Monday, May 18, 2009

Yako no Kaidan ep 1

Yako no Kaidan is about Michio, (Fujiki Naohito) a man with a murky past who uses women to further his ambition of owning his own hair saloon and seems to have been involved with a murder five years ago. Michio is a man of two faces; a nice and meek person on the outside but ruthless in his decisions. Yako no Kaidan sounds like a winner; an thriller about power, alliances mixed with a murder mystery. Unfortunately ep 1 goes to prove that concept is useless without execution.

There is something very wrong with the narrative in ep 1 and I believe it is because it is too literally based on the novel. Of course I've not read the novel but ep 1 suffers from disjointed scenes and narrative. In a novel, it is easier to explain characters and situations with as many words as necessary. For doramas, it is a mixture of visual and audio clues that allow the viewer to understand what is happening in front of them. The frequent use of an invisible narrator to link seemingly unconnected scenes and characters is further proof of a too literal adaptation.

Its not that I don't understand what's going in. Its more of there isn't a flow in the narrative. I spend too much time thinking WTF is going on and end up not caring about anything in this show. The only reason for me to watch this is Natsukawa Yui but ep 1 to me was so bad that I don't think it can improve much. Avoid.


Anonymous said...

The voiceovers are among one of several things that drive me up the wall in this drama. Here's the actor/actress trying to act out a certain emotion and the narrator is describing exactly what s/he is feeling - wtf? Why use the actor/actress at all then; I might as well buy an audio version of the novel. Used well, voiceovers can complement a scene and avoid lengthy flashbacks, but this is just ridiculous and smack of laziness/amateurism on the director. The others are the huge plot-holes/inconsistencies, and the fact that no character seems to behave like a normal human being in this drama (as of ep. 3, at which point I've decided to throw in the towel).

Despite the accolades, I've never been a big fan of Matsumoto Seichō, who wrote the novel on which this drama is based. His detective stories are all of the "social consciousness" kind, meaning those involving human passion/ambition and political machinations. If the scriptwriter is trying to stay true to the novel then I don't think s/he is doing very well at the moment as I just can't believe the original novel having such big huge plot holes/inconsistencies.

Of all the detective/mystery dramas this season, Rinjo is turning out to be the best. It lacks star power but makes up for it w/ a precise focus on police procedures and decent mysteries (as of ep. 4). BOSS is the exact polar opposite as logic, common sense, and police procedures all got thrown out the window. Meitantei no Okite started out slowly but found its rhythm in ep. 3; if you like spoofs of all things related to a detective drama w/ a farcical comedic touch to everything else then it's well worth a watch.

Akiramike said...

I just can't believe you watched 3 episodes of Yako no Kaidan.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm a sucker for Latin American/Flamenco style music, and I figured 3 episodes should be enough for me to get a decent sample of the score (this being a TV Asahi drama, an ost is all but out of the question). Plus even though it's bad, it's still better than "Atashinchi no Danshi" (can't even finished the 1st ep.), or "Konkatsu!" (dropped it after 1 and 3/4 episodes).