Woman: Eps 4-5
I think episode 3 is still my favorite episode, as episodes 4-5 have more scenes that are a hit or miss. However we have made leaps and bounds with two big reveals about Shiori’s involvement with Shin and Koharu’s illness, and I think that the good outweighs the bad. Oh, and do I even need to mention how amazing Mitsushima Hikari’s performance is in these episodes??
My main complaint about episode 4 is that they waste like half an episode showing how Riku, Nozomi, and Koharu run around the city yelling “BUN!!!!!! BUN!!!!!!!!” in search of a lost dog. My memory of episode 4 is tainted by the thoughts that were running through my head during these scenes: “Why in the world are they wasting so much time in search of a dog that they don’t even find in the end?” I think the search for the dog Bun was meant to be a cute, feel-good story about how smart and caring Riku is, but it ended up feeling rather unnecessary.
The only thing I got out of this short story is that Koharu and her kids are happy although they are barely scraping by. They are happy to go searching for someone else’s dog, when in fact the dog’s owner doesn’t even give a darn about what happens to him. I love the look of disappointment and almost disbelief on Koharu and Nozomi’s faces when they find out that Bun’s owner has already replaced Bun with a new puppy. How much they would love to have a pet of their own…and yet Bun’s owner can throw away one pet and buy a new one just like that.
Anyways we find out that Shiori was bullied in school, was peer pressured into accusing innocent men of molesting her on the train, falsely accused Shin out of spite, indirectly caused Shin’s death, and is currently failing in her art prep school. Whoa. That’s a lot to process. O_O Well, a lot of people now hate Shiori’s guts but I can’t bring myself to hate her. It’s hard to describe but I feel like now I can finally see Shiori for who she really is. She is flawed, yes. Shiori’s words always cut straight to the bone, she hates other people’s happiness, and she even guilt-trips her mom into going against Koharu. But she is also someone who is trying to make her place in this messed up world, even though she feels worthless and she’s hurting.
I’m disappointed that Shin was a falsely accused molester because now he just seems like this saintly perfect guy. I feel like the drama took the easy way out..I think it would’ve been much more intriguing if he had a hidden side of himself that Koharu knew nothing about, similar to the way Koharu idolized her dad but it turns out he abused Sachi. Well anyways I guess all the Oguri Shun fans can breath a sigh of relief because goodness, Oguri Shun’s character can’t be a molester!
So Shiori’s revelation puts yet another rift between Koharu and Sachi. I love the dilemma that Sachi has between her two daughters, both of whom are exact opposites. It is not a relief for Sachi to find out that she was not the cause of Shin’s death…because instead it’s her own daughter who is the indirect cause. I think Sachi would rather that she is the one whom Koharu blames, because she cannot bear for Shiori to bear such a burden.
Well what I feared is true–Koharu has leukemia. But man, can I just say how amazing the scene is when she finds out about her illness??? Everything is so perfect–the narration of the Ugikuku story, the doctor breaking the news to Koharu…Koharu’s attempts to hold back her tears as she walks away…and the best moment of all: when Koharu puts on a smile when she goes back to her kids. OMGGGGGG.
Episode 5 is mainly about how Koharu struggles to cope with the shock of her illness. I like episode 5 more than episode 4 and I’m not quite sure why. I feel like ep5 really nailed all of the slow and silent scenes which show how lost and alone Koharu is. The scene when she comforts Yuki (who got a divorce) but decides not to tell her about her illness. When she sits on the floor in the kitchen in utter silence, just staring at a wilting flower. When she silently cries at night in the bathroom when the kids are sound asleep. It is so perfect. :'(
The problem with Koharu is that she never relies on anyone else. She forces herself to put on a smile for her kids but in reality she’s in great pain. Koharu is strong but she can’t do this all by herself. There is always a breaking point….it’s hard to tell if she’s already past that breaking point or if she is drawing nearer and nearer towards another breakdown. I think another breakdown is in store because she has yet to tell anyone about her illness, not even Yuki..not even her kids. I can’t wait to see who she will tell and how she will go about saying it.
Of course Koharu eventually gets out of her funk and puts on her game face for the sake of her kids. It always comes back to her kids, eh? So far they are little angels but I kinda wonder what would happen if they start to act out. I guess Riku must be past the terrible two’s, and Nozomi is very mature and responsible…but they can’t be angels all the time. I’m not saying I want to see endless tantrums or anything, but I’m sure Koharu’s condition will eventually affect how they behave.
I also suppose that the kids will be our main source of comic relief aside from Kentaro. I welcome it because we really need it considering how heavy the rest of the drama is. T___T Oh and this is really random but I thought it was really funny when Ryunosuke (the welfare guy who is married to the doctor) visits Koharu’s house and goes “PLEASE MAKE HIM (his kid) POOP!”. AHAHA.
I’m still a bit apprehensive about the leukemia plot device. Hopefully it will remain a plot device, probably for Shiori to donate bone marrow to Koharu. I just don’t want the leukemia to dominate the entire story, you know what I mean? Woman could very easily turn into a weep-fest and feel-good story about how Koharu battles leukemia and forgives her mom…but so far it has avoided that. I think we’ve really got to owe it to how the story is being shown as well as Mitsushima Hikari’s awesome acting. A scene that would’ve been cheesy if done by another actress can be brilliant if done by Mitsushima Hikari.