A Japanese medical drama from 2015, Kounodori revolves around Konotori Sakura (Ayano Go), a gynecologist and pianist, and the people around him (basically the doctors, nurses, midwifes, pregnant women, husband and families).
After watching it, it instantly became one of my favorite drama series. I am not even a big fan of medical drama series. Its charm banks on the characters and their lives. We can see our parents, neighbor, friend, or a family acquaintance in the minor characters who are important in every episode. (Sometimes, there are characters that appear in another episode to see the development. This touch makes it feel more real than any other episodic dramas.) The diversity of the characters make it enjoyable to watch. Even if there is a light tone to it, the issues presented are serious. In a way, this drama is informative. I know pregnancy is a delicate state of a woman, but I did not know just how much risks are incorporated with the situation.
The main and supporting characters (i.e. the people from the hospital) are all enjoyable to watch. They had chemistry together so they felt like a team working together for success. I loved the friendship portrayed between Konotori, Komatsu (Yoshida Yo), and Shinomiya (Hoshino Gen). Komatsu and Shimoya (Matsuoka Mayu) are often the comedic reliefs of the show, but I do loved how they interacted with each other and with other characters as well. Of course, I adored every screentime together of Shimoya and Shirakawa (Sakaguchi Kentaro). Oh, how I ship these two!
It was fun seeing familiar actors and actresses appear as guests in some of the episodes. (Kaname Jun and Usuda Asami are definitely adorable together! I hope they will be able to act again as a couple someday.) One of the most memorable — and probably my favorite — episode is the fifth episode. Yamaguchi Mayu, a fairly new actress, gave such a spectacular performance there. She reminded me of the impact Sugisaki Hana had on me when I first watched her performance. I’m looking forward to more of her future works now.
The OST of the drama, especially Anata ga Koko ni Ite Dakishimeru Koto ga Dekiru Nara (あなたがここにいて抱きしめることができるなら) by miwa, is nice. For me, it gives a refreshing as well as nostalgic feeling. If that is even possible. You can listen and watch its MV here. I believe that the technical aspects of the drama are handled well. I am still amazed how they were able to shoot the delivery scenes. I am also curious how they got the babies to appear in the drama. I knew that my beloved Kamiki‘s mother signed him up so he can appear on dramas when he was still a toddler, but I don’t know if it’s the same with infants. Anyway, I would love to see its behind the scenes. (This is one of the times when I wish they also do SP like that of K-dramas back then where the cast gather together after the drama finishes and get interviewed. They show BTS there.)
Had this drama was shown earlier, like, years ago, I think this might convince me to pursue a career as a neonatologist. But then, they wouldn’t have Matsuoka Mayu and Sakaguchi Kentaro if that were the case. So, I guess I just have to be contented and to continue adoring babies. I would have loved to see more of them, though. I hope a second season is possible. Most especially because (spoiler: highlight to read) I would have loved to see more of Arai. For me, the conclusion to her character was a bit of a blur. Yes, she had a burnout, but it was abrupt that I was taken aback when she was not showed even for a bit on the last episode.
This drama may not have a gripping, complex plot (I thought Konotori having his second job would land him in real trouble) or complicated characters that undergo an evident development, but Kounodori offers a series of touching human stories about the fragility of life.