Hey Guys, I know it's too late to post this review but I just done watching "Smile" last month.
I'm glad that after 3 years, I am done with it.
The reason I watched this drama is that my favorite Japanese actor, Matsumoto Jun, played a half-Filipino man (I'm actually a Filipina). I told all my Japanese drama addicted friends about it back on the year 2009.
So here's my review about "Smile":
The drama tackled how Filipinos (half or pure) or even other nationalities (like Korean) are treated unjustly in Japan. It is an open-minded drama which talks about racism, prejudices, and different kinds of discrimination that still lingers in the society. I think this is the most truthful and natural Japanese drama that I'd watched.
The actors are good and doesn't overact. The main character Vito, played by Jun Matsumoto, was very different from the other roles that Matsumoto played before. I'm quite used to his roles like, Shin Sawada, a quiet but cool high school student from Gokusen, and Tsukasa Domyouji ,the rich and arrogant leader of F4 in Hana Yori Dango, while Vito is the bullied and discriminated guy. So, it's quite new for me to see him in this kind of drama. This drama made me respect MatsuJun more as an actor because it showed how versatile and flexible he is in his roles.
Oguri Shun's role also made me the creeps. I hate his character in "Smile" so much. His role is very evil and despicable.
Yui Aragaki's role is a young woman who had been traumatized by an incident that happened in her past which made her to stop speaking. She gave a refreshing feeling in the drama.
Nakai Kiichi played Ito Kazuma, a lawyer who helped Vito in his case. At first, Vito thought that Kazuma doesn't like him because he is half-Filipino but in reality, he can understand Vito because he is also discriminated before.
What I like most about the show is that Vito, like every Filipinos, is very optimistic about life and wears a smile every time when he face life's obstacles and challenges even though he doesn't know what the Filipino culture and never visited the Philippines. Vito shows how can a person be happy even if he is in the midst of darkest time in life.
However, the ending was good for me but I think it doesn't reached my expectations. I expected a lot more. To be honest, it was quite hard for me to finish the last two episodes because I think it was really boring.
Overall, the drama is good and great script. The actors did well. I would rate it 4 out of 5. I recommend it to all the drama viewers out there who want something serious and are interested to the current society of Japan.
For more information about the drama: http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Smile