Akaishougeki


Reviewed by: sukting

January 02, 2011

Rating: three

How long
30 episodes

Foreword
Do you wish to know why this drama garnered 32.6%, setting a record? This is another drama by Yamaguchi Momoe and Miura Tomozaku after the success of ‘Akai Giwaku'. Many thanks to my neighbour for telling me the details.

Story/Introduction on characters
1. Da Shan You Zi – Yamaguchi Momoe
She is a short distance runner and befriends Xiu Fu at dawn during a training practice. Both fall in love at first sight. Hao Jie kills his business partner 18 years ago and his son, Shi Ye vows revenge. So he is under Xiong Zhuo and Xiu Fu's protection. The man attempts to kill Hao Jie so Xiu Fu and Xiong Zhuo aim their guns at him. Both men do not expect You Zi to run to her father at this moment and Xiu Fu shoots her by mistake. Although she is out of danger, she is paralyzed from waist downwards.

You Zi's grandfather and Ling Dai become ill due to overwork. The old man sprains his back when helping her to her wheelchair while Ling Dai develops pneumonia. You Zi feels remorseful for implicating them. Xiu Fu decides to apply for a month's leave to take care of her. They start looking for an apartment for training but the landlords reject her due to her disability. When they finally find a place, Hao Jie scolds Xiu Fu for being shameless to abduct an innocent girl.

Even though their fathers give them a lot of pressure, they are still firm on staying together. It is New Year day and Ling Dai sends You Zi a kimono. Hao Jie accompanies her and quarrels with Xiu Fu again. You Zi and Xiu Fu go to the temple together to make a wish. You Zi starts to know that Hao Jie isn't a decent businessman as he seems. She knows that she is implicating Xiu Fu.

When he leaves for a while, she accidentally knocks down a candle and the apartment nearly burns with her in it. Luckily, he is back on time. The landlord demands for compensation but both do not have the money. Hao Jie brings You Zi home after paying it. If Xiu Fu wants to see her again, he has to pay him the money.

So Xiu Fu starts working part-time in order to raise the funds.

Xiong Zhuo helps Xiu Fu to pay off the money so that he can return to Tokyo to help You Zi in her physiotherapy. You Zi joins the handicap basketball team and finds the courage that she has in short distance running. She is touched to see how a couple is and works hard in her physiotherapy sessions. Xiu Fu is touched and affirms his love for her.

You Zi applies to get into the sports university but is rejected due to her disability. She is dejected and loses hope. She rekindles her hope when coming to a publishing factory. Xiu Fu comes to bring her home and her family celebrates her 18th birthday with her but it is ruined by Bei Chuan. She becomes the representative to speak on her classmates behalf on her high school graduation ceremony and Ling Dai is proud of her. You Zi hopes to recover soon so that she can tour Hiroshima with Xiu Fu.

But Hao Jie's accidental push causes her back to hurt badly. Feng quickly treats her and her pain reduces. She knows from Hao Jie that there is a metal piece on her spine. A wrong push will cause the wound to worsen or get into a drastic situation. You Zi doesn't wish to affect Xiu Fu's future so she promises Hao Jie that she will part with Xiu Fu. She faints at the beach at Hiroshima when Xiu Fu discovers her.

Her operation is a success and she gains senses in her legs again. She walks with a crutch, asking her coach to reaccept her into the track and field team. Her coach feels that she can't do as well as before and advises her not to be willful. Xiu Fu knows that You Zi is very anxious. He also wants to use his action to make up for his mistake to bring her back to the track.

He also helps to persuade the coach to give her another try. The coach is touched and accepts You Zi. You Zi and Mei Sha Zi have a pact to win Xiu Fu's love through fair means. You Zi learns walking on her own. She thrusts the walking stick aside and walks to Xiu Fu slowly. He is overjoyed and hugs her in his arms. She works very hard to improve herself and tells Xiu Fu that they must get Wen Zi's approval to be blissful. Da Shan's company collapses after Hao Jie's arrest so You Zi worries about her future with Xiu Fu.

The race starts and You Zi is finally back to the track. All come to give her support, including Hao Jie and Wen Zi. She starts well but trips on the way. She is last as she staggers all the way to the finishing line but all cheer for her. She then requests to run around the track with Xiu Fu after the race.

Momoe is young and suitable for gentle, weak roles. Even though her character is similar to Xing Zi in ‘Akai Giwaku', she still shines as the lead and this character is better as she is more cheerful. Moreover, she sings as well as she acts.

2. Da Shan Hao Jie – Nakajo Shizuo
He earns his money through dirty business and hates Xiu Fu to the core for You Zi's mishap. He is determined to send him to jail but You Zi speaks up for him so he is set free. After chasing Ling Dai and You Zi out, he regrets his action and wishes them to move home. On knowing that Hao Jie cheats to get shares, Ling Dai dissuades him from doing so and she will be with him even though he is poor. He is touched but often insults Xiu Fu and his family.

Xiu Fu can't bear with this and both men go to blows. You Zi learns that Hao Jie is not her biological father and goes out to search for him. She is injured in an accident and Hao Jie donates his blood to her. You Zi is very touched but Hao Jie is still very against Xiu Fu to be with her. Xiu Fu saves him when Shi Ye escapes from prison to attack him. He tells Hao Jie the importance of basketball to You Zi.

Shi Ye vows to seek revenge and tells Hao Jie that Xiu Fu is his son. Hao Jie then intends to make Xiu Fu his company successor but he refuses to accept him. Hao Jie then wants to let You Zi marry Xiu Fu but she doesn't want this to tie him down. Shi Ye comes to assassinate Hao Jie again and Xiu Fu chases him. However, Hao Jie deliberately points out the wrong direction and Xiu Fu gets so mad that he hits him.

Hao Jie's evidence is handed to the police and he will be arrested soon. Now he is a bankrupt and comes to his hometown. He visits his ancestors' graves and sighs. Ling Dai and You Zi come and persuade him to surrender. Their love moves him and they bring him home to eat with his other children. Hao Jie intends to end his life at sea but Xiu Fu saves him. He finally faces his past and admits his mistake.

3. Da Shan Zheng Zi
She is You Zi's elder half sibling but has always opposed to Hao Jie's remarrying. Upon knowing that You Zi is going to depend on the wheelchair, she tells Ling Dai about this. She also eyes on Hao Jie's company so she sneers at Ling Dai and You Zi upon knowing that You Zi is not her half-sister. When Hao Jie is sick and is hospitalized, she dreams of marrying Bei Chuan to seize the company. But it comes to nothing when all riches are gained through ill means and Hao Jie's fortune has to be sold to pay off the debts.

Zheng Zi has no means of survival and has to work at a nightclub. Ling Dai and You Zi come to get her to stay with them. Zheng Zi is touched and treats them better.

4. Da Shan Ling Dai
She is a geisha when young and dotes on You Zi. She blames Xiu Fu for the mishap. Hao Jie blames Ling Dai for causing You Zi to defy him and chases her away from home. You Zi comes out to look for her and is caught by Shi Ye instead as a hostage. He throws her at the beach and the tide is rising. Shi Ye demands ransom from Hao Ye but is caught. You Zi is nearly engulfed by the waves but luckily Xiu Fu saves her on time. He promises her that he will never leave her.

Hao Jie threatens to chase Ling Dai away from home again if You Zi still insists to meet Xiu Fu. Thus, You Zi has to tell him not to see her again. But Hao Jie's insistence of an appeal leaves Ling Dai no choice so she returns to her father's home with You Zi. She has to work as a geisha again and Hao Jie humiliates her right in front of his guests but she will not give in.

She moves home later but doesn't wish to see You Zi to be in low spirits. She seeks Jiang Qi's help for a new way, hoping to help her recover. She also presses Xiu Fu to know why he wants to break up with You Zi. She is speechless to know that he is Hao Jie's son. She herself has a secret to keep so she tells You Zi to forget Xiu Fu. You Zi is not Hao Jie's daughter but she chooses not to tell.

5. Da Shan Feng
He is also You Zi's half-sibling and Ling Dai is his stepmother. He also cares a lot for You Zi. He has disliked Hao Jie's despicable way of doing business. Instead of being his successor, he becomes a doctor instead. Feng keeps it from the rest but has to tell his family when he is pressed to do so.

You Zi wants to learn guitar and doesn't wish to miss any lesson – even though it rains. Feng loves You Zi and he gives her a special car. Xiu Fu also teaches her how to drive. Feng nearly freaks out when knowing that You Zi's back injury has worsen and decides to send her back to Tokyo from Hiroshima for treatment. She suddenly feels pain in her stomach on the plane and Feng analyses that her loss of blood causes her blood pressure to be lowered and she needs an urgent blood transfusion.

The pilot plans to land the plane at Osaka. Jiang Qi arrives at Japan from the U.S. and stops this because a sudden stop might worsen her condition. Xiu Fu and Feng manage to find a metal tracking device to replace x-ray machine to find out where the screw on the metal board fixed on You Zi's spine has loosen. Feng has discovered that the screw has gone into her artery to cause her stomach bleeding. Jiang Qi has no choice but to use the wireless phone to guide Feng to carry out the operation. Feng finally finds the screw to remove it to save her life.

6. Xin Tian Xiong Zhuo
He is at loggerheads with Hao Jie 20 over years ago. He has never dreamed of protecting him now but has no choice. He keeps tabs on him in order to get his criminal evidence. After getting some evidence, Xiong Zhuo gets Xiu Fu to handcuff Hao Jie. Despite witnessing this, You Zi doesn't hate Xiu Fu and both are still in love. Even after knowing the truth, Xiu Fu refuses to acknowledge Hao Jie as his father. To him, Xiong Zhuo is his real father so he can't marry her for now.

Xiong Zhuo disappears to hide in Hokkaido. You Zi goes there for track and field training after her recovery and sees him there. She walks with difficulty with the walking stick to look for him. He is working at the bath house. Xiu Fu runs there to meet him and informs that he knows that Shi Ye is the one who sets him up and wishes him to return home with him. Both father and son are having a drink but Xiong Zhuo is shot dead by Shi Ye.

7. Xin Tian Xiu Fu – Miura Tomokazu
Xiu Fu becomes a cop as he wishes to follow his father's footsteps. He has known of the feud between the two men and never dreams that You Zi is Hao Jie's daughter either. He feels very remorseful over his shooting mistake but Hao Jie disallows him to visit You Zi. Thus, they meet secretly through the window. He is puzzled when his parents also oppose to him visiting her.

Upon knowing that You Zi is going to be paralyzed for life, he is burdened with guilt and grief. You Zi doesn't know her fate yet and accepts the wheelchair that Hao Jie gets for her unwillingly. Xiu Fu pushes her out to have a walk. Hao Jie then tells him to leave as he is going to be sued for her paralysis. You Zi then realized that the letter that Hao Jie has gotten her to sign is to sue Xiu Fu and she learns the harsh truth. She nearly wants to kill herself but luckily Ling Dai stops her.

Xiu Fu admits his mistake and is ready to accept any punishment. He pleads with You Zi to fight for her own future with him. His love moves her and gives her hope to go for physiotherapy together. Hao Jie chases him again and You Zi gets scolded as Zheng Zi informs Hao Jie again.

Xiong Zhuo and his superior advises him not to go again as he is the defendant so he has to listen to them. You Zi waits desperately for him to come and is delighted when her toe moves. You Zi defends Xiu Fu in court after that. He is released but Hao Jie is not happy with this, wanting an appeal. Upon knowing that You Zi has moved out, he comes to visit her and both become closer.

Her legs start to have feelings and both become optimistic. To raise money to be with You Zi, he decides to bring You Zi to Osaka as outstation mission. Seeing that nothing can be done, Xiong Zhuo has to tell Xiu Fu that his biological father is Hao Jie and You Zi is his half-sister. Xiu Fu is shattered by the news and goes alone. Upon learning that You Zi is not his sister, he returns to her side. He donates his bone to You Zi, wanting her to recover completely. He has discomfort walking for a while but is delighted to know that her operation is a success.

Xiu Fu is discharged and goes out to look for Xiong Zhuo but he can't find him. Hao Jie commands You Zi to tell Xiu Fu to stop but You Zi doesn't listen to him. Hao Jie chases You Zi and Ling Dai out again. They stay with You Zi's grandfather again. Xiong Zhuo's death makes him hate Hao Jie even more. Hao Jie knows that Xiu Fu will never return to him so he intends to get You Zi home to train her as his successor. His persistence in love never changes even though Mei Sha Zi tries doubly hard to get his attention.

Miura is so dashing then! Unlike the softspoken and slightly weak Guang Fu in ‘Akai Giwaku', Xiu Fu is firm and capable. Till now, I still firmly believe that no one can surpass his standard. Seeing how the onscreen lovers behave give you a sense of warmth as this is how romantic and truthful they are offscreen.

8. Xin Tian Wen Zi
She is Xiu Fu's mother who opposes to Xiu Fu being with You Zi as she is raped by Hao Jie 20 years ago. That is why she and Xiong Zhuo hate Hao Jie so much. Xiu Fu obeys to her for a while as he understands her suffering. What he doesn't know is she has wanted to kill herself upon knowing that she is pregnant with Xiu Fu. Xiong Zhuo rescues her and marries her, bringing Xiu Fu up as his own.

You Zi waits for Xiu Fu to fetch her to Osaka for his outstation mission but he doesn't turn up. Wen Zi tells her that Xiu Fu can never be with a disabled person. This hurts You Zi but she still goes Osaka to look for him. She is jealous upon seeing him close with a rich pastry shop owner's daughter, Mei Sha Zi. Xiu Fu runs after that and tells her that he only has her in his heart. But he can't tell her the truth of him being her elder brother and keeps the sorrow to himself.

Still, Mei Sha Zi overhears Xiu Fu's conversation with Ling Dai and reveals this to You Zi. You Zi is completely dazzled and her wheelchair is stuck on the railway track. She trips down a cliff and her spine is injured. Jiang Qi returns to Japan to save her again.

Xiong Zhuo goes missing after Bei Chuan accuses Xiu Fu of shooting him. Xiu Fu knows that he is being bribed and vows to seek the truth. Wen Zi wants Hao Jie to return Xiong Zhuo to her but the shameless Hao Jie wants her to get Xiu Fu to acknowledge him instead by giving her a sum of money. Pissed off with him, she takes a knife but fails to stab him. Hao Jie then sends her to the police to sue her for assault.

Xiu Fu wants to get Hao Jie's evidence of crime to help Wen Zi. Zheng Zi despises him and Feng doesn't understand why he suddenly agrees to stay with them. Wen Zi begs Xiu Fu to return home but he tells her to bear with it. However, she swallows many sleeping pills and is saved later. She forces him to leave Hao Jie's home and part with You Zi.

Hao Jie brings gifts to her, wanting to bring Xiu Fu back but Wen Zi rejects him and will never allow him to marry You Zi. Hao Jie is aware of this and decides to let Mei Sha Zi marry Xiu Fu to get her pastry company and Xiu Fu. He encourages Mei Sha Zi to take the initiative and also tells You Zi to leave Xiu Fu. He tells her that they tow should part since they can't have a normal married life.

The two argue with one another and Hao Jie pushes her aside, causing her to injure her back. You Zi bears with the pain and leaves home after her high school graduation. She goes to Hiroshima alone and senses that her legs are losing senses again. This makes her sink into further despair and she pushes her wheelchair towards the sea. Xiu Fu gets anxious when she goes missing and comes to Hiroshima. Mei Sha Zi follows him, trying to win his love. You Zi hears Xiu Fu's voice, calling for her. She yearns to go to him but stops upon seeing a healthy and beautiful Mei Sha Zi. However, Xiu Fu's unconditional love moves her later.

Wen Zi still strongly opposes to You Zi to be with Xiu Fu. You Zi tells her that she works hard for his sake. Only her returning to the track will erase his guilt of shooting her completely. You Zi promises her that she will leave Xiu Fu after a race. Hao Jie knows that this is due to him so he requests Wen Zi to let them marry. He is willing to cut off all ties with You Zi. This finally makes her change her mind.

9. Jiang Qi
He is a doctor with excellent skills but is based in the U.S. He saves You Zi from her gunshot wound and when she hurts her spine. He not only helps her to recover her spine injury but also her waist injury from her old wound. By right, she should have recovered but she is still wheelchair bound. He observes her to know that losing Xiu Fu's love depicts losing her courage to live on. Ling Dai has no choice but to tell her that Hao Jie is not her natural father. She still refuses to tell her who her father is.

He returns to Japan after You Zi's condition worsens. He discloses that the best way is to use a human bone to transplant to her spine to replace the metal board that he has fixed for her earlier. Xiu Fu decides to donate his bone despite Wen Zi's protest so Jiang Qi takes it from him. Hao Jie decides to give his fortune to You Zi and Xiu Fu after their marriage when she gets well.

Zheng Zi reveals this to Bei Chuan who gets Shi Ye to stop the transplant operation. Shi Ye injures Jiang Qi's hand so that he can't carry it out. Jiang Qi guides Feng again and the operation is a success. You Zi finds Jiang Qi endearing to her and wonders if he is her biological father. Jiang Qi knows that she is upset over Wen Zi's hostility towards her and gets her to know that life still has to go on.

Hao Jie sees Ling Dai often with Jiang Qi. He demands to know if Jiang Qi is You Zi's father. The news shock all – including Bei Chuan who is hiding aside. Her father is Bei Chuan!

10. Bei Chuan
He is Hao Jie's secretary and protects Hao Jie from danger when Shi Ye tries to kill him. He checks the details to learn that Xiu Fu is indeed Hao Jie's son. So he gangs up with Zheng Zi, wanting to seize Hao Jie's fortune. They bribe Shi Ye to attack Xiong Zhuo and frame Hao Jie for it. Thus, Xiu Fu is more hostile towards Hao Jie. This also affects Xiu Fu's relationship with You Zi.

Hao Jie forces Bei Chuan to admit that he has worked with Shi Ye. Hao Jie sets a trap to get Shi Ye to shoot Bei Chuan but to frame Xiu Fu for it. Bei Chuan gets the money and Xiong Zhuo is troubled when he can't clear Xiu Fu's name. He has to agree to Hao Jie's request – to resign and leave home to never come back. A family is broken up and Wen Zi hates Hao Jie even more. She wants Xiu Fu to clear his name.

Bei Chuan hates Hao Jie even more after knowing that You Zi is his daughter. Jiang Qi has to break the sad news to You Zi. 18 years ago, Jiang Qi is deeply in love with Ling Dai but has to forsake her to further his studies in the U.S. Ling Dai's family goes bankrupt and Bei Chuan consoles her. However, Shi Ye's father also dies due to a bankrupt and Shi Ye becomes Hao Jie's scapegoat to be jailed.

Ling Dai is pregnant with You Zi and has no choice but to marry Hao Jie. Bei Chuan wants to get his daughter back and sets into a competition with Hao Jie. He wants to turn over a new leaf and rejects Zheng Zi's suggestion to seize the company. He apologises to Ling Dai and You Zi, hoping to get their acknowledge. You Zi claims that Hao Jie is still her father but will always contact him.

Hao Jie gets jealous and creates a scene in You Zi's grandfather's place. Xiu Fu has to chase him away. Hao Jie fires Bei Chuan so he steals all evidence against Hao Jie to pass to Ling Dai and You Zi. Both women are shocked by his deeds and try to persuade him to surrender to the police. Shi Ye nearly goes mad after knowing this from Zheng Zi. He seizes the evidence and lies to Hao Jie that You Zi has betrayed him. Hao Jie is bitter that the daughter he has brought up for 18 years has defied him.

Xiu Fu comes to get the evidence but You Zi will only hand it out when Hao Jie surrenders himself. Hao Jie breaks his ties with the two women. He deceives Bei Chuan to hand back the evidence to him but chases him out of the company again. Bei Chuan realises that he is being made use of. He seizes back the evidence after hitting Hao Jie on the head to pass to Xiu Fu. Xiu Fu tells Hao Jie that all is gone and arrests him in the name of Xiong Zhuo.

He wants to entrust everything to Bei Chuan to manage it. Shi Ye comes to want to kill Hao Jie. Bei Chuan protects Hao Jie and dies. Before he closes his eyes, he is contented that You Zi calls him father now.

Most favourite character
Xiu Fu, he is caring, intelligent and fair. On top of that, he is so handsome looking! Even though it pains him to know his biological identity, he faces it. Who can resist his charm?

Most hated character
Wen Zi, she is very selfish and only thinks of herself. Even Hao Jie can do anything for You Zi but why does she always make Xiu Fu miserable?!

Song
It is sung by Momoe. I like it better than the song in ‘Akai Giwaku' due to its fast pace.

Conclusion
Momoe and Miura are a unbeatable combination. The two are idols from the last century but it seems that time has stopped for them and they never go outdated when watching this drama. I heard that Momoe acted in 5 Akai series. This drama is similar to ‘Akai Giwaku'in the story so all find both dramas at par in standard. I actually like it more than the latter due to the happy ending.

The entangled family relationship and the romance are strongly woven. It should get the award for ‘
Most confusing father identity drama'. Although it is a straight guess that Xiu Fu is Hao Jie's son, no one will expect that You Zi is Bei Chuan's daughter. No wonder it is also a classic like‘Akai Giwaku'. Although I am sick of You Zi creating so much trouble for her family as she keeps falling off her wheelchair or leaving home, I still recommend it to all to watch as no one can shoot such a heart-warming Japanese drama now.

Sukting's ratings :
On acting : **** (Scale of 5)

On story : *** (Scale of 5)

On songs : **** (Scale of 5)


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