There are dramas that you watch that linger briefly and then pass into oblivion. Very few make such an impact that it transcends the entertainment value and becomes something symbolic in ways that validate its purpose. 2005’s J-dorama 1 Litre of Tears (Ichi Rittoru no Namida) is one of those dramas that seeps into your bones and never really goes away, the feelings of hope and sadness it evokes so profoundly moving. Starring Sawajiri Erika in her star-making performance as Aya, a high school girl suffering from spinocerebellar degeneration, this dorama launched her into her generation’s A-list and she would have stayed there had her real life bitchy attitude and rude behavior not shot herself in the foot a few years later. Erika was absolutely luminous and raw in her performance as Aya, and she actually cornered the dorama market on “girl dying from incurable disease” roles when she followed this up with Midnight Sun (Taiyou no Uta). 1 Litre is one of those seminal J-doramas (along with Beautiful Life with KimuTaku and Tokiwa Takako) that tells a tale without a happy ending but in ways that celebrate the joy in life. Co-starring Nishikido Ryo, Fujiki Naohito, Matsuyama Kenichi, and Yakushimaru Hiroko, 1 Litre is based on a true story in the form of a journal written by a high school girl named Aya who was indeed suffering from this disease and died young at age 25. Korea has now decided better late than never and MBC is readying a K-drama version to star Park Bo Young. My reluctance for Korea to remake it has been outweighed by my excitement on Park Bo Young’s long awaited television return and the complete confidence that she is the perfect actress to play this role. This is Erika’s iconic role but Park Bo Young has the looks and acting chops to portray this character from carefree teen to bed-ridden invalid. MBC is interested in airing I Litre in October after Lee Jun Ki’s Two Weeks. I can’t believe I’m such a glutton for punishment, I really haven’t ever gotten back the 1 litre (and more) of tears watching this dorama seeped from me. Check out the awesome MVs of the original below and be prepared to sob like a baby.
I Litre of Tears “Stop and Stare” By One Republic:
I Litre of Tears “Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavigne: