It’s taken a while, but the last subs are out. This was the first J-drama I watched, back in early 2008, and it was a major part in making me interested in Japanese dramas. I’ve written about it before, but I felt I couldn’t let its completion pass without some kind of mention.
|Kuriyama Chiaki, Sakai Wakana, Nukumizu Youichi (episode 10)|
The final two-part story is actually two different stories that happen to the same person. In the first, the person dying is a bedbound president of a corrupt company and so has to rely on his daughter (played by Kuriyama Chiaki (Atami no Sousakan, Kill Bill)) to fulfil his last wishes. This story involves a former employee Omoto Yuuzo (played by Nukumizu Youichi) who then, in the second part, is visited by his ex-wife who is also dying. She asks him to make noodles, like he did when they were together.
|Eita (episode one)|
The show remains, to the end, very tragic and sentimental. It isn’t afraid to pull at the heart strings such that we’re moved by the reconciliation between husband and wife in the last episode, even though we know it can’t last. It reminds us of the things we could’ve done differently if we’d known what was going to happen, and also it appeals to the desire to end our lives on a positive note: with loose ends tied up, and words of love finally spoken out loud.
|Ueno Juri, Nukumizu Youichi (episode 4)|
It’s also interesting watching it again, since now I can recognise more of the actors involved. Certainly, now I understand what a strong cast it had. I’ve really enjoyed this series, and am grateful that this was the first J-drama I saw. If I'd chosen something else, I may not have continued. As it was, it made me eager to discover more.
|Tokiwa Takako (Kabachitare) in episode 7|