Random Fandom: Tatta Hitotsu no Koi

Orenji! Orenji! Burning Bright

by Ender’s Girl

And there it was, wedged between the fake Gucci watches and the stuffed toys of indeterminate morpho-anatomy, in a nondescript little stall smack in the middle of the Petaling Street night market in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown district. A round rubbery ball with goofy latex eyes and a crudely drawn mouth smiled knowingly at me through its numerous springy hairlike projections that tickled my palm when I pulled the thing off its hook. It felt just as I thought it would: soft and squishy, but with a smaller solid sphere inside it that rattled… invitingly. I had to test it out. So I gave the bauble a hard little shake — and it promptly flickered to life, coruscating in its gummy shell like a mini strobe light. 15 seconds. I counted.

And the best thing about this little gewgaw? It was ORANGE. I SO knew we were meant for each other.

So Meteor Garden fans had their Meteor necklace and Winter Sonata ajummas fans had their Polaris pendant, and now I have my little Orenji. The funny thing is that I found it in the last place I ever expected to, and at a time when J-dramas were the farthest thing from my mind. (I was there on holiday with my siblings.) But whether by a stroke of serendipity or divine intervention, there I was — in the noisy, congested flea market, and there it was — in its dusty nook beside the beaming shopkeeper, who knew from the look on my face that a sale was in the bag. I didn’t even bother haggling as I handed over the moolah (although I know I should have at least tried, heh).

It’s funny how a gaudy little toy setting you back by a few ringgit can still make you feel like a million… yen. Suddenly my vision swam with images of me racing over to the Petronas Towers that very evening to wave Orenji from the Skybridge, hoping that somewhere, somehow, a skinny boatyard mechanic in a well-worn denim jacket (streaked with engine oil!) would take notice and shine his battered yellow flashlight back at me, his other hand plunged deep into his jean pocket. *squeees* But if there indeed was such a person, could I really leave everything behind — my home, my family, my career — to embark on a new life with him? My mind was racing as fast as my heart. Could I go live aboard his dinky little boat, and cook him — oh I dunno, congee with dried fish flakes (or whatever the hell they eat over there) for breakfast every morning? Could I ditch the modern comforts of my old life and enter his world of scrap metal and acetylene torches — without ever looking back? Could I really, could I?


Suddenly the future didn’t seem… as… bright and twinkly as before, lol. My harebrained Petronas Skybridge Scheme dissipated in the muggy, pungent air of the market as I quickly realized that the Hiroto I so loved, the hard-working, honorable young man who dared to dream even if he died trying, the 20-year-old who went back to the stall and fished out Orenji just for me while fireworks exploded in the background… um, okay, maybe not for ME technically… uh… now I’m getting all confused, lulz… anyway, THAT Hiroto, existed nowhere else but in my mind. (And in the minds of all those who ever watched and adored the drama Tatta Hitotsu no Koi.) Reality sucks, long live romantic pipe dreams. Hahaha. But perhaps, our collective fanmagination IS indeed the best place for Hiroto to dwell, ne? That way he’ll always be twenty and pure and wonderfully alive.

My brother and sister were already a few stalls down, checking out the World Cup jerseys on display and oblivious to my brief apoplectic attack, the invisible seismic tremors rocking my fangirly little world. Then time unfroze and the market came alive again, bombarding me with all the sounds, smells and colors of Chinatown. I stuffed Orenji deep into my trusty old Phoenix Suns backpack (yes, also color orange, lol) and hurried after my siblings. Finding my own Hiroto could wait. For now, the city beckoned, and there was much exploring to do.

A week has passed and I’m back home with Orenji right beside me, given pride of place on the shelf above my desk. I still give it a rough, affectionate shake from time to time, watching it glow the way Nao’s own Orenji did after Hiroto won it back for her at the town festival. I look at my orange rubber blob, and it stares at me with those unfocused latex eyes. It won’t stop smiling, and I grin right back at it. Hiroto or no Hiroto, life is still pretty good, I reckon.


My Orenji

Photo credits: photo of Hiroto & Nao from nicokun.wordpress.com; THnK wallie by crimsonspell @ LiveJournal; all shots of my Orenji were taken by my sister

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22 Comments on “Random Fandom: Tatta Hitotsu no Koi”

  1. Cristelle Says:

    awww OMG, that is SO adorable 🙂 love the first wallie… the second one sorta scares me lol.

    • Cristelle Says:

      haha nevermind the first one isn’t even a wallie haha.

      • Ender's Girl Says:

        Lol, did Orenji scare you ‘coz of the darkened background? My sister took the shots while I was holding it with the lights turned off. I had wanted to make the glow as bright as possible. Had no idea it would turn out looking like a Halloween jack-o’-lantern. 😀

  2. ockoala Says:

    You evil enabler, how I love you so, Ender’s Girl. I’m almost done with THnK and I absolutely adore it. It’s straight on fantasy love story without any wink-wink nudge-nudge. OMG, just what my shriveled up heart was craving. Who knew it would come in the form of Kame and Orenji.

    Thanks for the rec, it’s definitely a keeper in my book (the drama and your review).

    And lastly, watched Ep. 1 of HnH2, verdict…….(trying to keep the suspense high, you know)………WAHHHH, so. good. It’s like time never passed the they never left. The same mood, the same vibe, everything I loved about HnH is back, baby! And better than before. Ending to Ep. 1 let me squeeing for a good 10 minutes. Squeeeeee…..

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      I’m glad your “shriveled up heart” took well to Hiroto and his jeans. 😀 My work here is done. *detaches anal probe and beams self back to mother ship*

      OMG, that’s all I could ever ask from Season 2, that it would pick up exactly where Season 1 left off — emotionally as well as narratively. The Season 1 finale had me rolling around our patio wrapped in old newspapers for a week, lol. Soooo frustrating. (Dammit Buchou, you should’ve taken her right there on the porch!!!! hahahahaha) Here’s to hoping Season 2 keeps it up. *drains beer can*

      • ockoala Says:

        Oh lord, mine mind is as dirty as yours, I wanted full on makeout session like a soft corn porn drama right there on the porch as well!

        I was so frustrated by the ending (in terms of its lack of closure) I was screeching to my sister for a good 3 hours! But I still love the drama to pieces.

        Oh, and narratively it doesn’t pick up right where it left off, there is a time jump of 3 years (we’re told right off the bat so I don’t think it’s a major spoiler hence I’m telling you).

        But it makes sense and I like it. It feels like putting on your favorite sweater you put away in the attic for the summer, perfect and like it never went away.

        I’m hoping the writing and story doesn’t fail us, because the acting and chemistry is ALL THERE! And then some!

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          “Oh, and narratively it doesn’t pick up right where it left off, there is a time jump of 3 years” << Sou ka………..

          ……………. E.G. gets hit by a rare brainwave ………………

          3… years… living… under… the same roof…..?????????

          ZOMG they are TOTALLY sleeping with each other!!!!!!!!!!! ash&&$@dkssh*###&&#W@@%^&qwerty

          (Unless Buchou's decency/nobility/high-mindedness gene kicks into hyper-drive and he's like, no nookie till we're married, Hotaru. lol)

          “the acting and chemistry is ALL THERE! And then some!” << That's MOAR than what I could ever ask for, baby 😀

          • ockoala Says:

            Ehh, hold then horses there, EG, sweetie cakes!

            Let me amend: a time jump and an airport away.

            It’s a j-dorama ferrsakes, no shacking up in the sack until one is good and married, by jove!

  3. jicks Says:

    haha, you waving that thing on the Petronas Tower xD I would’ve bought one & done the same thing too if I was there (but maybe in a different colour lol) Who knew such a creepy looking thing can make grown women grin from ear to ear, hey?

    Seriously can’t believe you ran into one! It must be fate ;O Hiroto calling! (from a public phone lol)

    P.S. I never had a Meteor Garden necklace, but I did get the Meteor ring from the sequel. And, well, I may as well make this my coming out party— I also got the Stairway To Heaven necklace. And the Sam Soon piggy. And Rain’s key pendant he wore in Full House. A Pucca phone charm that was 95% similar to Eun Chae’s one in misa. The Prince Turns Into Frog amulet. And (WAIT FOR IT) JanDi’s shark tooth anklet/bracelet thing in Boys Over Flowers *buries face in Goo Joon Pyo’s hair* (>_>;)

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      ^ Lololol I cannot believe you bought all that merchandise!!! *doffs hat x 238773783* (I think the last time I wanted a drama memento so bad was… the David 7 T-shirt worn by Lee Dong-gun in Lovers in Paris.) If you wore all your goodies at the same time, I’ll bet you’d have trouble standing up. 😉

      Hiroto calling from a public phone << ROFLROFLROFL

      And Joon-pyo's hair hahahahaha!!! I thought you would say *breathes heavily into Ji-hoo’s violin* or something… 😀


    What a dreamy experience.~ It’s almost as if Orenji found you 🙂

    And the funny thing is that,just last night, I was watching Ep. 2, wherein Hiroto fished the Orenji for Nao. And of course the scene where Nao shines it for the first time for Hiroto to see.
    (I know I promised myself I wouldn’t watch it in like a decade, or not until I can deal properly with the sweet heartachey feeling it leaves me, but a friend was watching THnK for the first time, and her flailing tempted me to cheat with a couple of episodes.)

    When I first saw that festival scene, where Yuko gestures for Nao to come because the stall ‘had the thing Nao liked’, and where Hiroto comes over to fish one for Nao, and an ORANGE one at that, I went GAH. WAIT PLEASE. because we had the exact same one back home! I prayed that I did not throw it away while I was randomly cleaning, and had made a mental note to call my sister to ask her to PLEASE DOUBLE-CHECK whether orange ball was still around.

    I love how upon getting Orenji, you felt the urge to shine it back at Hiroto from the Skybridge^^ If one suddenly finds Orenji in an unexpected place like a Chinatown night market in Malaysia, who wouldn’t!? 🙂

    But perhaps, our collective fanmagination IS indeed the best place for Hiroto to dwell, ne? That way he’ll always be twenty and pure and wonderfully alive. — **nodding dreamily*

  5. lei Says:

    Hi,always have been a silent reader.
    But this got me to comment,the middle of the Petaling Street night market in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown district”.
    Are you Malaysian?because the world is a small small place if you are.See I’m a Malaysian myself!!!

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hullo, silent-no-more reader! 😀

      Nopee, I’m not from Malaysia (terrific place, though ;-)), I was just there last week backpacking around KL (and Penang a few days later) with my bro and sis. My Petaling Street close encounter with Orenji happened after we had spent the day exploring KL on foot (and stuffing our faces at every single food stall we could see, lol). I wish I could say that finding Orenji was the “highlight of my day” (to quote Kevin Spacey from American Beauty, hehe), but we had so many other wonderful experiences in your country that it’s hard to pick just one. Hope to be back soon! 😉

  6. lei Says:

    yes,silent no more..
    sounds like you guys had loads of fun.
    I miss my home,Penang,and the food too..though not so much of the weather..
    anyway,great to know you guys love the place…hope to see you guys visiting us again.

  7. Jenny Says:

    That’s so cute and glowy. I always wanted the necklace from HYD that Doymyoji gave Tsukushi.
    I liked thnk but not as much as you, Ayase Haruka and Kame were good but somehow I found her more endearing in Hotaru no hikari.

  8. tinysunbl Says:

    Your post actually inspired me go back and re-watch Tatta Hitotsu no Koi in its entirety for the 750470th time. In the end, I in turn felt inspired to make this short fanvid with Hiroto, Nao and the Orenji. Since you are the one who started this all, please allow me to dedicate it to you and all Tatta Hitotsu No Koi fans here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2axhxI2p68
    I hope you like it.
    I’m not a fan of the whale communication analogy but the Orenji and the festival scene are simply too cute. I watched it so many times I actually remember the script by heart. LOL if only I were that dedicated to work. Viva Orenji!

  9. hatake Says:

    can someone tell me where to buy this online? i’m from canada, watched the drama and really wanted this orange blob….

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hi there! I guess this means you must’ve really really liked THnK! 😀

      Sorry, but I haven’t the foggiest where to find Orenji online. =/ It’s really more of a flea-market find, I guess. But I’ll ask around the LiveJournal comms in case anyone in N. America is selling this. I have your email addy (I hope it’s real, lol) and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get word, ayt? =)

  10. gaijin mark Says:

    Lemme guess. You carry around that Phoenix Suns backpack so that someday you’ll feel a tap on your shoulder, turn around, look up, and there’ll be this guy who says, “Hi, my name’s Steve. What’s yours?”

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Nope, the Suns backpack is actually there to double as a barf bag in case something of that sort ever happens, hahaha. But I’d be too busy emptying my gut to remember to score an autograph and a souvenir pic @_@. Nice fantasy though 🙂

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