Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hitorigurashi eps 1-4

If Renai dekinai riyuu is sort of a mirror of present day young women, then Hitorigurashi is a look at not just women in the 90s but also society's views and prejudices. Tokiwa Takako is Miho, a 26 year old department store salesperson who is planning to move out of her parents', hence the title hitorigurashi. Kyoko (Nagasaku Hiromi) is her best friend and colleague and unlike most supporting characters, she is more central to the story. Kyoko is then yin to Miho's yang as Kyoko sleeps around a lot while Miho is, in Kyoko's words more in love with the concept of love.

Ah, the good old 90s, when strict fathers were the staples of jdoramas and no one blinks an eye when the father admonishes his daughter for not thinking about marriage at age 26 and living life without a purpose. Yes, the era of young women working as OLs or in department stores engaging in a race to get married before 30 and somehow attain this mythical thing called happiness.

Takahashi Katsunori is the male lead Shintani and its weird seeing him not doing his overly serious low voice stuff that he has been doing recently or the overacting antics of Kintaro and Tadano Hitoshi. Shintani is a beer salesman who lives for work and dreams about mountain climbing. He also is popular with the ladies but doesn't really do anything about except give advise to his colleague.

When Miho meets Shintani, she suspects that there is something behind his jovial and playful face. This for some reason drives her mad and we have 4 episodes of declaring that she hates him but at the same time always thinking about Shintani. Its been slowly cooking over four episodes but the romance part is nothing special. Actually by today's standards its pretty decent but by 90s doramas its run of the mill.

The interesting thing for me is the relationship between Miho and Kyoko. No, I'm not talking about the implied yuri scenes as can be seen from the screencaps. Its the love hate relationship that Kyoko has with Miho. Kyoko is in all these relationships but she declares that Miho is all she has. She views Miho as a coward who is after a hit, ie getting a guy to declare his love for her and discloses this to Shintani.

I think Kyoko doesn't want Miho to hook up with Shintani because she'll lose her one source of comfort. I think that Kyoko looks down on Miho and as long as Miho is perceived to be more miserable her, Kyoko is happy. I guess you could say the supporting character is the most interesting one because she's the most rounded character.

Yada Akiko is in this dorama as well playing Miho's younger sister. For fans of 90s doramas like me this is a must watch just for the casting. Best bits are Nagasaku Hiromi portrayal of Kyoko. There's nothing really interesting about the Miho-Shintani relationship Its not the best of the 90s but its solid viewing.


Anonymous said...

these days i've started watching classic doramas like koi ga shitai, and keizoku after finishing kita no kuni and ai kotoba wa yuki. at some point, they are nostalgic.

I did watched the first episode after reading your post. pretty much ok for me. 90s dramas nostalgia, im in. at first, based on your screencaps, i thought this might be a japanese urban dyke version of brokeback mountain. haha.. and it seems to me that the drama is kind of teasing male viewers. i saw Nagasaku Hiromi as a guest on Iron Chef on SBS, and she really is cute back then.

oh by the way, i did have the lost newshfan last money subs. im still on episode 5 and it really is interesting.

Akiramike said...

Koi ga Shitai was awesome when I first saw it. I wonder how it'll hold up to a rewatch.

I think Nagasaku Hiromi is still hot.

Thanks for heads up about last money. The site I usually use only as the first 3.