|Title:||500-Nen no Itonami (500年の営み)|
|Original work by:||Yamanaka Hiko (Novel)|
|Cast:||Ono Yuuki x Suzuki Tatsuhisa (小野友樹x 鈴木達央)|
|Synopsis:||After Yamada Torao found out that his lover, Oota Hikaru, was dead, he committed suicide by jumping from a building. 250 years later, he wakes up to find himself in his own room with an android resembling Hikaru by his side.|
Within the first few minutes, I knew I would like this drama. I liked the fragmented narration and the revelation of how his lover was dead right at the start. It intrigued me; if his lover was dead, then what would this love story be about? An entire flashback of the love Torao shared with Hikaru? That would leave us with this bittersweet aftertaste in our mouths because we knew right from the onset that this love won’t end with a happily ever after. Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t have minded if 500-Nen went in that direction. But I was rather surprised (oh I love being surprised) and slightly confused when Torao woke up in his room with an overly polite and distant Hikaru by his side. It was as though everything was just a nightmare and it threw me into slight confusion because I was so sure that the Yamanaka-san won’t hesitate to kill of anyone for the sake of her plot (not that I know her well but it was just a feeling). We then find out that Torao woke up 250 years into the future, where androids exist and the Hikaru he was seeing in front of him was a Hikaru B, an android designed and built for him on his parents’ wishes.
I thought it was rather odd for his parents to wish for their son to be preserved till he could be awakened with an android Hikaru by his side. It would be happiness but a sort of twisted happiness, no? *Shrugs* Maybe it’s just me then.
Torao wasn’t happy at all with the “ugly android” which didn’t resemble Hikaru at all, in terms of appearances, personality and abilities. Even though he was rather mean towards Hikaru B, yelling at him and criticizing him most of the times, Hikaru B never lost his temper at Torao. I suppose an android won’t lose its temper or get impatient with a human whom it has been programmed to love, but such unconditional love still touches me to no end. It’s not like I can’t sympathise with Torao, he woke up 250 years into the future and found that he was stuck with an imperfect robot version of his dead lover. It must have been like, “what’s this? I wanted to die so that I could be with Hikaru, why am I stuck being alive with this fake Hikaru?!”
After half a year of living together, Torao had slowly let Hikaru B into his heart and just after the first night they slept together, Hikaru B disappears and in his place, another android which looks exactly like the original Hikaru appears. This wasn’t reflected in the drama but in the manga, Hikaru B’s message to Torao was recorded while he was practising slicing apples. Remember how Torao yelled at Hikaru B for not being able to slice apples prettily into the shape of rabbits just like how original Hikaru had? Just thinking about how Hikaru B spent his nights slicing apples even though he wasn’t programmed to do so makes me feel like crying again (don’t ask me why). Hikaru~~
Hikaru B was the temporary substitute for Hikaru A, who was the android originally meant to replace Hikaru in Torao’s life. Imperfect, clumsy and slightly useless he was but that, combined with his earnest and innocent will to be of help to Torao must have made Torao and me (and you) fall in love with him. He might be insensitive at times, when he goes off talking by himself enthusiastically without realizing that Torao isn’t following, when he fails to realise why Torao cries and so on. For some reason I really liked it when he asked Torao “Are you feeling happy? Or are you feeling sad?” because he just sounds so earnest. Oh, Hikaru B…
After Torao went to get Hikaru B (I assume he didn’t activate Hikaru A), when everything seems to be going well, a building collapsed onto the two of them. Both survived – Hikaru B got his legs crushed and Torao got wounded on his arm. The nearest medical facility was about 24km away and Torao, unable to leave Hikaru B behind, decided to carry Hikaru B and walk the 24km. This was one of the most emotional scenes in the entire drama, with Hikaru B urging Torao to leave him behind and with Torao reminding him about the promise they made to go Oze together.
For the things they love, humans would go to such lengths.
On hindsight, why didn’t the garbage processing facility have any form of transportation to loan to our couple? If they really did treasure humans as much as they were supposed to, how about CALLING for some sort of ambulance? And why must Torao CARRY Hikaru B along with him? The android won’t die if his legs weren’t repaired immediately, couldn’t you have just gone back for him after getting your arm looked at? All right, sorry for spoiling that scene everyone.
I slept for 250 years and spent just half a year with him. I slept for another 250 years and when I woke up, he was gone.
It is a rather lonely thought, to be all alone in an unfamiliar environment. One of my recurring nightmares when I was a kid involved me wandering around in a desert far in the future in a world where everyone has left me behind. Doesn’t that sound like what Torao does in this drama? But he wasn’t wandering around aimlessly, he had a goal in mind and that was Oze. For that 1 percent chance that Hikaru B might be still around, 250 years after they parted, Torao travelled through the deserts trying to get to a place which might not be there anymore and looking for an android which might not be in existence anymore. I wouldn’t have minded if the drama ended at track 5, I love ambiguous endings like that. But the bonus track was very nice and sweet, and the ending just gets me sighing in contentment after hearing Tattsun say “the kindest in this world, my android”. Ah…
Hats off to Suzuki Tatsuhisa for his acting in this drama, his crying after hearing the message his parents left for him choked me up. Although I can’t deny that the script itself was well-written, they were delivered very well by Tattsun. I was looking forward to hearing Tatsun in an uke role and I was slightly disappointed when their roles weren’t that defined in 500-Nen. You will seldom hear me lamenting about the lack of H scenes, but I honestly thought this drama should have more. It was lacking the mandatory one at the end, after the touching reunion but I suppose that would have made it cliché so this is indeed a special drama.
Although Ono Yuuki had always been someone whom I didn’t really take notice of, his gentle voice here and just… how he manages to bring 3 different Hikarus to life with just his voice is seriously amazing. Since I wasn’t very familiar with his voice, I kept wondering if Hikaru B was played by a total different seiyuu.
After listening to this drama for the second time (which still got me tearing), I started drawing parallels between the minimalistic music in here to that in Decoy. It was the atmosphere created by the music which drew me to this drama in the first place. It was the same kind of music as Decoy’s, the kind which makes you feel empty and lonely inside – perfect for certain parts of 500-Nen.
Before I start on 500-Nen, I was about to listen to FLESH & BLOOD (for Suwabe x JunJun yay!) but I sort of forced myself to listen to 500-Nen first and it more than exceeded expectations. Even though I was quite sleepy and confused at first, I found myself crying about half the time I was listening to this. Maybe something was wrong with me when I was listening to it, or maybe I just found it really sad. When the drama ended and I thought of what Hikaru B would do after Yamada dies, I felt like crying again. On hindsight, the storyline wasn’t amaaaazing but it was rather cool in its own way and I really liked it. I just admire how the author came up with the idea of having love stretched out over 500 years in this manner. Even though I felt that the story was rather empty and lacking in some details and explanations, it was in general a good story. It’s rare to come across a good sci-fi drama like this one so if you’re the kind who loves angst, Ono Yuuki or Suzuki Tatsuhisa, 500-Nen would be the drama for you.
PS: Sorry for ranting.