Friday, January 11, 2008
Koori no Sekai/ Ice World
Its unfortunate they don't make mystery doramas any more. I really enjoyed One Million Stars, Midnight Rain and Sleeping Forest so I was looking forward to this one. I think I watched an old vhs rip of this show before but wasn't able to finish it cause I couldn't find the rest of the series on streamload or something.
Its kinda hard to talk about mystery doramas without spoiling stuff so I'll try to be vague. Basically, mystery doramas boil down to two things, pacing of red herrings and ending. The basis of mystery shows is to slowly reveal some important information every episode that will hopefully make the audience rethink who the villain actually is. At the beginning everyone will have their own suspect.
What this show really needed were leggy shots of Uchida Yuki in her uniform. :)
Personally, I don't try to think too much during doramas cause flaws in logic diminish my enjoyment, unless of course the flaw is too big to ignore. The biggest pitfall for writers of mystery doramas to avoid are too many red herrings that don't provide clues to the identity of the villain and characters spending too much time looking for stuff the audience already knows.
I like the way the series stars, showing what people are willing to do to get insurance money and how difficult Eiki's (Takenouchi Yukata) job is. Matsushima Nanako plays the part of the mysterious Egi Toko to perfection. This stoic, serial black widow who attracts any man who comes into contact with her. I can see why Eiki is drawn to her despite this aura of danger around her.
Unfortunately, the show gets pretty slow in the middle. I was hoping they would avoid what they did with KimuTaku in sleeping forest. The fun is keeping the audience guessing on the motivations of an enigmatic character. Once the cloud of mystery is dispelled, there is only the revelation to look forward to which took quite a while and the revelation was kind of meh. The fact that there are no clues as to the identity of the villain just brings apathy. Actually, there was one clue but it was more of a why a certain character who had no more of a role to play was still there.
As Midnight Rain showed, the truth doesn't need to be some twisty and turning story from left field. It can be something simple. The important thing is how the clues are presented. When you have the villain doing a 30 minute monologue in order to link it with the mystery, you know you're in trouble. When the villain is revealed the audience should be already piecing everything together and thinking 'oh, so this is what happened'. Instead we have a villain who could have been any random character. Matsushima Nanako's performance makes it watchable but Koori no Sekai cannot match the three shows I mentioned in the first paragraph.