Saturday, December 01, 2007

Byakuyakou - J-Drama Review

Just how far can you go for your first love?


Wiki Entry @ D-Addicts

Yamada Takayuki stars as Kirihara Ryoji
Ayase Haruka stars alongside as Karasawa Yukiho

D-Addicts have a very simple and straightforward introduction for this series:

"Yamada plays Ryouji who finds out that his first love, Yukiho is forced into child pornography by his own father and kills him. To his horror, the object of his father's perversion is Yukiho, whose mother forced her to do so to relieve their dire economic straits. Yukiho also retaliates in similar manner by staging a suicide for her mother as well as herself. They grow up attempting to keep it secret and ride out the statute of limitations. In order to protect Yukiho and improve her life, Ryouji enters the world of vice and dabbles in crimes to support Yukiho."

This is a sad yet powerful and dark drama about a couple of kids who kill there own parents to protect one another, in the hope of living out the rest of their lives in peace the past keeps creeping up with them - namely in the form of a persistent detective - Sasagaki Junzou - and Ryouji and Yukiho resort to all sorts of evil deeds to cover their old tracks but at the same time creating new cases against them.

It gets to a point when Ryouji now 16 and out of School enters the underground world (so to say) in order to keep Yukiho out of harms way and making sure she doesn't have to commit anymore crimes.

It gets to an extraordinary point where you just cannot imagine how further these two will sink just to keep the truth hidden and their love intact.

You start to feel for Ryouji who is stuck in this world of killing and wants to get out - at the same time Yukiho exhibits many different personas leaving you guessing as to which one is real and which is fake.

This is probably a 16/18+ age rating - lots of killing, bare flesh etc. I didn't think Japanese drama could get this complex and serious - this has to rank in the top 50 all time J-dramas!

Each episode takes place of many different scenes and even towns (after about episode 3), so many strong characters and moving soundtrack has you wanting more by the end of each episode.

Yamada really has a go at his role in this and it shows with some of his dialogue - while Ayase is a bit more on the quieter side, you feel her voice is a bit too mellow for her character.

But the junior Yukiho (as in the flashbacks) is exceptional and played by Fukuda Mayuko (Joou no Kyoushitsu) and really there are almost 2 whole decades portrayed in this series - and very well too!

Only down side would be the sudden gaps in the timeline towards the end of the series.

Definitely a must watch if you are into Japanese Drama/Film! I would rate this 8 out of 10, the time gaps which leave you a bit clueless is the only minus.

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