Monday, November 7, 2011

Runaway [ep 1]

Katsuragi Ataru (Ichihara Hayato), is sentenced to 6 years of jail with hard labor for a murder of a policeman he didn’t commit. Though the case was suspected to be suspicious by the head of investigation that time, Yanagawa-san, he couldn’t do much when the higher ups pushed the case to reach a conclusion faster than normal. Something fishy is definitely going on. With one year left before he is released, Ataru finds himself in a dilemma after receiving a call from his wife, Yuki (Fukuda Saki), telling him that his 5 year old daughter needs a heart donation within 3 months or her life will be in danger. He will also need to rake up a total of 50 million yen for the down payment of the operation abroad (since it’s going to take ages in Japan alone). With no other choice, he asks help from his long time roommate, an old guy who is serving a life sentence for mugging and murder. He knows the one and only way out of prison.


But they need some expertise regarding the area of the breakout, hence two young guys come into their group, Takimoto Kuya (Ueda Tatsuya) and Kagami Shun (Suda Masaki). Both of them are also wrongly accused as we can see from flashbacks every now and then throughout the 1 hour and 30 mins of first episode. Then, the final member is Kawashima Ryunosuke (Tsukamoto Takashi), a former gangster who becomes the scapegoat as a condition to get out of the group. He wishes to serve the 10-year sentence and then marry the woman he loves. But we get to know that the woman, who is blind, sends a letter to him informing him that she got married to another man, out of persuasion by family members. Well, I think this is totally understandable. How many people would wait for a whole of 10 years for someone imprisoned for murder? The issue now isn’t just about undying love, but patience and perseverance to face all the sneers or weird impressions by relatives or the public.


So the five of them takes the one opportunity to break out. If you ask me whether the breakout plan is superb or genius…I’m not going to agree wholeheartedly. It does look a bit too easy and simple, despite the fact that they nearly get caught. I think the cop would’ve easily figured out that they escaped through the empty cupboards! Well, point is, they successfully broke out but the hunt for them is widespread and the cop in charge of the case seems to be quite scary and determined xD

Another thing I find too convenient is how Shun offers them 50 million each if they bring him into their escape group. Of course, this means Ataru will no longer have much headache to find that huge sum of money for her daughter's operation, but TOO CONVENIENT! And who knows if the guy's just lying? (Yeah, he doesn't look like he is lying when he tells them about the money which he buried in several separate places)


But oh, poor old man gets left behind. His legs wouldn't be able to carry him far if they're going to travel a lot. And besides, I think he sees it coming that he won't be able to make it. He did ask Ataru to carry out his final request for him - tell his daughter that he's sorry for all the trouble, which Ataru did pass through but not received well by the daughter who has long forgotten about the murderer father (as expected).

Ueda Tatsuya's character is definitely the comic relief here. I don't see him serving much purpose actually to the group, except being silly and laughed at by audiences for his constant hilarious antics. But I have to say, he's pretty good in acting so far. And to give up on that amount of hair ^^ But let's hope his character gets more interesting soon. And SERIOUSLY what was he THINKING to TWEET EVERY SINGLE DETAIL ABOUT THEIR LOCATION AND ESCAPE ROUTE?????!!!!! Either he's plain stupid or can't restrain himself from the technology absence for the years he has served in prison.

Things get more interesting when they stumble into a local household with abusive pair. They then decide to take the girl as their hostage or some kind of leverage. But little did they know that the kid is way smarter and somehow assists them in their escape. Why? Because she wants to go to Tokyo to find her real father, and not return to the house where she is constantly abused by her own mother and the boyfriend. Having a daughter herself, Ataru finds himself feeling sympathy for the kid who pleads to follow them. In the end, she gets to be one of them and soon, they embark on a journey together.
Meanwhile, more flashbacks. It appears that 6 years ago, Yuki was chased or rather, harrassed by the cop, holding a knife and out of self-defense and struggle, the cop was stabbed with his own knife. Ataru then reached the place a bit too late but he decided to bear all the blame. So this is where I have a MAJOR PROBLEM with the plot. 

It is OBVIOUSLY a self-defense. So, all Yuki has to do was to report to the police! Ok, so it may not sound so simple and since the dead guy's a cop, things were more complicated. But really?! It really doesn't help by taking the responsibility and serve jail years, leaving your own wife and an unborn child alone! I don't know whether I should sympathize Ataru or laugh at his actions here. He should have come up with a BETTER IDEA than serving for a crime he didn't do, when it was so obvious Yuki did it due to self-defense. 

As for the performances, I'd hand it down to Tsukamoto Takashi and the little girl. The girl's screen time is really very little as she appears towards the end, but she leaves a strong impression for a kid. Definitely a good actress kid. Tsukamoto really makes his character raw, real and the white hair! Awww...he's the opposite of Ataru but I find him more lovable for some reason. Ataru...well, he's the protagonist, though his actions which got himself serving for a crime he didn't do was kinda stupid, you do feel the love from him for his daughter and wife. And nice to see Fukuda Saki back in dramas, though with a smaller role this time, I have yet to feel the chemistry between Ataru and her. They're obviously playing young married couples whose lives get turned upside down due to unlucky events. Anyways, there's still room for improvement.

By the way, the theme song is Aruiteikou by Ikimonogakari. It's good xD

Rating: 8/10

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