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Written by Funn Lim


This review was posted many years ago, exactly when I am not sure but it should be within months from the original broadcast of this series. I am posting it as I have posted it originally.


SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS



Title: Kimi No Tega Sasayaite Iru

Huh?! : In English, Your Hands Are Whispering.

Any Other Language?! : In Mandarin, Ni Ling Ai Liao Bu Chi, in Cantonese, Nei Ling Oi Liu But Hei, in translated English from the translated Chinese, Love Is Wonderful Because Of You, well, not THAT accurate though.

Note : I saw the mandarin version so the names will be in Mandarin version.

Cast: I only know two actors who played the two leads, the rest I can't tell who they portrayed, so here goes,

Shinji Takeda - Buo Wen (Hirofumi)
Miho Kanno - Mei Rong Tzi (Mieko)
Hikotero Honda, Midori Kiuchi, Mariko Kaga for characters such as Papa and Mama Buo Wen, Papa and Mama Mei Rong Tzi, Nai Bao Tzi (best friend of Mei Rong Tzi) and Qian Her (daughter of our two leads).

Length : The shortest ever for a Japanese Drama (that I have ever seen); 6 episodes! And My God!In 6 episodes they said what they have wanted to say, but series like ATE, they took 100 eoisodes to finish their story! That would mean that in ATE's standard, by 6 episodes, there aren't much that has been told. Amazing!

Summary : A touching and poignant story about how a deaf and mute woman coped with her own lack of confidence and marrying the normal man that she loved, and how she later tried to cope with her daughter's frustration at her mother's disability and more importantly, how her child coped with a disabled mother, so to speak.

The Story:
A simple story on the outset but quite complicated if we reflect on it after watchinge each episode.

The structure of the story can be divided into 3 main parts, each with two episodes worth of story, each depicting the different stages that these two leads had to go through to find total acceptance, in life, in their daughter and in their ownself.

Part 1 : Love & Marriage
Mei Rong Tzi has been protected all her life by her protective and loving parents but it was time for her to step into the real world and so she took a job as a clerk in a medium sized company and to everybody's shock, this young girl could not speak though she tried and she could not hear them. She used her hands to communicate and so she was an outcast in the perfect notmal world since she was deaf and mute though she could mumble a few incoherent sentences as she had a little hearing ability when she was little. She had no friends there except for her own childhood friend with the same disability called Nai Bao Tzi, a lady supervisor who was sympathetic with her because she too had a sister with such disability and she was runned down by a? car she could not hear approaching her. And there was one particular young man by the name of Buo Wen who liked her because she was pure and she was different from the rest of the girls he has met. He was the first to approached her and signed to her good morning which he had leanred just to do that and they became fast freinds. But after an unfortunate incident where MRT (Mei ROng Tzi) was stranded on a train that had engine problems and she could not deliver an important document in time, she felt useless and she felt that due to her disability she was imposing on other people to help her.S he never came back to work until Buo Wen went to her and confessed that he loved her and apologised to her for giving her a work that she was not ready to handle yet. She went back to work and so the romance started, however it did not go smoothly. Buo Wen lied about being at work but actually he was at a rock concert as he did not want ton hurt her feelings and she saw him at the entrance and she was hurt beyong words not because he was at a rock concert but because he lied to her.She ran and ran and Buo Wen chased after her. When they were standing at opposite streets, he apologised profusely and said he didn't want to lose her and he proposed, by signing. For a moment too long, she thought about it and tearfully she ran across the street and hugged him tightly. HEr parenst was sceptical about Buo Wen but he seemed sincere but it was BuoW en's parents that objected. His father was ok with the marriage but his mother wasn't. She went to see her secretly and begged her to leave her son and she tearfully agreed, as she was contented that she ahd met and fell for Buo Wen and had his love even for teh shortest momnet. So for one day she spent some wonderful times with Buo Wena nd even spent one night with him, and the next morning she told him about the break and Buo Wen who has never screamed, not even when he was signing, as he was very patient with her lost his cool this time. He signed angrily that ;

"I fell for you and so I want to give you happiness. I am not playing around when I proposed, and I want us to have a future together. But we haven't even started yet and you have doubts about our future, you do not want to take the chance at happiness. I do not want a wife like you!"; and he walked away. MRT thought for the longest time and as she looked at him walking away angrily, she ran to him and grabbed his hands and signed tearfully;

" I want to give you happiness. I want us to have a future together...", and for a momnet she thought he was still angry but then he smiled and signed playfully, "I guess my signing skills are getting better" and they hugged amd married secretly.

Later on, Buo Wen's mother appeared at their new marital home and to their surprise she signed to MRT and gave her a wedding dress. They had a wedding ceremony and life was bliisfully perfect, until MRT discovered she was pregnant. She had doubts, she feared that the child may not be normal, she feared that she may not be a good mother, she felt that her child may not be able to accept her and deny her as a mother....and so she decided for herself that she would have an abortion. Buo Wen didn't know unitil Nai Bao Tzi told him and he went to her and though he tried to reason with her, she has already made up her mind. He was disappointed, as her parents felt that she should ecided for her herself. But though eh didn't want children yet, he wanted this one and signed to her and reasoned with her that..

"This is a very important decision to make. We are married..why is it that you always feel you're to take everything onto your shoulders and decide for yourself when it affects the both of us? What about my opinion?"

And she thought for the longest time and decided that she would keep the child. Buta s months go by she became restless. She felt self pity when she saw expecting mothesr talking to their unborn child and she couldn't. She wasn't smiling anymore and Buo Wen noticed that. He took her? to the beach and made such a fool of himself that she laughed and finnaly was happy again. That night she accepted the fact that she may or may not be a good mother but the child will be very fortunate indeed to have a great father in her loving husband. When the time finally came for the child to be born, she panicked as she couldn't hear the intructions of the doctor and nurses but luckilly Buo Wen who had left an important meeting ran to her and held her had. They had a baby daughter whom they named Qian Her. But problems kept occuring where there was one time when the building's fire alarm went off, and luckilly Mama Buo Wenw as there and took the baby and patted MRT's shoulder to run, if not she wouldn't know, and at the mom's suggestion she said yes to move in with the in laws, but Buo Wen was the one who said no.

"She has already suffered from low self esteem, to live with you would destroy her confidence. let her be a mother to her child", and reluctantly mama Buo Wen agreed.

Part 2 : 3 year old Qian Her, a problem in the making
Qian Her was 3 years old and a very precocious child. She loved to talk to her mother buts he could not undertsand why she ahd to pat on her mother's legs or pull her skirt to get her attention, or that he mother never read to her bedtime stories. Buo Wen tried to teach her sign language and only managed to teach her the sign language for "RAIN" when the child lost interest. He tried to force her but MRT begged him not to and let her be. Times passed, and Qian Her was beginning to realise that her parents talked with their hands at dinner time and her mother was exceptionally quiet. There was one time she wanted her mother to read her a story and MRT tried but her pronunciations were not clear and Qian Her dimissed her mother and sat at the corner and read the book herself, leaving MRT hurt and even more fearful of her being a bad and inadequate mother. However life always find a way to get better that it already was. During one time it was raning. MRT was busy cooking and so she could not see the dresses hung outside to dry were wet. Qian Her quickly ran to her mother, pulled her skirt and guided her mama to the sliding door and to the amazement of MRT, she signed "Rain" again and again. MRT was dumbfounded and quickly pulled her daughetr into her arms and hugged her tightly. Buo wen came home just in time to see the touching picture and he too hugged his wife and child. And from thereon they need not force Qian Her to learn sign language and finally MRT coulc tell her daughter how much she loved her.

But life was not bliss.Qian Her was really sick when she was four, and MRT panicked. She tried to call the hospital but she could not say a word, and she quickly ran to the neighbours and banged on their doors for help and luckilly one responded. They went to the hospital just in time but MRT went home and cried the whole night. Buo Wen went home and told hert to go to the hospital as Qian Her was calling her name. She quickly went back only to be slapped by her own mother for being so irresponsible and leaving her child alone in the hospital and MRT quickly ran to the bed and held Qian Her's hand. Though she could not speak Qian Her was happy that mama was there to hold her hand. After she recuperated, Buo Wen took her to the zoo and they had a fun time, but again a problem came up. Qian Her saw other kids whispering into their mother's ears, whicpering secrets and she did the same to her mama but MRT could not hear her and Qian Her was utterly disappointed and MRT hurt. Buo Wen took Qian Her to the side and tried to please her and suddenly he had an idea. He signed to MRT his idea, and then told his daughter to look at her mama. Her mama signed to her a comment about how a boy that had previously whispered a secret to his mother and laughing at MRT who was signing and he was looking at them right then and she signed how he looked like that monkey and Qian Her signed back and said yes and laughed and the boyw as so upset that he went away. Buo wen then told his beloved child that she need not whiper secrets top her mama and still they could share secrets like how they did just now. Qian Her quickly ran to her mama and hugged her Mama and MRT was laughing again.

Part 3 : 7 year old Qian Her, MRT's worst fear came true.
Life went on and eevrything was alright until Buo Wen had a prospect of promotion but he thought for the longest of time and decided to go alone to a far off place in Japan for a few years leaving MRT and Qian Her. He decided this way for the best for MRT because he didn't want her to go to a new environment and start all over again. MRT found out about this and talked to him, and reasoned with him the same way he reasoned with her when she wanted an abortion. he rtied to explain why but she cut him off and signed;

"You once told me not to make decisions for my ownself as we are a family, but you're doing exactly that right now. We are a family and whereveer you go Qian Her and I will go with you." And he reluctantly said yes.

At the new place, it was an idillyic smaller town. All was fine but what they didn't know was that Qian Her wasn't. Her new classmates were so insensitive and always bullie dher and pestered her with questions about hert "strange" mother and sai hurtful things to her. As her wlf confidence went lower, hear head looking down at the floor every day her love for her mother became shame. She didn't even want her mama to be present for her essay reading session at school and Buo Wen repeatedly asked her why and finally she said she did not want her classmates to see her mama. She? was ashamed of something that MRT had no control of. Buo Wen almost scolded Qian Her but MRT stopped her and quietly begged him to go to the school with Qian Her and she would stay at home. And MRT's heart was broken into millions of pieces at her daughter's rejection of her and her worst fear finally became true. She felt even more useless and the gap between her child and her growing further and further apart. Buo Wen did not know what to do and went home to his in laws and drank himself silly.He felt useless as a father as he could not protect his child and felt that only Qian Her can pull herself out of this problem. But MRT's parents assured him that Qian Her will be alright as MRT was her mother. Only then did Buo Wen realised how little he knew his wife.He found out that she was a top student and was teased all her life but she grew up fine. And Buo Wen asked Nai Bao Tzi to tell him everything about MRT and he klaughed with joy at the stories and was teary eyed when he heard of what she had to go through. At school the problem worsened, and Qian Her who dared not speak up remembered how her mother had tried to teach her how to catch a ball thrown at her and she repeated ran away from catching it untils eh did and her mother hugged her and was very proud of her. She realised she had to stand up for herself and she attacked the young boy who was teasing her until the teacher stopped them. Later the teacher apologised for not seeing this problem at the beginning and she explained to the class about Qian Her's plight. Some students stood up and stood by Qian Her and all thsoe who had bullied her walked right up to her and apologised and they became friends. And finally Qian Her wanted her mama to see her at school and MRT went along with Buo Wen but she was sceptical, and ashamed of her lack of perfection. But when it was Qian Her's time to read her essay, she wrote about her mother and bravely she signed and read her essay and told the class about how great her mother was, that she was a perfect mother and she now realised why her papa loved her mama so much adn she too loved her mama. the whole class was in tears and clapped and finally, at that moment MRT's fear disappeared and finally gained acceptance in her daughter's heart and she looked proudly at her daughter,a nd Buo Wen looked proudly at both his wife and child.

The Peformaces :
By the two leads, Shinji and Miho, they were flawless. Could they be so perfect ? Yes will be my answer. Perhaps I am biased but I shall explain myself...

Shinji Takeda as Buo Wen
At first I thought that he looked too boyish to be someone who will age up to 7 years in this series and I thought his non-facial expression was absolutely lacking in some scenes. But by the 2nd episode, I began to appreciate his way of expressing his Buo Wen's frustration, anger and joy. Buo Wen is a very calm and cool man. Rarely does he shoud which is why MRT fell for him, because he deosn't shout with his hands, he has the patience to learn a foregn language just to communicate with her and he made the extra effort to be such a loving and giving husband. Everytime there is a problem, MRT's first reaction is to hide, and feel self pity. But not Buo Wen who will always encourage to come out from hiding. And when she doesn't listen, he simply let her be and will reason with her slowly until she accept his reason which will be often correct. when his mother insisted that they live together after the harrowing alarm incident, he was the first to say no though she said yes. He wanted to give her the confidence and if there is such a term as perfect husband, Buo Wen is the personification of perfection of a man and of a husband and as a father. His anger and sadness at not being able to help guide his daughter in her times of unhappiness by bullie in school shows to us what a responsible and loving father this man is. At least he felt anger but did not thing rash because he is a level headed and reasonable man. there are times I feel that our MRT does not deserve such a good man as this. And verey rarely do we see Japanese man as the SNAG....Sensitive New Age Guy who even wash the dishes and change diapers. And Shinji Takeda makes his Buo Wen simply irresistable not through sex appeal nor looks appeal though he has both, and plenty of it, he makes Buo Wen irresistably unforgettable by simply making Buo Wen human and a man, but in Buo Wen 's standard, a better man. I wish I could find such a dying breed of a husband, but i do realise they're often fictional. Shinji made him a gentleman. How very often do we see that on TV these days? And understanding, compassionate, patient, loving...I do wonder, where can we find such a perfect husband? An excellent performance by this well known actor in the Japanese cinema and music scene. I want I want I wanttttttttttt.....

Miho Kanno as MRT
My first impression of Miho Kanno in this series, with her long china doll hairstyle, fair perfect skin, pinkish lips, big round eyes, and a cute smile was "what a pure innocent looking girl". the more I see her face the more I liked it and it is very rare indeed to find such a sweet looking girl on TV these days, and much harder to find such a young actress(she is 24 this year of 2001) who could grasp such a complex role so well, that we could feel her pain her joy her desperation and her need for her daughter's acceptance, and all in 6 episodes!! A bit too short if I may add but perfectly well done. She does not speak a word in this series unless you count mumbling some lines due to her inability to talk due to her deafness as lines but she uses her hands to talk about her feelings. Though some viewers may find it frustrating if you can't read the Japanese/Chinese subtitle and unlike Moonlight there are no narration unless it is a very important scene, you will find youself still able to somehow follow what she is signing by her eyes. Very very expressive. And one amazing this is that she starts as a fresh faced girl and by 6th episode, she looks a bit matured due to a change in hairstyle and clothings. You could really see her grow older as the years go by (well supposedly so) in this series. She is the best Japanese actress I have seen thus far based on her performance alone and simply an joy to watch. You know why Buo Wen falls in love with her MRT but there are times you would want ti slap her for hert self pity moment, until she neglects her own sick child in hospital. I just love that scene and many others. Take my word....she is the best.

The Others
Those who plays mama and papa, and especially 3 year old Qian Her are so good in here. I have never seen a child who could act so well, and 3 year old Qiin Her displays such emotion, that you could hardly believe that she could not be more than 4 would be my guess. Who says Japanese children are automatons? Anyway, she was so good especially her eyes of guilt that everytime her parenst are signing on the dinner table and she doesn't and refuses to understand the language. And everybody else are also very very good. Top notch performance by all.

So what is your recommendation:?
Unlike With Love that has a great song overshadowing the storyline(not that they have any at all), this series has no song but soem background music that isn't too inrtusive like that Shining Through series where they blast the song each time a character appears. No such thing. often silence and just those hands that do the talking. If you really want to watch a good Japanese series, or simply a good series, you can read Chinese or understand sign language or can read Japanese, this is one series that you must have in your VCD collection. Moreover the bonus point is that it is only 6 episodes long and it tells of so much. You'll be a fan of Shinji Takeda, as a woman you'll want to marry his Buo Wen, as a man you should try to emulate Buo Wen, and you'll love Miho Kanno and you'll reach for your tissues once in a while to wipe away that stubborn tears that soemhow got stuck in your eyes. If there is one series that I have ever thought to be almost perfect (well nothing is perfect!), if there is any series that TVB should copy, this would be it. IF you're tired of all those Japanese love story or long series all about love and revenge, why not try this short series that is all about life and ones own place in this big big world? GET THIS ONE!


The Most Amazing Aspect Of This Series :

again the peformances. I really thought that Miho Kanno is deaf and mute because she is just so convincing with her hands in signing and her eyes. And I really though that guy knows sign language but i think they were given ample time to learn and to act convincingly. Amazing. By the way Miho Kanno has albums you know so she is definately not deaf and mute. Amazing!

Any Interesting Stuff :

See the poster below? that is the cover of a manga series (Japanese comic series) with the same name of this series, and the same wirter JUNKO KARUBE. Coincidence? Nope because this series is originally from a manga series! Wierd I know because in other places for comic series we eithr have comedy ot cartoons or kung fu series but only in Japan can you find comic series on a wild but kindhearted teacher, basketball players, and family drama such as above.

Yes. Shinji was discovered many years ago in a talent contest, he sings and plays saxaphone for a living too with concerts around the country and mainly acts in Japanese movies in some really diverse characters. He is one character actor and you can't blame Seagull for not knowing him. And he is very young, 29 this year I think. And very thin and smokes. Who doesn't in Japan? But hey no stigma unlike USA.

Miho kanno is very young has starred in numerous TV commercials, with albums of her own, has quite a number of fans and disappointingly the first Internet picture I saw was her nude pictures. And when Is ay nude, I mean NUDE! Totally destory my feelings about her.BNut she is one excellnet actress. And nope she ain't deaf or mute.No that I know of.

I was told there is a famous and respected old Japanese actor in this series but I do not know who.

And guess what? My glowing review has a back up in facts and figures because though i have alwasy said winning awards doesn't make a series good but for this one deservedly so. And one wierd stuff......this series was shown in TV in three parts, each part 2 episodes and eahc part a different stage of their story like THE STORY above and amazingly eahc shown at least 6 months apart. oen even a year apart! I am not sure if they filmed it that way and so this will explain the actors looking older as each episodes go by or they filmed it all and then release it that way. Whatever it may be, read the below paragraphs taken from SHINJI's ROOM and decide for yourself should you buy this VCD. Not watch but BUY!

"Date: 1999-10-05 (Tue)?
?

"Your hands are whispering"

The inspiring and beautiful story of a hero, acted by Shinji,who fell in love with a heroine who has disability of hearing,acted by Miho Kanno,?

The latest 3rd chapter of this story will be broardcasted on 7th October.
He is trying a sign language in this special TV drama.
(Miho Kanno, as well)

In the 1st chapter, Hirofumi (shinji Takeda) met Mieko (Miho Kanno) at the office as colliegues.?
The sight of her working earnestly appealed to him,
?and he gradually became attracted to her.
As he wanted to talk with her, he tried a sign language.?
Though their love seemd having many difficulties ,the story finished with their marriage.
Broardcasted ?n December,1997
Got a grand prix of ATP prize '98 given to an excellent TV drama.

The 2nd chapter starts with their new life helping each other.
One day,
Mieko realized that she was pregnant, but she didn't have?
any confidence at all in becoming a mother.?
She was anxious that the baby might be born with a disability.

By the words of Hiroyuki "How people feel happy depends on how they live, not how they were born" she made her mind.
Finally, they had a lovely baby girl and named Chizuru.
Broardcasted ?n December,1998
Got a Hashida prize '99. Hashida prize is given by a well known?
scenario writer Sugako Hashida

The 3rd story tells us other difficulties of the family.
We will see growth of the child and the parents overcoming those difficulties.
There had a preview of the 3rd story on 25th, September in Tokyo.
"It was more inspiring story than ever.
I was crying all through the drama" all the people who watched it said with one voice. "

Silly Observation:

I have seen a few Japanese series.? And always a housewife will wear a white apron of the same design and cook, all the time. Same white apron! How so? Only one manufacturer?

And the ideal Japanese familyand ideal even by world standard would be mom stays at home, papa works for money and mama takes care of social work and children's affair.

In this series, you'll see in offices even superviros have no office of their own. TRUE! You may be a manager but ha ha you'll still work like all other common workers and subordinate, open office concept.

I was told in Japan there is no laws governing maternity leave and so married women who just had a child will not have maternity paid leave and will be forced to take leave or even forced to leave the job. UNFAIR! In Malaysia at least we have 2 months paid leave! And in some European countries soem even could take up to 5 years unpaid leave and you can still have back your job! And in England fathers too can take maternity leave as a step to encourage closer family ties. What is Japan doing? I hope hy this time this review is posted, thinsg have change or is already changed.


2 comments:

  1. Great review of a beautiful journey:)

    Funn, I've watched 5 parts (with 2 eps each part so in total 10 eps) & there're more to come after the kid proudly read her mother-essay to the class...but maybe you've known about It already!?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rose frankly I can't remember. So long ago already. Maybe there is a 3rd sequel that I don't know of.

    ReplyDelete

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