Thursday, May 5, 2011

“Can I borrow your handcuffs? I forgot mine.”

I went to see the final installment in the SP franchise yesterday. It was a tv show in late 2007, followed by a special episode and two films (or two films divided in two, I don’t know the difference). Though it’s commonly referred to by the simple initials SP (security police) the full title in Japanese is a mouthful: Keishicho keibibu keigoka daiyon-gakari - Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Security Department Bodyguard Division Fourth Section. *deep breath*

I liked the series - even though it was ostensibly a “cop show” it had a very Japanese feel. It was very, “How do we stay humble to the VIP while shoving them bodily out of the way of danger?” and “My apologies for setting you on fire but I did warn you not to shoot.” Since guns are outlawed only the outlaws have guns – our heros come up with some awesome improvised weapons depending on their location. Hospital equipment in one episode, office supplies in the most recent movie – maybe I just have a weird fetish for office supplies but I had to suppress a cheer. Maybe it’s a teacher thing – but hey, knowing the Japanese, the entire audience probably felt the same.

I adore the lead actor, Okada Junichi, who is unassuming in a way I find appealing in both my leading men and my security police. Also a member of the group V6, he debuted shortly before his 15th birthday, and has stated that he would get nauseous from stage-fright in his early days. As his character, it also gives him an edge – no one expects 170 centimeters of nice business suit to be able to kick the bad guys’ butts and save the day.

And I love the original theme song, Way of Life, sung by Okada-kun with the rest of V6. Even though it’s an emotional ballad that doesn’t quite match the feel of the series, even though the music video is one I find touching and yet am embarrassed to find touching at the same time. (“How many Symbols of Extreme Emotional Angst can we fit into this single music video?” GROWN MEN. HOLDING HANDS. SINGING. A BALLAD. IN THE RAIN. WITH HAND GESTURES. AND ONE CONTINOUS CAMERA SHOT.) Oh, whatever, I refuse to feel shame:

When I become aware, time has passed.
I am just wandering for no reason.
Light shines through a break in the clouds.
I turn my palm up to the shining days.

It’s a way of life.
Just before, I turned and walked away,
To break out of the gray days.
Even if I falter or feel uncertain,
I can accept almost anything.

Overtaking, I stand still on the road
Looking back over my shoulder at yesterday.
I protect the trembling soul,
Running, running after.
There is a future I want to protect.
I place my trust in today and keep walking.

So unnoticed, time comes full circle.
Every day repeating the same again.

It's a way of life.
What kind of future is waiting?
The image those gray days left behind,
Even if I sigh or feel sad,
I can dissolve almost anything.

This is how I am still remembering,
The dream I saw that day continues,
The promise we made with each other.
Whether I keep calling or stop,
We can't return to yesterday,
So I reach out my hand now.

Childhood memories recalled,
Following them leads nowhere.
Wanting to reveal the feelings in my heart,
Now my calling voice dies out.

Overtaking, I stand still on the road.
Look at the feelings I can't convey.
Someday we will reach an understanding.
Running, running after.
There is a future I want to protect.
I keep walking like this, even now.

I place my trust in today and keep walking.


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