Wakamonotachi 2014: Eps 6-7 & Why I Stopped Watching
If I could sum up my experience with Wakamonotachi, I would say that it’s the drama I thought I would like, tried to like, but……didn’t like. As you all know, I started the drama with extremely high expectations, totally convinced that this would be my drama of the year. I fell for the first episode right from the start and couldn’t believe my great luck to see all of these amazing actors collaborating together in one drama. Unfortunately, everything from episode 2 and onwards left me more uncertain. I couldn’t decide whether I liked or disliked the drama as a whole. =_=” To sum up my views of the episodes:
- Episode 1: Instant love.
- Episodes 2-3: I felt more cautious towards the drama because I wasn’t sure where it was going. The endings were too cheesy IMO.
- Episodes 4-5: I proclaimed that this was the drama’s comeback. I thought these episodes were a significant improvement from eps 2-3.
- Episodes 6-7: I felt myself quickly losing interest in the story. By the end of episode 7, I realized that I had no emotional investment in the drama whatsoever aside from my love of the cast.
Initially I had thought that I would continue watching Wakamonotachi no matter what–who cares if there is not a great script as long as I get to see Mitsushima Hikari, Eita, Aoi Yu, etc. all together on my screen! After episode 7 though, I felt that the cast alone was not enough to keep me watching. Something just felt off to me–I wasn’t feeling the story and I couldn’t empathize with most of the characters either. I think it’s a big warning sign if you have to ask yourself whether or not you still like the drama at the end of every episode..which is exactly what I did. So I decided to discontinue watching Wakamonotachi. >_<
….Alas, I won’t get to grace my screen with the amazing presence of Mitsushima Hikari. Who knows, maybe I’ll just go and watch all her scenes after the drama is completed. 😛 It’s no secret that she is my favorite cast member in this drama. Her side-story of an affair with a married man is not the most pleasant, and it’s hard to understand the reasons behind her actions, but that’s part of what I like about it. It’s difficult for the drama to make Hikari’s affair into an inspirational tearjerker, unlike some of the other characters’ side stories. (i.e. Haru not giving up on theatre, Satoru gaining forgiveness) I think her story is more about her own demons, and how the things she loves (Shinjo, caring for premature infants) can both nurture her and hurt her at the same time.
Hikari has loved Shinjo for a long time although she knew he was taken. She also knew subconsciously that one day he would choose his wife & child over her. Even so, she chose to have the affair, possible out of the desire to live out her dream of being with her loved one even though she knew it’d be short-lived. Like I said before, Hikari also has a similar connection to her job. She loves to care for premature infants and chooses to do it in spite of the negative impacts of her high stress job. Hikari seems to be the kind that devotes herself 100% to someone or something, with the price of getting burned out in the process.
One thing that really frustrates me about the fall-out Hikari’s affair is that everyone–even her own brothers–blames her and not Shinjo. From the perspective of Shinjo’s wife, I suppose she would rather blame the third party than admit to her husband’s infidelity. But seriously, even Hikari’s brothers don’t defend her or try to point out Shinjo’s responsibility in the matter!?!?! Of course, Hikari is responsible for the affair..it’s just that Shinjo is too! And yet he doesn’t have to say one word to explain himself, not one word of apology! HRMPH.
While I’m sad that I’m passing up the opportunity to see more Mitsushima Hikari, my parting with the rest of the main cast isn’t as regretful. I still like them, just not to the point where I would be willing to watch all their scenes. 😛 Out of the rest of the cast members, the ones who surprised me the most were Nagasawa Masami and Emoto Tasuku. I watched Nagasawa Masami so long ago in Last Friends that I can’t even remember how her acting was back then. Still though, I think her character choice as a cool, collected tomboy is a first for her. As for Emoto Tasuku, I still think he has a special screen presence. I’m not quite sure what it is that draws me to his character. O_O His character Haru is fun but he also has a darker side; he cheats with his little bro Tadashi’s girlfriend!! Uh oh.. I wonder how Asahi will react once he finds out that another one of his siblings has cheated in a relationship? Will Haru get blamed as much as Hikari was? I’m also curious to see how Hikari would handle the situation, especially since she has been in an affair before & this issue involves her two favorite siblings that she always dotes on. (OK..maybe I will check out the next episode just to find out……DARN IT..)
As for the rest of the cast, sorry, Tsumabuki Satoshi still gives me the impression that he’s overacting a tad too much. I think it’s partly just the character who’s supposed to be rash and overdramatic. Asahi still gets on my nerves whenever he goes off on some tangent. Perhaps parenthood is his chance to mellow out more and mature in his marriage? Asuza gives birth to a premature infant in ep7, which is supposed to be a very high-tension episode. At this point I was already detached from the story and just skimmed through the 2nd half of the episode. >_<
Wakamonotachi could’ve been so much more, but something is missing from the show. The cast is there, the vision for the story is there…it’s just that the execution of the drama leaves me feeling disconnected from the characters. Anyways, maybe I’ll do some strategic watching for Mitsushima Hikari scenes later on. For those who are continuing onwards with the drama, let me know if it gets better. 😉