Smile Review

Hayakawa Vito has a Filipino father and a Japanese mother, but he was born and raised in Japan and has never visited the Philippines. The ever-smiling Vito works at Machimura Foods during the day, and at night, he works a part-time job trying to make his dreams come true. One day during an incident at a bookstore, he meets a girl named Mishima Hana, who lost her ability to speak due to anaccident. But even though she can’t speak, Vito is drawn to her beautiful smile. However, Vito becomes wrongly suspected by the police for a crime, and after meeting the lawyer Kazuma, the issue begins to grow… Together, Vito, Hana, and Kazuma will go through challenging times and have to overcome many obstacles. –Tokyograph Theme song:Ariamaru Tomi by Shiina Ringo Where to watch : Drama Crazy : Buy:

Review This is one of the many great Matsumoto Jun drama I have watched. This drama was quite different from the other dramas he had done before this. Hana Yori Dango was more of a comedy and  Bambino  was very different. This drama, Smile is on a more serious platform then the other dramas he had a role in.  Smile tackled complicated issues like racism, prejudice, corruptions and friendship. This drama was very underrated when it came out. I really do think its one of Matsumotos best work. His character faced a lot of difficulties and I think Matsumotos played his character quite well. With enough emotion and relaistic acting so that the viewers really sympathised with his character. Possibly his best acting yet. Also another good actor that is in this drama is Oguri Shun. I believe the chemistry between Oguri and Matsu is really good since their Hana Yori Dango days. In this drama Oguri plays a more sinister character and he really was creepy. He executed his role really well in his pretence to be a changed character. Aragaki Yui played the main lead female character ,Mishima Hana. I have watched a few dramas with her as a main and they are actually some of my best comedy romance dramas. I watched her in My boss my Hero and Papa to Musume No Nanokakan. Compared to those two dramas her character on this drama was very, very different. For one thing this drama was not aiming to be a comedy and she had to play a traumatised character. She did really well and her character very sweet, likeable and she had a good chemistry with Matsumoto. Smile is a drama which is very serious and not for people who are looking for a comedy. This drama tackles very serious issues and also is very heart warming. The storyline was really good and I liked how Vito ( Jun) tackled all his problems with such patience and was always smiling. Hence the title of the drama. One problem  I had with this drama was the ending though it was good it was not great. It left me wanting more and this is one of the factors why I cannot give it 5 stars. Overall it is a very good, brilliant script, great acting drama which I recommend if you are looking to watch a drama which is serious but entertaining. Its also a very emotional drama due to everything that happens to Vito but after you finish the drama it really leaves something behind. It teaches a lesson about  life, reality and respect.

Genre: Romance, Drama

Episodes: 11

Ratings: **** 1/2


Jun Matsumoto as Vito Hayakawa

Aragaki Yui as Mishima Hana

Aragaki Yui as Mishima Hana

Oguri Shun as Hayashi Seiji

Nakai Kiichi as Ito Kazuma,
Koike Eiko as Machimura Shiori,
Tokuyama Hidenori as Kawai Kinta,
Suzunosuke as “Bull” / Kazama Kenji,
Kitami Toshiyuki as Detective Furuse,
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi as Detective Takayanagi,
Katsumura Masanobu as Kashiwagi Keisuke,
Maeda Gin as Machimura Sosuke,
Ishida Ayumi as Machimura Midori



  1. Thanks for the review. I love Smile. It is one of my favorite j-dramas (top 3). The scritpt, tackling the issue of racism and prejudice head on, is a one of a kind among Japanese dramas that’s so daring. This is the only thing I’ve seen Matsumoto Jun in. I thought his acting was ok. His crying scenes at times felt forced but I thought he did a good job of portraying his character’s struggles. However, Aragaki Yui really won me over with her performance in this drama. She was brilliant. I also really liked the performances of Nakai Kiichi and Oguri Shun.

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