Sunday, May 18, 2008

Shikaotoko Aoniyoshi

Are you talking to me?

Someone recommended this show in the comments and gave a really good review. I was intrigued by his/her reasons for liking the show. Anyone can say why they think a show is good or not but the why is important. While a persons interests/expectations can make it subjective, I believe there is an element of objectivity in rating/judging doramas. Things like pacing, loose ends and storyline/character arcs.

The best character in the show is actually the one on the right.

Shikaotoko means deer man. Yes, Tamaki Hiroshi (Chiaki from Nodame) plays Ogawa Takanobu, a teacher who has a negative attitude towards life and is always stressed out. Ogawa is given an important task by a talking deer to save Japan from earthquakes. What follows is a mystery dorama where the viewers try to piece together the puzzle of Ogawa's mission.

Madonna, played Shibamoto Yuki. She made Ayase Haruka look so ordinary in this show, not that I really found her attractive anyway.

Its hard to talk about the show without spoiling the show so I'll just copy and paste the review from my comments section without permission:

"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."

Hotta, probably the most intriguing character in the show.

"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."

Another shot of the lovely Madonna.

I'm not sure about the best dorama bit. Saito-san while slightly inferior has more memorable characters and Hatarakiman is pretty good. Shikaotoko started out really slow for me. My brother was questioning my wisdom in continuing to watch the show. It really paid of in episodes 5 and 6 with one of the best sports episodes I've ever seen.

I just love how everything comes together in the end and makes complete sense. And the final episode is sorta like the epilogue after the climax but it was so fun to watch. I kinda hate it when doramas end too quickly as you spend 10 episodes watching the same characters. Its kinda nice to have time to say goodbye. It doesn't feel overly long and it gives all the characters the spotlight to wrap up their character arcs.

I can never get sick of taking caps of Shibamoto Yuki. :)


There are some parts which are kinda stupid. Like Ogawa going back to school after finally getting the triangle. If I had something that important, I would not want to risk losing it. Nevertheless, it was necessary so that Richard could so some exposition and explain some things to the audience. Or like how Ogawa allows Richard to come along. But it just so fucking worth it for the my shika scene!

OMFG, the my shika scene was just too cool. I was kinda expecting them to be riding on the shikas when they finally found out where the triangle was but the earthquakes were causing traffic jams. Oh well, the budget for that would be too expensive. To me, the my shika scene is on par with the 'boku wa shinimasen' scene from 101 Proposals. That split second silhouette of Hotta and the chika just so perfectly sums up the show.


In short, get Shikaotoko! I am so happy took the risk of doing this weird show. Its the type of show that won't sell. How do you convince someone to watch a show about a talking deer trying to save Japan? The first episodes where slow in establishing the story and were very, very weird. But this show is so fucking worth it. Thanks to whoever posted the comment. I would not have watched this show otherwise I don't find Chiaki's acting interesting and I find Ayase Haruka overrated. This show entertained the hell out of me despite my prejudices.


suparuki said...

I watched this series twice within the same week, it's a real gem. I can imagine that the pacing would be too slow for some people especially at the beginning. The mood of the show is just a pleasure. Just as one might play a particular track/song to feel a particular mood, any ep of this series can serve to put one in a pleasurable humorous calm state of mind/feeling. And then.. when the females grace the screen you feel that moe kawaii heart break and get dewey only found in jdoramas. The fact that its well written and there are no annoying bits, no 1 dimensional character plot devices simply serves not to ruin these moments...!! It is a BEAUTIFUL series, thanks to Ayase Haruka (Im in love!!, heartbreakingly beautiful), then funnily enough Sakura the captain of the Kendo squad (anyone know her name? its probably cos Ive got a thing for chicks in kendo uniforms), then Hotta and finally the elvish beauty Madonna. Akiramike - this review should have been snapshot city...I'm disappointed!! hehehe

My summary would be... after a shit battering day at work, this series is the perfect frame for that georgeous femminine balm quality which soothes, rejuvenates and reminds one of whats worthwhile ....sniff!

Akiramike said...

The actress who plays the captain of the Kendo Squad is Fujii Mina.

I didn't go snapshot crazy cause the show was so good that I forgot to perv at the

Buck said...

Gave it a shot the other day per your review and I wasn't disappointed. I couldn't find any other positive review for it.It's strange to think that this show got pretty decent rating at the time, starring Chiaki atthe height of its fame and Ayase oppai but I never saw any jdrama fan recommend it. I guess it's too weird, slow and most people probably give up after the first episode.

Looking up the writer's profile, I realized that I also enjoyed most of her other works. They're probably not must watch material, but there's something about cool little details, kooky vibe and the way everything tightens up that make her shows very entertaining. Damn, I don't want my deer to fall into oblivion.