Tuesday, September 01, 2015

DramaQueen pick: Tearjerker Japanese flims

1) One litre of tears

Plot: This drama is based on the real-life struggles of a 15-year-old girl named Aya who suffered from an incurable disease, but lived life to the fullest until her death at 25. The script is based on the diary Aya kept writing until she could no longer hold a pen. The book that later followed, entitled, One litre of tears has sold over 1.1 million copies in Japan alone.

Fifteen-year-old Ikeuchi Aya is an ordinary girl, soon to be high school student and daughter of a family who works at a shop that makes tofu. As time passes, unusual things start happening to Aya. She begins falling down often and walking strangely. Her mother Shioka, takes Aya to see the doctor, and he informs Shioka that Aya has - spinocerebellar degeneration a rare disease where the cerebellum of the brain gradually deteriorates to the point where the victim cannot walk, speak, write, or eat. A cruel disease, as it does not affect the mind.

Drama review: Based on a real story, Aya lived a tough life which we can't even imagine! Although the love story was added into the story line, it was never the main focus of the drama. Aya never had a chance to fall in love, let alone live a normal life. I cried while watching the show as it was like witnessing the disease slowly ate up Aya. However, Aya optimism and her determination to live on demand respect from everyone. Who can live a life like Aya? I cannot imagine myself in that condition and insisted to write a journal which eventually published as a book. 

2) Love Letter

Plot: Hiroko Watanabe (Miho Nakayama) lives in Kobe. Her fiancé, Itsuki Fujii, was tragically killed in a mountaineering accident. One day Hiroko finds Itsuki’s old school yearbook, from the time he lived in Otaru, Hokkaido. She finds an address in the book. She writes a letter and sends it to that address.

Itsuki Fujii (Miho Kakayama) lives in Otaru. She receives the letter a few days later: “Dear Itsuki Fujii. How Are you? I am fine. Hiroko Watanabe.” She is a little disturbed by the letter, but decides to write back.

Hiroko is astonished when she receives a reply. She goes to discuss it with Shigeru Akiba. When her fiance Itsuki was alive, Shigeru and Itsuki were mountaineering partners. After Itsuki’s death, Shigeru thought very seriously of marrying Hiroko. But the memory of Itsuki was a barrier between them. Soon, Hiroko discovers that the reply came from her fiance's classmate and namesake, Istuki Fujii, a woman. The two women begin a strange correspondence.

Movie review: This Japan film was beautifully shot considering that it was a 1995 box office hit movie. I like the calmness and the sentimental feeling of this movie. The last few minutes of the film had me in tears and reaching out for tissues. I was sniffing when I saw the part where Takashi Kashiwabara stood behind the window curtain. A beautiful life was lost due to that freak incident. The big revelation towards the end, stirred up all my emotions and I can empathize her heart break. The moral of the story is to confess your feeling before it is too late. There is a bitter taste of regret after the movie ended. 

3) Kamisama, Mou Sukoshi Dake (God, give me more time) 

Plot: A touching love story about a girl Kano Masaki (Fukada) who contracted HIV after selling her body in order to earn money for the concert of a famous composer Ishikawa Keigo (Kaneshiro). After the concert, Keigo saw Masaki chasing after his van. She was drenched, and thus Keigo took her to his apartment, where they spent the night. 

Drama review: This Jdrama is a tragic story since the beginning. I don't understand why Masaki chose to sell her body at the first place. Some people said that she deserved it for she is too naive. However, she had suffered the consequences and she regretted her decision. Get ready for some tissues as you watch this drama, you would sympathize with her situation. This drama actually brought to light about HIV awareness and the danger of casual sex. Will true love overcome all the adversity?

4) Mother

Plot: Matsuyuki plays the part of Nao Suzuhara, an elementary school teacher. When she realizes that one of the female students is receiving abuse from her mother, Nao's maternal instincts kick in, and she impulsively decides to bring the girl into her own care. Serving as a substitute mother, Nao takes the child on a trip from Hokkaido to Tokyo, and the two experience various events together along the way.

Drama Review: The little girl deserve so much sympathy. She is so good in conveying emotions through expressions! I am very impressed with this talented young actress. The story line is so touching that makes me want to hug her tightly and tell her everything will be alright. Those moments where the child desperate and helpless Cries for Nao to kidnap her again ended with me tearing up. 

5) Sky of love (Koizura)

Plot: During her freshman year in high school, Mika Tahara loses her cell phone, but later finds it in the school library with the help of an unknown caller. Throughout the summer, Mika and the mysterious caller continue to communicate, and agree to meet each other once school starts again. The caller turns out to be Hiro, a delinquent-like boy that Mika is initially afraid of, who shows proof of his identity as the caller with a photo of the sky on his cellular phone.

From her friends and through her first sexual encounter with Hiro, Mika learns that he had a girlfriend named Saki. Although Hiro reassures her that he broke up with her, Saki, who still is in love with Hiro, holds a vendetta against Mika and hires a group of men to rape her. The horrific encounter ends with Hiro and his older sister Minako punishing both the men and Saki, but Mika continues to be harassed at school when Saki spreads rumors about her. Hiro protects Mika from all of the bullying advances, but she assures him that she's not frightened from being with him.

Mika later becomes pregnant after she and Hiro consummate in the school library. Hiro is thrilled by the news and both of them gain Hiro's parents' permission to raise the child together, although Mika's parents disapprove of the action. Despite this, Mika is determined to have the baby. After an altercation with Saki, the baby's birth ends in a miscarriage. Despaired, Mika and Hiro build a grave for their baby and promise each other to come visit the memorial yearly on the day of the baby's death.

Drama review: This is not a tragic movie at the first glance, however the story soon focus on all the misfortune events that will eventually unfolds some secrets and heartaches. I cried when Hiro passed away due to illness when everything looks more positive for the couple. Sadly, life can be so fragile and depressing. Haruma Miura shines in this drama acting as the unpredictable, depressed and wild Hiro.

6) Byakuyako

Plot: 19 years ago (1972), a pawnshop owner was killed in Osaka. Several suspects were identified. However, the case remained unsolved due to lack of decisive evidence. Since then, Ryoji Kirihara, the son of the victim and Yukiho Karasawa, the daughter of one of the suspects seemed to have walked on separate paths of life. However, mysterious and vicious crimes kept on happening around the two of them. This is an epic story about two persons who lost their conscientiousness from a tragedy.

Drama Review: Byakuyako is another tragic drama with a dark story line. However, the drama is too depressing and the story focus on self defense to manipulation and psychological problems between the main characters. This is a psychological thriller drama that explore about hurts, manipulation and hatred. Be prepared for some mind blowing downward spiral story development later on in the story.


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