Ouroboros (Japanese Drama 2015)

poster.jpg

Drama Rating: 9/10

Ryuzaki Ikuo and Danno Tatsuya are orphans who grew up in an orphanage called Mahoroba no Ie. When they were elementary school students, an orphanage staff, who took care of them like an older sister, was killed by someone before their very eyes. The two of them gave statements to the police, but their words were squashed by a police official with a gold watch and the case was also covered up for some reason. 15 years later, Ikuo has become a detective. Skilled at catching whiff of cases, he has the highest rate of arrests in his police precinct. On the other hand, Tatsuya has risen to the top of the underworld as a leading member of an organised crime group. A police and a gangster with only each other to trust. The objectives of these two people, who should never have any association, are to locate the gold watch man within the police, find out the truth and expose the darkness of this all powerful organization.

Based on the manga series “Ouroboros” by Kanzaki Yuuya.

Excerpted from: My Dramalist

Ouroboros may sound like a simple story about 2 boys who met in the orphanage and set Ouroboros - 02.mp4_002343641off to get revenge when their foster mother was killed right in front of them, however don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the summary because there’s more that this drama could offer. It has a dark humor hovering around the dialogues, violence, secrets within a secret and the never ending conspiracies from one another. It’s a twisty piece of work that would keep you on your toes, even though at times it is easy to guess who the culprit is, it still does not deter the mysterious death of some characters due to an underlying circumstances in every episode.

I knew what I was getting myself into when I started this drama and yet I still watched it until the very end. Though there were a lot of things in this series which I didn’t like, there were MORE things which I found likable that it made up for the lack luster of what I was expecting. Another thing about the story line is the ending, it was great that the writers were not afraid to go into that kind of direction for the final episode. It made me smile and cry at the same time.

The bonus point for me in this drama is the fact that Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun are my Japanese Actor biases. Then add up Ueno Juri into the tandem, that makes it a perfect cast for me. They are a bunch of veterans and I felt the vibe of the whole drama along with the cast’s chemistry. It was really something that these actors can pull off. One minute they are being all funny, then the next they’re mad and then all of the sudden they’re crying. It’s like watching a whirl wind of emotions set to trap me in all those feels.

There were times though when they are set up in a ridiculous situation and have to give an over the top acting style (which is sometimes annoying) but they eventually redeem themselves with the dialogues and the funny inserts. But mostly, this drama is full of seriousness and has a heavy feel. It shows that every action has consequences andOuroboros - 01.mp4_000002002 choices made whether it’s right or wrong has its own ramifications. In the end Karma wins everything. I love how they explained what Ouroborus meant, it is actually an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; (oura) meaning “tail” and (boros) meaning “eating”, thus “he who eats the tail” (excerpted from Crystalinks), in the drama they explained that it also meant life and death, the cycle of humans who lived then died and lived again.

Music wise, this OST really caught my attention. Hearing the sound track felt really familiar, it was as if I heard them before on several dramas. When I researched, Arashi’s name came out. That’ when I realized the music score felt like listening to Maou’s OST which was also sang by Arashi. It was a really good music score which was attractive enough to fit the drama’s tone.

Another thing that made this enjoyable was the political battles inside the police government and each department. It’s fun seeing who’s side would win and who along the way would be affected. Usually though due to these political strife the innocent becomes not so innocent due to grudges held. I want to say more but I’m holding myself off since I don’t want to give spoiler alerts to anyone.

Last note: this drama has a minimal or almost nonexistent romance along the story line so I would suggest for people to check out this drama if they are in the mood for the things I have mentioned above except for the romance part.

Some of the photos are not mine. Credits to the owner.
Advertisements

Children of the Dark (Japanese Movie 2008)

Children_of_the_Dark-p1.jpg

Synopsis:

In the darkest corners of Thailand, child prostitution and organ sales flourish. In order to save a child’s life, another life must be taken. An outraged Japanese journalist and a passionate young Japanese NGO member attempt to save “children of the dark” from being consumed by arrogance and greed. However, the harsh realities of life intervene… Adapting Yan Sogil’s book, which unflinchingly portrays the tragic realities unfolding today, filmmaker Junji Sakamoto directs a talented multinational cast to bring these stark events to life.

Excerpted from: Asianwiki

Words from Me:

This is one of those movies that gave me a perplexing vibe after I was through with it. For a film that was meant to have a collaboration of two countries namely Japan and Thailand, this was slightly controversial. First off, to show a country with its dirt about human trafficking, that’s already one serious issue to dwell on… then add the corruption of government officials at the side lines, well that’s like adding salt to the injury. Nonetheless, this was a great movie to watch, especially if you’re interested in ethical and social issues around the globe.

Eguchi Yosuke has always been a great actor and I’m glad he is able to reunite with Miyazaki Aoi on screen for yet another work or rather I should say a BETTER movie this time around. I have already expected top notch acting performance from both main actors including Tsumabaki Satoshi who is part of the supporting cast, and unbelievably they surpassed my expectation.

The plot line sound quite simple, a volunteer social worker meets with a journalist and they start working hand in hand to uncover and expose the crime behind the Human Trafficking to help the poor children who are caught in such a hideous crime. What makes this story interesting is that this event is actually happening in real life and by watching this, it raises awareness to other people in other countries. Then add to this the fact that the production setting and cinematography seemed so real in a sense that it almost looked like a documentary, that my heart broke every time I see the children being herded off to the unknown. Lastly, there is the script. The storyline is awesome that it makes the whole movie a real work of art. Music wise, I couldn’t actually remember much of it, but I would probably rewatch this in the future with some students to use as a tool for discussion on such issues.

I usually have the habit of predicting drama or movie endings, and usually I’m not mistaken, but when it comes to Yosuke’s films, I am always caught off guard but still welcome the plot twist. I had the same feeling when I watched Gimme Heaven’s ending which both main actors were previously in. It was so mind boggling and yet it did make sense big time. I’m really hoping more people will be able to watch this film and I am definitely recommending it.