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Boku no Aruku Michi [僕の歩く道]

Drama Details
Title:Boku no Aruku Michi
Season:Fall 2006

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TV Station:Fuji TV

Due to a congenital disorder, 31-year old Otake Teruaki (Kusanagi Tsuyoshi) has the intelligence of a 10-year-old. He is also afflicted with autism. Teruaki can recite the long list of Tour de France winners or memorize the exact words of someone, but is unable to answer abstract questions such as "How's it going?" Thus, he tends to be misunderstood by others, and has difficulty keeping a job for a long time. He has just quit his job at a store that sells bento (lunch box).
Teruaki lives with his mother Satoe (Nagayama Aiko) and younger sister Rina (Motokariya Yuika). In his spotless room, Teruaki likes to watch Tour de France videos and write three-line letters to his childhood friend, Miyako (Karina).
One day, Miyako introduces Teruaki a job as a zoo keeper at the zoo she works at. Accompanied by his mother, Teruaki has an interview with the director of the zoo. He will be working for two weeks to see what it's like. Under the direction of an experienced zoo keeper, Kubo Ryosuke (Ohsugi Ren), Teruaki will be working at the petting zoo. When he is handed a broom to clean up, he doesn't know what to do with it and just stands there. He has no idea where to clean and how. Miyako advices Ryosuke to "be sure to give him clear directions."
After a week working at the zoo, Teruaki is taking care of a guinea pig. In the zoo, a clown is performing with balloons. When a balloon breaks, Teruaki is startled at the sound and accidentally lets the guinea pig loose, and Teruaki goes into a panic.
Fuji TV

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Actor/Actress Cast (12)
Kusanagi Tsuyoshi
Ootake Teruaki
大竹輝明 (31)
Matsuda Miyako
松田都古 (26)
Sasaki Kuranosuke
Ootake Hideharu
大竹秀治 (35)
Motokariya Yuika
Ootake Rina
大竹りな (21)
Oishi Saoki
大石千晶 (26)
Kato Koji
Hotta Jyouji
堀田丈二 (39)
Katsurayama Shingo
Kawahara Masaya
河原雅也 (32)
Suga Kenta
Ootake Koutaro
大竹幸太郎 (11)
Asano Kazuyuki
kameda Tatsuhiko
亀田達彦 (50)
Kohinata Fumiyo
Koga Toshio
古賀年雄 (45)
Osugi Ren
久保良介 (50)
Nagayama Aiko
Ootake Satoe
大竹里江 (60)

Related Links (1)
1. Official Site

Drama Reviews (2)
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!

1. The Glass is Half Full [Rating: 8/10]
A good five to ten percent of the dramas I watch seem to involve a disability of some kind. Prior to watching Boku no Aruku Michi I completed Heaven's Coins, a two-season series about a deaf girl who falls in love with the doctor she works for (that's a VERY brief description). While the lead character was strong, much of the series was based on both the expected pity of the viewer and the pity of the characters that surrounded her. This is true of each drama that was centered around a character with a disability. Naturally, a new series that focused on a disability would need to be different somehow.

Boku no Aruku Michi achieves this by creating a character to cheer for, a lead that would overcome obstacles inherent in his disability. This series is about a 31 year old autistic man named Teruaki (played by Kusanagi Tsuyoshi) becoming more independent than he (and the characters that surround him) would have ever deemed necessary or possible.

I found it amazing that the reason I was tearing up was not because I felt sorry for Teruaki, but because of the positive occurances that he was the cause of. As Teruaki expanded the understanding of the world, he would inadvertently provide unsaid advice to those close to him. Thus, the focus wasn't the autistic man relying on others, but others relying on him. This is a refreshing take on "disability dramas" and a welcome change from their usual reliance on pity.

Admittedly, Kusanagi-san is on my vote list for favorite actors and while I may be fairly biased, this drama only helped boost my admiration of his acting ability. One may say that all he did was look blank and depended on his supporting cast for emotion, but I feel that his role was much more complex in that he had to accurately portray an autistic person while evoking emotions on camera that he had little control over.

To emphasize his extremely subtle emotions the show depended greatly on the musical score. The score's tone drifted intricately between melancholy and pride, leaving it up to the viewer to interpret the scene within those guidelines. In doing so, the music helped give the theme of independence a greater voice, further drawing the audience into Teruaki's world. As a very odd aside, some of the music reminded me of the computer game Monkey Island. Take that as you will.

The supporting cast was decent to very good. Of particular interest was the role of Ootake Satoe, Teruaki's mother, which was acted exceptionally well by Nagayama Aiko. Many of the tears I shed came from her pride in her son. Karina seemed a bit dry as Teruaki's childhood friend Miyako, but as the series went on it made more sense. She is very beautiful and to her credit she seemed to portray maturity well for an actress who is 23 (her character is 26). As her character grew, I became more comfortable in her acting ability.

The writing is decent. Each storyline, while executed fairly well by each cast member, was very slow paced and thus the entire series can seem to drag on. It is not until later when you realize the growth in each character that the viewer may become more involved to the point where the pacing does not matter. In this respect, the series may definately not be for everyone. As somebody who just finished Heaven's Coins, this slow, positive story is a welcome change to the hair-pulling frustration of the former series.

This show was very positive, poignant, and while admittedly very slow, it never drifted out of the bounds of possibility. It seemed real, and the emotions it evoked were just as well. It was enjoyable, lighthearted, and inspiring -- a great feel-good drama that offered a bit of tears on the side.
Reviewed by chesed on 20 January 2007
2. Karina kawaiiiiiii [Rating: 10/10]
Karina came to my work this morning!! they took pictures of her for a fashion magazine! She was so beautiful! I couldn't get her sign but we talked a little bit! Oshikiri Moe, Ninomiya kun and kuroki meisa have also come to my work-place! wonderful
Reviewed by loveaomori on 27 February 2007

Comments From Users (33)
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 donna8157 [Rating: 7/10]
I watched this drama with little expectation and I can come away saying that I'm glad I did watch it. Kusanagi Tsuyoshi plays a 30 something year old autistic man named Ootake Teruaki. He has trouble holding a job because of his disability and is a burden to his family, especially his mother who has to continuously worry and take care of him. He has a childhood friend named Miyako who he writes to everyday as a routine and Miyako is able to get him a job at the zoo as an animal caretaker. Things are rough for him in the beginning, but little by little the people that work with Teru start to understand him. Teru is a significant asset to their workplace and is appreciated. As the drama progresses, we see Teru's personality unfold and see him become a little more independent with wishes and desires of his own mature.

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi does a brilliant job of playing Teru. I have always thought that he was a good actor, but I feel as though his acting really came to bloom in this series. The episodes were touching and even though I thought it was slow when I first started, I can say that I enjoyed it more and more as it progressed. Great drama.
2. Comments by poopiefish [Rating: 8/10]
First thing I wanna say about this drama is that the tone resembles that overplayed indie film style so closely! For some it might be an added artistic element, but some might find it a bit boring, because the dialog is sparse and there's not much dramatic action.
I must admit I found the pace of the story a little bit slow, but the story was interesting enough to keep me watching. Despite the lack of dramatic scenes, the well-structured plot and music of the drama together created quite a lot of touching moments throughout the series.
I wouldn't say this is particularly insightful, as most people would find the themes in the drama irrelevant to their daily lives (though I did feel a connection with the sister in the drama), but it still leaves something in my heart. It's just such a mellow yet heartwarming story, so unique and genuine, that you will remember this drama.
3. Comments by atheon [Rating: 9/10]
Dec 2006: This drama reminds me of Hikaru no Tomo ni starring Shinohara Ryoko. It's another drama about an autistic child. Kinda like Forest Gump as well. It can be quite slow at times, Teru kept on repeating the same action, same dialogues each episodes, if you think it's annoying then this is not for you. It's fun to see him progress each episode, wonder when he's gonna screw up again, and of course his fate with Miyako chan. Karina is HOT in this drama, they really know how to find a suitable female lead to balance up the dullness haha. I enjoyed watching it, a sweet, heartwarming drama that will put a smile on you towards the end.
4. Comments by sucigam [Rating: 5/10]
I feel bad for writing a review for a drama that I didn't complete but I just wanted to say one thing. Tsuyoshi is obviously a very talented guy being able to pull this kind of role of but the problem is that the story revolves around a character who is about as complex as a grade schooler. Because of the disability, there are very small developments in Tsuyoshi's character every episode and since each episode is heavily focused on him the show ends up dragging quite heavily.

No doubt Tsuyoshi probably did deserve best actor for the show, but talent alone doesn't make a show good.
5. Comments by loveaomori [Rating: 9/10]
after kekkon dekinai otoko (the copy of As good as it gets) the new one is a copy of rain man! Great! But I like it, I mean I could have watched 134 episodes without getting bored! And it deals with an illness without anyone dying in it! Good job. And as I'm french, It was fun for me seeing him watching Le Tour de France. dorama wa yappari japanese dorama!
6. Comments by Oba-chan [Rating: 9/10]
The best Human Drama that i ever watched.
The story move so slowly, but this is the characteristic of Human drama, You will be able to feel it with a "Slow tempo" like that. Tsuyoshi and Karina-chan win an award of television drama academy for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, Good Job!
Soundtrack: Arigatou [SMAP]: 9
7. Comments by gopro [Rating: 9/10]
Probably one of the best I have watched. It shows a variety of things in this show. First about the boy trying super hard in school and the mom not caring, getting a promotion in a society, and the main point in the show about a disability. Very Cute, Very innocent show, Very true show. I reccommend this highly. (2007)
8. Comments by celery [Rating: 10/10]
Currently watching the 1st episode. Reminds me of Kusanagi in Ii hito. Kusanagi is funny when he was told to sweep the floor but continue to sweep the same corner even though it is clean already and he use ruler to measure when cutting the apple. Funny and interesting drama, will continue watching it.
9. Comments by gaijinmark [Rating: 9/10]
Ever since I saw "Ii Hito" I've been saying Kusanagi is just as good an actor as Kimtaku, and he proved again here. He portrayal of autistic Teruaki was outstanding. Good job by the supporting cast as well. Especially Aiko Nagayama as Teruaki's mother.
10. Comments by oldasianguy [Rating: 10/10]
Smap member Kusanagi Tsuyoshi does a sensitive job portraying the mentally disabled young man...it's a off-beat role and needed someone whose not a pretty boy to pull it off...Kusanagi does!!!
He and the show are winners!!!!!
11. Comments by aik0 [Rating: 7/10]
So far interesting/likeable story and characters. Story becomes quite draggy as every episode involves the protagonist to mess up in his job and yet he will be given another chance from the manager.
12. Comments by MrNiceGuy [Rating: 9/10]
Everyone is equal, even normal or disability people. "Being able to do alots of things is not necessarily better than being able to do few things. Just work hard at the things you are able to do"
13. Comments by irwinner [Rating: 8/10]
An interesting drama. The story moves rather slowly in each episode, but the focus is more on how he interacts with other people. Kind of like you learn something new everyday.
14. Comments by Megumi_Nagase [Rating: 10/10]
One of the best dramas i ever watched! Tsuyoshi is just AWESOME and i loved Karina's character as well. Tsuyoshi did a great job portraying Teruaki!
15. Comments by v1olet [Rating: 10/10]
Great acting of Tsuyoshi deserved the award of best actor. Interesting story of an autistic Teruaki. Reminds me of Rain Man of Dustin Hoffman.
16. Comments by strawberryfzz [Rating: 8/10]
Can be really touching and has a nice, feel-good ending to boot. It's a very warm and realistic human drama that's worth watching.
17. Comments by doubledown11 [Rating: 10/10]
Sublime performances involving dynamic characters that really grow on you. One of the best Jdramas I've evr seen.
18. Comments by wanderingfish7 [Rating: 7/10]
If you like ���g��, you should watch this one. He did a good job in this drama. It is a somewhat touching one.
19. Comments by natzumi [Rating: 8/10]
seen ep 1. not too bad. tsuyoshi played the part really well. The episodes seems to be moving very slowly.
20. Comments by digitalcoconut [Rating: 8/10]
so far so good.. seem promising. i watched first 3episodes. good start, good leading actor...
21. Comments by ct_subang [Rating: 7/10]
this is the only drama of the "boku2" tht i truly enjoyed...superb performance by Tsuyoshi...
22. Comments by xxSweetDreams_bby [Rating: 8/10]
It was a very nice drama. One of the few dramas where everything wasn't based on love.
23. Comments by carie_akanishi [Rating: ?/10]
din finish.. so can't comment but it shld be a gd show. Its the heartwarming type
24. Comments by orenji [Rating: 10/10]
Just watched episode 1 and Tsuyopon's amazing! Can't wait for more episodes! =)
25. Comments by moonchyld [Rating: 8/10]
not bad.. kusanagi is an amazing actor~ he plays the eccentric very very well!
26. Comments by Mali [Rating: 10/10]
Really great!! I enjoyed every second of this drama, until the end.
27. Comments by maui [Rating: 7/10]
the last part of 'Boku...' series and kusanagi's acting is superb.
28. Comments by ongrina82 [Rating: 9/10]
What can I say? Tsuyoshi's acting is always great! Watch it!
29. Comments by kirtil [Rating: 10/10]
One of (if not THE) the best autism dramas I've watched.
30. Comments by LivNagisa [Rating: 10/10]
Very sweet drama. Great acting by Tsuyoshi.

Read all 33 comments from users

Users who voted for this drama (2)
1. v1olet
Tsuyoshi deserves the best actor in this dorama. An autism guy trying to be on his own and worth to the society.
2. sao