Monday, September 17, 2007

Kono yo no Hate


Ah, good old jdoramas. We've got a young heroine who works as a hostess and is forever trying to pay for her past, her blind sister who is trying to find her own life, a pianist who has the power to leech money of women and is trying to escape his past and a scarred mechanic who can never escape his crime. Not one mention of some super rare disease. No trying to spread a concept too thin over 12 episodes, just twist and turns in the story to keep you watching.

Why don't you just use a Hallelujah Chance instead of moping around all day?

If you've seen the comments at d-addicts and the wiki, Kono yo no Hate is touted as the darkest jdorama ever. This show has attempted rape, suicide, drugs, blackmail and violence. Yup, plenty of stuff that jdoramas won't touch today. However, its no depressing or sad which is not to say its not entertaining either.

Everytime I see her face, I can't help hearing Bokutachi no Shippai in my head....

I love dark and depressing doramas. However, they only work when their empathy for the character and the best way is to take regular characters and put them in unfortunate situations and show them hopelessly try to escape. This only works when the characters are smart. They don't have to be streetwise but not as dumb as some pianist who has no idea about surviving in the real world.

Suzuki Honami's character probably chain smoked as much as KimuTaku in his old shows.

The crux of the show is Maria's (Suzuki Honami) sacrifices for Shiro (Mikami Hiroshi). Basically she's playing the Hoshi no Kinka tragic character. I like that she's trapped by her past but the things she does for Shiro just borders on stupid. I can't say its because Maria and Shiro are completely devoid of any chemistry but rather Shiro is too idealistically naive. The problem is the two main characters playing two 'female' type roles. The tragic girl looking for happiness and the prince(ss) who wants to escape his destiny. Watching Shiro fuck everything up is not tragic, its stupid. Contrast this with Byakuyakou where characters try their best to escape the circle of violence, the tragedy of Maria and Shiro just seems .... comical.

Love the camera work in this scene. Every cut, the camera gets closer to Nana's face.

Which is not to say this show isn't fun to watch. We've got Sakurai Sachiko as Nana, Maria's sister and Jun (Oura Ryuichi). Yeah, the blind girl and guy with scarred face story can be cheesy but at least the characters don't do things which leaves the viewer scratching their heads. In summary, the show's still very watchable. There's never a dull moment with the story moving at a brisk pace. However, one's enjoyment of the show depends on how tragic the viewer sees the main characters.

2 comments:

Vee said...

Have you watched other Nojima Shinji's 'dark' dramas? Like Ningen Shikkaku or Seija no Koushin?

Akiramike said...

@Vee: I've seen Seija no Koushin but I don't remember anything about it and I never wrote about it. I guess I must have found it unremarkable. I'll see if I can find Ningen Shikkaku. It seems to be pretty acclaimed.