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Anger on the set of Last Friends

I'd been avoiding stories about Last Friends since I hadn't finished watching it and didn't want to come across any spoilers, but now that I have only one episode left, I took a chance and found this one to be okay. But for anyone who hasn't seen ep 10 yet, it will give away a certain plot point.

Ueno Juri was not at all happy with the way the drama developed. More specifically, she wasn't happy with Sousuke and got into an argument with the director about it.

"Why the hell are you keeping Nishikido alive?!" she roared, her voice echoing.

You see, originally it was decided Nishikido's character, Sousuke the Terrible, was to die somewhere in the middle of the drama. However, when Sousuke would beat Nagaswa Masami's Michiru, ratings for the next episode would go up. A worker on the production staff said, "Everyone was talking about Nishikido-kun's intense, violent scenes and the ratings clearly rose. So in order to maintain the drama's popularity they kept Nishikido's role alive until the end and he continued to do violent scenes." Hence Juri's anger. Her portrayal of Ruka, a girl struggling with gender identity disorder, was amazing yet all people talked about was Nishikdio. Even the higher ups in production were like, "Nishikido keeps this drama going," so they dumped the story they had going in favor of Sousuke.

The production staffer went on to say, "As a result, the relationship between Ruka and Michiru, which should have been more carefully developed, tapers off towards the end." Juri had worked hard to become Ruka - she even talked to people with gender identity disorder - so for them to put her role aside like that really pissed her off. She and Ryo didn't speak much towards the end of fimling.

Not really Ryo's fault (if they say "we've decided not to kill you off" then give him more work, what's he gonna do, say no?), but, if true, I can see where she's coming from. I think Ryo did a great job, but if they needed to add a few extra beatings to pump up their ratings, that's pretty sad. While I admit to getting drawn into his scenes, I would've liked them to have spent more time making the story not suck. Of course people are going to watch the violence, they don't have much else to keep them interested. That's my experience anyway. For me, it got to be really frustrating because of the slow pace and lack of anything happening a lot of the time. I mean, JEEEEZUS. Ten episodes and I still don't know what the hell is up with Takeru's sister. Ridiculous. It's one thing to have cliffhangers, it's another to drag things out forever to the point of irritation. This drama is lucky to have good actors because I don't know if I could take it without them. Anway, I'll be happy to finish up the drama and I hope the final ep is good.

source: ズバリ!裏芸能


( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 1st, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
Me too, until the end, I don't really know Takeru's case with her sister and why do he have a phobia with girls...

thanks for the update!
Jul. 1st, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
i think that is so realistic and hilar~!!! very true!~~
~much luv
Jul. 1st, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I know, I they should have developed Takeru's background. They didn't even elaborate about Sousuke's past and why he became like that. They only showed like 10 seconds of it.

Jul. 1st, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
if u think it's been painful to stick with so far, dont watch the last ep or the special... and i agree - it's sad that the DV ended up being the most "interesting" part of the show.
Jul. 1st, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
So I wasn't the only one bored with Ruka's gender disorder and the only one who enjoyed when Sousuke beat crap out of Michiru?

Thank you production staff.
Jul. 2nd, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
sadly, it's the dragged-out DV scenes that makes the drama a trainwreck...it could have been a good drama, but in the end it's just another of that close yet not good enough kind...sad for Ryo too, because in a bunch of good actors he becomes a part of a not-that-great drama after all...so much for the hype...
Jul. 2nd, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
but at the same time, if sousuke died halfway through the show, that might have messed up the timeline of the show. just a thought and not saying more for the sake of those who are still watching it.

I would have liked more with Ruka's part of the story, and I was actually okay with Takeru's, since what happened to him was kind of inferred sometime halfway through the series, I think.
Jul. 2nd, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
wow the DV was the only interesting part of the show? for some ppl? I find it stupid anyway, maybe the people who watched it were rather retarded. But it makes more sense cause I didn't know what made the rating go so high, when i particularly though that LS was not that interesting, they miss lots of hit points like you said anyways.
Jul. 2nd, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
But at least now we know why many viewers were left with a great sense of collective bewilderment by the time they aired the finale. Oh, Last Friends.
Jul. 2nd, 2008 03:40 am (UTC)
Oh, how I hate people who would do anything just to get better ratings. Anyways, Last Friends was a disappointment.
Jul. 2nd, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)
agreed...and it if it wins awards (except for Juri & Eita maybe), then I'll be even more disappointed...
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 2nd, 2008 08:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, pretty early on it was implied what happened with Takeru's sister.

I think it was a very good move to put someone like Ryo, I've seen dramas where people go "omg I don't even knwo what she sees in him", etc, etc.
(no subject) - uwasako - Jul. 2nd, 2008 08:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 2nd, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
But I thought ...
I was very into the Sosouke plot line. It was sort of fascinating to watch, but Ruka's character progression (well the little of it that we saw) was amazing. You can't ignore Uneo Juri here, she demonstrates her skills so well, and I don't think anyone is as versatile as her. She deserved the most screen time here. She's redeemed herself after Nodame.

For the longest time I just thought Takeru was into older women but was afraid or had been pushed too far by an older lady. I was also expecting more from Eri, who was my favourite character.

No one, it seems can ignore the ratings. I firmly believe they are signs from god. (jk)
Jul. 2nd, 2008 05:13 am (UTC)
man, the viewers liked the DV scenes??? i really think it's repetitive and everyone seems to mention ryo's intensity... but am i the only one missing it? it's like he's been given the script and he stoically/half-heartedly does it exactly the way it says. Beat, shove, slap step by step actions every single time!! if it wasn't for the creepy background song and good acting by his co-stars the scenes were a bit flat.

although he did pull it off in the end when he was crying miserably (probably a last attempt by the producers to have the viewers sympathize with him), the story just dragged on! i'm all for not spoonfeeding viewers every details of their characters because it allows them to think but in this case, it just did not make sense!

ueno juri was the only one saving grace in the series. i agree with most of the comments here. major disappointment.
Jul. 2nd, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)
really? is the DV thing that interesting. the part/s that interest me is about the dilemma of Eri and Takeru. ryo as sosuke is just a "glitter/shinny thingy" for the drama. sorry ryo fans but the minor parts really interests me...
Jul. 2nd, 2008 08:05 am (UTC)
I actually don't mind the DV scenes in the beginning since it does help build up the plot so that Michiru can go to Ruka. But yeah, I get kinda sick of seeing repetitive DV scenes after the middle which hinders the other characters' development and story.

If only they weren't so keen on ratings, will the story be on a better pathway. I guess lots of LF fans here do agree with Juri's reaction, too.
Jul. 2nd, 2008 08:32 am (UTC)
awww.. as much I enjoy the DV scenes, I do enjoy the other scenes too,about Takeru and Ruka. But, I have to agree it's kinda slowwww and yeah.. the Takeru's story wasn't elaborated well until the end.. *sigh*
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