Mop Girl

by Aprilis on May 6, 2008 · 5 comments · AddThis

Mop Girl Logo

Mop Girl is based on the novel written by Kato Miaki, which is also entitled Mop Girl. This dorama starred the uprising young actress Kitagawa Keiko as a girl who has the ability to travel back in time when she touches a recent deceased person’s item. The dorama began airing on October 12, 2007 and spanned over 10 episodes. The opening theme entitled ‘Destination Nowhere’ is performed by ERIKA.

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Synopsis

Momoko is a hardworking and caring girl, but often finds herself in all sort of trouble because of her slow reaction and clumsiness. She has a dream job as a wedding planner at ‘Angel Life Communications’. But after accidentally wrecking a client’s wedding cake Momoko is transfer to the company’s “special unit”, ‘Little Angels’ which specializes in funeral services.

On the first day of her new job, Momoko finds herself repeating the same day’s events after she touched a descend client’s item. What’s even stranger is just before she travels back in time she hears a ringing sound, the exact same sound that she heard 12 years ago when she approached a dying woman who saved her from being run over by a motorcycle. All Momoko can remember about that incident was that with her last breath, the woman reached for Momoko’s hand and gave her the gift to see the different paths of the future.

As it turns out, this woman gave Momoko the ability to travel back in time with the knowledge to help prevent people from dying. Being the caring and naïve soul that she is, even if the descent is a total stranger to Momoko she’ll do all that she can to prevent that person from dying again even if it means putting her own life in danger.

 

Characters

Kitagawa Keiko as Hasegawa Momoko
Momoko is a young girl and the newest employee at Little Angels. Though she has a low-paying job and lives in a rundown apartment by herself, her father is actually the president of a hospital. She is absent minded and often mistook people’s word for another with a whole different meaning.
Twelve years ago she was given the ability to travel back in time and prevent certain people from dying. But it isn’t until her transfer to Little Angels that she discovered this ability and use it to help others.

Tanihara Shosuke as Otomo Shoutarou
Momoko was assigned to work under Otomo in the company’s cleaning unit. Though he often bullies Momoko, he always comes to her aid and helps her change people’s destiny.
He is obsesses with collecting receipts and has a thing for foreigner women and Momoko often use this as a threat to get him in complying with her requests. Unable to resist his love for foreign women, or in rare case where Momoko threatens to reveal his receipt collector secret, Otomo always give in and help her change the repeated day’s outcome.

Asami Reina as Ookouchi Hina
Hina is Momoko’s high school friend who has a part time job at a publication company’s editorial department with the dream of becoming a full time employee one of these days. Because of her connection with the media, she has proven to be a big help to Momoko by helping her make necessary connections and providing information regarding people that she is suppose to save.
Hina is a bright and social girl who enjoys pampering herself with the latest fashion and items. Often time she will complain to Momoko about certain aspects of her life.

Magii as Yokouchi Atsushi
Yokouchi is an assistant inspector that handles all the cases that Little Angels is involve in and is on good terms with everyone there. To flatter him, every time Otomo addresses him as “Inspector Yokouchi”. And in return, every time Yokuchi will have a big smile on his face and insists that Otomo address him as “Sub-Divisional Inspector”.
Often times Yokouchi gets side tracked with his stories and jokes that his co-worker, another assistant inspector, needs to sternly remind him of his duties as an assistant inspector.

Hori Mayumi as mystery woman
The woman that saved Momoko from being run over by a motorcycle twelve years ago. But in doing so, the woman was hit by the motorcycle and died moments after on the open road.
Before she died she reached out for Momoko’s hand and gave her the gift to travel back in time, the ability to alter what had happened and change the day’s outcome.

 

The Review

To be honest, I first took notice of this dorama because of Keiko. Her acting has improved so much since I first saw her in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon as Hino Rei/Sailor Mars. The other main cast were great as well, though I wish they had more chances to show off the acting skills.

The dorama was presented in a way that each episode has almost no connections to one another. In each episode a different “guest” character dies and by the end of that episode Momoko had already changed the outcome of the repeated day, leaving nothing but previews of the next new case as a cliff hanger for the upcoming episodes. This allowed the viewers to miss an episode without missing a whole chunk of the actual storyline.

But at the same time, this format doesn’t allow much character development with the main cast nor does it allow the general story in a whole to develop. This is what irks me about this dorama. Though each episode by itself has a great plot to it, when you look at the entire story at the end it just doesn’t feel complete. They spend all this time going back to the incident where the mystery woman gave Momoko the ability to travel back in time but they don’t bother to provide more background information about this woman. Though they did kind of made a connection between the mystery woman and another character in the last 2 episodes, I feel they could have made the connection more clearly with Momoko involved and discovering the history behind her newfound ability.

On a more positive note, the dorama was very funny and I had a good time trying to figure out what caused the characters to die or who actually killed them. I liked the pace that each case went as it didn’t drag out the story and was moving along at a reasonable speed that allowed the viewers to think things through before the episode came to an end. Plus, there was a different take home message in the end to warp up each case that can have viewer pondering about the story till a new episode came out.

 

Conclusion

Overall the dorama is not bad. You should check it out if you’re looking for a light laugh, mystery or suspense stories. I don’t think they’ll be making a squeal as the ratings weren’t all that great. But I do hope they’re planning to make a ‘Mop Girl Special’, just to warp up some loose end that the last episode didn’t address.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Mop Girl Official Site

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About the author

Aprilis was first introduced to the world of J-Pop through Ayumi Hamasaki's music. Through Ayu's music she was exposed to and fell in love with other J-Pop acts such as Ai Otsuka and Hello! Project. She is currently living in Japan and enjoying every moment of it.

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International Wota » Blogs Dramas Recommended » [Blogs] Channel-Ai Looks At Mop Girl UNITED STATES
May 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

gintare November 4, 2008 at 8:35 pm

i liked it, as you said it was a light drama. i’m so confused at the ending, what was the whole glasses thing about? did i miss something in the series?

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DIE September 27, 2008 at 10:09 am

nice, i do love this drama,and get stuck on 5th ep, altough the airtime for this series was already over… sadly im not japanesse and i dont understand nihon-go most of the times. so its kinda hard to drop this drama (since i love keiko’s performance in this series!) even when the fansub is on hold~ hopefully the rest of the sub will be out this month so i can rest easy~~ :P

Reply

Rinoa May 21, 2008 at 7:57 am

Really great review as usual!! I started watching Mop Girl but I kind of lost interest in it when I was unable to find subs for this series. Anyway the series is quite nice, despite that it didn’t really get any spectacular ratings.

I really enjoyed the few episodes I watched. Furthermore Keiko pulls it off quite well and is a natural in her role. I truly hope she’ll get more leading parts in the future!

Reply

eyn May 11, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Thanks for the review Aprilis! I am a self proclaimed dorama addict but somehow this dorama totally missed my attention. Anyway, I watched the first episode of this dorama after reading your review and I am quite satisfied with the story. The main actress, Kitagawa Keiko, is very cute, didn’t know she is the pretty Japanese actress starring in Fast and Furious until I looked her up.

Overall I think this dorama is a light hearted, enjoyable dorama without a huge cast.

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