Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Keibuho Yabe Kenzo eps 1-3

 Spin offs are a rarity in jdoramas and jmovies. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is the Muroi Shinji movie from Odorou Daisousasen.When I head about Yabe Kenzo, I wasn't expecting much but I was happy to see something set in the world of Trick. Trick worked because of the pairing of Abe Hiroshi and Nakama Yukie investigating events of a supernatural bent. Yabe Kenzo was merely a plot device and comedic tool with his toupee. Could Yabe Kenzo actually carry a dorama series?

Nakamie Yukie doesn't even have half of your oppai!

Keibuho Yabe Kenzo basically does the reverse of Trick. The bumbling comedy relief guy is the main character while the actual case investigation is done by Katsura Miharu (Kanjiya Shihori) and Sakuragi Kenichiro (Suzuki Kosuke), who members of the general division of the police department. Miharu is eager to help out in any way she can while Kenichiro just wants to do his job and stay safe. They are no match for Abe+Nakama Yukie but their job is firstly move the story forward and allow Yabe Kenzo to do his funny stuff without slowing down the story.

How come I never got harassed by maids like this in Akiba?

Yabe Kenzo is like a comedy anti hero. Instead of being the main character because he is cool, the audience roots for Yabe Kenzo because he is brilliantly funny even when he is being an idiot and running away from danger. The enemy doesn't even need to be threatening.

Urano Kazumi from AKB48!

The most impressive thing about Keibuho Yabe Kenzo is the humour and the writing. It retains the sort of dry humour of Trick with lots of running jokes that put a smile on my face. No lame overacting attempts at slapstick humour cough*Pro Golfer Hana*cough. Its a much more intelligent humour that even when it falls flat doesn't insult the audience. You have things like Yabe Kenzo getting briefed by the police chief in a conference room and all parties using the microphone to speak although they are in the same room. The characters don't go winking at the camera go overacting. Its the characters acting seriously in absurd situations that make it funny.

Yabe Kenzo gets to have fun while we are just plot devices...

 The writing is awesome. I like how Yabe Kenzo may be an idiot and a coward, he's not actually useless and watching him fumble his way to saving the day is brilliant. Ep 1 is a parody of 24, ep 2 is a yakuza story with one of the funniest endings ever and Ashisa Sei is reason enough to watch ep 3.  Actually the best part of ep 3 for me was watching them walk around Akiba and being able to recognise all the streets and shops. Maybe I should give Akihabara@deep another go....

Now that is a maid worth ordering champagne for...

Its no longer spiritual and cult stories but this series proves that even cop stories can be funny as well. It remains to be seen whether the quality of the writing can be sustained throughout the series. It would have been better if there were a main story in the background to sustain the pacing when the stories get a bit slow but the first 3 episodes have been good.

You don't need to have seen Trick to enjoy Yabe Kenzo. There are a couple of cameos and nods to Trick in the first episode but it doesn't affect the story. If you are a Trick fan, Yabe Kenzo is a must watch. If you've never seen Trick, try it for at least 2 episodes.I'm pretty sure you'll get hooked.

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