[Drama] Last Friends

11 Episodes


Starring: Nagasawa Masami, Ueno Juri, Eita, Mizukawa Asami, Nishikido Ryo...

This drama follows the story of Michiru, a frail young woman who aspires to be a hairdresser and to create a new happy family for herself. She saw her dreams crash and burn when her supposedly caring and loving boyfriend, Sousuke, turns out to be a violent abuser. In a twist of fate, she met Ruka, her friend from school whom she lost contact with. The two subsequently restored their friendship and kept close contact.

Ruka, a young woman in the motorcross sport, she seems tough on the outside but struggles with a secret. She lives in a sharehouse that keeps expanding in terms of number of people living in it. Originally shared between Ruka and Eri. Soon Takeru, a bartender cum hairstylist joined along with Ogurin, a man who works at the airport who found himself out of place when his wife brought another man back to the home they used to share. When Michiru found the abuse from Sousuke to be unbearable, escaped into this sharehouse.

Soon the six young adults found their lives to be intertwined with conflicts and struggles as each strive to find their own happiness and place on earth.


Spoilers alert!

After episode 8, I feel that I can just go ahead and write this entry. The ending is pretty much predictable by now. Ah, this drama has been marketed as a drama that deals with the problems and issues faced by the young adults these days. Domestic violence and homosexuality being the centerpiece of the so-called issues. Family negligence, contradictory personalities being the others.
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I can see why they made Michiru the main character, apart from her level of involvement with most of the issues. She is the most regular one. There's a Michiru in every street corner. Everyone needs to be loved, some more so than the others. Especially when you were deprived of it since childhood. I get her. She clung onto Sousuke despite being abused, why? Because she believed with all her heart that Sousuke loved her despite the abuse, and I think Sousuke did, in all actuality. People express love in twisted ways sometimes. Sousuke just happens to express it wrongly. We will touch on Sousuke in a bit. Michiru found that Eita cared. So she moved on to Eita. Hoping to find love in the pair of caring arms that Eita would willingly offer at anytime, on account of friendship and on behalf of Ruka. Michiru is just love-deprived and needy. It cannot be blamed that she seeks love, but her mistake is that she sought them solely from men.
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Which leads us to Ruka. Ruka isn't really that much of a tough nut to crack. She is confused and has always been confused. According to what Michiru said, she hung out alone in Middle School, her only friend was Michiru. This might explain why Ruka only has feelings for Michiru and not other women. I think its not really that she's gay or anything. She did open up to Takeru a lot, told Takeru things that she never told anyone else. What Ruka might have felt with Takeru should be security. She distrusts men, that's all. What Ruka felt for Michiru must have been by no means sexual. However, she did contemplate on being a transsexual and not for Michiru's sake, really. She decided that when she handed Michiru over to Takeru. I think her career plays a big part in her decision as well. Being a motorcross racer, a career that rarely involves women. She just feels like she wants liberation regarding the gender barrier. In Japan, men are still men and women are still women. The divide is clear.
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Takeru just fears intimacy with women. He is not gay. Imagine if you were bitten by dogs, naturally you would have a lingering fear for dogs. Depending on the intensity of the injury, your level of fear varies. Although it has not been revealed, his sister must have imposed some pretty kinky and perverted sexual 'favours' on him which results in his fear and agony. It takes a lot to drive a man away from sex, because men are sexually driven creatures. Takeru feels for Ruka. He stated that he wasn't sure what the feeling was, but there was something. He cared for Ruka, he took care of Michiru for Ruka. And what he likes about Ruka is probably the fact that Ruka does not offer sexual favours to him. Or he sees himself in Ruka. The two have similarities in the sense that they do not react to the opposite gender the way the majority of the people do. Such issues are still frowned upon in most Asian countries, but I didn't expect it to be such a big deal, especially in Japan where you cannot be sure of the genders of quite a large portion of the entertainers.
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Eri does not believe in everlasting love that accepts all weaknesses and conquers all obstacles. Eri has been disappointed by men. Despite the cheerful shell, Eri is lonely. The drama should place more focus on Eri because her character deserves it. Eri's solitude drove her to be prone to be deceived by men who appear to be loyal and loving. Even in the most wrong and twisted ways. Which was why she succumbed to Ogurin. Her feelings for Ogurin is rather hazy because of all the airtime dedicated to that Michiru and Ruka. ROAR them. I haven't really WATCHED the drama. I browsed them through, to tell you the truth. So I might have missed important bits and pieces. But Eri seems to have something for Ogurin. She was attracted to him because of his loyalty to his wife, he seems to be a good man because of that. But it was that same loyalty that makes it hard for Eri and Ogurin to even have a chance.
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Although Sousuke should come first instead of Ogurin in the hierarchy of character importance, I have decided to save Sousuke for last because of his... distance from the rest. His character is not in the share house. His character is not friends with the rest. Ogurin is your typical wimpy husband. Step all over him like he is a doormat, cheat on him, bring your lover into your house, have sex with your lover on the bed you shared with him. He'll just shut up or walk away. Worst, he will swallow it willingly. But that is what he is good at. Being loyal. Loving. I think he doesn't really see what Eri has for him yet. (up to episode 8.) Which is sad. But Eri is like the popular girl in high school and Ogurin is the Akihabara type. So, he wouldn't have dreamed of it would he?
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Sousuke. The main antagonist. You feel like you get him for one moment, the next, you lost him. His contradiction is driving him crazy, you can see it. He loves yet he abuses. He is cruel yet he saves lives. I believe this to be the result of a wrong method of upbringing. He did run away from home. But I don't think that his situation can be an excuse for his twisted personality because many people have more fucked up lives and did not reduce themselves to a woman-beating loser. Apart from that, there's loneliness in him. Sousuke is just a lonely guy who yearns for companionship but the abusive nature in him prevents him from getting a companion. Its contradictory indeed.

The viewership ratings are picking up gradually, though still not as high as I expected. I think this series generated a lot of internet buzz. I look forward to the ending. Just to solve the big question mark.

Who died and who inseminated Michiru?


The poster. What a pretty blend of colours and symbolism. Everyone has tried to decipher what is that blasted poster trying to convey. I have my own set of interpretation. But since I really haven't focused 100% on an episode since the first episode. Its hard for me to know exactly what it is. I'll try though. Takeru's eyes are the only ones that are open because he seems to be the only one that seems to be clear about the happenings around. He is the one that understands that there is something that Ruka is struggling with yet he doesn't know what it is until he read that letter. He is also clear from the very beginning that he took a liking to Ruka. He is clear about what he wants, what others are suffering from. OR, it could very well mean that he will die in the end. I don't know yet. I'll just watch the ending. xD

The red threads are clear though. In both Chinese and Japanese beliefs, people's relationships and fates are stringed together by red threads. The Chinese believe that there's this old dude with long white beard stringing everyone up or lack thereof. Sousuke is the only one with a black piece of garment on him (in some posters and in the opening), so it might imply that he's the only one with a bit of evil within him OR it could mean that he will die. You know, there are a lot of ways to interpret it but only after the drama ends that we will know for sure.

Further updates will be added to this particular entry and no new entries will be added on this subject matter to prevent repetitiveness.

Update @ 13 June 2008, upon watching episode 10.

Spoilers. Don't read if you don't want em.

NOOOOOOOOO SOUSUKE! Yes, despite him beating up Michiru, Ruka and Takeru mercilessly, I still sympathize him. Because underneath all that cruelty is one insecure, lonely and tormented soul. His loneliness drove him to do fucked up things. But imagine running away from a unhappy family at a young age, having no one to rely on but yourself. The world is a cruel place, sometimes, people just strayed down the wrong path, got a few screws loose. But there's a reason for everything.

Upon realizing that Michiru found greater joy elsewhere, Sousuke realized that his behaviour has caused his lover great pain. People lose their rationality sometimes. It happens. Just that the level of damage done when you lost it is different, in Sousuke's case, its really, really bad. I have to say Sousuke had it worst among the characters. Really. How bad is the inner torment that you take your own life like that? It has got to be pretty bad.

At least Ruka has her family, Takeru is loved and cared by friends, Michiru is loved by everyone, Eri and Ogurin... they belong somewhere, and it is in that share house that they belong. Sousuke is just lonely, and Michiru's departure (though for good reason) just caused him to be even lonelier. Thus he beat people up to take that the beacon of light that he thought will sooth his loneliness back. But then he repented did he not? He realized he was wrong thats why he left like that. He couldn't bear the loneliness anymore and he could no longer hold Michiru back. Sure, the damage he caused cannot be taken back, like his sins. But he loved Michiru, the wrong way, but nevertheless, it was love. Twisted, though.

Sousuke's cruel irrationality was caused by loneliness and eventually caused him loneliness. Its a tragic end to a tragic life. T_T

Michiru leaving the house upon knowing of Ruka's feelings. I know it seems like she is being heartless as Ruka did so much for her. But remember that Ruka did it all without telling her her feelings, she did all that without Michiru telling her to. She did all that willingly. And it was just shock, really. Can't blame Michiru for it. Imagine your best friend (male, female, I don't really care... its not about sexuality that I am arguing right now) told you he/she likes you. And all the while you thought that that person is nice to you on account of friendship. But then you realize that its because of something else, on a certain level, you feel deceived. You know? Its just... they want something else from you, that is why they are so nice. Its just... rather disappointing thats all.

And Ogurin... geez, go back to your wife you spineless wimp.

Updated 21 June 2008, upon watching Episode 11

Yeah... I think I prefer Sousuke more than the others.

What? Bite me. I did dislike him for a while, so its not about being a Nishikido Ryo fan that I feel sorry this character. Its just that you finally see the character come a full round, from being a seemingly psychopathic villain to a character that actually feels, just that he is not good at expression.

Eri is too good for Ogurin's fat protruding ass. Seriously.

The ending is illogical but... its fiction. So, like, whatever. ^^ I guess its good, since Takeru can't have sex but loves Ruka. Ruka likes Takeru but loves Michiru but Michiru doesn't love Ruka the way Ruka loves her. So the three can strike up a relationship whereby they rely on each other like that. Since Michiru did have a crush on Takeru. So I guess, since sex is a no-go this is the furthest they can get.

Oh, yeah, I am ending this post. Its getting boring.

There's an SP and a movie announced. Will do that in another post.

5 Farted :: [Drama] Last Friends

  1. ep 8 is one of the best ever for me. i'm still emo from the last scene. Eita(Takeru) is friggin amazing in that scene together with Juri. Masami somehow seems to be crushed by those two great actors. Up until now, i'm still having this thing against masami's acting, don't know why.

  2. Just to add on; there are also a few read threads wrapped around Michiru's stomach which probably allude to her unborn child. One of those threads lead off to Sousuke, so maybe he's the father?

    Meh. I don't know. I've only seen a few clips of the drama. I just want to find out the ending already!

  3. avieamber:

    err... well i dont think anyone with any good judgment will say that nagasawa can act.


    its not impossible. but i think the thread that went to sousuke is the one from michiru's wrist.

    michiru won't have sex with him anymore anyways. so... wonder if sousuke raped her. dum dum dum. drama.

  4. there was one episode where sousuke seemed to have forced her down the bed, right? but we didn't what that leads to? but yeah, it's most prob Sousuke's baby unless...the writers decide to throw in some surprise elements. anything can happen.

    oh, michiru should just die. haha

  5. Hmmm I love this story so much but I really hated Masami's acting. I dont get it why she is sooo popular..

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