10 January 2010

最後の約束 Saigo no Yakusoku

Title: 最後の約束 Saigo no Yakusoku
English Title: The Last Promise
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2010
Episode: 01
  • 大野智 Ohno Satoshi
  • 櫻井翔 Sakurai Shō
  • 相葉雅紀 Aiba Masaki
  • 二宮和也 Ninomiya Kazunari
  • 松本潤 Matsumoto Jun
  • 黒木メイサ Kuroki Meisa
  • 北村有起哉 Kitamura Yukiya
  • 大塚寧々Otsuka Nene
  • 小堺一機 Kosakai Kazuki
  • 藤木直人 Fujiki Naohito
  • 津川雅彦 Tsugawa Masahiko

嵐 Arashi - 空高 Sora Takaku (High in the Sky)
Mashihiko Satoru is a professional cleaner who cleans office buildings. Goto Nozomu works by delivering packages. Tomizawa Yukio is a life insurance agent. Tanada Akira manages a coffee shop inside an office building. Yamagiwa Shoji is part of the security department that manages the building's security measures.

These five individuals, together with numerous other people, happen to be inside an office building that was hijacked by some terrorists.

It's been a while since all of Arashi members acted together; they did a drama together when they debuted around 1999 and they did a movie together in 2007. So Saigo no Yakusoku is a long-awaited project of most, if not all, of their fans.

I really like seeing Arashi members act together in a production. They've worked together doing concerts and variety shows but I feel it's different when they have to act together because they have characters to portray and it must be awkward sometimes. 

The characters in the drama seem to be patterned loosely on the image of the member playing that role. The characters are different from the actors but these characters have mannerisms or traits that are quite similar.

Aiba Masaki's image is that of a cheerful person and a natural airhead. His character Tanada Akira works in a coffee shop who talks about random things with random people and gets orders mixed up.

Ninomiya Kazunari's image is that of a tsukkomi, someone who is sarcastic and berates other people. His character Yamagiwa Shoji seems to be the kind of person who looks happy when he spots other people's mistakes.

Of course, these similarities are not something people know about, especially if they are not familiar with Arashi. And I don't really watch the drama looking for certain similarities and differences between the actors and their characters. I just notice these things sometimes.

Although the five main characters initially seems to have nothing to do with each other, they are actually more closely related than they let on. They are actually the masterminds behind the hijacking of the building, in order to exact revenge against the person responsible for the death of their dear friend and teammate Kida Tomonari, whom they call Igīta.

I like how the characters had a definite plan about how they would go about with the hijacking but each character deviated from it, which further complicated matters. It's true that although we make plans, things don't always go according to plan and we have to deal with the issues as we go on.

Tanada Akira: The five of us promised that no matter how troublesome it may be, we will travel the path that we believe in.

We'll always encounter problems with whichever path we choose but we need to push through anyway. I mean, if things get difficult, it is not enough of a reason to give up.

I especially like the ending where the five main characters are talking about what they should do next. I think these lines are not only just for their characters, but also for Arashi members as part of Arashi, and of course, for their personal lives.
Yamagiwa Shoji: But ten years from now, what do you think we'll be doing?
Mashiko Satoru: I don't know but... we have no choice but to move forward.
Tanada Akira: Let's do that. Let's do that!
Goto Nozomu: Now what?
Tomizawa Yukio: In our own way, right?
Mashiko Satoru: Let's go.

最後の約束 Saigo no Yakusoku