Monday, August 30, 2010

Atami no Sousakan eps 1-3

 Atami no Sousakan is big mystery dorama set in a small town. 3 years ago, a bus carrying 4 schoolgirls went missing. One girl was found at a bus stop but was in a coma. The whereabouts of the 3 other girls were never found. Odagiri Joe and Kuriyama Chiaki are investigators from the Japanese equivalent of the FBI sent to try to solve this case.

The first thing that comes to mind is Atami no Sousakan's similarity to Shinzanmono though in this case, its more than just the question of who the culprit is but how the deed was done. Like Shinzanmono, everyone in the town acts suspiciously and has something to hide. Luckily there's no predictable story to uncover every episode with a feel good ending.

This isn't what it looks like or is it?

However, Atami no Sousakan suffers the same problem as Shinizanmono where most of the time, Odagiri and Kuriyama are investigating things which are unrelated to case and taking their sweet time to do things such as interviewing certain people. In Shinzanmono's case it was because every it was more about the stories behind the characters than the main mystery. In Atami no Sousakan, there is no excuse for the real slow pace of the investigation other than wanting to show the weird and wonderful people of the town.

Note to self; must visit ceramics club when next in Japan.

Atami no Sousakan has the Trick-like humour which I enjoy. Understated without a necessary punchline but what it really lacks is chemistry and characterisation of the two leads. Odagiri's character is a bit smug, likes to literally push Kuriyama from behind and has a rivalry with the female cop of the station. Kuriyama's character... well, there's nothing defining about her. There's no dynamic in their relationship to pull the viewers in and they're both very bland.

I really feel like dropping Atami no Sousakan though the show could pick up in the middle.The lack of progress in the case really is boring. Sure, two major developments in the case happen in 3 episodes but the show glaringly forgets to ask or explore the obvious questions that the developments bring. Some of my favourite shows took a long time to get interesting such as Shika Otoko but the three episodes were really boring and didn't seem like it was building up to anything. Its too early to pan Atami no Sousakan as a do not watch show but the sloppy pace and my hunch that its just going to be more stories about the characters in the town don't give me much confidence in the series.

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