Ie Naki Ko or Child without a Home is the 1994 jdorama that made Adachi Yumi's career and got a 37% rating for the final episode. I got interested in Ie Naki Ko by accident. I came across Nakamura Ataru doing a cover of the theme song of this show and it ended up with me watching it.
In Ie Naki Ko, Adachi Yumi is Suzu, a little girl who pretends to be sick during physical education so that she could steal her classmate's tuition money. Her classmates accuse her of being the thief and we find out Suzu is poor.
Suzu's mother is in hospital because of heart problems and her stepfather is a drunk who beats her and takes her money. He tells her people will always betray each other. Suzu's mom is a stupid woman who blinds herself to her husband's uselessness and tells Suzu that people have good and bad sides. To complete the Suzu is oh cute and pitiful picture, she even has a dog following her around.
So this is a little girl who has to grow up because she's live a harsh life show. The interesting character for me is her teacher played by Hosaka Naoki who at first seems naive but catches on to Suzu's act.
He still covers for her because he doesn't want to ruin her life and says that he is the same. I haven't seen this actor for so long and he's in a bunch of 90s jdoramas including Salaryman Kintaro. He will always be Takatsukasa from Kintaro to me.
Probably the most memorable scene from episode 1 is Suzu's line to her teacher, "If you feel sorry for me then give me the money! (for my mother's operation)"
One interesting thing to note is how often Suzu gets hit and slapped by adults. If this show were shown now, there would be an uproar about the amount of 'physical violence' inflicted on a child when back in those days, it was considered disciplining.
Not a bad first episode. The raws are available here. There are no English subtitles but the Japanese requiremen is pretty basic. Finally, for the love of all jdoramas I do not want to see an Ashida Mana remake.