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Saka no Ue no Kumo [坂の上の雲]



Drama Details
Title:Saka no Ue no Kumo
Clouds Over the Hill
Season:Fall 2009

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TV Station:NHK
Duration:13 Episodes (90 mins. each)

The story takes place during Japan's tumultuous 19th century Meiji Period and is told through the military officers and brothers, Akiyama Yoshifuru and Akiyama Saneyuki, and the poet Masaoka Shiki. All three used their ingenuity to fight an uphill battle during the Russo-Japanese War.

The drama is broken down into three parts and will play during three fall seasons:

Part One: (ep. 1-5) 2009-11-29 to 2009-12-27
Part Two: (ep. 6-9) Fall 2010
Part Thee: (ep. 10-13) Fall 2011

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Actor/Actress Cast (28)
Motoki Masahiro
Akiyama Saneyuki
Kobayashi Ren
young Akiyama Saneyuki
Abe Hiroshi
Akiyama Yoshifuru
Sometani Shota
young Akiyama Yoshifuru
Tanaka Shohei
young Akiyama Yoshifuru
Kagawa Teruyuki
Masaoka Shiki
Sasano Takato
young Masaoka Shiki
Kanno Miho
Masaoka Ritsu
Yoshida Riko
young Masaoka Ritsu
Ozawa Yukiyoshi
Natsume Soseki
Ito Shiro
Akiyama Hisayuki
Takeshita Keiko
Akiyama Tadashi
Matsu Takako
Sakuma Tami
Kunimura Jun
Kawakami Soroku
Osugi Ren
Mutsu Munemitsu
Matoba Koji
Nagaoka Gaishi
Tsutsumi Daijiro
Iguchi Shogo
Nishida Toshiyuki
Takahashi Korekiyo
Takahashi Hideki
Kodama Gentaro
Harada Mieko
Masaoka Yae
Takenaka Naoto
Komura Jutaro
Enoki Takaaki
Mori Ogai
Ohkura Noriyoshi
Kawahigashi Hekigoto
Sano Shiro
Kuga Katsunan
Kamio Yu
Kumagai Naoaki
Watari Tetsuya
Togo Heihachiro
Miyauchi Atsushi
Fujii Shigeta
Kataoka Tsurutaro
Yashiro Rokuro

Related Links (1)
1. Official Site

Drama Reviews (1)
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!

1. War ! What is it good for ? [Rating: 8/10]
Well, according to Edwin Starr (who's actually correct) Absolutely Nothing , but hang on... what about NHK's drama on the Russo-Japanese War ? Saka no Ue no Kumo is a lavish production, NHK must have blown a pile of Yen on this production, usually the digital explosions and fires in Japanese dramas look lame but the effects were really good in this.

It did show the horror of war (you only get to see this in the 4 episodes of the third/last arc)but should have been more critical of war - however this is a bit difficult being as it seen as a high point in Japanese history.However during the episode which focuses on the taking of Hill 203 over Port Arthur , NHK couldn't resist putting on the stirring music after the position was taken with the rising sun flag flutterring on top of the hill.The Russian fleet was in a pretty bad state by the time it reached the straits of Tsushima, however this isn't shown, as it would obviously detract from the victory.Out of deference for Japan's neighbours the Ching Empire (which at that time was the proper title I guess) and not China is used and I don't recall seeing a single Korean in the series.Kagawa Teruyuki as Masaoka Shiki for me provided the best performance, whilst Satomi Ishihara and Matsu Takako are reduced to playing beautiful vases.Motoki Masahiro did a pretty decent job as Akiyama Saneyuki.Whilst Abe Hiroshi and Kanno Miho's talents weren't effectively utilized.
Reviewed by Sun_Shang_Xiang on 25 December 2011

Comments From Users (5)
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 occultangle [Rating: 6/10]
Three year epic historical masterpiece, or at least it's supposed to be. The problem is that it's just not really that good, and not really for any particular reason. They sort of get the epic part right, big budgets and special effects, and the historical locations seem so real, lots of big battle scenes with epic music that always seem to end in the most anti-climatic sorta wins or sorta losses, while on the other hand major victories and defeats are often glossed over and abbreviated by simple narration. None of the characters are interesting, and they'll spend too long on them doing trivial things, occasionally melodramatic stuff happens, then they'll switch to the older brother you haven't seen in ages and he will be told "go be the badass cavalry that you are", they will go off riding on horses with epic music playing and a map with a line on it is superimposed on the screen, and then they arrive somewhere and it'll be like "cool we arrived somewhere." Then they'll spend an eternity with some random historical figure who has no importance to the plot other than he's a historical figure, but since he's a historical figure they feel the need to put every poem and letter to friends he ever wrote up on the screen. There is lots of romance going on but none of it is any good, except maybe the dude who goes to Russia but he's only supposed to be a side character, but he's ten times more interesting than the main characters. In the first series farting seems to be one of the main plot devices and it feels like a Japanese comical adaption of Star Wars, then in the third series it's a bloody, graphic depiction of war in excruciating detail. I could go on and on, but my analysis will turn into what this is: an epic long mess.

I really wish I liked this as much as I would like to like it.
2. Comments by xploring [Rating: 8/10]
Excellent production and acting performances. There are major leaps in plot development at times, but the pacing I felt was just about right, and the story and characters were engaging. If there is a drawback, it's that almost all the Japanese characters seemed so upright and courageous, but it didn't fail to show the cruelty of war and compassion for the fallen.
3. Comments by gaijinmark [Rating: 7/10]
Liked the parts having to do with Kagawa and Kanno best. Great graphics for the battle scenes but they never did clearly explain why the war got started. I kept asking myself, "Why are these people killing each other?" Abe, Matsu, and Ishihara's talents completely wasted.
4. Comments by Signo [Rating: 7/10]
interesting view on the meiji time, but too long fighting scenes.
5. Comments by aoi_dolphine [Rating: ?/10]
watch list
6. Comments by Eve [Rating: ?/10]
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11. Comments by arxiudramas [Rating: ?/10]
12. Comments by DarX-S0ul [Rating: ?/10]
13. Comments by Sun_Shang_Xiang [Rating: 8/10]
14. Comments by Ezalor [Rating: ?/10]
15. Comments by jenanas [Rating: 8/10]