The drama focuses on the 45-year-old Tsuboi Ryota (Abe Hiroshi), the coordinator of a large CM company who is receiving the request from one of their clients to change some parts of their new CM. However, he’s unable to really explain to the director what changes should be made exactly. At the same time he receives a call from his older sister (YOU), who tells him that his father (Natsuyagi) has collapsed while golfing in Nagano and that he was admitted to a local hospital. In a hurry Ryouta decides to go Nagano, his birth-place.
Tsuboi Ryota is a good man. Nobody can really hate him, which is why the coordinator between his company and their clients seems like the perfect job for him. However, he frequently finds himself stuck in a dilemma, whether that’s between his wife (Yamaguchi) and his daughter (Makita), his older sister and their mother (Yoshiyuki), or his family and work in general.
Adding some mysterious, almost fantastical elements to this family drama are Miyazaki as a puzzling young woman Ryota happens to meet at the hospital and Natsuyagi as his father who strong believes in the existence of a tiny fairy-like race called the ‘Kuna’. Abe Sadao plays a kind taxi driver in Nagano and Nishida plays a good friend of Ryota’s father.
Cast & Credits
Knowing koreeda style, it’s given that this will become one of the best family dramas I will have seen and I’m not disappointed. It has a lot of metaphors that makes me love Japanese cinema so much cause if you got what the filmmaker is trying to convey then the experience would be so much much different . This drama’s pace is really slow and probably the slowest I’ve seen in a drama but what I really like is the way it reveals about each characters bit by bit although it still remains open. But this technique of slowly unveiling the story is not much engaging as other koreeda films , it didn’t have that ommph that I usually loves in his film and that may be due to the fact that this one is longer which kinda destroys it’s momentum at least for me. The story that looks simple at first will only becomes interesting when the conflicts on each characters gets explained as it is tied with the main theme in this drama, it’s fascinating and original. My favorite would be that by Moe chan, I was touched as I learned why she had been acting like that. This drama's use of subtle humour is one of its strongest points for me like that inclusion of kuna in Ryota's Dream, they provide meaningful dialogues that really contributes so much in the drama. Also, if your into cooking you might find this interesting, they are presenting different kind of dish per episode as part of ryotas wife job and other characters too. My favorite would be Aoi Miyazaki’s ramen salad it’s really interesting cause I haven’t thought it was possible.
The cast here is not your typical cast you would see on TV as some of them are established movie actors that appears on critically acclaimed films heck even some of them are regulars on koreeda movies. Abe hiroshi(Ryota Tsuboi) who is one of the best actors in Japan plays the main role here, what I can say is that he is a naturally funny guy, his character can make you laugh without putting so much effort on it. Aoi miyazaki plays this mysterious beautiful girl in the countryside, it’s her character that drives the story at the beginning and probably my favorite character in the drama, she’s so damn pretty here just saying. Her passion to save her hometown is well played, subtle performance but I really felt it. It surprises me how I loved YOU character here she's flawed yes but she has her reasons and it kinda makes sense if you think of it, I should have despised it cause it contradicts on what I was taught as a Human being. Tsuboi moe chan is probably the most fascinating kid I’ve encountered in a drama, her curiosity makes her think mature at times but it’s her innocence that makes her think like that in the first place. It’s fun to see her tricking her teachers and classmates and also having mature talk with her parents LMAO. Sadao Abe not the one who monopolized the taxi business in the place but that kuna in Ryota's dream, I love this character a lot as he conveys what our main character is thinking while the story progress. As this is a family drama, chemistry between characters would be so much important and I really like what I saw. Hiroshi Abe and YOU had just became the best sister brother relationship in a drama for me, just like in real life they had misunderstandings and it’s fun seeing them pick on each other given how old they were, you could really tell how close they were.
Just like other koreeda works, this is definitely not for everyone, it’s not your typical Jdrama on TV, actually it’s quite the opposite. It doesn’t have characters with Exaggerated facial expressions, no pop music playing on the background, the pace is really slow it may bore you especially if you can’t appreciate subtle jokes and mild dramas, convoluted theme but not the storyline. It’s one of those dramas that would leave a profound impression on you, not because of how the drama impress you but the rather left you with powerful conflicting emotions.
I WILL GIVE THIS THIS DRAMA 8 RED KUNA HATS OUT OF 10.