Thursday, July 28, 2011

Soredemo, Ikite Yuku eps 1+2

Do you really need any reason to watch this besides Sakamoto Yuji, the writer of Chase, Mother, Taiyo to umi Kyoushitsu, Watashitachi no Kyokasho, Itoshi kimi E and Last Christmas? Ok, kyokasho wasn't that good but that had nothing to do with the writing and more to do with Densha being miscast. Actually Densha should never be the main actor of any show. How about Mitsushima Hikari and Fukuda Mayuko, two of the best young talents in jdorama playing sisters?

Soredemo, Ikite Yuku is basically a revenge + love story. Hiroki's (Eita) sister Aika was murdered when he was young and the incident has had a profound effect on him and his family. Basically time had stopped for him. His parents divorced and the incident hangs above him and his family like an dark shadow.

Futaba (Mitsushima Hikari) is the younger sister of the criminal who killed Hiroki's sister. Her family is still constantly being harassed by people who find out about the incident. At the beginning of the episode, Futaba's boyfriend breaks up with her and her father loses his job. Her parents have gone so far as to officially divorce (though they are living together) so that the daughters are not on his register.

One thing that I can never understand is the whole Japanese thing of cursing the family of a criminal. WTF is the point of abusing and bullying innocent people just because they are related to a criminal? Surely there has to be a limit to collective or familial responsibility? Is the general consensus in Japan that parents are ultimately responsible for raising criminals? Its sort of similar to Ashiteru Kaiyo but is a much darker and more realistic look at the subject matter. Two families on each side of a crime and two of the children who get together.

Soredemo, Ikite Yuku is also a sort of character study of how people cope with a tragic incident. Hiroki has been basically sleep walking through life and has never fallen in love. He blames himself for Aika's death because he refused to go kite flying with her that fateful day and regrets being mean to her. His father tried to force his family to forget Aika which led to his wife divorcing him and is living just do die so that he can see Aika again. Hiroki's mom and brother and since moved on his mom is like in a zombiefied state unable to cry because nothing is more painful than losing a daughter.

Futaba's family is coping with the public resenting them as best as they can. The parents put on a brave face and have to make the difficult decision of sending the grandmother to a retirement home. Futaba has learnt to live with her 'fate' and has experienced bullying in school but still loves her brother and believes in him. The younger sister Akari (Fukuda Mayuko) is determined not to suffer her sister's fate.

There are a lot of nice emotional touches like Hiroki regretting his treatment of his deceased sister and wondering whether he should be glad she had been born and then Futaba telling him from her perspective that no matter how many times an onichan is cruel to the imouto, she remembers the one time he is kind. It speaks so eloquently of the Hiroki's relationship with Aika and Futaba with her brother.

Look at the size of the..... bottle of milk...hhhmm.

I kinda wished they did not reveal Futaba's identity from the get go but the scene at the end of ep one at the overhead bridge was nonetheless awesome. So much emotion and tension. Episode 2 teases the story going in one direction and then hits you with a revelation that makes you sit up straight.

Here's hoping Akari gets her own story arc.

This is probably THE dorama of the season. Can't think of anyone better to portray the emotionally scarred main characters other than Eita and Mitsushima Hikari. Hope the story doesn't slow down like Byakuyakou but there are certainly enough storyline possibilities to fill up 10 episodes. As long as the rest of the series is filled with angst, screaming, revelations and perhaps some violence, its going to be awesome. Do not miss this jdorama.


HHND said...

I definitely agree. While it's only at season 2, I like it even more than Mother, because the character study and the whole coping with tragedy appeals to me more. Mizushima Hikari is excellent; this is my first watching her act, but I'm already convinced she's a very capable actress with no overacting at all.

HHND said...

*I mean, while I've only watched up to episode 2 :p (season 2, duhh, it's because I was watching JIN 2)

Akiramike said...

1st time watching her? I highly recommend you check out Love Exposure and Moteki.

chobuki said...

...a sort of character study of how people cope with a tragic incident.

Thank you for pointing this out. Because after being in sheer awe of an 8-episode marathon, I couldn't quite put my finger on what (in my opinion) the je ne sais quoi of this drama should be, beside the impeccable story and acting which made it possible.

Also, +1 to your kanban musume, Mike, for fitting into one of the most ambitious role I've seen in a drama.

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