Thursday, 18 July 2013

Currently watching: Amachan

I’m watching an asadora! Does this mean I’m officially old? Or a housewife?

Asadoras (Morning dramas) run six days a week on NHK, and last for hundreds of episodes, each lasting fifteen minutes. It’s tempting to dismiss them as light daytime TV, but this one seems a little different. Mind you, I’ve only ever watched one other asadora, Ohisama. I saw a few episodes, but found it rather slow moving and it was obviously made for people who were nostalgic for the post-war period.

The reason I started watching Amachan was because it’s written by Kudo Kankuro: the writer of Tiger and Dragon, Unubore Deka and Ikebukuro West Gate Park. I knew good actors sign up for asadora’s quite happily but I was surprised that someone who’d written such good dramas would work on daytime TV.

Once I began watching, I quickly had to change my mind. This was nothing like the cosy, plodding moralistic Ohisama. It moves at a fast pace, making the fifteen minutes seem even shorter, and this means that when one ends, you immediately want to watch the next.

The story is about a woman who returns to her home town that she left over twenty years ago. She brings her daughter with her, and is appalled that the daughter loves the town she hates so much. That’s basically it. The cast is great: full of familiar faces, with Kyoko Koizumi as the returning woman, and Rena Nounen as her daughter. Rena puts in a great performance, especially considering this is her debut drama. Meanwhile, the dialogue is as sharp as you’d expect from Kudo Kankuro.

This has been quite a surprise for me, and I’m very glad I tried it out. Huge thanks to earthcolors for doing the subs.


  1. I've been watching asadoras sporadically because I get NHK (the same applied to taiga dramas, though). I think one of the first asadoras I caught was Hitomi? I think it aired back in 2008 or something. I do consider myself old but not a housewife... it just happens to air at 6pmish aroudn here because of the timezone xD

    I've also been watching Amachan hahaha. I actually caught one of the episodes and laughed, that when I looked it up and saw Kankuro Kudo's name, it explained it all. I'm so glad someone is subbing this. I think it's the first time someone subs an asadora :) but the latest epis haven't been as good, but I'm loving Rena Nounen :)

  2. I also watching Amachan right now ... well actually I like Asadoras way back like from 2008 when I basically watched Hitomi and Churanas (asadora from 2001) in parallel and both were not like Ohisama (which in some sense is comparable to gegege no nyoubou). Actually Amachan is giving me in some sense the same feeling as Hitomi did, and that is a good sign. As you said there is a huge part for that because of Nounen Rena. Wait for the story to evolve it seems to get more fun :)

  3. I like watching Amachan because, even if it makes me stay indoors when it's sunny outside, I still feel as if I'm outside. Watching it is a bit like going on holiday.

  4. If Kudo Kankuro was on the decline, this asadora totally redeemed himself to his former glory. Man, the script is absolutely wicked, arguably Tiger and Dragon level if I dare say. Anyone not watching this is, without a doubt, missing out pretty badly. Actually, other recent asadoras turned out pretty good too, Carnation being one.

  5. Just finished Amachan, and though it wasn't perfect, it came damn close. I'm amazed at myself being so very touched by this asadora! I didn't want to start the final ep because it would be the end of a world that I was so happy being a part of. Now all teary eyed and praying for Amachan season 2! Just a one shot spin off would be great too! It's Shiosai no memory for now!