Move through Fantasy and Reality while watching Asian Drama!
Description: Adapted from Keiko Suenobu's manga "LIFE," this drama delves into the dark side of high school life. The story focuses mainly on bullying, but the manga also touches on subjects such as self-mutilation, suicide, and rape. Kitano Kii stars as Ayumu Shiiba, one of the students bullied by a group of classmates led by Ayumu's former friend, Manami Anzai (Fukuda Saki).
Bullying won't stop anytime soon...
LIFE is based on a manga of the same name. It’s a really good story about a high school girl’s mental and physical battles with bullying at her school. It’s a very serious drama and probably not meant of those who don’t like these kind of dark dramas. But I really really recommend LIFE to people because I thought it did a great portrayal of how bullying affects everyone involved, not just the victim and the bully. It also touches on touchy subjects such as suicide, depression, sexual harassment, how people tend to turn a blind eye in bullying situations, and the responsibilities of the teachers and parents.
On the news, with kids committing suicide because of bullying at school, the issue has become bigger within the last decades and people have to open their eyes to this problem before more kids result to killing themselves. I, myself, was a victim of bullying when I was younger so I can kind of relate to a few of the main character’s situation (such as the feeling of fear and helplessness). Even though some bullying situations in the drama seem too over-the-top, who knows…a lot of things we think are impossible are indeed possible and might’ve happened to other bullying victims before.
For the casts performances, Kitano Kii did an excellent job in enduring such a role where she’s getting pushed and slapped and thrown with water. Seeing the main protagonist, Ayumu, being bullied to such an extent made me angry. I wanted to jump right into the screen and kicked the hell out of Manami and all of the other bullies. Even when Ayumu broke down crying, I actually cried with her too. I guess seeing everything that she have endured makes you feel as if you are feeling her pain as well.
Fukada Saki plays the bully Anzai Manami. She did an AWESOME job. I hated her to an extent where I just couldn’t take her anymore, but of course, I continued watching. Even though I hated Anzai so much, at the end, I actually sympathize her when she broke down. I thought that scene was so beautifully well done by Saki because I actually cried for the b*tch. And oh, she won supporting actress for her role here.
The acting by the rest of the casts were great. The only thing I didn’t really like was Hosoda Yoshiko’s facial expression. I think he might have overexaggerated his evil look to the point where I just thought "Ew, uglyyyy!".
The music in here is awesome! I love their instrumentals. They came in at the right moment and creates the mood necessary at the moment. Mika Nakashima’s LIFE is just so beautiful (preferably the ballad version). The lyrics are so beautiful and fitting for the drama.
So, if you want to watch something serious for a change, LIFE is definitely the drama. It’s fast pace and you can actually learn a thing or two or more from it. The ending may be a hit or miss for you, but I thought they did a great closure. Bullying doesn’t just conform to kids and teenagers. Like in the drama, even adults are bullied in their workplace. It gives us a realistic view that bullying won’t stop anytime soon if majority of society doesn’t try to change..