JDorama review: Strawberry on the Shortcake

Title: Strawberry on the Shortcake
Also known as: SOS
Broadcast date: 1/12/01 - 3/16/01
Number of episodes: 10
Genre: drama
Cast: Takizawa Hideaki, Fukada Kyoko, Uchiyama Rina, Kubozuka Yosuke, Ishida Yuriko
Plot: Irie Manato (Takizawa Hideaki) has withdrawn into himself, creating a 'false self' that he displays to everyone around him. One day, he meets Misawa Yui (Fukada Kyoko) and his life is forever changed. Manato finds himself falling in love with Yui but she has fallen in love with Saeki Tetsuya (Kubozuka Yosuke), who is in love with his teacher Asami Mariko (Ishida Yuriko). Meanwhile, Manato is the target of the affections of Sawamura Haruka (Uchiyama Rina). Is it possible to find happiness with the person you love or should you settle for the second best? What is good: Once you are drawn into the series, it is easy to stay emotionally wrapped up in it.
What is bad: It's pretty depressing through a majority of the episodes.
Letter rating: B

Overall: I recently re-watched SOS with my friend, Cori. At the end of most of the episodes, she's say how sad or depressing something was. I had to keep promising her that it would get better. This really is a good series. All of the actors do a wonderful job of pulling at your heartstrings and the writing makes this love pentagon easy to understand yet still complicated enough that it's difficult to predict exactly how the series will end. It would be nice if there were a few more happy moments, though I understand why that wasn't done. The writers intended to show a somewhat darker side of teenagers in love instead of the stereotypical love-at-first-sight-and-everything-is-wonderful side that a lot of shows highlight. It's very difficult to say who I would recommend this show to. It would have to be someone who can handle watching absolute heartbreak while still believing that everything will be OK in the end. Or at least someone who can just watch the show for what it is - a really good drama.