Tuesday, August 21, 2007

First Kiss eps 1-3

Ok, Inoue Mao was good in Hana Yori Dango but was it because she was suited for the role or because she's a good actress? First Kiss is a good way to find out. She plays Mio, a sick girl who reunites with her older brother, Kazuki played by Ito Hideaki who just happens to be her first kiss. Instead of using her sickness for more melodrama, Mio is more of an arrogant brat who doesn't want pity, though she'll still use it as an excuse. This itself is such a breath of fresh air though its obvious that they'll amp sickness issue in the end.

At its heart, First Kiss is a fun show about two siblings. The princess and the useless brother. Ito Hideaki actually does a decent job as Kazuki. While I'll never understand why the got the acting award for Kuzu, he certainly shows that he has potential to be a strong lead actor.

Nothing like a woman who enjoys cooking :)

Basically there are three things I like about the show. First, the cat-fights between Mio and Sakai Wakana. Nothing as entertaining as two hot chicks unsheathing their clothe... I mean claws. Secondly, Matsuyuki Matsuko as the doctor. Her acting is always the same but I enjoyed the hell out of Nanisama and Midnight Rain. Third, I just enjoy the dialogue. Its got the fast back and forth banter and usually ends with a punch line or something amusing. Its sorta slapstick without the childish feel of Hanayome no Papa or Kira Kira Kensui.

So far, the 1st three episodes are decent. I expected to dislike this show but found the humour and pacing to be adequate. Now the important thing is the middle part of the series. Will it go the Koi Kaze route? Or will it go the usual they're not related by blood route? Of will it just be platonic. As long as they keep the humour coming, the show'll be ok.

To answer the first question, Inoue Mao is all right but I want to see whether she can play the nuance changes between being a demanding princess and kawaii imouto. For now the script calls on her to exaggerate her spoilt brat role to almost a parody. The test will be whether the audience will feel empathy for Mio as a person and not because the story threw the kitchen sink of misfortune at her.


Anonymous said...

Actually by the end of ep 3, you should have begun to develop some empathy for Mio, particularly because of that last scene with Kazu. She's lonely and yearning for love inside, but because of her disease, she has given up on it as she's afraid to get hurt in the end.

I'm up till ep 6 now and there's no doubt for me that Mao is one of the best actress in her age group. I love the way she delivers her lines and her fluid and natural changes in emotions/expressions (You'll see more of these in the next 3 eps, with ep 6 being the breakthrough for Mio's character). That's definitely the result of 15 years of acting experience.

FK is easily my favourite show this season. There's the sibling relationship (something you don't see much in doramas these days), love and friendship. The three themes that will never grow old in dramas.

The casting and acting is also top notch and there's depth in the characters and dialogue. Of course, the chemistry between the 3 roommates is a blast to watch and Mio's wardrobe is just instant win. :P

Anonymous said...

With regards to Mio as an imouto... Yes, she's not that kawaii, if you take as face value, the way she treats Kazu. But deep inside, she really loves him as a brother and wants to see him succeed as a photographer.

I like the way she deals with and encourage Kazu. Instead of sweet-talking or beating around the bush, she's straightforward with her words and just presents the cold hard facts to him, even if it means hurting or making things difficult for him. It's a much more effective way to get her point across, especially to someone like Kazu.

Of course, Mio's attitude and behaviour towards Kazu does soften later on, especially so in ep 6, which really shows us how much Mio loves her brother.

monkeypox said...

good or bad, I'd watch inoue mao read the phone book out loud.

Anonymous said...

This drama seems to elicit very polarized responses in Japan, ie people either love it or hate it. I belong to the latter group and this is the first drama I gave up this season. The script is so cliche'd, corny, and brain dead that I gave up after the 1st episode, and I usually give a drama at least 3 episodes to find its stride. I won't go into details as I don't want to get into a prolonged debate, and I've no problem w/ other people liking this show. Just to each its own.

Jung said...

Haha the main guy from Bengoshi kuzu didn't win anything for his role? He was the funny one, thought episode where he rubbed his d*** over his boxer was gross...

Anyway, about First Kiss, it's been a hit or miss. The episode where one of the roommates did a TM Revolution spoof was hilarious. Ep 6 was a good watch too.

I think Inoue does have acting chop. She's a natural and plays her character well. It's not a bad watch. Besides, there's nothing else good to watch this season.

Data said...

First Kiss: I think it depends on whether you bought into this whole incurable illness business in the first place, or you're rolling your eyes like Ichiryu and Masaru. "Yeah right, like somebody who looks like Inoue Mao and behaves like that can be gravely ill." If you've always been sceptical about it, there's really nothing much else to go on, especially now that they've sobered up and stopped the incredibly crazy gags, like the pug and chihuahua act. I'm still watching, but I'm not too enthusiastic about it.

"Besides, there's nothing else good to watch this season."

Well this season I've been fixated on Hotaru no Hikari, to the point of (over-)analyzing everything in it. That and perhaps Katagoshi no Koibito for the characters, and Papa to Musume no Nanoka-kan for the physical comedy.

Akiramike said...

Ep 4 was really a miss for me. All of a sudden it just seemed so cliche and the acting/characters started to get stale.

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