Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tsuki no koibito eps 1-3

 Kimutaku is finally back in a romance dorama after Karei naru ichizoku exposed his acting, the very bland Change and the very pretentious and inept Mr Brain. Can he recapture his old magic and have another 25% rating dorama or have Japanese audiences finally realised that while he has charisma he doesn't have the necessary acting chops to elevate the mediocre to great?

I think we can be pretty sure why Rensuke always acts like he has something stuck up his arse.

In tsuki no koibito, Kimutaku is Hazuki Rensuke, the president of Regolith, a furniture making company. He is in China to oversee the opening of a new store and to deal with the forced closing a factory. There, he meets factory worker Xiu Mei (Lin Chi Ling) and decides to sign her up as a model in order to placate the factory workers and promises that they will be rehired. Rensuke sets up this elaborate plan of using the local loan sharks to make Xiu Mei desperate enough to sign with Regolith.

What a waste of Nakamura Yuki. (Lalapipo and the milf in Saru Lock)

The other characters in Tsuki no koibito include Shinohara Ryoko as Maemi, an employee who has a long history with Rensuke, Matsuda Shota as Kazami, Rensuke's personal assistant who does nothing except try to look cool while tagging along and uses way too much hair gel and Kitagawa Keiko as the comedy relief Yuzuki who seems like a bimbo who has an unexplained crush on Rensuke despite it being entirely one sided.

OMG, there are Hobbits in Japan!

First problem with tsuki no koibito is that Rensuke is a seemingly cold hearted bastard because all he does is strut around telling people off and not really doing any work. Actually that's not really the problem. The problem is Kimutaku cannot do the Abe Hiroshi. He is unable to make a bastard character interesting. Sure there is allusion that he didn't used to be like this and all that but there is no depth to his acting. As a character, Rensuke just feels so flat.

I can see a Kitagawa Keiko tsundere dorama in the future...

2nd problem is casting of Lin Chi Ling. Sure she is a model and looks the part but did the producers ever do their due diligence and find out whether she could act? Did they seriously watch Red Cliff and Treasure Hunter and think 'we need to have her in a dorama'? Any idiot can see that she has zero acting ability. If you want a freaking Chinese speaking actress, at least get one who can act like Vicky Zhao. It should be pretty obvious that you basically need to pair Kimutaku with a good actress like Matsu Takako or Takeuchi Yuko. Average acting + no acting skills = chemistry disaster.

Why is Lin Chi Ling's head always lower than Kimutaku's everytime they're next to each other?

To be fair though, I thought Lin Chi Ling's Japanese was pretty decent. She spoke slowly and clearly and I could understand her without subs. Matsuda Shota's mandarin is a freaking disaster. There was no way any Mandarin speaker could understand him without subs. I would have been perfect for this role except for the drowning my hair in gel part. If there is going to be more multi-language jdoramas then I really need to move to Japan and get an agent. How hard can it be just to follow Kimutaku around and wear sunglasses indoors? At the very least with some white powder, I could have played Xiu Mei's father. Are Chinese speaking extras so hard to find in China? I was laughing when the dad was speaking mandarin to Xiu Mei. I know Japanese audiences don't know the difference between real and bad mandarin, after all they can't even get English grammar right despite memorising all the rules but realism and authenticity goes towards believability of characters.

Sorry I had to delete Buzzer Beater.

My lone bright spot in all this is Kitagawa Keiko. Yes, she is relegated to comic relief but there's a tiny beacon of light that maybe she might have an interesting story to explain her obsession with Rensuke. That Xiu Mei will die in an accident in ep 4 and the rest of the story will be about Shinohara Ryoko and Kitagawa Keiko. Maybe I'm just desperate to overwrite all my memories of her in Buzzer Beater.

In summary, what is wrong with Tsuki no Koibito is apathy. I am given no reason to care or even hate any of the characters in the show. Why should the audience care if Shogen has a spy in Regolith or that Xiu Mei's dad is a crook? I'm going to give it a few more episodes just because its a big name dorama and it doesn't stink as bad as Mr Brain or Bloody Monday.


Jung said...

I think Lin Chi Ling is getting beat up unfairly for the low ratings. The problem isn’t her or Kimutaku. The problem isn’t even the bad script. The problem is the producer’s 2 very poor decisions:

1. To use Asano Taeko, who hasn’t produced anything decent without the help of Ozaki Masaya throughout her entire writing career.

2. To produce a show with international distribution rights in mind, and make casting, storyline, and production decisions to accommodate such.

Reason #1 is hard one to overcome considering her track record, but combine that with reason #2, you have a show that would make even producers of Rondo cry. Basically, this show was doomed from the beginning.

Akiramike said...

I think that Rondo was worse. Don't remember much except it had a laughable evil organisation.

If they are going to show Tsuki no koibito on Chinese tv, they better dub over all the horrible mandarin.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Lin Chi Ling cannot act for nuts..and the way she spoke Japanese made me cringe.

Anonymous said...

oh ya and I totally loved kitagawa keiko in buzzer beat!!! was hoping she would be the female lead in this series but sadly no:( -nik