Home > Reviews | TV > JDrama Review: Kamisama mou sukoshi dake (God please give me more time, 1998)

JDrama Review: Kamisama mou sukoshi dake (God please give me more time, 1998)

 

Takeshi Kaneshiro, <a onclick=

for sale Kyoko Fukada” width=”300″ height=”192″ />

Director: Takeuchi Hideki, Iwamoto Hitoshi
Cast: Kyoko Fukada, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Kato Haruhiko, Nakama Yukie
Screenplay: Asano Taeko
Broadcasted: July 7, 1998 – September 22, 1998

Let me try this again. I had written an entirely comprehensive review without saving when the power cable of the computer I was using to write the review was loose and therefore turned off. So, I will attempt to rewrite this again, though the second time never seems to be good and as fresh as the first try.

Masaki (played by Kyoko Fukada) is a bored, listless and purposeless girl who hangs out with a group of friends who are part of an escort service and whom occasionally prostitute themselves for money, but she has never done it. She has managed to get tickets for her and her best friend Asami to a concert put on by her favorite composer Ishikawa Keigo (played by Takeshi Kaneshiro) and singer Kaoru (played by Nakama Yukie). Unfortunately, she misplaces the tickets. Due to some misfortune and unfortunate circumstances, in order to get the money to repurchase the tickets Masaki ends up prostituting herself for 50,000 yen.

After the concert, while Masaki and Asami sit in a taxi rethinking their experience at the concert, they find themselves next to Keigo’s van. Masaki decides to leap out of the taxi, running along side, getting soaked in the rain, runs up over the bridge and displays “I love Keigo” banner for Keigo to see. Keigo decides to take her back to his apartment, subsequently spending the night together. However, Masaki at this time, has already contracted the HIV virus from her night of prostitution.

It is then, when Masaki discovers she is HIV positive where her struggles begin. She must find a purpose and meaning to life and find what it means to live with HIV/AIDS. Keigo, living more like the dead than the living, having experienced death in his past, discovers what it means to be alive, realizing slowly it is not only that Masaki needs him, but that he needs her.

* Possible major spoilers ahead *

 

 

Before going into the positive aspects of this drama, I will first address what I feel are the failing points of this tearjerker. First and foremost is the lack of addressing the use of protection in preventing the spread of disease. Instead, I felt that the drama focused too much instead on the aspect of “do not prostitute”. Though I agree of course with this view and do recognize that it is a problem within the Japanese society, I felt that it was a mistake having never mentioned by no one in the entire drama that if she had used condoms, she might not have gotten sick at all. And not only that, she wouldn’t have needed to worry about passing it to someone else.

However it isn’t only that. I thought of course what Masaki had done was unbelievably irresponsible and self-deprecating, but it isn’t until towards the end, when the scriptwriters had Keigo do something that was just plain stupid and mouth dropping that I could only shake my head. It is a disservice to the subject of HIV and AIDs. For a drama of its time, the subject of AIDS and HIV is definitely to be commended to have taken the risk, but I felt that the drama really dropped the ball on not mentioning protection, which for me, detracted from what would have heightened it from a great drama to an excellent quality drama.

At first, the implausibility of a famous composer falling in love with a fan girl bothered me, but then I realized it was more of the fan girl falling in love with the composer that I had a problem with, since I didn’t know whether or not it was infatuation or truly love. I also felt the Keigo when he first meets Masaki is a different one after she confronts him on whether or not he has the HIV virus. He seemed open to the idea of seeing her, liking someone, and then when she arrived at his door, crying, he became different, which didn’t fully makes sense to me.

And then later on, it seemed as though Keigo went from cold to hot with just a flip switch. Though I did appreciate that you could see how he thought about her when he was alone, was tormented by thoughts of her and the amount of running he did to find her, help her and save her in this drama (which i thought was quite funny… but I’m not complaining…)

However, negatives aside, the strength of the drama is clearly the two actors. Kyoko Fukada was 17 when she took on this serious role, the same age as the main character. She portrayed the naive, happy Masaki and the transformation she made to find purpose and happiness in her life (despite all the tears) very well. Takeshi’s Keigo – brooding, subdued, sometimes cold manner balanced Kyoko’s Masaki so she wasn’t too overpowering. I’ve read many complaints about Masaki’s crying. But honestly, given her situation, and being still in high school, I really can’t fault her. She puts herself in a horrible situation, is shunned and picked on by her friends due to her illness, her family life isn’t good, her mom is having an affair, and she feels she can rely on no one when she needs people the most. People decieve her and she is the cause of Keigo losing her job, her friend and brother getting picked on, I’d say if I were in a position I’d be crying a lot too. Out of all the roles I have seen her take on, she does an excellent job here.

As for the role of Kaoru, I have never hated a character more than I did when she was at the airport and bold faced lied to Masaki. I don’t know how someone could be so completely selfish when it is clear that this man who has been suffering a long time due to the death of her sister has finally found happiness. And it’s even more cruel in that every day, every moment might be the last. She took away three years of their life together, and not only took away time, but shortened the life of Masaki, due to her weakened and sad state affecting her immune system. I would have been quite content had the series ended with Masaki and Keigo going off to the US.

Instead, the writers torture us even more, writing this segment of three lost years. Then in addition, losing another six more months because Keigo has to go back to the US to finish his tour. If one were to tally it up, they weren’t even together for a year.

I’ve read some reviews saying that the ending left them content, but for me, it left me nothing but. It left me empty and distressed. Perhaps I’m handling it worse than Masaki did, but throughout the series, I really didn’t see where they really had the time to fully enjoy each other except in the six months after their daughter was born. They have Keigo encourage Masaki and ask her whether or not she wants to see Sachi grow up to walk, to talk, to have even more of a desire to live longer. Sadly however, the story reaches the end by having Masaki die in the subsequent scenes. I don’t know, but that leaves me empty. However I will say I do appreciate they had her die in the manner she did “dying in his arms”, and without it being in a hospital bed (which is typical of AIDS victims). Masaki dying in Keigo’s arms struck a chord with me because this is what he said to her on the bridge. That if she was going to die, that she should die with him holding her in his arms.

The soundtrack simply adds to the etheral, melancholy theme of the drama, and it successfully blends the scenes and the ups and downs of all the characters’ emotions together. Luna Sea’s I For You particularly sticks out, and its lyrics work perfectly as the theme song.

If there’s any indication as to whether or not a drama is good, I’ve always thought that if the show/movie/drama can cause me to have emotion and feel for the main characters, then it must be at least good. So what do I say about a drama that got completely under my skin? I’d have to say it was excellent. It’s by no means a perfect drama, but I was to the point where I was completely affected and bothered by what was happening to Masaki and Keigo and the people around them that it left me thinking about it for several days after.

I know this was a drama where the message was to never take your life granted, and to live life to the fullest, regardless of how much life you have to live whether you know it or not, but it got to the point where I thought Masaki never got cut a break and it just became too depressing. I think I hate and love this drama at the same time. I hate how it got under my skin, how depressing it is, but it’s so good that I love it. I think its heart wrenching, despite all the problems I have with it, and I kept on hoping and wishing for more time for this wonderful couple. After all, when it comes down to it, it’s really just a love story.

I think the viewers know what the ending will be, due to the cloud that looms over the entire drama; that there is a clock slowly ticking away. I think it would have been great even without the ending, and it sure would have saved me that horribly empty feeling I had after watching it. It just made me feel hopeless knowing that she died so soon after Keigo found life again and had to leave the daughter she so wanted to have. I didn’t tear up very much while watching it, but instead, felt something deeper – a depression if you will, as though you are carrying something heavy within your heart.

The one nice feeling that I walked away with was realizing just how much I appreciate Takeshi Kaneshiro’s acting. I’ve seen much of it in the past, but being able to see him develop a character for 12 episodes really shines a light as to how expressive Takeshi is, simply by using his eyes. (mind you, I do think he smokes too much =P) He delivers one of the best lines at the start of the drama. I don’t know if it’s after or before Masaki, but I really like how it starts the drama. Before I began watching, I had always assumed it was Masaki who speaks the title line, but for some reason, it hurts a lot more when I realize that it’s Keigo.

Some people have hated this drama, but most people have loved it. I highly recommend it. Only you can decide for yourself if it will pull your heart out and squash it like it did mine. It’s one definitely for the ages, one where I’ll be able to watch over and over again…

You can watch it at mysoju: http://www.mysoju.com/kamisama-mou-sukoshi-dake/ or at crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Kamisama_Mou_Sukoshi_Dake

My rating: 4.8/5

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Comments:4

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  1. Reply moochi
    08/12/02

    wow i am surprised that you wrote this just now. i am starting to watch this (in the middle of exam period) and i totally love the first episode. dramas back in the days are a lot better than the ones now…i like how they just focus on one problem and not like the ones now that focus on so many other ones.

    don’t know if that made sense
    but i briefly skimmed ur review (didn’t want to read too many spoilers)
    thanks a lot =D

  2. Reply Grace
    08/12/26

    Thank you so much for your comment! I absolutely love this drama – I haven’t been able to listen to the music since a week after I finished watching it because it completely depressed me. The soundtrack is beautiful though, and it evokes the feelings I had while watching the drama. I hope you enjoyed the rest of the drama — they certainly don’t make dramas like they used to, I completely agree.

  3. Reply tin
    09/01/07

    i loved your review…. i loved the drama more because of it. as i was watching the drama unfold, i agree that it was depressing, and yea, so much emotions burst from you as one watches it, but in the end, i’ve got to say that it was beautiful. I am one of those people that loved the ending along with the whole story.

    thanks to your review….

  4. Reply Grace
    09/01/08

    Aw, thank you, who knew that a drama could be loved more because of a review!

    It definitely was beautiful. It will rest as one of my favorite dramas of all time, for sure. Thank you for visiting, and thank you for your comment!

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