I'm currently five episodes in, and there are so many things that I don't even know where to start or what exactly to put in. But I know for sure that this post is going to be filled with spoilers, though they are probably not going to be very specific.
Well, even though I apparently never wrote this down, I always think that Sakurako is up to no good ever since the first time I saw her all those months ago. The actress conveys that perfectly, I think, even without a closeup of her looking, well, not satisfied, precisely. I just didn't start to suspect the extent of her deception until around episode 3. And I mostly revise my opinion of Saturday--er--Domyouji after a few minutes into episode 2. He's just a kid desperately craving attentions and doesn't know a better way of getting it. I put the blame on his parent (is there a father? Somehow I miss that), whom I try to be indifferent to, because she's not supposed to matter. Anyway, I actually find Domyouji refreshing because he is so honest with his feelings. Again, I think the actor helps a lot, in making me believe in his character. However...my understanding of his actions notwithstanding, I still don't really like this type of character. I guess I prefer a more refined character, such as Rui.
And that brings me to Rui, whom I warmed up to almost immediately this time around (weird, since I said otherwise before). There's probably my bias coming into play, because I like cold, silent type characters a lot. Anyway, Rui seems to be on Tsukushi's side almost from the beginning, but doesn't like to admit it. However, story-wise, I think it does get old and boring that Rui always comes to rescue her, so the writers wisely get rid of him in episode 3. But the method they use seem forced. I must say I don't like how Tsukushi's pleading with Shizuka (to stay in Japan). That doesn't seem like it's any of Tsukushi's business, and why would she even bother, anyway? What is Rui to her? I don't think she even loves him at all, despite what she says. It seems more like she's confused because he's nice to her. And their subsequent talk/quarrel is even more forced, IMHO. It's not that I believe Rui cannot be callous, but him being so without noticeably (to me) adequate built up is simply not very consistent with how he always relates to Tsukushi. (I'm not going to touch on his schoolboy crush on Shizuka other than it's good that she doesn't seem to encourage him.)
Umm...and there are those school kids. I don't think they are individuals enough to merit attention from me other than they seem like sheep who just follow the herd, and sometimes (makes that most of the time) I lose track of who their leader is. Oh, as for the three girls, I think I hear a name called once or twice, but I won't be able to remember them if they are ever apart from one another.
And I guess I don't understand Sakurako, after all. She's not the only one who has some painful memory of childhood (personal experience coming into play here, so I'm not trying to make light of what's bothering her), but I don't see most people behaving like her over long ago incidents that the instigators probably have forgotten not long after the incidents.
(I'm glad that I never had the Sakurako thing spoiled, even though I never did like her ever since the first episode. Instinct? Or just from what she did to Tsukushi (abandoned her)? It just seems so strange that she comes back to talk to Tsukushi again. I just couldn't trust her apparent sincerity and even thought at the time that if she's a good person, if she's innocent of any crime other than snubbing Tsukushi in the first place, she should have done everyone a favor and continued to stay away.)
Oh, almost forget the rest of F4. Those two guys are okay, I suppose. They seem loyal to their friends, at least. Still need to see more of them to be able to form a more solid opinion.
This must be the first drama I watch without anyone I know in it (1). I like it, though it's painful to watch at times. (I paused like crazy, since I can't really stand to watch parts I'm not comfortable with. Oh well, I'm weird like that anyway.) It's the only series that can make me spend my whole afternoon on it uninterrupted. And to think that I could have finished this series months ago...
(1) Oh, Rasshii doesn't count, since his scene consists of 15 seconds and two lines in the first episode. Hey, Tsukushi should just let Sakurako go with Rasshii (who probably doesn't have a better name than 'student A' or some such) and friend, so all her problems with F4
Anyway, I hope the other four episodes are at least as good, if not better. I still don't know what to do about Season 2, but there's no question of not getting it, even though I've heard that it's not quite as good as Season 1.