Fuben na Benriya: Eps 10-12 (Finale)

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

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Episodes 10-12 of Fuben na Benriya are, sadly, the final stretch of the drama.  The drama tones down the humor a notch and gives us more heartwarming scenes instead.  There are still a lot of jokes, just not as many laugh out loud moments (in my experience, at least).  Admittedly I totally ate up the heartwarming kumbaya scenes.  I got a little teary when the entire town came out to make thousands of snowmen, hehe.  It was just so cute seeing everyone coming together to represent their town!  Anyways, here are a few funny moments that stood out to me:

(Note: I switched from calling Matsui Hideo “Hideo” to “Matsui”.  I’m so used to hearing him referred to as Matsui that I figured I’d just call him by that instead.)

  • Jun & Batsu-san make the bar owner come to the snowman challenge…IN HIS RAMEN HERO COSTUME!
  • Everyone tries to do soba outside and…the soba freezes.
  • Batsu-san & Matsui abruptly tell Jun to go to the train station and leave.  When Jun stands in front of the truck, the two of them yell at him to get out of the way.  I don’t know if this was supposed to be funny or not but I thought it was.  This was not the farewell that Jun had been imagining, heh.
  • Jun refuses to believe that Batsu-san isn’t his dad.  At the ending, he goes “Take care…DAD!”.  Batsu-san tries to gesture that he’s wrong, but Jun just smiles and happily waves back at him.
  • Jun’s signature sparkly “I have an idea and I’m up to no good” look at the ending.

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^Bottom right pic: Notice Batsu-san spelled out “JUN” with branches underneath the snowman.

One of the major developments in episodes 11-12 is that Jun’s mom finally shows up and sets the record straight.  She bears the answers to the questions that have dominated the drama thus far–Is Batsu-san Jun’s biological father?  What does Jun’s mom have to do with all of this?  What happened to Batsu-san’s first wife & son?  To put it shortly:  Batsu-san isn’t Jun’s dad; his real biological son died in an accident during his early 20’s.  Jun’s mom is an old friend of Batsu-san and his first ex-wife.

“Reality is always sudden and unreasonable.  That’s why we all can’t be ready.  We all try hard at life.”

-Batsu-san

I didn’t know how to react to the truth.  It feels almost anticlimactic.  Fuben na Benriya is full of laughs and imagination but when it comes down to the reality of things, the truth cuts hard.  I feel bad for both Batsu-san and Jun–Batsu-san had been pinning all his hopes on Jun, which gave Jun the hope that his dad might still be alive.  However, I don’t think this revelation changes the core of their relationship.  They have a father/son or uncle/nephew kind of relationship regardless of whether or not they are blood related.

As for how the characters react to the news?  Batsu-san takes it well, at least on the surface.  He gets a bit depressed and does things like moodily making a snowman with the name “JUN” underneath it.  For the most part though, he doesn’t fully reveal his grief to Matsui & Jun.  Matsui doesn’t take the news so well and even gets into an argument with Batsu-san in ep12.  He believes that Batsu-san is lying about his son’s death so that Jun (who he thinks is the real son) won’t be tied down by Batsu-san.  This is one of my favorite scenes from ep12..I guess because it’s the first time these two get into a heated argument.  I also like how this scene shows Batsu-san & Matsui’s serious sides, and how much they care about Jun.

By the way, was I the ONLY one who never realized that Batsu-san’s house looks like a woodpecker!?!  I only realized this in ep12, when Matsui literally tells us that the house is a woodpecker.  *facepalm*  I feel like I was so blind during this entire drama…

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“The story of his own doesn’t exist.  He should make a story with a lot of people.  And nobody knows the ending.  That’s why real life is the best story.”

-Batsu-san

It was a pleasure watching Jun’s journey throughout these 12 episodes.  Jun started out as a whiny, self-centered guy who wanted nothing to do with small-town life.  He believed that he was the center of everything, that his pre-planned destination was the most important, and that he had to make his own story.  By the ending, Jun learns to value this town and its people, and even chooses to return to it!  He realizes that he can’t just be the lead character in his story–he needs to achieve great things together with the people around him.  And of course, Jun no longer denies that Batsu-san is his dad.  Instead he insists that Batsu-san is his dad.  Ahaha!  One thing has remained the same though: Jun is just as wildly imaginative.  😛

Overall

These past 12 episodes–12 weeks–of Fuben na Benriya felt like a blur to me.  By the time I got to the ending, I felt like “That’s all!?  GIVE ME MORE!”.  😛  I feel a bit reluctant to part with this drama because it was so much fun.  How many dramas can I say that I laughed aloud several times in every episode?  *tries to think*  Not many.  All in all, I have no regrets watching this drama and I really enjoyed seeing the characters’ crazy hijinks, the never ending snow jokes, and of course, the bromance.

I will now keep my eye out for Suzuki Kosuke and Okada Masaki’s future roles.  I’ve already spotted Suzuki Kosuke in a couple other jdramas (saw him in I’m Home and…somewhere else..) lately, but as a supporting cast member.  I don’t need to keep a look out for Endo Kenichi’s upcoming roles because…he’s in SO MANY dramas that I don’t even have to look to find him, hah.  If you’re looking for more Endo Kenichi in the summer 2015 season, you can check out Tamiou, in which he is starring as one of the leads.  😉

And I just have to comment on the, the “to be continued?” ending!!!  It seriously makes me wonder if there will be a second season.  A part of me feels like the ending is just trolling me with that question mark.  I still hope that there will be a 2nd season though!  Let me dream, ok?  😛

More Fuben na Benriya reviews:

Quote translation credit: Monchi.  Thanks Monchi for subbing Fuben na Benriya!

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • Ahh this lovable snow porn <3 I think many dismissed it because it was just so silly to begin with, but the characters do toss out some gems from time to time. Matsui is probably the most reflective of the three, but Jun's progress and small insights were also a treat to follow. I was so sad for Batsu-san when the truth about his son was revealed, but I kinda liked that Jun continues to think of Batsu-san as his father, it gives Batsu-san a surrogate son and Jun a father figure in his life if and when Jun does return to the town.

    I don't know if you've watched Liar Game, but Suzuki Kosuke was so so different in it, I almost did a double take when I started noticing his more "normal" self in other dramas!

    • I was surprised when Batsu-san started giving some philosophical tidbits towards the end, hehe. I saw part of the first season a long time ago..but I don’t remember Suzuki Kosuke in it. Maybe I’ll have to take a look back to see his character there.

  • This show was a riot, and I think all the actors must have had such fun doing it (that’s the sort of project where you end up making life-long friends I think).

    I mean, the snowman building! That was epic (I so knew they were going to oversleep when they went drinking the night before!!!), and I just love that it was REAL, a real record that they achieved. The actors must have loved that too.

    I didn’t find the reveal about Jun and Batsu-san’s relationship anti-climactic. Sure, it would have been fun if they were father and son, but it would have been an easy solution (remember: I suggested that around episode 2)… much more fun to have unpredictable ending and much more in the nature of this particular drama to just throw in another twist. It’s so like Jun just to believe what he has his mind set on (that’s just how he works), he’s the one of the great imagination that just about never has to do with the truth. And, as you said, I don’t think it changes their relationship at all – they might not be biologically related but they are father and son as two people can be. Plus, both of them have that gave in their life: Jun’s real father is dead, Batu-san’s son is dead as well. And so they fill that gap in the other life.

    Anyhow, loved this drama to bits and a second season would be great – even more so, because I think we could be assured that it would be just as great. After all, this drama was about nothing so it wouldn’t be the kind of drama where you have to worry what else the writers could come up with that would still work with the original story. We already know they can take anything and make it into something hilarious. It just be a matter of getting all the same actors on board.

    Also want to say that I think the ending theme song is great, I loved how there was a lot of non-verbal acting in the background of scenes (people doing random things while the main actors are demanding our attention), and also things like the careful ‘colour-coding’ of the three leads’ jackets. I’m going to have to look up the director and writer as well, because they showed an assured hand here that makes me curious about whatever else they’ll do.

    Okay, this is getting too long!

    • I hope there will be a 2nd season or at least a SP! I also love the OST. The OP & ED theme songs suit the drama perfectly. Hmm I felt like either way the reveal about Jun/Batsu-san would’ve felt anticlimactic to me. As in it didn’t feel at all exciting or intense when I found out the twist. But maybe that was just me.

    • yes! those little details! it probably has something to do with my close-to-none expectation prior watching the drama, but those little details that i wouldn’t have noticed without a double take makes me appreciate fuben na benriya 1000x more. those lame but hilarious pun (a-while cabbage!), the literal take on metaphors (the woodpecker house), and stupid yet totally brilliant tricks (the trio pretending to be clothes in a hanger)… it’s like they wants us not to take things seriously, all the while they seriously planning everything seriously. all in all, watching this drama is a deeply satisfying experience for me.

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