Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jin eps 1+2

A new jdorama season brings new promises of good jdoramas and of course bad shows that defy expectations. After last season's lackluster offerings, I'm hoping that this season will have a good show and Jin seems to be the best candidate. Jin tells the story of a brain surgeon, Manakata Jin (Osawa Takao) who has an accident and mysteriously transported back to the Edo era. Its good to see Osawa Takao back to doing jdoramas. I'm more of a fan of his movie works, especially Gege and just recently watched him in Goemon.

Kono sekai, ai wa aru no?

Yes, Jin is basically fish out of water dorama, in this case a surgeon in the Edo era. It doesn't even take 10 minutes before Jin faces his first medical problem in Edo, brain hemorrhage! Luckily he has some surgical tools and medicine with him. Its a bit like watching McGuyver with Jin having to make do with carpentry tools. The other fun part is watching Jin perform surgery in an era and country where such things are unheard of. Watching him trying to crack open his patient's head while the mother is crying in horror is both funny and sickening at the same time. This is one show that knows it has a good concept and knows how to milk it for all its worth. If only they had Iryu's music.

Pen light vs katana!

Ayase Haruka is Saki, the sister of his first patient. She sees something in his skills and sort of unofficially becomes his nurse/assistant. She's your strong willed, go against her family for her beliefs type girl. Its improbably such a girl exists in Edo who can easily pick up medical terms but lets not let it get in the way of a good story. I think this time, Haruka should forgive her agent for wasting her time and placing her in that piece of crap show, Mr Brain.

Sooner or later Jin will run out of latex gloves...

Uchino Masaaki aka Gonzo is also in this show and I won't spoil his identity. Fans of Shinsengumi, Kenshin and other pre Meiji stories are in for a trteat. I would expect Shinsengumi to show up later and would Jin cure Okita Soji? The casting in this show is great. No freaking Johnny's in sight. We've got Nakatani Miki as the oiran and Kinpachi sensei as the western medicine expert in Edo. This show is like the freaking all stars of jdorama wih a fun concept to boot.

As gross as it was, I was laughing all the way through this surgery.

Like all time travel shows, Jin does ponder about how he would affect the future and has to make some very hard decisions. Usually with time travel, its about killing people while in Jin its about saving lives. Saving people who are not suppose to live. Bringing the knowledge of modern medicine to the past. Should a doctor who has sworn the Hippocratic oath disregard the needs of a patient in front of him for the sake of the time space continuum? Has pandora's box truly been opened?

Makes me to replay Ryuga gotoku kenzan and visit an oiran and play games with her.

There's also the mystery of the bandaged man in the hospital and the fetus. How does the fetus induce time travel and is the bandaged man from the past or the future? I've got my own theory on who the man is but I'm just going to enjoy the ride and not think too much. So many angles to the main story that 10 to 12 episodes might not be enough. I'm just so glad that for once, they didn't fuck up a concept that is foolproof. Too many times you see a rare and interesting concept and the dorama is ruined because the makers cannot think outside their cliched and unimaginative ideas.

Yup, Kita Yoshio has to show up in 5% of all jdoramas.

Jin is the first must watch jdorama I've seen in a long time and I'm already excited for the third episode. Its great to see a show about medicine and politics that is not set in a hospital. Hope the ratings get better. Jin deserves to be getting 20+%.


Jae said...

[quote]Yup, Kita Yoshio has to show up in 5% of all jdoramas.
lol, best observation ever. And, maybe, 2% of jmovies? he was in goemon after all :)

He's a solid actor, love that guy.

Enma said...

Here, in France, they published 9 volumes of the manga. I enjoyed the first 4, but got bored with the endless sagas (disease apparition/elaboration of cure/conflicts with the old establishment/cure is confirmed). So I was happily surprised when I saw the live action. I agree with the absence of soundtrack. But I doubt that the mystery of the the time traveling will be solved after the 11 episodes, because in Japan the manga didn't end yet.

Anonymous said...

The manga is up to vol. 16 in Japan, 14 in Hong Kong (traditional Chinese).

First the bad (relative to the manga): some arcs are cut out, pacing is really slow, some of the scenes are a bit too melodramatic for my taste, and they changed the story quite a bit like adding new characters, and increasing/reducing screen time for some. Bottom line, I've no idea how faithfully they'll follow the manga and where they're going with this.

There are rumors of a sequel next year so I suspect the ending to be sort of open ended. The previous manga by the same mangaka is a story that's epic in proportion and involved pre to post sino-japanese war that spans 45 volumes with lots of historic figures. This seems similar in scope and scale and if they follow the manga faithfully, then we are talking N seasons similar to Law and Order or CSI.

Now the good part (again relative to the manga): great performances all around and elaborate sets and customs (the artwork in the manga is not so hot).

All and all, still a very entertaining drama if you haven't read the manga (especially compared to last seasons' drams).

Anonymous said...

Just watched ep. 3 and am very disappointed. It deviates even more from the manga and the pacing slows to a crawl; way too preachy and melodramatic for my taste. TBS has a gem on their hand and they still managed to screw it up, sigh....

Akiramike said...

Can't compare with the manga since I haven't read it but when have jdoramas and anime not been too preachy and melodramatic? The only way they could screw it up is if every episode, Jin goes to the hill overlooking Edo to cry like a baby.

Anonymous said...

"The only way they could screw it up is if every episode, Jin goes to the hill overlooking Edo to cry like a baby."


Anonymous said...

Episode 5 hit 20%, making it the show with the highest ratings in the same channel/timeslot since Karei Naru Ichizoku

So, whatever they're doing, they're doing it right.