Friday, May 15, 2009

Shiroi Haru eps 4+5

Don't bother waiting for the subs. If you've got knowledge of basic Japanese, its very easy to understand the dialogue and Shiroi Haru is worth watching a second time anyway when the subs come out. Episodes 4 and 5 feature two of the most heart wrenching scenes you will ever see Abe Hiroshi in, and they are great. If this were a Kdrama or featured a Johnny as the main, they would have milked it to no end. However, Abe is the master of less is more.

Aren't you sorta relieved that Kita Yoshio's not in this show?

Simple is best. Cleaning up Mariko's grave, Haruo comes to accept that he may have made the wrong decision. That he is partly responsible for her death. I just love how episode 5 is structured. In the beginning, he learns that Sachi is his child and gets a renewed sense of purpose, a new lease in life. He goes back to the shop where he ate and ran to repay his debt and the smile on Haruo's face after his good deed is priceless. With Abe Hiroshi, you don't need monologues about how good he felt doing that. Haruo is trying to make peace or seek atonement for his misdeeds so he can look forward to the future.

Albeit Abe probably did this scene more than a few times. :)

He goes about his work as a janitor with gusto but alast his past catches up to him. He is clearly aware that his past can only harm Sachi and it kills him. Again, he has to make the same decision towards Sachi that he made towards Mariko. It is in their best interest for him to go away. This mental conflict and anguish is not expressed through the use of a second character for Haruo to voice his thoughts to but through Abe's acting.

Koji's story is kinda weird. I don't think he and Mariko were ever really involved as a couple. He seemed more like nice guy who's help that she accepted due to her situation. Kanoko and Koji have been living together for how many years and nothing's happened? Its like a purely platonic relationship based on Sachi's welfare. However, their personal lives seem non-existant. Their life seems to be the bakery and the family that's not really a family.

It looks like my guess that Shiori has a link to the main characters may turn out to be false. She's is more of plot device to connect Haruo to Sachi. She deserves a side story with some sort of resolution as nothing is happening between her and Haruo. The preview of ep 6 shows Haruo's new job which is very interesting.

Why does ojisan always wear the same clothes? Does he think he's Kazuma Kiryu?

The big elephant in the room is where did Mariko's money go? Its obviously been stolen by his friend and may play a big part in the ending. Question is, Haruo is trying to move on. He has something to live for now. Would he jeopardize that for vengeance? Can't wait for next episode!


Anonymous said...

Hate to admit, but this is the 1st time I agree w/ almost everything you say about a drama. :)

I'm a little more foregiving about Koji's character, but Kanoko's character is really kind of weird and not very well fleshed out. Shiori is as you say only a plot device up to this point and I really hope she gets the side story she deserves, which I think she will as all the relevant setup for the major characters are now in place and there're 6 more episodes to flesh out the side characters (like Shiori and her friend, Kanoko, Haruo's yakuza friend, etc.).

Anonymous said...

BTW, not only Abe's scenes are heart wrenching. There's 1 particular scene in ep.5 that was really etched in my mind - Sachi slowing turning to her father (Koji) and said "Soko de kirin iru?" That came out of nowhere and I was really stunned/moved; full credit to the writer for writing such great scenes and dialogs.

Some people on other forums complained about the lack of plot, that nothing really happens in an episode, or why they revealed everything for the next episode in the review, etc., etc.. But this is really a drama on character study or the story of personal growth, so it doesn't have the standard narrative structure of an act I/II/III etc.. Do you watch Okuribito for the plot? Or even KDO for that matter, where each episode simply consists of mundane daily chores of a professional and how his character changed and grew thru intereactions w/ the people he met and those around him. This is the same type of drama, and if you want plot you can go watch the train wreck that is Yako no Kaidan or BOSS.

Akiramike said...

You make a good point. Number of plot twists is not as important as execution. There is not great unforseen revelations or complicated relationships in Shiroi Haru. We get excited watching it because the characters are so well developed and we want to see what happens next.