- Title: 恋文
- Title (romaji): Koibumi
- Tagline: 〜私たちが愛した男〜
- Tagline (romaji): ~Watashitachi ga Aishita Otoko~
- Also known as: Love Letters ~Men We Have Loved~
- Format: Renzoku
- Genre: Romance
- Episodes: 10
- Viewership ratings: 8.7
- Broadcast network: TBS
- Broadcast period: 2003-Oct-08 to 2003-Dec-10
- Theme song: Hiiragi 柊 by Do As Infinity
Koibumi is a very well-acted series that stars Watabe Atsuro, Mizuno Miki, and Wakui Emi. The story is based on the 1984 Naoki Award-winning short story "Koibumi" by Mikihiko Renjo that addressed the subtleties of male and female relationships. It was made into a film the following year. The story was adapted for the screen by renowned scriptwriter Okada Yoshikazu.
Shouichi (Watabe Atsuro) is an art teacher with a very eccentric style. He basically has the personality of a young boy who does things that he feels are right, and doesn't really think too much about the consequences of his actions. Shoichi's wife, Kyouko (Mizuno Miki), is a no-nonsense mother figure that always has to clean up after Shoichi's mistakes. Their two personalities strike a balance and they enjoy a happy life together with their son, Suguru, who has grown up to be more responsible to make up for his father's childishness.
One day, his former lover Etsuko (Wakui Emi) shows up at his school, and tells him that she is dying from a terminal illness and has only six months to live. Shouichi decides to be with her until her death, so he quits his job, leaves his family, and finds a new job so he can spend more time with Etsuko at the hospital. Kyouko wakes up to find her husband gone with no explanation, and goes out in search of him...
- Watabe Atsuro as Ikehara Shouichi
- Mizuno Miki as Ikehara Kyoko
- Wakui Emi as Tajima Etsuko
- Kaname Jun as Wakabayashi Makoto
- Kokubu Sachiko as Ishitsuka Keiko
- Nose Anna as Nurse Mikami Hazue
- Izumisawa Yuuki as Ikehara Suguru
- Ishida Ayumi as Tsuji Mikiko
- Terao Akira as Mita Keisaku
- Original writing: Renjo Mikihiko (連城三紀彦)
- Screenwriter: Okada Yoshikazu
- Producer: Hashimoto Takashi (橋本孝), Setoguchi Katsuaki
- Director: Shinjo Takehiko, Sakai Masahiro
Review By thetenken
thetenken says: See it.
The casting is very strong, with both female leads having worked with Atsuro before. The scenes between Atsuro and Miki are a step above their work in Beautiful Life and Koi ga Shitai x3, and have a real sense of emotion and love behind them. Atsuro's facial expressions and rambling style are used to great effect in this series, and Miki works well in a range that I don't think I've seen her do before. Wakui Emi once again plays a very sweet and sympathetic character, and plays it with ease.
The supporting roles are filled out very nicely as well, with Etsuko's terminal roommate Mikiko (Ishida Ayumi) and Shouichi's friend (Terao Akira) looking very comfortable in their roles. Even Suguru (Izumisawa Yuuki) plays the son's role well, not like the usual child-star robots they sometimes have.
Although this is a sad, emotional series, it never really went the complete tearjerker route akin to certain scenes in Beautiful Life (ok, maybe one scene). It relies more on the strength of the actors than on any contrived moments. As the drama progresses, new problems are thrown into the path of the main characters, and each person in the story tries to deal with them in their own way. Characters pursue the full emotional gamut in a not grandly overstated way. Due to this, one can feel more for the characters and their struggles than in some other series. This is a good, solid drama if you're tired of watching idol dramas all the time.
Opening: In My Life - The Beatles
Ending: Hiiragi - Do As Infinity
Music BGM: The background music for the show was pretty good, though there are some moments where you wish there was more variety. As with most Jdramas, the BGM themes are based off of the theme songs.
Cinematography/direction: The cinematography is nothing really to boast about, just about average in terms of Jdramas. No particularly special camerawork involved, but nothing that took away from portraying the emotions of the characters. Flashbacks weren't overly used, which is a good thing.