Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Nostalgia Series - Old drama theme songs: "Way to love" by Karasawa Miho

14 years ago in 2001, do you remember having watched this drama about a female doctor who was clueless about love and suddenly fell head-over-heels in love with a suave reporter?

"Love Revolution" starring Esumi Makiko, Fujiki Naohito, Yonekura Ryoko and Oshio Manabu, was another drama which I kept rewatching, although not at the same frequency as I did with "Itazura Na Kiss". It may seem odd to you but I was repeating the first half of the drama only. The cast provided much eye candy and the first half of the drama where Asaoka Kyoko (Esumi) and Suga Eiichiro (Fujiki) were caught in this love tug-of-war which was really interesting to watch. It sort of went a little downhill and draggy after that though. You know, the cliche development of a rare opportunity presented to the hero or heroine which stops them from being together so someone has to let go in order to prevent the other party from giving up on that opportunity. That was what I thought spoiled the drama.

Regardless of how I felt about the drama at the end, the insert song "Way to love" still caught my eye. This was Karasawa's third single in her first year since her debut and her bestselling single to date. I think the popularity of the drama helped to a great extent as it did the same to Fujiki who had been doing mainly supporting roles up till this drama. The lyrics were a match with the heroine's feelings of wanting to soak in the bliss of being in love. Coupled with Karasawa's vocals, the song lent a romantic feel to the scenes featuring the main couple.

Karasawa became a lyricist in 2011 after leaving Horipro and got married in the same year. In 2012, she won a Yusen Ongaku Excellence Award in the 45th Nippon Yusen Award for the lyrics she wrote in the song "Beat Generation" by Fairies. Since then, she has written a number of anime tie-up songs and begun work as an anime song singer under the name TRUE from 2014.

As for the main cast of the drama, they've actually gone through a lot over the years such as marriage, parenthood, scandals and even brushes with the law. Fujiki continued to be in leading roles for many dramas and movies after "Love Revolution" but somehow, that same level of popularity when the drama was showing in 2001 didn't seem to continue for very long. Nonetheless, he's still doing pretty well in his acting and hosting career. Yonekura went on to become a leading actress (she was the supporting actress in this drama) with her series of bad women roles, hit the jackpot with her Doctor X dramas and also acted in the Broadway musical "Chicago". However, rumours of her marital problems have been going on for some time. Esumi did some decent dramas after this but has been through two scandals i.e. the unpaid pension premium fiasco in 2003 and suspected of being the mastermind of a harassment and vandalism case last year that have no doubt dealt serious blows to her career. Oshio probably has the worst fate among the four which probably can only be attributed to his own actions. After quitting acting to focus on being a singer, getting married to Yada Akiko and having a son, Oshio was caught for consuming drugs and leaving behind the corpse of a hostess in his apartment after she passed away due to excessive drug intake. He got divorced soon after the arrest, started serving his sentence in March 2012 and was released in December last year. In a span of 14 years, so many things have changed for the four of them and it's impossible that they will ever reunite especially since Oshio is already out of showbiz.

If you are keen to check out a short clip of the memorable scenes between Fujiki and Esumi, it can be found here. Credits due to the respective copyright holders and the person who made this clip. As for the song, you can watch the PV here.


junny said...

Ahh, this drama brings back so many feels. I still do the occasional rewatch, and I still think Fujiki and Esumi were each other's best OTP. The whole OST was fantastic, from the theme songs to the instrumentals. I too preferred the first half of the drama, it really fit the title and theme, and everything was just so fun for Suga and Kyoko. Still, the latter half had some nice scenes - I quite liked the mini bonding scenes between Suga and Mariko. And the ending was fantastic.

Fujiki did find more success with Hotaru no Hikari, but agreed it wasn't quite on the same level as he had for Love Revolution. It's a pity Esumi's career sort of stagnated, with the scandals and stuff. I wish she'd come back and do a proper drama. I'm sad at the thought she and Fujiki might never reunite onscreen. Sigh.

Chiaki said...

In "Hotaru no Hikari", Ayase Haruka probably benefited more from this drama compared to Fujiki. It's bewildering that he never really capitalised on his popularity post-Love Revolution for some reason but then again, he tasted fame at least once in his career. Some actors may never get an experience like he did back then.

As for Esumi, she did bounce back after the first scandal by being low-profile and taking a break to get married and have kids so she sort of changed into this nice-wife-and-mother figure. However, it depends on how she's going to do this a second time because there are still so many questions surrounding over whether she did it or not and there was no proper resolution thus the doubt cloud is going to hang over her for some time. And TV stations tend to be quite particular about an actor's image. Unless she manages to land a role like NHK's "Machiben" when she returned from her first break which did a lot of good for her image and some TV station is willing to take the risk in selecting her to be in the cast, it will be hard to see her in another drama in the near future.