Sunday, 8 November 2009

Recommended: Ueno Juri to itsutsu no kaban

This series of five individual short dramas aired last month in Japan and was subtitled by some lovely translators at Viikii.

Slow-paced and thoughtful, each of the stories is based around a bag of some kind, although this link is often pretty tenuous. Ueno Juri takes the lead in all five episodes, and does very well. Always watchable, she takes the different roles in her stride. It bodes well that she can mix very commercial acting roles (Nodame Cantabile) with this more esoteric stuff.

The stories are semi-surreal vignettes, and are nicely underplayed, allowing what is not said to become as important as what is. Meanwhile, the music is a real treat, with the closing songs of episodes one and three being especially haunting.

As you’d expect from a collection of short stories, I enjoyed some more than others. At its best, it’s almost reassuring that there are programmes like this still being made: A more relaxed, measured kind of drama with a gentler style of storytelling.

1 comment:

  1. Great recommendation!
    My favorite episode was the one where Juri plays a version of herself.

    If you liked this one, you should check out Camouflage (Aoi Yu x 4 Lies). Viikii also subbed it.