Saturday, February 17, 2007

Yaku 30 no Uso 約三十の嘘

Shikata Daisuke - Shiina Kiipei
Takarada Machiko - Nakatani Miki
Sasaki Kenji - Tsumabuki Satoshi
Kutsunai Mamoru - Tanabe Seiichi
Yokoyama Hiroki - Yajima Tomohito
Imai Yuko - Ban Juri

The story starts with Shikata, Takarada, Sasaki, Kutsunai and Yokoyama going on a trip to do some "big business". In actual fact, they are a group of tricksters who are going there to sell some fake merchandise and get profits of more than 100 million through the deal. 3 years ago, they last gathered for a deal but Imai cheated them and ran away with the money with another partner she brought along. During the journey, Imai returns to the team and claims that she was cheated by her partner then. Even though Takarada is sceptical about this, the rest of the team accepts Imai back to the team. However, these people each have their own plans and the item of contention is a box of cash as the capital for this mission...

The cast consists of a number of good actors like Shiina, Nakatani and Tsumabuki where it is interesting to see how these characters in the story try to outwit one another to get the money. Shiina plays the leader of the group, Shikata who is regarded as useless because of the incident three years ago and loses the respect of his team members. On the other hand, Takarada still believes in him and that's the primary reason she gets involved in this mission again. At the same time, Sasaki is in this mission because of Takarada and hopes to make her give up on Shikata. And Imai is the object of affection for Kutsunai and Yokoyama thus completing this complex web of relationships. Being professional tricksters, it is hard for them to see through each other's lies.

As Shikata puts it, telling a big lie would require telling another 30 small lies to cover up the tracks. Thus, throughout the story, it was hard trying to find out who is the biggest liar. It was a relatively short movie at about 1 hr 40 min but the pace was fast enough to allow lots of developments. As such, I do not have any grouses about the acting or the plot itself.

However, I think the focus on the individual characters leave much to be desired. Other than the fact that the characters are trying to outwit one another, there is little chance for the viewer to find out more on the individual characters e.g. their background and how they got into the trickery business. Thus, I thnk there is sufficient content to warrant a sequel of the movie.

The music used in the movie is from Crazy Ken Band and the entire movie is shot on a moving train. From what I knew, they made the set of the train cabin in the studio so it's not entirely shot on the train itself. The music from Crazy Ken Band suits the mood of the movie and is very relaxing even though the atmosphere of the movie is rather tense. There's no bloodshed or violence, just a battle of wits.

Out of 10, I'll give it about 8 points since more could be done on the development of the characters.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Always 三丁目の夕日

Now that I've watched this movie, I understand why it swept many titles through the numerous movie award ceremonies for 2005.

To be frank, the story isn't that outstanding if you are looking for drastic developments or tense moods. That's because the entire journey is somewhat melancholic, nostalgic and very heart-warming that 2 hours go by so quickly as you get emotionally drawn into the lives of the people living along that street. Being set in those days before Tokyo Tower was built, you can see many things that are no longer available these days and get a different viewpoint of the various points for consideration. For example, for us in this modern era where almost everyone has a TV set, those people in the olden days were like in a carnival mood whenever one household gets one. It's hard to imagine their joy but when you see it through this movie, it somehow brings across the message to you.

Another point which I remember was the purchase of the fridge by the Suzuki family and the ice vendor was looking so sad at the sight of the old fridge which cooled stuff by using ice-blocks. With the improvement in our lives, old things get thrown out and with that, emotions of the past and the reliance we had for them all goes out of the window.

Besides the story, another winning factor was the cast. Personally, I thought that Tsutsumi Shinichi, Yoshioka Hidetaka, Yakushimaru Hiroko and Horikita Maki were very outstanding and deserved to win the accolades they received for this film.

Tsutsumi - He's really mesmerising as this typical old-fashioned oyaji who can get really heated over little things. However, when he realises his mistake, he's not afraid to admit it and that's what makes him really likeable. In addition, his concern for his family and neighbours despite his sarcastic way of speaking just shows how kind this character is.

Yoshioka - Wow, although he looks like a goner with that image and an equally bad personality, he's really very good to others especially to Junnosuke who's not his son and yet he takes him in. He takes it out on others whenever he fails to win any writing contest and doesn't think twice about copying Junnosuke's ideas for his stories to the extent of trying to justify his actions. To balance the detestable and likeable sides of this character takes quite a bit of effort and of course, the acting skills to carry this off.

Yakushimaru - She practically has this motherly aura that captivates viewers. One of the most memorable scenes was her putting some cash and a note in her son's old sweater for emergency uses. Just like what a caring mother would do...

Horikita - This is the first time where I'm totally convinced that Horikita has what it takes to give Sawajiri Erika and other fellow young uprising female stars a run for their money. In Nobuta wo Produce, her reticent character didn't stand out that much while in Kurosagi, the lousy story made it hard for her to shine. However, her potrayal of the character Roku-chan is so brilliant that we can see various sides of her be it angry, sad, happy which gives entirety to her performance.

Before I forget, the young actors playing Ippei and Junnosuke put up very good performances too. Well, for Koyuki...I still find her acting quite awkward so that's why she sticks out like a sore thumb in the movie and the award ceremonies.

In conclusion, I would give this 9 marks out of 10 and recommend it to those who have not watched it yet.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Install インストール

Nozawa Asako (Ueto Aya)
Aoki Kazuyoshi (Kamiki Ryunosuke)
Koichi (Nakamura Shichinosuke)
Momoko-sensei (Kikukawa Rei)
Aoki Kayori (Kojima Ijiri)
Nozawa Komoe (Tanaka Yoshiko)

This movie is based on the bestselling novel by Wataya Risa who wrote this at the age of 17 and achieved sales of about 500,000 copies which is a feat for a senior high school student author making her debut.

Ueto Aya plays the lead character, Nozawa Asako who is doubting her existence and purpose of living as she finds that she is just going with the flow and doesn't know what she wants to do. Her best friend, Koichi who she has been holding a torch for, chides her for living without an aim and tells her to take a break from school if she needs time to find what she wants to do. At his suggestion, Asako goes home to clean up her stuff and dump everything in the rubbish collection stand. She is lying on the floor, moping over her life.

Although she's only 17 and should have lots of potential to achieve things in her life, she feels that she's already 17 and has no chance of improving her life. Thus, she is swinging between these two extreme emotions and confused about what to do next. Kazuyoshi who comes to the rubbish collection stand, meets Asako and brings home her old Macintosh since she dumped all her stuff. That computer was a gift from her grandpa when Asako's parents divorced but she never got to use it since her grandpa promised to send emails to her but he was bad with technology goods.

Ever since that day, Asako would wait until her mother goes to work before returning home to spend the rest of the day, lazing around. In actual fact, her mother never realised that Asako's belongings had been removed and her room was empty. She is also a teacher at the primary school which Kazuyoshi transferred to after moving to the vicinity with his father and stepmom.

Kazuyoshi comes to look for Asako one day and offers her a part time job. Actually, Kazuyoshi makes use of the Mac he got from Asako and poses as a 25-year-old housewife on the Net. He met a fellow housewife, Miyabi who was sleeping around for money and she asked for help to man the erotic chat room she is operating due to her busy schedule. Since Kazuyoshi has to go to school in the day, he asks Asako to come to his apartment and operate the chat room until 2pm every day since she doesn't go to school. Although Asako has her reservations since she has never had sex before and isn't good with computers, she finally decided to go ahead upon hearing Kazuyoshi's reason for asking her to take part.

Initially, Asako couldn't really handle the people who come to the chat room because of her limited knowledge in erotic and sexual matters but as she gained more experience, she became well-versed in things she had never experienced before. However, a virus attack on the Mac makes it impossible for Asako and Kazuyoshi to continue with the chatroom. In addition, Kazuyoshi's mother finds out about them. Asako realises that 6 months has passed in a flash since she got involved in this job and she was even unaware that Koichi died in an accident. This series of events made Asako realise that she has to return to the real world to live instead of living her fantasies in the cyberworld. As such, she and Kazuyoshi part ways...

Although the first 10 to 15 minutes was quite slow, I must say that the momentum picked up once Asako and Kazuyoshi met and it's truly a very interesting movie. I don't mean the erotic chat room, that's not very explicit in my opinion. I'll talk more about that later.

As mentioned in my review above, Asako is basically a senior high school girl who doesn't know what to do with her life. She knows that she has youth on her side but somehow, she doesn't know what she can do to change her life. She's bored but doesn't know what exactly is making this happen. As such, her actions would seem to be rather drastic and incomprehensible like dumping her entire belongings including her wardrobe, bed etc at the rubbish collection stand and lying on the floor. It's very rare to see Ueto Aya act like her in her roles. Very natural and it's easy to identify with her troubles as if she is really Asako herself. And when you see her having that sensual aroused look while engaging in cybersex, I guess fans of Ueto would probably go wild upon seeing that especially guys. I was quite amused but I think she was very convincing and undoubtedly attractive in that scene.

Another must-watch scene is that part when the Mac crashed due to the virus and Asako was quite flustered over returning to the real world now that she cannot operate that erotic chatroom. Then, she told Kazuyoshi that he can touch her breast even though she rejected his request before. Don't think that they are indulging in any hanky panky but the atmosphere is so intense that I really imagined something like this to come from the two leads. Imagine Kazuyoshi telling Asako how he feels about touching her and his hands...I can't go on anymore or the content would not be suitable for minors. However, rest assured that this is not some sex flick. I feel that the two have great chemistry in this movie to bring out that feel between Asako and Kazuyoshi. Their relationship is a bit ambiguous and yet simple. Kazuyoshi requires help to man the chatroom while Asako needs help to break out of her routine. Simple as that but the rest is up to your interpretation.

I would never have known that Kamiki can be so good because this is completely different from his usual goody, timid boy roles. He's quite harsh with his words as Kazuyoshi who is a kid but knows much more than a kid should. I think he's even more knowledgeable about sex than Asako. Anyway, looking at him in Install and comparing him to Aikurushii, I just cannot reconcile the two roles to be from the same actor. Kamiki is doing well and hopefully, he can continue to perform.

I can't say that the message behind this movie is evident. It's very much left to your own interpretation of the situation but I think everyone did have a period when they were lost about what to do. I guess I'm not that extreme as Asako but I can understand her grouses. However, the monologue sections were sometimes too repetitive so I didn't really like the beginning of the movie. Otherwise, it would have been better. I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5 for the entire movie and suggest that you can take a look for yourself to judge whether it deserves better or worse.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Yubi 指

Frankly speaking, it's been some time since I watched a 2-hr SP which gave me a strong sense of satisfaction. At least I feel that I've not wasted my time on this which exceeded my initial expectations. Of late, most of the SPs I've watched were either too sloppy in trying to wrap up everything within a short timeframe or too draggy because of over-emphasis on redundant or boring developments. However, it's probably because of the fact that Yubi is based on a bestselling novel by Matsumoto Seicho who's famous for his works like Suna no Utsuwa, Kurokawa no Teccho and the currently showing Kemonomichi, thus the story is condensed in such a manner that the pace doesn't go into overdrive or crawling mode.

Goto Maki did very well in this SP. Well, I've never really liked her as an artiste and I've only seen her act once in Yanpapa. However, she really showed off her versatality in this difficult role who engages in homosexual relationships. The bed scenes were extremely steamy and they are probably not suitable for the younger audience since there's also nudity. This drama SP should show that she's capable of adult roles in future.

Hoshino Mari was outshone by Goto here but she also did pretty well especially when she was struggling with herself as to whether she should oblige the bar owner's request just to find out more information on Yumiko. Somehow, Hoshino has been overtaken by a lot of upcoming actresses and it seems like she's having problems landing a role in a regular season drama. And she's supposed to be older than Goto but I just get the feel that based on appearance only, Goto can pass off as a mature lady as compared to Hoshino.

The title of this SP, Yubi, meaning finger has a special significance because the original novel's title wasn't this. It seems that in the lesbian relationship, they keep their fingernails short for a specific purpose. Watch this to find out because I don't think it's appropriate for me to write it here due to the presence of young members.

Out of a score of 10, I will rate this 9. If the BGM of this SP can be improved, it would have made the impact of the story much better.

Just a recap of the storyline here. If you don't want spoilers, skip this section now.

Fukue Yumiko was an aspiring actress 3 years ago and was barely making ends meet while taking supporting roles in a theatre group. She met Suzuki Kaori for the first time at a noodle shop when the latter helped her pay for the food because she had no money with her. However, this situation changed when she met a rich man's wife Tsuneko who frequented a lesbian bar she worked part-time at. This job was given to her at the recommendation of the leading actress in the theatre group, Miho and it turned out that Miho was also in love with Yumiko. Yumiko had no intention of getting involved with them as she already had a boyfriend.

One day, Yumiko returned home to find her boyfriend sleeping with another woman and she turned to Miho for refuge. As a form of exchange for providing shelter, Yumiko slept with Miho for the first time and learnt some tricks which she subsequently used on Tsuneko. Thus, Yumiko shuttled between Miho and Tsuneko while trying to achieve her goal. Tsuneko even tried to help Yumiko get jobs of CMs and dramas so as to build up her profile.

Disaster struck as Tsuneko and Miho got jealous of each other. Tsuneko wanted Yumiko to leave the theatre group but the latter tried to avoid the issue and see Miho on the sly. However, Tsuneko barged into Miho's place and slashed her face for revenge. As Yumiko wanted to send Miho to the hospital, Tsuneko took it as a sign that Yumiko didn't want her and committed suicide. Later, when Yumiko rushed to find Tsuneko, she was already close to dying but Miho dragged her away quickly so as not to get implicated.

In order to fulfil Yumiko's wish to be the lead actress, Miho used her injury as a reason to let Yumiko take over her role. This led to her being spotted by a film director and they even got engaged while shooting a movie. Yumiko told Miho that she wanted out of the relationship which the latter agreed to without much resistance. However, Miho came to pester Yumiko again so she killed Miho.

Yumiko and Kaori who has become a TV reporter, meet again 3 years later but Yumiko doesn't remember her at all. When Kaori is following up on a case about dogs' murders, she happens to catch Yumiko throwing away the corpse of her dog in the park and accuses her of being the culprit for the serial murders. However, Yumiko manages to prove that she's not which results in Kaori being relieved of her duties. Out of grudge and curiousity to find out about Yumiko's past, Kaori even sleeps with the owner of the lesbian bar to get more information. When Kaori gets to know the truth, she insists on exposing Yumiko who pleads with Kaori to kill her instead. In the end...that's up to you to find out.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Satomi Hakkenden 里見八犬伝

Some observations from this SP:

There's a lot of bloodshed.
Right from the beginning, people die one after another. I did a count based on the cast list from the official website and see at least 15 characters who had died. Mind you, they are not those unknown extras but are mostly big-names who turn up on screen for a while and get killed. And some of them died in the most exaggerated fashion with blood splashing out or slow-motion scenes.

Some of the actors can really act.
Really, you will be amazed at some of the actors' performances.

First of all, Oshio Manabu. I thought he did pretty well in Love Revolution no doubt he was outshone by Fujiki Naohito. However, his subsequent works failed to make a strong impression on me. I was amazed at how well he did in Satomi Hakkenden. Too bad this is going to be his last drama since he announced last year that he's not going to act anymore. And to think that critics were lamenting that it was a waste to see this side of him in his final production. Assuming he does not go back on his word, this will be the last you'll see of him.

And there's also Yamada Yu. All along, she's been known more for her looks rather than acting skills and it didn't help that her popularity was dented due to her scandal with Ito Hideaki last year. I've never really taken notice of her since she comes across as a bimbo to me most of the time. Well, to give her some credit, I'm sure she wouldn't have wanted to be stuck in such brainless roles if she had a choice. It was only till I saw the Vodafone CM when I found a vivacious, cool and youthful side of Yamada which I've never known before. And when I saw her make her debut as a voice actor in the anime, Paradise Kiss, I must say that I'm totally bowled over by her. She can act, even if we don't see her face as her voice does show the emotions of the character she played.

In this SP, she comes across as cool and beautiful at the same time. Her character has both male and female traits i.e. a male body but with feminine looks and mannerisms which should be hard to strike a balance. Until this, I was never really convinced that she can do so well in a drama. Maybe it's time for the producers to give her more challenging roles rather than play bimbos again.

Last but not least, there's Sato Ryuta. All along, he keeps playing fool roles but he goes through a change here. At least, there's one time when I see his character using his brains instead of being a rash fellow. However, due to his appearance, I think it's hard to take him seriously as an actor unlike Yamada Yu who enjoys a certain degree of versatality.

Somehow, most if not all of the actors look good in period costumes.
One grouse I have when it comes to such dramas is how some actors look horrid in period costumes. The strange thing, most if not all of the actors look OK in this SP. Of course, there were a number who looked exceptionally good like Nakama Yukie, Yamada Yu, Takizawa Hideaki and Kanno Miho.

Among the cast, I would have to give Kanno Miho the title of the best actress. She was so scary and detestable as Tamazuka and Myochin but in the end where her red contact lenses and the grotestque makeup was removed, you can see how she becomes a changed person based on her expressions, not just due to the change in her image.

On the other hand, Ayase Haruka was a bit irritating as Hamaji. It just gave me the impression that she was a follower who kept chanting "Shino-sama".

On the whole, I think this is a very high quality production and could be expanded to a longer series so as to give enough coverage for each of the 8 main characters. However, as seen from the fact that they went to China for filming and got so many big-names to play those minor roles, it will probably take up a lot of funds to make a full-length drama.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ikitemo ii? ~ Himawari no Saku Ie ~ 生きてもいい? ~ ひまわりの咲く家~

O.A. 3 March 06
Ratings: 17.7%

This is truly worth watching because it offers a rare insight into the adoption scheme in Japan from the viewpoint of the child. Actually, there was a similar story previously which talked about the issue from the viewpoint of the foster parents which earned rave reviews thus leading to the production of this current SP. After watching the SP, it made me realise suddenly that adopting a child is not as simple as it is always made out to be.

Let me talk briefly about the story. Koono Maki was abandoned by her mother 2 months after she was born because she couldn't live with her alcoholic and abusive husband. Subsequently, her father put her into an orphanage and killed himself. As such, Maki had never really tasted the feeling of being in a family nor feel the need to have parents.

When Maki (Yamauchi Nana) was 8, a couple by the surname of Ichimura came to adopt her and she agreed to go home with them even though she was under the impression that she could stay together with her friends in the orphanage. One of them was Sei-chan (Narimiya Hiroki) who is 10 years older than her and he was placed in the orphanage because he almost got killed by his violent father.

Even though Maki enjoyed many things she had not tried before e.g. overseas holidays, she didn't feel that she fitted into the family and only called her foster parents Father and Mother because her foster mother Chikako (Matsushita Yuki) insisted on it. In addition, Maki didn't see sense in the things Chikako forced her to do like abide by her household rules and get punished for not doing certain things. However, she never felt the need to voice out her opinion because she somehow had the gut feel that this wasn't allowed.

When Maki (Fukuda Saki) became a teenager, she kept questioning why she had to obey Chikako's commands and felt that the latter was being too intrusive into her lifestyle. Thankfully, her foster father Takayuki (Shokuhutei Tsurube) helped her over this tough period but this wasn't enough for Maki who was bottling up her frustrations. The final straw came when Maki found out that Chikako was reading her diary without her permission and even threatened to kill herself. This sort of upset the balance in the family and the relationship between Maki and her foster parents got shaky.

Subsequently, when the adoption officer came to visit Maki, she revealed her wish to leave the Ichimura household and got him to lie to Chikako that she was going to live at the orphanage for 1 week where Sei-chan was working at. However, Maki's refusal to return home made Chikako so desperate that she went to the family court to contest Maki's one-sided initiative to nullify their foster parent-child ties. In the end, Chikako lost the case and confided in Maki that she regretted not letting Maki change her surname right from the start even though the latter asked about it when she was a child. At that time, Chikako was persuaded not to do so yet but this sort of formed the basis of why Maki did not feel at ease in the family. Despite Chikako leaving in tears, Maki was not prepared to return home with her.

At 20, Maki (Hirosue Ryoko) went to a make-up school and worked part-time. Just as she thought that life would be a bed of roses from now on, she succumbed to a serious illness which was life-threatening. During her long stay in the hospital, Chikako and Takayuki took good care of her and Chikako even managed to get Maki's biological mother to visit her. This prompted Maki to reconcile with her foster parents when she was discharged.

However, the happy days were short-lived as Chikako suddenly passed away due to an illness. Maki found out how much her foster parents loved her and decided to move back home so that she could take care of her foster father...

Frankly speaking, other than the narration part, you won't get to see much of Hirosue Ryoko since a lot of attention is focused on Maki's growing up days. As such, to those who are going to watch this for her sake, sorry to disappoint you. Anyway, she didn't get to do much for this role so I can't really judge if she acts well or not. Same goes for Narimiya Hiroki where he plays a brotherly figure to Maki and there's absolutely no romantic sparks between him and Hirosue. By the way, he just cannot pass off as a guy in his 30s so he should just stick to his current age group.

I must say that I am very impressed with Yamauchi Nana and Fukuda Saki's performances. Well, Yamauchi can be considered as a veteran child actor so it's not that much of a surprise if she can do well. The surprising thing was Fukuda Saki making her debut as an actress and she showed the rebellious and desperate sides of Maki completely. Appearance-wise, she may not stand out among the many young actresses of today but she does have potential to go far if she gets the right roles in future. That scene when she was holding the knife while screaming crudely at her foster parents was full of impact.

Another person worth mentioning is Matsushita Yuki. Her character is an university professor so she has a desire to keep things in proper order thus explaining why she was so strict with Maki. Although she may seem detestable when she thinks that she has done nothing wrong, her heartfelt confession to Maki and how she cried on the way home was very memorable. Matsushita may be doing a lot of these supporting roles these days but her performance usually steals the limelight from the leads though.

Out of a score of 10, I would give this 8.5 and recommend it to all those who are looking for meaningful and insightful tales in a family setting. And it provides valuable information on how the adoption system works in Japan which seems so complicated as compared to local standards.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Oboreru Hito 溺れる人

Starting from today onwards, I will post past reviews and synopses of Japanese dramas and movies written in the Dorama World forum via this blog. This exercise is meant to keep archives of my past works as well as allow new visitors to the blog to know about past productions which they may wish to consider viewing.

This is a 2-hour SP drama aired on NTV in March 2005 where it was adapted from a same-titled best-selling novel written by an ex-alcohol dependence patient. Starring Shinohara Ryoko as Mizusawa Mari, it depicts the struggle of how she overcame the addiction to alcohol and the impact this condition has on her family.

The story starts with Mari and her husband, Seiji (Nishijima Hidetoshi) on their wedding day where Mari starts to drink a lot of alcohol even though Seiji tries to stop her. She makes a fool of herself when she stumbles off the stage and Seiji had to support her in case she falls. Seiji seems unhappy over this but does not mention anything at this stage.

However, things do not improve as Mari would drink even in the day and this affects her relationship with Seiji. Mari refuses to acknowledge that her drinking is a problem and flares up at Seiji for stopping her from drinking. During one of her drunken outbursts, Mari crashes into the balcony glass door and injures herself. In order to hide the truth about Mari's alcoholism from her parents, Seiji lies that he beat Mari out of anger and her mother brings Mari home. Mari is guilty about making Seiji take the blame and confesses how she came to be very dependent on alcohol. After graduating from university, Mari went to Tokyo to work but wasn't doing too well. As such, she turned to alcohol to numb herself and get over the daily problems she faced. When she realized that it was turning into a problem, she decided to come back to her hometown, Matsumoto and happened to meet Seiji who is a bus driver. They used to be from the same school and hit it off after that meeting. During their courtship, Mari did not turn to alcohol for a while but when they got married, she could not control her urge to drink again. Seiji told Mari that he will help her get over her addiction and got down to work by removing all the alcohol in their home.

The situation starts to improve when Mari gets pregnant and gives birth to her daughter, Yuka. However, Mari starts to succumb to the urge to drink again and this makes Seiji very disappointed and disheartened. He brings Mari to a psychologist which is met by strong objection by Mari's mother who refuses to believe that her daughter has a problem. Things did start to look up for a while but Mari slipped back to her old ways one night when she was supposed to buy fever medicine for her daughter but ended up drinking herself silly on the streets. Struck with the fear of losing her family, Mari goes to a hospital to cure herself of the alcohol dependence where she has to undergo cold turkey treatment for close to 2 weeks. She refuses to let her doctor tell Seiji about this and wants to meet him after she has completely recovered. After 3 months, Mari finally gets rid of this illness and returns to her family...

This is a very informative and meaningful drama where the story is based on a true-life novel by the author. She was also an alcoholic and took a long time to recover. That's why she shared her experience in this book which was made into the drama SP. Great performance here by Shinohara Ryoko who is a very good actress and never to shy away from controversial roles.

Well, it seems like alcohol dependence cannot be completely cured as there is still a chance of the patient slipping back to his former ways. It takes a lot of willpower and support from the people around the patient in order to overcome the illness. I feel pity for Mari because she cannot control her behaviour but at the same time, I also feel sorry for her family members who are in anguish over her condition. The helplessness about being unable to do anything except wait for the patient to overcome the condition by willpower is so painful. It really takes a strong family bond to overcome this together but in reality, I don't think it's that easy especially if violence against family members come into the picture.