Friday, July 05, 2013

Woman ep 1

Faaaaaaaarrrrk. Woman is so effing good. Only in Japan can a dorama have a crappy name like Woman with  a uber photoshopped poster and still be awesome. Mitsushima Hikari absolutely kills it in the acting department and just absolutely becomes her character Aoyagi Koharu. Sakamoto Yuji was surprisingly quick in getting rid of Oguri Shun, lol. Don't worry ladies, he'll be in the flashbacks to come.

I was wondering how Sakamoto was going to pace this dorama and its by making Woman more than just a single mother hardship story. Looks like the tension is going to come from Koharu's strained relationship with her mother and her current family. Thank the jdorama gods that Koharu is a character rather than a bland single mother archetype. For a more soap opera story, there's the dude working at the welfare department who is married to Tanimura Mitsuki and Takahashi Issei (the dude from Gonzo who looks like he wants to cry all the time) as her colleague.

I'm getting strong affair vibes from that set up but I trust in Sakamoto Yuji. The rest of the cast is awesome. The mom from Mother is Koharu's mom and the master from Shinya Shukudo is her husband! Not to mention Usuda Asami (Suzuki sensei) as Koharu's colleague and we've got some of my favourite actors.

So many highlights in one episode. The heart stopping pram scene. The old welfare guy asking her if played pachinko. Can't blame him though, he's probably seen too many welfare cheats. Koharu asking money from the young welfare guy. The money scene with Koharu and her mom. OMFG, the tension and the gamut of emotions in that scene and the beautiful directing. Mitsushima Hikari just runs through Koharu's pride, anger and desperation all at the same time.

There's this shot when Koharu and her mom are talking where the camera is behind Koharu's mother and it loses focus on Koharu's face so we can concentrate on the side of the mom's face from behind. We can't see Koharu's mom's face but every twitch of her muscles convey more emotion than Fukada Kyoko ever can.

Woman is so Soredemo Ikite Yuku-like in the way it just holds my undivided attention. Realistic dialogue and characters and just mesmerising acting that made me feel like a fly on the wall. Why can't more doramas be like this? If you're not watching this, you shouldn't be watching jdoramas.

I love this shot.


Shane said...

This was already the drama I was looking forward to the most. But after reading this, I cant wait to watch it! I'm tempted to go ahead and watch with Jap subs. My reading of Kanji is not great, but I suppose it good practice! :)

Anonymous said...

Rootabega sez: Nice writeup!
The cast is so well chosen. Would I leave my husband and kid for the charismatic Kobayashi Koaru? You bet I would;) His portrayal of Master in Shinya Shokudo was like a tutorial on cool.
Just as I thought, Woman is starting off with all of the drama bases loaded. Hang on, everyone.

Anonymous said...

RB again.
Shane, I think Heiwa's already cranked out ep.1 - damn, they're fast. The sad truth for me at this point is the better quality (or more historic) the dorama, the less I can rely on the Japanese subs. The really cheesy, predictable crap, of which there is plenty, is a relative breeze to read. Oh, well, just makes me study harder.

jt said...

i can see the pattern of titles already.. im guessing the next dorama from this writer will be "daughter"?

thank god for heiwa fansubs.

Anonymous said...

jt wrote:
i can see the pattern of titles already.. im guessing the next dorama from this writer will be "daughter"?

I bet that too. First thing I thought when I saw the poster was "The font is the same as from Mother."

xaxa said...

So hyped right now!)) So tempted to watch it, but will probably wait for more episodes. Even though it's been subbed by super fast Heiwa FS, it's tormenting to wait for new episodes once a week when the show is good.

My only hope is that it will be more Mother-like rather than Soredemo Ikite Yuku (hated the fucked up killer in that).

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

A good episode and a promising show.

Antspace said...

So many beautiful scenes in this: Yes the pram falling down the stairs; a classic reference to sergei Eisensteins' Battleship Potempkin. It was so well done and Mitsushima's expression was so moving. The way she sat at her mother's table. She looked so full of resentment it was scary. The scene at the social service where the doll started moving when the conversation got heated. It's all good. Only thing is that this might get so sad, this might get SO SAD!

Sonnaaaaa~ said...

The part that grabbed me during this episode was the smile that she had after leaving her house. The whole 'I'm not going to take your money mum' look as she walked away.

I was pretty pleased to see the guy from Shinya Shokudo.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me where i can stream this??dramacrazy has shut down and it's not on gooddrama either.

So excited to see this!

Sonnaaaaa~ said...

Anonymous I can see it on gdrama right now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sonnaaa~!

Just watched eps 1&2 and from watching ep 1 I thought it was going to already surpass Soredemo! But ep 2 made me realise that thats going to be pretty hard!

I actually want it to be less Mother and more Soredemo. I am ecstatic that Ms Forgetful is playing Koharu's mother. She IS the reason why Mother is so watchable. They need more COOL and collected actresses like her.

LOL at the Fukada comment!!?!!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!

I think the welfare guy is the weakest link here which is why Woman will probably sit under Soredemo.

IF every season there was a Sakamoto& Mitsushima work produced, Jdramaland would be sooooo awesome!

p.s. like Mike, I'm praying that Shun's death was not by some pears. We'll find out soon enough i guess.