The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

エンジン / Engine

2005 JDorama that stars Kimura Takuya as a washed-up Formula-1 racer who returns from the European circuit and tries his best to start over again with his original team, though that doesn't go quite so well as Kanzaki Jiro would like.

His widowed father now runs an orphanage for kids who are abandoned by their parents, and despite his aloof nature, Jiro uses his own brand of coping with the new members of his family, which happens to go against the grain of the learned positions of the two, opposite aids who work there.

Jiro's adopted father is a kind-hearted man unable to help a darling, two-year-old girl learn how to adjust to her new surroundings as he carries the girl around with the help of a gunny sack strapped to his back.

She was given up by her still-in-high school parents.

There is an adorable kindergarten boy who sits beside Jiro at the large dining table every night - where the only rule of the house is that no one eats unless all are present.

The female aid worker is trying way, too hard to make everyone like her while the male aid has a more stern and completely by-the-book way of dealing with the children.

Neither is able to see beyond their own ideals, and it is Jiro who ends up helping each of them to cope with the loss of their families while also teaching them how to deal with the hand they were given without losing hope of a brighter tomorrow.

There are high school children among them, which leads to hormonal issues that cause the snooty neighbors to come down hard on the 'home'; eventually forcing them to have to go away.

Meanwhile, Jiro is bussing the kids to and from school in a rickety, white van donated by the local church while also working as a mechanic for the racing team he once led to glory.

I know - but, still, it's funny

Coach Ichinose wants Jiro to learn some valuable life lessons before he'll permit the brash racer to don a uniform again, and it takes all of the 11 episodes for Jiro to finally figure out what that most valuable lesson actually is, too.

To be honest, I didn't, quite catch the lesson myself - but that doesn't mean it wasn't implied in the show, just that I may have been momentarily distracted by Kimura-san, I don't know.

The kids were adorable, the story was interesting, and as usual, Kimura-kun knocked it out of the park again with his brilliantly laid-back performance.

He does, finally get to race, and what happens to him made me cry, but I won't spoil the fun for those who have yet to see this wonderful drama.



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