24 June 2013

空飛ぶ広報室 Soratobu Kōhōshitsu

Title: 空飛ぶ広報室 Soratobu Kōhōshitsu
English Title:
  • Public Affairs Office in the Sky
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
Episode: 11
  • 新垣結衣 Aragaki Yui
  • 綾野剛 Ayano Go
  • 柴田恭兵 Shibata Kyohei
  • 要潤 Kaname Jun
  • 高橋努 Takahashi Tsutomu
  • ムロツヨシ Muro Tsuyoshi
  • 桐山漣 Kiriyama Renn
  • 桐谷健太 Kiritani Kenta

Inaba Rika used to be a news reporter but because of her aggressiveness and carelessness, she lost her dream job. When she was sued at work, her superiors demoted her to an assistant director position at a variety program. Extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with her current work, Rika is always looking for a scoop that will take her back to her dream job.

Rika is assigned to produce the 'men and women in uniform' feature for the variety program and her first task is to get in touch with the Public Relations Department of the Air Self-Defense Force. The department head Sagisaka Masashi appoints First Leutenant Sorai Daisuke as her contact person in the department.

Daisuke was on his way to become an elite fighter pilot but a tragic traffic accident halted his pursuit of his dream of flying. Stripped of his pilot license, he is transferred to the Public Relations Department of the Air Self-Defense Force.

In a nutshell, I suppose you could say Soratobu Kōhōshitsu is about failure. The lead characters fail to achieve their dreams due to unforeseen circumstances. What is good about the drama is its matter-of-fact tone in accepting the inevitable so you don't really see the characters wallow too much in their misery. I also like its hopeful view that people can still find new dreams to pursue.

Inaba Rika: With any job; with a job you wanted to do or a job you didn't, if you confront it head on and do it seriously, I think that you will be able to gain something from it. There will be many things that will not go as you wanted. No matter how hard you try, there are things that will not work out. Even if you have a dream, it might happen that it will not get fulfilled. It is sad but this happens. But no matter how many times you fail, or even if you cannot become something you want to become... your life is not over there and then. You can start over from wherever you want.

I find most characters in the drama endearing but my favorite character by far is Sagisaka Masashi, the head of the Public Relations Department of the Air Self-Defense Force. His lines in the drama are really points to ponder.

Sagisaka Masashi: What do you think life is?... I think life is about encounters.

Sagisaka Masashi: Don't just hold everything in. You can't keep everything pent up inside... Of course it is alright to be angry, but don't snap. Because you are in the right, all the more you should not raise your voice. Do not attack others with your anger.

Sagisaka Masashi: To not put in effort to make others understand us and to expect others to understand, that would be too selfish.

I really like discussion about the slogans of the different sections of Japan's Self-Defense Force, as well as the interpretation of a news reporter about those slogans. I think it's interesting that the drama points out how the leaders of each section of the Self-Defense Force truly lives up to the slogan or motto for his respective section. I do wonder though, if the leaders are naturally like that as individuals, or they unconsciously became like that because of their work environment. Perhaps, it's a little bit of both?!

Katayama Kazunori: There is a slogan for each section of the Self-Defense Force that represents the predisposition for them. For the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, it is "be thoroughly prepared" (in other words, inflexible). For the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, it is "uphold traditions" (in other words, self-conceited). And for us, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, it is "having dauntless courage" (in other words, incoherent). 
Higa Tetsuhiro: The one that came up with these slogans is supposedly a reporter that came to the Ministry of Defense more than 10 years ago.
Katayama Kazunori: And the slogan for the press is "lack of learning or ability" (in other words, obvious idiot).

I did not find the drama particularly interesting based on the available synopsis and I don't think my synopsis is any better at making this drama fascinating or intriguing. Nonetheless, please do check it out if you can as I think it is one of the rare gems in the drama world.

空飛ぶ広報室 Soratobu Kōhōshitsu