Thursday, May 9, 2013

JDrama Review: Ryusei no Kizuna

The Gist: The Ariake children watch their lives crumble when they sneak out for star gazing, only to return home to murdered parents. The oldest, Koichi (Ninomiya Kazunari) spearheads a promise with his brother Taisuke (Nishikado Ryo) and his sister Shizuna (Toda Erika) to take revenge on their parents killer. The promise is almost forgotten as the kids grow, but as young adults, they come back together as the statute of limitations on the murders is almost at hand. Trying to work around the detective on the case, Kashiwabara Yasutaka (Miura Tomokazu), the siblings uncover new evidence that brings them closer than ever before to getting their revenge.

Toda Erika and Nino are obviously both incredibly famous and well-known actors – I’d consider Nishikado slightly less (maybe that’s just my personal opinion) – so I feel somewhat dumb applauding their choice in actors, but I was incredibly impressed with the performances from all the siblings. Nino obviously isn’t a stranger to emotional performances, cue Letters from Iwo Jima, but his dedication really sold this show. Toda Erika and Nishikado supply fabulous supporting roles, clearly delving past the light drama performances in their past for something heavy. Their bond as family was easily believable, making their chemistry a key part of the success of the show.
2.The Ending

**SPOILERS** Seriously, if you haven’t watched the show, stop it. Obviously the great climax of this story is the big reveal, who did it? My brain tried to figure it out with our characters, but the story did a great job of diverting me to where it wanted me to go. So, it’s the detective. How about that? It’s not a fly by night murder, but perpetrated by someone who’s been so entrenched in the kids’ lives. The one person who seemed to be on their side is the killer! The emotional confrontation between Koichi and him gave me chills. Amazing performances on both sides closed out this show perfectly.
3. Short

I think it would have killed me if this show dragged on (har har). Luckily, the show is just long enough to set the scene, jump through its paces, and close out the mystery. I think ten episodes were enough for me to be invested without being bored.
1.Togami Yukinari

Played by Kaname Jun, the most I can say about this character is that he was OK. I kind of wish he was a bit more developed and came across surprisingly one note for how complex the story was trying to make him. Also, I think his chemistry with Shizuna wasn’t good enough to really make the scenes with the two of them terribly entertaining.
2. Bit of a Stretch

Ok, I’m not going to spoil anything major, but with crime mysteries like this, it gets to be a little bit annoying when things come too easily. Like, if some evidence is still somewhere, unmoved for 10 years, that seems kind of farfetched for me. Also, when the siblings decide to act and deceive people to solve things, that gets to be a bit obnoxious because I don’t think people would really do that.  STILL, if you can ignore that, the end is worth the moments you can’t believe.
Now while I said this was just the right length, the show did still find some time to throw in things you didn’t really care about. I think it’s to the show’s credit that the main plot is so interesting, that it’s frustrating to get bogged down by anything else. This is a really minor problem though, as I said, because the show is so short.

So… this show is totally different from my usual fare. I really watched it when I was getting into Arashi because Nino was in it. He gave a stellar performance, but the show itself is generally just good. The characters and actors married well and the plot was captivating. Any complaints I had were minor, even if the show was a bit heavy, I mean it’s about murder. Over all, surprised by how much I liked it.
Final Grade: A-


  1. i loved this drama. I was bit skeptical abt it since i am not so found of the revenge theme. However, this drama is not so much so abt that. The acting by the leads are really good. I loved Nishikido Ryo in this. There is bit of comic here and there, thought one might think its a serious drama... which worked for me
    i give this drama 9/10 :)

    1. I'm always curious how people feel about shows that are much different from what they normally watch. Sometimes, it pays to branch out :)