15 March 2008

タイガー&ドラゴン Tiger & Dragon

  • タイガー&ドラゴン Taiga & Doragon (Tiger & Dragon)
  • タイガーアンドドラゴン Taiga an Doragon (Tiger and Dragon)
English Title: Tiger & Dragon
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2005
Episode: 01
  • 長瀬智也 Nagase Tomoya
  • 岡田准一 Okada Junichi
  • 伊東美咲 Ito Misaki
  • 西田敏行 Nishida Toshiyuki
  • 塚本高史 Tsukamoto Takashi
  • 阿部サダヲAbe Sadao
  • 蒼井優 Aoi Yu
  • 笑福亭鶴瓶 Shōfukutei Tsurube
  • 宅間孝行 Takuma Takayuki
  • 銀粉蝶 Gin Pun Chō
  • 春風亭昇太 Shunputei Shota
  • 星野源 Hoshino Gen
  • 深水元基 Fukami Motoki
  • 浅利陽介 Asari Yosuke
  • 桐谷健太 Kiritani Kenta
  • 荒川良々 Arakawa Yoshiyoshi

Yamazaki Kotora, more popularly known as Toraji, is a yakuza who goes after people to collect debts. Toraji trains his boss' son to become a yakuza, collecting debts from people and beating other gangsters up. One of the people he has to collect debts from is a rakugo performer.

Rakugo is a traditional form of Japanese comedy with an impressive 400 years history. Yanaka Ryuji is a talented rakugo performer who wants to leave the old-fashioned world of rakugo for good. Ryuji owns a clothing store financed by his father's debts so that he can do what he wants to do with his life.

Shortly afterwards these two very different characters happen to cross paths through a girl named Megumi and that's when all the real trouble starts igniting...

I did not expect to like Tiger & Dragon because I found the synopsis I've read about the drama only slightly interesting. I don't even think the synopsis I've written captures the drama's essence and conveys the drama's themes. There are some dramas that I have enjoyed watching although I initially thought that it will not be interesting based on its published synopsis, so I gave the drama the benefit of the doubt.

I have read reviews about the drama which stated that Tiger & Dragon is one of the best dramas ever and I have to say that I quite agree. I like how all the characters are related and how there are various story lines intertwined but the story flow was well-planned and the execution was well-presented.

I did not know about rakugo before I watched the drama so it was certainly educational to learn about traditional storytellers and the classic stories that they tell. I think it's great that stories of the past are given present adaptations in the drama, through the characters and their lives, because it shows that although times may have changed, some things remain the same.

One of the drama's themes is how a person's profession defines him; most people are categorized based on what they do for a living. Although our work defines us to a certain extent, I like to think that we are more than our work or profession. However, although we did not really choose our profession, we have no other choice but to own this profession and do our best in this profession, whether we love it or not.

タイガー&ドラゴン Tiger & Dragon (2005)

タイガー&ドラゴン Tiger & Dragon