‘Coma’ is a 2005 five episode drama that tells the same story but through different perspectives of major characters. There is the Insurance Broker, the Doctor, the Nurse, the Detective and the Artist. The short series is so perfectly executed that it feels nothing like watching the same thing five different times from different point of views but rather the story still progresses, somehow! To this day I am still wondering how they had managed to do it. But then again, these were the times when movies the likes of ‘A Tale of two Sisters’ were being dished out like it was child’s play! Those were the times.
I believe I mentioned it in my ‘Youth’ post but I have been doing random re-watching of archived files because these days are so boring. One of the shows that popped up was COMA. I remember that someone recommended this to me in 2006 I think. They first asked me if I had heard of Coma and having just watched a movie whose title sounded alike and starring Kar Yan Lam and Angelica Lee. Its title – KOMA. I thought it was what they meant but then they said it was Korean but KOMA was from Hong Kong so it couldn’t have been it. A quick search pointed me to D-Addicts (*crying*) who didn’t disappoint.
The story is set in a hospital that is closing down because of bad practices. There is like only two doctors left, two nurse, and only one patient who is in a coma. Now that I think about it, was the title about her? Anyway the timeline for the whole series in one day but we do get flashbacks to the past of the characters that are in the hospital this one day. All characters’ stories overlap to create one big story but the story that we are interested in is the one between the Artist and the patient in the coma.
Hong-ah, the artist, has some kind of psychic ability. She is called to the hospital through this ability, by the patient in the coma at the hospital. That patient is So-hee. At first the two seem like strangers but we soon find out that they actually knew each other in their high school days. So-hee was into photography and one day had approached Hong-ah and started to take photos of her without her permission. The two began to get close. Then one day as So-hee went to visit Hong-ah at her place, which was probably the very first time that happened, she got into an accident.
Said accident took place right outside Hong-ah’s complex and she had seen the accident through her window but being so high up, she did not get a good look at the victim. Like, can you think of a worse way to get into an accident? So-hee was just a cross away from Hong-ah’s home and that had to happen right then and there!
Maybe they weren’t that close yet and maybe So-hee was thinking of surprising Hong-ah and had not mentioned that she was going to visit, either way it seemed like the two did not meet again since then! Hong-ah did not go visit So-hee, maybe because she didn’t even know that she was hospitalized. Meanwhile So-hee did not leave the hospital ever again because of what happened to her over there. No, it wasn’t because of the accident that she went into a coma, no, it was because of one of the doctors.
Apparently right after the accident So-hee had died. She was dead but got brought back to life. One of the doctors asked her what she had seen and So-hee had been kind enough to answer but the Doctor got obsessed and decided to send So-hee back to that place so he could get answers to the ultimate question! Unfortunately So-hee wasn’t so lucky that time and did not wake up again! She lived but ended up in a coma! They kept her that way for all those months and maybe there was something else going on with her than simply being in a coma. She called over Hong-ah to put a stop to it, to let her die.
Hong-ah does succeed in pulling the plug on So-hee but she too dies! That stupid Doctor killed her. But it is what is implied happens after their deaths that make me write this post. What So-hee had described to the Doctor that she had seen was, in all understanding, Nirvana or heaven to most. Though one usually thinks that a person has their own special heaven where they find personal happiness and thus should be pretty much impossible for someone else to end up in the same place, at one point So-hee is no longer alone in her Garden of Eden. Hong-ah joined her when she died!
It was so subtle, the way that executed this that only yuri fans would have caught the implications. They went so far in the safety zone that they did not show us Hong-ah’s face at all in So-hee’s heaven. We only got showed her back but really, anyone paying attention would have known it was her. The two walk off into the distance with So-hee happier than she ever looked as she holds onto Hong-ah’s arm.
First time I have seen that kind of ending! Sure we might have gotten it with MadoHomu but I am one of the very few that did not want that kind of ending for those two. It would have worked in any other works but not with Madoka! I am forever grateful for the guys at SHAFT for deciding to not go that route! And no, I didn’t read the manga and will never do! Rebellion is the only viable and correct ending I will ever accept!
Anyway that is that for this short series. It is rare to have such short dramas, isn’t it? The only other drama I know of that is as short is that 1992 Japanese drama ‘Ano Toki Haato wa Nusumareta’. Interestingly it is a yuri drama as well. Hmm…