Thanks to the wonderful world of subbers there’s never any shortage of H!P-related things to watch. The latest programme to get the subbing treatment is Yaguchi Mari’s 2006 comedy drama Sentou no Musume. The first two episodes have now been subbed with more to follow. The episodes can be easily found on the tracker at Hello-Online for those who want to find them. Anyway I don’t intend to review every episode but I do intend to watch them all. 😀 But since I liked what I saw and it gives me a chance to post some Yaguchi caps here is a quick guide to episode 1…
Yaguchi is playing Mizusawa Yume, whose mother has recently passed away. Feeling resentful to the father she never knew she finds a photo of a man holding a baby with an inscription on the back that leads her to a public baths in Tokyo. She also finds a lighter with the initials RM. Arriving at the baths she finds an inscription over the door saying Rokurou Manaka and believes she has found her father…
Annoyed at being ignored by Manaka she finds a sign saying no climbing so decides to climb the bath chimney.
The chimney scenes are really good. I think it’s probably just a small bit of ladder and a backdrop in a studio that gives a false sense of perspective but I’m not sure. It looks very realistic so it’s well done either way.
Calling people idiots and inviting them to look when they are at the bottom of a ladder, you are at the top and you are wearing a skirt could be just asking for trouble.
Anyway Rokurou’s son Susumu climbs up the ladder to bring her down.
There’s immediately a good chemistry in these scenes between Yaguchi and Toba Jun, the actor playing Susumu. The sparring is funny and both characters seem like a double act in the making. What kind of relationship they end up with could well depend on whether they really are related or not.
The answer to that question? Me. But I digress. Back to the plot and after Yaguchi falls from the chimney she ends up waking up in a bed at Rokurou’s. There’s then a nice flashback scene to Yume’s childhood.
The flashback gives a hint of a great mother-daughter relationship but also at a child missing not having a father. It helps flesh out the character and motivation of Yume. The scene also helps illustrate that Yume is now alone in a big strange city and without the mother in her life she obviously loved so much.
In amongst the rest of the show there’s a future plot point whereby the photo of father and child (which Yume dropped when falling from the tower) is found by someone and put on a shelf and then at the end there’s Yume declaring that she is Rokurou’s daughter.
I’m guessing she isn’t but time will tell.
All in all I enjoyed the show. Well it’s 23 minutes centred around Yaguchi. How could it fail? The character’s are all actually pretty strong for a show that at times looks a bit daytime soap. There’s enough humour within the characters interactions to make it enjoyable to watch. Yaguchi plays the funny parts well. The more serious bits tend to fit the somewhat over the top feel of the show. The characters are a bit larger than life and so is the acting at times. But then you can’t have one without the other. The overall style of the programme is that of something a bit beyond reality. It makes it quite refreshing to watch for me. It’s a totally different style to anything I’ve seen in the west. Yaguchi is perfectly cast. You need someone who the viewer will immediately warm to and her character’s mix of anger, clumsyness and indomitable spirit is given the perfect realisation in our pintsized princess of pop (screw Kylie. We all know who the real princess is). So it gets a thumbs up from me. I’ll be looking forward to seeing subtitles for future episodes. Episode 2 is already subbed so I’ll be watching that soon. Ah more Yaguchi. There can never be enough. 😀