After watching so many Korean movies and dramas, I became curious about other Asian languages and cultures so I decided to try a Japanese drama. I browsed through few forum topics in jdorama looking for a good one to start with and found many recommendations for this drama “1 Litre of Tears” & decided to give it a try. Honestly it turned out to be the one of the Best choices ever I made in my life!
The story is based on the real life story of Aya Kitō, a 15-year-old girl diagnosed with Spinocerebellar Degeneration. The disease causes the person to lose control over their body, but because the person can retain all mental ability the disease acts as a prison. So in the end she can’t eat, walk or talk. 1 Litre no Namida (リットルの涙 / Ichi Rittoru no Namida / 1 Litre of Tears / A Diary with Tears / A Diary of Tears) is her diary which she wrote through her struggle with the disease until she passed away when she was 25. She might have started to write the diary just to vent out her pain but slowly it shows how she fights with incredible willpower.
Aya Ikeuchi (played by Erika Sawajiri) ~ a cheerful soon to be high school student, loves to play Basket ball, has lots of friends, a lovely family, secretly has a crush for her senior. Her father runs a tofu shop and her mom works in a health care center. She has 2 younger sisters and a younger brother. The progress in relationships with her siblings & her parents are brilliantly portrayed as the story moves on.
Her life changes slowly due to an illness which slowly affects her walking, slows her reflex actions. One day she misses her school bus stop dozing off and rushes back to school. On the way, she falls down collapsing a long row of bicycles and there she meets the silent & mysterious boy Haruto Aso (played by Ryō Nishikido). He helps with the re arranging and takes her to school. Being in the same class they both become friends slowly.
On a date with her senior (senpai) crush, she falls down drastically and ends up getting admitted in the hospital. Her senpai, a perfect coward gives up on her when he comes to know about her illness. On the other side Haruto whose father is a doctor comes to know about her sickness and still continues being a good friend of her. Their friendship moves to love interest when Haruto rushes to her when she gets stood up by her senpai in the rain. A very powerful scene and don’t miss the song ‘Konayuki’ in the background.
They have a brief love story but the difference in this drama is it doesn’t focus on it. In further days, her sickness gets worse & true colors of life show up. It’s really sad how her very trusted friends turn out helpless and start isolating her. She is left with no option leave the school to shift to a specific one for handicapped ones and undergo her treatment there. The scenes where she accidentally hears her friends complaining about her, then Haruto speaking up for her & helping her out, the final farewell to her school friends are all very touching. The rest of the story is even more sadder when she writes Haruto her first & last love letter and her disabilities with proceeding a normal life.
Some wonderful quotes from the drama which were actually extracts from Aya’s diary [credits : Take a Ride to my Life ]
- I really don’t want to say things such as “I want to go back to how things were before”. I recognize how i am right now, and I will continue to live on.
- Even though I have been hurt before by those heartless glares this also helped me to understand that around me, there still exists some gentle glares. Therefore, I definitely won’t run away. That’s what I’ll do. Definitely. Always.
- The quiet classroom after class; The view outside the window; the wooden floor of the corridors; Talking in home room; I like all these. I’m likely to only cause trouble for people and it might not really do me any good to stay here. Even if it’s like that, I still want to stay here. Because this is the place where I am.
- To be able to smile and tell everyone this; i have, at least, cried one litre of tears. Therefore, even when i leave this school, I definitely won’t think that some things have ended.
- If you look up at the sky after falling down the blue sky is also today stretching limitlessly and smiles at me…I’m alive.
- For those people who are really listening, they will definitely understand.
- People shouldn’t dwell on the past. It’s enough to try your best in all that you’re doing now.
- Reality is too cruel, too brutal. I don’t even have the right to dream. As I think about the future, the tears will come out again.
- Where should I head towards? Even if there isn’t answer, I’ll feel better by writing it down. I’ve looked for a pair of helping hands but I couldn’t feel them, couldn’t see them. I only face towards darkness and hear the sounds of my hopeless screams.
Poems by Ikeuchi Aya from One Litre of Tears:
The Other Side of Suffering
Everyone feels pain
But surely, after suffering satisfaction will arrive
Even with sports; studying or other ordeals with life,
It’s like that for everyone
If we can beat the pain, on the other side
a rainbow of happiness awaits us.
That will definitely become a treasure
Lets believe in that.
Step by Step
When my existence seems to disappear
I will look for the place where I can do the best I can
From now on, I’ll deliberate slowly
I won’t be impatient
I won’t be greedy
I won’t give up
Because everyone takes things step by step
Konayuki ~ A beautiful song from the most beautiful drama ever “1 litre of Tears”…
Whenever I hear this song I can remember Asou Haruto running to help Aya. Sad he was only an imaginary character & did not exist in Aya’s real life :( !! Such a life changing drama which made me appreciate Life, Family and all the little things in it.There is a movie version of the same and special episodes too which I’m yet to watch..
PS : Be ready with a box of tissues and yes make sure you don’t watch this in a public place or you will be crying at your monitor leaving everyone wondering why :)