Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jdorama review: Daisuki!!

Good old disability doramas. They are to me what cancer is to Korean doramas. It appeals to the gambatte spirit of the underdog against all odds but doesn't have to resort to lame fatalistic plots. Not all disability doramas are good of course but I kinda associate them with the golden age of jdoramas. From Beautiful Life to Kimi ga oshiete kureta koto. Its always moving to watch a hot girl who can't see/hear/walk etc struggle against the odds. With a regular chick, you have to make her interesting. With disability doramas, its just about the challenges and keeping the cheese factor to minimum.

Daisuki!! came out in the beginning of this year and its one of those shows I've always wanted to blog about but never got around cause I just watched a really good show that I want to talk about. I had the whole review in the back of my mine months ago but never got around to writing them down and had to search through my posts just to make sure I had not. In Daisuki!!, Karina plays Yuzu, a mentally disabled woman who gets pregnant. I'm pretty sure she's autistic but I'm too lazy to look through the series again to confirm. Usually in such cases, children's services will have to remove the child from the mother. In fact, I had spoken to an autistic mom this week who's child is in custody of the grandparents which sort of reminded me of this show.

Karina's character Yuzu, has the mind of an eight year old, and as Robert Downey Jr said in Tropic Thunder, 'full retards' aren't just entertaining. Or rather, I am unable to empathise with Yuzu. I just pity the mom and brother for having to shoulder the huge burden of allowing Yuzu to have the child. People who make the 'right' decision knowing that it is the most difficult instantly gain my sympathy, especially the brother who has to make sacrifices. Its hard for me to judge her acting despite her winning two awards. I just have this idea that anyone can act like an eight year old. Maybe I'm just indifferent to characters who show no intelligence.

The one thing that kept me glued to the screen was Fukuda Saki's character of Kotone, the child's aunt. She's the cynical girl gets attached to Yuzu and Himawari and in helping them turns her life around. I enjoyed her role as the manipulative bully in Life but her acting as Kotone shows that she has acting chops. She is the perfect anthesisit to Yuzu's goody brother, Ren. Rather it is their story that made this show interesting.

So it pissed me off to no end when Ren ended up with the fucking boring ojousan Natsume. I really can't understand how the writer can justify not putting together the two most interesting characters in the show. Natsume is so boring. She's the nice girl who like Ren and puts in the effort to help Yuzu but she's more of a 2 dimensional plot device compared to Kotone says whatever is on everyone's mind but they do not dare to voice out. Not to mention the complete lack of chemistry between Ren and Natsume. I wouldn't recommend Daisuki!! unless you want to see what Fukuda Saki can do.


Anonymous said...

You just suggested a good old drama for me. I'm grabbing "Kimi ga oshietekureta koto" (From the Heart/Things You Taught Me)
I'm also thinking of watching "Daisuki" but I'm prioritising the older drama before "Daisuki".

dokaben said...

Tomosaka Rie was great in 'Kimi ga oshietekureta koto'. I'm still impressed someone could blink that much and still manage to keep their lines straight. Of course that's probably why I'm not an actor...

"I just have this idea that anyone can act like an eight year old."

To be non-PC for a sec...

That reminds me of something a local shock radio personality once said. He felt no one should win an Oscar for portraying mentally challenged people because it's just too easy. Same idea for straight actors playing stereotypically "flaming" gay characters.

Akiramike said...

From the Heart, is good but not great so don't get her hopes to high. Tomosaka Rie really kept that show from being average. She doesn't try to play her character like a kid.

Jung said...

This show had a babe factor going, so I gave it a shot. I think I was able to tolerate 3-4 episodes, but the constant tantrum by Karina made the show unbearable. I really didn't all the kidish acting was necessary.

I think the show would've been much more powerful if Yuzu character was a female equivalent of Teru in the last Boku series played by Kusanagi. I knew I was done with this show when I was begging the child service lady to take the kid away.

Karina won an award for this? Sheesh. She should've studied Asari Youske in the Boku series and how he played autistic role. I thought they really hired a real autistic person...... that is, unti I saw him show up in Code Blue.

sparqi said...

"I thought they really hired a real autistic person...... that is, until I saw him show up in Code Blue."

personally I think the jury's still out! hahahhahahh