Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nagareboshi eps 1+2

Wow. I can't remember the last Ueto Aya jdorama where its freaking obvious that she was miscast. Probably Attention Please? In Nagareboshi she plays Risa who is forced to prostitute herself in order to pay off her brother's debt. This is perfect casting for Ueto Aya because she has to wear sailor fuku for her job and she looks just like a high school girl instead of a 25 year old woman.

Ueto Aya playing a prostitute and all we get is a massage scene??!!

The brown hair and slightly unkempt look in Nagareboshi actually makes her look 20+ instead of a teen. So Risa's working to pay off debts when her evil brother played by Inagaki Goro comes back into her life and causes havoc. Just when she pays off his debts, he destroys her love life and gets her back in money trouble.

Someone needs to make an Ore no imouto konani kawaii ga nai jdorama.

Kengo (Takenouchi Yutaka) works in an aquarium, has a cute sister played by Kitano Kii like all Japanese dudes have and is about to get married Minako (Itaya Yuka). One day, Kengo's sister Maria collapses and it is discovered that her liver is fucked and she can only live for a year unless she finds a donor. Kengo and mom were not suitable to be donors and they furiously try to convince relatives to donote to no avail. Then we find out that there's a rule in Japan whereby donors must be relatives as to prevent people from paying for organs. Either that or hope enough organ donors die so Maria's turn on the list can come up.

Flashback to Koukou Kyoushi 2003. 7 years and she hasn't changed much.

Minako doesn't find out about Maria's illness until later and is asked to donate her liver if she is compatible. She consults with her parents who of course objects to it. I have no idea what the side effects of liver donation are but I am happy to accept it as it is a necessary plotline for the premise of the story. Kengo, who is running out of options saves the suicidal Risa and offers to pay her debts in exchange for her marrying him so she can donate her liver to Maria.

Are Japanese siblings always this close?

So the basic story of Nagareboshi is Risa going from prostitute to selling her kidneys in a sham marriage. So far I'm liking it because its more serious and darker than those sham marriage turn to love kmovies. The bright and happy Maria in hospital part with Matsuda Shota as her doctor and the kansai-ben guy I don't particularly care for cause its a bit too bright and happy and Matsuda Shota does not make a convincing doctor. Tanihara Shosuke should have been the doctor in this one instead of the sleep inducing Mioka.

So where does Nagareboshi go from here? Goro will continue to be the torn in Risa's backside and there will be some lame redemption scene for him at the end. The doctor will suspect and find out about Kengo and Risa's sham marriage and we'll have our ethical conundrum of the series. The synopsis mentions Kengo's dark secret so I'm looking forward to that. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the first two episodes of Nagareboshi. Not must watch but certainly full of promise.


Jung said...

I'm enjoying this series too. Thanks to Yutaka, scenery, and the music, it has that calm "Ruri No Shima" flavor to it, which I'm guessing is the influence of the director who has many fine shows under his belt (haike chichiue, kaze no garden, yasashii jikan, etc).

At the same time, the basic premise and the plot line is so Jerry-Springer like, which I assume is the influence of the producer (sunao, buzzerbeat, innocent love, last friends. omg, look at this list... Can one guy suck any more?!).

Surprisingly these two elements are meshing quite well, thanks to good writing. And I have soft spots for pretty much all the actors, including Matsuda, so I can gloss over the fact that he's just too young for the role.

All in all, so far so good til ep3. Can't wait for some more!

Akiramike said...

I do agree that its the directing that's holding this soap opera-ish dorama together and actually making it work.

Anonymous said...

This is a great drama. Glad to see your review on it. The subs aren't out...but i still watch it. It's that good.