quandary wrote:The writers of this are really heavy handed with the discrimination aspect, but that can be forgiven if they don't beat it to death. What I don't like is they've made Vito a blubbering ball of protoplasm. No one who's survived street gang membership and jail time would be like that, he would have been eaten alive. They've written the character so weak and stupid that I'm having a hard time sympathizing with him. For example, he observes a celebrity buying drugs and is shocked into insensibility. Is there anyone left in the world that would be surprised by that, given that we see it on the news nearly every day? The acting performances, OTOH, are first rate, given what they have to work with, so I'll stick with it for a while.
First, this TBS dorama is getting on my nerves. It's total BS. I can't believe that a Japanese person actually wrote this dorama. Has he lived in a bubble or warped world all this time? Japan is nothing like what's being portrayed by this dorama. If I were Japanese, I'd be even more pissed. If anything, the family that the protagonist lives with is more representative of how Japanese people really are. Japanese people don't hate foreigners. They don't go around labeling people as Filipino or Chinese or Vietnamese in a negative tone. It's the freaking liberal, western-minded media who are taking things out of context. So those who've never immersed themselves in Japanese society shouldn't assume anything or accept stories as fact without proper experience.
The police is portrayed as hasty, overbearing and brutal in episode one, which is somewhat true - and especially of major crime units that deal with yakuza and drugs - but not only to foreigners. I personally know that they mistreat Japanese the same way they mistreat anyone else. My Japanese brother-in-law is a sommelier and late one night while walking home after work at a restaurant in Ginza a gang of guys who were up to no good bumped into him to try and extort some money, not knowing that he learned boxing during high school. He resisted and a fight broke out. Witnesses of the incidence and ensuing melee called the police. When the police arrived, they arrested and threw everyone into jail. During the interrogation, my brother-in-law was physically abused and accused of being a yakuza without hearing all sides of the story. Long story short: If they think you are a criminal, they will treat you like one regardless of your background. So what they are doing to Vito is not protocol but an elaborate and failed attempt by the screenwriter to get his message of false hate across. They're verbally abusive and wrong, but they're not targeting any specific race. They just want to prosecute the culprit/perpetrator; Vito happens to be half-Filipino. And considering his past, a gang member - be it voluntarily or forced - and not just some innocent poor kid, you can't blame them. So the reality of racism is being distorted by the screenwriter.
Second, M. Jun's character is too annoying. He has an inferiority complex and thinks the world is against him while he is surrounded by such caring people. I can't sympathize with that train of thought. We'll learn more of his past and get to see more self-inflicted injustices as the story progresses, I am sure. But you don't run away from the police no matter how much distrust you have in the system and especially if you are falsely accused. There are injustices but Japan is a democracy. The truth (of the first case), in the end, will be revealed (in episode 2). As quandary pointed out, portraying Vito as a weak and pathetic person is not gonna get people's empathy or sympathy. If anything, there'll be backlash and no one will watch this show. We'll have to watch the entire dorama to see how the story pans out, but the approach so far is subjective and not constructive at all. It's beyond surreal that it's becoming anticlimactic after only two episodes.
Third, A. Yui is way too cute in this dorama. However, her character's temporary muteness is kinda frustrating. Vito helped her before that's why she's gravitating towards him. I think the little girl whose backpack he retrieves is Hana, wearing pony tails then and now. The normal Vito matches fine with her, but not the self-pitiful one.
Fourth, Kazuma probably is a half-breed like Vito. Kazuma took the low road; whereas, Vito took the high road. The screenwriter is probably trying to contrast between the "proper and accepted" half-breed versus the mischievous and troubled one.
Lastly, after two episodes I have mix feelings. On the one hand, I want to rate this dorama an F for the failed effort to address Japan's immigration policies in an underhanded way. On the other hand, without all the overblown race issues this dorama is pretty appealing. The story based on race is already exaggerated and I think having M. Jun plays this character is making it looks even more unrealistic. He just doesn't fit the frail and feeble-minded role or as leading man. I guess that's the annoying part. It's like I am watching Kimi wa Petto all over. I know it's the stories but having two attractive female co-stars and Jun as the leading man is just...laughable.
BTW, please don't post multiple screen caps or scans. It's gonna turn into soompi 2.0, which is extremely annoying.