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TV Series Review: 1 Liter of Tears - Wandersmurf
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TV Series Review: 1 Liter of Tears

TV Series Review: 1 Liter of Tears

"As long as it is you saying it, no matter how slowly, I will still listen.
If you can’t talk on the phone, I’ll come see you.
If you want to walk, no matter how slow it’ll be, I’ll walk with you."
That is what Haruto said to Aya when he said he love her, despite her disease.
When my brother recommends this series to me, I thought it was just another melodrama wherein they broke up and got together again at the end. I never thought that this series is so touching and awakening.
Awakening? Yes. One Liter of Tears is a Japanese TV series based on a true story, about Ikeuchi Aya, a girl who got a rare disease called spinocerebellar degeneration. This disease is incurable, worst than Parkinson even. The part of the brain which manages nerve system slowly degenerates and makes the person unable to do reflexes move such as walking, writing, and even speaking. When I first heard about the disease, I thought to myself, "Damn, this is gonna be a long sobbing night."
As I barely watch Japanese shows, I didn’t know what to expect. The story revolves around Aya, how she has to handle the disease, how she is supported by her friends and poignant family, how her relationship with Haruto goes, and how she motivates herself to keep on going. To keep on living. To keep helping people.
There are so many touching stories inside it. I can’t help but cry when Aya’s brother is ashamed of her disability, or when her sister, Ako, determined that she will live Aya’s dream to graduate from the best college. I particularly love how this family is so full of love, especially the father and the mother. They love to joke about everything, and their home feels so alive, I could feel it.

I couldn’t talk more about the series. What I wanna talk is about the disease, and how I wanna live better after watching this. Spinocerebellar degeneration is a cruel disease, it took away all of our abilities to move, or to speak. We live in a body that we cannot control. Our brain works just fine. But our bodies do not allow us to do anything. It’s the most cruel thing. You want to run, but you cannot move your feet. You want to grab pencil, but your hands are shaking. You want to speak, but your words are held back and your tongue is numb. All the most basic things like buttoning your shirt, using chopstick, or screaming, require so much struggle. I figure, in a situation like that, if this was a Western series, maybe the character will choose to have euthanasia in Switzerland or something. But since it’s Japanese, they don’t. They live on and on, struggle for years, and Aya never gives up.
I realize just how much we take things for granted. It’s cliche, I know. But we do. We take everything for granted, like walking with our own feet, eating with our own hands, being able to play basketball, or writing with this keyboard on. Being healthy should be the first reason of happiness.
Watching this series right after I watched 13 Reasons Why, now 13RW feels so stupid. In this series, a girl keeps on battling her incurable disease even though she has no hope to recover, meanwhile this girl in the US decided to kill herself because she gave up on facing high school. But I guess these two depict that both physical and emotional healths are important to survive.
All of our problems, like working on a job that we hate, being obese, or being broke, seem so insignificant compared to Aya’s. And if she doesn’t give up, neither should we.
Watch it, you’ll take life a little more gratefully then.

If you are curious about the true story of a girl who got the disease at the age of 15, you can read her complete diaries here.
Follow me on Instagram @falen_naoenz or find me chirping at Twitter @Vanilla_Naoenz
Falencia Naoenz
falenciabiru@gmail.com
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