I *just* finished watching this (10 minutes ago). It’s a very short drama (9 Episodes) and it makes some really interesting points. Realistically speaking it’s kind of preachy, but you can ignore all that and just see how the story developes.
Gamagori Futaro has been poor since the day he was born. As a child his recklessly wasteful and abusive father sunk the family into debt and disappeared, leaving Futaro and his sick mother to fend for themselves. With no money to pay for medical treatment for his ailing mother she eventually died. After her death Futaro became obsessed with money and willing to do anything for it. Several years pass and Futaro finds himself working at “Mikuni Shipbuilding” where he meets the company president’s daughters Midori, who was his former classmate, and her younger sister Akane, who is wheel-chair bound, and like Futaro, has a scarred face. In a plot to acquire their fathers company, Futaro begins to get close to the sisters.
That’s really only a good description of the first episode. The series is about just how far Futaro goes in order to attain money, what he has grown up believing will bring him every happiness in the world. He learns though that it isn’t all it was cracked up to be, and seeks to prove his old beliefs by playing with the lives of those around him until he eventually goes insane.
One name: Kenichi Matsuyama. Hands down he is, in my opinion, the single best actor in the world. He plays the lead role of Futaro, but you might also recognize him from the “Death Note” series (he starred as “L”). In places the writing is awkward, completely awkward, but Kenichi Matsuyama pulls it all through masterfully. It’s impossible not to be awed while watching this. After this ended I literally bounced to my friend down the hall and could only say “Kenichi Matsuyama is amazing~~~”.
The other actors are great too, don’t get me wrong. I could write a whole rant about how amazing Kenichi Matsuyama was in this show though. His character is hard, there is no scene that would have been easy to film, and he covers everything perfectly. He’s going on my list of flawless actors. Hum… To put it so those of you who have followed my “Rant” section can understand: Kenichi Matsuyama is an actor I respect just as much as I hate Hayden Christensen (so pretty damn wholeheartedly!).
Oh, yeah, that. The directing is fine, JUST GO BACK TO KENICHI MATSUYAMA! But no, really, the directing was pretty brilliant. The shots were well angled and I think this director should definitely get some award for his work here (or should have gotten it, it came out a year or so ago).
Like I said it’s a little preachy. You can kind of predict their angle- money doesn’t buy happiness damnit! But it’s still a good watch. And it’s only 9 episodes long, so honestly what do you have to loose? 9 hours? What were you going to do with it anyways? Don’t watch it all at once, as amazing as it is I didn’t let myself watch more than 2 eps a day. If you watch more than that, I’ve noticed, you start to get kind of tired of the drama.
Show Link (with subtitles): http://www.mysoju.com/zeni-geba/