Mother (Jdrama)

Mother is an 11-episode Japanese drama that follows bird migration scientist Nao Suzuhara (Yasuko Matsuyuki), who works as a science teacher in an elementary school. One day, the attending head teacher gets sick and she’s asked to take over the class, where she meets Reina Michiki (Mana Ashida), a precocious little girl who wonders whether or not there is a Heaven.

Mother is pretty much a full-on drama that deals with various issues such as child adoption, foster parents, parent abuse, and the more taboo subject of the spousal abuse. It puts problems with the system forth, and brings on ethical questions every step of the way… except when the journalist comes in. His character is just crappy altogether.

What is wonderful about Mother is that it is a story of different types of mothers, and we’ve got wonderful actresses playing them throughout. From Yasuko Matsuyuki playing a mother forced into her role, to Atsuko Takahata playing the overbearing but caring kind, to Yuko Tanaka playing the guilt-ridden one, and Toshie Takada playing the nearly-forgotten foster parent — though only for one episode, it’s by far one of the most heart-wrenching moments in the show.

Something noteworthy in this drama is the performance of Mana Ashida in a breakthrough role that not only lets her play a regular child with a cute demeanor, but also lets her play a much sharper precocious little girl that always knows what’s going on and endures much more crap than any of us would in real life. She is cute when needed, she breaks your heart when she wants to, she is sassy without ever being annoying, and holds your attention on the screen as if she’s been born to be on it.

Please, look it up and watch it. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating: ★★★¾☆ 

Ghost Writer

Here. There. Everywhere. Punished soul that usually watches what nobody wants, but sometimes gets lucky.

5 Responses

  1. amy says:

    Still on episode 4, but gosh~ that episode with Momoko-san (Toshie Takada) is so emotional. Especially during that last scene in the house- I don’t know how they did not close the episode there… that was pure cruelty. LOL

    How they closed that episode, though a bit supernatural high-tension telenovela, it was very effective with the crossing over the bridge… which they later refer to, right?

  2. Harry Brooks says:

    Ms. Tanaka, who was the heroine in another great series called “Oshin,” plays Nao’s real mother who abandoned her years ago and luckily Nao was adopted–but suddenly reunited by fate/guzen.
    MOTHER shows so many lessons for a better society: replace apathy/gossip/watching the suffering of abused child by ACTION, police and child protection agencies should be more involved and less in investigating, all humans should communicate more frankly about abuse they have witnessed, aren’t love and happiness the most important reasons that all of us are living on this earth?, rich and powerful people need to help others more, taciturn people need to say more–wouldn’t it have made a different outcome if Nao had revealed she found Reina (a.k.a. migrating bird name) half dead, beaten, some rice stuck in her hair INSIDE a garbage bag left OUTSIDE in a tied-up garbage bag–IN THE COLDEST PART OF JAPAN HOKKAIDO!!!? … At the end be sure to have a box of kleenx handy you will need them.
    Where are the lawyers in Japan? Don’t they ever help humanity?
    The reporter: why doesn’t he use the media to change the outcome since he knows that Nao has RESCUED the child from abusive parents?
    Thrown in also are 2 sisters to Nao who show diametrically opposed views when she comes home: throw her out of this home and erase her from our kosaki tohon vs help her (thank goodness!)

  1. December 27, 2011

    […] she’s SUCH a great actress. You just gotta watch her break YOU down on Mother. At a drop of a dime, she’ll break your heart and make you cry. She is, obviously, since then […]

  2. April 17, 2014

    […] she’s growing and thinking about her acting now. There’s a raw element missing from her Mother days, as if she were really trying to understand her character now. Or maybe she’s just […]

  3. August 19, 2015

    […] ten-episode series directed by Nobuo Mizuta (No More Cry!!! [1], Mother) and written by Miho Nakazono (Hanako and Anne) has Kumbaya to spare, as day by day trustworthy […]

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