Omukae Death お迎えデス is a live-action dorama (Japanese TV drama) based on a manga of the same name, and has an interesting premise: after someone dies, they become ghosts and exist for up to 49 days in the real world before being escorted by “grim reapers” to the after-world. If they aren’t escorted within those 49 days, they become evil spirits and are eliminated, never to be reborn again.
Assisting the grim reapers (who aren’t really grim at all) are people who can see and communicate with ghosts. The two main characters, Madoka (played by Sōta Fukushi)and Sachi (played by Tao Tsuchiya) are two such people, and their job is to help the ghosts remove any regrets they have before they go to the after-world. In this way, the ghosts can rest in peace. So, the plot revolves around Madoka and Sachi helping the ghosts come to resolution so they can move on to the after-world.
Omukae Death has a total of nine episodes, and each one is kind of a story unto itself with guest actors in prominent roles. There is a larger story arc that concludes in episode 9. Some of the stand-alone stories are really good and tug on the heartstrings (they’re stories about people who died, after all!) so I was expecting the larger story to also have a nice emotional element. Unfortunately, it isn’t as strong as it could be. 😞 I think there was just too much going on with a few stories coming together, and it was hard for me to form a bond with a single one since my attention was divided. As is so often the case in Japanese dorama, there isn’t a single strong focus.
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One thing that I like about Omukae Death was that not all of the shorter stories have tidy, happy conclusions. For instance, there is an episode in which a high school teacher, with the help of the Madoka and Sachi, looks after her former student to make sure his life gets back on track. Even though he eventually shapes up and decides to go to university, the teacher waits too long to go to the after-world and her transformation into an evil spirit is irreversible. The ending scene of that story is probably the most emotional of the entire series.
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A funny thing I noticed was that throughout the entire series, Sachi always wore shorts. I thought it looked a little funny in the first episode, but then in all subsequent episodes, she also wears shorts! ❓ In fact, I started to keep a lookout to see if any other characters had the same fashion, but nope! I guess one of the brand sponsors is pushing their summer fashion line. Once or twice during each episode of Japanese doramas, there is a short ~15 second brand sponsor “break” where a voice-over announces the sponsors. The first time you see this, it’s really odd, but you quickly get used to them. Also, during the end credits, there is a list of brands that sponsor the show. I guess if I were more familiar with women’s fashion, I would be able to pick out the brand of shorts that Sachi wears in Omukae Death! 😃
On the acting front, the two mains are not spectacular, but they are both popular young actors so I can understand the casting. Like I mentioned before, Tao Tsuchiya is one of my favorites so I generally watch the shows she is in. 💖 The two actors who play the grim-reapers are fun and do a good job, especially because one of them is just a kid! Of course, my Japanese language skills are not great so I don’t pick up on all the nuances, but I think the acting was okay!
In conclusion, I’d give Omukae Death a rating of 6 on a scale of 1-10. It’s certainly watchable and if you have any interest in the actors or the manga, then it might be worth giving it a shot. However, devoting ~10 hours for the entire series might be more of a commitment than you want to make for just an average dorama.