The basis for the drama is the novel "Kashikogi" by author Cho Chang-in, which has sold 2 million copies in Korea since its publication in 2000. It has already been adapted as a television drama and a stage play in that country. On February 4, Shogakukan is publishing the book in Japan under the title "Good Life" Sorimachi plays the part of Daichi Sawamoto, a newspaper reporter who has always prioritized his work over his family. When his wife suddenly leaves him, he finally notices the love he has been receiving from his son. Just as he decides to answer back, it is discovered that his son has leukemia. Igawa plays Sawamoto's wife, Eikura plays a pediatrics specialist, and Ihara plays a doctor. --Tokyograph
Cast & Credits
Having spent the better part of the series sobbing, I will attest that this is a tear-jerker. Stories that deal with severe illnesses often are. Refreshingly Good Life avoids becoming maudlin and though tears well up, they don’t always spring from tragedy. I found myself most moved by the powerful relationship between Waku and his father; the change love brought into their lives at the most crucial hour…this is more important than anything else. The short length of the drama guarantees a sharp focus on their journey. There’s just no time for romantic detours or melodramatic spoons dipped in to stir extra conflict. (As a side note, Waku’s adorable yet illuminating narrations were fantastic; their presence bolstered the emotional atmosphere of the plot exponentially.)
Only two performers stand memorable, which works since Good Life focused almost solely on their characters. Sorimachi Takashi tugs insistently at the heartstrings as Daichi Sawamoto, the “papa” of the title. His character brought to mind the imagery of a trembling pillar; Daichi tries to take everything on his own shoulders, never letting anyone else see his deep vulnerability. As a result, he appears strong but aloof – blindly unable to understand that his life is lacking. Transformation from such a person into the gentle and loving father whose heart finally opens is conveyed compellingly, both by the writing and Sorimachi. On the other hand we have Kabe Amon, who played impressively as Waku. Not only is he super cute, he’s startlingly believable. It was easy to forget Kabe is healthy in real life and that Sorimachi is not actually his father (despite their immense chemistry).
Music is fittingly simple and nostalgic. Unfortunately, the soundtrack soon feels repetitive by the halfway point. A specific piano melody manages to stick in my mind, as well as the tender “Mata Ashita,” by JUJU.