Friday, December 20, 2013

Kanata no Ko ep 1-3

Kanata no Ko was the next dorama on my to watch list after Dandarin based on the fact that its directed by Omori Tatsushi who directed The Ravine of Goodbye and of course its a WOWOW show which means no Japanese subs. :(


I had problems understanding this episode and had to watch it three times to understand. In the beginning of episode, we see a flashback of Sakai Maki as Hitoko who we see running out in public with her sick/dead daughter in her arms. Moving on, we have Hitoko trekking up Mount Fuji with 4 other people lead by Arata as the guide. Hitoko is struggling at the back when she sees a mirage of her dead daughter.

It seems like everyone on this climb up Mount Fuji has some dark secret. We've got an old lady who just wants to fill out her lottery numbers at the top facing the sun so she can have enough money to lay her husband's ashes to rest. We've also got an old guy carrying a 10 year old disposable camera that his wife who died in an accident once used.

There are flashbacks to Hitoko's childhood. Her mother's left her with her grandmother and the kids tell her about this mummy at a temple. The grandmother says that priest was buried alive to save the village. Flashback to grandmother being brought to the temple when she was young by her mother. There's a bamboo tube sticking from the ground which and Mitoko's great grandmother gets her answer from the priest though the bamboo. No idea why they don't just visit the priest in the morning when its a lot less scary.

Mitoko's mother walks out on her and leaves Hitoko with her grandmother. Back to grandmother flashback and the villagers have dug up the priest. Grandmother goes to temple and finds the people who dug up the priest. It seems that the priest was actually a criminal, probably a murderer. Mitoko goes to temple and finds the priest's mummy still there. Grandmother voiceover saying that the the priest can't even run from his sins in the ground or at the temple. I guess the theme of this series is running away from one's guilt or sins.


I really love story two. On the way up Mount Fuji, our travellers encounter this dude who looks like he's in shock and we get flashbacks of his story with Mitsushima Hikari as his creepy, possessive ex-girlfriend and Tsurata Mayu, who doesn't look like she's aged at all as his woman of fate. Basically he dumps Mitsushima Hikari for Tsurata Mayu which causes her to go a bit psycho and then he finds out Tsurata Mayu is not a one man woman. That's what he gets for believing her fate muumbo jumbo. Shocked dude enters an unhappy marriage and stuff happens when Mitsushima Hikari reappears in his life. Looks like dude hasn't learned his lesson about mumbo jumbo and joins a religious sect.

Episode two is so much easier to understand including all the mail messages compared to ep 1. I enjoyed Mitsushima Hikari's performance as she doesn't overact as much as all the yandere's in jdoramas. Despite the performances, its missing this haunting quality that Kurosawa Kiyoshi's Shokuzai had. It nearly gets there though. I guess the story is people will do anything to escape their guilt. Wait, was the 'priest' a prisoner or did he go under voluntarily? Can't be stuffed rewatching again. Anyone can clarify for me?


The story of Arata's character and the one eyed dude who runs the cabin at the top of Fuji. Flashback to one eyed dude's photo exhibition/ class reunion where we get a sense that there is a dark secret between Arata, one eye and two other friends. The two of the friends want to ignore what happened and live life as normal while Arata and one eyed dude continue to be tormented by the secret which led to them being on Mount Fuji.


Right now, the thread of this series is each of the main characters did something bad and are at Mount Fuji to escape it though I would not say story 2 guy really did anything wrong besides choose Tsurata Mayu over Mitsushima Hikari. Episode four seems to be about what really happened to Hiyako and her daughter. As much as I like dark and depressing stories, right now I'm pretty indifferent to the characters and story. I'm not sure if English subs came out for Ep 1 that it would completely change my opinion of the series like Lady Joker. Possibly I've been too preoccupied with making sure I understand this dorama since its a lot harder without Japanese subs and can't see the forest for the tress. Let's wait for episode 4 and see how it ties everything up.

No comments: