Hidetoshi Nishijima and Teruyuki Kagawa are inseparable these days. Their previous work together in MOZU was a bit of a letdown but do spend some time to watch the Japanese version of Internal Affairs. Teruyuki Kagawa is a great actor and from the many types of roles he had played before this, he’s the rare kind of actor who can assume any given role at ease without faking it. It’s still something I find Hidetoshi Nishijima needs to learn from his senpai, but that’s not to put down Nishijima. He’s still better than your average actor but there are times when I feel his performance wasn’t very consistent, as opposed to Kagawa. I think experience really helps in this matter.
Onto the main topic, whenever these two are paired up, I find myself intrigued. So it’s no surprise why I decided to put this in my MUST WATCH list for Winter season. Instead of playing detectives or spies, this time around, they’re playing father and son. It’s refreshing and actually a good change of pace to see them in a more relaxed environment. This drama though is far from your normal slice-of-life story. You can say it’s a typical time travel show but having both of these good actors work together it makes things more interesting.
Right from the get go, Nishijima plays the son Kazuo who hates his father to death and even attempted to run away from home when he was a child. Kazuo eventually left his hometown and worked in Tokyo, refusing to take over his father’s company (which also served as a loan shark). In present time, Kazuo is seen paying a visit to his sick father who has cancer and wouldn’t make it through winter. Despite how distant they are, Tadao still gives Kazuo money, with which Kazuo reluctantly accepts but also grateful because he has been jobless for some time. This is kept a secret from his family. He goes home to find a wrecked apartment with a hikikomori son and an absent wife. He then wandered on the streets and suddenly finds himself being invited by 2 people (also father-son) into their car. This father-son combo is actually dead and helps people like Kazuo to go back in time, somewhere that means a lot to him, that taxi show Yutaka Takenouchi acted in comes to mind.
Only this time, his father Tadao also joins him. Basically, as much as Kazuo hates his father, he finds himself on a journey of reflection and has to save, not only his job but also his family before they were destroyed in present time.
First episode was 1 hr and 30 mins long. However, I don’t find it draggy because they don’t dwell with trivial things, which is good for viewers. There were flashbacks to Kazuo’s childhood and Kagawa as Tadao is amazing. He really hits the nail and right on point, acting as Tadao. He does exaggerate but it’s still believable that you feel for his character. He’s such a joy to watch. While I wish I can say the same for Nishijima, it’s really apparent that he still needs to warm up to his role. Like I mentioned before, the consistency of his acting is not as good as Kagawa and it does take some of the fun away. However, I’m just being critical here so even with that being said, I still find this show enjoyable. It really does focus a lot on family relationships especially between father and son so maybe if you’re a father, you can most probably relate. Or if you have a father like Tadao or Kazuo (in present time), I’m pretty sure it’ll bring up some memories.
I’m curious as to how the rest of the show will follow because for now, Kazuo only has 2 major mistakes he needs to correct. One being his family’s issue and his job. It’s also apparent that he can jump to different points in the past but will this affect the other points he had been to previously? Another thing we know for sure is this whole event will bring him to understand his father more and repair their relationship.