Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hokuto spoiler review

Hokuto is about a tragedy about a person who never knew love as a child. Hokuto's father compensates for his perceived inadequacies by ruling his house with an iron fist.

The scene where Hokuto's mom muffles his screams of pain is heartbreaking.

I love the scene where Hokuto goes to his friend's house for dinner and he is completely befuddled by this normal family. Albeit a bit too nice and cheery but they might as well be compared to what Hokuto goes through every day.

My heart broke a second time during the scene where the mother strangles Hokuto. She blames Hokuto for her suffering as she only stayed in the marriage because she got pregnant and in her mind would have left the abusive husband. Can you imagine Hokuto's sense of self worth at this stage being blamed for his mother's suffering? Being told he was responsible by the person who should have been protecting him?

Hokuto and his mom have been trapped in this cycle of daily violence and abuse for so long that both of them do not know what to do when the father died. Hokuto has no idea how to treat another human being and the mother only knew pain.

The question Hokuto keeps asking the audience is who's fault is it? Well, besides the father that is. Where does the thread of responsibility begin or end? Is Hokuto justified in committing violence against his mother for her complicity? Can Hokuto be excused because he does not know anything else or is the mom to blame for all this being adult? I've always heard of battered woman syndrome and people who commit abuse have usually been abused but Hokuto is one show that made me think that there is no freaking way out.

Hokuto wants escape this cycle of violence and seeks help to leave his mother.

And starts living with a foster mother. I wasn't too fond of this childless widow who seemed too nice. Surely someone like Hokuto who's only known hell his whole life would be push back against so much niceness. Would it have been better to place him with a stricter parent? I didn't like the foster mother much. I thought she didn't know what she was doing with her pestering Hokuto to smile.

Then we meet Asumi-chan, Hokuto's foster sister and we learn that the foster mother has been through this before and knows what she is doing.

Foster mother falls gravely ill and sadly starts believing that this fake water is making her better. Hokuto does not do against his foster mother's wishes and empties the bank account buying the fake water despite knowing that it is a scam. Hokuto does not know how to go against her wishes because she is everything to him and he would do anything to make her better.

Hokuto wants to kill the man responsible for this scam and waits at his house. Unfortunately, one of his workers catches a glimpse of his weapons and he kills two of the workers in the organisation before he is taken down. So Hokuto goes to prison having not exacted revenge and taking the lives of two 'innocents'.

Innocents who knew they were committing crimes.  Innocents who were complicit in crimes for the sake of their families. I'm pretty sure audiences like me couldn't give a crap about the victims but the families at the court kept reminding me that Hokuto had not just taken two lives, he had devastated two families, who still profited from the suffering of others.

The scene where Hokuto's mother turns up at his trial is so powerful. No just because she had  to admit the things that she had done in the past to Hokuto but also because she had remarried and was pregnant. The mother had finally broken free of the cycle of violence, attained some happiness and was probably throwing it all away for possibility of saving Hokuto's life. One could say she owed Hokuto that at least but does she? What about Hokuto's unborn sibling who would forever be known as the sibling of a killer?

This scene where the sister of one of the victims said that she did not want the death sentence for Hokuto was so powerful. No idea who she is but I'm betting she's not an idoru cause her acting was superb. The sister had broken free of the cycle of violence. The end the cycle of hate thing is not new in Jdoramas. I would even say its cliche. But what Hokuto does so well is that it does not spell it out for the audience.

Is Hokuto an anti death penalty story? I don't know because Hokuto's case is an extreme case whereby everything is so tragic. I think Hokuto is a story about life. How all life is precious and we should not give up on it.


Anonymous said...

There`s must be a term in Japanese for "Ha? I didn`t know he`s a Johnny!"
Jokes aside, is DV tabooed in western series? I can`t remember any

C said...

Finished this drama a couple of days ago and I can't stop thinking about it. The last episode was not as good as those building up to it, there were definitely moments that were cheesy and/or which made me roll my eyes. Nonetheless, those first episodes and the overall messages of the drama were so powerful and hard hitting. There was never any doubt that hokuto did something terrible, but the drama questioned, and made the viewer question, who, if anyone, was responsible and what exactly "responsibility" for something so heinous was. which was uncomfortable and what really hit me. I felt so much dread seeing hokuto smiling and relaxing. Even the happy moments you could see the tragedy coming a mile away. I sympathised with him even as I knew he had done something so bad. Wowow really are so amazing. I do wish the original book was available in English so I could compare.
Also, as a random aside, what was with the bloody urine? A hint at some future karma coming hokutos way, is given life but has it taken away by some illness? That really confused me. :/

C said...

Sorry for the long comment. And thank you for recommending this drama and pointing out where to get subs :)