Yuuki was a cheerful young man with his life ahead of him, but that soon comes to a stop after he is affected by a rare disease that causes his bones to recede. Fighting the illness could have been difficult had he not had his friends and his courage.
The mini-drama Yuuki (ユウキ) aired during 24 Hour Television is probably one of the saddest things I have ever watched. Although having seen it several times by now and knowing full well how it’s going to end, it reduces me to tears time and time again.
I know a lot of people don’t want to watch this because it’s so sad, but I would encourage them to try. No matter how much of a tearjerker it is, this movie will touch you and stay with you for a long time after watching.
The story of Yuuki begins in Perth, Australia, where he is on a working holiday along with some other Japanese people. Yuuki is a cheerful guy who loves to eat and have fun in life. Although the others initially see him as no more than someone to travel with, Yuuki is determined to stay in touch even when they return to Japan in the future.
Because of a sudden tooth ache, Yuuki visits a local hospital. Not receiving a clear explanation, he is told to return to his home country and visit a bigger hospital there. This is the beginning of a long series of tests and research which reveal that Yuuki has a rare disease which dissolves the cranial bone. Being only the 8th reported case with this illness, there is no known cure or treatment.
During the rest of the movie, we follow up on the progression of Yuuki’s disease as well as his re-encounter with the friends he made in Australia, who are moved by Yuuki’s courage and cheerfulness. No matter how bad of a state he is in himself, Yuuki always worries about his friends and their lives first.
This mini-drama is similar to 1 Litre of Tears, only this time with a male main character. Kamenashi Kazuya does an incredible job with the portrayal of Yuuki, whose energetic personality and care for other people will leave very few people unmoved. I think that when looking back at this movie, it isn’t the feelings of sadness that come to mind first – however much I cried while watching this. What sticks with you is how Yuuki was always there for his friends, how he was cheering them up and helping them to bring up the courage to achieve their goals.
I love this movie and I would recommend it to anyone, whether you know/like Kame or not. However, be sure to have tissues ready. Lots of them.
They are both true stories about people getting a disease that can't easily be cured. Throughout both films the characters remain optimistic and determined to live until the very end, with the help of their family and friends along the way.