I usually like to watch J-dramas in one sitting. Since they’re often 8-10 episodes long and not 16 episodes like K-dramas (which I love, but can be hard to get through sometimes), they’re enjoyable for a quick watch, especially when I just want to eat dinner and relax.
Well, there’s one drama that I can’t particularly watch while I’m eating, and that drama is “Switch Girl.” Why? Because it literally makes me spit my food out from laughing.
Based on the Japanese manga of the same name, this J-drama is the most EXTRA thing I’ve seen in a while. When I first watched it many years ago, I thought it was just funny and cute, but upon re-watching it, I realized just how wacky and ridiculous this drama really is.
You can already feel the wackiness
So here are some reasons why you should check out this ridiculous yet comical J-drama…that is, if you can handle it!
“Switch Girl” is about a high school girl named Tamiya Nika (played by Nishiuchi Mariya), who is known for being incredibly charismatic, pretty, and fashionable, but just as easily switches to being a total bum.
When she’s out and about, she’s admired by both the girls and guys at her school and is even featured in fashion magazines. However, when her “switch” is turned off, which usually happens when she’s at home, she turns into a pretty dirty homebody. And it runs in the whole family, too.
Nika manages to keep this secret safe from her classmates (with the exception of her best friend), until she meets transfer student and apartment neighbor Kamiyama Arata (played by Kiriyama Ren), who happens to see her when she’s in her “off” mode. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
An EXTRA female lead
Nika has no filter. Viewers really get to see her in her off-mode element, and the narration that describes her behavior makes it seem like she seriously has NO filter, at least with the viewers. She shares with us her true daily, dirty habits, and it’s absolutely (and sometimes uncomfortably) hilarious.
I can’t even begin to describe her. The switch is just that real:
No truer words have been said
Shy yet loyal male lead
Arata, oh Arata. As a transfer student to Nika’s school, no one realizes that this quiet, nerdy-looking boy is actually a very good-looking guy underneath those clunky glasses. While Nika makes an effort to hide her “off” mode from others, Arata hides his good-looking face so he can avoid attention and the possibility of getting involved in people’s lives.
When we see him in the beginning, it’s easy to think that he’s just some typically cool tsundere. But he’s also really funny in his own calm way, especially when you pair him next to Nika’s quirkiness. It also really helps that Kiriyama Ren has great chemistry with Nishiuchi Mariya.
Despite starting off a little rude and cold, Arata opens up to Nika when they start having to keep each other’s secrets. As he gets to know her more, Arata falls for Nika despite all her crazy antics and image switching, and it’s really sweet to watch.
High levels of ridiculousness
This drama is just so weird. There’s no other way to describe it.
Whether it is out of confusion or discomfort, “Switch Girl” never fails to make me laugh, purely because the show commits to its wackiness all the way through. It’s like the drama knows just how extra is it and expects you to go along with it!
The superhero we need but don’t deserve
Surprisingly heartwarming moments
Sometimes “Switch Girl” can be a bit overwhelming with all the comedic antics and fantastical reactions, and it makes sense when you consider that it’s based on a manga. What impresses me though, is that the drama still manages to make me feel for the characters.
It’s easy to see the entire show in a casual, comical light. So in those moments when Nika vulnerably shares how she feels or when Arata honestly talks about feeling lonely, it hits me emotionally.
In a way, the show (just like its characters) also switches its tone from a wacky rom-com to a heartwarmingly cute drama. But the combination of those two tones actually makes the show more charming and enjoyable than if it were just funny.
Don’t get me wrong though, “Switch Girl” is REALLY funny:
Catch the first episode of “Switch Girl”: