Info | Ayu, a young prostitute has lived a meaningless life until she met a young boy named Yoshiyuki. They met when an old lady who taught her the meaning of life passed away, only briefly telling her of her grandson, Yoshiyuki. Knowing that the old lady wished only to see her grandson but is unable to grant the old lady her wish, Ayu then thought that she could take care of Yoshiyuki for her. Ayu and Yoshiyuki, despite his heart problems and her dark past love each other to the fullest. However, life wasn't easy for the both of them. Yoshiyuki's father forbids their relationship and kept them away from each other. But Ayu sacrificed herself by becoming a prostitute once again to earn money for Yoshiyuki's operation and to keep her promise to the old woman who changed her life.
Can Yoshiyuki's life be saved? Will Ayu finally be free from all her burdens? Will their love still remain even after separation?
(taken from drama-wiki)
Review | I just saw this drama over the course of about two weeks on youtube. There is no subtitles for it, unless you can read Chinese. There was also a problem with episode six, as the sound kicked out after a certain point, so I wasn't able to watch it. Each episode consists of half-hour segments with a total of thirteen episodes.
Furuya Keita is a singer from Avex boyband LEAD, and this is Iwasa Mayuko's first drama appearance. Overall, the acting from the people in this story was pretty good, although at times they were a little stiff, as in inexperienced and not at that range yet to deal with the heavy emotional scenes or the intricacies during soft, quiet moments. I felt that the person who played Reina forced her "cheerful" personality just a tad bit too much, but she delivered a respectable performance.
I was actually quite shocked when I watched this. I had never read the book or the drama prior to viewing, so I had no idea what was going to happen. It's a very dark, mature, adult drama that doesn't have many humorous or light parts to it. The pacing of it is much slower compared to the more popular, mainstream dramas that people seem to love. It deals with many taboo, or controversial subjects such as: prostitution, rape, drug use, teenage pregnancy, aids, suicide, and I'm sure there's a couple more that I missed.
One thing that stands out is that they don't censor much in this drama, (fade to black during sex scenes, imply someone's going to get badly hurt) or at least show as much as they can but still being tasteful. I found the characters to be likable. Ayu is a very detached, cold woman, who can't feel anymore, and I felt pretty bad for her that she had to endure so much pain during her life. Keita was a sweet boy, and something to lighten up and balance the drama with all of its heavy stuff. Reina, to be honest, was really annoying to me in the beginning, but gradually over time she grew with me and I came to care about her character just as much as the others. She is still very naive, and that was something that irritated me a lot, but then I'm sure it's what I was like when I was a teenager.
It took such a very long time to introduce the romance lead, and I kept waiting and waiting for him. It probably would have been better to introduce him in the earlier sections, so they could develop Ayu's and Yoshiyuki's relationship more, instead of alluding to him in the sixth episode. The dynamic between Ayu and the old grandmother who takes her in was wonderful and I think that part was done great. The old lady's warm and loving exterior convincingly manages to make Ayu feel again compared to Ayu and Yoshiyuki. I felt that their romance was a bit too understated, rushed, and perhaps not strong enough to give me the feeling that they really loved each other.
All in all, this was a pretty good drama. It addressed some of the topics pretty well, and is probably one of the rare Japanese dramas to have it focus so heavily in their story. If you have the patience to sit and watch through it, the results are satisfying. There are some problems, such as pacing, and maybe a bit of the story that gets a bit unrealistic near the end, but you'd be missing out on a good drama if you don't watch it.