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[Discussion] Atami no Sousakan (Odagiri Joe)

Discuss Japanese drama series here.
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Post by dauntlas » Aug 18th, '11, 23:41

quluts, thanks for reminding me I have to watch this again!

I just started watching J-Dramas and this was the 2nd series I watched, which was great because it has a few similarities to American TV shows current and old and made it more accessible. I was so interested (and entertained) that I have watched a LOT more dramas and have gained a great appreciation for their Japanese uniqueness.

(and I'm not ashamed to say I picked this one because of Chiaki Kuriyama of Kill Bill and BR, though I probably should be). Any way, I've got t set some time to re watch this with Wikipedia open in my browser.

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Re: It's all a game

Post by SSpiegel » Aug 19th, '11, 10:57

quluts wrote: I know you are just making fun of us, but few of us (myself included) noticed all the allusions and symbolism while we were enjoying it.
Yeah, but I wasn't making fun of you. I meant just what I said. I felt so stupid afterwards because I wasn't able to figure out half of what you did. I'm actually going to watch it again with a friend and ask him whether he gets it. If he doesn't, I'll feel much better. I just watched it as a supernatural mystery series without thinking there might be more behind it. It's cool that there was, but it would've been cooler if I figured it out while actually watching.

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Post by tinkerbell » Aug 23rd, '11, 22:36

It seems it went unnoticed here, but there are also several self-references to Zukan ni Nottenai Mushi (The Insects Unlisted in Encyclopedia). It's a 2007 Satoshi Miki movie, in which Yusuke Iseya and Suzuki Matsuo are tracing a mysterious drug that allows one to experience death. It doesn't bear much similarity to Atami atmosphere-wise, as it's basically a stoner road movie with many gags of questionable taste, however in its finale it touches on the same concepts Atami does, and uses similar symbolism.

Possible references and similarities I did take note of include:
* a Yes/No Lamp,
* Chupa Chups granny,
* meaningful car plates,
* both take place in summer sea side resorts (Atami in, well, Atami, one not mentioned by name in Insects' finale),
* appearances of well-known paintings (Gaugin in Atami, da Vinci's self-portrait, Mona Lisa and the Last Supper in Insects),
* in both the main characters watch a magic show on stage, performed by someone who holds information they are hoping to obtain,
(and likely many others I didn't notice)

But the similarities run deeper (a brief description of movie's ending follows, so proceed at your own discretion)
After using deathfix, Yusuke Iseya's character ends up in an Atami-like place, separated from his 'living' comrades and puzzled by their 'disappearance'. He spends a year there, doing some odd jobs. He then learns one of his friends' home address and goes there hoping to find her, only to meet her mother, who was supposed to have drowned 10 years earlier. The woman firmly believes it was her daughter who did in fact drown, not her.

Iseya's character is eventually 'pulled back' to life by his friends (and not a moment too soon, by the way, as he was about to be cremated - time apparently doesn't flow the same way in both worlds), he is however unsure whether he is truly alive or dead. To quote:
(...) the realm of death is the same as our living world. (...) In any case, being alive or being dead are similar. So everything in the world seems less significant. (...) In the end, I don't really know if I'm alive or dead. You know, it doesn't really matter!
Of course while there is no reason for conclusions drawn from Insects to hold any water in Atami, the connections between them are clear.

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I'm baaack..

Post by rootabega » Aug 26th, '11, 02:30

Ah, this great dorama is still generating interesting commentary...
I just watched ANS again, and it was a sheer pleasure from beginning to end. I was in my neighbourhood asian DVD emporium the other day when three young J-males came in. I found out they were crazy about Keizoku (the original, no less). I asked them if they had seen ANS. "Huh, what's that?" I set 'em up in a jiffy. :D

Tinkerbell, I haven't yet seen that Miki film you've mentioned. Amazing what excellent television can be made when it's done by a consummate, skilled artist /auteur rather than the usual hacks the network suits prefer. The same numbskulls that cut the series to eight eps. :cussing:

And I'd just like to add, in case anyone is still reading this :P , that it is far, far better to watch a TV show (or a movie, etc.) and not be able to "get it", than to watch a show where you "get it" right from the start and see the rest of it coming from a mile away.
"Getting it" is super ovverated, IMHO. :-)

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Post by rootabega » Oct 26th, '13, 05:07

Life is good, the creator of Atami no Sousakan is back with a new dorama.

This is what Miki Satoshi accomplished with ANS (quoting from the Urban Dictionary - a great definition, for once):

1. lightning in a bottle
Capturing something powerful and elusive and then being able to hold it and show it to the world.

Performing a rare feat.

A moment of creative brilliance.

Also a movie about BB King and a dorama called Atami no Sousakan. (italics mine :P )

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