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[Discussion] Nemureru Mori (A Sleeping Forest)

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Kamui6
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[Discussion] Nemureru Mori (A Sleeping Forest)

Post by Kamui6 » Nov 16th, '05, 18:25

http://jtv-forum.clubbed.org/index.php? ... entry26370

Brought to you by #japan-tv

Friday 18th Sleeping Forest ep 1 DVD 8PM EST

Thanks to the following individuals:

Transcriber: Kukuri
Additional Translation: Kidmigz
Translation Editor: Bubu
Timer: Kukuri
Typsetter: Kukuri
Karaoke/SFX: kingofbeer
Editor: Jesse & Kamui6
QC: Ryce
Encoder: Kukuri
Project manager: Kukuri

Releases can be found @ the following locations:

- #japan-tv@irc.chatspike.net [Main channel]
- #japan-tv@irc.rizon.net [Back-up channel]



Bittorent : http://japan-tv.afraid.org

Newsgroup @ alt.binaries.multimedia.japanese

http://www.jtv-drama.org/projects/current-3.html
Last edited by Kamui6 on Nov 16th, '05, 18:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by yt_toshi » Nov 16th, '05, 18:28

I must be one of many people who have never seen this drama before, but I've heard of it. Thanks kamui6 and the JTV for bringing out great dramas with awesome translations. :-)

I can't wait to see it :D

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Post by cmy_185 » Nov 16th, '05, 19:02

hmm,never watched this drama.. but i like the theme song camouflage.. very popular karaoke song..:)

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Post by lilswtangel » Nov 16th, '05, 20:13

OMG!!!!!!! :w00t: I don't believe this!!! This is the one with KimuTaku and Nakayama Miho...somewhat of a tragic story!!!!!!!

I've watched the first episode (hardsubbed by okumasama) and I was hooked ever since the end of it. Kamui & JTV staff, thank you for bringing us Nemureru Mori.......
I really want to find out who her parents died.....and what role KimuTaku played in her memories. Why was it that he's been following her over those years?! I can't wait to find out!!!
Thank you again JTV :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:

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Post by :bunny: » Nov 16th, '05, 23:54

yay! it's finally out! :w000t:
Thank you to all jtv crews! ^^

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Post by takuan » Nov 16th, '05, 23:59

This is an awesome series! One of my favorites. In fact this is the series that launched me into an all out obsession with jdorama. ^^; I am so glad you're subbing this so I can finally share it with friends who can't read chinese. T___T

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Post by Kamui6 » Nov 17th, '05, 16:52

lilswtangel wrote:OMG!!!!!!! :w00t: I don't believe this!!! This is the one with KimuTaku and Nakayama Miho...somewhat of a tragic story!!!!!!!

I've watched the first episode (hardsubbed by okumasama) and I was hooked ever since the end of it. Kamui & JTV staff, thank you for bringing us Nemureru Mori.......
I really want to find out who her parents died.....and what role KimuTaku played in her memories. Why was it that he's been following her over those years?! I can't wait to find out!!!
Thank you again JTV :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:
We if i remember correct, you'll figure most of it out by the end of ep 3.
This drama is addictive since you want to uncover the secrets with the main character.

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Re: A sleeping forest - Nemureru mori

Post by gunjourui » Nov 17th, '05, 17:24

Kamui6 wrote: Brought to you by #japan-tv

Friday 18th Sleeping Forest ep 1 DVD 8PM EST
omg it's tomorrow!! :dance: I've been waiting for this series and tomorrow the 1st ep is out!! yippee!! thanks Kamui & J-TV team!! :wub:

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Post by TragicKingdom » Nov 17th, '05, 17:30

Wonderful! I've been waiting for this. Thank you very much j-tv!!
Kamui, I always love watching your avatar with Wonbin! Such a hottie ^^

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Post by acidkung » Nov 17th, '05, 17:48

YEAH! i've heard about it. and now a chance for me to watch ... thanks J-TV :cheers: :cheers:

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Post by Kamui6 » Nov 19th, '05, 19:12

- #japan-tv@irc.chatspike.net [Main channel]

Sleeping Forest 01 --> /msg [jtv]archive xdcc send #101

-+[jtv]archive- (XDCC) Packs:(101) Trigger:(/msg [jtv]archive xdcc list) Sends:(11/100) Queues:(7/50) Record:(3283.5KB/s) Note:(Brought to you by Julie-chan) =iroffer=

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Post by maea_maie » Nov 22nd, '05, 14:32

I Just watched it becoz of Takuya Kimura. the story is ok but not really that impressive. it juz really for a die hard Takuya lovers like meh. the only consolation is the ending becoz...
Takuya and the lead actress end up together. a happy ending.
[/spoiler]

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Post by noura » May 5th, '06, 21:09

I had downloaded the three available episodes in your site from two monthes ago and didn't have the time to watch it untile yesturday.. but I was in shock!! what a scary drama and himura is really acting as a crazy stalker.. :goggle:
I'm waiting for your version to be released.. 'cause the subs & quality are great !!
I wanted to thank you for your great work..million thanks!!

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Post by TNF » May 7th, '06, 15:38

wow I've bee nwaiting to watch this. thanks jtv!

i loved kimura in million stars, i think these types of creepy roles suite him best lol

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Post by mizune » May 8th, '06, 01:35

hijacking thread... :fear:

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Post by noura » May 13th, '06, 22:42

I'm trying to enter your site j-tv but it always shows " the page cannot be displayed " and cannot find server!! is it my internet option that is cousing the problem or is your site down?

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Post by Kent » May 13th, '06, 23:12

noura wrote:I'm trying to enter your site j-tv but it always shows " the page cannot be displayed " and cannot find server!! is it my internet option that is cousing the problem or is your site down?
Really!?
try again then ---> http://jtv-tracker.clubbed.org/

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Post by noura » May 16th, '06, 16:23

Thanks alot !!
That link did work .. thanks again & waiting for your great releases!! :D

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Post by greyhorse » May 18th, '06, 13:48

Firstly, thanks for making this available JTV! I so wanted to watch more of this since ep01 was uploaded on the tracker here.

Just a quick question though. I just started watching ep02, and why is it that an available taxi shows up right when Nakayama Miho needs one to tail Kimura Takuya's character? That never happens in Tokyo, especially not in a residential district like in that scene...

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Post by cha2 » Jan 26th, '07, 07:00

To bump an old thread..

Just finished watching this drama. I have some questions. Would anyone like to discuss this drama?

1. Hamazaki Kiichiro's mum appears only in his own mind, right? The stretcher scene on the cruise showed his hands plainly in the air from the bystanders' viewpoint while he saw his hands on his mum's face. But his dad saw his mum once as well. Was he drunk?

2. What happened to Ito Naoki on the train? The flowers slipped to the ground. The girl who received his orange as a gift watched as the train left the station but he did not alight. Was something wrong? Did he faint? A tear was shown rolling down his face. He seem unwell before the journey. He fell while walking on the way to board the train.

3. The girl on the train is the same actress who played Oba Minako when she was a young girl?

4. Did Minako merely fall asleep on the hammock after reading Naoki's letter? Or should one read deeper since Naoki did not alight the train and meet her?

4. Relating the sleeping forest fairy tale to the characters, is Naoki the prince, and Minako the princess?

5. What is the "true" ending? What did Naoki mean when he wrote in his letter he and Minako should not live alone or individually? They should live together as siblings in a family?

Thank you.

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Post by anoney » Apr 16th, '07, 15:04

cha2 wrote:To bump an old thread..

Just finished watching this drama. I have some questions. Would anyone like to discuss this drama?

1. Hamazaki Kiichiro's mum appears only in his own mind, right? The stretcher scene on the cruise showed his hands plainly in the air from the bystanders' viewpoint while he saw his hands on his mum's face. But his dad saw his mum once as well. Was he drunk?
Hi, just finished watching this too. Great drama, but a little disappointed (I'll explain why later).

I believe Kiichiro's mother only appears in his own mind (and that of his father's). The stretcher scene clearly showed him reaching out to someone who wasn't there, thus solidifying that opinion. His father probably saw her as well because he was drunk/depressed or both.

What I don't understand is her significance in the story. She was quoted as saying (a number of times) that Minako would decieve him (Kiichiro) or be his downfall. In fact, Kiichiro's mother as a plot device didn't completely work for me at all because we learn why he perpetrated the crime in the first place. The death of his mother and his constant visions of her only show how mentally unstable/depressed he was, but I still feel it wasn't given much story time.
cha2 wrote: 2. What happened to Ito Naoki on the train? The flowers slipped to the ground. The girl who received his orange as a gift watched as the train left the station but he did not alight. Was something wrong? Did he faint? A tear was shown rolling down his face. He seem unwell before the journey. He fell while walking on the way to board the train.
I'm also a bit confused on this. I thought it was quite odd to show him tripping over in the final scene as he finished work. Throughout the drama he never showed any signs of long-term illness so I don't believe he died peacefully on the train. It just wouldn't make sense for that to happen. I think he just fell asleep, and the tear just symbolised his relief or something that the whole ordeal was over and that he could start over properly. I also found it odd that he missed the stop, but I'm putting that down to the writers wanting to evoke a bittersweet ending as opposed to him getting off and jumping into Minako's arms like some fairytale.
cha2 wrote: 3. The girl on the train is the same actress who played Oba Minako when she was a young girl?
As far as I can see, it was the same actress. This isn't a deliberate continuity problem, but just a symbolic gesture by the writers/producers.
cha2 wrote: 4. Did Minako merely fall asleep on the hammock after reading Naoki's letter? Or should one read deeper since Naoki did not alight the train and meet her?
Again, I believe that there's nothing more to read into except that the writers wanted to evoke a bittersweet ending and not a completely fairytale one.
cha2 wrote: 4. Relating the sleeping forest fairy tale to the characters, is Naoki the prince, and Minako the princess?
I'm going to admit, the fairytale analogy was lost on me. I'm generally not good with those sorts of things (which also led me to not enjoy Jin-Roh as much as I could have).
cha2 wrote: 5. What is the "true" ending? What did Naoki mean when he wrote in his letter he and Minako should not live alone or individually? They should live together as siblings in a family?
Yep. Now that everything was over, he wanted to start over and live properly as a family. That's what I construed, anyway.

I don't think it was a particularly complex drama, but a tragic one.

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Post by anoney » Apr 16th, '07, 16:33

REVIEW (added to dramawiki page too):

Hmm, I'm a little split on this drama.

I heard a lot of the praise surrounding this drama and "Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi", and while I came away completely satisfied with that I was left feeling a little disappointed with this. The reason I make comparisons is because Kimura Takuya's character (Ito Naoki) seems to be oddly similar to that of his character in Sora Kara Furu (Ryo Katase). Both dark and brooding characters, hiding secrets and not letting people get too close.

Both dramas also start with a murder and while the solving of said murder eventually takes a backseat to the main story in Sora Kara Furu, it serves to advance the main plot of Nemureru Mori, and this is where the two dramas start coming into their own. I liked Nemureru Mori a lot. It's certainly not the best I've seen, but it's another strong performance from Takuya (who seems to be able to do no wrong according to everything I've seen of him up till now) and a surprisingly good turn from Nakayama Miho (Oba Minako) as the protagonist of the show. Minako's family were brutally murdered when she was 6 years old, and due to the trauma of being there when it happened, has lost all memory of who she was before the incident. As she is about to marry her fiance Kiichiro (a rather forgettable Nakamura Toru) she decides to make one last-ditch attempt to find out about her past by answering a seemingly innocent childhood letter which she has kept among her valuables for the past 15 years. This sets in motion the turn of events which results in Minako finally realising what exactly happened on that fateful day 15 years ago when her family were brutally slain by a strange intruder.

[ SPOILERS ]
This is a straight-up whodunnit story with strong elements of romance, but unfortunately will only leave you guessing up till the 7th or 8th episode as from there on the viewer can pretty much put all the pieces together. What kept me watching after I was convinced I'd figured it out was seeing how it all came together at the end, which unfortunately was a little disappointing too. For me, the ending was a little drawn-out and the final scene a little confusing. Kokubu's storyline was by far the most frustrating as his actions do not mirror his intentions in any way. When his final intentions are finally revealed I was left wondering just why on earth he had terrorised Minako and not Kiichiro. And speaking of Kiichiro, early on he seemed to not want Minako to find out about her past but was content with spilling the beans at the end like some dastardly villain. What exactly was his purpose of marrying Minako? Did he really love her? Or was he only making sure she never remembered the truth? I was never really sure whether Kiichiro was sorry for what he did, or not. The way the ending played out left me a little confused, and if not for Kimura Takuya's character and his involvment in the plot I would have been even more disappointed than I was. Minako was played very well, but about 2/3 into the show her character seemed to take a backseat to... well, the main plot (which at that point consisted of the boring chase after Kokubu).
Despite its faults, the show wraps up well with a surprisingly effective bittersweet final scene. The many twists along the way as we discover the truth about Minako's past help to keep the story going even during its more drawn out episodes. Definitely one to watch for the answers to questions you will ask from episode 1, if not for another great performance from Kimura Takuya.

The soundtrack is good with a nice lamentable orchestral main theme, despite a forgettable lyrical opening. Some of the more funky BG music gives away the fact that this is a 90s drama, but overall it fits well.

Rating: See It (3.5/5)

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Post by kiwigloomy » Apr 16th, '07, 17:07

cha2 wrote: 1. Hamazaki Kiichiro's mum appears only in his own mind, right? The stretcher scene on the cruise showed his hands plainly in the air from the bystanders' viewpoint while he saw his hands on his mum's face. But his dad saw his mum once as well. Was he drunk?
I watched this drama many years ago, im just speaking from wut i remember
In the drama.
I dont think we ever get to know if his mother "truly" died or not..
But it probably just lives inside Hamazaki, and to show his "hidden/dark side", and probably his guilt or how mentally unstable he is...(which led to wut happen at the very end)
cha2 wrote: 2. What happened to Ito Naoki on the train? The flowers slipped to the ground. The girl who received his orange as a gift watched as the train left the station but he did not alight. Was something wrong? Did he faint? A tear was shown rolling down his face. He seem unwell before the journey. He fell while walking on the way to board the train.
It was left an open ending, But most ppl believes that Naoki died on the train...
Minako is waiting for Naoki to come...But He was too tired from everything, cant even pick up the orange or get off at that stop(cant keep their promise), crying/feel sads about they cant be together cos they're brother & sister, or crying about he dont get to see Minako ever again... And just sat there in the train until he die(or for the very last part of his remaining life)...
As falling asleep and missing "that" stop wouldnt make too much sense(since he prepared flower and everything, and said that stop was his destination)...
Also, using that same girl probably just reminds Naoki of the young Minako in his memories...
anoney wrote: Yep. Now that everything was over, he wanted to start over and live properly as a family. That's what I construed, anyway.
I don't think it was a particularly complex drama, but a tragic one.
It is probably something more than just a tragic drama...
The author wanted to describe that dark side of people...

As in the drama, most of the characters are very unnormal...
I think he the last episode, when Naoki thinks Hamazaki is sick, Hamazaki replies that Minako, Naoki, etc are also unnormal themselves...
Such as how Keita & Hamazaki would kill their loved ones, so that they would feel that she belongs to them(and not any one else)... Or the revenge by hamazaki and kokufu

In the drama, i dont think they have mentioned directly about they being brother and sister...
Just indirectly, mentioned that they have the same father.
Yet, their relationship between minako and naoki is like lovers...
To me, that letter at the end, sounds more like a letter between lovers to me...

Naoki waited and lived 15 years in Minako's shadow(since he loved minako all along)
He doesnt want Minako to get hurt again, and therefore trying to destroy her life and lead her to a new one, so she wouldnt get hurt, just like the first time of wut Naoki said when they met in the forest.. As he believes that hes the one that can help Minako, and save her from kokufu.. Then later realized that he wasnt really saving/helping her, but rather wanted Minako all to himself

Kokufu, so many years in prison, and on the night he thought he can finally be with his loved one,but the girl was killed by his best friend... Since then, he started living in the dark, and planned his revenge of hamazaki...
Also, naoki's father, theres some problem with him too... But i forgot what he did...
But mainly most of the rather "important" character in the drama are quite unnormal...

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Post by anoney » Apr 16th, '07, 17:57

Naoki "dying" on the train in the final scene doesn't make much sense either. People don't just die from exhaustion. It makes more sense that he just merely missed his stop, leaving her waiting. Bittersweet, yet ultimately happy.
It is probably something more than just a tragic drama...
The author wanted to describe that dark side of people...

As in the drama, most of the characters are very unnormal...
I think he the last episode, when Naoki thinks Hamazaki is sick, Hamazaki replies that Minako, Naoki, etc are also unnormal themselves...
Such as how Keita & Hamazaki would kill their loved ones, so that they would feel that she belongs to them(and not any one else)... Or the revenge by hamazaki and kokufu
This frustrated me a little because while I recognise the fact that the author wanted us to see a "darker" side of human nature, it seemed like it was only there to shock the audience. For example, there was no real justification as to why Kiichiro slaughtered the WHOLE family including the woman he loved so much. He never seemed unhinged (mentally or emotionally). Yes, he suffered due to the loss of his mother at a young age but the link between his mother's death and his brutal slaying of the family was shaky, at best. He did well in college, and went on to work at a good college. For me, as a character who is supposed to fill in the biggest piece of this show's mystery, he wasn't portrayed as well as I'd hoped. When the final big reveal came I didn't buy into the fact that he was the murderer. Sure, there was a motive there (bizarre though it was), but he just didn't sell me the part.

Kokubu frustrated me just as equally. Here we have a man who was wrongly imprisoned, and what does he do when he is finally released? He terrorises and stalks an innocent woman. I can understand the author wanting to throw us off the scent a bit, but having Kokubu follow Minako around was completely pointless.

I believe Naoki's love for Minako was more sibling-based than physical love. He felt emotionally connected to her through the implantation of his memories into her. She was never physically attracted to him, but she slowly comes to see him as a very close friend as she begins to talk to him about her past and depend on him. Naoki felt some kind of obligation to look out for her all this time because she shared his memories, and through this they bonded. It's only after he found out she was his half-sister that he felt an even bigger obligation to protect her (as shown in his endless pursuit of Kokubu even after being beaten up and threatened by him).

Yes, this drama shows us the dark side of human nature, but it's created specifically by the situation the characters find themselves in. And the situations themselves, while tragic, tend to stretch the imagination a bit especially when the motivations of the characters are sometimes unjustifiable (even considering that this is an fictional drama). The twists are sometimes too forced and too obvious which require you to really suspend belief sometimes (and yes, I realise it's a drama but it's a reality-based drama nonetheless).

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Post by kiwigloomy » Apr 16th, '07, 20:29

anoney wrote: For example, there was no real justification as to why Kiichiro slaughtered the WHOLE family including the woman he loved so much. He never seemed unhinged (mentally or emotionally). Yes, he suffered due to the loss of his mother at a young age but the link between his mother's death and his brutal slaying of the family was shaky, at best. He did well in college, and went on to work at a good college. For me, as a character who is supposed to fill in the biggest piece of this show's mystery, he wasn't portrayed as well as I'd hoped. When the final big reveal came I didn't buy into the fact that he was the murderer. Sure, there was a motive there (bizarre though it was), but he just didn't sell me the part.
The reason Hamazaki slaughtered the whole family, was probably because of his jealousy on his best friend. Especially, since he found out kokufu will elope with that girl. Then he started hating kokufu, therefore, decided to revenge against him. By killed his gf's family and framing kokufu for it.
anoney wrote: Kokubu frustrated me just as equally. Here we have a man who was wrongly imprisoned, and what does he do when he is finally released? He terrorises and stalks an innocent woman. I can understand the author wanting to throw us off the scent a bit, but having Kokubu follow Minako around was completely pointless.
I guess he just miss little Minako, and wanted to make sure shes alright..
yeah, it doesnt make much sense, but, i guess the author just tried to add in stuff, so ppl wont know/suspect hamazaki is the murderer from episode 1 or 2.
anoney wrote: I believe Naoki's love for Minako was more sibling-based than physical love. He felt emotionally connected to her through the implantation of his memories into her. She was never physically attracted to him, but she slowly comes to see him as a very close friend as she begins to talk to him about her past and depend on him. Naoki felt some kind of obligation to look out for her all this time because she shared his memories, and through this they bonded. It's only after he found out she was his half-sister that he felt an even bigger obligation to protect her (as shown in his endless pursuit of Kokubu even after being beaten up and threatened by him).
Yeah, it can surely turn this way...
As a matter of fact, maybe Naoki's true love is Yuri... And he just liked Minako as his sister, and care about her cos they shared the same childhood memories, and Naoki thought he must protect her. But didnt realize who he love until afterYuri is dead.
And then that, would explain the sleeping beauty story =.= As the princess was watching the prince all along, trying to save her, and married him becos he went thru all those different things, not becos of loving him... (which is not wut naoki wants)

For the ending, then maybe Naoki saw that little Minako on the train and realized that his lover and best friend both died, and Minako is stronger than he thinks... Theres no reason for him to see Minako again, andor protect her anymore, so he decided to go to another town and live there by himself...

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Post by kvertand » Apr 18th, '07, 09:43

I agree that a lot of the plot twists in this were shallow and forced, I attribute that to the nature of the episodic format, which doesn't suit this particular story very well at all. The producers wanted to end each ep with a jolt, unfortunately this comes at the expense of cohesion. As the previous poster said, they created quite a few logical holes in the story and left some loose threads that never really get tied up. I think if you were to cut out all the filler and unnecessary sub-plots, you would have maybe five or six episodes worth of story that would be much closer to what the original author had intended.

Of course, in reality it's not that simple when you have to harmonize with an established broadcast schedule, so instead we end up with a drama that just feels overdone. Don't get me wrong, I liked this show overall for the big picture and what it manages to accomplish, but if you zoom in to focus on the details, well...it would take more than ten fingers to enumerate its failings.

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Post by mimmi » Apr 23rd, '07, 06:29

Note: I got to redo my post, just realise I wrote Kokubu's name wrong....just finished watching this dorama again this evening....it hunt's my mind, considering I just watched it last weekend....I also need to add up a line or two to support why I said that Naoki lost the feeling of his hand (the right hand that is)....

A quiet nice story....like somebody mentioned ( it shows a little bit of the dark side of a human being; something like that)....
Kiichiro, with his obsession love for Minako's sister, he loves her from afar....sees that there's no place for him in her heart because she loves Kokubu very much so Kiichiro falls in the category "if I can't have you, nobody will" so in his twisted mind he killed the sister to take her soul in death to be his, because the sister is gonna elope with Kokubu that night and gives Kokubu her heart and soul in life....Kiichiro's mother is an illusion or subconscious for Kiichiro; kept telling him that Minako will be his downfall, will deceive him (something like that), because in Kiichiro's conscience he knows that he's the murderer of Minako's family.....so like if or when Minako's memory comes back, she'll betray her love for him in someway (revenge? have him get arrested or what ever?)....

Kiichiro's mother....both Kiichro and his father saw her; they loved her very much....She represents their consciences and subconscious for Kiichiro....(like the saying goes that your conscience is a female part of you)....therefore the mother is their consciousness....like his father only saw her after the meeting with Naoki's two friends....

Kokubu....because he spend all that time in jail, lost part of his life in jail because of the murder he didn't commit, and Minako is the only one beside the murderer who knows the truth, but she didn't testify to tell the truth; in his anger, he has to give Minako a little hell....in his angered, twisted mind that's a good way to get his revenge on the murderer, and in a way for Minako not to have her happiness from marrying the man she loves eventhough he said to Minako that he didn't mean to hurt her....

Naoki....in his mind, he's the prince and Minako is the princess. Knowing that Minako's memories have been suppressed and altered, he felt sorry for her, he pitied her....He also felt a special bond with her for sharing the same childhood memories (his childhood memories)....because of that special bond he felt, he started to care for Minako and eventually falling inlove with her....he wants to be Minako's protector when Minako's memories return.....he wants Minako to be acquainted with him so that he'll be there when Minako's memories return and he won't be a stranger to Minako....in his twisted mind, he tried to help Minako regain her memory by scaring her (almost like: if she got traumatize enough, then just then her memory might comeback) and he'll be there for her, protecting her, supporting her emotionally....so the sleeping forest is the place where Minako's tragic childhood memories burried (sleeping) and Naoki by going thru all the hardship for Minako to protect her from Kokubu is supposed to be protecting prince....

Faith has it's twist for Naoki and Minako so they can't be lover in a sense for lover because they are siblings....Naoki got hit hard on the head during his way of trying to put Kokubu back to prison...his iquilibrium got imbalanced....in some of the episodes it shows Naoki looking at his right hand and shaking it and flexing it, also him trying to clear his right ear with his finger in the scene where him and his best friend trying to figure out about his girlfriend death....During the scuffled with Santa Claus the left side of his head got hit and was bleeding, so that with him showing having sensation to his right side, I'll say his left side brain is having some kind of injury (Note: I actually forgot which side was it, so which ever side the head injury was, it's the opposite side of his body's sensations)....him falling down on his way to the train station shows that his iquilibrium is getting worst; losing his balance during the motion of his head and body (like the right leg gave out under him)....on the train, I would say he lost the feeling of his hand and he was fainted....the reason I said he lost the feeling or use of his right hand, because it shows some frustration on his face while moving his left hand before the little girl boarding the train. Then again, when he tried to peel his orange; he only trying peeling it with his left hand, then showed a little frustration and gave up peeling the orange....

So like somebody mentioned: this story evoked a bittersweet ending....Minako forever waiting for Naoki in their sleeping forest, while Naoki forever riding the train until he comes to if he's not falling into coma.... :lol....Ok, I'm laughing at my explanation :lol....
Sorry if I spoiled the story for some of you, I usually forgot to use the spoiler....fixed
Last edited by mimmi on May 4th, '07, 15:23, edited 2 times in total.

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Tony Takitani
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Post by Tony Takitani » Apr 25th, '07, 06:59

Does anyone know where I can find the OST for this drama? In particular the instrumental cover of U2's "With or Without You"? I just recently finished watching this and I can't get that damn tune out of my head!

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Post by jesamine » Jun 1st, '08, 15:13

Major bump, lol
I just finished watching this, even though ep3,5 and ep9 was incomplete (I actually watched through the choppy bits!), and it left me with HEAPS of unanswered questions, but what mimmi mentioned in the last spoiler explanation sounds the most reasonable to me.
But I'm so dissapointed in the ending, can't Naoki and Minako have the happy ending? Geez, I really thought Naoki died on the train, but maybe he didn't and the imbalance equilibrium thingy sounds quite logical lol! I didn't think the ending wld be like the song - where he comes eventually but she's not there, so still can't believe the bittersweet ending.
I do wonder too if Naoki meant family or lovers in his letter to Minako, but after some thought I think it must mean family, I remember his dream of his family watching the sunset from the balcony or something... anywayyyy, I'm probably thinking too much into it!!
Wld love to hear anyone's thoughts or if anyone knows what the producer/script writer was trying to say at the last part!!

Also, I missed a lot of bits in ep9, spoiler question:
Why did Kokubu want to bury Naoki alive? And why did he want to kill him the next time he saw him? It skipped that part - cos of my incomplete file (cldn't wait, its been dl-ing for 3 mths and still no seeds! even now!)

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Post by Wattstax » Jul 28th, '08, 17:23

jesamine wrote:[/spoiler]

Wld love to hear anyone's thoughts or if anyone knows what the producer/script writer was trying to say at the last part!!

Also, I missed a lot of bits in ep9, spoiler question:
Why did Kokubu want to bury Naoki alive? And why did he want to kill him the next time he saw him? It skipped that part - cos of my incomplete file (cldn't wait, its been dl-ing for 3 mths and still no seeds! even now!)
He just wanted to scare him, so that he would leave him alone. Kokubu isn't a murder. Therefore the Grave. But I can't remember him wanting to kill Naoki later on? Where you got this impression?

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Post by snow_of_dawn » Oct 4th, '08, 13:55

I've just finished watching this drama, i really liked it untill there were too many twists and turns that i got confused and lost at some parts. i felt like all they cared 4 was 2 make the viewers shocked every once and a while
(keita benig yuri's murderer, Naoki's father being Minako's real dad, Kiichiro being the family's murderer )
and though i guessed most of these facts before they were revealed, the scenes in which they were actually revealed always made me confused.
somehow near the end of the drama there were many hard-to-explain parts(like how was keita waiting 4 yuri where he killed her. couldn't understand how she got 2 call him out there instead of Kiichiro, maybe Kiichiro's father had told her 2 go there and then instructed keita 2 do the same thing...not sure)

-also couldn't quite understand as well why Kokubu wanted 2 scare Minako? maybe he thought that if he scared her he would be hurting Kiichiro in some way? oh and also they didn't directly explain how kobuku understood that Kiichriro was the killer? did he guess it or what?

-wasn't conviced with kobuku's plot 2 keep stabbing kiichiro and not killing him so that when he comes out he stabs again and then again....that was simply stupid and totally unreasonable, how could he know he'll alst 2 do it again, maybe he gets sentenced 4 too long and when he comes out Kiichiro maybe dead or sth....blah blah
What I don't understand is her significance in the story. She was quoted as saying (a number of times) that Minako would decieve him (Kiichiro) or be his downfall. In fact, Kiichiro's mother as a plot device didn't completely work for me at all because we learn why he perpetrated the crime in the first place. The death of his mother and his constant visions of her only show how mentally unstable/depressed he was, but I still feel it wasn't given much story time.
i agree with u. one suddnely realises at the end that Kiichiro's Mother's character was totally unnecessary and there was absolutely no meaning in her appearances every once and a while. all that managed 2 signify 2 me was that Kiichiro is an abnormal person who sees the ghost of his mother(she may even not be dead i know)and that made me guess he may actuallly be the killer but then i got second thoughts) :unsure:

-also, never got convinced with the kill-the-woman-u-love-and-she-becomes-urs thingy
in fact i hated the scene when keita confessed killing yuri, although i loved the teared picture thing.

the last episode contained many stupid scenes like the long scene with Kiichiro's confession(notice his father's stupid reaction) and then the wedding scene when kobuku stabs Kiichiro and everyone stands watching the whole thing like it was a play.... :blink

as 4 the surprising and "hard-2-guess-the-significance-of" ending, all i was able 2 guess is that Naoki either died on the train or got paralyzed(i'd prefer the second) bec of too many constant hits on the head(i know that a clot in the brain takes time untill it's effects appear). the right hand slipping things, trapping while walking, the strange sit on the train, the one hand pealing the apple>>all that proves there was sth wrong with him) in fact when i saw the scene where his left ear hurts him and he rubs it, i started 2 have a bad feeling he may have a clot in his brain and I was afraid they may end up killing the character.....too bad that seems 2 be what happened :-( .

didn't bother thinking abt the meaning of the sleeping princess story and it's relation with plot bec i was already too much confused (as u can see :D )2 bother myself even more :glare:

i hate complaining abt dramas endings but i'm afraid that i can't help but feel that they could have ended it in a better more significant way, no problem with killing the character as much as having a problem with the sudden abrupt way that he died with.
sorry 4 making my post that long but i just couldn't hold back all the questions filling my head

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Post by ldv » Feb 10th, '09, 20:04

Episode synopsis of the last episode for anybody interested (contains spoilers):
http://www.geocities.com/morikai/nmori/NM12.html

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Post by Ender's Girl » Jul 8th, '09, 03:07

cha2 wrote:To bump an old thread..

Just finished watching this drama. I have some questions. Would anyone like to discuss this drama?

1. Hamazaki Kiichiro's mum appears only in his own mind, right? The stretcher scene on the cruise showed his hands plainly in the air from the bystanders' viewpoint while he saw his hands on his mum's face. But his dad saw his mum once as well. Was he drunk?
The only purpose the phantasm of the mother seemed to serve was to illustrate how psychologically disturbed Kiichiro was--ergo, more fodder for the "Kiichiro eez da Baddie!!!" theory.

That the daddy saw her as well... I guess this fairly establishes that the crazy gene ran in BOTH sides of the family, lol.
cha2 wrote: 2. What happened to Ito Naoki on the train? The flowers slipped to the ground. The girl who received his orange as a gift watched as the train left the station but he did not alight. Was something wrong? Did he faint? A tear was shown rolling down his face. He seem unwell before the journey. He fell while walking on the way to board the train.
I didn't get this at first (because the whole
Naoki dying
twist was so poorly executed). But he
really did die.
Most likely from a subdural hematoma that Naoki sustained when Kiichiro beat him up. I'd like to keep on believing he just decided not to get off that train (since obviously he was still very much in love with Minako, and living on as
brother and sister
would've been unbearable for him--or anyone, for that matter), but no. No happy ending here. Sucks, I know. But it wasn't so much a tragedy as it was a stupid and senseless afterthought that served the story NO purpose whatsoever.
cha2 wrote: 4. Relating the sleeping forest fairy tale to the characters, is Naoki the prince, and Minako the princess?
Minako was clearly The Princess from the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Naoki wasn't so much The Prince as he was... The Mad Hatter, or even (as my best friend put it), The Jester. Strangely enough, Naoki was also... The Fairy Godmother, in a way.

The Prince = Kiichiro. But then this is not your average fairy tale (it's a murder mystery!!!), so The Prince also turns out to be (ta-daaa!!!)...
The Big Bad Wolf.
cha2 wrote: 5. What is the "true" ending? What did Naoki mean when he wrote in his letter he and Minako should not live alone or individually? They should live together as siblings in a family?
I think Minako was more prepared to live as siblings, since she never really FELL for Naoki (which IMO could have happened eventually, had her growing attraction not been nipped in the bud by the outed family secret). It was Naoki (who had loved and obsessed over Minako for the better part of the past 15 years; at no point did I ever believe his feelings were limited to just "brotherly affection" or whatnot) who couldn't handle the truth, so I think he decided to keep away at the last moment instead of going home to Minako and the father. --Or so I thought, when he never alighted from that train.

Really, the drama could have ended on this poignant, bittersweet note (Minako in that hammock and Naoki on that train)--had the writers NOT gone and mokeyscrewed everything up by
stiffing him.
That just spoiled it for me. :cussing:

*****
@ snow of dawn: I agree, Kokubu's character wasn't developed enough in the drama, so it wasn't really made clear WHY he was stalking Minako and all--even when he was planning his revenge on Kiichiro. My guess is that the wrongful sentence + 15 years in the slammer + never quite getting closure for his girlfriend's slaying + the horrible betrayal he suffered, which festered all that time = unhinged him in the end. By the finale, he was just... flat-out deranged, I think. Which would explain why he did all those crazy, inexplicable things.

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Post by Peggy » Jul 8th, '09, 04:24

Really one of my favourite Kimura dramas. I thought it was a confusing mystery with some of the other characters. However, I always thought that Naoki loved Minako from the start. He was on the fringes all the time ready to protect her. He did not know they were siblings until near the end and it was devastating. I think he really did want to be with her in the future as brother and keep on protecting her.

He was struck on the head in that fight with the Santa Claus. Indeed his father at one point said didn[t you go to the hospital to check on your head or words to that effect. He almost fell which was another clue that all was not quite right with him. The last scene was done very well. He did die, and I was mesmerised by the single large tear that rolled down his cheek from his left eye as the orange rolled down the floor of the train.It would have been much happier if he had lived but I think it was necessary for him to die. There could be no love story and I can't picture them working together in a flower shop.

Peg

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Post by Ender's Girl » Jul 8th, '09, 13:19

^ LOL, Peggy I think I was blubbering pretty hard during this part that I might have failed to see that "single large tear" that rolled down in concert with the orange. :D
But, why was death the only other option left? What did Naoki ever do to deserve it? He loved Minako before he ever knew she was his sister--surely he could be forgiven that? :cry:
This wasn't the same as A Million Stars Fell from the Sky, where the ending was perfect in light of how the situations and the characters' own actions panned out. Ryo was really a bad person--a scumbag and a murderer--and his demise at the hands of his own lover/sister was quite in accordance with the Laws of Comeuppance of the Dramaverse. And again, in line with the Laws of Comeuppance, Fate dealt him this end because he had lived so dishonorably, and not because he happened to be in love with his own sibling.
But Naoki--he was no blackguard. Obsessive, yes, and even an a**hole at times, but he was not the villain that Ryo was. To die just like that was such a waste of a life that had never really been LIVED for himself. Since he was a child all Naoki did was live for others--for his father, and later for Minako. Everything he had given up. He left nothing for himself.

Let's consider these alternate endings:

1) What Really Happened: Naoki dies of a hematoma on the train, but Minako lives on--because apparently, the writers of this drama thought her character hadn't SUFFERED bloody well enough, and hadn't experienced ENOUGH grief and loss for one lifetime. In the midst of this fresh tragedy, Minako and Ito Naomi take comfort in their newfound kinship, and in time, become as close as a father and daughter can be. But their happiness is always tinged with a little sadness, and as Minako nears the end of her life many years later, she finds herself reminiscing more frequently about that strange young man--though his face is now little more than a vague memory--who loved and protected her when no one else did, and who unstintingly gave up his life so that she might live hers.

2) What *Thankfully* Never Happened: Naoki and Minako break what is taboo in 276 countries--and end up together, citing "love over morals." They manage to overcome the inherent "eeewww" factor of their unnatural coupling, and hie off to some cave in the Urals where they live out this abomination to the end of their days. :crazy:

3) What Could Have Been: Naoki and Minako live on as brother and sister, with Ito Naomi as their father. Naoki keeps his promise to stay by Minako's side, and although her proximity is maddening at first, his heartbreak heals in time. Their lives settle into a comfortable familial setup, even with a semblance of normalcy: occasional weekend visits to the forest cottage, holiday get-togethers, swapping stories of their individual lives. Perhaps Minako and Naoki find their respective life partners and eventually settle down, have children, the white picket fence, the works. Perhaps. But it is a good life--for all three of them. Not the life they may have dreamed of at first, but nevertheless full and rewarding in its own way.

4) What (I believe) Should Have Happened: Naoki lives, but chooses that other path--one which takes him away from Minako and his father, as he remains seated on that train. By severing his ties to Minako and Ito Naomi, he breaks free of the shadow of his past--and starts to live for himself. There is no future assurance of happiness or relief, but his pain is a pain that only he can bear. And bear it he must.

Sigh. In a parallel universe, I'm hoping that really did happen. I'm obviously still grappling with a smidgen of denial, lol. :sweat:

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Post by Ender's Girl » Oct 9th, '09, 11:46

Vivere disce, cogita mori - Learn to live; Remember death.
(sundial inscription)

Drama Review: Nemureru Mori / A Sleeping Forest (Fuji TV, 1998)


The Cast:
Nakayama Miho, Kimura Takuya, Nakamura Toru, Jinnai Takanori, Yusuke Santamaria, Natsuyagi Isao


In a Nutshell:
A 15-year-old crime casts a long shadow on a young woman whose lost memory of the incident returns with a vengeance. She meets a mysterious stranger, who vows to help her reclaim her forgotten past.


(SpoilLert: Major, major plot revelations!!! Proceed only if you’ve watched the ENTIRE drama!!!)

[Recommended companion track: “A Sorta Fairytale” by Tori Amos]

Once upon a Time, in a Faraway Land…

I enjoyed Nemureru Mori for the dark, modern-day fairy tale that it is: it takes the Sleeping Beauty archetype and gives it an urban-whodunit spin, setting it in 1998 Tokyo. But here the Sleeping in question is a psychological rather than a physical condition, as it is the Princess’ memories that remain submerged for a certain time period, to be Awakened by the Prince at the right Moment. (But who is the Prince, pray tell? Is there even one at all?)

When stripped of its more palatable, Victorian-era coating, the Fairy Tale is no children’s bedtime reading. I’m glad that Nemureru Mori feels less like Hans Christian Andersen and more like the earlier work of the Brothers Grimm, with the gore and the gloom and the, er, grimness not seen in their later (and heavily sanitized) versions. I welcome fairy tales in all their literary incarnations, in particular Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber,” a collection of retold fairy tales--dark, violent, sensuous and lushly romantic, but at times also bleak and terrifying.

The question, therefore, would be: if this is the story of Sleeping Beauty, who are the other characters? Who’s the Wicked Witch? The Fairy Godmother? The White Knight? But given the murder-mystery angle of Nemureru Mori you know that everything and everyone is immediately suspect—with the exception of Beauty, through whose eyes we watch the story unfold. So… could it be that certain characters in Nemureru Mori are actually composites of two or more of these fairy tale figures, who in turn may (or may not) be fundamentally disparate from each other (i.e. what if the Prince turns out to be the Big Bad Wolf?)--thus rendering them more ambiguous (but more interesting)? I’ve read enough crime capers and Agatha Christie mysteries to expect the unexpected and brace for twists in the plot. You try to second-guess people’s motives and anticipate the telltale signs that may (or may not) Mean Something Later On, those breadcrumbs in the woods that point the Way Out. And the woods of this Sleeping Forest have this beautiful, surreal quality to them, where time and space lose their real-world sway. It truly is an enchanted place, one both tranquil and threatening, a secret dream-garden where a long-forgotten evil lurks unseen.

The starting point of our story is a Christmas Eve massacre in a picturesque little town 15 years past. Beneath the snow-coated rooftops and steeples of churches, beneath the clear voices of carolers rising through the winter air, a gruesome crime has just been committed: the cold-blooded murder of three family members. The rain has washed away all traces of the killer, all evidence of his identity. Amid the flashing police sirens and crowds of onlookers, the body bags are carted into the ambulance one by one, the child Minako’s family--dead forever. That the carnage happened at Yuletide, of all times--is inconceivable, and yet the proof of this horrific deed is incontrovertible: the red stains against the snow, the bloodied corpses, the knife left behind when the murderer fled the scene. The 12-year-old girl Minako, the sole survivor of this nightmare, retreats deep into the darkness, her spirit broken and all memories locked away inside, in a place where even she dares not go. And through it all, the statue of the Virgin Mary at the nearby church remains the lone witness to this scene, her marmoreal countenance sphinx-like in dispensing either benediction—or judgment. And so our Fairy Tale begins.

Into the Woods

Fast-forward to the present: Christmastime is fast approaching, and Oba Minako (Nakayama Miho) has put the past behind her and now lives a normal life: she loves her job at the Orchidarium, she has a responsible and devoted fiancé, and despite that gaping hole in her memory, she has moved on, and she is happy. She looks forward to settling down with her beau Hamazaki Kiichiro (Nakamura Toru), who at 35 holds a well-paying job as Cultural Director for a top holdings firm, and is himself the son of a celebrated painter. But as Minako prepares to move into their matrimonial home, she finds a bunch of old letters among her childhood things. They date back 15 years, from a nameless sender who was then also a child--but one who was never Minako’s friend. He reached out to her only through the letters, as he was either too diffident to approach her, or was unable to--for some reason. The final letter ends with an invitation to meet in person in the forest of their hometown after 15 years have passed. Minako realizes that the date in question is just a few days away, and she impulsively decides to meet this person at the appointed time and place. The anonymous letter-sender’s connection to her forgotten childhood is what compels her to board the train back to her hometown where she has not lived for 14 years, and to the woods behind it. There she sees him for the first time, a strange young man named Ito Naoki (Kimura Takuya), lying in a hammock in a forest glade, waiting for her, knowing she would come. It is not a pleasant encounter: though a total stranger, he seems to know every single detail of Minako’s life for the past 15 years. His familiarity both shocks and intrigues her, and she flees the forest—but not before Naoki gives her a cryptic warning about the “cruel things” that await Minako, though he offers no explanation—and no relief.

So goes their first real meeting, though it is not their last. Minako returns to Tokyo, but meets Naoki again… and again, and again, at first as a pesky (but seemingly harmless) admirer, but he continues to intrude in her life--from “chance” encounters on the street, to finally moving into her neighborhood, right across her building. His ubiquity is unsettling, his intimate knowledge of Minako’s life downright terrifying. Before Minako’s very eyes he changes from Stranger to Stalker to Saboteur, and the inscrutability of his motives is just as disconcerting as the tenacity with which he forces his way into her neat little world. “You are a part of me,” he tells her on several different occasions, his voice ringing with challenge, as if daring her to prove otherwise. And with these six words, he stakes his claim on Minako—and binds her to him for life. Ito Naoki is certainly no fairy-tale Prince, but more like… The Mad Hatter, it seems in the first few episodes, as he leads Minako down the proverbial rabbit hole towards her Past. And in doing so, he acts as her gypsy Guide through the Underworld, for he’s as much an enigma as he is a vital piece in the puzzle, and you wish more than ever to uncover Who He Really Is in Minako’s life, Who He Was from her past. Then, as the story unravels bit by bit, you realize who the Princess’ Fairy Godmother in the tale really is: it’s a 25-year-old male lighting designer who sports long hair and wears a funny, floppy hat and a white trench coat.

Grimm Awakenings

As the heroine Oba Minako, Nakayama Miho (Love Letter) is mesmerizing in her beauty, and she’s everything you’d imagine a storybook princess to be. But some of her Pivotal Acting Moments sometimes left me cold, left me wanting more from her performance—particularly in those Big Revelation Scenes. It wasn’t that she did a bad job here, but I did expect more from her, especially since her character—Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty—is such a potentially complex role. For it is the Princess’ Awakening (after all, that is what Nemureru Mori is truly about) that grips you, and so you watch spellbound as Minako slowly unravels her past and sifts through all the repressed memories--learning which ones are real, and which were merely programmed into her. And in so doing, as her True Self is roused from its dormant state, she Awakens to the horror that has been lurking ever so near all these years, and that now seeks to consume her. Minako is every bit the Tragic Heroine, but her tragedy lies not in finally recognizing the horror, but in LIVING with the knowledge of who the killer is, and of who SHE really is. Her Awakening may have unshackled her from the murderer who would own her, but it does not set her free from the truth, which will haunt her to the end of her days. She (once again) narrowly escapes with her life, but forfeits true happiness in the process. That as a child Minako survives a grisly death--only to later live out this sadness that awaits her, may in fact be the unkindest fate of all. :cry:

Nakamura Toru as Hamazaki Kiichiro reminds me so much of Lee Jong-hyuk, who played the deliciously creepy Shin Hyun-tae in the 2005 Korean drama Green Rose (also a whodunit, though with a story less taut but more… ambitious). But I note the parallelism as a good thing, for both actors turn in performances so nuanced, and with this eeriness you can’t quite put a finger on. Both actors also utilize their greatest asset to the hilt (those eyes… those eyes!!! :sweat: ), those unfathomable black pools that glint with a strange light every now and then. Hamazaki Kiichiro cuts such an intriguing character, a silent-waters-run-deep kind of man who (ostensibly) represents the Princess’ Future as much as Ito Naoki is the link to her Past. He is rock-solid and dependable, and deeply in love with Minako. But as he is haunted by apparitions from a troubled childhood, and with his promising career besmirched by shady dealings, you wonder if Kiichiro is all that he seems to be. :scratchchin:

[Interlude: On “With or Without You”]

At first, I must have let out a huuuge snort every time “With or Without You” started playing during the Naoki scenes. And it didn’t help, of course that Kimura’s getup--with that funny-looking fedora and shoulder-length hair--practically screamed BONO circa U2’s “The Joshua Tree” album days, hahaha. (Was he channeling Bono consciously? One wonders…) Admittedly, the whole atmosphere of the song (aside from the lyrics, obviously) is a perfect fit to Ito Naoki’s brooding obsession with Minako, “With or Without You” being the Ultimate Stalker Song after all, heh. But damn, I doubt I’ll ever listen to this track (one of my all-time faves) the same way again. That the drama played the instrumental version was a good move, because the U2 version would simply have been too distracting (not to mention the sky-high royalties that would’ve had to be paid). But after Nemureru Mori ended I played back the original song nonstop, and I doubt I’ll ever purge my head of those images of Ito Naoki every time Adam Clayton starts thrumming that iconic baseline against The Edge’s ultra-cool riffs and Larry Mullen Jr.’s solid pounding. And by the time Bono wails that all-too-familiar refrain with all the pent-up longing and anguish that only Bono can deliver, I think of bloody Kimura and that bloody fedora hat of his, and nothing else. (Okay, I have officially played this song on my iPod five times since I started writing this paragraph.) Damn, damn, damn. I also don’t have to say how those sexeh white tank tops fit KimuTaku 1.5’s body so. Darn. Well. (I see that someone’s been working out since Love Generation, eh? Heehee! :mrgreen: ) [/end interlude]

You really do feel ambivalent towards Ito Naoki at first, as it is well established what a Gray Area he is, with that knotty personal life and his I-don’t-give-a-sh!t attitude towards the world in general. He treats his girlfriend Yuri of four years like crap, and refuses to commit to her emotionally despite their dysfunctional relationship. Naoki takes her masochistic devotion for granted, and ditches her right before going off to meet Minako in the forest that first time. That Yuri (the ill-cast Honjo Manami) acts the wiling martyr doesn’t really make you commiserate with her plight, either. The one million scenes in the drama where Yuri goes over to Naoki’s pad to cook and clean and mend his socks or whatnot for him (when he CLEARLY DOESN’T LOVE HER ANYMORE), and then weeps quietly into her apron to make him feel guilty… dammit, but I could just feel my blood turn into curds and whey and all that gunk. She wasn’t a real person at all, just this robot-maid-sex-doll with matte lipstick and a really bad haircut. Gaahhh. :cussing:

Naoki’s best friend from college, Keita (Yusuke Santamaria), has made it no secret of his love for Yuri, and yet must be content with perpetual second-fiddle status. A freelance writer by day, Keita is a compulsive gambler who’s had numerous run-ins with the loan sharks. He is treated by Naoki and Yuri with friendly affection, yet he knows that Ito Naoki will always cast a shadow over him—in looks, in confidence, in professional achievement, and in love. Keita tries to make light of the matter with his half-hearted jokes, but just comes across as this sad clown every time. Yusuke Santamaria is an adequate actor while Honjo Manami simply oozes... mediocrity, but the way both characters are written brooks no sympathy from the viewer, either. Second-rate second fiddles, indeed. Still, I took in the Naoki-Yuri-Keita scenes with more than just a passing interest mainly because it was a way of getting deeper into Naoki’s character. Little did I know how much these two people in Naoki’s life would later figure in some of the drama’s most crucial moments.

The Lost Boys

It is only when Ito Naoki’s past is revisited through flashbacks that you start to come to terms with his difficult nature and understand his bizarre obsession with Minako. When you finally meet him as that grave, shaggy-haired boy hiding in the woods, you understand how lonely and emotionally disconnected Naoki truly is—and has been, practically all his life. Always an outsider, always an observer, always watching from a distance. Even Naoki’s relationship with his father, Ito Naomi (Natsuyagi Isao in a wonderfully understated performance as… The Woodcutter, lol), the psychotherapist who programs new childhood memories into Minako, is a strained one, built on wary formality and emotional repression. With Naomi’s mother dead before the story unfolds, the father finds refuge in his research, while the young Naoki retreats deep in the forest, a flitting shadow playing amid the foliage, almost indistinguishable in the gloom. Ito Naomi’s interest in his own son’s life seems to find validation only in the psychiatric experiments Naomi conducts on his patients, who include the young Minako. With a clinical interest devoid of all fatherly affection, Naomi probes into his son’s mind, stealing fragments of thought and memory and dream—an afternoon playing Tarzan with a friend, or throwing a curveball in a baseball field—and transfers them into Minako’s own ravaged mind, thus giving her an artificially grafted database of recollections and past experiences that were never really her own.

Both Ito Naoki and Hamazaki Kiichiro lose their mothers at such a young age, and are left to contend with emotionally distant fathers who gain renown in their respective fields (psychology and painting) but remain abject failures at parenthood. Both father-son pairings reflect the same alienation and emotional disconnect that fester unabated for the rest of the boys’ childhood and most of their adult life. The boy Naoki longs to be intimate with his own father, but is incapable of expressing this wish to Naomi. It is only during the transference of his own memories to Minako through Naomi as a conduit, that Naoki can obliquely insert his own childlike dreams of becoming part of a real family once more. But his father misses these cues (until it is rather too late), too caught up in his scholarly pursuits to notice the coded messages his son has been sending him during their interviews. And yet despite their emotional ineptitude both father and son share a deep loyalty towards each other, a familial bond that is more resilient than they both may think.

The kid actor playing Young Naoki nailed the character’s emotional isolation and awkward pain so beautifully that I wanted to hug that boy every. single. time. I just love him!!! And I love how the editing would juxtapose the Young Naoki flashbacks with some of the Grown-up Naoki moments, making you realize that although the boy is now a man, the eyes are unchanged after fifteen years and still mirror the same loneliness and the deep-seated longing, the hungry look of a boy starved for love and affection and human companionship.

The Princess and The Mad Hatter

Naoki and Minako make an unusual twosome: they become more than strangers--but never lovers, involved as they are with other people. Their shared childhood memories make each person an irrevocable part of the other, and their mingled identities seem as surreal and inchoate as the strange bond that connects them. It’s a tenuous friendship at first, but Minako learns to overcome her distrust of Naoki and even develops a genuine fondness for him, although the romantic love remains one-sided on Naoki’s part (and oh, the pain it brings him!!!). Plainly you can see Minako’s attraction to Naoki intensified by the growing trust and dependence she places on him--as it becomes more and more clear that he is really out to protect her from all harm, whether far away or close at hand.

But when their relationship takes a shocking and irreversible turn, it is Naoki--and not Minako--who suffers more deeply from it. In the final act of the drama, you see a young man who truly has “nothing to win,” and “nothing left to lose” either, as the U2 song goes. For what do you do when the sole object of your 15-year obsession, whom you watched and followed and LOVED for more than half your life, turns out to be the Forbidden Fruit?--And your insatiable, all-consuming desire has become this shameful affliction overnight? When Naoki’s world comes crashing down, a small part of yours does, too. “Be happy,” he tells Minako on that Day of Days in the forest cottage--but you know that he’s really saying goodbye. So when Naoki chooses to start anew with Yuri, you HATE IT that he does so, but understand why. You know (and he knows) that what Yuri really is, is his Consolation Prize.

Portrait of a J-Idol as a Serious Actor

As much as I loved Kimura Takuya in those rom-com dramas (with his good-guy, Idol heroics and that ever-scintillating sheen of Ultra-Coolness), it was refreshing to see him play against type here in Nemureru Mori, as if all stops were pulled to make him as disturbing and disruptive a presence as possible in the life of Minako. As KimuTaku 1.5 (I call him this in his late ‘90s stuff, being some sort of transition state from J-Idol-Who-Can-Act to Real-Actor-Who-Happens-to-Be-a-J-Idol, they’re different you see), you can still see the rawness in his acting, marred occasionally by all that self-conscious hair-flipping, lol. But even without the polish and control so identifiable with his later work, his talent in Nemureru Mori is unmistakably there—particularly in the key moments of realization and revelation. There are glimmers of greatness in his performance, a foretaste of that Kimura Awesomeness I first came to love in Pride (my first Kimuradorama ever). As an actor, he’s got depth, he’s got intensity, he’s got that natural ability to play a character so effortlessly—AND make you believe in him. Aside from those awkward moments when he’d toss his soft, wavy tresses around as Ito Naoki (made me roll my eyes every single time: here we go again, I’d say… rinse, lather, repeat, lol :lol ), he delivered his lines and blocking with that spontaneity and easy command of his role that are trademark Kimura. There also is a dynamism to him, an irrepressible vitality in his persona that lends itself so well to his onscreen characters. :thumright:

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

By the third (and final) act of this drama, you get the feeling this isn’t the Sleeping Beauty account anymore, but that of… Bluebeard. The fairy tale premise has metamorphosed into a Gothic tale, one of unspeakable terror and the looming specter of Death. And the storyline is more labyrinthine than your regular whodunit, with so many nail-biting twists and turns I soon lost count. Each cliffhanger left me breathless, each blind alley made me retrace my steps and re-assess the clues so cleverly dropped along the way. Crime-solving is perhaps more deductive than inductive, because you begin with a certain premise, a certain angle, and then try to match the clues and evidence to this theory. But this drama throws you enough red herrings to make you doubt your earlier assumptions about the killer--after all, the main appeal of a good murder mystery is the thrill of the hunt leading up to the villain’s climactic unveiling. And the killer’s identity does not leave you SHOCKED so much as emotionally DRAINED. Though my original assumption about the murderer later proved to be correct, it was only after all that messing with my head had made me doubt… well, everything. (Damn those mind-screws! :stress: )

You expect the worst with these types of stories, but nothing prepared me for how deeply rooted the mystery was, and how far-reaching the consequences of the crime. The events set in motion 15 years prior end up entangling more people than were involved originally—even those with no material connection to the Yuletide killings. There’s also a sick symmetry to how the original murders are reprised in a fresh crime that is committed—with a different killer, but one of the same depraved mind and treacherous bent. In the fairy tale that is Nemureru Mori, what awaits the characters is no Happy Ending, but a wasteland of ruined lives and broken dreams. Everyone loses something—whether it’s their freedom, or their sanity, or their innocence, or their own life, or their future happiness. It is how the main characters’ lives (and identities) are changed forever that truly, truly breaks your heart. :cry:

Never After

This final act of Nemureru Mori just bled me dry; the story had consumed me inside out, leaving me numb and senseless. And just when I thought I had cried myself empty, I couldn’t hold back my emotions in the dying minutes of the final episode--showing Minako in that hammock, and Naoki on that train, and the invisible, unbridgeable chasm between them. I wept at the cruelty of Life, how it deals people that “sleight of hand and twist of Fate” spoken of so poetically in the U2 song. Then you realize with a heart-stopping clarity that beneath the Sleeping Beauty tale lies another story embedded in Nemureru Mori, and it is that of Hansel and Gretel… Two children hand-in-hand, lost deep in the woods, who must find their way out of this strange gloaming of shadows and stippled light--before the darkness devours them both. That Hansel and Gretel are brother and sister is an irony not lost on the viewer: for as they stumble out into the open, the forest now behind them, a far crueler fate awaits, one that wrenches them apart and robs them of all happiness. Then our Fairy Tale is finally over: it is THE END, and as the storybook closes shut one last time, you are thankful that it is so.

FIN

*************

Read no further if you haven’t seen this drama!!! (As if the review didn’t have enough spoilers already…)
Requiem for a Dreamer

It could’ve ended perfectly, really it could. But it didn’t. Because he just had to go f***ing DIE, like some diseased animal by the roadside. He died as he had lived: disconnected and alone.

Maybe I’m just stupid. Maybe my tear-blurred eyes failed to take in the *supposedly* telling clues indicating Naoki’s… worsening condition. Maybe despite being in its agonized throes, my mind still automatically precluded the possibility of an ending so… pointless, and so gratuitously sob-inducing. Maybe the writers of Nemureru Mori wanted this drama to go down as having the most WTF! finish in J-history, so they wrote it in. Or maybe I really AM stupid, that I didn’t GET IT right away—not even when that orange rolled off the seat and the flowers fell from his hands, or when the Young Minako Doppelganger kept looking back to see if he had alighted—but he never did—as the train chugged away from the platform. I simply thought that Naoki had made a sudden, CONSCIOUS CHOICE to distance himself from Minako by not going back home. THAT’S why the ending affected me so much, because in doing so, Naoki would still end up with NOTHING. But at least, if there was any good that would come out of it, it was that FINALLY, Naoki was going to start living for HIMSELF—not for his father, or for Minako, but for himself. To choose NOT to deal with the torture that would inevitably come if he stayed and forced himself to act all… familial and brotherly around Minako. If Naoki let the orange and the orchids slip from his fingers, if he slumped back in his seat and closed his eyes--what of it? I didn’t see a dying young man on the train, but one with a broken heart... and I thought that’s all there was to it.

That’s why I didn’t think right away that Naoki died. Those “warning signs” about his condition (presumably a subdural hematoma following the head trauma he sustained at the hands [and lead pipe] of Santa Claus), like the numbness and the dizzy spells and the decreased motor function-—fine, they were shown in the drama’s last few episodes. But I still felt they weren’t built up significantly enough to service good storytelling. True, you can be asymptomatic and even feel fine for days to weeks without knowing you’re slowly dying from a massive clot in your brain. Medical fact. But in the hours leading up to your death, your condition should begin to manifest itself more acutely--i.e. something a BIT more severe than the inability to peel an orange properly. And even if there had been more indicators that screamed, “Naoki is dying!!! Final countdown--Naoki is dying!!!”… The question of questions remains… WHY.

So they kill him off? Just like that???? Why???!?? What PURPOSE would Naoki’s death serve in the drama? It was such a complete and utter incongruity against the rest of the story, such an unnecessary plot development, and nothing but a pointless exercise in emotional over-manipulation. Didn’t the drama have enough bombshells and Big Revelations packed in? Were the numerous twists and turns still inadequate for the writers? Hadn’t Minako already suffered enough pain and loss and grief????? And was Naoki’s death his just deserts for falling in love with his sister (though unwittingly so), as decreed by the Dramaverse’s Laws of Comeuppance? :cussing:

Postscript: To the Faithful Departed

Naoki’s death was as senseless as it was poorly built-up. This felt like the Evil Twin of the Deus ex Machina plot device: meet the DEUCE ex Machina (devil out of the machine, haha), that smites down drama characters at whim, so that all your emotional investment gets nuked to kingdom come whenever the writers arbitrarily infuse a *little* bit more gloom and doom to the drama--just in case all those callous little b*tches of Jdorama fangirls weren’t, like, CRYING HARD ENOUGH by Episode 10. Naoki’s death felt like a frickin’ afterthought, like a sick prank the writers just decided to pull out of their wazoos. What happened here was a case of writers who got GREEDY with the WEEPY, and nothing more. They should’ve changed this drama’s title to A Weeping Forest--how’d you like that? Capricious and self-serving little pricks. Naoki should have lived. Naoki should have lived. Too late for that now. :alcoholic:

Vivere disce, cogita mori - Learn to live; Remember death.

Peggy
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Sleeping forest

Post by Peggy » Oct 12th, '09, 02:02

Dear E.G.

wonderful piece of writing. I applaud you.

I only disagree with your thoughts about the ending.

Naoki could never have lived. He had to die and there were plenty of small clues which led the way. If he lived he could not live with his sister as a lover. If he lived he could not live with her as her brother.....that would never be satisfactory for him or her or the audience. That would be torture for them and very frustrating for the audience.
Naoki could not simply go away on his own and get a new life. He had already lived his life for one woman whom he loved and continued to love. There would never be another love for him and he would live a lonely sad life without Minako. It would be agony.

No.. Naoki had to die. It was a perfect ending

Peg.... Kleenex somewhere...

jaune
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Nemureru Mori

Post by jaune » Jul 14th, '11, 14:15

Hi,

I have been searching for the English subs for this drama but could not find it.Does anyone know where I can find it, that would be swell. Ta :)

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trasuachieumua
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Post by trasuachieumua » Jul 14th, '11, 15:52

You can download Nemureru Mori subbed by JTV in this site ^^ (remember to register ^^v)
http://jdramazone.com/jdramas/nemureru- ... completed/

jaune
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Location: AUST

Post by jaune » Jul 14th, '11, 16:17

trasuachieumua wrote:You can download Nemureru Mori subbed by JTV in this site ^^ (remember to register ^^v)
http://jdramazone.com/jdramas/nemureru- ... completed/
wow, never thought i'd get a reply so quick. will check out the site thanks a heap for sharing :thumleft:

popoycanton
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Post by popoycanton » Aug 13th, '12, 08:11

I really liked this one.

Suspense, solid story telling, immersing, mirrors what it is to be human good and bad, quality production you'd expect from a late 1990s drama, always keen to leave just enough breadcrumbs so as to leave you at your own deductions.



there's just one thing that was lacking
We were never really hinted about how Kukubo deduced the identity of the murderer. Apparently, he just knew and we were never told how.

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rootabega
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Post by rootabega » Aug 14th, '12, 03:15

I'm really fond of "noirish" dramas like "Nemureru Mori". "A Million Stars Falling From the Sky" is perhaps the most representative for me. "A Love to Kill" definitely has that vibe going, as well.

Murder, mystery and some real adult nookie - is that too much to ask for in today's dramas?

Peggy
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Joined: Mar 18th, '04, 04:18
Location: USA

Post by Peggy » Aug 14th, '12, 03:53

found myself back here. I was just re reading the posts. actually I don't know why they could not live together somewhere far away. It is not an unknown situation. think about Adam and Eve., did they only have sons. Where did the other females come from...and they must have arrived at some time. and then who would be sister and who would be brother and where did they come from anyway. Lots of intertwining there. Otherwise the world would not be inhabited. Just saying, and going with the story as told to us.

But I think Naoki died.

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