Monday, October 27, 2008

Hitotsu Yane no Shita/Under the Same Roof eps 1-6

Has it been that long since Groink did ep 1?

In the world of subbed family jdoramas, Oyaji is king. No other family show can unseat it from its throne imho. Karei naru Ichizoku makes a good case and would have if not for KimuTaku's character. He has charisma to play generic heroes but doesn't have the talent for deep characters. The only show that can match Oyaji is Hitotsu Yane no Shita. Way back in 2003, Groink fansubbed 4 episodes and it was great. Unfortunately he stopped due to someone selling his fansub or something like that. (Can't remember the exact reason) Two/three years ago, it was announced that he had given the raws to SARS and they were going to sub it but all was quiet for a long time. I had given up hope. My only choice would be to find the chinese sub vcds.

Yosuke looking like a serial killer.

Then one day, I noticed the torrent for ep 4-6. (No idea how I didn't notice the previous torrents) I couldn't believe it! All those years of waiting! I dug out my cds of eps 1-4 and hoped that they still worked. I had to overburn them since they were more than 700 megs and luckily the cds worked unlike some of my old ones! Had to wait a freaking week to watch this cause I really wanted my brother to see it. Under the Same Roof (USR) is one of those classic shows that everyone must watch and unlike Hoshi no Kinka, it stands the test of time.

Sappari wakaranai...

Family shows require very good casting. Those not much in terms of story variety. It requires bloody good acting and chemistry. Eguchi Yosuke, is the oldest son Tatsuya or as his six siblings call him, an-chan. 7 years ago, their parents died in an accident and the siblings were separated. After ending his marathon career, Tatsuya decides to settle down and reconnect with his siblings. Sounds a bit like Hotman, doesn't it? Even Tatsuya's overbearing personality is similar. Its a necessary evil to have a character who's constantly talking to be the focus. Eguchi Yosuke does it with the half the overacting that we find in jdoramas today and is able to carry his weight during the serious scenes. He is the irritating oldest brother who doesn't use his head but his heart.

If there is such thing as a perfect woman...

Fukuyama Masaharu plays Masaya, the 2nd brother who is the brains of the family. He is not really cynical but more of a realist and the one with the most reason not to reunite with his siblings. Tatsuya and Masaya are both sides of the coin of the ideal aniki. Masaya is the most interesting brother of the 4 but unfortunately there's not enough time to explore his character.

Koyuki after seeing an-chan's chinchin. :) Note her kawaii expression of horror and shock!

Thirdly, we have Sakai Noriko as Koyuki, the oldest sister and IMO the glue of the show. Finally, I get to see why was so famous back in the day. She is the perfect woman from the last century. She is the beautiful girl from next door. She is the perfect mom. She is the embodiment of the ideal woman of the 90s. The problem with Hoshi no Kinka was that her character was too passive to the point of stupidy or rather throwing the kitchen sink and bathtub at her was too much that empathy became indifference. In Mukodono 2003, Nagase Tomoyo's extreme overacting negated her charms. In UtSR, her beauty, charm and acting skills are self evident.

The way her eyes speak louder than any monologue can. She doesn't need Shiori's anime eyes to tell the viewers what is in her heart. The way she gets angry that is kowaii yet kawaii at the same time. I can see that Nacchi patterned her angry look after Noriko's. Or her slight look of dismay, the downcast eyes that just pulls the viewer in. Its sad that this type of character is no longer considered ideal anymore. Now its either the sassy OL or the slutty clubbing girl/camera whore. The feminine ideals that Koyuki represents is no more. One could argue such ideas were advocated by men and maybe still are but what do I know. I just know that watching Sakai Noriko on the screen fills me with nostalgic warmth.

I wish I had a sister who worked as a hostess. :)
Rounding up the family is Oji Megumi as Koume, the youngest sister. I think she was the bride with the mother who smokes and was a farmer from Wedding Planner. Ishida Issei (Seija no Koushin) is Fumiya, the 2nd youngest brother who has a rap sheet and Yamamoto Koji (Shinsengumi) is the disabled youngest brother, Fumiya. And how can I forgot Uchida Yuki as Rina, an idol who is a patient at the hospital Masaya works at.

An-chan knows the meaning of love thy neighbour! Look at those legs!

Look at the talent on this show! What is interesting is that they were very young when this show came out but they're twice as talented as all the young actor wannabes today. Even if one had the power to cherry pick, it would be impossible to find an ensemble cast as good as they are today. Come to think of it, Summer Snow had pretty good casting and its sort of a family dorama, but not quite.

Every guy needs a sister like Koyuki...

Of course, all the talent in the world is useless without a decent script and USR doesn't dissappoint. It doesn't try to do too much. The script knows its role. Do some humour, build up side stories in the background and go for the moving scene at the end but not to milk it too much. Its simple straight to the point and puts the onus on the actors to deliver. What more can I say to sell this show? Its classic and I can't wait for ep 7, especially after the cliffhanger!


Anonymous said...

Good ol' dramas! \(^^)/
I want to watch this! But I have to wait a until it's all released. :)

Koyuki after seeing an-chan's chinchin. :) Note her kawaii expression of horror and shock!


Akiramike said...

Who knows when the whole thing will finally be subbed? Plus you have a reason to rewatch everytime an episode comes out. :)