Threads of Destiny (Akai Ito): A Review.

QUICK NOTE: I’d written this ‘review’ in 2009 when I was 19, overly-dramatic and didn’t have a clue on how to actually write reviews (not that I’ve a clue now, but I’ve gotten better I think) so apologies for this poorly written entry! In general though – personally, I didn’t like this movie. The song from Kobukuro was WONDERFUL but this movie… Pass. – N, August 2013

if you’re planning on watching this movie, i say, DON’T EVEN BOTHER.

sure, the story behind the term Akai Ito (red thread) is interesting- this age-old belief is saying that true soulmates who are obviously made for each other are bound to one another by an invisible red thread of fate, whereby no matter what happens or that even if they can’t end up together, somehow this red thread will link them back (in another life, i guess).

yup, it’s interesting.

what’s not so interesting however, is this movie itself.

Eldest Sis and I should’ve picked He’s Just Not That Into You– which i do personally think is an awesome chic-lit movie in a long while- but of course we wanted to be ‘adventurous’, so to speak, thus ended up watching this.

man, that surely was the longest 1 hour 46 minutes in my entire life.

it was a good thing that we were the only ones in the cinema- we were groaning and complaining in frustration out loud, constantly.

the first fifteen minutes or so of the movie was okay, they started with cute scenes like lying down together at the school’s rooftop (a typical Japanese drama/movie scene thing) and introductions of the group of friends, which the hero Ak-kun (Atsushi) and heroine Mei are both part of.

their Akai Ito relatedness is that they share the same birthdate, 29th February 1992 (I feel old somehow, geez).

apparently, 15-going-16 that they are, life sure is dramatic as hell- Ak-kun’s family history has drugs involved and somehow ties up with Mei, so much so that the girl’s mum told him to leave her alone and end their just-started relationship.

of course, we only know what’s actually said by the mum to him in the what, last 10 minutes of the movie?

drama kicks off with this friend, Sara, who’s been having a secret crush on this other dude (whom i personally think looks uber-gay and not cute, eew) named Taka but oh whaddya know?

obviously this dude likes Mei and fast-forward, Sara gets the wrong idea about the two- and watching this at that time, i told Eldest Sis, “so what now, oh great, she’s heartbroken and what, gonna jump off a building?”– and oh heck, i’m awesome cos that’s exactly what she did!

silly, silly, silly.

in later scenes there’s something about the class hating Mei and Taka steps in to ‘save’ her and somehow this leads to her agreeing to date him- except that over time, he’s exhibiting clear signs of obsession and abusive boyfriend mode…

…but guess what the girl does? stick around anyway, with this excuse of “he saved me when everyone wanted me to die.”

ohh, spare me the drama.

a lot of parts in the movie just don’t make sense but i won’t bother to write ’em out here and while i get the big message about the concept of Akai Ito they’re trying to work on here plus this “Don’t Do Drugs, Kidsawareness- this movie is originally based on a digital comic (or something like that) but heck, personally i would really give the storyline F for fail.

i’m sorry, but the storyline just sucked BIG-TIME.

don’t waste your time (like me, sheesh) watching this- go for K-20 or He’s Just Not That Into You or something else altogether.

that said, i’m sticking to this version of Akai Ito that i love- a song by Kobukuro (and re-sung by Aragaki Yui; i love this one better than the original) that’s about… you know what, here’s the lyrics;

READ IT, it’s lovely.

Akai Ito by Kobukuro (covered by Aragaki Yui)
credit for lyrics all thanks to superb http://www.quartet4.net!

We met here, two months ago to this day, didn’t we?
I didn’t even know how to kiss you back then, my first sweet girlfriend
It’s a silly little anniversary that I wrote down on my calendar
I asked, “What day is it again?” You hesitated a little and then replied

Smiling, you answer, “It’s my ex-boyfriend’s birthday,” I find it hard to smile
I don’t want to hear about that sort of thing…
Our time together still can’t match up to those 3 years you spent with him
But even though I love you this much, we drift apart too many times

We can’t seem to reach each other’s heart and rather than going on like this
Maybe we shouldn’t see one another until your heart can give me an answer
Even if that day is tomorrow or 5 years from now, I’ll always be waiting here
Let’s make a promise and firmly connect our two hearts with a red thread

The flower that was a bud back then already had elegant colors
As fall and winter passed, it withered away, reflecting me as I am now

Time passed by cruelly and I felt helpless, when I closed my eyes
I saw visions of you walking with somebody else…
It felt like I would never see you again
I resigned myself to never seeing you
And tried to hold my heart together, now I have the answer I believed in

“Will you meet me?” your letter full of truthful words says
My tears are spilling onto it, I’ll be there with you soon
So don’t cry, today’s our one year anniversary
Let’s celebrate that and our red thread, which never came untied
You can wish to be loved, but don’t forget that you need to believe
This might be a journey without a clear goal but that’s alright
I’ll walk the path I believe in with my true love, one step at a time.

YUP, THIS ONE IS WAY, WAY, WAY BETTER– even the music video of this one (based on the song’s storyline) was fantastic as compared to this movie.

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5 thoughts on “Threads of Destiny (Akai Ito): A Review.

  1. I agree that this movie too dramatic and seems ridiculous, but that’s because the original story is a 11 episode series. Packing 11 episodes in a 106 minute movie is hard. There, more is explained and nothing seems rushed. I loved the characters, but it was just way too dramatic, making me wonder every time whether the person i was watching was either gonna go into drugs or suicide.

  2. I haven’t seen the movie but, I do know very well that the drama, Akai Ito, was lovely. It was emotional and I admit it was a bit too dramatic but that’s just how things happen sometimes, so if you don’t like dramatic movies, I suggest you don’t watch movies categorized under the genre: drama.
    But, really the drama was beautiful.

    1. Heyya, thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you’re speaking up about the movie and drama because honestly I can barely recall this movie (I didn’t watch the drama), though I admit I didn’t like it when I watched it, hence I wrote this. It’s been a while back since this was written though, so I stand to be corrected but suggesting I swear off drama-themed movies cos of this movie alone is rather unreasonable. Don’t get me wrong – I love my fill of dramas, dramatic moments, tearjerkers and all. I think I just had issues with this one cos the central conflict seemed very trivial – at least back then when I watched it, after anticipating it forever. Thanks again though for your input, appreciate it and I’m sure others do too!

  3. You really think that this is an acceptable review, regardless of wether or no you personally liked it? Criticisum is fine, constructive criticisum takes a bit more effort. All criticisum in a review needs to be explained. Dorama has a reputation for being somewhat OTT but I have rarely found one that was not worth watching and many are very touching. The Japanese pick some very hard hitting subjects and they often seem to include bullying, rape and suicide. Such unexpected preoccupations from a Nation so polite and loveable.

    1. Hello. Haha I get what you mean; I apologize about this review – an old one that I probably should have deleted for its poor quality and surface criticism. Written years ago when I was a teen and frustrated with the show.

      In regards to j-dramas/ movies and their subject matter, this I do agree. Though I also believe they don’t always do and get it right. I appreciate their bravery in bringing up and to screen these serious issues, but the executions aren’t always smooth – such as this show, for instance.

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