[Drama] Nemureru Mori

Autumn 1998

Episodes: 12

Starring: Nakayama Miho, Kimura Takuya, Nakamura Tooru, Santa Maria Yusuke, Honjo Manami, Jinnai Takanori...
Oba Minako experienced a traumatic incident as a child - her parents and elder sister were killed on a rainy night. She was the only survivor and 15 years has passed since then. As a 17-year-old woman, she was engaged to Hamazaki Kiichiro - an all-around perfect and professionally successful man. One day, as Minako was sorting out her belongings, she came across a stack of letters written to her by a boy who had observed her actions from afar. In the letters, it was also stated that he would be waiting for her in 'their' forest on a date that is two days from the day the letters were rediscovered.
Out of curiousity about her past which she has few recollections of and about the boy who wrote those letters, Minako went on a nostalgic trip to her hometown and into the forest known as Sleeping Forest. There, she waited for him.
Ito Naoki is a young man with an air of mystery about him. He has a girlfriend whom he appears to not care about. He also keeps a scrapbook of news regarding a murder case that happened 15 years ago and even in the present he tries to collect information about the convicted murderer of the case who was released not long ago. He broke up with his current girlfriend, Yuri, with whom he set a limit on their relationship even as they started dating. Four years ago, Naoki told Yuri that they will break up 4 years later, at the end of the summer of 1998 and so, he held true to his words while Yuri took those words jokingly back then. When Yuri pressed on for the reason for their breakup, Naoki said that there was a woman whom he must meet.
The two met in the Sleeping Forest and Naoki seemed to know everything there is to know about Minako over the past 15 years down to the smallest details. In addition to revealing his stalker-like knowledge of Minako's life, he also revealed that cruel happenings will take place in Minako's life in the future. Confused and intimidated, Minako walked away from the forest and tried to go on in her life. Various happenings took place from that day and changed Minako's life as Naoki appeared constantly in Minako's path. Minako began to doubt the few memories she had of her childhood where her family died in a traffic accident - which we were told early in the drama that that might not be case.

I have a love-hate relationship with stories like these. The suspenseful stories that hints at you the truth but slowly. Painfully slow is the progress of the drama, it makes me want to just watch the last episode but I can't, because it would be a half-assed story as I lose interest in all that happened in between.

In episode 3, I got the feeling that the hidden theme of the whole drama might have something to do with hypnosis and the replacement of memories through hypnosis. xD Then in the last few minutes of the episode... it certainly is what I thought it is. But as the drama progressed, it moves away from the replacement of memories plot to a more suspenseful one. The drama pulled me in like almost every KimuTaku drama that I have watched. Even as I thought that I got it figured out, it still pulls me in. I wonder if it is the KimuTaku effect, I wonder if Kimura made the dramas good or were the dramas written great to begin with. Does KimuTaku really have the Midas Touch? xD

This drama is enjoyable in the sense that it invokes many questions in your head upon its commencement. You will continue to pursue it in hopes of having these questions answered. I dared not fast forward a minute of it for fear of missing a vital scene.

I do find it a bit far-fetched when Naoki's father explained the reasons for Naoki to be so fixated on Minako. It just does not make sense that he wants so desperately to protect her from the murderer that he became a stalker for 15 years. Geez, like when I was ten, I don't think about things like that. I'd probably fight my brother for the bar of chocolates or get hit in the face by a football my brother kicked. Yes, me, when I was ten, being forced into the role of a goalkeeper and got hit numerous times on the head because of slow reflexes. xD So it is a bit unbelieveable for me that a kid at that age would decide on a life-changing matter as such. You don't fall in love at ten. xD You have crushes. Boys will pull your hair... that would be their expression of affection. How juvenile. xDD

It just struck me... how natural KimuTaku makes his characters out to be. It all seem so effortless and natural, his roles. Or is it the KimuTaku reputation that is affecting my opinion? I am not sure, but it is a joy to watch all the small expressions and reactions he makes. They are so natural, like the ones you would see when you look at Darwin, your geek neighbour. xD After episode 5, when the entire situation is explained and the mystery of Naoki was... demystified, you can see him change. From a rather threatening existence to a more protective and fragile young man. His hair here is very... Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall. xD And so... bouncy and flowy. xD I wonder what kind of products he used. xD

Kiichiro. When they said he was too good to be true, you knew something was fishy there. He was suspicious throughout the drama. But you are distracted from the suspicion by various other happenings. Yoshiharu mentioned that he wanted to make 'someone' know what hell feels like... he used the word 'aitsu'. I was wondering, what a vague statement he made. The Japanese should start eliminating non-gender-specific third person references because it is NOT helpful. xD Especially for drama-watching. xD I was thinking earlier in the drama that that 'aitsu' might not refer to Minako because she didn't even testify against Yoshiharu. But then halfway through, I thought, maybe he WAS aiming at Minako. It was a rollercoaster ride, this drama.

The background music is a bit too... 90s. I don't like the tune they used to elevate suspense. I find it ridiculous that these two men were willing to do so much for one woman. I know it is a drama, but I am trying to realistically discuss it. xD That is what I do. And if MY memory is used on some dude, I'd point and go "You fake!" xDDD Nasty, I know. xD

15 years after that fateful night that changed Minako's life, her wedding was set. xD Yeah, statute of limitation runs out on her wedding day. Savvy, yet another crime drama with references to the statute of limitations. Like... seriously, is it that popular a law that all dramas with crimes involved should touch on it? But it was a great drama. I loved it. Keeps you at the edge of your seat and curious about various things. The way the mysteries unfold onscreen is brilliant. Your questions will not be answered all at once but slowly and as one question is answered, another is asked. So many mysteries balled into 11 episodes. Definitely not a waste of time to watch. The big one will fall on you on the last episode. The ending left little to your imagination, though the final bit was a bit... WTF?! Oh well.

Reitings: 4/5 (xD Yes... Reitings. Not how good it is, but how much I like it. xDDD xD ratings made by me. Reitings. xD)


0 Farted :: [Drama] Nemureru Mori

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