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02 February 2010 @ 09:09 pm
A review of the Yasha J Dorama.  
Yasha – A tale of friendship, companionship and evil ambition

Based on a Shonen ai manga by Yoshida Akimi this J Drama is a beautiful and haunting tale of separation and companionship under the threat of ambition and jealousy and misunderstanding. It tells the tale of twin boys created in the lab to be perfection, strong and smart the ultimate humans. But this is also a story of how they are separated and the two very different paths they take. One of the brothers, Sei, grew up to be an elite bio-chemistry scientist in America. He was assigned to a project where he has to travel to a small island in Japan to investigate an unidentified virus that is spreading on the island. By a freak of nature, he found out that he has a twin brother, Rin, whose evil, dark personality is entirely opposite of him. But there is more to this tale Sei wasn’t always part of the bio-chemistry company no he was rescued at a young age by a women who was a scientist that developed a motherly bond for him and decided to take him away to raise him as her own. He grew up in a remote village and formed a bond with another local boy, the blind Moichi. The two were best friends, inseparable and even having their own secret codes to communicate with each other using a dog whistle. But happiness didn’t last long and the company found Sei, killing his mother, threatening Moichi and eventually bringing him back with them where he grew up to become an elite scientist for the company.
Years later Sei returns to Japan to help find a cure for a deadly virus that has been released into a small island. The entire Islands population has been killed and there is fear that this virus will spread to main land Japan. Sei comes to work on the virus; aloof and cold he is distant from the other scientists and acts with an air of superiority. Through a twist of fate he happens to be working at the same research facility that Moichi is helping with some tests on enhanced hearing in blind patients. Sei and Moichi are reunited and the obvious bond and friendship is still there between them. Sei shows real emotions only when concerned to Moichi and wishes nothing more to spend his life with him. Being based on a shonen ai manga (boys love) it is obvious that there’s more to this relationship than just friend ship, it implies a much deeper bond between them and you see real love between these boys. The care about each other and through out the series are willing to risk themselves for each other wishing nothing more than to live a normal life together. All this happiness and normality is ruined by the introduction of Sei’s long lost twin brother who doesn’t share Sei’s moral grounding and sanity. He is jealous of this friendship he wants his brother to join him and use their intellect for much bigger things. Rin seems nice enough to start with but he proves that he is far more calculating and manipulative than his brother; he plays mind games as well as toying with the feeling of those around him. He manipulates his girlfriend to carry out a lot of his dirty work and he has a sexual relationship behind her back with his bodyguard and childhood friend Takeru. Though this too in its own twisted way seems to have more to it, he does seem to have genuine feelings for his friend even though they share their bed with others as well.
It soon becomes apparent that it was Rin that created this virus; the island was a test to see how well it worked before releasing it in Japan. His goal to destroy the population of Japan and then using his own anti virus choose who lives and dies rebuilding Japanese society as he sees fit. He is quite evil and shows very little compassion towards anyone other than his Friend/lover/bodyguard Takeru. There are twists and turns along they way, politics about the state of modern Japan, conspiracy’s between the government and the bio-tech firms, manipulation from powerful families with invested interests and these two brothers stuck in the middle of it. Their different up bringing having shaped the people they became and the decisions they made. There is also a fair amount of tragedy. From the tone of the story you know from the beginning that this is going to have a tragic ending it’s all very Shakespearian and I knew I was in for tears. Do watch this drama with a box of tissues nearby especially for episode 8. But saying that you know there isn’t going to be a happy ending, the ending itself is perfect for the story it’s the only logical way it could have played out. By the end the Brothers have taken away so much from each other yet have started to understand each other they know what they need and what they want from each other and maybe in death only then can they find the peace they never found in life. After all they have lost all they love and care for in life, they were never meant to have been in the first place, created by science for the ambition of men with power, no chance of a normal life and they’ve hurt each other to much too really forgive each other. There own genetic mutation is failing them its only a choice of who will live out who, which twin will see his final sunset, which twin will give the other what he wants while the other waits for his unavoidable fate. It tragic and sad but sometimes a sad ending is really the only good choice.
The series is filmed with a lot of soft lighting and sombre moods; it has a gentle tone until things become more dangerous and frantic. A note of interest is the use of Stings Desert Rose as the opening theme as well as using an instrumental reprise version of the song through out the series. The heart of the series lies in the relationship between Sei and Moichi, the love and understanding they share and how they complete each other. Even Rin and Takeru share a relationship similar but too twisted by their more brutal upbringing they can not love and share on the same level their ideas of love and companionship have been poisoned. The series is quite stylised even with the obvious fact that the brothers have superpowers and are inhumanly strong, they can achieve great feats but this is understated and not over done. I for one as a slash fan enjoyed this series immensely but also because of its more subtle and delicate approach. It was as much about the relationships between the characters and the human drama as it was about looking cool and have superhuman fighting and playing cat and mouse games. I recommend this little gem of a drama, well worth a watch.