Sunday, September 21, 2008

Maou ep 1-3


Maou is a great dorama where there are no heroes and villains. Or rather the main characters are both the hero and villain of the story. Maou is more than just a story of revenge. Its a story of moral ambiguity. It asks the eternal question of whether the end can justify the means. It ponders what justice actually is and whether the legal system represents justice. Its nothing that we've not seen before in legal shows but I've not seen it put into such a nice package before.

Must check on librarians when I go to Japan...

For me, the lack of defined good and bad guy roles is very refreshing. As I've said before, one of the main characteristics of anime/jdorama is a villain with a sad past and sometimes they are able to redeem themselves. The problem with that is of course, its the villain that makes the hero. Its the villain's job to make the hero seem like he's in danger and to draw the audience's wrath. Plus, most of the time, it just feels tacked on and usually leads to some stupid monologing. Maou turns this around and makes the 'villain' the main character. However, he has a justification for his actions and thus has the audience's sympathy.

OMG, the Liar Game secretary actually has speaking lines!

The 'hero' has a dark past connected to the villain which promotes indifference to the character. Nevertheless tha unspoken fact that he became a cop indirectly because of his past does speak of his desire for redemption. I just love it when shows don't insult the audience's intelligence and lets you pick things up between the lines. Basically the show in not really concerned about defining the good/bad roles save to creat enough empathy for both characters to encourage interest.

If girls who look like this went to church here, I'd be there every Sunday..

This show is about the cat and mouse game between the lawyer and the cop. Its about conflict, competing interests and grudges. Its about creating tension so thick that every second cannot be missed. Its like watching a football game where you're not really rooting for either team. You just want to see a great match and this is what Maou is, a game of wills and revenge between two parties. We just want to see how Maou's plan of revenge will unfold. It doesn't matter who wins as long as the game is exciting!


The fact that Maou is from a Korean drama is surprising. I thought all Korean shows were about half siblings with leukemia/cancer. What is even more surprising is that this is the first Korean adaptation I've seen that is done well. After Hotelier and My Sassy Girl adaptation I was hoping to see the end of this Korean experiment. I guess its all right to do Korean shows as long as love is not the central theme of the story.


With Maou and Gonzo, this is turning into one very excellent season. Definitely highly recommended! Not to be missed! As long as they is not really big plot hole, I think the show will be fine. Small deficiencies in logic are acceptable. After all explaining every single thing is impossible. Every show requires the audience to make certain assumptions. If the show defies one of the assumptions or takes a huge leap in logic, then it is in trouble.

8 comments:

sparqi said...

Im so pleased you've picked this one up Akira...

"Must chIck on librarians when I go to Japan..." funny!!

Man I was alternately weeping, wimpering and drooling into my hot chocolate at the sight of this girl...faaaack.

Also you're absolutely right...a trite ending will be a complete tragedy, Im kind of half dreading the subs coming out.

Keiko1981 said...

I'm planning on watching this drama when it's been completely hardsubbed. :)

sparqi said...

hej Keiko...dont wait...
I just noticed the korean original is 20 eps long..plus I heard rumours that ep11 of the Japanese version finishes on a cliff hanger...

eeek, woohoo, ummm... :)

Keiko1981 said...

sparqi said...

hej Keiko...dont wait...
I just noticed the korean original is 20 eps long..plus I heard rumours that ep11 of the Japanese version finishes on a cliff hanger...

eeek, woohoo, ummm... :)


I've begun to download what have been released of the hardsubbed version now. :)

mangifera said...

finally you pick this dorama up. yeah, it leads by ohno satoshi of Arashi; another johnny's boy but he really into the dark mode of Maou. he can act better than MatsuJun in my humble opinion.

this is definitely a dark, twisted dorama. eventhough i could guess most of the storyline is the dorama still manage to pull few stunt of suspend over me. emotionally nailing me to the wall and glued me to my chair!

ah..this is so good, very very few flaws in plot and it just make you root for the ending just to know how it will turn out to be.

this is far superior emotionally than "Unfair" i think. Maou able to crack himself for some feeling which make him flawed and humane. i like that very much. a perfect blend of dark dorama.

varms said...

It's a really good show!! I don't usually watch this sort of thing (like, never) but I really did enjoy this one despite all the gloom and doom. But I had to watch it at the same time as a happy drama like Seigi no Mikata to lighten my spirits after Maou... But Maou will make you want to see the outcome of this battle no matter what... Toma Ikuta and Ohno Satoshi did a good job acting in that grey area btw good and evil.

sparqi said...

Akira wtf???

I noticed you edited 'ch I ck' to 'ch E ck' :)

I wasnt sure if it was on purpose and that made it natural comedy!!

Shiori chan...Shiori chan...sigh...sniff

btw Keiko (if you're seeding Fuurin Kazan...that makes you a cool chick!) the last eps are subbed at akusub..and the cliff hanger is probably a hook to sell dvds only. It is the end of the story.

Keiko1981 said...

sparqi said...

btw Keiko (if you're seeding Fuurin Kazan...that makes you a cool chick!) the last eps are subbed at akusub..and the cliff hanger is probably a hook to sell dvds only. It is the end of the story.

Thanks. Yay, I'm cool. ^o^
Moving onto another taiga drama in October.