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Series / Smile

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Smile is a Japanese drama that aired in 2009 on Tokyo Broadcasting Station. It centers around a half-Japanese, half-Filipino man named Vito Hayagawa.

This series provides examples of:

  • Foregone Conclusion: Due to the flashback nature of the show, you know that Vito's going to end up in prison. If you don't pay attention to dates, you may be thrown off by his first acquittal, however.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: The head detective's hatred for Vito is rooted in this, though they did have a history. The history sort of falls apart when you realize that the crime Vito was put into prison for originally was not actually his doing, either.
  • The Pollyanna: No one plays this completely straight, as everyone has some down moments, but Vito is a semi-example. The title "Smile" refers to his never being completely defeated even though terrible things keep happening to him. Also, a more straight example is Hana, who smiles even though her life has been pretty terrible.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The story is told as a flashback to the present (2009) from 2015.
  • You Are What You Hate: Ito Kazuma seems to hold a grudge against "foreigners", and was hesitant to help Vito the first time around. As the series progresses, it is discovered that he has Korean heritage, a side of himself he suppresses.