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Smile [スマイル]


Drama Details
Telecast:2009-04-17 to 2009-06-26
Season:Spring 2009

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TV Station:TBS
Duration:11 Episodes

Hayakawa Vito has a Filipino father and a Japanese mother, but he was born and raised in Japan and has never visited the Philippines. During an incident at a bookstore, he meets a girl named Mishima Hana, who lost her ability to speak due to an accident. Even though she can't speak, Vito is drawn to her beautiful smile.

One day Vito becomes wrongly suspected by the police for a crime, and after meeting the lawyer Kazuma, the issue begins to grow... Together, Vito, Hana, and Kazuma will go through challenging times in order to overcome many obstacles.

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Soundtrack and Theme Songs (1)
1. Ariamaru Tomi [Shiina Ringo]

Actor/Actress Cast (35)
Matsumoto Jun
Hayakawa Vito
Aragaki Yui
Mishima Hana
Nakai Kiichi
Ito Kazuma
Koike Eiko
Machimura Shiori
Tokuyama Hidenori
Kawai Kinta
"Bull"/Kazama Kenji
Kitami Toshiyuki
Detective Furuse
Komoto Masahiro
Prosecutor Kitagawa
Oguri Shun
Hayashi Seiji
Katsumura Masanobu
Kashiwagi Keisuke
Maeda Gin
Machimura Sosuke
Ishida Ayumi
Machimura Midori
Murakami Tomoko
Minako (ep. 1, 5-6)
Omiya Taro
Producer Kominato (ep. 1, 3)
Ikeuchi Hiroyuki
Kashiwagi Keisuke
Koshimura Tomokazu
Cafe Manager (ep. 1-2)
Matsuda Satoshi
Kai (ep. 1-2, 7, 10)
Teramoto Sumina
Kawashima Rina (ep. 1-3, 7)
Suzuki Ryohei
Detective Morooka (ep. 1-2)
Jinbo Satoshi
Judge (ep. 2)
Yoshizawa Hisashi
Sagami Yotaro (ep. 2-5)
Nishio Mari
Rina's Mother (ep. 3-5, 7)
Ishii Masanori
Yamane (ep. 3-6)
Hada Michiko
Shimodaira Kanae (ep. 5-8)
Takahashi You
Sahara Akio (ep. 5-6)
Kimura Midoriko
Kamikura Akiko (ep. 7, 10)
Ryu Raita
Hayashi Seiichiro (ep. 7, 11)
Enjoji Aya
the inn proprietress (ep. 8)
Morooka Moro
Kano Rikuo (ep. 8-10)
Sakurai Atsuko
Kakei Yuki (ep. 8-10)
Sakai Wakana
Shibata Kayo (ep. 8-10)
Oshinari Shugo
Sanada Hitoshi (ep. 8-10)
Oshima Yoko
Fukushima Noriko (ep. 8-10)
Asano Kazuyuki
Hiyamuta Keiji (ep. 8-10)
Honda Hirotaro
Presiding Judge Aoki (ep. 8-10)

Related Links (1)
1. Official Site

Drama Reviews (8)
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!

1. Not brave enough [Rating: 6/10]
This should be good and the intention was probably to highlight prejudice but its execution is fately flawed. Matsumoto Jun is suitably darkened up to be a half-Filipino but his character seems weak and his actions at times seem irrational.Moreover his character only associates with Japanese and has regrettably no contacts with the Filipino community in Japan or the Philipines and does not attempt to speak a word of Tagalog and other than food seems to have no interest in Filipino culture.I suspect that Filipino migrant workers are subjected to an even greater degree of prejudice than half -Filipino Japanese nationals.I wonder if the writer was concerned about his audience's reaction had a braver approach been taken.

Nakai Kiichi is the self-hating Zainichi Korean who along with Oguri Shun give the best performances of the show. However given Nakai Kiichi's character's prejudiced reaction to Vito and Vito's own character flaws ,this drama doesn't exactly put half-Filipinos or resident Korean's in a good light. It would have been better to give Vito a stronger character rather than being a forever smiling Holy Fool/victim and get someone who's really half-Filipino to play the main role (i'd liked to have seen this with Mokomichi playing the main role)or write the role for a full Filipino migrant worker and get a Zainichi Korean to play Nakai Kiichi's role but given Nakai Kiichi's character's self-hatred, I doubt that any self respecting Zainichi would have liked to attempted the role as it was written.
Reviewed by Sun_Shang_Xiang on 15 November 2010
2. Awesome Drama [Rating: 10/10]
This drama is really awesome. I love dramas that deal with social issues and problems. This one was daring, and took the issue of racism and prejudice head on. While the racism issue is beaten to death by American filmakers, it's rarely touched upon in Japanese society. It presented a realistic picture of how ethnic minorities are sometimes treated in Japan. I also loved the many references to Martin Luther King.

The characters were all solid. Matsumoto Jun really gave a great performance as Vito. Vito is half-Filipino and half-Japanese, he is more or less a victim of being half-Filipino in Japanese society. Besides Vito, the race issue is also touched upon with his lawyer, Kazuma-San, who's half Korean. The one who really caught my eye was Aragaki Yui. Her performance in this drama was outstanding and as a mute she was so adorable with all her facial expressions. I really like her in this drama.

Besides the main characters, I was pleased that it didn't have too many one dimensional characters. Ojuri Shun played the bad guy of the drama, Hayashi Seiji. Even though he truely was a bad guy, during Vito's trial we do get to see moments where he was much deeper than just another evil face.

The only issue I had with the drama was that the last episode was a little too over-dramatic, but it was still good. Overall, this is really a great drama and I highly recommend it. It's a must see especially for fans of Jun, Gakki, and Ojuri.
Reviewed by mrsmith10 on 18 February 2011
3. AMAZING! [Rating: 10/10]
So far, ever since I saw and read the summary, I was like holy crap this is gonna be great. With Matsujun and Aragaki Yui you cannot go wrong and other great actors including Oguri Shun.

A story about a half-filipino half Japanese guy who was was born in Japan, but has a foreign first name and a bit darker skin-tone than most, who shows his life striving to live just as any other man. This show describes the life of being a minority in another country and even though you are native born, looks are easily judged first.

This is an amazing show so far with an even more experienced actor Matsujun and an always perfect performance Yui, who plays as a mute, who lost her voice through a traumatic incident before.

So far it's been edge of your seat, makes you say aww and cheer for the characters. It's a fast emotion-paced show that shouldn't be missed. And Oguri Shun's part will surely even add to the excitement. This is going to be an outstanding series for sure!!
Reviewed by dbesthair23 on 10 May 2009
4. story of courage and hope [Rating: 7/10]
To be honest, the only reason why I watched this was because of Matsumoto Jun. It was a sad, unfair, trajedy but at the same time warm and loving drama too. I cried during the last few episode and because it was able to move me like that, I like it. There is also great acting from Oguri Shun.
Reviewed by yuki_yoru on 25 April 2010
5. I had fun! [Rating: 7/10]
I liked it. Of course one cannot take it as realistic drama.
Gakky was sooo beautiful in this drama and I was thrilled all the time to see what will happen next.
Reviewed by Li-san on 7 March 2014
6. Touching! Well performed! [Rating: 10/10]
Really a must see, It moved me a lot. Aragaki Yui is amazing, you have to see this dorama.
Reviewed by cksupes on 7 July 2012
7. Amazing [Rating: 8/10]
Amazing story. But so sad to see vito's suffer..
Reviewed by ester_grace on 24 December 2010
8. Amazing [Rating: 8/10]
Amazing story. But so sad to see vito's suffer..
Reviewed by ester_grace on 24 December 2010

Comments From Users (67)
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 pinkokoro [Rating: 8/10]
it can be slow at times, but my most important concern is that the drama stroke a chord. I like the issue being tackled; of prejudice and discrimination. some might say that prejudice and discrimination overly portrayed. if it's so it won't be a problem to me, as I can definitely learn something from it. however as a counter for that, through reading others' experiences in Japan, I can say that it shed some light too to the reality; the arbitrary check of ID, the certain remarks on foreigners from certain country, the prohibition of non-japanese to some shop, restaurants and onsen, and many others. discrimination happens through out the world, but I don't think just because it's prevalent, we can just turn a blind eye. at least this drama portray some bitter reality out there. people should learn something from it. not to put your guard down though, but to strike a balance between being careful and being considerate. acting wise, Nakai Kiichi did great, Matsumoto Jun did good at times exerting the innocence aura but he did back at crying and emotional scenes. Yui stood there being pretty though acting ability is questionable. I like her, but that won't make me say she's a good actress because she's still far from it. Overall I've been enjoying the drama and touched by the message carried.
2. Comments by Oba-chan [Rating: 7/10]
I give this 7 point only because Nakai Kiichi and Shun Oguri acting. Matsujun was really bad at this film, His cried was fake, maybe because of his voice, it is sound like crybaby for me. At final episode when he cry but in silent mode(Because that scene was without voice, the scene is when matsujun going to execution), i see an emotional crying scene right there, that's the only emotional thing that i get from his tears. Because of this, i will stop watching Matsujun drama for a while. Nakai Kiichi act really well, i can he is a real Lawyer when he debate the other lawyer at trial. The theme about discrimantion also make this drama worthy to have 7 point.
Soundtrack: Ariamaru Tomi [Shiina Ringo]: 8
3. Comments by Kiyomi L. Denise [Rating: 6/10]
Basically this is a good drama. Though a bit slow and sometimes a little boring, it is essential for the plot to move in that pace. Yet I thought the leading actor Matsumoto Jun could be better in his acting, he sorta lacked something while portraying those emotional parts where he needed to cry, and sometimes his facial expressions show too much that it's obvious he's acting, instead of really feeling what the character feels. But undeniably, he has a great smile. That, I can really feel his sincerity. :-)
4. Comments by aiscess [Rating: 6/10]
This series reflects Japan's prejudice, discrimination and unfair judgment upon foreigners, but despite all that the lead character tries his hardest in life to reach his dream of having his own multiracial restaurant. Oh well... Jun's acting was so disappointing it ruined the drama for me, he's really not good in crying scenes, he just can't cry when he's supposed to, I mean he can't cry at all. While on the other hand, I was impressed with Nakai Kiichi's performance, he was an effective lawyer.
5. Comments by Jackykero [Rating: 6/10]
This is one I really wanted to like. the story was different and interesting, the lead actors some of the one I enjoy most, the supporting cast was great and brought a lot of humor, but it's just that there was a little bit of something missing. The pace, the twists, something.
Maybe it was just too predictable and not intense enough.
6. Comments by in.the.cold.breeze. [Rating: 10/10]
wow. this was better than i thought, even with all the hammy moments. i truly appreciate how it tackled discrimination and the flawed justice system as it exists in japan, without ending with a blatant call to hope and change. it was trying to do a lot... but somehow, it worked. loved the ending. beautiful <3
7. Comments by Sleepingstar [Rating: 5/10]
This is one sad story, It's well done and all but for some reason this didn't really work for me perfectly and had problems to even finish this. I tend not to like doramas with really serious approach as much so that might be partly it since it was as serious as it gets. Really liked how this ended though.
8. Comments by Amber [Rating: 7/10]
I dont know, what this dorama actually wants to achieve. Have less prejudices? In this dorama Matsujuns role has no real contact to japanese, the only one is a girl that does not speak, eventhough they try to contribute to a world beyond boarders... so its not convincing... one point more for the afford...
9. Comments by delaciel [Rating: 8/10]
I like this kind of dorama. A little dragging in the middle but the beautiful message that this drama want to deliver make me love this drama. I'm not a fan of Matsujun, but for me he's one of great actor in JE...
And plus Oguri Shun.... Good job... He looks creepy and psychotic enough LOL...
10. Comments by nickylynn [Rating: 10/10]
A good drama. I was really engrossed with the story. I really loved Nakai Kiichi. His performance was great. His relationship with Jun was meaningful and moving. Oguri Shun was awesome to watch as the bad guy. I also thought the theme song was great. One of my favorite Jdramas for sure.
11. Comments by tachan [Rating: 8/10]
Very good. I think I'd give it a 9, except I don't think I'd watch it again. The story is too frustrating/depressing. The story features a Filipino living/born in Japan and the prejudices he faces. One of the highlights is that Shun Oguri and Jun Matsumoto are acting together again.
12. Comments by shortmei [Rating: 7/10]
Was sort of difficult to get through the first couple of episodes, but afterwards, I was hooked to find out what happens to Vito and the Machimura family. Though I wanted to slap some courage (and sense) into Vito at times, I was moved by what a generous character he was.
13. Comments by uchi23 [Rating: 10/10]
beautiful story.. it realli is sad to think about all the people that have to suffer injustice's and suffer racism and prejudice.. however it is also wonderful how there are many people who are not like that and are there for that person in those time's..
14. Comments by sable_starr [Rating: 4/10]
god, this drama was so ridiculous. though you can't expect anything better from a drama about racism/discrimination/prejudice written by someone who had no problem using negative stereotypes of Black Americans in HYD2.
15. Comments by v1olet [Rating: 9/10]
The story about the love and justice of a man who live his life heroically. One of my favorite drama. The story is so humane and the message is good. Matsumoto Jun and Nakai Kiichi are great. I love the ending.
16. Comments by dbesthair23 [Rating: 10/10]
Great, amazing, and perfect show so far. Matsujun and Yui and toss in Oguri Shun? There's no reason to ask for more, this show is just great from start to finish, this might become my top 1 if not 2.
17. Comments by williu [Rating: 10/10]
Fantastic drama with a close-to-brilliant script and overall good acting. Lots of different levels and emotions, and deep philosophical questions are raised and treated. Great in so many ways.
18. Comments by gaijinmark [Rating: 7/10]
Nakai is great and a real good supporting cast. But Jun Matsumoto is sooooo bad!! If they'd had a real actor *cough - Haruma Miura - cough* instead, this could have been an excellent drama.
19. Comments by loveaomori [Rating: 7/10]
not bad and not good neither. The girl start talking during the trial and nobody was surprised...lolol. And Vito who wants himself the capital judgement. Quite stupid no?
20. Comments by harusamesarada [Rating: 7/10]
The Gaijin discrimination and japanese trial part was very intersting. About the "smile' things and the acting, I tought it was a bit too much.
21. Comments by nienna [Rating: 6/10]
I won't say it's good but I won't say it's bad.
MatsuJun potrayed his character well. I didn't really like Aragaki Yui's character though.
22. Comments by Spider [Rating: 9/10]
There was something special about this drama that I connected with. Not perfect but well done and made me want to watch the next episode.
23. Comments by Bbbut [Rating: 6/10]
good - I would have loved it if they went through with last episode's cliffhanger (thus actually making a point regarding xenophobia)
24. Comments by Yuuki MatsuMiya [Rating: 10/10]
oh gosh!!! oh the angst!!! Poor Vito!!!! Jun is superb as a battered Philippine that has the most beautiful smile in the world!!!
25. Comments by Arikado [Rating: 10/10]
a gakki fans...hmmm an interesting story with some issues of racism in Japan today society about foreigner.
26. Comments by polgara83 [Rating: 10/10]
It was one of the best drama I watched. Matsumoto Jun is a very good actor in it. Very intense in the end.
27. Comments by jetlagged [Rating: 8/10]
another adult oriented drama with a bit of a dark theme, really enjoyed this, since I'm Filipino myself.
28. Comments by shinjitsu [Rating: 6/10]
Sorry ... kinda fell asleep in this one. Don't understand the rave reviews. Matsujun ... overacted
29. Comments by passionpete2427 [Rating: 10/10]
music is done well. everyone acts great! probably Aragaki Yui's best performance to date.:>
30. Comments by crystalics [Rating: ?/10]
I'm planning to watch this drama since I'm a Filipino. looking forward to this &#9829;

Read all 67 comments from users

Users who voted for this drama (17)
1. Nie9017
I really love the prue love between Bito and Hana... Matsujun and gakky potrayed their roles as Bito and Hana perfectly...
2. Spider
Aragaki Yui is really good in this one and finally showed she's not just another cute face but she can act too!
3. nanaenam
cant wait for this drama to come out..
matsujun has been missing fr the silver screen for two years!!
4. Kachu
Touching, I cried a lot in this one. Matsumoto Jun and Aragaki Yui look so cute !
5. Rodrigo Imai
The story is beautiful, and it's very emotional.
6. raudAHLUnatique
CAN'T STOP SOBBING watching this drama
7. DoroboNiichan
8. pollen
9. kun_cheero
10. athida
11. KAZdoramma
12. in.the.cold.breeze.
13. Fukakyon_Fan
14. katakura_satsuki
15. mrsmith10
16. cksupes
17. guti_80