well.
At the beginning, Kosaku is so lack of motivation, he even can’t manage to continue a match just bcos he’s feeling hungry. But it’s all changed after one fateful day of his encounter with Sister Angela.
Kosaku feels the love bug, love struck and love sick towards Sister Angela. And ever since then his mind only filled with her, every match he fights only driven by her, even his daily training session only filled by chanting Sister Angela’s name, like “Shish-ta, Shish-ta, Shish-ta! Angela, Angela, Angela!” which is sooo damn hilarious cos it’s almost like he got possessed. Lol. Kosaku expresses his love towards Sister Angela in a very simple and naive manner, as he’s willing to let go his boxing career not just once, but twice, to become anything as long as it can brings him closer to her, for example: he’s almost become a chef only by reading a book that’s similar to “Becoming a licensed chef for dummies” and attending cooking class, just bcos Sister Angela was set up to get married with a young Italian restaurant owner and said to be inherited the said restaurant. He also once worked as a host just for paying Sister Angela’s debt which in the end makes him having a hangover and ruin all of his daily training session.
Well, if we can put meta, Kosaku is like Tinkerbell, y’know, who has a tiny mind, she can only have one thing inside her head, which is about Peter Pan. Hah! But despite being the gutless dude, one plus point from Kosaku is once he’s driven, he won’t give up that easily, which in this case is about pursuing his love for Sister Angela. When it comes to Sister Angela, Kosaku is more persistent than growing mold in rotten bread. He never grows tired to come to the church every single fricken day and he never stops chasing her with her bicycle in his morning run. There’s even one scene where Kosaku camouflages himself in the pile of leaves just to wait for Sister Angela to pass by and act as if they meet coincidentally like they’re fated to be together or stuffs like that. Kosaku shameless level of love pursuing is so uhm-mazingly high, he’s like the male version of Aihara Kotoko. Lol. But Kosaku’s love towards Sister Angela is not all about comedy, for Kosaku can also be serious towards her, as to show that his feeling is not just a joke. Imma give applause to Kame for his awesomy ability (again) and comical skill in portraying the role. Though physical-wise, he’s not believable to be gluttonous—there’s even a couple weigh in scenes where he has to puff up his tummy in order to look like he has belly fat (gosh, I wish I could do that too, instead always sucking my tummy in *sigh*)—I can’t think of another actor to play this man-child character of Kosaku beside our pride and joy gheyboy-talento Kamenashi. Haha… And I think he took real boxing training, bcos his punch jab smack moves are not stiff or amateur-esque. But I can’t help to notice since Kame is always enthusiastically screeeeammming his smoker lungs off in 80% of this drama, there’s a couple episodes where his voice gone crack and hoarse. Oh noes! Don’t put KAT-TUN singing career on the line just for an acting totality, boy! It’s a No-nooooo!!! *waving index finger*As for the heroine, we have Sister Angela, who is a young nun in St. Eliseo convent/church. Sister Angela grew up in the convent, since she’s an orphan, and that’s why she’s so naive and kind-hearted; too kind-hearted in fact she’s so gullible, and that’s the reason why she got scammed into a huge debt in the end. Sister Angela faces the ultimate test of her faith when she met Kosaku. At first, she only considered him as the ‘abandoned lost sheep’ that needs to be saved. But as the time goes by and after facing countless love effort from Kosaku, she finally realizes that she likes him as a guy, and that’s why she keeps having a conflicted feeling inside, until in the end she decides to follow her heart.
I must say that Kuroki Meisa portrayed the character nicely, her acting may be a bit stiff sometimes, but overall it’s adequately good. But one thing thumbs up worthy from her is that she’s able to portray Sister Angela’s seriousness, like really REALLY serious, even though it’s in a comedic scene with Kame and his lol-worthy gesture and crazy comical face mimic. I mean, she’s not even looked like she holds a laugh a bit. Good job, Mrs. Akanishi, good job! Hahaha…
The chemistry between Kame and Meisa is just an A-okay, no cutesy flimsy sweetness vibe from them—which is good, cos if you picturing the reality of Meisa-chan is the wifey of Genie Jin Jin, it brings me a sudden ultimate shudder. Brrrrr…—And the romance in this drama, despite being major and progressive, remains platonic till the end. And I kinda expected it to stay that way, since this kind of romance is not good if it was put in squee-worthy romantic vibe. But what I really like from the Kosaku-Sister Angela’s love story is that it has fair share of comedy and drama. We may see at the beginning that Kosaku conquest to capture Sister Angela’s heart is idiotic and funny. But slowly and naturally, as the story progresses, the drama portion is also getting bigger and more prominent. And like I said before, I really love how the last episode is made fully only to give revelation about Kosaku and Sister Angela’s romance, where the episode starts with Kosaku childish lovesick phase due to Sister Angela’s decision to move to another convent.
But in the end, he learns to grow up by letting her go and wait for her at the right time. While Sister Angela, who has her final frustration of her conflicted inner feeling, finally manage to make a decision that she think is the right one. And then as time goes by, the newly matured and more responsible Kosaku living his life in a whole new mindset that he can’t always get what he wants. Buuuuut, wait a second, pookies!!!!!! Before we feel down seeing Kosaku has his heart broken again for the XXX times in these short nine episodes, we shall never forget the Andy Warhol quotes, “As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it.” Yep, the moment Kosaku decides to give up towards Sister Angela, she comes back looking for him; this time as an ordinary woman, for she let go her convent life to be with him. And suddenly I have a nostalgic feeling of watching the 2000 production of Mexican telenovela Carita De Angel. Anyone of you knows it? Well in that drama, Sister Cecilia let go her nun-life in order to be with Luciano, the widowed father of Dulce Maria, her beloved student. Gosh, I love that tellynovelly, I watched the whole 125 episodes every single day it airs on TV, even though it’s so angst-full like sh*t. Okay, okay, back to the topic…Whew, I’ve gone out of context too far, lol. And finally in the end, Kosaku and Sister Angela get married and living their comical life happily ever after.
One trivial question, what nick-name Kosaku uses to call Sister Angela at home? Is it “Angela”? Or still “shish-taaaa!!”? Or “nyobo” a.k.a “wifey”? Hah, it’s so confusing, that’s why it wasn’t revealed until the end.
When it comes to Kosaku and his beloved Sister Angela, I have a few favorite scenes of them that bring me a big laugh, or leave me feeling in awww and bittersweetness:
01. The Valentine Chocolate Request (Episode #05)
This is the opening of the fifth episode, where Kosaku hides in the pile of leaves and then chasing Sister Angela around the neighborhood while multitasking his morning run and warm-up.
And suddenly he sees a stand that sells various of Valentine chocolates and all of sudden he says to Sister Angela (in loud and embarrassing volume for a public place): “Shish-taaa, I want you to give me chocolate and confess your feelings to me!”
And Sister Angela, as a sane person and nun, of course rejects that stupid request, and then…pffftttt…and then Kosaku does the most bonkers thing a guy could ever do to the girl he likes; he falsely sings “choco, choco, choco..!” with that crazy facial expression. It’s so…BWAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!! Omjayjay, this scene is Kame’s epic comedy gold moment! I think from the very beginning of his career until now, even if we combine all his funny scenes in Ore Ore, they can never compete with this one. If you’re not laughing when you watch this, well…I dunno what else to say then. This scene without a doubt is my favorite of all time. And I must give a giant thumbs up to Sister Angela bcos she really looks serious at this scene. Her strict expression is amazingly..stiff. lol
02. The Love Declaration (Episode #05)
It all started when Kosaku nosily asks Sister Angela when her birthday is. Sister Angela feels sensitive all of sudden and answering “I don’t know” to Kosaku in an angry tone. Kosaku got confused by it, but later he was told by Mother Superior that Sister Angela is telling him the truth, since she was abandon by her parents at the church, she really doesn’t know her birthday, and doesn’t have any other home beside the convent. And Mother Superior asks Kosaku if he able to carry on Sister Angela’s dream if she finally let go her nun-life to be with him. Kosaku feels small and selfish since that moment and realizes that he shouldn’t pushing Sister Angela around to leave the convent, for it’s her only sanctuary. So one day, as Sister Angela prays for her confusion about Kosaku, he shows up and pretends to be a “voice” that tells her not to abandon her faith and be a better nun. And Kosaku’s self-sacrifice words give Sister Angela courage to finally be honest to her own feeling and she turns around towards Kosaku, even though he already said to her not to look back at him, and she confesses to him in certainty that she likes him. Kosaku, who feels surprised and touched at that moment, doesn’t waste the chance away and he answers her feeling by screaming, “I LOVE YOU TOOO, SHISH-TAAAA!!”. Gosh, I love this scene, bcos the truth, especially from Sister Angela, is not hidden in the dark anymore. And I really like how Kosaku didn’t do any noble idiocy action by rejecting Sister Angela’s declaration. Even though things are still the same after this, but at least Kosaku no longer guessing and playing flower petals-picking for “she loves me, she loves me not” anymore, because now they know each others real feeling clearly.
03. Sister Angela’s “Ore Ore” Moment (Episode #06)
This scene happens after Sister Angela confessed her feeling to Kosaku. And while Kosaku is on cloud nine with a lovey-dovey mood, Sister Angela is having a hard time and questioning her own act at that time. And while she’s on the street, she’s having the “Ore Ore” moment, for she’s seeing everyone as Kosaku.
04. “I wanted to see you” (Episode #09)
It happened at around the last 10 minutes of the final episode. When Kosaku decided to let Sister Angela go her own way, he promised her that he will be waiting for her on the ring. Since then, time goes by without any news or words from Sister Angela. And at one moment Kosaku seems to have given up about her. Until one day, at the D-day of title defending-match, Kosaku was left alone after a warming up by everyone to get himself prepared for the call. And at that moment, Sister Angela shows up and surprises Kosaku, who automatically calls her “Sister..” but Sister Angela answers him “I’m not a nun anymore” and then she says to him, “I wanted to see you” and Kosaku, beaming, replies to her, “Me too, I wanted to see you”And when they heard Kosaku’s name being called, she gives him encouragement words to fight in the match. Then Kosaku walks out towards the ring in high-spirit, knowing that he can win for sure, cos now she stays beside him for good.
Aside from all the laugh, serious, and sweetness in this drama; There are also few absurd/awkward things that are unintentionally… awkward and absurd. Hahahaha… *sarcastic laugh*
01. Sister Angela Mad at Kosaku (Episode #03)
It happens after the Chinen boy feed the hungry Kosaku which resulted in Kosaku’s diet failure. And as Kosaku is being weighed in, Sister Angela comes into the gym hurriedly and confronted Kosaku right away, “did you eat?” and when Kosaku only answers in a sad expression, she mad at him and said “Why would you do that? I believed in you!” and then she called him horrible and leaves in anger. It shoulda been a sad main-conflict moment, if only Kosaku didn’t half naked and only wear just a FRICKEN SPANDEX BOXER!! *face-palming* And to make it worse, the whole confrontation scene is being watched by his boxing buddies, coach, owner, and Katsumi. Shortly, it’s being watched by EVERYONE. Omjayjay, this scene becomes awkwardly hilarious!! I can’t help but laugh at it, not to mention, Sister Angela is being sooooo serious in that scene. Geez…it’s so awkwaaaaard!!!! *Woody’s voice*
02. Kosaku Fight with the Chinpira (Episode #03)
Man…if the fifth episode is the cutest, the third episode is the bonkers of all. This scene happened when Chinen-boy is being gang-bullied by a bunch of thugs and Sister Angela, who coincidentally sees it, helps him right away, without. any. preparation. You know what will happen next, right? Of course the thug-tachi end up drag Chinen and Sister Angela to an empty warehouse. As if it’s not enough, let’s add the third weak link, who is the other hey-say boy, Katsumi, who immediately runs asking for SOS to Kosaku. And Kosaku finally comes and help the three damsels in distress. But when he’s about to punch one of the thug, the ever so wise Sister Angela screams, “DON’T HIT THEM!!” and all of sudden Kosaku remembers the core concept of being a boxer which is NEVER use the fist outside the ring. And it resulted in Kosaku is being the one who got beaten up. And none of the damsels even lift a finger to help. They basically just watching Kosaku got kicked, punched, gobsmacked like a fricken action-bullying movie. Geez, add popcorn and you got a damn free theatre starring bruised and battered Kosaku, right sistaaaaa??!! Duuuur……!!!
03. The Engrish Door (Episode #08)
It’s not awkward whatsoever, I’m just feeling the urge to add it to the list bcos the engrish words at Kosaku’s boxing room door is so damn absurdly hilarious. I shall give brownie points to anyone who can understand the whole structure of the sentence. Omggg… Special→Supecial…Bwahahahaha!!!
Overall, 1 Pound Gospel is a type of drama that you can’t take seriously most of the time. The main point of this drama is to entertain the viewers with the foolishness, comical absurdity, and laughable over the top acting. But it also has the ability to make you feel the heart-wrenching and take every dramatic scene seriously. This is highly recommended for those of you who are looking for a light drama to watch on your lazy day. It may be stupid and awkward sometimes, but it will give you a feel-good vibe with the cheerful atmosphere and a big satisfaction for a complete happy ending.
Final Score: 77/100