Last Friends – 01: Domestic Violence, Taboo Love

Shared House

This is not an easy show to watch. It starts out just like any other young adult shows about friendships and heartaches, but comes around the last third of the episode the fireworks begin.

with theme song Prisoner of Love by Hikaru Utada

Love

Michiru (Masami Nagasawa) is your prototype doormat — you can high-heel her on her toes and she will continue to smile at you. Otherwise, she is a happy-gogo upstarting hairstylist whose biggest tips is her customers’ satisfaction. Of course, once someone else’s customer is too happy with her service, she gets accused and picked on by the other stylists for trying to steal their customers. Hmm… I once switched my hair-stylist in the same salon. I wonder if she took any heat for my little indiscretion. 🙂

So her days suck, but at the end of the day her face lights up at the sight of her boyfriend Sosuke (Nishikido Ryo). Initially, he seems like a Prince Charming — sensitive and caring. Moreover, he also seems like a champion of justice — a social worker rescuing children who may be victims of domestic violence. Their first day moving in together was full of sweetness and gentleness. How many of you guys out there can tell rather your girlfriend’s fingers have gotten a slight burn from hot water?

Contradiction

Well, faster than Cinderella losing her spell once the clock strikes midnight, Sosuke reveals the monster that is in him in the very next morning. Sensitive and caring have been replaced with jealous and violent. In a role that I have never seen Ryo in, his character starts to kick and beat the cowering Michiru. Her crime: unable to prove that an SMS message she received is not from another man.

Before you start to blast him, he does show some signs of repressed trauma. I believe that he does both love her and hate her. Quite a contradiction his character represents. Now, I’m not trying to justify his violence, but not all things are so black and white. Wait… It is black and white that no man should ever hit his woman. Ok. Let me try to say it this way instead: Just as an alcoholic is unable to put down the beer, so is this man unable to put down his fist. This man needs help. And we know that Michiru still thinks of him as a treasure of her heart, even after what he just did to her. The question the show will try to address is how much she does love him and how far she will go to bring him back. What will she have to sacrifice? Who will she have to sacrifice? The prologue seems to suggest Ruka.

Liberation

Ruka (Ueno Juri) is Michiru’s long lost childhood friend with a secret that no one must know. Her life wouldn’t have been so tough if she can gives in to one of her two natures: frank and unbashful, taking no shit from anyone, not even from her coach who can lift her motorcycling career; or trepid and fearful of any discriminating stares from others if they ever find out her taboo feelings. Unfortunately for her, sometimes she’s one way, other times the other way. Liberation is what she struggles with. I can see where this is going: She is going to do anything and give everything for Michiru, but she will always come short of receiving anything in return. It may sound like the ultimate expression of love, but it’s gonna cause an explosion in her. The fallout may involve the death mentioned in the prologue. The death of the fourth main character.

Agony

Takeru (Eita) is a young makeup artist who works closely with the most beautiful women in Japan. But that doesn’t matter since he appears to others as being gay. Of course he is not, but he does have some inhibition that is not revealed yet. Come on, any healthy young male who comes off completely cold toward the advances of a supermodel has got to be somehow impotent. On the other hand, he does feel a deep connection toward Ruka. Too bad she really is gay. Agony is the only reciprocation he will get from her. I fear this character will not live to see the last episode.

Solitude

In the opening theme, there is a fifth main character. Not much is known about Eri (Asami Mizukawa) yet beside that she is a flight attendant who enjoys a drink or two too much (but then again who isn’t in Japan?) and that her colleagues mostly ignore her. Solitude is shown next to her character in the opening theme, but we’ll have to see what her story is later.

If what comes next in this scene is not enough to convince you to watch this show, then nothing will.


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About bakaneko

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2 Responses to Last Friends – 01: Domestic Violence, Taboo Love

  1. Charlotte says:

    thank you for the details about each theme mention in the show

    I’m really excited about this show.

  2. Pingback: Jdorama: Last Friends Ep 3 « My Ambience

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