As strange as this 2002 Japanese drama turned out to be, I still found it captivating enough to watch clean through and not go to bed until after midnight.
Lately, a lot of the stuff Yamapi-kun has starred is has begun to show up in the 'what people are watching' category at aznv.tv, and I can never resist checking out the choices to see if it might be something I'd want to watch as well.
As long as Yamashita Tomohisa is starring, I really care less about the content, and with Long Love Letter, I was both startled and spellbound for the duration of this eleven-episode acid trip that took us on a strange journey through the mind of a handsome teacher at a crossroads in his young, adult life.
He is Kubozuka Yosuke as Asami Akio, a guy who graduates from college and runs into this woman, Tokiwa Takako as Misaki Yuka, and they strike up this semi-interesting conversation at an open-air coffee shop where she poses this '...what if' type question that makes Akio think.
...and think he does.
But, we're not, entirely privy to that notion at the start.
See, what we know is that the two exchange numbers, he sits on a bench that night thinking about her, and a tranny sits beside him, offering him a bag of sweet potato chips.
When the tranny walks away, Akio realizes he's been robbed and now has no way of getting in touch with the pretty woman again - and since they just met, he hasn't memorized her number.
A year passes and he is now teaching at a local high school - quantum physics for dummies, I think - when the girl, who works at her father's flower shop, goes to the school to collect money from a crazy-bitch teacher in lust with one of her students (Yamapi-kun's Otomo Tadashi).
Boy and girl meet again, and the lack of proper communication ensues with him not being able to explain the circumstances surrounding his inability to get in touch with her, and her sticking up her nose while insisting she cares less and never, once gave him a second thought after that day anyhow.
So, he follows her to the flower shop, they talk for awhile, and then he leaves.
She has to return to the school to try and collect the money wack-bitch teacher owes for the flowers she sent to Tadashi, and as she is leaving, she turns to Akio and begins to tell him that she tried calling him several times the night they first met when suddenly there is this earthquake of sorts.
It's an off-day at the school, with only a few students there to take tests, serve detention time, etc., which means the staff is rather light that day as well.
The dude who played King, the G-dog gang leader from Ikebukuro Westgate Park, is asking if she is alright, and she is staring in shock at a vast wasteland directly outside the school gates.
It and they have sunk into the abyss of the earth, leaving a massive hole in the center of the town.
From there, things got really strange, and for eleven episodes, you're left to wonder what the hell really happened, WHY, and how in the world they're supposed to survive, or if they will ever return to reality again.
Whoever wrote this one has a vivid, if not morbid sense of reality, and believe it or not, it ISN'T based on a manga, either!
It's science-fiction meets romance meets wtf thriller all rolled into one, giant cliff-hanger complete with 'yea, right' moments, tear-jerking scenes, and a few annoying situations when you have to wonder why the writer would take license at all.
Like I said - Yamapi and Kubozuka together were why I chose to watch this, particular drama, and despite the weirded-out storyline and 'lecture' commentary on global warming, I was captivated by this, and I hope you will be, too.