Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hitori Shizuka ep 6

It has been a long while since a WOWOW dorama that did not end as well as it started. Well, not counting double face. Actually Shokuzai had a good last episode. Let me rephrase that, its been a while since a consistantly good WOWOW dorama. Even the great Marks no Yama dragged a bit at the end. Happy to say that episode 6 of Hitori Shizuka is beautiful in its simplicity and haunting in its beauty.


Hitori Shizuka is basically piecing together Shizuka through the eyes of others. We see her through other characters but she never exposes herself to the audience. The end of episode 5 is the closest that we see of an outburst from her. The fun part is figuring out her motivations. The murders and the all incidents are part of putting together this jigsaw puzzle that is Shizuka.

Shizuka was fathered by a violent yakuza who her mother left before Shizuka was born only for the mother to enter into another abusive relationship. Shizuka sees her mother attracted to the power of strong men and along with it the circle of abuse and vows not to be like her mother. After finally disposing of her mother's second abuser and getting away with it, Shizuka sets off to find herself.

Somehow she works her way to getting into her father's inner circle and sets off an event that leads her to killing her father. Revenge for Shizuka's mother or maybe Shizuka herself. Maybe revenge for ever being born. There is a sense there is no meaning to her life. Shizuka has seen the worst that people can be from a young age and she had planned to kill herself after committing patricide.

However, Shizuka stopped because of her stepsister. Something changed her mind. It could be that she didn't want to expose her stepsister to one more act of violence or perhaps it was her one redemption? Maybe by being with her sister, she could find purpose and meaning to her life. Is Shizuka doing it for love of her only relative who she feels kinship with? Is it to make sure her stepsister never comes like her? I think its just Shizuka find someone who needed her help just like her mother.

The only one complaint I have for episode 6 is that they should have spent a bit more money to make Kaho look older. During that scene with the stepsister on the swing talking to Shizuka, I got confused thinking is she really talking to Shizuka or a hallucination cause Shizuka still looks the same? I also got a bit lost when the time jump happened because one would expect an X number of years sign. Minor quibbles aside, Hitori Shizuka has been for me the best dorama of 2012. Still have to watch Makete Katsu. Went to my local Asian dvd store and their Makete Katsu does not have any subs. :(


Jung said...

I was thrown off by the abrupt shift in time too. Not only that, but the bits about the stepsister using false identity of deceased woman whose skeletal remain conveniently stored in a house in plain view, just seemed like a convoluted plot device.

Also, transition from episode 5 and introduction of new characters were handled rather poorly. Previous episodes did them better.

I'm feeling less charitable about episode 6 after the stellar first five. In addition to aforementioned problems, level of engagement was definitely much lower due to lack of new revelation.

But I give the writer credit for daring to leave things very unresolved, which makes the show worthy of repeat viewing.

Akiramike said...

After rewatching with subs, its more obvious it the abrupt shift was intentional.

I didn't mind the execution too much. Just happy they didn't stretch it into 2 episodes after the revelation like Marks no Yama.

silos said...

I also felt that they didn't age Shizuka well.
But then I thought that it was part of the whole mystery bit. Shizuka and her intentions, motives are never revealed and this not-ageing bit is like she is this unending mystery.
But overall I didn't like the last episode; I thought it'd be more Shizuka-centric.

xaxa said...

Agreed, probably the best drama of 2012. 6th episode was perfect in my opinion, because it wasn't overly dramatic and wasn't out of proportions and was in the same anti-climax vein as the whole show. I would hate if they'd made long stupid speaches, explaining and sewing all together.

And the music in this drama... It is just SO good and sets the mood very well!

Anonymous said...

I agree with jung. It was not as well done as the previous episodes as the characters werent as developed as they could be and the woman playing Mio didnt have any screen presence at all. However I still really enjoyed it!

Just wished they would explain the burnt body in the previous episodes!

Unknown said...

Another great recommend Mike! Thanks!

Yeah, it was a bit confusing when adult Mio and Shizuka were at the park but I think it would have been too obvious and would have lessened the "plot twist" in ep6 if they aged Shizuka in the time-shift.

Thinking back, they did leave a clue about the shift... in the scene where the cops find the old lady has passed away, there's a flat screen TV in her living room.

But then again, her gangster dad's Mercedes S-class is too new 1996-97. The version in the show didn't look like that until 2000.

Akiramike said...

Probably works better in the book because the writer doesn't have to describe Shizuka and the readers can slowly figure things out. said...

Just a minor thing... but she was Shizuka's half-sister, not step-sister :D

I feel they could've done the transition a lot better too. The first episodes were slow and I had a hard time getting a feel for the drama, but by the end, I really liked it.