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Golden Rec : Dokushin Kizoku Review [aka We’re After The Same Rainbow’s End]

Hoshino Mamoru [Kusanagi Tsuyoshi] the president of Kinema Etoile, a film production company, and his younger brother Hoshino Susumu [Ito Hideaki] the manager of the company, find themselves in crossroads as a project they’ve been planning for some time comes to a sudden halt and are in desperate need of a good script; there enters Haruno Yuki [Kitagawa Keiko] an aspiring scriptwriter who after a couple of twists and turns, has her own script delivered and standing on top of their apartment’s living room table. (..literally lol) And from that moment the lives of these three people intertwine and messes occur, then beautiful things occur, then other messes occur and the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on as Journey would say!

This is a really well-written series, thought provocative with many references to classic movies; it deals with today’s society expectations of being single at a certain age, (the horror!!) on the philosophy of dating and the prospects of it, on how being single and content with yourself means far more than settling and finally the universal fear (why do we do that, seriously!) of opening your heart and let someone in. Oh and of course also, how difficult it is to actually make a movie lol though I think that whole ordeal was a parallel to the unattainable perfection most strive to find in “love” (whatever that love might be) and ultimately having to figure out that imperfection is actually perfection.

The main three characters are properly fleshed out and each one has their distinctive characteristic that makes them unique;

Mamoru is a workaholic that finds dating a waste of time as he believes that nobody can truly understand one another and that only leads to unhappiness and it is futile to think otherwise. He believes it’s a punishment if he has to live with someone else; he finds excitement in making good movies, reading good scripts and rewatching his favorite films. He might seem a bit harsh but his heart is in the right place, in fact his tenderness and kindness gets expressed in a very delicate, subtle way. Kusanagi should get an award for his gentle glances and how much they express, great portrayal.

Yuki is driven by her desire to create a movie that will mean something to someone; that stems from her own experience in her youth days when she saw “Ajisai the Last Day” (coincidentally Mamoru’s favorite movie too, and the movie his father produced.) That left such an impression to her that she strives to recreate that magical feeling for other people through her work. At some point in the series, she describes a cliché yet such a true feeling; that one that stays a very long time with you after having watched/read/heard a great movie/book/song. Art is truly important, people do need it in their lives. She doesn’t think much of dating either, having a bad experience in the past (that car lol) but she’s not as romance-nihilistic as Mamoru is. She does believe in love but she’s mostly focused on her dream and how to accomplish that. Kitagawa does a great job as the good-hearted, sometimes naïve (ohh boy that one) Yuki, the role really fits her. She also has chemistry with both leads.

Susumu is the opposite from his brother; he is a divorcee (well, nearly) that after his failed marriage is back on the dating scene and is rolling! He brings a different woman to Mamoru’s apartment everyday, as they live together, and is convinced that’s how the rest of his life is gonna go. He does value Kinema Etoile though, he works really hard to keep the company up and running and is always encouraging towards others. Ito’s authoritative and commanding figure is suitable for Susumu, he has his self-discovery moments too and is able to pull them really well.

The supporting cast is pretty neat- Reiko as the “perfect housewife” is a sweetheart, Seiji the lawyer will make you laugh out loud with his stares, Yuki’s friend is supportive and the voice of reason and the annoying co-workers of Yuki in the beginning end up helping her in the end.

The music, as expected, contains beautiful instrumental tracks from older decades– the most prominent one is Moon River, both the instrumental and the Hepburn version; you could say it’s the main theme. I suppose the  lyrics do speak for the characters- doesn’t it speak for everyone though, aren’t we all looking for our own “Moon River” to cross? (it’s always been in the list of my top-favorite songs; amazing, simple, elegant song with brilliant melody and lyrics.) Damn you Moon River, you’re so hard to find!

Apart from that, on the the top of my head, I remember “Smile” by Nat King Cole, David’s Foster “Stealing Home Main Theme”, “I Could Have Danced All Night”, and some others. There is an original score of course, with a couple quirky tunes (and SMAP’s “Shareotsu” very addicting song!)  but you will be left mostly remembering and humming the old instrumental themes that truly embrace the generic touch of the drama.

Definitely a golden rec in my book; it has this oldie feeling, something I could watch with my grandparents, if they were alive…or they knew Japanese..or how to read English subtitles lol, whatever you get the point!

If you’re looking for a different kind of pace, for something that is not an epic, fast ride, but rather a beautiful, slow stroll, this is for you.

Overall Grade : 9,44/10

p.s yaaaaas, Mamoru and Susumu are Arsenal fans, I was screaming! An extra +0,20 to the series, solely for that! COYG! ; )

p.s 2 – Mamoru’s apartment; hotdamn, where can I get something like this? Unreal apartment!

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