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Posted 6/15/08
OK, as long as they didn't blow him off completely. It would bother me for a long time if they just left that open ended. I didn't read the spoiler because for once I can wait until thursday. Hungry for banana bread now too.
Posted 6/19/08
Posted 6/20/08
There were a few moments of cheap thrills dispensed by the producer in EP 11, totally off the ball. It's like they have to make up something to keep us enthralled until the final outcome of the road trip. If I'm the referee, I will issue a yellow card to those unnecessary scenes!
Posted 6/20/08
Hahahah yeah, completely random. My heart was like "what kind of Korea-drama BS is this!?!?", but the ending didn't disappoint at all, so I forgive it.
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Posted 6/22/08
i heard they 're making an SP and a movie .... ^_^ supposedly the SP is next week.... i dunno about the movie if they keep the cast....it's supposed to be following in kimura takuya's hero... it was turned into a movie and also had an SP...
Posted 6/24/08
I keep seeing SP everywhere, what is an SP?
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Posted 6/24/08 , edited 6/24/08

HotLimit wrote:

I keep seeing SP everywhere, what is an SP?

SP = Special, which is usually a 2 hour special edition after the drama series has ended. Oricon has an article that stated the SP will be shown on June 26!! Its very unusual as Last Friends only ended last week. They wouldnt normally plan an SP so soon, more likely to be one season later or even one year later, like the Nodame Cantabile Live Action SP, shown this January over 2 nights as a New Year Special.
Posted 6/24/08
Thanks, but now I have to ask, what is a special edition?
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Posted 6/24/08 , edited 6/24/08

HotLimit wrote:

Thanks, but now I have to ask, what is a special edition?


Sort of like a made for TV-movie of the drama. It could be set right after the drama ended or a few months after the drama concluded.

The movie proper will follow I guess since its already been announced (I think...)
Posted 6/24/08
Ohhh, I see, thanks.
That's good, my mom wanted to watch the show, but I don't think she has the patience to sit down and watch 11 episodes of a show that isn't in English hahaah. She's in America so I could only tell her about it over the phone.
Posted 6/27/08 , edited 7/5/08
For those who've seen the 11 EPs, please drop any great expectations of the SP as it's about as exciting as watching paint dry for 1 hr 15 mins. Thanks to this, I can qualify for Loss Time Life. Now, we know the reason for the immediate release of the SP. @HotLimit: Yes, the SP can be a straightforward way to watch Last Friends without much anticipation and notably the strong supporting cast (read:Ruka and Takeru) involved.

You can watch the snippets of new scenes with soft subs for the LF SP here.
Posted 6/29/08 , edited 6/29/08
I don't know how the show's writer could come up with an explanation of Takeru & Ruka's relationship like that without drawing on some kind of personal experience. I don't know what sort of source material she can find in Japan that would give her these ideas either, because I know for certain the average person doesn't think about those things at all. She would have to dig real deep.

So now that I've had time to digest the show, my final analysis:
Now that I know the lead writer isn't just making this stuff up, I think I can safely say that most fans of this show didn't understand the dynamic between those three characters (I'm not trying to be mean, but people believed that, like most dramas, certain characters could 'end up' with one another). It's not a love triangle (or just a really weak one depending on your definition) and there's no way on earth that any of them would end up with each other in the sense you normally think of in a drama.

Takeru -> Ruka -> Michiru ?> Takeru
(I put the ? because I think it is still unclear Michiru's true feelings towards Takeru)

It's only a one-way love 'line'. Takeru likes Ruka, in a heterosexual way (lol at the writer giving percentages, I think I would get along well with her) but she can not like him in the same way.

Ruka likes Michiru in the same way that Takeru likes Ruka, and Michiru can't like her back in the same way. What I'm about to say might not be true, but it's useful to consider (this isn't exactly an academic website so I'm not listing sources):

Many times a girl like Ruka can get away with having a 'girlfriend' like Michiru in high school. That sort of relationship is normal, especially in all-girls schools (I don't think they went to a single-sex school, but regardless), as well as in places where young male-female relationships are frowned upon (for cultural reasons, or just because they are expected to focus on studies and not relationships). While someone-like-Ruka's feelings for Michiru may be 'true romance', Michiru's feelings are not, she's just playing around in the comfort of a high-school setting.

Consider the sort-of butch girl arm in arm with the other schoolgirl that Ruka passes after leaving Sousuke's apartment. I was taught that no skilled director will show you something without having a purpose for it. I think this shot's purpose is to show what sort of relationship Ruka and Michiru had when they were in school (and also to contrast with what happens when those people grow up).

Now consider what happens when they leave high school. Ruka by default of the way society works, can't stay around Michiru. She still loves her, but school is over, and so is that safe zone where they can have a relationship of more than friends. I don't know about Japan for sure, but in places like Taiwan (or even America), someone like Michiru is going to become conform completely to society once she enters college or whatever her next step in life is going to be.

For someone like Ruka too, there is a lot of pressure to conform, both in the sense that she should follow a 'woman's' career path and conform to heterosexual norms. Because of support from her father, and the strong, independent personality that we all know and love, she wouldn't conform either way. Luckily she is skilled and doesn't have to give up her ambitions, but throughout the series we do see people contesting the genderqueer or genderconfused (or whatever term you want to use) side of her personality, either psychologically, verbally, or physically (that #$% Sousuke!!!!). In any case, she's left unfulfilled.

That's why I think the ending is brilliant. People should stop saying that 'it's the one that would please most audiences'. It's just the one that's most realistic. It's also rather happy because a weak, dejected woman like Michiru is able to find salvation in Ruka who really cares for her. Ruka, never able to romantically be with the one she loves is at least able to be her savior.

I feel Takeru got the short end of the straw, but still the best possible outcome. He got as close to the one he loves as any guy ever could (again with the percentages hahaha), and is able to stay with her without an immense amount of discomfort on the part of either her or Michiru.

---Feel free to disagree, but don't accuse me of over-analyzing, the writer made it clear that this isn't fluff.
Posted 6/29/08
Wow, you're pretty observant. I went to check EP10 again for the scene you've mentioned, eh they're friends but I didn't see them arm-in-arm (dun tell me mine is the censored version?!) Not sure about whether there's any deeper meaning about that fleeting scene.

Spoilers galore for LF
However, I want to mention that the 'happy ending' made possible in EP11 was because Sousuke was scripted to die. I think his suicide was totally not in line with his character as he has always been able to whisk himself away from whatever potential 'troubles' he would have gotten into if his crimes were exposed. He's a meticulous planner (thus fulfilling the criteria to be a successful stalker) and his actions have always been motivated by his selfishness (that includes him projecting himself onto the poor boy and his strangely 'successful' suicide). In real life, such people don't kill themselves to release their captives from further suffering. In fact, they always believe their destructive actions are for the best of the afflicted (for viewers who disagree, check out the research on these DV people which the scriptwriter mentioned about).

If Sousuke never die, the ending might be different and could be a crucial element to the further development of this 3-sided relationship. Ok, he has to die because the 'DEATH' is already mentioned in EP 1 though the scriptwriter agreed this is not in line with reality.

Sigh, it's true Takeru got to give a lot but could never receive much in return in the way he probably envisioned initially but he has shown his sensibility once again in the SP. He's the man indeed!
Posted 6/29/08 , edited 6/29/08
Yeah, I'm mistaken, she was just holding her arm at a weird angle so that when they pass Ruka it looks like she's holding the other girl's arm. I still stick by what I said though, ahahha.

As for Sousuke, at first I thought suicide was a fitting death for a coward like that, but on the other hand, you're right, no abuser would kill themselves because they felt remorse.

At any rate, I'm glad Sousuke died and left the ending free of visual suspense (except for those lame 'oh no, are they dead!?' scenes) because I never liked the violent aspect of the show.
On the other hand, for finishing off the dialogue the show opened on domestic violence, I don't think it was fair to say, "oh don't worry, abusers eventually kill themselves off", but for the sake of the rest of the show I don't mind that that part was unrealistic. (I saw that Michiru's abused co-worker returned in the SP, I thought the fact that they never followed up with her was where we saw the realistic side of domestic violence. Michiru's struggle was miraculously over, but other people were suffering all the same)

One thing I can relate to Takeru is that I'll bet the second he realized Ruka liked Michiru for real, he gave up any notion of ever himself being with Ruka for the sake of Ruka being with she wanted. THAT's what I was getting at with Takeru being the 3rd wheel. I'm not saying he was marginalized by the other two, I think he sort of did it to himself as a way to let Ruka be closer to Michiru. He is a thoughtful guy after all.

I also need some clarification on something, it seems like Takeru's past of being abused by his sister was almost pointless, plot-wise. At least not enough to mark his character with 'agony' from having a secret past. I want to know where the writer's referent for that whole scenario came from.
Specifically, I want to know what it has to do with his relationship towards Ruka, other than them both having a sort of problem lurking inside of them that they can't let out. That's one thing I won't over-analyze because I don't like the way it played out hahaha.
Posted 6/29/08
Click here Article 1: The currently passionate drama for full version.

――インスピレーション源は?

ドラマの企画というのは、最初に役者が何人か決まっていて、そこから色々と膨らませていくんです。今回は、最初は瑠可役の(上野)樹里ちゃんと美知留役の(長澤)まさみちゃんだけが決まっていたんですよ。そこからスタートしてエリ役の水川あさみさんが加わったのですが、実は最初は女3人の話にしようという案があったんです。でも、プロデューサーが男性を探してくれたり、向こうから来てくれたりと、男性陣が少しずつ加わりました。それで段々と話も変更していったんです。役者さんもひとつのインスピレーションなので、彼らを見ることによって、また色んな方向に広がるんです。

Maybe it's 'bad' planning by the scriptwriter, producer and whoever's in charge of the drama's development. Ok, it's not that bad after all, as we get to see Takeru and Ruka helming the drama ironically. Of cos, Takeru would never 'force' himself on his loved one, considering his trauma and the way he handled the relationship between Ruka and Michiru is way beyond thoughtfulness.
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