16 June 2015

ようこそ、わが家へ Yōkoso, Wagaya e

Title: ようこそ、わが家へ Yōkoso, Wagaya e
English Title: Welcome to My Family
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2015
Episode: 10
  • 相葉雅紀 Aiba Masaki
  • 沢尻エリカ Sawajiri Erika
  • 有村架純 Arimura Kasumi
  • 南果歩 Minami Kaho
  • 寺尾聰 Terao Akira
  • 高田純次 Takada Junji
  • 佐藤二朗 Sato Jiro
  • 竹中直人 Takenaka Naoto
  • 山口紗弥加 Yamaguchi Sayaka
  • 足立梨花 Adachi Rika
  • 藤井流星 Fujī Ryusei
  • 田中美麗 Tanaka Mirie
  • 堀内敬子 Horiuchi Keiko
  • 眞島秀和 Mashima Hidekazu

嵐 Arashi - 青空の下、キミのとなり Aozora no Shita, Kimi no Tonari (Under the Blue Sky, Next to You)
Kurata Kenta is 29 years old, and he works as a freelance designer. A timid person, he has lived all his life reading other people's expressions and accommodating them, sometimes at his expense. He thinks he's a coward and a loser because he'd rather suffer in silence than confront other people when there are issues.

He still lives with his parents Kurata Taichi and Kurata Keiko, and his younger sister Kurata Nana. Kenta doesn't like that he has become exactly like his father, reluctant to speak up and afraid to get into disputes.

After going through a frustrating day, Kenta admonishes a man for cutting in line while boarding the train and hurting other people. Fellow commuter Kandori Asuka follows Kenta's lead, and tells the rude man to apologize.

Soon after, Kenta's family experiences relentless harassment. He thinks the potential suspect is the man he had berated in the train incident. Kenta enlists Asuka's assistance in identifying the culprit that troubles his family.

Yōkoso, Wagaya e is an interesting drama about a family whose lives have been turned upside down because an unknown person began to continuously harass them by stalking them and by damaging their property.

It seems really scary to go through the experience of being stalked and being harassed by an anonymous person. If I were Kurata Kenta, I'd probably convince my family to move somewhere else, preferably in a safer neighborhood with more security measures in place. I just can't imagine constantly feeling violated in my own home where I'm supposed to feel most comfortable.

Yōkoso, Wagaya e have ordinary but very endearing characters. The Kurata family, composed of Kenta, his father Kurata Taichi, his mother Kurata Keiko, and his younger sister Kurata Nana, are all living honestly and earnestly that you would think there wouldn't be anyone who would resent them or who would want to do them any harm.

But I suppose you can't really help how other people feel about you or think about you. No matter how careful you are that you don't offend people or that you don't cause them any trouble, you may inevitably do so because you really have no control over how they would see you or how they will interpret your words and actions. It is shown in the drama in many ways.

Kenta's father gets in the way of someone at work just because Taichi is trying to do his job properly. Although it's not really Keiko's fault, someone who goes through issues similar to Kenta's mother is irritated that Keiko remains optimistic and cheerful even in troubled times.

A guy likes Nana and she happens to like him back, so it shouldn't really be a problem that they become involved romantically since the guy isn't married to someone and he's not dating anyone else. Even Kandori Asuka, she shouldn't be blamed for not remembering someone she met only once even though that person clearly remembers her.

Even though it wasn't really his intention, I guess you could say that Kenta humiliated someone because he scolded him in public, and Asuka made things worse by telling that person to apologize. But is it really wrong to remind someone that there are social rules to be observed when in public spaces?

Anyway, I found the drama even more compelling because Kenta and Asuka have a very fascinating relationship. After coincidentally meeting at a train station, they became acquaintances and then work colleagues. When Kenta enlisted Asuka's help in investigating the harassment incident with his family, they end up spending a lot of time together.

I didn't really think I'd like it, but on the contrary, I love Yōkoso, Wagaya e! There was really no question if I'll watch it, as I make it a point to watch all the productions that Arashi members are in, but I wasn't expecting that it will become one of my favorites.

ようこそ、わが家へ Yōkoso, Wagaya e