Japanese Drama: Long Vacation

I was a bum for two months now and I am losing every ounce of hope I managed to muster for a time. And in rough times like this, I always drown myself in series that I can relate to; a series that will make me feel alive even for a short while. Guess what, I found it in a 23 year-old drama.

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I am actually remembering how I came across with this drama considering it’s a really old drama. It aired 1996 and Kimura Takuya’s youthfulness in here makes me even harder to resist.

Okay. I give up. I really can’t remember how I found out this drama. My initial impression upon watching the first episode is nostalgia. The resolution of the video itself will make you know that it’s an old drama. The scene started with a lady in a traditional japanese gown running on the streets of Japan, seemingly hurried, worried and pissed of for an unknown reason that is yet to be revealed. Later, we found out that she went to an apartment looking for her supposedly husband because their wedding is on that day and few minutes before the ceremony starts, her husband doesn’t arrive yet. What she saw is a different, confused man, not sure what was happening as he just woke up by a loud knock on the door. And this, my folks, is where the riot and blooming love starts.

Our main gal is Hayama Minami, a 31-year old woman who was left off by her fiance before their wedding ceremony starts. She is a model but after the incident, and because of her age as well, she is struggling to get new gigs as a model. She’s broke because she invest most of her money for the wedding and for her fiance. She decided to live in her fiance’s old apartment together with his roommate, Sena Hidetoshi.  Sena is a 24-year old piano instructor for kids who aims to won in a big piano competition. His life begins to changed when Minami started living in his apartment.

My most favorite scene in this drama is at the end of Episode 2, where Sena explains to Minami that they are in a long vacation which is also the title of this drama. He said that amidst the struggles they are in right now, better things are coming even if they won’t do anything. That they are in a long vacation and soon it will end; something new will arise.

WOW. Those words got sucked into my heart as if I am the one being comforted by Sena and not Minami. I am always engaged in a drama that speaks to the very depth of my soul and I feel like Long Vacation reflects the season of my life right now. I see myself in some parts of Minami or Sena or even in the supporting characters. Everyone is struggling; everyone wants to be in the light. Here’s the conversation of Sena and Minami in the ending scene of Episode 2, which resonates in me:

Sena: There’s no spotlight on the supporting role. The cameras don’t even go after the supporting role. What rigid rules.

Minami: The movie?

Sena: No, life.

Minami: When will it be my turn? What am I doing? I played panchiko all day.

Sena: Why don’t you think of it this way? It’s a long vacation. 

Minami: Long Vacation?

Sena: There’s no reason to rush. There are times where no matter what you do, it doesn’t work out. No matter what you do, it’s no good. At times like that, it may sound strange but.. Why don’t you think it’s a vacation from God? Don’t force yourself. Don’t rush. Don’t try hard. Just let everything to take is natural course. 

Minami: Then?

Sena:  Things will improve.

Minami: Really?

Sena: Probably…

Minami: Probably…

I felt the comfort and ease on a very personal level. I empathize with the characters, knowing the pain, worry and frustration that feels like a domino effect. The feeling that no matter how hard you try, nothing good is coming out of the situation. Maybe that’s why I can relate – because I am currently experiencing it right now. Somehow, this words of Sena gave me hope. It gave me an assurance that soon everything will fall in its proper place; and that I just have to believe that things will improve, no matter how blurry it seems in the present.

This is the series that mirrors mine; and I am happy I stumbled upon this drama.

Romance

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If we talk about their individual characters, both actors managed to make their roles come to life. Tomoko Yamaguchi as the badass, sassy lady Minami is a character I hoped I could be in the future. Sure, she has flaws but I saw growth in her throughout the course of the drama. She’s a strong, free-spirited woman but with emotional baggages too.

I liked how meek, cool and reserved Sena is which is also wonderfully portrayed by Kimura Takuya. You could say I am hypnotized by the “Kimutaku Charm”. I don’t usually watch jdramas but his charisma on-screen is really evident.

I like their rapport as a couple, and their chemistry both as their characters and actors sizzle on-screen. I like that even though this is an old drama, it’s not a statue kissing. Overall, I can’t say anything bad with their romance. Everything is fast-paced, there are no unnecessary scenes or heavy conflicts. They also have nice rapport with the supporting characters.

More than the romance, I am merely drawn with their journey while they are on long vacation. I feel sad when Sena decided to give up playing piano because nothing good is coming out of it. I also like it when he went back to his passion because there is one person who believes in him and wants to hear him playing piano. Of course, that person is Minami.

There are areas of this drama that might seem cliche already because we can see a lot of this used in romcom dramas. But to be honest, I don’t have problems with it. I still found this drama light, enjoyable and feel-good. Something you can watch whatever emotions you’re in – whether happy or lonely.

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I would highly recommend this jdorama. If you could see pass its oldness then you are in for a good ride. I am actually writing an entry about this drama because it’s been eating me up for days now. I am just so addicted. When I wake up, I would remember the characters. In my idle moments, I would see some scenes in my mind. Whenever I feel like this way in the dramas that I watched, I just have the need to write about it so I can release the love I have for the drama. And for me to go through my life as well, I have to let go and realized that I’m not living in their world. I have my own and I have to deal with it too. Wow, that’s a severe post-withdrawal symptom I got there.

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And so this is it. As hard as it may seem, Show, I have to let go of you now. You will always have a place in my heart. The impact you made in my drama-watching is so severe but in a good way. Someday, I would also like to experience seeing the end of this long vacation that I’m in right now. Yes, I am in a long vacation; and soon, everything will be alright. Everything will be good again.

Oh, did I also mentioned how La la la love song plays in my mind the entire time? 🙂

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Wallow Wednesdays V

Here I am again, with a tinge of hope sparkling as new days lies ahead. I’ve been wanting to  experience life to the fullest because for the last years I kept on controlling myself to achieve new heights, to discover that there are things that is worth celebrating and achieving even thought the world is full of mess. I hope this sense of urgency to live and love life won’t die any soon, because whenever I have this great feeling I always end up being down and weary on the following weeks.

Come fast, November, because I am willing to try another cabin crew recruitment at this local airline. I feel like this is the reason why I live, and every situation and knowledge that I have right now is because this is what I ought to do. I am born to serve while flying around to different places. I am born to be in the different parts of the world and discover more about culture and life than staying in the four corners of my room. I am born to be free, to be the captain of my own ship, to determine my happiness and to love myself. I am at my peak. I am discovering and unraveling more of myself better.

I realized that I don’t need anyone to be my friend. I don’t need the approval of everyone. Slowly I am on my way of not giving a fuck of what everyone thinks of me. I am a certified people-pleaser and I don’t want to form arguments and fights with anyone or everyone. I am almost there. Just few more steps and hurdles; a little bit of practice then and there. Surely, I’m gonna master it.

I feel like I’m into taking the ladder of making my career successful. Right now, I’m not into focusing myself on finding a lover unlike other people in my age. If there will be, then fine but if there’s none, then it’s better as well. I don’t wanna rely my happiness to anyone. I want to be a whole person and I’m not yet ready to give half of it to someone else.

Books

I seriously want to read a book right now. I’m eyeing to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman but I can’t buy a copy because I’m broke. It seems like I just want to read Neil Gaiman’s novels  for now. I have a huge respect to this writer. Though I have to admit, American Gods wasn’t the right Neil Gaiman book for me. Nevertheless, I still felt its heart and soul. I felt emotions. And that’s what I like whenever I read a book or even watch series. More than the actions and the gripping scenes, more than its cinematography (which is a big plus point, still), I am more attracted to the story and how it builds up towards the end. I love seeing different characters and discovering their similarities with mine. I love finding out that we have the same dilemma and I love how they conquer everything that conflict throws away.

For some reason, more than the travelling stuff, I want to be more incline with arts now like watching a film and a theater play. I’ve been looking for someone for so many years to just engage in a very meaningful conversation and just talked about our thoughts when it comes to those film and plays we’ve watched. I’m gonna be lucky if that person watch K-dramas as well. Haha! I want to have someone like girlfriday of Dramabeans and just talked about it over some drinks. More than the satisfaction and entertaining factor, I want to talk about the story, characters and even plot holes. I want to talk about what was really good and what went wrong, its upside and downside. I just badly want someone whom I can talk with when it comes to this stuff ‘coz I’m really a fan of these type of art and entertainment.

New Perspective

Let me discover the good things in life one step at a time. Let me discover its rotten and ugly side too. Let me feel. Let me be happy and angry and sad. Let me hope. Let it spark alive. Let me live.

Life: Change

There’s this unexplainable feeling in my chest that I can’t specify into words. All I know is that I want my life to change. I want to explore the world, to meet new people, to learn about life, to widen horizons. I want a total change in my life. A change of habit. A change of lifestyle. The problem is.. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to meet new people. It’s awkward for me to start a conversation with someone. I don’t know how to make friends with anyone. I’m not just a Miss Congeniality type of person. I’m used to having a small circle of friends. I don’t like large crowd especially if I’m not close to this crowd. There’s another problem.. How will I explore the world if I’m afraid to be alone? This one is kind of confusing. I want to be alone but the thought of travelling alone makes me like a scaredy cat. I just can’t.. And that’s a problem. I don’t know how.. I don’t know why I can’t do it.

I’m afraid to get out of my comfort zone. That is the main problem. I want change but I can’t even get out of my zone and risk. I always feel like I’m an independent woman when in reality I can’t even go to the dentist alone. You see what I mean? I feel like I don’t have the capacity to change my lifestyle if I won’t risk getting out of my shell, which I think, will really be hard. I know that I should do this on my own but I hope I have someone who will help me with all of this. I am just tired of being this kind of woman who can’t even go out and enjoy and just be laid back with life.

I just hope that before this year ends. I can start changing this life. I am really hoping for a new beginning. I hope that before 2017 starts, there will be a start of something new in my life. Something that I never knew will happen. Something that I never imagine before. Something new. Something grandiose. Something different.

When hope arises, that is the beginning right? Of something wonderful and extraordinary? I can’t wait to reach that part of my life.

Since no one will be cheering me, might as well cheer myself.

Cheers to me, who won’t kill the hope that someday, everything will fall into place.

Cheers to me, who’s craving for a life that is beautiful.

Cheers to me, who can’t wait but be amazed in the world that there is, or there will be.

Cheers to me, who’s been lurking around for four days, haven’t done something productive, but still hoping that someday a fantasy will turn into reality.

And even the hope is slowly dying, I will still lit it up and will stay positive that this life of mine will change.

For more adventures and beyond!