Juhan Shuttai! Review
“What makes an ideal editor?” is the question Kurosawa Kokoro (Kuroki Haru) is seeking the answer to, after she had to switch careers from a judo athlete to becoming a manga editor, in publishing company Koutokan.
There, she learns first hand the difficulties posed by the “modern era” that doesn’t have enough room for books printed on paper, and the obstacles that need to be overcome in order to reach the readers and keep their interest alive so a series doesn’t meet the cruel fate of discontinuation.
She also finds out that the ultimate goal when working in the industry, is Juhan Shuttai aka a second printing, that allows the book to reach a wider audience.
“To keep living, books may not always be necessary. We may be able to go on reading, even if we don’t read it. But just one copy of a book, can change a life. It may help save someone.”
Kokoro’s main trait since her judo days, is her passion; despite the fact she had to put aside her dream of making it to the Olympics with the judo team, due to an accident, she carries that passion and pride to her new environment. While her co-workers initially find her odd and unconventional (she has a habit of correlating everything with judo lol) she soon manages to win them over with her positive outlook.
Iokibe Kei (Odagiri Joe) is the sensible and reasonable second editor-chief, that acts like her “mentor”- he is always calm and rational to approach situations, an attribute Kokoro admires and she heeds his advices the most.
Other characters in the Koutokan editing department, include the hot-headed chief Wada Yasuki (Matsusige Yutaka) whose mood relies on his baseball team’s ratio of winning, Yasui Noboru (Yasuda Ken) a tough, calculative “prisoner editor”, (yes, that’s his twitter nickname loool) hasty Mibu Heita (Arakawa Yoshiyoshi) and sympathetic Kikuchi Fuminori (Nagaoka Tasuku).
In the sales department, the most prominent character is Koizumi Jun (Sakaken), a meek and sort of indifferent young man labelled “ghost” cause of his impassive stance and Oka Eiji (Namase Katsuhisa) the strict but fair chief sales.
Special mention goes to the president, Kuji Masaru (Takada Junji / Hirano Kinari) whose life was saved by a book and that pushed him to start his own company after finding his way again.
Obviously, the series wouldn’t be half complete if it weren’t for the team of mangaka that have their own eccentricities and unique qualities – most notable are Nakata Haku (Nagayama Kento) a tortured-soul of some sorts who wants nothing else but get his own serialization without compromising, Takahata Issun (Takito Kenichi), a humorous experienced mangaka who falls into a slump everytime his girlfriend threatens to leave him and Mikurayama Ryu (Kohinata Fumiyo) a veteran, who’s kind and understanding to newcomers.
“When making a piece of work, you continue peeking into your own heart. No matter how unsightly or miserable, you have to face it.”
So, what does make an ideal editor?
Kokoro finds that there’s no definitive answer to that- an editor interacts with the mangaka he’s taking care of, so it’s a two-way street that is intertwined and can be easily susceptible to swift changes, if there’s no proper communication. The key to that, is to find a common ground, a mutual trust that allows for an ease and an understanding between two people, that are different but are working towards a common aim : put out to the world a work that they can be proud of.
The moment I fell for this show, is a particular scene in episode 2 when Koizumi finally understands the struggle mangaka go through to showcase their work- he realizes that he’s also a part of that work-display, and comes up with a plan to maximize the promotion resources, sending a letter to local bookshops and such :
“The enclosed work, Dandelion Railroad, isn’t selling well yet. It’s a book with few copies. Even those responsible for comics might not know of it. But, everyone who has read it, talks about this work with a smile on their face. They talk warmly and happily about the characters, as if they were their own friends. I know it’s something difficult, but could you expand it to the shelves of travel books? I think you’ll definitely empathise with it. Could you please somehow…lend your power to the protagonist Kotarou’s small adventure?”
That scene touched me in my heart of hearts; the amazing visual (there’s some beautiful cinematography to be found in this drama) with Koizumi running up the stairs happily for having done his fair share of work, accompanied by the particular touching score and the dandelion petals scattered through the air..that was simply brilliant.
The humble narration of it all, really hit home and brought memories back when I was a sophomore in highschool – there was a particular period, where I was completely uninterested with what I was being taught in school, and I would skip classes to leisure around. The feeling of coming back home after “tolerating” first period, to find another volume of Rurouni Kenshin (and others) waiting for me and then walk around my neighborhood park to read it and re-read it again, is something I hold dear in my heart; that is, because the anticipation of the adventures of your favorite heroes, can truly make your days more colorful, and can even help you develop similar attributes, in a way.
Hearing Koizumi’s modest words, especially the word usage of “lend power/ small adventure” really did something to me. It’s an interlace, afterall- we loan our strength to the creators by reading and respecting their work, and at the same time we borrow from their creative energy, that help us daydream and wish away the mundane problems, even for a bit. People need and will always need fiction, (in whatever form) simple as that.
“We all have wings, that can’t be seen; if you want to nurture splendid wings, read plenty of books. The shape of a book, is the shape of a bird. Just by reading, you will have strong, flexible wings. If you do that, you can fly anywhere.”
Juhan Shuttai represents the continuous effort that starts off from an individual’s idea, that gets refined by another individual and it eventually becomes a collective endeavor that reaches the hearts of many more individuals. Problems will arise, but if you manage to stay true to your heart (it’s no accident that Kokoro is called Kokoro lol) and maintain an honest point of view, even if failure hits your door, your sincerity will have managed to be heard from others, and maybe even made a slight difference. Little by little, victory, then failure, then victory again..we’re all going through our small adventures in the end!
Said it before, will say it again- a great drama MUST have a great OST that will bolster the series, as well as a cast that will deliver, and thankfully Juhan Shuttai doesn’t fall short in any of those categories. I adore the main pa-pa-pa-papapapa-pa theme that’s brimming with confidence, I also adore (despite making me teary-eyed everytime I listen to it and certain scenes pop through my mind) the softer, mellow-ish version of it.
And of course, Echo, a wonderful ED for a wonderful series :
[Juhan Shuttai! 重版出来! Theme Song : UNICORN – Echo]
Should I give it a near-10? (if only for the outfits, I mean Kokoro and Iokibe’s fashion is UNREAL lmao) I think the highest score is still held by Gomenne Seishun (9,79 I believe, while Itsukoi has 9,78 if I recall correctly, yes I love decimal lol)…hmmm, what should I do? I’ll split the watermelon in half, haha.
Farewell but not goodbye Juhan Shuttai! I will remember you everytime I see a dandelion ready to spread its petals in the whole wide world! : D
Overall Grade – 9,78.5/10
disclaimer – this post was written by kipzizz for dramajjang only + huge thanks to mottofreaky