Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Umoreru is from on the screenplay which won the 6th WOWOW Scenario Grand Prix. First time I've heard of it but having a competition to where the best screenplay is made into a dorama special is a great idea as opposed to tv stations commissioning doramas to push some powerful agency's latest talento.

Umoreru starts off with the aftermath of Kitami (Kiritani Kenta) blowing the whistle on Kanameru foods mislabeling their products. Kitami is ostracised by his colleagues and his wife Ito Ayumi and he returns to his hometown to work at the city hall where he is faced with the mayor's corruption.

While at first Umomeru starts off feeling like yet another WOWOW whistleblower/cover-up dorama, its a lot more than that. I would describe it as a psychological dorama, looking at Kiritami's state of mind as he grapples with the fallout of his actions and confronts his beliefs.

Kuninaka Ryoko is so perfectly cast as his first love and the criminally underused Ito Ayumi is his ex-wife. Surprisingly, Kiritani Kenta who usually plays supporting characters with a lot of ever-acting can act. Not Higashiyama Noriyuki OMFG he can be very good level but Kiritani Kenta does a decent job.

A lot of excellent scenes in Umomeru including the dinner scene, autumn besides the lake scene and the moment of truth scene. I wasn't sold on Umomeru as a must watch at first because I could see the ending a mile away but it stayed in my mind long after because the story is more about Kitami's psychological battle with the truth and its cost. Umomeru is not the heroic story of a whistleblower but about a man struggling with the consequences of his actions where there is no right or wrong. Must watch for me and thanks to Chuks for subbing it!


- According to Umomeru, Japanese women are more pragmatic than idealists. Being an ally of justice will not nab you Japanese women!

- I like that Kitami kept struggling with whether he did the right thing and there was no one tell him he had done so. In order to justify his actions at Kanameru, he had to speak out against the mayor.
- The mass media only wants to make use of Kitami because at the end of the day, no one is there to protect the whistleblower.

- I like that Kitami's old classmate called him out for having a holier-than-thou attitude which could be partially true but in the end chose having pride in his work over getting in the inner circle.

- Kuninaka Ryoko telling Kitami that he was only running away from the truth of his actions while she wants him not to uncover the truth about her past and create this fake truth him with.
- I like how the violins slowly go a bit crazy everytime Kitami has to confront his feelings mirroring his internal turmoil.

- Kitami admitting that he was not ready to lose everything again to expose the mayor's corruption yet he could not live a happy life with Kuninaka Ryoko and her son without knowing the truth. For the record I would happily ignore a murder for Kuninaka Ryoko.


dgundam said...

i LOVED that they paired them both up and were the leads of a drama.

i was rooting for the kuninaka and kiritani pairing since the drama osozaki no himawari.

this was a good wowow special. i like the cinematography. if only more main stream shows could take a page from wowow.

when kiritani is not doing supporting roles but the lead, he can act. problem is i dont think hes that popular enough in japan to warrant leading his own dramas, unless its a lower budget one. one show where i liked his acting was in that takei emi drama w no higeki (lol dont judge me. i dislike takei emi but this show was actually the one and only show of hers that i liked).

this season so far has been good. hopefully the new shows that have started continue to be strong.

Anonymous said...

Rootabega sez:
I was hoping you`d write up this one.
For me, the good:
1. the soundtrack was amazing, way above the average
2. the cinematography was memorable (though the garbage pile looked a little sparkling clean to me, heh)
3. a bit of tasteful adult nookie (`cause, at its best, WOWOW is TV for real grownups)
4. a rich interior life for the leads

Not so good:
1. don`t kill me, but I`m not crazy about Kenta-san`s habitual open round eyes and mouth reactions. He was pretty good other than that, though.

WTF: (semi-spoiler)
OK, there`s a fire spreading in a pile of garbage next to a house filled with garbage. Seconds count, but let`s take off our shoes before entering the filthiest home in Japan searching for water `cause it`s bad manners not to. What...the...Faa....;

Jung said...

oooh.. thanks for the tip! Completely missed this one!

lzyData said...

There are only 5 consecutive pictures of Kuninaka in this post. Is that all you've got :D

Bobo said...

I went into this thinking it would be a story of a guy starting anew and picking up the pieces of his life while struggling with another whistleblower scandal. I didn't realize where it was gonna end up until the luggage was introduced, and even then it kept me interested right to the final scene. Loved Kenta Kiritani in the "showdown" scene, maybe the best acting I've seen from him, ever. I will now expect this level and better from him in the future...I do like his hammy acting for comedy roles, though. I agree with rootabega about his eyes, someone needs to tell him lol. I've thought Kuninaka was just a generic pretty actress, but she's suitably creepy here, especially when she extends her hand out to Kitami...eugh.

Akiramike said...

Bobo, she does just enough creepy here without hamming it up with gives the slightest possibility that it might be in Kenta's head and that sells the struggle he has of maybe throwing away his second chance at happiness over something trivial.

Arthur said...

Thanks for the recommendation, I liked this one a lot. And Chuks translation was excellent of course, as always.

Akiramike said...

No prob. Anything Chuks subs is always worth watching.

SandL said...

Can anyone enlighten me? I don't 'get' what the suitcase filled with dirt was about?