Friday, September 28, 2007

1 Liter of Tears

In one of my previous post, i mentioned that i seldom watch dramas. Only one i did watch was Winter Sonata. My GF watches them and tell me the stories. She is a good story teller. When she tells me the story, i pictured it in my mind. The latest one she watches is called '1 Liter of Tears', Japanese drama based on a true story. For those who want to watch it on line, can get it from here. Its in Japanese but with English Sub.

Yesterday she told me the ending, i nearly cried (i was driving). Well here is the story from wikipedia

1 Litre of Tears (1リットルの涙, Ichi Rittoru no Namida?) (also called A Diary with Tears or A Diary of Tears) is a Japanese television drama for Fuji Television about a girl who was diagnosed with an incurable degenerative disease at 15, but was able to continue her life until her death at the age of 25.

The drama is an adaptation of the diary of a Japanese girl named Aya Kito (木藤亜也, Kitō Aya?, July 19, 1962 - May 23, 1988), who suffered from spinocerebellar ataxia. She began keeping a diary at the suggestion of her doctor, and continued to write until she could no longer hold a pen. The diary, titled 1 Litre of Tears, was published shortly after her death.


This drama is based on the real-life struggles of a 15-year-old girl named Aya who suffered from an incurable disease, but lived life to the fullest until her death at 25. The script is based on the diary Aya kept writing until she could no longer hold a pen. The book that later followed entitled "One Litre of Tears" has sold over 1.1 million copies in Japan alone. Aya Kito proved her courage and positive attitude towards an uncertain future when suffering such an illness, spinocerebellar ataxia. The drama spans a decade, during which she graduates from school while her conditions worsen.

The story begins as Aya prepares for the new semester. Despite being happy, she suffers from slight physical problems, which only her mother seems to notice. However, one day, she falls unconsciously on the floor.

After she is sent to the hospital, she is shortly diagnosed with the disease. Despite the fact that she is diagnosed with the terminal illness, she does not lose the will to survive.

She still makes friends with others, including her first love, Yuji. She later develops an interest in Haruto. Although somewhat cold, Haruto was still kind to her. Meanwhile, her health continues to deteriorate.

Knowing that she will not survive for long, she returns a gift to Haruto, who discovers the fact when he reads the love letter that Aya gave him.

In the last episode, she dies peacefully, and her parents mourn her.

Fan reactions

There have been various reactions from fans of the drama. Some fans have found it so touching and jokingly said that they cried "1 litre of tears" while watching the drama.

The drama has also been criticized by some fans that, although it was considered a "romance" drama, Aya and Haruto never kiss, and never even hugged, held hands, or displayed other forms of affection. Some speculate that it was because the producers wanted the drama to be more realistic to Haruto's somewhat cold personality, and that the real Aya never got to experience romantic love, but others countered that true love transcends physical affection and is the most important.

There have also been comparisons between Aya and Anne Frank and their will to survive.

Special episode

On April 5, 2007, Fuji Television aired a three hour special of the series set half a year after Aya's death and focuses on Haruto Asō, who has now become a doctor at the same hospital Aya was treated in and Ako Ikeuchi, Aya's younger sister who is a training nurse. Haruto meets a 14-year-old female patient, who was bullied in school and injured herself to end up in hospital just to avoid school, as well as losing her will of living. It reminds Haruto of how Aya fought her illness and lived her life with her condition and he supports the patient. Aya reappears in the episode using a number of flashbacks from the series and in new scenes.

Wonder if there is any translation in English (the diary). I will definitely buy it.

Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) is one of a group of genetic disorders characterized by slowly progressive incoordination of gait and often associated with poor coordination of hands, speech, and eye movements. Frequently, atrophy of the cerebellum occurs. [1]

As with other forms of ataxia, SCA results in unsteady and clumsy motion of the body due to a failure of the fine coordination of muscle movements, along with other symptoms.

The symptoms of the condition vary with the specific type (there are several), and with the individual patient. Generally, a person with ataxia retains full mental capacity but may progressively lose physical control.

There is no known cure for spinocerebellar ataxia, which is a progressive disease (it gets worse with time), although not all types cause equally severe disability.

Treatments are generally limited to softening symptoms, not the disease itself. The condition can be irreversible. A person with this disease will usually end up needing to use a wheelchair, and eventually they may need assistance to perform daily tasks.

The treatment of incoordination or ataxia, then mostly involves the use of adaptive devices to allow the ataxia individual to maintain as much independence as possible. Such devices may include a cane, crutches, walker, or wheelchair for those with impaired gait; devices to assist with writing, feeding, and self cares if hand and arm coordination is impaired; and communication devices for those with impaired speech.

Many patients with hereditary or idiopathic forms of ataxia have other symptoms in addition to ataxia. Medications or other therapies might be appropriate for some of these symptoms, which could include tremor, stiffness, depression, spasticity, and sleep disorders, among others.

Both onset of initial symptoms and duration of disease can be subject to variation. If the disease is caused by a polyglutamine trinucleotide repeat CAG expansion, a longer expansion may lead to an earlier onset and a more radical progression of clinical symptoms.

It can be easily misdiagnosed as another neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

One means of identifying the disease is with an MRI to view the brain. Once the disease has progressed sufficiently, the cerebellum (a part of the brain) can be seen to have visibly shrunk. The most precise means of identifying SCA, including the specific type, is through DNA analysis. Some, but far from all, types of SCA may be inherited, so a DNA test may be done on the children of a sufferer, to see if they are at risk of developing the condition.


Michelle said...

I'm going to asked my sister to buy this. She absolutely love dramas especially Japanese dramas. After that, she would have to pass it to me. Thank you for the wonderful review of this..

Nightwing said...

Helo Michelle,

Wow, your sister understand Japanese? hehe...just kidding. Ya, its a sad story but it also shows her fighting spirit.

Thanks again for leaving a comment. Cheers.