Friday, January 08, 2010

Ningen no shoumei ep 7

Ningen no shoumei is a slow but well paced cooker. Every episode, a nice nugget of information or two is presented and the web begins to tighten around the characters. There's no stupid police procedures that don't make sense save for the whiny voice guy, Sato Jiro who plays the bad cop. His overacting is horrible and have never found him funny. How the hell did he get cast in a serious show like this? His character comes off as way too cartoony or in this case trying to hard to be funny.

The wheelchair dude and the adulterer have become one fun odd couple to watch. Forced to team up to investigate the death of Fumie. Its fun to watch wheelchair dude come to grips with his situation and realise what he can and needs to do in order to find Fumie. The formula of flawed characters needing each other to achieve a goal never fails. I'm intrigued to see what steps they will take in the coming episodes. It almost makes me wish Fumie were alive so we can see what happens between the three of them but knowing jdorama cliches, they'll all come to terms with their situation, tsuyoku naritai and go their separate ways.

Ogata Ken giving the finger to Yutaka?

The series really kicks into high gear when Munesue (Takenoichi Yutaka) goes to the U.S. to investigate Johnny Hayward's background. Ken Schufftan (Bo Svenson), the policeman who earlier in the series shot dead Johnny's friend Eddy is ordered to babysit Munusue and Ken is non too pleased. Ken seems to be a bit of a racists though I would say that his shooting of Eddy is entirely justified. Too bad Eddy's girlfriend is still in this show. Her acting is just atrocious. And we get this really big reveal at the end that just makes me want to watch the movie to see the ending. Yes, I managed to get my hands on the original 1977 movie with English subs. I think it'll do the dorama injustice if I watch the movie before HaroRangers finishes subbing. Props to the writer for managing to expand it to a 10 episode series without polluting it with meaningless filler stuff.

Thank god Horikita Maki's role in this show is limited.

The one thing jdorama fans want to know is whether Takenouchi Yutaka can speak English. His pronunciation isn't bad and I didn't have any trouble understanding him. However, he does not emote well in English. Its like he is reciting lines and there's emotion or meaning behind them. His English is better than the embarrassing crap we get in the usual doramas like Tokyo Dogs so I'm pretty happy with the scenes in America. Its fun to see a Japanese show deal with racism in America, albeit a bit clumsily.

I can't seem to quit Ohitorisama because of Matsushita Nao. Her character in that show is too funny.

I think solution to the mystery of Johnny Hayward's parents and his death is pretty obvious but the characters have been done very well that its more of a matter of how it is resolved and what the fallout will be. Its a shame that there aren't too many people watching Ningen no Shoumei. Really well done police investigation shows like this that deal with so many issues rare in Jdoramas. Sometimes it stumbles like Kunio with black paint on his face trying to pass as an African-American but the intentions are good and its obvious they've really put effort into this. Highly recommended and IMHO, a must watch show.


mad_pyormin said...

This Probaly has nothing to do with your reveiw but I 'd like to say that Natsukawa Yui is really beautiful in this drama.
so kawai ^^

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I did watch this drama. It was sometime ago, and I have almost forgotten some parts of the drama until your review here.
It brought memories of the drama flooding back.

This sure is a good drama. Would recommend it to anyone looking for something worthwhile to watch.

As you've said, it is slow cooking, and I agree, the way the story is told, grabs your full attention every step of the way.

It was here in this drama that I first came across Takenouchi Yutaka. He is now one of my favorite actors.

As for his English language skills, well, I think it is good, taking into consideration it could be because he is projecting himself as a police detective in the presence of a hard and toughened American cop that he speaks in a tough and unemotional way. If it had been a friendly conversation off camera, I believe his tone of expression may come off differently, such as more relaxed or "softer"?

Thanks for the review.

Donna said...

I'm really enjoying this one. I watched it raw but I know I missed a lot so even though I know how it ends (which was pretty obvious as you noted) I'm still watching the subbed episodes. I was looking for movie online to download, but haven't had any luck finding it.

Akiramike said...

The movie is available from

Donna said...

Thanks! The last time I checked I don't think anyone was seeding it, thanks for reminding me to check back.