Friday, April 25, 2008

Saito-san Eps 1+2

I remember someone saying that Saito-san was probably the best dorama from last season. A dorama about a mom who likes to speak her mind? If there were two genres I try to avoid, it would be mother-in-law and suburban mom shows. This probably led me to think that last season was pretty bad. I mean, how good could a show about a nagging mom be?

So far from two episodes, Saito-san is a very good show because its not really not a show about a mom who likes to speak her mind. Its a show about politics of power set in the suburbs with a kindergarten as the battlefield. Its a show about a single person's ability to take action versus a group mentality of accepting things as they are. Saito-san is about doing what's right versus pleasing everyone and fitting in.

Saito-san is like a force of nature. The other moms want to get rid of her but she just exists. Mizuki Arisa is perfectly casted as Saito-san. She's got this aura about her. But Saito-san would not be Saito san without Mimura as Mano-san. Mano-san is the opposite of Saito-san. She tries way too hard to fit in get everyone to accept her. She has such a huge fear of being rejected by the other moms that its sickening. She's like the weakest of the weak that I just despised her.

However, she's the only one of the moms who sees that Saito-san is right although her fear of the others prevents her from speaking up. This makes Saito-san an emphatic figure without making her a failure as the audience projects their frustrations on Mano-san. We see Saito-san through Mano-san's eyes, hating her cowardice but ultimately cheering her on.

I still can't believe how engrossing this show is. Maybe its just me wanting to see Saito-san lay the smackdown on those spoiled high school kids. Nothing pisses me off than kids who think the world owes them a living. If you have not watched this show, do so. I'm slowly catching up on my doramas (at the expense of my gaming) and this year seems to be a pretty good year for doramas.


Jung said...

I liked this show... though I think I stopped watching it 2/3rd way through because of so much work work work... (and Call of Duty 4.. hehe)

This is actually the first time I've seen Mimura in a dorama... she's adorable and a joy to watch. Can't get enough of her wide smile. *cough*

One thing I really liked about this drama is that the writer isn't afraid to show that sometimes even the main characters can be very flawed. Sometimes Saito is right, sometimes Mimura is right, and sometimes the mom squad is right...

Hrm.. oh.. I think mimura getting bitch-slapped was kinda... hot. :-X

Anonymous said...

IMO the best drama of last season is Shikaotoko Ayoniyoshi by miles. It has elements of fantasy, mystery, suspense, and comedy, but is essentially a very well written mystery with Japanese mythology as backbone. If you thought Ashita no Kita Yoshio is a well written mystery, then this one will blow it away. It has one of the most full-proof and watertight plots I've seen, but if you pay attention, you should be able to figure out most pieces of the puzzle by the end of ep. 6. Still, even when the mystery is resolved at the end, every single major/minor detail is accounted for, and there's no loose ends I can tell (and I've read/watch thousands of mystery novels/movies/dramas). This drama ranked higher than Bara no nai Hanaya in the Oricon end of season satisfaction rankings, just behind Daisuke. The first ep. is a bit slow; if you still haven't gotten hooked by the end of ep. 3 then you're either not paying attention or this is probably not your cup of tea.

For this season, my favorite so far is Puzzle (comedy/mystery); and Hokaben (a very realistic look at the Japanese legal system) based on a manga authored by an attorney.

jung said...

^interesting how you said the first ep1 is slow. I actually couldn't get past first 15minutes for some reason.

But with your glowing review, I will definitely revisit it.

Akiramike said...

Now your making me regret deciding to skip Shikaotoko Ayoniyoshi. Just when I thought I finally caught up on my doramas....

suparuki said...

yo! I just finished watching shikaotoko and I can confirm anonymous recommendation...I really enjoyed it...especially the women! man I was dewey eyed at times..heartbreakingly beautiful! a reaction one gets only with the japanese fems.

oh yeah all the other stuff anon mentions about tight plotting etc is also on the money!

Im definitely going to check out puzzle and hokaben on anons recommendation.

suparuki said...

btw another good reason to check out this dorama is that there are jap subs to it on d-addicts...if you're in the space where you wish you didnt have to bother with english subs but dont have the ear or the patience to use a dictionary to get through the raws...this is good intermediate step..(he says, although I havent yet been able to get the subs to work, but the general idea is good! this straying into the too hard and thus not worth the bother category?)