When looking for a new drama/series/movie to watch, I usually look for romcoms, those with a school setting or coming of age ones. I rarely look at family dramas because they tend to make cry too much. Sometimes, even if I love the cast, I can’t get myself to finish an episode.
From somewhere in the web, I read about how popular “Kaseifu no Mita” in 2011. Curiosity took hold me so I checked it out, not really having much expectation since the plot is quite simple. A family who recently lost its mother hired a housekeeper who will eventually help them get closer and resolve issues even without directly advising them.
Mita Akari (Nanako Matsushima) is the housekeeper. She is actually an ideal housekeeper – she does housework perfectly, has a bag of things that are needed (like Hermione’s bag), can cook well and is not a blabbermouth. She can do almost anything, even play basketball or answer a difficult math problem. She does almost everything asked of her, as long as it is within her ability, and that includes even killing someone (or even herself).
However, she doesn’t show a hint of emotion, almost never blinks and moves like a robot. ). I think if she was a real person, she would have been admitted to a mental institution a long time ago. She didn’t even flinch when one of the kids and even grandpa hit her on the face and when she picked up a tin can from a fire. I have to give it to Nanako Matsushima. She made Mita likeable, mechanical as she may look like, she still felt human (though really…uncanny). As a viewer, I cannot really blame the Atsuda kids from wanting to get to know her better.
The Atsudas are like any other family in the sense that they are a picture of an ideal one but are dealing with problems of their own. The father, Asuda Keiichi (Hasegawa Hiroki), is one confused loser who had an affair and led her wife to suicide. I cannot get myself to like him not because of my personal issues with cheaters but more so because of being a coward who cannot face the consequences of his mistakes. Though he redeemed himself towards the end, it still is hard to trust a father like that.
The kids – Yui (Shiori Katsuna), Kakeru (Taishi Nakagawa), Kaito (Shuto Ayabe) and Kii (Miyu Honda) are all adorable and not like the kids in other dramas that talk and act like dysfunctional adults. The aunt, Urara (Aibu Saki) was irritating as heck but she served her purpose.
“Kaisefu no Mita” tackled issues like bullying, adultery, parenting and forgiveness. There were a lot of teary moments but not the cry-your-eyes-out type. Some funny scenes are inserted and it does not look forced or contrived. There were instances that will let you go WTF- is-happening-here but it is a drama after all. To sum it up, it was an easy watching experience, not much emotional roller coaster and personally, it put a smile on my face when it’s over.