I seems that I like Asian dramas a lot more than their American counterparts. Maybe it’s because America is really into reality TV nowadays and sitcoms seem to be a little harder to find. I’m not a big reality TV person at all. I’ll watch some stuff, but not a big fan of it across the board. Maybe that’s why I’ve been on an Asian drama run recently. Right now it’s J-Drama. Before I went through a Taiwanese Drama phase, then K-Drama (mostly romantic comedies, which they seem to do so well, that and Korean BBQ…) and now J-Drama.
Speaking about J-Drama, I finished watching 1 Litre of Tears a while ago. Well, that’s a drama aptly named because even if it wasn’t a liter of tears, I think I cried close to it. I cry easily, but in dramas and sitcoms, rarely do I cry in the first episode. Well, I definitely cried here. And it’s not like no one knows what’s going to happen at the end of the drama. I mean, it’s about a girl who has a fatal and incurable disease so there isn’t really much guesswork about what happens at the end. I think it’s because it’s based on a true story and that the way that the actual Kito Aya was integrated into the drama was really powerful. The words that they picked each time from her diary to end each episode set against a black background, the pictures and the ending theme of K’s “Only Human” was really haunting. I liked the fact that while it is a dramatization of her diary and her life, they seemed to want to stay as true to Kito Aya’s life and what she wrote down as much possible.
Kito Aya’s diary 1 Litre of Tears originally published after her death in 1988.
As characters and as actors, besides Sawajiri Erika who plays the lead Ikeuchi Aya, I think I enjoyed Narumi Rito, who plays Ikeuchi Ako, Aya’s sister, and Nishikido Ryo who plays Asou Haruto. I think that the changes that you see these characters go through is amazing and really touching. Ako goes from indifferent about her family and jealous of her sister to one of her sister’s biggest supporters. Haruto goes from someone who doesn’t seem to care for anything much anymore either to someone that puts his all into helping and ultimately loving Aya. Whenever Haruto cried I just cried rivers with him. I’m such a sympathetic crier. One of my favorite scenes is that of her class singing “Sangatsu Kokonoka (3月９日)” which is what they sang at the choral competition as she is leaving class. And I love Haruto telling off the rest of the class for being hypocrites. That and Nishikido Ryo is just too cute.
But I swear I cried so much in the drama. I think everyone who has seen it did. It’s like you don’t have a heart if you didn’t cry in this drama. It was such a depressing drama and inspiring drama at the same time, not only in terms of content, but because I think about my own life and how I am faced with obstacles that are no where as difficult as hers and yet I can’t seem to muster even half as much strength to get through them. I know that relying on myself is impossible, that I don’t nearly have as much strength as I think I do. I’m weak. I know it. But it’s scary to rely on other people. It’s scary to find myself vulnerable and tell someone else about my inner demons. I mean, I even find it hard to tell God sometimes and shouldn’t that be the easiest? I mean, He knows already so I’m just vocalizing them anyways. But I think that by telling God, it would make my worries, fears and problems real. Maybe it’s pride, false pride that I think I can do it without relying on God. Pride that people will continue to see someone who doesn’t have any drama to deal with in their life. Sigh. I think I might be an escaping masochist: always crying over someone else’s pain so I don’t have to cry over my own.