Iki mo Dekinai Natsu

Iki mo Dekinai Natsu (2012)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 249 users
Reviews: 2 users

A 19-year-old girl burdened by a cruel destiny, a mother tormented by a tragic past, and a 41-year-old man living in atonement, and a relationship that brings strength in dark times. ‘Iki mo Dekinai Natsu’ is as much a social drama as it is a story about friendship, parents and children, and about what makes a family.

Takei plays said girl who learns that her mother never recorded her birth in their read morefamily register. While falling into despair after finding out the secret about her birth yet wholeheartedly trying to live to regain ‘herself’, she happens to run into a former journalist (Eguchi) who is suffering from a deep scar in his heart himself. Although they could be father and daughter, they start to form a bond that could be described as friendship... or, between the lines, something more? During this "breathless summer", they go through a number of things that will stay in their hearts forever.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    Breathless Summer

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A Stalker's Guide to Eguchi Yosuke
With his natural charisma, cool presence, confident attitude and brilliant acting, Eguchi-san steals your heart from the moment you see him on the screen. If you want to know why he is so special, keep reading.

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7 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 28, 2014
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Iki mo Dekinai Natsu (Breathless Summer) brings forward the controversial laws regarding the koseki (family registry) system. Japan requires all members of a household to be entered into the register at birth or upon marriage; this record serves many purposes, acting as a birth certificate, marriage license, and proof of citizenship. So what might happen should one not have a koseki? That person effectively would not exist in the eyes of the read more government. Applying for basic things, including full-time work, insurance, passports, housing, marriage, or even a certificate of death—all these become impossible.

Like similar Japanese dramas tend to do, Iki mo Dekinai Natsu moonlights as an educator on relevant social issues. Thus, as viewers, we learn about the presented material (here the koseki system), the hardships associated with it, and how people correct or learn to accept their situation. Though this formula might become obvious over time, because each theme is different, such shows often remain entertaining. Does that apply to this show too? You bet.

The subject matter alone elevates interest. As we follow Tanizaki Rei through her “breathless summer,” we witness what she and others suffer and might still…because they’re invisible legally. It’s twice as stunning to consider, as these things actually do happen (if rarely). My only suggestion would be to avoid synopses of Iki mo Dekinai Natsu which include a passage on passionate or forbidden romance; you will be sorely disappointed. This is primarily a human drama, and while romantic subtext exists, it’s so subtle as to fall between the lines.

While Takei Emi has an inherent likability, I find it hard to measure this particular performance. Some of her scenes fell flat or felt wrong, while others worked perfectly. Either way, because I could empathize with Rei-chan, some unevenness isn’t so bad.

Allow me one moment of superficiality. Eguchi Yosuke might be at his prettiest in this drama, sporting wavy locks and an infectious smile. The character might be a little on the simple side, but as always, talent will tell. Even if chemistry between the two (Eguchi and Takei) seemed a bit sparse, their interactions could be rather fun too. An honorable mention goes to Kaname Jun, whose despicable yet difficult Ayukawa Hiroki ended up much more nuanced than expected. It can be tough to tread such thin lines as an actor, but Kaname-san held it together well.

The Japanese tend to produce some of the best incidental music around.
Though that remains true here, they've made a point to include some western tracks too. Adele vocals are strewn throughout (“Set Fire to the Rain,” “Somebody Like You”). Despite the lyrics not fully mixing with certain scenes, these have an atmosphere and tone which strikes true. Bump of Chicken offers “firefly” as an added theme, a pleasant little number to close out each episode nicely indeed.

One (silly) word of warning: one may come away from this drama craving or resenting apple pie. It all depends on the person.
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3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 23, 2012
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
I was intrigued by the synopsis and decided I hadn’t seen a good J romance drama in a while…

Story: So the synopsis is way misleading. Each week I waited for the forbidden romance to develop and there was none! The story is really about a young female who finds out there is a secret surrounding her birth and we get to see how she deals with it and how it affects read more her family. As a family drama it was good but I was just disappointed because this was not the story I was looking for. The ending was kind of blah.

Acting: The female lead actress did an excellent job. She made Rei feel real. As for the male lead, he was okay but I thought his character really didn’t contribute anything to story and I would have been okay if his character was cut out. In fact, Nakamura Aoi probably should have been billed as the male lead because he had a more intresting storyline and he had chemistry with the female lead. I liked the actors who played Rei’s family. Kaname Jun who i have seen in a lot of dramas did a super job playing the antagonist in this. I felt really sorry for his character in the end...

Music: Adele's radio hits. While good, im sick of hearing them since they play it on the radio all the tme.

Rewatch: Im not interested in watching this kind of story again.

Overall Iki mo Dekinai Natsu is a solid family drama if thats what your looking for but nothing thats too memorable.
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Comments (4)

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  • Reply
    Meli Jul 6, 2017

    no romance ?

  • Reply
    realdeal Dec 2, 2014

    And now I'm officially a fan of bump of chicken band......the song really sums up the whole drama .

  • Reply
    realdeal Nov 29, 2014

    english music used in a jdrama is weird in a good way specially if they use a famous song...currently watching and currently enjoying its soundtract. Im sure is a cultural thing but from where I live her circumstances wont become our problem we dont give a f*ck about the past. Lastly this emi takei is good with serious roles....I dont want her always portray manga type of character that dont exist in real life.

  • Reply
    lily_b Jan 11, 2014

    Months after completing it, I still find myself thinking about this story from time to time. If there's any drama I'd love to see a special for, this would be it.

  • Reply
    lily_b Oct 25, 2013

    I enjoyed this drama a lot! It was slow-paced but never boring, a very interesting story. After completing it, I rewrote parts of the synopsis, seeing that a lot of people, including the reviewer, got the wrong expectations from the way it was written.

  • Reply
    Sora Jan 2, 2013

    Kinda got bored of this one.. :/

  • Reply
    Earthquake Sep 29, 2012

    OOOKKK so for everybody that it planning to watch this drama because of the "forbidden love"... don't do it cause you won't get any! The drama doesn't really have a lot of romance :/ the main focus is the family's story, so if you don't like that, don't bother watching it. But if you don't mind WATCH IT cause it is a really good family drama ;D

    • Reply
      MaihimeSama Oct 1, 2012

      I agree with you. I think if romance hadn't been mentioned in the synopsis I would have been able to give this a 10, but due the misleading "forbidden romance" thing I was a little diappointed. You could see there was something special between the main characters, but in the end there was nothing real.

    • Reply
      Earthquake Oct 3, 2012

      I was also disappointed, I was somehow really looking forward to the forbidden love:D If I had known that before hand I wouldn't have watched it, but in the end it's still a really nice drama and I'm glad I watched it. By the way, you speak german? ^^

    • Reply
      MaihimeSama Oct 5, 2012

      Of course I do since I'm from Germany :p

  • Reply
    shinju Sep 20, 2012
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Rubyy Sep 18, 2012
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      shinju Sep 19, 2012

      Yeah !!!
      why it's always like that !!!!

    • Reply
      Eimii Sep 19, 2012

      ahhh i know!! i'm still pleased with drama though.

    • Reply
      Mareina Sep 19, 2012
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Rubyy Sep 20, 2012
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    shinju Sep 6, 2012
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    shinju Aug 24, 2012
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  • Reply
    Rubyy Aug 23, 2012

    7 episodes in but i still cant imagine Kaname Jun as Takei Emi's dad :/

    • Reply
      Mareina Sep 12, 2012

      me too.... he's just too young to be her dad. He doesn't look older than he is either

  • Reply
    shinju Aug 18, 2012

    I think it became more interesting at the end of ep 6
    want ep 7 quickly T__T

  • Reply
    shinju Aug 2, 2012

    Why is Kaname Jun in an evil role T__T

  • Reply
    MaihimeSama Jul 17, 2012

    This feels like another drama based on a cell phone novel... All of them are quite depressing ;_;

    • Reply
      crystal200 Aug 7, 2012

      at least this shows all those ignorant people that not all Jdramas are about light-hearted naive high-school romances. Which many people have ignorantly generalized romance Jdramas with.

      I'm glad this is a more serious, dark & depressing story, this is just as much a human drama as it is a romance drama, and this is a drama that deals with mature & complex feelings.

    • Reply
      MaihimeSama Aug 13, 2012

      There are light-hearted JDoramas as well? O_O
      I always thought Korean Doramas were funny and Japanese ones sometimes started light and fluffy but eventually got really depressing... That's why I prefered Japanese Doramas until now.

    • Reply
      chownz Aug 31, 2012

      I love Kdrama for the Rom-com humour, and the Jdrama for similar reasons. Though I love the more heartlfelt plots that Jdrama does that some reason Kdrama can't really replicate. In the end it depends on ones perceptions and moment in time of the viewers emotional state!!


  • Country:

  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jul 10, 2012 to Sep 18, 2012
  • Aired On:

  • Network:

    Fuji TV
  • Duration:

    54 min.


  • Score:

    7.1 (scored by 249 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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