|Title:||Thanatos no Futago 1912 (タナトスの双子 1912)|
|Original work by:||Izumi Katsura (Novel)|
|Cast:||Morikawa Toshiyuki x Nojima Kenji (森川智之 x 野島健児)|
|Konishi Katsuyuki x Kondou Takashi (小西克幸 x 近藤隆)|
|Related drama(s):||②Thanatos no Futago 1917|
|Drama translation:||Shibird (external)|
Mikhail and Yuri, a pair of twins who were separated by cruel fate at a young age, found themselves on the opposite sides during the political upheaval in early 1900s Russia. Will they be able to overcome what fate has brought them and reach reconciliation?
My heart… my heart!!! This was such a great drama that I don’t even… know how to begin reviewing it. This is comparable to Deadlock Series, in terms of how good the story is, but Izumi sensei is definitely crueller than Aida sensei. But, that’s exactly what makes this drama so good.
How do I even begin… ˚‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥⌓˂̣̣̥ )‧º·˚
Thanatos no Futago is set in early 1900s Russia, which is during a period of political upheaval and the collapse of Tsarism in Russia. Thanatos is the personification of Death in greek mythology and the twin of Hypnos (personification of Sleep).
Mikhail and Yuri are twins who were born to the mistress of the Orlov family. Although they were poor and had to do odd jobs to get by, both of them lived happily with their mother until one day when Mikhail was summoned to Petrograd to become the successor of the Orlov family. Their parting scene was one of the saddest in BLCD history I’m sure, with the storm in the background, the lamenting strings piece and Nojima Kenji’s crying. Misha, don’t go! The farewell becomes eternal when Mikhail’s carriage fell off a cliff due to the terrible storm. After losing Mikhail, he lost his mother to illness and Yuri was left with nothing but the Orlov family. Although he was broken-hearted, Yuri steeled himself and took on the role which was meant for his elder twin.
Years later, Yuri has earned himself a reputation as a promiscuous aristocrat who was rumoured to have slept with the higher-ups in the army. By his side, he has a capable right-hand man, Viktor (Morikawa Toshiyuki) and also, cue entrance of his old friend, Maxim (Konishi Katsuyuki). Anyway, as Max has always been very gentle and caring towards Yuri, Yuri has some sort of crush on the journalist and it’s quite obvious that both of them care for each other a great deal. Things have always been rather tense between Yuri and Viktor, and it’s rather obvious too, that Viktor is jealous of Maxim whom Yuri loves.
Meanwhile, Mikhail (Yes he’s alive!) now works at a bar in the Belsky district along with his foster family and Andrei (Hatano Wataru), his foster brother. He has lost his memory from the accident so he doesn’t remember a single thing about Yuri or the Orlov family and he has joined a resistance group against the then Russian government. Max coincidentally gets acquainted with Mikhail when he comes to the bar for its famed stew. Although he was taken aback by Mikhail’s resemblance to Yuri, he didn’t tell anyone about this and continues visiting the bar. He finally made the connection between Mikhail and Yuri when Yuri told him about his twin who died a long time ago, and it was all sparked by Mikhail’s assassination attempt on Yuri. It was a failed attempt as he freaked out upon seeing Yuri’s face, but again, he didn’t tell anyone that the Orlov monster looked exactly like himself.
Out of goodwill, Max arranged for the twins’ reunion. While Yuri was delighted with the fact that his beloved Misha was alive, Mikhail was overwhelmed and didn’t know how to deal with the fact that his one and only brother happens to be his enemy. His feelings further complicate when he saw how Yuri and Max treasured each other and the demon of jealousy slowly took over. Mikhail invited Max to join the resistance group, to which Max agreed on one condition – Mikhail has to cease contact with Yuri. Although it’s great to see Max being so devoted to Yuri, my heart aches for Mikhail and his unrequited love.
Viktor soon found out about Yuri’s twin, Mikhail and the fact that both Mikhail and Max were part of the resistance group. As part of the secret police, Viktor warned Yuri that while he could save Max, Mikhail would be disposed of when the time comes. In response, Yuri arranged for Mikhail to escape to Germany with fake documents. In his final attempt to steal Max from Yuri, Mikhail begged Max to escape with him, a request which the journalist couldn’t turn down.
Following their escape, Yuri was imprisoned on suspicions of aiding their escape. After he found out that Max escaped along with Mikhail, Yuri was confused and enraged. He then pours all of his efforts into tracking them down because he couldn’t forgive Mikhail for taking Max from him. But during their confrontation in Berlin, Yuri couldn’t kill or arrest Mikhail; he couldn’t find it in him to rob the two people he loved the most in this world of their happiness. He let them escape, but they were spotted by Yuri’s subordinates and in the moment of confusion, Max was shot while trying to protect Mikhail.
“Yuri, I love you.”
“I love you too, so please don’t die. I’m begging you. I love you, I love you. So please don’t go anywhere. Don’t leave me behind, don’t disappear!”
During the winter of 1913, it snowed incessantly. Once again, I lost something which was more important than my own life.
Yuri is just such an unfortunate person. He had everything taken from him at a young age and was forced to serve the Russian Tsar in such a hostile environment. Although he appeared to be cold and emotionless at first, that mask of ice melts whenever he’s with Maxim and you could see him become more childlike and innocent – the way he should have been if he weren’t forced to become Orlov’s successor. This character was just perfect for Nojima Kenji, or was Nojima perfect for this character? There’s this quality in his voice which makes him just about the perfect person to act as the aloof tsun character who is actually very sweet on the inside. Yea, I’m thinking of Nojima in the Seikanji-ke Series where he plays the exact same type of character. Coincidentally, Seikanji-ke Series was also written by Izumi sensei but no doubt Thanatos no Futago has a more powerful storyline.
I didn’t really like Mikhail because he stole Max from Yuri! Even in Berlin, Max was obviously drinking heavily because he really missed Yuri. Okay, but I guess Mikhail was really unfortunate in some sense too. He appeared 13 years later than Yuri in Max’s life and fell so hard for the journalist but was unable to replace Yuri in his heart. However, he was still in many ways more fortunate than Yuri. Because of the accident, he escaped from his terrible fate as Orlov’s successor and got to grow up in a poor but happy family. I really enjoyed seeing how different the two twins are because they were brought up in such different environments. While Yuri was cold and steely on the outside, Mikhail was cheerful and outgoing. But both are still gay, haha. As Mikhail, Kondou Takashi sounded really similar to Nojima at times that I thought the casting was very well done in that sense. But aside from sounding like Nojima, Kondo sounded like such a young boy for someone of his age! That’s the magic of voices for you, you sound the same no matter how old you get until past a certain old age.
Maxim is the third son of an aristocratic family and he chose to work as a journalist out of interest. He was the one who brought out the life in Yuri when he first met the doll-like boy 13 years ago and they both love each other a lot – to the extent that Maxim refuses to hold Yuri because he feels that he isn’t good enough for the blond beauty. Max is such a kind-hearted person, perhaps a bit too kind as he couldn’t force himself to choose between Yuri and Mikhail, resulting in a mess and his own death. Although another drama would have unfolded if Max had chosen not to join the resistance group and to stay in Petrograd instead of running away with Mikhail, EVERYTHING started that moment he stepped into the bar and started speaking to Mikhail. Why, Max why? Naturally, I loved Maxim because it was Konishi Katsuyuki voicing this character and Konishi-san made Max sound so gentle and caring that I felt so sad at the end when Izumi-sensei got him shot. And possibly killed. Why kill off Konishi?! I can still hear Konishi going “Yuri, I love you. Yuri…” and I can feel my heart breaking again.
As Yuri’s right-hand man, Viktor didn’t appear that much during this drama. The impression he left on me was that of a cold, brilliant and slightly scary man. It might be the way Morikawa Toshiyuki speaks, but he really sounds quite scary, as though he knows everything but chooses not to show it on his face. Even though he appeared to respect Yuri as his boss, he also held Yuri in contempt for Yuri’s reputation of being promiscuous. But despite all that, he grew jealous when Yuri returned in a good mood after visiting Max. Really, Viktor is a rather complicated man too. If I didn’t know about the cast pairings beforehand, I wouldn’t have thought that Viktor would be with Yuri, it appears to be more of a Max and Yuri pairing here.
Lastly, we have Andrei, Mikhail’s foster brother and childhood friend. He cares deeply for Mikhail but refuses to sleep with him. Really, what’s wrong with this pair of twins? They keep asking people to sleep with them? Although Andrei (Hatano Wataru) doesn’t play a major role in this drama, he should have more airtime in the next drama?
No I can’t give a conclusion at this point, my heart is still grieving for Max. But I thought this drama should be more of a Konishi x Nojima than any of the pairings I’ve listed above but since that’s what wiki said, I kept listening out and waiting for the Morikawa x Nojima scene which never came. Somehow, this feels like one of those proper stories where BL is secondary and I really like that about Thanatos no Futago.
So, I’ll strongly recommend EVERYONE to listen to this, and if you have before, time for a re-listen.