Ihara Masato (Yamashita Tomohisa) becomes the fifth generation owner of a funeral parlour after his father dies and he takes over the family business which he has always hated. As a purveyor of the police, all this funeral parlour handles are “imperfect” dead bodies. Masato ends up facing these silent dead bodies, which have died of various causes, and the harsh reality of the world, together with a rookie detective Sakamaki Yuki (Eikura Nana) whom he and his siblings (Sorimachi Takashi, Maeda Atsuko, Chinen Yuri, Ono Ito) have become acquainted with in an unexpected way. On occasions when the police dismiss dead bodies as just accidental deaths, Masato tries to find out the truth for the sake of the surviving family even though he knows that he is being meddlesome. As he does so, he starts to face up to his own lifestyle and family.
Cast & Credits
Story 10/10: As odd as the plot sounded, this drama actually has a good amount of everything(except action...unless you count Yamapi running with music playing in the background as action.) The plot is fantastic, but I think the biggest obstacle to it's success was the fact that it deals with death(every single episode), and most people would rather not watch anything that has such a heavy subject in it. Personally, I didn't mind and rather enjoyed that unorthodox aspect of it.
Acting 10/10: Flawless and usual. Every single cast member was perfect. Yamapi, Eikura Nana, the actors who play the family members, and everyone else did an amazing job.
Music 7/10: I think I remember only one song or maybe they just had one song played over and over again. I can't remember. The one song was actually pretty good (Yamapi was the singer), but the lack of their being more memorable variety is what made me give it a 7/10.
Rewatch Value 6/10: I don't usually rewatch dramas but since the success of this drama doesn't really hinge on surprise, I would give this a 6 for rewatch (which is very high for me.)
Overall 10/10: I looked forward to new episodes of this drama every single week and that is rare for me. For people who haven't seen it yet, I would say at least watch the first episode and give it a chance. I'd even go as far as saying it's a masterpiece drama that deserves more fans.
I'm not implying Saikou no Jinsei has got no plot, but it's not the kind one would run to watch and sit through with bathed breath. This is the story of a family, of their little and big trials. But most of all it tells of what it means to shoulder responsibility for the people we care for.
I may just as well confess that I started this because I wanted to stare at Yamapi. He's a pleasure for the eye in general, but there's a tangible improvement in his acting skill too. I grew very fond of him and all the main characters. I like it when details and hints are rationed slowly, because that's what happens in real life too: we are presented with a family picture, and bit by bit we are offered glimpses of who they are and where they are going.
The whole cast did a brilliant job, and I found myself with moisture in my eyes more than once. I was impressed by Yamashita's ability to convey his feelings here, and I was entertained by his relationship with both his family and Yuki-chan. It also amazes me that I managed to laugh a lot more often than what is expected by the general atmosphere.
I didn't like the music at all. Not only it isn't my cup of tea, I also thought it was very unfitting now and then. Luckily though, it does not overpower the dialogues or the scenes, and it can therefore be overlooked.
Rewatch value is not too high, but if you like family dramas and touching plots, you may give this one a try.