Stepfather Step – Impressions

5 Feb

‘Stepfather Step’ was my first Miyabe Miyuki novel and one of the few mystery novels that I’ve read more than once, not so much for the mystery but for the lovely character interactions. The story is about a thief who blacked out after falling into a house due to an accident on the job and woke up to find himself blackmailed by a pair of twins into becoming their father. The twins were recently abandoned by their parents and cash was running low plus they needed an adult to keep up the pretence of a complete family so that’s where our thief comes into the picture. The novel is made up of a few cases involving the thief and/or twins but at the heart of it, it’s a funny and heart-warming tale on what it means to be family.

Japan loves making tv adaptations of novels/manga/anime and it seems that mystery novels have been particularly popular over the past few years – just check out the number of dramas/movies based off Higashino Keigo’s work – so I probably shouldn’t be too surprise to see the dramatization of ‘Stepfather Step’. Personally I’m not a fan of tv adaptations of mystery novels in Japan because the scriptwriters tend to re-work the story too much to make it more entertaining for the general audience and in doing so, the story loses part of it’s original charm for me (don’t get me started on Galileo).

I like the cast of ‘Stepfather Step’ but unfortunately the drama is a sappy, politically correct shadow of the novel. The novel’s protagonist is a thief who isn’t apologetic about his profession and the twins aren’t bothered by it either but I guess the tv station can’t ‘sanction’ something illegal on national tv so he gets turned into a modern day Robin Hood and later the twins tearfully begged him to stop stealing. The novel was quirky and the humour deadpan whereas the drama has too many mawkish moments meant to manipulate the viewers emotions and it’s a turn off for me. I don’t expect tv adaptations to follow the novels strictly but at least keep the spirit of the story right?

Still, I must say the twins are very adorable. They are older in the novel but it’s harder to find cute 13 year olds? Haaa.

More info on the drama can be found here: http://jdramas.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/stepfather-step/

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8 Responses to “Stepfather Step – Impressions”

  1. Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM #

    Hi there! I was really interested in watching this drama but unfortunately no one has been subbing it. I never knew there was a novel until I read your post. Do you know if there’s a site I can read the english version of the novel? Thanks 🙂

    • J February 16, 2012 at 10:04 AM #

      Hi! Unfortunately I don’t think an English translation is available. It’s a pity not many Japanese crime/detective fiction gets translated to English. Chinese translations are available though if you can understand the language?
      Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

      • Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 8:20 PM #

        That sucks 😦 I can read a bit of Japanese actually but I have a hard time when there are Kanji characters. Thanks for answering my question though.

      • Anonymous February 18, 2012 at 6:18 AM #

        Sorry if I keep commenting. This is just a suggestion: You can be the one to translate the chapters. I think it’s an interesting writing project if ever. Some people have already done it like Blue for the Moon Embraces the Sun 🙂 (I attached a link below to help you… in case you do consider doing it)
        http://belectricground.com/2011/12/06/book-club-the-moon-that-embraces-the-sun-chapter-1/

      • J February 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM #

        No problem, I appreciate your comments! 🙂
        I have thought of translating but I will be translating from the Chinese translation so accuracy is definitely a question and I’m not sure if I can commit to translating a whole book. Also interest level in the drama/novel doesn’t seem high unlike with ‘The Moon that Embraces the Sun’.
        ‘Stepfather Step’ is divided into a few short stories so perhaps I might try my hand at one first if more people are interested.

      • Anonymous February 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM #

        What you said is true about the inaccuracies, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be that noticeable. I really hope more people will be interested. It would be great to see an English version online. How about releasing a chapter/short story every 2 weeks or maybe even a month? That way it’s not that stressful on your part. 🙂

      • J February 20, 2012 at 8:10 AM #

        I will consider this project if I get some free time. Thanks for your support! ^^

      • Anonymous February 21, 2012 at 9:42 AM #

        No problem! 🙂 It’s you who I have to thank for your wonderful post and your consideration for this project :))

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