Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Shukumei 1969-2010 eps 1-6
Arikawa Takahashi (Kitamura Kazuki) is a rising star in the finance ministry and has huge political goals. His family, or more specifically his mother runs 50 hospitals and is willing to give Takahashi the financial resources needed to achieve his dreams. As fate would have it, he receives an omiai offer for the daughter of Shiroi Shinichiro, head of the policy department. Shinichiro is in trouble because his brother in law's construction company who backs him up with funds is in deep financial turmoil and one needs money to play politics.
It seems like a match made in heaven except that Takahashi has previously in a 10 year relationship with Nobuko, (Eiko Koike) who takes the relationship very seriously and cannot accept the fact that Takahashi is entering into a political marriage. Shukumei starts off as a political marriage dorama with the crazy ex lurking in the shadows. At the end of episode 2 however, we get to the main reveal of the show: that Takahashi and his fiancee Naoko (Uehara Misa) are in fact siblings!
Yes, Shukumei is a story of politics and incest. The 1969-2010 refers to the beginning of the story when Takahashi's mom Arikawa Mina and Shinichiro were lovers during the student protests. The first thing I would have expected Mina to do when she discovered was to rush to Takahashi's apartment and tell him not to fuck his sister. However, she just tells him that she is against the marriage because of Shinichiro's precarious financial position because she does not want to reveal her past as a student activist where she used a false name and was imprisoned. She doesn't have good parenting skills because obviously kids never do what their parents tell them to.
The most interesting part of the show for me was Shinichiro's reactions to finding out his future son in law was his son. He may have been horrified at the truth but Takahashi marrying his daughter was vital to his continued political survival. After all Naoko was basically the pawn in a political marriage. I think there was a hint of pride in discovering that he had a son who was not only successful but also wanted to him into the political world. I think the siblings creating deformed babies was the furthest thing from his mind.
I quite enjoyed all the tension in Shukumei. Takahashi and Naoko trying to deal with the Nobuko problem. Takahashi's bewilderment at his mother's sudden and seemingly irrational objection to the marriage. Shinichiro having to decide between career and family. The Prime Minister trying to buy over the construction company supporting Shinichiro. Takahashi having to appease his superiors in finance. And finally Mina, using Nobuko to drive a wedge between Takahashi and Naoko. I only wish that Fujii Mina had a more developed role than just playing the sounding board sister for Naoko.
So far its been a good 6 episodes with Takahashi finally realising the horrible truth at the end of ep 6. Personally, if I found out that Fujii Mina were my sister, I'd be very happy. The bigger question is what happens next. The incest plot has slowly taken over all the political stuff and usually with this type of shows, it either ends with they are not really related ending or one of them has to die.
If you like your political doramas as I do with the heavy spicing up of the story with an incest storyline, Shukumei 1969-2010 is for you. I can't really rate this show as a must watch yet because its all dependent on the ending and who knows what might happen.