I am sorry to announce that I have made a decision to officially close Cypsis' Blog.

All the reviews stay up as they are, but I will not write more reviews. Cypsis' Blog had many ups-and-downs during those 7 years and I have tried to give the best I could, but unfortunately my life has moved on so much that finding time for reviewing has become more and more difficult. Closing the blog is breaking my heart, but I have thought a lot about it and understood that it is for the best. I am very thankful to everybody who have enjoyed reading my reviews.
(PS. I am still continuing to watch Asian dramas and you can always find me on

Thank you for all these 7 years. I hope that those 240 reviews made you happy. I truly had unforgettable time writing them!

Sincerely, Cypsis

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tonbi (2013)

Country: Japan
Format: drama in 10 episodes
Genre: family, drama
Cast: Uchino Masaaki, Sato Takeru, Fukiishi Kazue, Tokiwa Takako, Asou Yumi, Nomura Hironobu, Kato Takako, Otoo Takuma, Bengal, Emoto Akira, Takahashi Kazuya, Hashimoto Mami,
Synopsis: Ichikawa Akira is successful young man who was brought up by his father Yasuo after his mother passed away from an accident when Akira was 3 years old. Raising Akira was not an easy task for Yasuo who did not have parents around in his childhood, but with his love for Akira everybody knew that one way or another they will survive.
Rating: 5/5
Drama is based on same-titled best-seller by Shigematsu Kiyoshi. The cast is amazing for the drama.
Yasu is not the smartest pencil on the box, but I can say that he makes it up with some other things.

He is really pigheaded and stubborn, but he actually just is sometimes shy to show out his real feelings and acts as he thinks he should act. Even though, he is complicated character it was really easy for me to actually like him, because you can see with the drama how much he tries to keep things together. When people talk about true love, then this movie shows great example. Even after all the years, you see how much Yasu still loves Misako. Even though he is strong man, I like that there ae moments of weakness that many times are not so obviously visible. Of course one thing that he was unable to leave was drinking. Uchino Masaaki made amazing work as acting this role. He also won award for it. It is not a easy role to play for sure. I am not sure if the fact that he himself is a father helped him or not, but still amazing!
Misako is one person who understands Yasu the best. Even when he has some silly ideas, she encourages him and finds them the best. They do not show much about her actual thoughts and wishes, but she lives on in everyone's memories. In a way, she was the supporting point for Yasu - she being like an angel with her feminine gestures, was exactly what Yasu needed and I think that even after she actually had become an angel, she kept supporting him.
With Akira it is difficult to write, because Akira is in shown through years of growing up from baby to grown up man. Small Akira made me cry all the time, because there were so many things that seemed unfair for him as why he does not have a mom. I like how they showed different problems that occurred with different age, because it made it more natural. It is amazing that Akira actually was able to grow up so well, because a lot of time Yasu was stupid and drunk a lot, but Akira was able to see the good things.
Also, I liked how they showed Akira's thoughts as he was also worried how Yasu will be able to cope when he is not around. But on the other hand, I do have some negative things to say - to me Akira was too much softy, he took basically everything after Misako - his appearance, gentle nature - and he only did few times something really manly. Just mentioning, but I did not find him so appealing and just as many at his work place question about his orientation and compare him to housewife. But other than that it is amazing to see his 30 years with 10 episodes. I must mention, that Yanne at least was overly thrilled but Sato Takeru's performance.. well, Akira seems to be her type in real life too..
Yumi is single mother for her son Kensuke. She is 7 years older than Akira, but that does not keep him from falling in love with her. Yumi is really capable woman at her work, but there are times that women cannot be both capable at work and at home. That also was the reason of the failure of her first marriage, Even when she wants the best for Kensuke, she just cannot work things out on her own and needs help from others. She can be really stubborn also when she wants something, that is why she is great match to go against Yasu if needed.
Yasu's best friend is the priest Shoun, with who he basically grew up. Yasu calls him Namagusa as he is good-for-nothing-priest who always drinks in Yunagi. His wife is unable to have children, which makes their story a bit sad as you can see how much they actually wanted children. That is also the reason why sometimes Namagusa spends a lot of time with Akira, for example helps him to improve in baseball. For me the most difficult was to understand that Oshou is not Yasu's father, because I thought it until 5th episode. Oshou is the local higher priest, father of Namagusa, and he actually acts all the time as if he is also Yasu's father. In other words, Yasu is like is non-blood-tied son. It is really complicated, at least for me. Oshou is the smartest man in the drama as he has always something to say that solves everyone's problems.
Taeko-san is local barkeeper at Yunagi where everybody all the time go. She is like an older sister to Yasu and because of that Yasu calls her most of the time Nee-chan (older sister), unless he is saying insults to her. Taeko has some secrets in he past that come out as it is impossible to hide them forever. Taeko was my favorite character, but I cannot explain why. I think it was because of feeling pity for her sadness. because she was one character who tried to be the strongest all the time cheering everybody on, yet there were so many moments when she actually wanted to break down and cry.
I think the most amazing thing about the drama is that they show how almost 30 years go by and you can see and feel how the time passes. Make-up artist and stylist have done incredible work as 50 year old characters actually look like in 50s even when the actors are younger and also viceversa. Not to mention actors acting. You can feel how they mature and get older with years.
Actually Yanne and her roommate promised to kill me when I give "Tonbi" less than 5 and I admit that for a long time I thought of giving 3-4, because it can be really slow-paced and confusing for a long time. But it is really heartwarming and true to nature as it does not feel like an act. For me the beauty in the drama was about how they portrayed parent-children relationship in real life and that it was truly real. It felt as the "family" is real family.
BTW: TEARS GUARANTEED! At least I cried through the first 3 episodes I think, even when the start was so annoying for me.

SPOILER-review: I understand why Yasu in the end moved back to the village - as he said, it was not because of not fitting in in Tokyo or missing the people, it was to keep a place where Akira can come when he needs to escape from the city life. Me, as living most of my time in capitol city, away from my parents, I understand that need as just last week I became sick and the stress got over my head and I just felt that I want to go to my childhood place - place that stays the same even with changes. At least for me the childhood place is one place were I can restore my energy - hopefully I find another that kind of place in future...

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