If anyone is looking for a human drama this season, then I recommend trying this. Despite the slightly unknown cast to most people, the plot is interesting, moving and will surely make you laugh. It’s a good mix. I thoroughly enjoyed it so far (you might need some tissues in episode 2).
Kamemochi Ittaku (Kazunobu Mineta) is a useless man who hasn’t achieved anything worth mentioning in his life. He’s unemployed, loves music but it’s a one-sided affection, girls avoid him, is friends with another wannabe poet who hasn’t written anything in 9 years and has a grandmother who chases him out of their village to find something worth doing in Tokyo.
Pretty hopeless, right?
To be honest, I was disgusted initially when I saw his yellow teeth and sloppy attitude. Any woman would avoid guys like that lol. But surprisingly, for some reason, this character grows on me and by the end of the day, I was rooting for him so much (especially in episode 2), despite thinking how disgusting he was earlier.
He believes that men exists to protect women in this world. One day, he meets a woman, Hana (Kumiko Aso) and has a sudden crush on her just from watching her drink from a bottle of water.
For some odd reason, he then plucks his nose hair and proceeds to show it to her, puts the white nose hair on her finger. Just how disgusting this guy can get?!
He ends up getting punched in the face and gut by Hana.
After being forced by his landlord to pay rent, he goes looking for job and encounters Hana again at a flower market.
He’s now determined to get a job at the flower market.
Hana has a daughter, Umi who is deaf-blind. It is known that Umi is sometimes quite violent and throws tantrum (partly because of her condition I think). Hana’s husband, Masashi abandons them both after finding out Umi is deafblind. I like how they explain Hana’s backstory starting from the happy family she had until both of parents died, then she starts becoming a yankee. The way they lace it with comedy makes it quite funny to watch. The same goes with Ittaku’s backstory.
The drama also mentions Helen Keller, who was the first deaf-blind person to earn Bachelor of Arts degree. Hana’s grandmother wonders if there is someone who is like Anne Sullivan (Helen Keller’s teacher) who can guide Umi, dubbing that person as a miracle worker. Hana brushes it off, saying that only happens in foreign countries.
After watching this, I can’t agree more with this quote by Helen Keller.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
One day, after seeing Umi nearly knocked down by a small truck, Ittaku helps Hana find a place to stay.
Another hilarious scene
He asks his landlord, Fuuko to help Hana. Since the rooms are already full, Fuuko suggests him to move to a store-like room while Hana takes his room instead. So both Hana and Umi move into the apartment. Ittaku offers to take care of Umi while she works in the daytime. He will take the night shifts and by doing so, Umi won’t be alone. Hana is initially reluctant (coz seriously, does Ittaku even look like he’s reliable? LOL) but after watching how sincere he is to help them, she agrees.
The episode that sealed my decision to sub this drama. Such a powerful episode. I was touched! While the first episode was kinda light-hearted with occasional comedy, this episode was heavier, moving and inspiring. It opened my eyes watching how Ittaku tries to teach Umi to use a spoon. Such a simple and ordinary thing like using a spoon for the more fortunate ones like us, but for a deafblind child, how do you teach them? Who have never been able to hear, see or speak since they’re born.
Not a very simple task.
The focus in episode 2 is to show us how difficult it is when dealing with deafblind children. I’m not saying this applies to every deafblind people, but obviously, things are tougher for them and more patience is needed. Since Umi can be violent when she doesn’t like certain things, this makes it even difficult for Ittaku.
I like how Ittaku gets his ideas from Helen Keller manga instead of you know, more reliable sources like a proper guide book? But this fits his character so I find this a good touch.
The entire Spoon Lesson scene is brilliantly directed. It begins with a light mood, because it’s funny watching Ittaku getting kicked in the face and hit by Umi but when Ittaku’s exhaustion shows towards the end with Umi literally crying, I teared up too by then. Amazing work by these both.
After days and days of Spoon Lesson, Umi gives in and obediently holds the spoon and drink soup from it. But when Ittaku sees an unhappy Umi, he realizes all he’s been doing is forcing her.
“It doesn’t have any meaning if she’s not laughing while drinking soup with a spoon”
There’s this sense of triumph at the end of this episode when Umi finally smiles.
Plotwise, I like what I’m seeing so far. It’s intriguing since it deals with a deafblind character and I’m eager to see more. Despite being a useless man, the lead character has his own charms. He may be slovenly with unkempt hair and let’s not even talk about him pulling nasal hair (Eww…), but all these are what makes him likeable, in an odd way. I can’t really explain it, normally, I’d be disgusted instantly but he grows on me. A lot.
The cast is also good. I have to say, Mineta who plays Ittaku is very convincing. The role seems to come naturally for him. So yeah, he’s not as handsome as other actors but his acting is really great so far.
The kid who plays Umi, Moeno Sumida, deserves praises too. Kumiko is also convincing as a single mother. I like her tsundere attitude towards Ittaku but I guess she’ll slowly warm up to him.
I also like the dynamics between the landlord Fuuko and Ittaku. Fuuko is a pleasure to watch because she’s not your ordinary plain old landlord. As for the other tenants, they don’t have a lot of screentime yet but they have their own quirks, making them easier to associate with.
If you’re into human drama that has a good mix of slice-of-life, comedy, inspiring and touching moments, I’d recommend this without any hesitation.