Monday, July 16, 2012

Otousan Review (2002)

Drama Rating: ****
Personal Rating: Loved it!

Following the death of his wife, Shindo Shiro is left to care for his four daughters, each of whom is dealing with various issues commonly encountered by others of their age group. Yu, the eldest daughter, is having marriage issues; Akira, the second daughter, doesn't want to continue running the shop; Makoto, the third, wants to live on her own; while Kei, the youngest, wants to quit school. Amidst all of this, Shiro wants to re-marry. Throw this all together and you've got enough fuel to last you a drama!

*Spoiler warning*

This drama takes an interesting route in portraying some of the typical issues, fights and struggles that go on in any family. This is exaggerated by the fact that Shiro-san has four grown daughters who face various difficulties and important decisions in their own lives. The exploration of each of these stories and their impact on this family make for some fabulous stories and gives this drama plenty to work with as the script delves into their resolution.

It seems likely that the actors were chosen for their roles or the screenwriters did a great job creating characters that fit their temperaments. Tamura Masakazu playing the 'lead' father role of Shindo Shiro was an interesting pick. Although he has certain mannerisms which he seems to carry from role to role, particularly his deliberate stuttering, he does a pretty decent and fitting job with his lecturing. Iijima Naoko was a suitably irresponsible eldest daughter while Nakatani Miki plays her complete opposite as the very responsible Akira to perfection. Hirosue Ryoko continues in another pushover role here as Makoto, not too different from Summer Snow. Along the same lines, Fukada Kyoko plays Kei, giving her another opportunity to show off her signature pouty and dazed looks. Moriyama Ryoko plays the warm Anzai Tamako, who seems to be a perfect complement to Shiro's boisterous family. Overall, the cast certainly have great rapport and create a very believable family that addresses and reflects some of the common concerns that many families encounter.

This drama doesn't have an overly overbearing soundtrack as the frenetic pace of the household is well represented by unobstructed, bustling sounds of life. From the sounds of the street, to the kitchen, to the shop, sound effects make up a large portion of the drama's audio. Ambient sounds are used quite effectively to give this drama a very homely and comforting feel. Of course, in certain places, the judicious use of appropriate instrumental music creates a very suitable atmosphere.

The drama does a lively job portraying the squabbles and support of a family. While each family is different, inevitably, some of the issues portrayed here are encountered at one point or another. This drama takes a realistic and very human stab at relating to those circumstances and provides us with a mirror with which to look at ourselves. While this drama clearly doesn't strive to be a very memorable or unique drama like GTO or Nodame Cantabile, it is certainly a very solid one with its feet firmly rooted on the ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment