An everyday story of leftwing folk

Saturday, 11 May 2013


This is another one of the Japanese TV dramas I've got from I don't know why I decided to buy this one. The blurb only really refers to episode 1 and doesn't really do the story justice. It must have been the pic of the gorgeous Kaho on the cover.
Hitorishizuka is a kind of shrub, apparently, with small white flowers. But (based on my scant knowledge) I think there might be a sense here of "Shizuka alone" (Shizuka being the name of the protagonist) and also maybe "the quiet one".

Shizuka (Kaho) goes missing after graduating from Junior High and we witness her story obliquely, through a series of murders and untimely deaths that she is implicated in. Over the 6 episodes we build a picture of Shizuka and her motivation. And at the end, she does achieve some kind of redemption. Through love, I guess.

It's a bleak tale, and nobody comes out of it well. There are police who fail to join the dots (wilfully sometimes) and put the organisation before truth. There are petty, cowardly yakuza. Child pornographers and pimps. All human life, as it were.

Kaho puts in a really good performance as Shizuka - I believed in her character's ability to manipulate people to get the results she wanted. She is the only character who appears in all 6 episodes, but she is supported by a whole bunch of really good character actors. I particularly enjoyed Matsushige Yutaka as the vice cop in episodes 3 and 4.

A cracking yarn, and well worth getting hold of if you can.

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