Monday, September 15, 2008

Shibatora eps 1-5

I want to be a cop when I grow up...

The synopsis of Shibatora has warning signs written all over it. Ijyuuin as a cop? That sounds as convincing as Aragaki Yui pretending to be a doctor. To me, Ijyuuin is like those Kinki Kids. Girls may go crazy over their baby faces but they'll never be good actors are rather, a dorama will never be good because of them. Their performance will usually be decent but mundane. Basically Ijyuuin is destined to be pigeon holed into certain roles which isn't so bad except he'll never rise above mediocrity.

I wonder why all fights in Japan seem to be in warehouses and the people seem to magically know when and where they will occur.

I'm surprised that Fujiki Naohito is playing the supporting role this time, though he seems very uninspired. Maybe I've underestimated Iyuiin's star power? There is only one reason who I started watching this show, and that is Ohgo Suzuka who most d-addicts will remember from Sexy Voice and Robo. I always get mixed emotions when I watch her acting. Clearly, she is very fucking good. She's got that natural screen presence that many people would kill for. At the same time, there's the 'I can't believe she's that freaking young' guilt trip of enjoying her acting too much. She's got so much potential that its as if she could convince me her character were older than Aragaki Yui if she wanted to.

Only reason to watch Shibatora!

Surprisingly, the first episode is pretty good. We've got kidnapping, prostitution, abuse and murder all in one episode! Yes, anyone could see the twist a mile away but it was still executed well. Ep 1 proves that as long as Ohgo Suzuka has a meaty role, it'll be a good show. Unfortunately, as soon as her story is done in episode one, she is quickly relegated to supporting actress who is in the background and we get to the main and boring part of the series with Ijyuuin going undercover.

Shibatora descended into an almost unwatchable mess. I fucking hate all those teenagers crying, 'I don't trust adults' bullcrap. Anyone who says that should be thrown out of their house give $500 in pocket to fend for themselves and lets see how they like working for a living. The don't trust adult storyline is the most overused cliche in jdoramas and anime that its become a parody of itself. To make matters worse, a lot of the threats and dangers are really stupid. The whole Shinigami thing is so laughably bad and inconsistent.

No idea whyMinami Akina gets billing in the intro cause she does nothing in this show, except make me drool....

Like how the class could have taken on Shinigami's goons or how Ijyuiin was crazy enough to feel crazy for Shinigami for commiting attempted murder. I was ready to murder Ijyuiin right then for his idiocy. Maybe I should kill the script writer instead. Things take a turn for the better in ep 5 when we get to the main story. There's a more real and definitely more personal threat. Whether the writer can stretch it over 6 episodes remains to be seen.

Can't fucking believe she's not 18!!!

I would not touch this show without Ohgo Suzuka. So unless you've seen Sexy Voice, avoid this show. And be very careful of the beginning of ep 5. There's a scene that could turn you blind.

Proof Japan is truly the blessed country...


Jung said...

I've thrown in my towel on this one after about 5 eps. I agree Ogho was great in episode one. But I don't understand how a suicidal, sexually molested teenage girl has a 180 degree transformation. She plays a completely different character after episode 1. Of course, it's not her fault. It's never Ogho's fault. Imma have to pull a shinigami on the dumb writer and director.

Of course, another warning sign is the whole, I-see-dead-hands super natural bullshit. This kind of superhuman thing must be some sort of trend of 2007-2008. I hope the writers get over this bug soon.

I didn't mind the whole shinigami plot too much in the beginning. But I threw my hands up in disbelief when I watched that scene with the bomb in the classroom. And they were acting like they were trapped in a submarine 1 mile under the sea. Uh, you're in a classroom... with very flimsy wooden sliding door... with huge glasses all around. And unless the bomb he was holding was some kind of minature nuclear bomb, it cannot bring down the entire buildling. And the whole motive behind the real shinigami... ugh. wtf.

I give Fujiki some credit for playing something different... just like he did playing a japanese indian with slight faux gaijin accident in Galcir. But this one doesn't suit him at all. Makes me cringe listening to his forced rebelish accent. eek.

This isn't a bad season overall. But even the shows I liked are falling apart badly. *cough* Tomorrow and Seigi

Jung said...

You know, I just noticed, Natalie Del Conte looks a lot like a grown up version of Ogho.... except, she's caucasian...

Check out her video.

Maybe it's just me...

suparuki said...

hey Jung...are you dissing seigi no mikata? Grrrr pistols at dawn!!

But seriously, the last subs came out today, I'd be interested to hear how you feel/think it fell apart...Iam somewhat mystified...I thought it was outstanding...Im wondering what I missed.

Jung said...

suparuki, you're on. I'm a decent marksman too. lol

j/k actually, I like seigi, and maybe "falling apart badly" comment was more directed at Tomorrow. My beef with Seigi is that it is getting too repetitive and rigidly formulaic. Makiko is always becomes a hero at the end. Brother-in-law and the husband are completely oblivious with no sign of changing. Yoko is a complete tool with no sign of changing. There is zero character development. They could've swapped ep 7 with ep 1 and it wouldn't matter.


so... where we duel?


suparuki said...

Jung! Marksman...gulp. Ok I get the machine cannon and you get the peashooter, I get the bulletproof jacket and first spray...

firstly what does j/k and iono stand for?

hmmm, I dont disagree with you (as if contemplating jdoramas is important! lol).

Zero character development..true, Yokou tries a minor rebellion but is squashed immediately..but my feeling was that when Hima-sama did the finger beckon with the babies hand, it pointed to baby like mother like was inherited nature and nurture...and maybe Im reading into it too much here, intentional on the part of the scriptwriters. Likewise Yokou was just like her Dad. The perspective on how and if people change is quite pessimistic/realistic but it didnt intend to be a real life drama...its kind of a cartoon comedy with real actors...for people to actually change then it would have become more of a nitty gritty real life drama usually involving serious tragedy or hardship...circumstances in which people do actually change. So zero character development is true..but perhaps not relevant to the genre.

Repetitive & rigidly formulaic...Hima-sama always wins...true...but, part of the kind of cartoon fun was the plot unfolding so that it seemed impossible for her to win, but yet to see how at the last moment the script writers were able to turn things around in her favour...whether they did this well..i.e. how imaginatively and funnily they did it...maybe it could be strengthened here...but I cant recall at the moment, one of the turn abouts not being plausible...overly coincidental perhaps and some were funnier than others...but on the whole quite tightly written.

professor suparuki of jdorama therefore concludes that perhaps this isnt Jungs favourite genre...but I would retort that seigi no mikata is exemplary of its genre...and the genre is similar to kdo's. Where I would say it surpassed kdo was in that kdo had that plot twist where his neighbour fell in love with him for a while...and that seemed implausible and not fitting...KDO surpassed seigi in perhaps being a little more of a compelling watch.


Anonymous said...

About Seigi, how does the live action adaptation compare with the manga?

Jung said...

suparuki, j/k means "just kidding" iono means "I don't know..." haha wow, either you're really old, or you just discovered internet 6 months ago. lol

Wait, you do know "lol" right? hehehe j/k

i agree people don't change, and character development in a typical cinema-review sense doesn't really apply. I guess what I really meant was plot development.

All the episodes in the middle just seem like fillers until ep9-10 when the oblivious husband finally finds out about Hima's true color. I think the show would've been much more interesting if the husband found out about Hima by ep 5 or so.

And I guess you could argue that all the KDO episodes from 1-10 are fillers, because we knew from the beginning Kuwano would end up with Hayasaka (ok wtf... I don't know why I still remember these names)

Except... KDO's each episode did a superb job exploring the characters and revealing them to the viewers, bit by bit. There isn't much of that in Seigi... sure there was a bit of KDO moment when Yoko and her Dad first met at the icecream shop, but that was really the only memeorable moment.

Haha I'll stop. I don't think I can win an argument against you or Akiramike... you guys write like pros.

Akiramike said...

Jung, thanks for your review of Seigi. I watched the first episode and was very worried that the show would progress or rather not progress the same way you described it.

I don't think there are arguments to win in jdoramas. Both you and suparuki make very valid points. Its up to the audience whether they find a show about a bitch of a sister interesting. I always like dark humour but found that Seigi just didn't have interesting enough characters to pull it off.

Nevertheless, I'll probably give it a few more episodes when I have the time.

sparqi said...

Jung "KDO's each episode did a superb job exploring the characters and revealing them to the viewers, bit by bit. There isn't much of that in Seigi"

damn your peashooter got me between the eyes...good point..grrrrr!

Yes good distinction to make...seigi could have revealed more facets of each static character...could have played an episode mainly from another characters point of view...that would have made it a better show.

Having said that I laughed alot and enjoyed every minute of it. Something about evil women with japanese barbi type looks perhaps :)

sparqi said...

ooops forgot to mention...Ive been watching Yasuko To Kenji...definitely of the same genre as Seigi...a manga conversion..with stylised mannerisms emphasising that they are cartoon characters. Interestingly enough they are doing a show different facets of Yasuko & Kenjis relationship each show...its quite well written...and Im enjoying it, but way less than I did Seigi. Maybe because it has more cliches...which is kind of cartoony...but its not a fresh enough perspectives on those cliches.

Bottom line is the subject matter isnt as interesting to me and its been done before in many different minor variations.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, what the hell is Fujiki Naohito doing in this sad excuse for a TV show they called Shibatora? This has got to be the worst role I have ever seen him in. Along with the treatment to Ougo Suzuka, I'm kind of pissed at this jdrama. It's like this show is determined to bring everyone down to its sad, pathetic level.