|A former yakuza, Haruo is finally released from prison after completing his sentence. With nine years worth of prison gratuities in hand, he stops at a restaurant to enjoy a good meal, but all of his money ends up being stolen. With nothing left, he spends the night at a net cafe, and he manages to look up his old friend from his yakuza days. When Haruo visits the next day, he learns that his old girlfriend Mariko was living with another man, but later died of illness. Haruo, who had committed murder nine years earlier to earn the money for Mariko's medical treatment, is shocked and angered. He decides to track down that other man, who runs a bakery with his wife and daughter Sachi. Haruo later runs into Sachi at the park, but he has yet to find out the truth about her.|
|Soundtrack and Theme Songs (1)|
|1. ||Yokogao [Sakai Ayumi 阪井あゆみ]|
|Drama Reviews (7)|
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||I'm Dreaming of a White Spring [Rating: 8/10]|
Shiroi Haru is, much like the season itself, about change.
Let's dispense with the obvious: Abe Hiroshi is an excellent actor, and again he does not disappoint in this drama. But I would be remiss not to mention Endo Kenichi, who also not only performed his role well, but well in the light of possible expectations given his gruff appearance and past roles. We know Abe Hiroshi can play a myriad of characters, but to perform well alongside him, and not simply as a shadow, is nice to see.
Throughout the series we witness a change primarily in Haruo and Koji, but other characters undergo minor changes as well. But every decent series must have change in the characters. So what is different here? Ultimately, there is a transition in the main characters from caring about themselves to caring about others, with tears washing away the dirt that has been collected so that the innocence of childhood is not diminished by the stains of adulthood.
The series could potentially be slower for some people to watch. Many of the nuances of the show are subtle and slow to show, but every episode does induce change in at least one character. Given the maturity of the subject matter, which isn't about violence or other adult themes but rather respect and dignity, the pacing is smooth and flowing -- a comfortable ride.
Perhaps too comfortable. For the most part, Shiroi Haru is predictable. It is not necessarily a bad thing, as shock and awe isn't what this series is about. It's about change, and the audience needs to know what causes each change. So it makes sense that we are hinted at what is to come. Even the ending was apparent fairly early on. Honestly, if the end wasn't what it was, I would have felt cheated out of a great moment. Many people wanted something else, but I believe it was fitting and even desirable. I cannot argue more without spoiling the end, but this reviewer relished in its significance.
The main drawback to the show was that it could have been more. Some characters could have been expanded on a lot, especially Kanoko and Shiori. Sure, a diversion made have sidetracked us from the main plot, but then again, there really wasn't one. It wasn't about one story, but what connected all the stories together in each episode. Still, it would have been a major boost if Haruo and Shiori's relationship as substitute father/daughter would have been given more time. Alas, I guess there's only so much you can do within one season.
I enjoyed Shiroi Haru. Will I remember it years later? Probably not. But it did communicate well the themes it covered, and the ending made it worth it.
|Reviewed by chesed on 23 May 2010|
|2. ||A must see for drama fans [Rating: 9/10]|
Getting straight to the point, Shiroi Haru is one of the best Japense dramas I have seen in quite some time. You know you are watching something special when you can’t stop watching until you’ve reached the end. Shiroi Haru pulls you in emotionally and is intriguing enough to have watchers glued to their televisions; qualities which you will find in any admirable drama. That is not to say Shiroi Haru is perfect, it has a couple drawbacks that brings it down a peg.
Shiroi Haru’s story is compelling albeit dragged out on occasion and predictable; something most avid fans of Asian dramas are familiar with. Viewers witness Abe Hiroshi’s character struggle to readjust to normal life after prison, dealing with unanswered questions, and a few big surprises thrown in for good measure. The trials the characters go through in Shiroi Haru can be depressing at times but also uplifting at times. Some characters in the drama stick out like a thorn which will have viewers question their necessity in the story. The only real big negative in the drama as a whole is the ending; unnecessary and tacked on.
Where the story and plot fail at times, it is the actors in Shiroi Haru that propel this drama. The actors in Shiroi Haru perform exceptionally. Abe Hiroshi shows audiences again why he is one of the best Japanese actors. Hiroshi’s portrayal of Sakura Haruo is outstanding and viewers will invest emotionally into his character. Ohashi Nozomi also did a fine job as Sachi, her smile could light up a room.
One more thing to mention, music in a drama can hurt or bring life to it. Yokogao by Sakai Ayumi is the perfect song that expresses the emotions in Shiroi Haru.
Summary: An emotional story and characters that pull you in. Not perfect but a must see if you consider yourself an avid drama fan.
|Reviewed by yangsing on 5 July 2010|
|3. ||Really good! [Rating: 9/10]|
Man did I enjoy this drama! I can't remember last time I was so much into the story of a drama (and I watch a lot). It really got the elements which have huge affect for me: acceptance, parenthood, sticking together when things go wrong... oh, did I mention acceptance? :)
Ok, enough of the puffing and into the point :) Elements which made this drama great, not just good, were:
1. Exceptionally marvelous acting by Abe Hiroshi
2. Compelling story through entire show
3. Touching parts were NOT overdone by prolonging those takes. It made it feel more "real-life" -like than drama.
It was touching but not a tearjerker. The story touched in so many ways, crying is not the only thing in my mind right now. Don't get me wrong: this is really serious! No goofing aroung like Atashinchi no danshi...
Recommend for real human drama -fans. Did you like Last Friends? Arifureta Kiseki? Aoi Tori? You'll love this one! If you like your boys pretty, girls shy and everyone goofing around: go get some Kattun, this is not for you.
|Reviewed by morical on 25 August 2009|
|4. ||Very Good! [Rating: 9/10]|
Abe Hiroshi is like Japan's Tom Hanks, as anything this guy stars in you can be assured that it's going to be pretty good. Unmarried Man, At Home Dad, Trick etc. are examples. Not sure why the drama is called White Spring, but nevertheless this drama is touching with great acting by Abe Hiroshi. My only criticism would be the ending. Seems to be the more the norm in JDormas where they want to shock or not give you a happier ending. I mean when you watch this dorama, it really does a good job in character development of the main character, making you really route for this guy to succeed and turn his life around! He does, and you want it to pay off for him in the end... he deserves it! Still a satisfying drama that will draw you in, but perhaps leave you a tad disappointed at the end!
|Reviewed by Spider on 4 December 2009|
|5. ||Very touching [Rating: 9/10]|
It's amazing how Abe Hiroshi still hasn't completely graduated to the big screen like Tsumabuki Satoshi or Kaneshiro Takeshi yet. His acting is way too good for dorama in this series. Any Abe Hiroshi dorama is a must-see.
Another interesting casting is Endou Kouichi, who is very well-known "Kowaomote" (strong, scary face) yakuza actor as a baker instead of Abe's ex-Yakuza role.
The main cast, including the little girl, did a very fine job in this series. The story was very touching, though some patience may be required for lesser experienced Jdorama viewers.
"Shiroi Haru" is a really well-made drama that starts out as sort of a revenge of an ex-yakuza, to fight to get his daughter back, then finally wanting the best for her.
Highly recommended for serious dorama viewers.
|Reviewed by 8thSin on 18 July 2009|
|6. ||Really Good [Rating: 9/10]|
I really enjoyed this, great performances from Abe Hiroshi and Endo Kenichi who I've only seen in scary roles before as loving step father, Endo kenichi seems in the zone now in the role nice step father as he also does in the same thing in the Asadora Teppan. There were parts when I felt that the drama was a little cheesy. The only negatives about the drama are that Shiraishi Miho and Konno Mahiru didn't do much, so there wasn't much romance and that this drama aired the same time as Aishiteru Kaiyo which is the better drama.
|Reviewed by Sun_Shang_Xiang on 15 November 2010|
|7. ||Kept be watching! [Rating: 9/10]|
This drama came out of nowhere for me and I really enjoyed it. I picked it only because of Abe Hiroshi, as I was told it was not a feel good type of drama. I would disagree with that! After I watched it, it was a good drama but I didn't like the ending. Still if you're an Abe H. fan (and even if you're not) this drama has good acting & character development plus a good story that is both sad and uplifting!
|Reviewed by Spider on 28 April 2010|
|Comments From Users (55)|
This section may contain spoilers! Do not proceed if you
do not want to read about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||Comments by Jeanxi [Rating: 9/10]|
This drama started off with a bang and ended with a bang. Although the plot was a bit slow at times in the middle, overall, this drama did not fail to bring tears and laughter to every episode. I'm pretty sure if I showed a recording of my behavior while watching this drama, everyone would think I'm crazy since I would be laughing so hard, but then after 10 minutes I would just start sobbing. The ending was really shocking and came out of absolutely nowhere. I think I would be much happier if they did a more normal or funny ending.
In regards to the acting/cast, I loved Abe Hiroshi's performance in this drama. Actually, I love everyone in the main cast of this drama since they all did a great job portraying their roles and bringing emotional depth to the story. Although, the child actress in the series was not the greatest at acting, she never failed to be cute so I can forgive her sometimes strained smiles =P (I'm starting to think that is just the way she normally smiles) I think my favorite character in the drama was probably Shiori, though, and it seems impossible to not like the actress who plays Shiori (Yoshitaka). Even when I saw her on a game show, she was really funny and cute ^^
|2. ||Comments by Sorata [Rating: 8/10]|
Another Abe Hiroshi dorama with great cast and great acting...as usual. The pace of this dorama is really good, in every episode something happens, and Sakura(Abe Hiroshi) really is a peculiar character, he really looks like an hobo in the first episodes, great acting by Abe Hiroshi.
I loved how we saw him change and turn his life around during the show, even his character changed, great character development; but we can´t forget Endo Kenichi, he was great playing Koji, all his interactions with Haruo had great chemestry.
And of course Yoshitaka Yuriko and Shiraishi Mio were my eye candy during the dorama, i really liked Yuriko in Love Shuffle but she´s really beautiful in this and her character has more lines lolol.
The ending was a little cliché but i didn´t dislike it(because i like sad endings), if we stop and think it´s the most natural thing to happen, Haruo would have to spend his entire life alone without Sachi, so he died to protect Sachi´s father and went on to the other life to be with Mariko(Konno Mahiru).
|3. ||Comments by Cerebus [Rating: 9/10]|
Abe Hiroshi continues to prove he is the best actor on Japanese TV at the moment, playing the strong but silent Haruo, and Ohashi Nozomi is also excellent as the 9 year old Sachi and gives one of the most naturalistic child performances I've seen for some time. They're helped greatly by the script, which allows Abe Hiroshi to remain taciturn and to expertly silently emote his way through most scenes without the need for any unnecessary dialogue (I suspect the part was written especially for him). Sachi is also superbly and realistically written, not once does she say a line that only an adult would say and remains heartbreakingly innocent throughout. Sentimental? definitely, but never manipulative or mawkish, it's one of those dramas which is likely to stay with you long after it has finished. It had this old cynic wiping away the tears on more than one occasion. The only issues where that Yoshitaka Yuriko's character is rather under written and acts mainly as a plot device and that the ending was rather random and very abrupt.
|4. ||Comments by nishishi [Rating: 10/10]|
One of the best (if not the best) family dorama i've watched so far. The plot is original and brilliant! It goes beyond all that "work hard to be a better father for your family" when they put 2 fathers on this show (one by blood and the other who raised the kid) both always wanting the best for the kid... what makes the viewer understanding both point of views (in the end i was cheering fpr both of the fathers). Amazing character development (one of the best i've seen) SUPERB casting (Hiroshi Abe and Kenichi Endo have such a chemistry betwen them... its amazing!). Shiroi Haru so far is the best 2009's dorama i've seen! Highly recommended!
|5. ||Comments by xploring [Rating: 8/10]|
Excellent acting performances from the entire cast was the best thing about this drama for me. Abe Hiroshi delivered his best performance from what I have seen. Konno Mahiru, Shiraishi Miho and Yoshitaka Yuriko all shone at times, but there were very little focus on their characters, I wish they were developed a lot more and had subplots of their own. The first half was really good, and although the second half felt a bit ordinary for me, I would think this is still one of the best dramas this year. Nice, simple story, but well-told.
|6. ||Comments by Susan [Rating: 8/10]|
This was a really good drama that took me a couple episodes to get into. I really enjoyed the double-father dynamic with Abe Hiroshi and Endo Kenichi, and those scenes were some of the best of the entire series. But overall this drama has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. How could it end like that? I never would have imagined that would happen and it seemed both random and tacked on at the end. This drama could have used another episode.
|7. ||Comments by sect0r7 [Rating: 9/10]|
I watched it for yuriko sake but abe hiroshi acting really makes me cry.Sachi is way cute omg did i sound like a pedophile?THis drama will easily get a 10 rating if not for the crappy ending.I know the director wants to make this into a tearjerker show with sad endings,but this drama just don't match.How can abe hiroshi died in the end?WTF is this kind of ending?Too dramatic out of a sudden.Watched it and you will understand what i am saying.
|8. ||Comments by Lucian Dureau [Rating: 8/10]|
A familiar and touching drama about a person that want to change his way of life and aspire to get a second opportunity. The relationship between Haruo (Hiroshi Abe) and Sachi (Nozomi Ohashi) is so moving. They did a great performance, but it's also notable the Yuriko Yoshitaka's, i'm sure she'll have a bright future.
Thanks to this drama we'll watch another Japan, where people have to try hard to get a job in times of recession
|9. ||Comments by snow_san [Rating: 5/10]|
It's relaxed viewing. Same episodes over. Light touching moments here/there. I give it an edge because of Abe Hiroshi. Although he doesn't have my vote (yet), I do enjoy watching him. 9th episode. His eyes. Holding em back. Now that's powerful.
Final ep. determined whether this drama would be a C or F grade. Regardless of the craziness/negativity goin on; the drama was already over. And I was ready for it to finish. 5 = F.
|10. ||Comments by outlaws0025 [Rating: 9/10]|
Really really awesome dorama. Not the most complicated story in the world, but that's alright when the acting is so~ good! Abe Hiroshi is of course awesome as always! He's such a tough and rough guy, but can change so easily to be very pitiful and well... I just felt so sad for him and wanted him to be with Sachi.
All in all it's just a great dorama. very close to 10 from me.
|11. ||Comments by PaperCaged [Rating: 8/10]|
This show just left me feeling sad, especially after the ending. The scenes between the father and daughter made me smile, but then it'd always be heart wrenching when thinking about it afterward. I like how there were the relationships on the side between Haruo and Shiori/Yuki. Yoshitaka Yuriko really stood out in the drama.
|12. ||Comments by nuts [Rating: 9/10]|
I'd love to give it a 10, but since the ending was just so @W#$%^&* , just 9 then. A bit predictable and slow pace, but that didn't really matter when you got a great acting play from all of the casts and an amazing storyline. Just PERFECT!! Oops, sorry, almost perfect.. However I don't like the ending at all...
|13. ||Comments by hitomi #1 [Rating: 9/10]|
Another superb performance by Abe, this time a very serious role for him. Plays a criminal who is released after 9 years for a murder, though deep down he really is not a hardened thug. Good performances all around, especially the girl who plays Sachi, not to be missed if you're an Abe fan.
|14. ||Comments by williu [Rating: 8/10]|
Another stunning performance by Abe Hiroshi, and the story is both well written and with an original, fresh feeling. The ending is very moving too. But still there is something that keeps the story from hooking you completely. Still great though.
|15. ||Comments by Ezalor [Rating: 8/10]|
Interesting, unique idea and very good actors. The character development is thoughtful and convincing. But some parts get a bit too long, that is boring. The very good and thoughtful end (Sacchi's father gets the bad leg) was beautiful.
|16. ||Comments by venuskarura [Rating: 9/10]|
well paced and written without the need to cause too much forceful sympathies from viewers. i love the natural acting between the characters, from the humor to deeper matters. i would love to be able to watch a few more episodes :)
|17. ||Comments by x_XJules [Rating: ?/10]|
I love Abe Hiroshi. Couldn't really get into this series though. I watched maybe two episodes and wasn't really interested in downloading any more. It doesn't seem like a bad dorama.. just not anything special.
|18. ||Comments by compaqmac321 [Rating: 10/10]|
one of the best shows of the season....this topic just isnt discussed, great show, great acting, great casting, even tho it had a CRAzy ENDING its gets a 10 from me!!!!
|19. ||Comments by tartan [Rating: 9/10]|
Abe Hiroshi fans may have all watched this already. It's truly a warm drama and really emotional with really sad ending. Great story development and cast. Must watch!
|20. ||Comments by gwenny [Rating: 9/10]|
I LOVE Hiroshi Abe, he's such a versatile actor AND Ohashi Nozomi is soooo cute in this drama! It's such a bittersweet drama, I'd recommend it =]
|21. ||Comments by Sleepingstar [Rating: 6/10]|
At times really good, but there are also some things in this drama that could have been done better. Last episode was also disappointing.
|22. ||Comments by gaijinmark [Rating: 8/10]|
Would have given this a 9 if not for that ending. But still a real good drama. Great performances from Abe, Yoshitaka, and Endo Kenichi.
|23. ||Comments by chibichan [Rating: 8/10]|
actually i kinda disappointed with the ending, nothing really change at the end. But the father-daughter relationship is really sweet
|24. ||Comments by gaston [Rating: 7/10]|
For a parent-child drama, performance from kid actually underwhelmed. Redeeming quality was the ending -- realistic and heartfelt.
|25. ||Comments by v1olet [Rating: 9/10]|
One of the best dorama and best casting this year. So human. The father and daughter relationship of Haruo and Sachi is so sweet.
|26. ||Comments by aik0 [Rating: 7/10]|
Story is cliche; but the performance of the lead actor makes it up, not much drama thou, thought the plot is under-developed.
|27. ||Comments by strawberryfzz [Rating: 8/10]|
So good until GUH THAT ENDING! *tears hair out* At least Abe Hiroshi proves himself to be a versatile actor once again.
|28. ||Comments by zhirong [Rating: 9/10]|
Would be a perfect 10 if the ending wasn't a little let down. Watch out for Abe Hiroshi's superb acting in this drama.
|29. ||Comments by bmwracer [Rating: 9/10]|
Excellent, award-winning performance by Abe Hiroshi. Be prepared to be emotionally moved by this heartwarming story.
|30. ||Comments by hisashi [Rating: 8/10]|
Very heartwarming drama. Good chemistry between abe and his daughter, but ending a bit too sudden and rush.
Read all 55 comments from users
|Users who voted for this drama (5)|
Very good drama. Acting was superb for the most part. A must see if you consider yourself a jdrama fan.
Really nice story about the trials and challenges one faces in life. Blood is thicker then water!
Haven't finished yet, but this has a great story and great characters.
Really touching drama, why the ending, though?!!