Underdog drama: Taisetsu no Koto Wa Subete Kimi Ga Oshiete Kureta [J-Drama, 2011]

When a couple has nothing but love..when that love fades, there is nothing left..(..) but I want to chose a life with nothing but love.
-Natsumi

  • Genre: Romance, School, Drama
  • Number of episodes: 10
  • Synopsis: 

    Toda and Miura play two teachers, Natsumi Uemura and Shuji Kashiwagi, at the same high school who are set to get married in half a year. However, the night before the school year’s opening ceremony, Shuji becomes involved with the young Hikari Saeki (played by Takei), without realizing that she will be a student in his class starting the next day. As Shuji struggles to help Hikari deal with the mental complex she is suffering from, he is also torn inside by his betrayal of Natsumi. Meanwhile, Hikari attempts to get closer to Natsumi, driven by feelings of jealousy and a desire to destroy the couple’s relationship. –Tokyograph

The Drama on MDL

So, without further ado and without spoiling the plot too much, this is why I think tis drama should be watched.

That dramas like these are underappreciated, only goes on to show that we tend to prefer the fictional dramas which are fairly entertaining as they do not make us empathise with characters quite on the same level as dramas like this one, which also do make us think- and consequently will stay with the viewer longer than the purely idol dramas with often contrived plots.

I made a recommendation for this drama and for the Queen’s Classroom, because both struck me as great dramas which invite a debate on the role of teachers. They are both thought provoking and enrichening dramas which examine what it means to be a teacher, they ask where do we draw the lines between the professional and the personal, and how far we can go in both extremes: to what extent should we show the human sides as teachers? To what extent should we keep a professional distance? These two dramas present two vastly different stances, which invite discussions on the question of a teacher’s role and the way teacher is seen. The second one has a bit more broader scope, however, as it deals with a very ethical problem and presents human weaknesses, which Maya in Queen’s Classroom could be said to avoid- in some ways, and yet not quite. However, Maya’s methods in Queen’s classroom will also leave you thinking about a teacher’s ethics. Both dramas are excellent for discussion of teacher v students, both make statements- one more ethical, other more about society, and leave you with a lot of food for thought.

Taisetsu is a  slice of life drama, however,  that goes beyond just examining the role of teacher, although  this question plays a major part, and the social ramifications teacher’s ethics, it deals with the way we deal with students and teachers, and how easy it is perhaps to cross some boundaries which shouldn;t be crossed- when you don’t know what you are a teacher for. The school, in the words of the principal, is a very unforigivng place when it comes to moral values.

The other part of the question- what is love and how do we deal with love and marriage. And I rarely have a chance to see a drama that is so real and relatable in presenting character dilemmas. It makes you think about your own  reactions to these events. But most importantly- it shows human weaknesses and impercetions. It shows that it doesn’t pay to be indecisie- that squirming between people;s expectations and your own sense of values without making proper decision leads nowhere. Ultimately, you should make a decision you believe in and stick with it- because otherwise you may never learn, nor have a chance to learn a new. It’s easy to get frustrated watching this drama..but these are the frustrations you would feel when faced with simolar situations. Through these frustrations, mistakes, doubts, the characters are shown to mature and improve on their flaws…and those moments in the drama are very effectively captured by a certain recurring symbol you will know when you see it, but it;s actually a vital part of it. In the end, perhaps they will not lose the most precious things just yet. And then there is the question of deciding- what is marriage and when do we marry, how do we deal with this love, are we mature enough to handle it? Will we survive?

Try to bear with the frustrations- the behaviour of characters can get very frustrating,  depending on your own values as a watcher responding to the drama,  but stick to the it – it will be very rewarding in the end! You can actually feel those frustrations become transformative, especially once you have seen the finale. And you realise: yes, this is but one little step, but for the moment that it has been made, it made them just a little better.

The actors are very believeable and convcinging. Some may find Miura’s acting a bit less than it should be- and I had a hard time myself believing his shocked expressions-but you get to really like him after a while and he grows to be the character. I thought it was very fitting. Just bear with him during his schicked expressions as at first you may find that not good, but in the end I thought that really  did fit his character and made him what he was.

Highly recommended and seems that equally overlooked. You may not like it if you’re after fictional dramas with pretty faces  or simple romcoms like Rich Man, poor woman- which definitely do not offer this level of complexity and depth as this one does. But if you like to think and like to relate characters, this is a very good drama to get frustrated with! I ended this drama really loving the characters, apprieciating the depth of their connection and was satisfied. It was very  hopeful and left m feeling fortified. I still had regret in one aspect, especially when I considered how some of what happened was handled by the school, but then, I don’t think the character has any regrets and may in fact feel less burdened an bound this way, so perhaps everything actually worked out for the best. And because the characters in this drama are only at the beginning of their life, very young, what they went through was very formative. It is the kind of experience that would make them say in future- ah, when i was 25 and first sarted to teach, I made a very important mistake, which taught me a lot about who I am”.

This entry was posted in Japanese Dramas, love triangle, slice of life, teachers and us and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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