[Discussion] Atami no Sousakan (Odagiri Joe)

Discuss Japanese drama series here.
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Reira_pl
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Postby Reira_pl » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:40 pm

clakaz wrote:The japanese internet is surely flooding with theories about Atami no Sousakan.

Can you translate, quote them, I don't know Japanese so it's hard to me to understand and I am really curious about the interpretations of the ending.

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Postby xaxa » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:56 pm

just finished. wow, simply WOW! what a great drama!

as for the ending...
[spoiler]I think 2 stands for 2nd season)) there's just so many unanswered questions, that continuation is necessary[/spoiler]

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Postby clakaz » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:33 pm

[spoiler]

The meaning of “2”

- Off course, there are people wishing for a second season.
- Like Hoshisaki stated, could be the fact that there are two culprits for the bus disappearence (Shinonome and Hirasaka/Kazeyama).
- But the most discussed meaning is more on the philosophical approach. The dual nature of existence. Or more specifically: the existence of two worlds: this world and the beyond, life and death. The “line” so repeated during the series is, off course, the line between this two worlds.

About South Atami.

South Atami City is a special place, it seems. But what kind of place? The theory is that South Atami is where this “line” is placed, in between, so his inhabitants are made of living people and dead people (though unnaware). Other theory is that the entire city is made of dead people unknow of their condition so they are in an eternal limbo (Eternal Forest). When they found the “true” (that they are already dead) is when they can finally proceed and go back to the life/death cycle (or go to the heaven, d’accord with other’s beliefs).
All of this don’t explain all the actions and just give the background to the history.
The people found a lot of hints during the episodes to justify the theories. Example.
- The plate number of the bus is 4392, which the japanese think can be read as “Yomi no Kuni” (the world after death, the Hades). The plate of Hoshizaki/Kitajima car is 7292, or “Nakatsu Kuni” (The middle world, or the present, normal world).

Thats all I can write for now, since I’m neither english or japanese procifient.

[/spoiler]

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Postby popoycanton » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:50 am

This is the most likely theory of all.

[spoiler] its the matrix :) [/spoiler]

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Postby Reira_pl » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:18 am

clakaz thank you so much for these explanations. I agree with life/death explanation, I think I will re-watch the series to search for more clues, however the ones that you've written are to sophisticated for me to find. I don't know Japanese that well.

[spoiler]I wonder if Hoshizaki came back...? I think no, since Kitajima dreamed about his disappearance. [/spoiler]

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Postby Mirokujin » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:46 pm

best drama in the summer season!!

can't believe I almost missed it><

ep 8 was so great!! Now the whole drama is just too awesome for word~

might come and talk more later
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Postby justpeachy » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:32 pm

Loved this drama. It was fun, quirky, interesting, and oh so retro. :D The characters were unique and entertaining, especially the investigators/cops. I really, really didn't want this drama to end. But again, another drama this season ended with unanswered questions.

[spoiler]I didn't like the end becase I didn't want Hoshizaki to leave Kitajima. Her last scene with her watching him run away and hoping he'd come was was heartbreaking. :cry:

So does this mean Hoshizaki's dead? Why did he want to follow Shinonome so badly? What is she anyway? Was she a spirit or a Shinigami helping people cross over, or something? And what was up with that hospital scene with the 3 girls chatting and then them being shown still unconcious. Was that their 'spirits' chatting or something? I shoud've paid more close attention to the drama. The bad guy is apparently fine and just killed? the nurse. I don't like that he'll get away. I also hope the '2' could mean a 2nd season so we'd know what the '2' really means and have the bad guy gets what he deserves.

One thing they didn't explain that bothered me was when Hoshizaki yelled at Kitajima about going off and doing stuff by herself because something could happen to her like Mokoto(name?). Isn't that the person who he always talks to on the phone; their boss or something? When he said that, I got a really weird feeling, but they didn't elaborate.

I got way too attached to these characters. :wink: [/spoiler]

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Postby «minah» » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:17 pm

popoycanton wrote:This is the most likely theory of all.

[spoiler] its the matrix :) [/spoiler]


[spoiler]Lol omg I was thinking that. But the old lady "oracle" didn't smoke cancer sticks all day though.[/spoiler]
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Postby Mirokujin » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:25 pm

justpeachy wrote:Loved this drama. It was fun, quirky, interesting, and oh so retro. :D The characters were unique and entertaining, especially the investigators/cops. I really, really didn't want this drama to end. But again, another drama this season ended with unanswered questions.

[spoiler]I didn't like the end becase I didn't want Hoshizaki to leave Kitajima. Her last scene with her watching him run away and hoping he'd come was was heartbreaking. :cry:

So does this mean Hoshizaki's dead? Why did he want to follow Shinonome so badly? What is she anyway? Was she a spirit or a Shinigami helping people cross over, or something? And what was up with that hospital scene with the 3 girls chatting and then them being shown still unconcious. Was that their 'spirits' chatting or something? I shoud've paid more close attention to the drama. The bad guy is apparently fine and just killed? the nurse. I don't like that he'll get away. I also hope the '2' could mean a 2nd season so we'd know what the '2' really means and have the bad guy gets what he deserves.

One thing they didn't explain that bothered me was when Hoshizaki yelled at Kitajima about going off and doing stuff by herself because something could happen to her like Mokoto(name?). Isn't that the person who he always talks to on the phone; their boss or something? When he said that, I got a really weird feeling, but they didn't elaborate.

I got way too attached to these characters. :wink: [/spoiler]


based on what Ive read last night

[spoiler] I believe Kitajima is one of those who committed suicide, so she belongs to South Atami which is a zone inbetween live and dead. She's probably the nurse on the floor in the end when the environmentalist woke up. Remember the school teacher? Hoshizaki asked her if she commited suicide before... Also remember the lady who runs the potery club? She has scars on her wrists. Also the lady working in the Cafe who said she's bored but couldn't leave...maybe the hotel owner as well. All these are people who came to South Atami after they commited suicide and will forever be there.

The biggest mystery in this drama is stated by the title of Gauguin's painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? South Atami is a world in between, not heaven not hell not human world either. Hoshizaki and us went through 8 episodes to get it.


South Atami residents can be

# people who commited suicide, such as the school teacher the lady in Cafe and Kitajima
# people who live like vege in the human world, such as the environmentalist.
# people who died from various reasons. (one interesting thing is...they have the opposite memory of the reality. When they say a girl is the only one survived from an aircrash...it actually means she's the only one died).

The big case in Tokyo mentioned by Hoshizaki and kitajima probably killed many police officers, including Hoshizaki's female boss. Hoshizaki's probably not dead but dying...maybe he's under surgery in the human world now, so he still has the chance to go back (kitajima was afraid that Hoshizaki would leave her alone was probably because she felt she couldn't leave South Atami but Hishizaki could...kitajima never managed to get through her phone call to Hoshizaki might mean...they were not in the same "world")

Obviously most of South Atami residents don't know they are dead. However there are a few who do know where are they. For example, the four girls, the bus driver, the witch, possibly the mayor as well (who doesn't behave like a mayor but he always says South Atami has its own balance and doesn't want outsiders to dig in too much) .

Hoshizaki said the whole city was trying to cover the case and prevent it to be solved. Yeah...because the residents of South Atami knew there's something untouchable behind the disappeared bus. Something they refused to know/face--they are dead.

There's a mystery between kitajima and the environmentalist...it'll be interesting to know their relation in real life. Also we don't know where the bus goes in the end, heaven, hell or the human world? [/spoiler]
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Postby Mirokujin » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:17 am

now I think hoshizaki

[spoiler]probably has died for long...because in the last episode when he's smoking, he said he smokes once every year, which means in real life his friends/family visit his grave once every year~[/spoiler]
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Postby lollercopter » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:02 am

I think this show was immensely promising at first, but the various plot threads didn't end up connecting in a coherent way, with some of them being seemingly forgotten along the way, and the final scene just came completely out of left field and didn't answer anything.

Also, the part where Kitajima fights the villain was some of the most cringe-inducing television I've seen in a while.
[spoiler]Kitajima stops to look at her phone, which doesn't just distract her but reveals her position and ruins her night vision. Or it would have if Kitajima and what's-his-name adjusted to the darkness like real people. They also don't hear each other well, even though under those circumstances you would hear the slightest movement. Then Kitajima places her gun on the table and... I have no idea what she's doing. Then Hoshizaki busts in and instantly shoots what's-his-name without even knowing what's going on. The whole scene is an affront to common sense. Also, what's up with what's-his-name escaping by killing one nurse? Obviously he would have guards watching him at all times.[/spoiler]

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Postby hey9 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:10 am

What the hell just happened lol...and reading the theories you guys have put up, maybe I will have to rewatch this one to see if I can pick up on some things I never noticed before. I think this is one of the best dramas in terms of building up tension - the show didn't necessarily have a lot of "boom" moments, but it still kept me holding my breath.
[spoiler]I was kind of hoping for a second season, there was a nice X-Files/Trick feeling to the show. Quirky but not overbearing in its weirdness (at least for me). A really lovely soundtrack, too. Great sets, great atmosphere, great characters.

I still have so many questions. What was up with that fish Hoshizaki killed at the end? What was stage 2 of the religious cult? Why did Kitajima freak out and start bawling when she found Hoshizaki? I like the theory Mirokujin put up. My brain hurts now haha.[/spoiler]

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Postby «minah» » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:38 am

@lollercopter

[spoiler]
Well she was trying to open up the window since she knew someone ( uh... Odagiri's character) was most likely out there. But I guess it was pretty amateurish to leave her gun there. The theories are interesting. I can't believe all of them because some don't add up. Like the bus driver is dies,,, but everyone can't already be dead if you actually show someone dead in the river. Though he is shown again at the end of the last eppy. I think he was taking them to the other side.... or something. And I think that's where those girls were at. I think they were actually up and talked about it where mentally on the other side because they were "dead" or something. But went back to laying down when she came in? I dunno... But I have a strong feeling there will be a season 2. There's too many things that just don't make sense. Like it sucks to make a series and it ends with more questions than barely at least one answer. But I can see this as a reoccurring series though with many episodes. It's very unique. I honestly don't feel like re-downloading it again because I hate when my hard drive gets lower and lower... but maybe in a month or so I might re-watch it. But not now though (I hate re-watching a show I JUST watched lol) [/spoiler]
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Postby Mirokujin » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:38 am

lollercopter wrote:I think this show was immensely promising at first, but the various plot threads didn't end up connecting in a coherent way, with some of them being seemingly forgotten along the way, and the final scene just came completely out of left field and didn't answer anything.

[spoiler] the scene with the nurse on the floor is probably a scene of the real life. The guy lost his concience in South Atami after Hoshizaki shot him, so his woke up in real life where he was put as vege in hospital. The nurse on floor is probably kitajima in real life.[/spoiler]
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Postby Mirokujin » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:51 am

I think stage2

[spoiler]might mean Mr.2 will direct the cult members to cross the line...[/spoiler]
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Postby ersby » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:59 am

Good, er, detective work, clakaz. That makes things clearer. My take on things:

[spoiler]Wouldn't it makes more sense if South Atami was a place where the lving and dead mix? If everyone there was dead, then why does anything die? Such that the coach driver begins the series alive, dies halfway through and comes back. Maybe that what Kitajima means when she says "Don't leave me behind", ie, her in the living world and he in the afterlife.[/spoiler]

Hmm, I may go and watch episode one again to look for clues...

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Postby justpeachy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:48 am

Mirokujin wrote:based on what Ive read last night

[spoiler] I believe Kitajima is one of those who committed suicide, so she belongs to South Atami which is a zone inbetween live and dead. She's probably the nurse on the floor in the end when the environmentalist woke up. Remember the school teacher? Hoshizaki asked her if she commited suicide before... Also remember the lady who runs the potery club? She has scars on her wrists. Also the lady working in the Cafe who said she's bored but couldn't leave...maybe the hotel owner as well. All these are people who came to South Atami after they commited suicide and will forever be there.

The biggest mystery in this drama is stated by the title of Gauguin's painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? South Atami is a world in between, not heaven not hell not human world either. Hoshizaki and us went through 8 episodes to get it.


South Atami residents can be

# people who commited suicide, such as the school teacher the lady in Cafe and Kitajima
# people who live like vege in the human world, such as the environmentalist.
# people who died from various reasons. (one interesting thing is...they have the opposite memory of the reality. When they say a girl is the only one survived from an aircrash...it actually means she's the only one died).

The big case in Tokyo mentioned by Hoshizaki and kitajima probably killed many police officers, including Hoshizaki's female boss. Hoshizaki's probably not dead but dying...maybe he's under surgery in the human world now, so he still has the chance to go back (kitajima was afraid that Hoshizaki would leave her alone was probably because she felt she couldn't leave South Atami but Hishizaki could...kitajima never managed to get through her phone call to Hoshizaki might mean...they were not in the same "world")

Obviously most of South Atami residents don't know they are dead. However there are a few who do know where are they. For example, the four girls, the bus driver, the witch, possibly the mayor as well (who doesn't behave like a mayor but he always says South Atami has its own balance and doesn't want outsiders to dig in too much) .

Hoshizaki said the whole city was trying to cover the case and prevent it to be solved. Yeah...because the residents of South Atami knew there's something untouchable behind the disappeared bus. Something they refused to know/face--they are dead.

There's a mystery between kitajima and the environmentalist...it'll be interesting to know their relation in real life. Also we don't know where the bus goes in the end, heaven, hell or the human world? [/spoiler]


Thanks Mirokujin and everyone for explaining everything. I'm not very good with interpretations and tend to take everything literally. For most of the drama, I thought it was just your normal crime show that's trying to solve a long unsolved mystery. :doh: "I'm so useless." lol.

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Postby Reira_pl » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:24 pm

Mirokujin wrote:[spoiler] the scene with the nurse on the floor is probably a scene of the real life. The guy lost his concience in South Atami after Hoshizaki shot him, so his woke up in real life where he was put as vege in hospital. The nurse on floor is probably kitajima in real life.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]Why do you think Kitajima is the nurse? Shouldn't she be WAID agent or police officer? What was her relation with Hoshizaki than?

I would like to think that Hosizaki returned to real life as a reward that he figured it all out, but I'm not sure.[/spoiler]

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Postby lollercopter » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:49 pm

If you're going to speculate, base it on available evidence. Don't just make things up at random.

[spoiler]In the first episode Hoshizaki says that the town's problems are a result of two worlds that aren't mixing. This would seem to be some kind of reference to the world of the living and the dead. What's maybe even more puzzling is that he says "it came to me a short time ago when we went through that tunnel," to which Kitajima has a strange reaction, as if the tunnel was important and foreshadowing something. I also wonder why Kitajima only notices General Mouse when they're almost at Atami. She should have done so as soon as they left Tokyo. It's almost as if they just appeared near Atami, possibly in the tunnel Hoshizaki was referring to.[/spoiler]

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Postby captbanana » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:30 pm

Any word on a second season? anyone know what the ratings were like?

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Postby mint-tea » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:20 pm

Thanks everyone for sharing ideas! That helped a lot ^^
I was surprised to know that Atami is a real city in Shizuoka Prefecture...

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Postby Reira_pl » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:23 pm

captbanana wrote:Any word on a second season? anyone know what the ratings were like?

The ratings was average. You can check them on soompi

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Postby «minah» » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:47 pm

Interesting how this thread picks up after the series ended. Makes me happy because it was a good series ^_^
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Postby Mirokujin » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:18 pm

Reira_pl wrote:[spoiler]Why do you think Kitajima is the nurse? Shouldn't she be WAID agent or police officer? What was her relation with Hoshizaki than?

I would like to think that Hosizaki returned to real life as a reward that he figured it all out, but I'm not sure.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]that's just one popular theory. Another theory is Kitajima is probably a fictional character created by Hoshizaki who couldn't get over the death of his female boss/his lover. However it seems that Kitajima is real and she has a mysterous relation with the Kazemiya guy...the last lines she said to him might have connection to what happened in real life. The big case in Tokyo Kitajima and Hoshizaki mentioned a lot probably was a case also involved Kazemiya guy~

It seems that ppl who enter South Atami lose part of their memories and have some twisted memory instead[/spoiler]

the rating is average for a mid-night drama. The first a few episodes were kinda slow and random which might have driven some audience away. I think this drama is going to be a cult drama and will have a success in dvd sale.
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Postby captbanana » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:11 pm

«minah» Anything by Satoshi Miki is good

Thanks for the info Reira_pl the ratings don't look overly great, I hear people are saying there's a lot of buzz on the internet on J sites about it, lets hope it was relatively cheap to make and / or dvd sales are good, if that happens I think there will be a new season *crosses fingers*

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Postby ecco27 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:53 am

I'm sure there were some things about the end that went completely over my head and there were a lot of questions that I felt went unanswered but I really don't see where there could be a second season. The end felt like an end to me.

I'm sooo confused about the ending though! One thing off of the top of my head, the population of the school... so many girls and just 2 boys (ahh look there's 2 again!) it seemed odd to me and now it seems even odder. I wonder if that could be connected to any theories in any way? :scratch:

Also how about the detective who came and went (hah I forget his name), when I look back on it without him Atami (or the world or whatever) would have felt really closed off, like it was hard to freely come and go but he did. So where does he fit in?

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Postby prestoli » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:57 am

I just finished the finale and... wow. I really loved this series. The writing and direction were excellent. It was so well-acted and visually interesting, they really crafted every scene.

The end really threw me. Thank you to all who posted theories - it makes more sense to me now!

I got the feeling the end was the end and there won't be a second season. And I agree this will likely be a cult and DVD hit.

I love this writer/director's work so hopefully he'll come up with another unique series.

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Postby jegiwong » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:06 am

StatelessRich wrote:The similarities between this and Twin Peaks are endless.

Odagiri/Cooper
The local police force
The powerful man with connections to the mob and a secret brothel
The daughter of the powerful man who investigates the brothel and is attracted to the investigator
The weird locals
The scenes in a diner
The one survivor girl who awakens from a coma

As a big fan of Twin Peaks I'm very much liking the Japanese take on it :)

Did anyone else notice Shinonome walking toward the front of the bus when we see the girls in the window? I think she was being manipulated by someone to drive the bus.

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to put spoiler tags around anything... this is my very first post D:


I've watched so many series this season. This is the one that I downloaded for quite some time and only watched it yesterday. Good thing I don't miss this one. It is my favorite among all summer series.. I find it with David Lynch "feel", esp. Twin Peak. I add one more similarity. Cooper like to talk to the voice recorder for the progress of the case, while Odagiri talk to the boss over the phone (but you never hear the voice of the boss).

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Postby chokubi » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:45 pm

One thing I like about this show is the tongue-in-cheek approach of how the pseudo-world was made. Part of that was the extensive (and sometimes slightly humorous) use of "number puns".
Like the number plates of the school bus and Hoshizaki's car, pretty much every significant number that belonged to something or someone had been specifically selected as a "label" to it.
Here are others I found:

South Atami Police's land-rover [5963] - "gokurosan" means "thank you for your efforts".
This one reflected how the three at South Atami helped our two leads with their investigation.

The nature conservation group's van [4649] - "yoroshiku" is used as a gesture when seeking cooperation with others.
So this one probably indicated their relationship with the district office.

Mayor's car [1188] - "iipapa" which means a good father.

Amount of money left inside the masked attacker's wallet from ep4 [¥1564] - "hitogoroshi" = murderer.

Hoshizaki's police badge serial number [4652] - "yorokobu" means "to be delighted".
This one was probably to describe his perpetual smiley face.

Kitajima's police badge serial number [4821] - I couldn't find other people's interpretation on this so I'm guessing that it could probably translate to "yohani" or "your honey". :P

Display outside South Atami Police Station [24689] - This figure has a description indicating the number of days since a traffic accident had occured.
Which goes to show that the town probably had "frozen in time" since 67 years ago. I guess this one explains the attire and fashion of the townsfolk, as well as some other stuffs.


Another thing I like about this drama is how the context of the visuals and dialogues are "camouflaged" prior to knowing that the underlying theme has an unorthodox take on life beyond the physical consciousness, requiring a second viewing.
Sasuga Miki Satoshi.

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Postby clakaz » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:40 pm

chokubi wrote:Display outside South Atami Police Station [24689] - This figure has a description indicating the number of days since a traffic accident had occured.
Which goes to show that the town probably had "frozen in time" since 67 years ago. I guess this one explains the attire and fashion of the townsfolk, as well as some other stuffs.


Oh, some people have stated that are some indications in the last episode that the actual investigations take time in 2013, so the bus incident ocurr in 2010, our current time. In other words, actually the city doesn't have traffic accidents since around 1945.
:idea: ???

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Postby chokubi » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:05 am

clakaz wrote:Oh, some people have stated that are some indications in the last episode that the actual investigations take time in 2013, so the bus incident ocurr in 2010, our current time. In other words, actually the city doesn't have traffic accidents since around 1945.
:idea: ???

Yes, I agree too. A clear evidence of this is the date displayed on the camera monitors during the gunfight scene. Hence why I used quotation marks when I said "frozen in time" cos I didn't mean it in the literal sense.

The part about being traffic accident-free for so long isn't logically possible. It adds to the supernatural element of the town.

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Postby melampo » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:38 am

clakaz wrote:The plate of Hoshizaki/Kitajima car is 7292, or “Nakatsu Kuni” (The middle world, or the present, normal world)


Maybe the plate means "Nani Kuni" as if the question is "Which land/world is this?".

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Postby Romance » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:12 am

Awesome drama! Didnt get all of it though :lol

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my very favourite

Postby rootabega » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:41 am

I can't praise this inventive dorama enough. I tried the Trick series after viewing this, and I loved it, but this show will always be at the top for me. My mind and senses have seldom been so fully engaged watching television - what a treat for a cinephile like myself.

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Postby huss » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:16 am

what was the name of the music piece and its composer that kept playing throughout the series (i think)?
it was even mentioned by the characters in the last episode

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Postby antspace » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:22 pm

It's Gnossienne nr.1 by Erik Satie. All of the music in this series is so good. All of this series is so good : ) The soundtrack contains the piano version and also the saxophone version. I believe it's still for sale at cdjapan. At least that's where I bought it.

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Postby dauntlas » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:55 am

Just finished watching the last episode (from the US)--Awesome. I've just started watching jdramas and don't have the advatages of being able to pick up all the Japanese cultural, religious and mythological (?) references, but I am a big fan of similar American works like Mulholland Drive (which I think is the standard), Lost, Twin Peaks, and try to see an old american Western TV movie called Purgatory. Anyway, I wanted to throw a couple of things out there while still fresh in my mind (sorry if these were mentioned here or elsewhere... I've just begun to look for theories-I'm disappointed I couldn't join discussions earlier.):
[spoiler]
1- I think everyone in Atami is in essence Purgatory or limbo where both the dead and the near-dead (coma) can reside. Its a state of flux. Leaving Atami (Moving on) means going to heaven, hell or waking up. The dead are waiting to be judged./Coma people are waiting to wake up or to die. Either way they are all waiting for "STAGE 2". (waking up is a 2nd chance/life).
a) That is why Shinonome can speak to the 3 girls in one scene and the girls be "sleeping" on another.

b) similarly, Motoko, Hoshizaki ex-parter, can speak to him "from the other side" through the wireless. (dead motoko speaking to "half-dead" Hoshizaki)... Also I noted Hoshizaki saying to Kitajima "Do you want to end up like Motoko..."

c) The mayor's daughter is looking for attention. She left Atami to make a "movie" and when she came back she asks herself if "anyone cared about her movie". The "movie" is her real life. Maybe she tried to commit suicide and either is waiting to figure things out in purgatory or is in a coma-like limbo.

d) Hirasaka was trying to figure out a way out of dying. Ultimately he was judged and went to HELL. He woke up alone (given the dead nurse who he apparently killed) in an enclosure. If I remember my theology classes correctly, being alone for eternity is the definition for HELL.

e) The soothsayer left a note that she's figured out (after Mai told her) what 2 is (moving on) and that she left. THAT IS HER REVELATION (very LOST-like, if you know what I mean ;-))She hopes Hoshizaki will be able to move on.

f) when Hoshizaki realizes that Mai was an accomplice (theoretically in trying to figure out a way out of Atami/limbo/Purgatory). THIS IS HIS REVELATION and he gets to move on. (whether he was already dead or in a coma doesn't really matter).

One thing that does not exactly fit into my specific theory is what the Inn Keeper said to Kitajima... "Next time don't come for work, come to stay..." does that mean come back to purgatory, or does it mean come back to the after life when you are ready... I hope its the latter. Or maybe it means nothing.

Anyway, if you actually read all this and can shoot holes in the theory, please do. I'd like to know what these 8 hours were about! Again, am viewing this as a westerner with a Catholic upbringing's understanding of the afterlife (but hey, it was largely set in a Catholic/christian scool!) Also, I am reliant on another fan's subtitles (with all due respect to the obvious hard work he/she/they put into it).[/spoiler]

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Postby Gir » Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:37 am

I just watched this one too, and really enjoyed it.
A second season could be nice (if done right) for some expansion on the story.
I'm very bad with names and faces, but I still can't believe I didn't realize that that was Chiaki Kuriyama until I was looking up info on the show after I watched it. I think she looked different in this show then before, and it's only been 5 years since Azumi 2, I wouldn't have thought I that would make that much difference. Maybe it's just the hair, she pretty much always use to have low bangs.
If you can remain calm while all around you others are panicking... Then you obviously have not adequately assessed the situation.

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Postby quluts » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:03 pm

antspace wrote:It's Gnossienne nr.1 by Erik Satie. All of the music in this series is so good. All of this series is so good : ) The soundtrack contains the piano version and also the saxophone version. I believe it's still for sale at cdjapan. At least that's where I bought it.


"Gnossienne" was a word invented by Satie, who frequented various gnostic sects, which believed that the cosmos was created by an imperfect God. See Wikipedia which will tell you more than you want to know about gnostic religions. Cool, huh?

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Owls

Postby quluts » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:27 pm

One more similarity with Twin Peaks: the owl / TV camera. "The owls are not what they they seem."

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Postby rootabega » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:23 am

Nice catch Quluts.

I am going to chime in with some similarities to the killer funny early 80s TV show called Police Squad, starring the sadly departed Leslie Neilson.

The intro announcer on Police Squad would boldly proclaim the name of each episode while a totally different title flashed up on the screen.
The intro announcer for ANS varied his recital of the show's title from a hoarse whisper to a half-strangled scream, seemingly apropos of nothing.
The gags aren't identical, but the MO is the same.

One of the highlights of watching Police Squad was noticing weird things in the background, such as the posters on the walls. ANS is the same way.

In ANS, the tall potted plant in the police station's meeting room (not the interrogation room) was always smack in the middle of the head of the table. Though it was obviously and completely in the way in several episodes, the characters were brilliant at craning their necks around it and contorting their bodies to narrowly avoid bumping into it, all the while oblivious to its presence. This running gag was definitely reminiscent of Police Squad.

Lastly, just like Police Squad, the more attentively you view Atami no Sousakan, the bigger the payoff. Multiple viewings always reveal things that were missed the first time around. My kinda show.

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The real mystery

Postby quluts » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:53 am

Forget about all this life and death trivia -- what the heck does "ala" mean?

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Postby badcompany » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:07 pm

So glad I watched this, has been a long time since I've enjoyed a dorama.

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SSpiegel
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Postby SSpiegel » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:12 am

This drama has once again proved how stupid I actually am. Honestly, I have zero ability for understanding symbolism. All of you who were actually able to pull such meanings out of this, well, my brain functions are that of an ameba compaired to yours. I'm deeply depressed right. I mean, I really liked it, but it would've been much more interesting if I hadn't taken it too literally. :(
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It's all a game

Postby quluts » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:21 pm

S.Spiegal says,

This drama has once again proved how stupid I actually am. Honestly, I have zero ability for understanding symbolism. All of you who were actually able to pull such meanings out of this, well, my brain functions are that of an amoeba compared to yours. I'm deeply depressed right. I mean, I really liked it, but it would've been much more interesting if I hadn't taken it too literally.

I know you are just making fun of us, but few of us (myself included) noticed all the allusions and symbolism while we were enjoying it. We liked it so much that we are simply prolonging the pleasure by "looking for Easter Eggs" afterwards, as a computer game player would say. No one of us is all that smart (or conceited!); it took all of us combined with the help of Wikipedia to figured out what little bit we have. Plus some of us are codgers, with a lifetime of trivia to draw upon.

Gaijins might assume that references to "Police Squad" or Satie would be too obscure for the Japanese viewer, but American and European culture pervade the Japanese media. They even had "Monty Python" on Japanese TV! (However, they also had a panel on afterwords to try to explain the humor).

This doesn't spoil the underlying mysteries of the series for me, and I hope it doesn't spoil it for you. I can watch it over and over again, and enjoy it more each time.

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Postby dauntlas » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:41 pm

quluts, thanks for reminding me I have to watch this again!

I just started watching J-Dramas and this was the 2nd series I watched, which was great because it has a few similarities to American TV shows current and old and made it more accessible. I was so interested (and entertained) that I have watched a LOT more dramas and have gained a great appreciation for their Japanese uniqueness.

(and I'm not ashamed to say I picked this one because of Chiaki Kuriyama of Kill Bill and BR, though I probably should be). Any way, I've got t set some time to re watch this with Wikipedia open in my browser.

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Re: It's all a game

Postby SSpiegel » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:57 am

quluts wrote:I know you are just making fun of us, but few of us (myself included) noticed all the allusions and symbolism while we were enjoying it.


Yeah, but I wasn't making fun of you. I meant just what I said. I felt so stupid afterwards because I wasn't able to figure out half of what you did. I'm actually going to watch it again with a friend and ask him whether he gets it. If he doesn't, I'll feel much better. I just watched it as a supernatural mystery series without thinking there might be more behind it. It's cool that there was, but it would've been cooler if I figured it out while actually watching.
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Postby tinkerbell » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:36 pm

It seems it went unnoticed here, but there are also several self-references to Zukan ni Nottenai Mushi (The Insects Unlisted in Encyclopedia). It's a 2007 Satoshi Miki movie, in which Yusuke Iseya and Suzuki Matsuo are tracing a mysterious drug that allows one to experience death. It doesn't bear much similarity to Atami atmosphere-wise, as it's basically a stoner road movie with many gags of questionable taste, however in its finale it touches on the same concepts Atami does, and uses similar symbolism.

Possible references and similarities I did take note of include: [spoiler]* a Yes/No Lamp,
* Chupa Chups granny,
* meaningful car plates,
* both take place in summer sea side resorts (Atami in, well, Atami, one not mentioned by name in Insects' finale),
* appearances of well-known paintings (Gaugin in Atami, da Vinci's self-portrait, Mona Lisa and the Last Supper in Insects),
* in both the main characters watch a magic show on stage, performed by someone who holds information they are hoping to obtain,[/spoiler](and likely many others I didn't notice)

But the similarities run deeper (a brief description of movie's ending follows, so proceed at your own discretion)[spoiler]After using deathfix, Yusuke Iseya's character ends up in an Atami-like place, separated from his 'living' comrades and puzzled by their 'disappearance'. He spends a year there, doing some odd jobs. He then learns one of his friends' home address and goes there hoping to find her, only to meet her mother, who was supposed to have drowned 10 years earlier. The woman firmly believes it was her daughter who did in fact drown, not her.

Iseya's character is eventually 'pulled back' to life by his friends (and not a moment too soon, by the way, as he was about to be cremated - time apparently doesn't flow the same way in both worlds), he is however unsure whether he is truly alive or dead. To quote:
(...) the realm of death is the same as our living world. (...) In any case, being alive or being dead are similar. So everything in the world seems less significant. (...) In the end, I don't really know if I'm alive or dead. You know, it doesn't really matter!
[/spoiler]Of course while there is no reason for conclusions drawn from Insects to hold any water in Atami, the connections between them are clear.
See Unsolved Cases for fansub releases.

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rootabega
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I'm baaack..

Postby rootabega » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:30 am

Ah, this great dorama is still generating interesting commentary...
I just watched ANS again, and it was a sheer pleasure from beginning to end. I was in my neighbourhood asian DVD emporium the other day when three young J-males came in. I found out they were crazy about Keizoku (the original, no less). I asked them if they had seen ANS. "Huh, what's that?" I set 'em up in a jiffy. :D

Tinkerbell, I haven't yet seen that Miki film you've mentioned. Amazing what excellent television can be made when it's done by a consummate, skilled artist /auteur rather than the usual hacks the network suits prefer. The same numbskulls that cut the series to eight eps. :cussing:

And I'd just like to add, in case anyone is still reading this :P , that it is far, far better to watch a TV show (or a movie, etc.) and not be able to "get it", than to watch a show where you "get it" right from the start and see the rest of it coming from a mile away.
"Getting it" is super ovverated, IMHO. :-)

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Postby rootabega » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:07 am

Life is good, the creator of Atami no Sousakan is back with a new dorama.

This is what Miki Satoshi accomplished with ANS (quoting from the Urban Dictionary - a great definition, for once):

1. lightning in a bottle
Capturing something powerful and elusive and then being able to hold it and show it to the world.

Performing a rare feat.

A moment of creative brilliance.

Also a movie about BB King and a dorama called Atami no Sousakan. (italics mine :P )


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