Friday, September 17, 2010

Hagetaka eps 1-2

I have a love-hate relationship with doramas.I love the eye candy, the anime humour and stories that you can't find from other countries. I hate that most doramas serve to promote idorus and are ineptly written and shot. When I watch shows like Chase, Soratobu Taiya and Hagetaka, its obvious Japan has the talent. Its just the question demand. I mean look at the ratings for the above shows. Not even reaching 10 percent. Is the average Japanese that shallow? Surely the above shows received enough critical acclaim for the public to notice.Or was KDO getting a 16.9 average a mere aberration? I guess the trend applies to d-addicts as well though Hagetaka has a lot more downloads for the subs than Soratobu Taiya.

Thank the dorama gods there is no slow mo walking in this show though I am eagerly anticipating that in Iryu 3.

Hagetaka refers to Washizu Masahiko, a former bank employee who now works for a foreign investment fund. He is sent back to Japan in order to buy under performing companies and sell them off to make profit. In the first episode, he crosses paths with Shibano, his former sempai who still works for Mitsuba bank. Mitsuba bank is facing its own financial problems and is desperate to sell off its debts.

Yes, that's the American from Nihonjin no shiranai Nihongo on the right!

To say more would be to spoil the show so suffice to say Hagetaka is about debts and the buying and selling of it. You've got Matsuda Ryuhei as the heir of a struggling ryokan and Kuriyama Chiaki as a financial reporter but they are the supporting characters. The interesting relationship is the one between Washizu and Shibano. Kouhai and sempai. Calculating fund manager looking to buy out companies vs this weathered old dude who tries to do the right thing as a mere salaryman of a bank.

Hhmm, what's going on here?

To me, there is no villain in this show. Its all shades of grey and Washizu and Shibano just happen to be on opposite sides. Hagetaka tries to show the suffering of people in debt but I have no sympathies for ignorant people who bury their heads in the sand in regards to the financial situations of their companies. Why should the audience care when idiots who cannot accept responsibility for their own actions and instead blame the creditors commit suicide? I am not really criticising Hagetaka for pushing this viewpoint but rather the reactions of the characters towards Washizu.

Someone give her more speaking lines!

The preview of episode 3 just leaves me salivating for more. No idea how I missed this show but do yourself a favour and watch it. Thanks to the person who recommended Hagetaka in the comments.


Anonymous said...

have you watched Gaiji Keisatsu? well, 6 episode jdramas are one of my first jdramas. for one reason, the one that subbed Hagetaka recommends good stuff. MrX is like the best drug dealer out there.

i think in jdramas, i agree with you that they can produce good shit and the bad ones. and also the crazy out of this world ones. and some shows that really makes me say "what the fuck was that?!" or "that was really fuckin great". oh! pardon my french.

arakira said...

Hagetaka is a great drama. Really love it. There is also a movie based on it, in case you start feeling deprived after the 6 episodes.
Somehow I missed out on the subs for Soratobu Taiya and only found out now. Plan to finally watch it subbed soon. =)

Guess the foreign drama community is largely dependant on subs and mostly looking for famous actors so we miss out on a lot of great dramas. Like mother which was the best drama this year and really didn't get the attention it deserves.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're enjoying Hagetaka.

KDO's ratings are interesting. It looked as if people still remember Abe from Hero SP aired the previous night. Then it died down immediately after that. But people starting buzzing on 2ch about how good it was. So maybe you're right.

I think Hagetaka has a lot more downloads because the fansubbing group is very popular in the Kdrama community. And the translator is quite the vocal fella too.

maiku said...

I share your frustration on the popularity vs. depth issue. One of my favorite drama writers is a team called Kizara Izumi. They wrote Suika, Nobuta wo Produce, and Sexy Voice and Robo. I thought Suika was brilliant, but Nobuta got more attention because of the Johnny's stars. I guess that's to be expected. 4 times out of 5 the cult sleeper loses to the Hollywood blockbuster. Hopefully Q10 will be ok.

These days I tend to follow writers...Nojima Shinji, Kuramoto Sou, Kizara Izumi, Kudo Kankuro, Ozaki Masaya. Sort of like following film directors.

Of course for every 'Manhattan Love Story' there's a 'Ryusei no Kizuna'. But 'Shonen Merikensack' was so good I'll let that one slide.

Anonymous said...

I trust Mr X's taste, just like I trust jadefrost and now, chucks. When they sub something, you know you have to check it out.