Before Himitsu I had only seen 2 other body swapping dramas, both were Korean. The first was Secret Garden, which was a goofier take on the idea of walking in someone else’s shoes (literally), and the second was Big, which was well, simply put overall an utter disappointment of a drama that did not make use of the body swapping plot device like they could have. Himitsu had a totally different vibe from either SG or Big, which despite their melodramatic moments, tended to often make light of the body swapping and lean towards the humorous side.
Himitsu was dark and serious, dealing heavily with the moral implications of someone’s soul being in another person’s body. Of course they had more ammunition to deal with the moral aspect because it was the wife/mother whose body died and somehow her soul ended up inhabiting the body of her 16 year old daughter, whose body survived, but whose soul was MIA somewhere. I have to say that I really love this about the three Jdramas I have watched thus far. They dive right into moral issues and unabashedly dissect the human heart, our natural desires, and how far our invisible boundaries will let us run before we run smack into the invisible fence and fall on our faces. Himitsu went even further than Nobuta Wo Produce and Absolute Boyfriend with this issue as it explored the dynamics of the relationship between a husband and wife with the wife’s soul being forever trapped in the body of their young teenage daughter.
I feel that if this were a Korean drama, that they would have gone the Freaky Friday route and made it a goofy portrayal of a middle aged mother floundering to try and fit in as she is masquerading as her daughter and had some crazy intense melodrama surrounding a love triangle between her and a teenage schoolmate and her husband. The Japanese however, did not go this route at all. They instead made this a chance for the mother to start her life over again and study hard to get into medical school, and for her to use her experience to mentor and guide her daughter’s lost teenage friends. Though there is a small subplot of a close and somewhat questionable relationship between her and her daughter’s ex-boyfriend, they do not turn it into a huge love triangle dynamic. They instead use it as a device for the husband and wife to face the issue of whether or not they can continue to be together and be happy and whether their relationship will ever be morally right. I really enjoyed this aspect of the drama and though I enjoy the Korean tradition of a giant love triangle as much as the next person, for me it was a breath of fresh air, a chance to enjoy something a little different for a change.
There was also a subplot going on between the husband and the wife of the bus driver who caused the accident that took his wife’s body and his daughter’s soul. To me it was about forgiveness and whether it is right or not to hold a grudge, and can you blame a person for the tragic events that happen in life or is it just fate? This part of the drama was also very touching and really looked deep into human nature and how to some extent we all share in each other’s grief and happiness.
This drama to me was sheer perfection. It is short comparatively speaking to a kdrama, but I feel like this cut out a lot of the fluff and plot circling that tends to happen in the many overextended kdramas that I have seen. Even to the end it was very thought provoking, and I am going to be honest I am going to have to look up what happened in the manga to find out if I am understanding it correctly, or maybe it was just supposed to be ambiguous to keep you thinking and guessing even after you’ve finished watching. Either way I thought it was just a really beautifully executed drama from the plot, to the camera work, the music, and the acting. If you are ever in the mood to watch a very serious and brain teasing drama, I would definitely recommend that you give this one a try. 5 out of 5 stars!!!
I watched this drama on http://www.gooddrama.net/japanese-drama/himitsu
I got the following info from wiki.d-addicts.com/Himitsu
- Title: 秘密
- Title (romaji): Himitsu
- Format: Renzoku
- Genre: Human suspense drama
- Episodes: 9
- Viewership ratings: TBA
- Broadcast network: TV Asahi
- Broadcast period: 2010-Oct-15 to 2010-Dec-10
- Air time: Friday 23:15
- Theme song: Tsuyogari Soleil by Hatsune
Naoko and Monami, mother and daughter, are in a bus accident. Naoko dies, but her spirit ends up inhabiting Monami’s body. She then returns home to Heisuke, dad, and they try to figure out how to live their lives. Additionally, there is some suspicion surrounding the cause of the accident, which Heisuke investigates.
- Shida Mirai as Sugita Monami
- Sasaki Kuranosuke as Sugita Heisuke
- Ishida Hikari as Sugita Naoko
- Motokariya Yuika as Hashimoto Taeko
- Ryusei Ryo as Soma Haruki
- Hayashi Tantan as Kawabe Yurie
- Hashimoto Satoshi as Kosaka Yotaro
- Ikezu Shoko as Yoshimoto Kazuko
- Masu Takeshi as Fujisaki Kazuo
- Fukikoshi Mitsuru as Kajikawa Yukihiro
- Horiuchi Keiko as Kajikawa Masako
- Hinata Nanami as Kajikawa Itsumi
- Kawahara Sabu as Naoko’s father (ep1,4)
- Muraoka Nozomi as Naoko’s sister (ep1,4)
- Nakata Hiromi (中田寛美) as Heisuke’s co-worker (ep3,5)
- Otsuka Hirota (大塚ヒロタ) as Heisuke’s co-worker (ep3,5)
- Komatsu Kazushige as Naoko’s sister’s husband (ep4)
- Yamazaki Daisuke (ep5)
- Tachibana Ayano as the convenience store worker (ep5)
- Moriyama Yonetsugu (森山米次) (ep5)
- Tengenji Ryu (天現寺竜) (ep5)
- Ogami Kuhio (大神クヒオ) (ep5)
- Hiyodori Kuruo (ヒヨドリ来留夫) (ep5)
- Terakawa Rina (ep5)
- Matsumoto Misako (松本美咲) (ep5)
- Aoki Miyako (青木都) (ep5)
- Baba Yurie (馬場由利恵) (ep5)
- Ageha Aoi (上葉あおい) (ep5)
- Mizukawa Yuri (水川ゆうり) (ep5)
- Suwai Monica (諏訪井モニカ) (ep5)