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No loans, no debts.
taro.jpgI say “Yamada Taro Monogatari (Story of Taro Yamada)” did a fairly good job in the TV broadcasting compared to “Hanazakari no Kimitachi e”, both being originally a popular manga. This story is about a high-school boy called Taro, literally, who goes to private high school for the wealthy family. Due to his handsome appearance, bright mind, all-round athletic ability, gentle & refined manner, Taro is one of the most popular boys in school. That is why no one – except for his friend Mimura – even suspects that he is in fact from an utterly poor family with many small brothers & sisters to take care of.

Taro is acted by Kazunari Ninomiya – quite unexpected for me because Ninomiya has a rather plain looking (no offence here) whereas the original Taro has quite a fancy appearance. But I think this casting succeeded because though the appearance may be different, the overall impression stayed the same –very sincere, honest and warmhearted.
I also think it was the right timing to have this story broadcasted when wage differentials and thin family / friend relationships are being a big problem in current Japan. It’s heart-warming to see Taro who has such a big affection for his little sisters & brothers that he does almost anything to make them happy, while his little sisters & brothers also love their big brother and they never complain nor do they seem to be unhappy about their poverty. And even though Taro becomes close friends with Mimura (acted by Sho Sakurai) who is fabulously rich, Taro never seems to envy his wealth. Rather, Taro straightforwardly shows Mimura that he and his family are poor (well, Taro never intends to keep it a secret but other students naturally get the false impression that he is rich), but he never seems to come up with an idea to depend on Mimura’s or other people’s money.

Not wishing for money more than minimum required and being thankful for what they already have – Yamada Family presents an awakening and important truth which we tend to forget easily when we see wealth and celebrity in magazines and TV dramas to spur our greed and worldly desires. From an objective point of view, I think the plot is walking on a very fine line between being cheap and touching, but thank to Ninomiya’s good acting, Taro’s character and the whole story seems to be natural and realistic. It’s a refreshing drama you want to watch at end of the long week.

The author of this manga always comes up with characters who have big “gap” between their appearance and their character – handsome boy being very dismal or unmanly, cute girl being gluttonous or masculine, and so on. I read “Yamada~” just a little, but from overall tendency of her books, it’s quite easy to imagine what story and characters are like in the original manga – and I can also assume that TV drama is more heart-warming than the original story, which tends to be somewhat surrealistic in the storyline.


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【2007/07/30】 | drama | trackback(0) | comment(0) | page top↑
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