Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi
- Title: 空から降る一億の星
- Title (romaji): Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi
- Also known as: One Million Stars Falling from the Sky / The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
- Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Romance
- Episodes: 11
- Viewership ratings: 22.26
- Broadcast network: Fuji TV
- Broadcast period: 2002-Apr-15 to 2002-Jun-24
- Air time: Monday 21:00
- Theme song: Smile by Elvis Costello
The story opens after a young female student kills herself by jumping off a balcony. It's soon discovered that she was in fact stabbed, and the room arranged to make it look like a suicide. And so we begin. A few minor details lead Detective Kanzo (Akashiya Sanma) to suspect that Ryo (Kimura Takuya), an enigmatic chef's assistant, knows more about her death.The two have run into each other by chance a few times, and each time left Kanzo with an uncomfortable feeling. Every clue that is revealed seems to lead to more questions about Ryo, his obsessive girlfriend, his callous and manipulative relations with several women, and about a painful memory from Kanzo's past. Things get more complicated when a powerful love/hate relationship develops between Ryo and Kanza's little sister, the beautiful Yuko (Fukatsu Eri). What exactly is their connection? As the evidence (and body count) rises, Kanza tries desperately to save his sister from Ryo's influence. He's no saint, but is he the Devil Kanza thinks he is? And why? The answers will floor you, even when you think you've got them figured out already.
- Akashiya Sanma as Dojima Kanzo
- Kimura Takuya as Katase Ryo
- Fukatsu Eri as Dojima Yuko
- Igawa Haruka as Nishihara Miwa
- Shibasaki Kou as Mizashita Yuki
- Tayama Ryosei as Takashi Osawa
- Yashima Norito as Kusaka Keita
- Morishita Aiko as Sugita Kotoko
- Ohsumi Kenya (大澄賢也) as Kashiwagi Naoya
- Kaneko Takatoshi as Mukai Yuki
- Toyota Maho (ep6)
- Fukumoto Shinichi
- Murata Mitsu (ep1&2)
- Screenwriter: Kitagawa Eriko
- Producer: Takai Ichiro, Suzuki Yoshihiro
- Director: Nakae Isamu, Hirano Shin
- Music: Yoshimata Ryo
Episode Titles & Ratings
- Ep 01: Fateful Encounter
- Ep 02: Bad Man
- Ep 03: Unstoppable Feelings
- Ep 04: Sad Truth
- Ep 05: Kiss of Death
- Ep 06: Unexpected Development, Murderer
- Ep 07: Miwa, Love and Death
- Ep 08: Past Revealed
- Ep 09: The Night We Became One
- Ep 10: Tragedy
- Ep 11: Destiny
- Ep 01: 25.7%
- Ep 02: 23.5%
- Ep 03: 22.0%
- Ep 04: 24.1%
- Ep 05: 22.3%
- Ep 06: 20.3%
- Ep 07: 22.3%
- Ep 08: 19.2%
- Ep 09: 19.6%
- Ep 10: 18.9%
- Ep 11: 27.0%
Review by aNToK
Boy, doesn't that sound exciting? So much so, that I had this laying around for 6 months until neonkinpatsu mentioned a plot twist or two that made me rethink watching. And here we are.
Folks, if you come into this drama thinking you're going to see some run-of-the-mill whodunnit drama with a little love thrown in or something, you'll be wrong. Dead wrong. If your idea of a good time is seeing a few J-idols fall in love, have problems, work everything out, live happily ever after, or if you just like salivating over Takuya Kimura, go watch Long Vacation, Beautiful Life, or Love Generation or something. You'll be happier that way. Trust me.
If you're looking for something with realism and bite, that doesn't just poke around at the dark side of the human mind, but wallows in it like a starving pig at a trough, then you just might be ready for Million Stars. Maybe. This is as close to a life-altering drama as I've seen yet, and I've seen a bunch. Two days later, I'm still thinking about it. Quite simply, this drama is a dark masterpiece, and noone who watches it will come out unaffected...
Like I said before, this drama is a true modern masterpiece. The characters are real, with good and bad sides to all.The burn scars that Ryo and Yuko share to me represent the emotional scars that dwell within us all. The director does an amazing job building tension in every episode, and when the slightly eerie "Mission Impossible" style music starts up at the end of every show, the cliffhanger leaves you jumping as fast as you can to the next episode. This series is like a speeding train with no brakes. You know there's going to be a crash somewhere, but you've got to keep watching to see where the bodies fall.
After the emotionally draining experience that drama was for me, I'm going to have to rewatch Sweet 18 or something to get my head back on straight. It's that effecting.
Okay, maybe I'll play that scene from ep 11 just one more time first....
Rating: See it/Life Altering (4.5/5)
Review by anoney
Just finished watching this drama after having it sit on my computer for over a year. Antok's review up there had me chomping at the bit to watch this as soon as I got any free time from study/work, and boy am I glad I did.
I've not seen many Jdramas, in fact I could probably count all the ones I've seen on both hands. However, I have to say this is quite possibly the favorite, if not at least one of my favorites that I've seen so far. I rather like sad, tragic, gritty dramas (I LOVED the live-action Hotaru no Haka, much better than the anime in my opinion) so I was very at home with this tale of murder, betrayal and tragedy. Kimura Takuya gives a sterling performance as the very broken and twisted Ryo, with Akashiya Sanma heading up the "hero" side with his great portrayal of an old and tired detective who has spent his life giving more than he takes.
While the opening episode is fairly slow compared to most, it does set an intriguing premise which I defy anyone not to want to investigate further. As you follow the plot's progression through each episode, it just gets darker, grittier and more tragic. While the build-up tends to give away the tragic nature of the show at times (I didn't have the ending completely pegged but it definitely wasn't surprising save for a few points) the ending will still leave you choking and emotionally beat up. After I had watched it I felt very similar to when I had finished watching Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies), as though someone had just kicked a dead puppy in front of me. Yes, the story is somewhat simple and there are some slow points during the show, but if you allow yourself to really get swept up in the lives of these characters then overall this will have a very strong impact on you as a simple work of fiction (if only for a few days as you mull over it). The story delves into the human psyche and asks questions about why humans act the way they do, to which it doesn't always give the answers (which may be infuriating to some). In fact, the ending may leave you feeling "Well, damn. That was sad and really unfortunate. I don't really know what I'm supposed to say, but it's sad nonetheless", which is completely fine because as a Shakespearean tragedy (which is what it feels like as you approach the conclusion) you can't help but "observe" the sadness and tragicness of the whole thing for a few days after finishing it. That is not to say that you can't analyse this beyond simply acknowledging it's tragic nature, because this had me thinking for days afterwards about the motives of the characters, what led them from one point to another, and how people generally cope with such great personal tragedy.
I can't say too much without giving details away. Performance-wise this was gripping. Ryo (Kimura) and Yuko (Eri) have such great on-screen chemistry, and Kanzo (Sanma) and Ryo's on-screen "face-offs" can be "edge-of-your-seat" stuff.
Very highly recommended despite it's minor story flaws. Just have something light-hearted lined up soon after.
Rating: Life Altering (4.5/5)
- 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Drama
- 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Actor: Kimura Takuya
- 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress: Shibasaki Kou
- 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Screenwriter: Kitagawa Eriko
- 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Director: Nakae Isamu
- 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Cast
- 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Music Arrangement
- 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Opening