Posts Tagged ‘nishikido ryo’

Last Friends j-drama

May 3, 2009

400px-last-friends-banner

Last Friends
 

 

 

This Japanese drama puts focus on human issues that are rarely addressed or kept secret most of the time. Issues such as domesic violence, gender identity confusion, adultery, and sexual child abuse are tackled in this drama. These issues  make this 11-episode show unique and really enjoyable to watch, especially when it weaves in a unique storyline that makes your emotions go haywire.
 

 

 

Summary: Michiru has been leading a pretty hard life which she thought would end when her boyfriend, Sousuke, invites her to live with him in his apartment. At the same time, Michiru and her junior high school best friend, Ruka, have reunited with her after four years of separation. These occurences have made her extremely happy, however, what she thought would be a happy life turned out to be something dreadful. Unable to cope with her problems, she runs into Ruka and from there, her life interweaves with Ruka and her housemates: Takeru, Ogura, and Eri.
 

 

 

Characters:

masami02
Aida Michiru  
acted by Nagasawa Masami. Even though she’s pretty and well-dressed, I’m not really her fan since she’s very annoying in this drama. Michiru is a very (extremely) sweet and weak person, sort of a damsel in distress character. Coming from a broken family and a father who beats her, she seeks love in the wrong places. She’s the character who we can relate to our friends who won’t even take our advice and go on their pathetic stupid lives led blindly with love. Bleh. Her character put color in this drama, though.

ruka

Kishimoto Ruka acted by Ueno Juri. I’ve liked her since Nodame Cantabile and she’s even better here. Ruka is a lesbian who had hidden feelings for Michiru for a long time. In this series, Ruka is a motocross rider wanting to go professional, so she’s striving hard to win competitions. She seeks respect from certain individuals – not respect that is given to a woman, but to an individual. As Michiru drowns in her problems, Ruka always comes to her rescue and constantly tries to protect her.

takeru

Mizushima Takeru acted by Eita. I love this character since it’s so different from his acting in Nodame Cantabile. In this series, he’s a professional hair and make-up stylist and a part-time bartender who is being mistaken as homosexual most of the time by his colleagues. This is because he frequently avoids contact with women and fears to be involved in a relationship with them. He has a troubled past which has affected his view on women and relationship in general.

sousuke02

Oikawa Sousuke acted by Nishikido Ryo. Probably the scariest character I’ve seen on Japanese dramas, despite his good looks and resemblance to Victor Basa. Sousuke is Michiru’s boyfriend who works as a social worker. As Michiru starts to live with Sousuke, he becomes possessive of her, going into obsessive acts such as watching her while at work, controlling her life, and when disobeyed, he beats Michiru to a pulp. Brrrr, scary. 

eri

Takigawa Eri acted by Mizukawa Asami. She is Ruka’s housemate who had issues with relationships for as long as she can remember. She works as a, stewardess, where she met a married man who she becomes involved with. Her character is very hyper and friendly and funny most of the time. 

I think that this series, compared to other light j-dramas, has a slightly mature theme. Domestic violence in itself is scary enough and seeing it on action is even scarier. This drama shows how Sousuke beats Michiru, why he beats her, and what he does when he becomes suspicious of her. Sousuke is really, really scary. What makes it more annoying is that Michiru lets him does this because she knows there’s a reason. Despite this reasoning being so stupid, I think that this is reality for most women who can’t fight back to their partners for committing domestic violence. 

Aside from domestic violence, the drama also gives light on real friendship. When  Sousuke goes mad, Ruka and her friends are ready to protect Michiru from him.

In terms of storyline, I just realized that each episode seem to become repetitive. It deserves to be called j-drama, with all the dramatic speeches and each of the characters’ issues that has no end. I didn’t think that Japan is pretty closed minded with lesbians, too. Ruka had a hard time revealing her true gender identity, which shocked the shell out of most characters. It’s really weird.

Despite the criticisms, this drama is a good watch. We’ve watched this in just one weekend since with the cliffhangers and preview of the next episode, we can’t just stop watching. So, go watch now!

Episode list:

1: The troubles we keep to ourselves: DV, pregnancy, and forbidden love

2: A life-and-death secret

3: A love that eats away life

4: A bond torn apart

5: A night of shock

6: A desperate getaway

7: A harsh reality

8: Last Letter

9: Your life

10: Love and death

11: To the future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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