26 October 2013 | sharptongue
Good-natured nudge at J jobseeking
You think you got problems finding a job as a new graduate ? Be thankful you're not in this rat race. Being born and raised Japanese doesn't seem to be much help for the too-eager stumblebum Takeo. He and his college chums are treated to a bewildering array of corporate tactics, tricks and inducements, and they often fall into traps, though not always set for them.
Big corporations allow students to ferociously compete for places in mock interviews, then tease applicants about the interviews being real, and carefully note their reactions. Smaller businesses are desperate for highly qualified talent, and try all manner of tricks and rewards, up to and including group kidnapping.
Both employ a curious concept known as 'unofficial appointments'. Larger corporations use them to tease and test, while the smaller companies use them as a trick to lure graduates away to them.
One of the lady students is asked to give her 'three sizes' (vital statistics) by an old salaryman who is clearly out-of-touch.
Takeo is generally good-humoured about being continually frustrated and spun around like this, maintaining his all-important 'genki' (roughly, 'I will be strong'), though he does make the mistake of drunkenly punching his intended new boss at a bar one night, then sweats it out when the man is his lead interviewer the following day. One of many running jokes is Takeo's continuing failure to flag down taxis. When he finally manages to catch one, is it a tantalizing hint that his luck has changed ? All through the confusion, two women vie for Takeo's affection : A childhood friend who has never refused his calls for help, and an ambitious career woman who helps him negotiate the recruitment process in the company of the man he drunkenly punched.
The pace clips along nicely, and the comedy is mostly gentle nugding. The similar and later Star Reformer (2006, also starring Yuji Oda) is a shade better, though this one is pretty good entertainment too.