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20 MOVIES in 1 month challenge: 13/20

Next reviews: 30+ Single on Sale, Okja, Bloody Monday S1, Heroine Shikkaku, The Beauty inside, Terra Formars, Ayashii Kanojo, Secret Message, Vancouver's Asahi, Onmyuji ~The Yin Yang master~, Onmyouji II, Hajimari no uta, Dive to the future, The professor and his beloved equation, The Commitment, Maison Ikkouku 1,2; Very ordinary couple; Rurouni kenshin ~Kyoto inferno~, Attack on titan 1,2; I have to but new shoee;

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Saikou no jinsei no owarikata ~Ending Planner~ (2012)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 10 episodes
Genre: drama, family, life&death, detective
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Eikura Nana, Maeda Atsuko, Chinen Yuri, Ono Ito, Sorimachi Takashi, Mikami Kensei, Yamazaki Tsutomu, Kanie Keizo, Quests: Tamamori Yuta, Anne,
Synopsis: Ihara's family business is rather unusual - for 4 generations they have worked as funeral parlors. Second son Masato hated this job and left home some years ago. On one unlucky day Masato's  life is turned up-side-down, when he is close to losing his former job and receives a call from home - dad has passed away. Since older half-brother Kento is on one of his unknown trips and three younger siblings - cripple Haruka, university student Hayato and highschooler Momoko - still growing up at home, Masato takes the responsibility and takes over the household and continues 5th generation at funeral shop. At the same time, he befriends with local police, especially with young rookie Sakamaki Yuki, and co-operates with them in investigations.
Rating: 5/5
I did not think that it is going to be that interesting. It actually is not that sad as you might think from the synopsis and it is definitely much more interesting than usual detective dramas.
Masato has many different sides. As a manager he did his job, which made him bitch. In love he is playboy and cheater as his girlfriend (only mentions and photo) is in England. Other than that, he is very reliable, honest, caring, soft-hearted and loves his family the most. He also acts like the eldest son when Kento is not at present. It is very different role from Yamashita's previous roles and his acting is more natural. To my surprise, he was the first and only one from the main cast who knew how to act crying and I have a feeling that his amazing crying-scene was not made with fake tears..
Eikura Nana plays the part of Sakamaki Yuki. I liked Yuki's character. Despite being a detective and being surrounded by crime and murders, she keeps her positive way of life. She drinks much and most of the time ends up drunk as a fish so that Masato must push her home in cart. She has a special nickname for Masato - Masapyon, which was actually the nickname how Masato's girlfriend called him, which made me think if it is really suitable for a friend to call with same nickname as girlfriend does? She also proved that even police uses Google to search information - professional, ne?
There has been much comments about Maeda Atsuko. She almost got ban from acting together with Johnny's and her screen time was cut down, because ratings showed that viewers changed channels on when she was on screen, literally she was made into reason of  low ratings. I think it is unfair  accusation, because I find her acting bearable, well if we look that it was her 10th acting role, then it is slightly bad. At the same time, Haruka's character was partly in fault - she was too sensitive about her leg, time to time too emotional and annoying. I do not understand why they had put so much of her love story into drama, because others had only one episode about  their love life, so her continuing story was almost out of context. My complaints for Maeda Atsuko are that her acting of disabled leg
was horrible and too fake, also she should have opened her mouth more to have clearer pronunciation - her words were hard to understand. I hope that now on solo career she takes up some acting and singing lessons to improve herself, because otherwise she will be forgotten with some years.
Because Hayato and Momoko were the youngest and they were kinda similar, I am going to talk about them together. They both were more selfish and thoughtless then others, it might have been due to the fact they grew up without mother longer than Masato and Haruka. Momoko has an ability  to eat in every possible situation or if she does not eat the food, it ends in her face after she has again insulted Haruka. Neither of them has much screen time, so I cannot comment their acting much, I feel just sad that they beat up Chinen Yuri -.-
Kento, more referred as Ken-ni or Aniki (older brother), is very caring, but many of his actions did not seemed to be for the sake of others, more they were easier ways for him. He always left without saying goodbye and never revealed where he was or what he was doing. He also had serious doubts as, in the end, he still was only a half-brother to others. Well, later he has some other problems too, but about that in Spoiler review. The Ihara family had serious communication problems - they all loved and respected their dad, but their family life lacked in solving problems and helping each other. It is interesting to see how they are rebuilding the trust and family ties with each other. There is a saying that critical situations do two things - they break up people or grow stronger together.
I should mention Iwata-san too, but I bet any extra word about him, might be a spoiler, so you know where to find information about him ;)
In conclusion, it is a heartwarming drama, which combines family life, detective and even a bit supernatural. The star of the drama is Yamashita Tomohisa - he has made a great comeback since starting solo career. And this drama is watchable for all viewers as it is not that big tearjerker.
(The starting clip actually reminds me NEWS Bathday commercial some years ago..)


SPOILER review: The thing about Kento is that he has a tumor - a fast paced brain tumor, but I must say that the saddest scenes are when Masato finds out about it. Even Kento's dying is not that sad as drama shows long and clear his last moments. But more spoilers are attached to Iwata-san. As you might understand since one episode - he does not eat or drink anything and since another episode you start to think why anybody else has not seen him? At first, I thought he is like some kind of Masato's conscience. It would have been a good idea, ne??  I think it was in 8th episode where it comes out, that actually he was Yuki Grandpa's soul. Which is the reason why the drama is also supernatural. In a weird way it was not annoying at all. From all the episodes, there was only one thing I hated from the bottom of my heart - why Nagamine (Yuki's partner) had to die? He had just married and was becoming dad -.- It is way too unfair. 

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