Sunday, January 27, 2013

Makete, Katsu

Subbing of Makete, Katsu was announced in October but sadly no news plus the fact that there are no Japanese subs. Went to local Asian DVD shop and their copy didn't say that it had subs. I had to try to watch it anyway and its pretty hard trying to understand the political stuff. The good news is there's plenty of English in this one so I always sort of knew what what was going.

Makete, Katsu is about Yoshida Shigeru, Japan's PM after WW2 and Douglas MacArthur the guy in charge of Japan. I really enjoyed the history lesson. Japan being an occupied country after the surrender. Issues in regards to the Emperor and his status. Threats to divide the country. Drafting of the constitution and adisarmement. MacArthur's reforms. The threat of communism. Fun and riveting stuff.

The English for once in a jdorama, is pretty good. Watanabe Ken needed English subtitles in Inception but he does a much better job here. Some conversations he just goes a tad too fast but overall no what the hell did he just say moments. Even Tanihara Sosuke does pretty well with his English lines.Whoever the English consultant has in this did a great job. The English speaking actors are not as amateurish this time around. It helps that they got David Morse to play MacArthur.

I like my history doramas as long as the characters aren't presented like they're out of a fairytale. Wish there were more MacArthur but I can't complain. Can't really label it a must watch cause quite a chunk of the dialogue was lost on me. Generally I knew what was going on but I couldn't enjoy the details. Hopefully some kind soul will pick this one for subbing or the Japanese subs will surface.Even if you know no Japanese, you can skip to the English parts anyway and a lot of the important scenes are in English.


Anonymous said...

I'm reading "Embracing Defeat" about this period, so will give it a try, even though I won't be able to understand much of the Japanese. The book is rather shocking, saying that MacArthur was so sure he was right about everything that he didn't bother to check with anyone who might actually know something about Japan.

lzyData said...

Coincidentally or not there is a new Hollywood movie Emperor also set in this period starring Tommy Lee Jones as MacArthur.

gankooyaji said...

Thanks for this review. I've been debating whether to give this a try, and you've helped me decide. I've noticed a lot of interest in Japan for two periods -- Meiji and post-war Showa. In both cases the period was one of total, abrupt change (which Embracing Defeat does a great job describing in the latter case). Why the nostalgia? Maybe people feel that Japan needs another such episode to push it out of the current doldrums?
Anyway thanks for pushing me to put my pitiful Japanese to the test on this show!

Akiramike said...

MacAthur in Makete, Katsu is shown as being more concerned with using Japan as a stepping stone to becoming president.

Gankooyaji, I think its less nostalgia and more how did Japan get to where it was in the 80s as an economic superpower cause Japan is facing an uphill battle against China and Korea in terms of manufacturing.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of 'meh' about David Morse as McArthur, he pretty much epitomised imperialistic swine, which I initially thought was the point, because it pretty much sums up that country's foreign policy -- which has never changed and sadly never will. But then much later into the drama I realised Yoshida Shigeru's take on McArthur differed from my own. There was a begrudging respect and admiration which I simply couldn't understand.
But then I still wept during the dream sequence at the end.
This was a Sakamoto Yuji project after all, there was no obvious black and white even in a setting as starkly divisive as this, it remained beautifully murky -- and humane.
Eh. I need subs.

Akiramike said...

I think the Japanese sort of look up to MacArthur for whatever reason and that's why they went with the respect thing although he never cared about Japan.