Atelier (Japanese title Underwear) is a Japanese web television drama developed by Fuji Television for Netflix It is a coming of age drama set in a small high-class lingerie design house called Emotion, which is based in Tokyo's Ginza district. The drama centres around Mayuko Tokita, a new employee, and her struggle to find her place at Emotion.
Atelier or Underwear can be watched through Netflix and that's how I saw it. By the way I need to say that I'm very pleased to know that (Finland's version of) Netflix has picked up more Asian dramas lately! When Netflix was ordered to stop usage of browser apps that allows to see other countries' Netflix versions I really though that it's gonna be end of watching legally all Asian drama! But luckily that wasn't it. Well I can't see all of those that Asian people can but at least some of it.
Atelier was random pick and I haven't heard about it before but after I watched I felt that it should earn some compliments. Story starts with young woman who doesn't know anything about glamour and I thought this is gonna be one of those start of new life stories but (luckily?) it wasn't that generic. The underwear shop's designer showed up and started to boss around about style. And well I don't even need to listen to her to know who she is imitating.
Atelier gives nice details from world of fashion in little details and it's always fascinating to watch that kind of series. Creators really have studied fashion world well and put it in Atelier. Of course I need to say that this series may not appeal to people who aren't any bit interested about fashion in any way. I'm very drawn to fashion and creating things (as some of you may know that I create and sell fashion and graphic design products in www.chiringo.fi) so I liked to see all those yummy details. As said Atelier's best parts come from realism about creating fashion and how that industry works.
But when we look Atelier without fashion touch we can see some nice and touching scenes but it still feels that there is something missing. Characters are mainly only about main character and underwear shop's owner. Other characters didn't feel as thought as those two. They just merged mostly to some kind of "others-amoeba". Others had only one word in their personality and that was mainly it. They didn't feel like real people.
It's sometimes okay that story goes only around one or two characters but then you need to show story in cohesive way seen through their eyes. This time it somehow didn't seem to work. It looked like creators didn't know when to concentrate to what and who. There was some pieces of Anna-copy's child and little love between main character and young man in underwear shop. And first one that was longest one: main characters makeup story how Cinderella transforms to glamorous princess. Well...first she was struggling with her style and then in next episode she looked like professional fashion worker. Hop over river was too sudden and top of that then she kinda went back to be Cinderella? I really thought this transformation thing was one of the main ideas in Atelie's storyline but if so then why didn't you show it better and how she made it (though it's genric)?
This all just ended up to be a messy story line that had potential but didn't finish it up. A half baked cake just tossed to a sugar pile to look more prettier. It was nice idea that main character was Cinderella who tried to transform to a princess but then realized that it's not her style. I think that was trying to be a main story (and it was better than cliche story about trash to beauty) but it was buried under other meaningless details.
As an drama Atelier isn't worth to watch but if you like to see details about fashion creation this is a nice little peek. Actors and settings has nice quality (lack of quality in settings and sometimes in acting seems to be issue is Asian drama market...or have I just seen the low quality ones? )