Sunday, June 14, 2009

Review: LIFE


Alternative Title: ライフ
Genre: School
Episodes: 11
Broadcast: Jun. - Sept. 2007
  • Kitano Kii as Shiiba Ayumu
  • Fukuda Saki as Anzai Manami
  • Hosoda Yoshihiko as Sako Katsumi
Shiiba Ayumu has a terrible past. She receives help from her best friend Yuuko to successfully complete an exam and enter a prestigious high school. However, Yuuko fails to enter the same school and blames Ayumu for her failure. As a result, Yuuko attempts to commit suicide. Ayumu attends the new school but things get worse. She is continuously bullied by her classmates because of the incident that happened to her in the past.

If you thought Nobuta wo Produce dealt with bullying in schools, you’re in for a surprise. LIFE pretty much deals with a ton of issues including bullying, raping and gangs, just to name a few. But after watching the entire series, I have to say that there’s way too much bullying for the first 5 or so episodes. There was almost no progression in the story. It was just about the main character getting bullied with few students or teachers caring about the situation.

However, the first 5 episodes weren’t the biggest issue for me. I thought the biggest annoyance was the music. Most of the background music is this synthesized heavy-metal music stuff. Saying it was dreadful would’ve been an understatement. LIFE has some of the most repetitive, horrible, annoying background music I’ve ever heard. It almost ever fits with the mood of a scene since it’s always fast-paced and repetitive. Out of all the scenes in the drama, there were only a very few that actually had good music. Another thing I disliked was the ending. I don’t want to reveal anything too much about the story so all I’ll say that the ending might leave some disappointed.

In terms of the good stuff, I would have to say the last half was LIFE’s strongest advantage. After episode 5, I saw myself wanting to watch LIFE more than before. The story got more exciting and it wasn’t just about the main character getting continuously bullied. Another plus side is the acting. Overall, I thought every actor did a good job, considering most of them are old teenagers or young adults. The actor that stood out the most was definitely the main character played my Kitano Kii. Lately, she’s been starring in leading roles in more J-movie and J-dramas. I’m certain she’ll be one of the most popular J-drama actresses in the years to come.

  • Acting, epically from main character
  • Second half of the series
  • Deals with a lot of issues not found in other dramas
  • Absolutely horrible background music
  • First half of series
  • Ending might leave some disappointed
I certainly consider the pros to outweigh the cons for LIFE. The music is horrible but the story and acting will make up for it. If you’re a fan of school dramas, this is one school drama that is like no other and you should give it a try.

Rating: 8/10

Video Preview
This a short clip from the first episode. It basically shows what I described in the summary above.


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