Tuesday, January 5, 2016

ORDINARY MIRACLES: No one said editing would be easy.

Doing something a little different here today. Generally when I write about projects I've worked on, it's a basic overview plus any sort of silliness I encountered in and around them. But this particular one hit me at a weird time, and hit me very close to home. I mean sure, there was that episode of Time Taxi where a girl's words to her dying grandfather were very close to mine to my dying grandmother. That was a weird day. But Ordinary Miracles is a whole other animal when it comes to 'too close for comfort.'

First things first: Ordinary Miracles is well written, well staged, and well acted. It was made (as the notice I had to typeset multiple times reminded me) for Fuji TV's 50th anniversary, and followed the story of two strangers who met because they simultaneously recognised and stopped a suicide attempt, even though the body language indicating the party's intent was subtle at best. This leads to soul-searching and sharing on why they both possess this instinct, and before long their story of a mutual battle with depression is sharing the screen with cross-dressers and war orphans.


The nature of this blog entry means it contains something of a spoiler for the show. Not the ending, but a mid-show reveal. So if you'd like to go and see for yourself before reading on, head on over to Crunchyroll and watch Ordinary Miracles streaming.

Now, as to the rest of you.

Kana, the young woman in the equation, reveals that her depression is the result of her inability to have children. (There's a heck of a story behind this.) After a few foot-in-mouth moments with Shota, the male lead, this crisis becomes the new main plot. Shota wants to marry Kana, but the circumstances of her infertility are a private matter, so he lies and tells everyone that he's the one who's sterile. The truth will out, of course, and soon Kana's secrets are on the table.

And then proceeds a multi-episode study on whether or not women who can't get pregnant deserve love, marriage, and happiness.

Now, this may seem to those who don't know me like little more than a backwards, somewhat sexist and 'problematic' (there's that word) issue. And yeah, it's not one that's going to fare well in today's internet climate where even creating a drama around a woman mourning a miscarriage is apparently not okay.

But for those who don't know me or are new to this blog -- I had stage IV endometriosis, and spent an entire year of my life fighting for a hysterectomy. (Endo itself is not necessarily terminal, but if its side effects go on long enough it can cause all sorts of problems that won't end well, to put it lightly.) Doctor after doctor informed me that I could not have one because I'd not had children yet, I couldn't know if I'd want children, etc. One even looked me in the eye and said if I had this surgery, no man would ever love me. All because I wanted to not die.

You see my difficulty.

Fortunately, the end of the show allayed my concerns about the state of society at least a bit. But it was strange, eerie, and a bit sad to watch an entire show change tracks to talk about me. All right all right not literally. Kana and I didn't go through even remotely the same thing. But you see where I'm going with this.

Honestly, it's the first time I've had a difficult time getting through working on a project. If I think a show is bad, I just suck it up and work. If it's boring, same. If it's long, poorly put together, whatever, same. But man. This was a little awkward. Especially considering that, all told, it was a good show.

As I said before, you can watch the entirety of Ordinary Miracles free on Crunchyroll. Please be in a good mood when you watch it, though. It's deep stuff.