Pheromones are similar to hormones but work outside of the body. They induce activity in other individuals, such as sexual arousal. Yep, I had to Google the thing because I think I’ve never seen this word before. I stumbled upon this drama in my constant search for a short, light, and toe-curling series that could be marathoned on a lazy Saturday evening. Indeed, Watashi no Shite Kurenai Pheromone Kareshi (My Pheromone Boyfriend Who Won’t Do It) gave me something short and sweet, enough to get me rolling on the bed but not too light because we all know human relationships are complex, romantic, or otherwise.
Mizukawa Rei (Shimazaki Haruka) is my spirit animal. The girl is thirty and had a promising career in the real estate industry, but she chose to leave everything behind and embark on an art subscription business with two of her friends. Years ago, people would think that no one in their right mind would choose to restart a career when they are thirty, stable, and thriving. These days, people would even urge you to upskill, leave your 9 to 5, and enjoy the endless benefits of freelancing. (In case you’re wondering, yes, I am people)
Arima Shuto (Watanabe Keisuke) is your a little bit more than the average good-looking mysterious guy who keeps to himself and won’t bother to talk unless you ask him questions. He’s a freelance photographer who only takes pictures of items, places, and all the other things except the most popular and interesting subject there is to fine art – humans.
So yes, as Rei is running a start-up and Shuto is a freelancer, where else is the perfect place to meet other than in a co-working space?
So, what’s their story?
One bold declaration of an unpopular opinion from Rei and Shuto is on his knees. Fortunately, the feeling is very much mutual for Rei and they decided to be together. Shuto was a dream. He’s the boyfriend men these days would insist that only exists in fiction. And just maybe, I am one of them. Because just what kind of guy thinks that kissing is not really a requirement in a romantic relationship? Oh yes, after a few months of dating, Shuto never held his girlfriend’s hand, never kissed her, and never had sex with her.
It wasn’t a problem until it was
Rei was bothered, and naturally, she told her friends about her sex life, the lack thereof. People my age from my country would agree that it is somehow normal to skip the sex part of the relationship until the couple gets married. And it could have been wonderful if Shuto had the same reasons but obviously, he didn’t. When Rei asks him about it, he just shrugged and said he just doesn’t want to do it, which was pretty lame for an answer.
But the last few episodes made me nod and think that the point of the drama could also be about boundaries in a relationship. If the other person is not comfortable about something, the other should not force them or even pressure them into doing it. They must have a reason, and a valid one at that. In Shuta’s case, his decision not to be intimate with Rei is rooted in his childhood.
Your friends don’t have to know everything
I couldn’t make myself agree with what was happening in the middle of the story. I felt like Rei was digging her own grave by telling her friends about what was going on between her and Shuta behind closed doors. I suppose it can be a cultural thing, but personally, I really think it’s weird. I guess, Shuta was right when he said he was making a make deal out of it.
But then, Rei looked like she needed all the help she can get so she turned to her friends. Although, I couldn’t say they are the right kind of people with whom you’d confide in this kind of situation. One friend took advantage of her, which almost cost her relationship with Shuta. Another friend brought her to a brothel which made her come up with the decision to outsource intimacy. But perhaps, they really care about her, they just have strange ways of showing it.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, Watashi no Shite Kurenai Pheromone Kareshi is hilarious for the most part. Not only one time did I catch myself joining their conversations and reacting to asshole moves at 1 am while the entire household is in deep sleep. In the end, the most anticipated kiss happened. Not many NSFW scenes but I guess, if it was Dori Sakurada …
Watch it right here. Subs at Dramacool are fucked up.