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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

流星の絆 / Ryusei no Kizuna

Ties of Shooting Stars

This was a two-fer in that Kazunari Ninomiya AND Nishikido Ryo star in this 10-episode, 2008 JDorama about three siblings who sneak out of the house late at night in order to watch the Leonid meteor shower (despite the pouring rain and their father's stern warning to forget about it and go to bed), and when they return home, they discover the brutal slaying of their parents.

Of course, the three are sent off to an orphanage, but at least they remain together, and because Nino's Ariake Koichiis is the eldest, it is his responsibility to look after his younger siblings, who all vow to one day find and kill the perpetrator.

Fourteen years later, and when the statute is about to run out on the murder case (not that way in the States), Koichiis, his younger brother, Taisuke (Ryo), and their little sister, Shizuna (Erika Toda), have already set in motion their attempt to find the culprit and have him slain.

Koichiis works at a diner, Taisuke at a video rental place, and Shizuna in an office until the unreasonable harrassment by a senpai forces her to quit.

She wants revenge on the office manager, and with the help of her brothers, they manage to swindle him, which came a bit, too easy, so they start to swindle others who had swindled the sister.

All the while they continue to work the case of their murdered parents when, after more than fourteen years, and with the expiration date fast-approaching, the siblings have little, if any, confidence in the investigator in charge since that fateful night long ago.

What I picked up on and appreciated was the writer's sensibility in that he/she allowed us to see the adults through the eyes of or at least from the perspective of the Ariake children, who still believe what they perceived to be the truth without the benefit of growing up in understanding and knowledge of their parents true nature.

Also, there was plenty of great, Japanese food in this one - though they did regard the dish as Western fare (hashed meat, curry stew, or Shichūkarē).

An added bonus (for me) was that Kaname Jun also starred as Togami Yukinari, a rich kid whose father owns several, Western-style restaurants but Yuki-chan is in search of the perfect Shichūkarē recipe for the restaurant he is soon to be in charge of once opening day arrives.

Yuki-kun also falls for the little sister, whom he invites to the restaurant and serves her a curry rice dish based on a recipe he found among his father's personal belongings - and when she tastes the dish, it brings tears to her eyes, reminding her of the dish her late father used to prepare in a tiny but popular Western-fare restaurant he ran before his untimely death.

Turns out that Yukinari's father had a falling-out with Ariake-san, who loved to gamble and usually ordered take-out from Togami-san's food stall up the street.

Ariake told Togami that his food was awful, and that he had no right preparing Shichūkarē if he wasn't going to do it right.

All roads seem to lead toward Togami-san as the killer, which devastates poor Yuki-kun and completely confuses Shizuna, but the two brothers are determined to find out the truth and take their revenge.

There is a plot-twist at the end that I didn't see coming despite a few warning signs along the way, which always makes me very happy - when the writer can stump me.

If you haven't already, I recommend you give Ryusei no Kizuna a try - I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did.


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