Friday, February 11, 2011

Jdorama ramblings 10/2/11

SHUKUMEI 1969-2010 ep 8

Finally the incest storyline which diverted the series way too much from all the political lying, scheming and backstabbing is over and, we have only one episode left. I was thinking what type of ending could they possibly do with only one episode left but ep 8 brought back what I enjoyed about this series as the patriarch of the Shirai family, Shirai Shinichiro makes his political move. Ah politics. When no one really says what they want to say and are always thinking about how to turn setbacks to their advantage.

This scene screams I want season 2!

 I really loved the look on Shinichiro's face when the Prime Minister offered his resignation in exchange for his second son marrying into the Shirai family. I thought it was out of concern for marrying off Fujii Mina. If my daughter were Fujii Mina, I'd rather lock her up at home than exchange her for political power. Little did I know the depths of Shinichiro's thoughts during that moment.

 I won't spoil the ending but the end of Shukumei was the only possible ending after spending half of the series on the incest story and that is a set up for a second series. And it is a very exciting set up though I have not read any news about a season 2 yet. I seriously hope the whole purpose of the movie was for something other than setting up a second season. They showed the photo of the guy which was of an actor at the end credits so I assumed they had (intended to) cast him for the role in the future. If they wanted Shukumei to be a stand alone series, then I think they would have not bothered with the photo or just put a unknown person's picture.

KEIZOKU 2 SPEC eps 2-7

I keep waiting for this series to start sucking but its been surprisingly good. I love the reveal as to why Toda Erika is always wearing a cast in the show. Its been less about this secret organisation of evil mutants run by two kids and more find out the villain of the week and what powers he/she actually has. The writing has been solid and they keep coming up with interesting use of powers and ways for the Keizoku team to solve it.

He certainly looks overjoyed.

Ok, mostly your typical police show with Toda Erika ripping paper up and then explaining how she knew to the baddie but they've infused the dorama with enough quirkiness to make it different. I mentioned in review of ep 1 that I was not confident the brotherhood of evil mutants story could satisfactory with but so far Keizoku Spec has not made any missteps and have managed to keep things interesting each episode that I don't have time to ponder whether the series is setting up for an interesting ending.


And of course, Mano Erina appears in episode 7 which so makes my day. Thank the jdorama gods she plays a kawaii and genki fortune teller, two traits which she is good at as an idoru and I'm not talking about fortune telling. At least she doesn't look as awkwards as Nacchi and Ayaya when they are acting. I really enjoyed the joke where she tells the guy to chant Hello Project songs instead. 


Hanboshi is a series about a special investigation support squad consisting of a former systems engineer, a profiler and a kinesics specialist ie body movement. Problem no 1 is that they are suppose to be the support squad but they are basically doing the investigation for the other cops who are, you guessed it incompetent. No 2 is that they is nothing special about the first two members and the main character Kirishima serves as a walking lie detector.

Why must all cop jdoramas have the stupid walk parallel to each other scene?

Now, what right have I to complain about the special support squad doing the work of the police when Rinjo does the same thing? Well, Rinjo solves crimes by doing his job as the coroner, that is documenting evidence but taking it a step further by being able to make sense of the evidence faster than the other police. In Honboshi, their special skills are basically useless and ultimately crimes are solved through the gathering of evidence just like any police show. It would irk me a lot less if they were not a support squad but normal investigators with highly skilled backgrounds.

I liked the twist for ep 3 because I had a different 'reason' in mind.

Kirishima, the walking lie detector's only function in Honboshi is to say whether or not a person is lying by noticing whether someone is doing any physical movement when being questioned. What I've learned from Honboshi is to turn your eyes to the left when asked about some past action. The thing that really gets to me is, wouldn't experienced police officers have such skills as well? The head of the squad is basically turning to Kirishima every time and asking him whether a person is actually lying.

I just had to throw in another Mano Erina screencap.

I think the execution of the concept is flawed. If you want to do a series about profiling, kinesics or whatever skills that most police don't have, you need to do stories about crimes that cannot be solved without that particular skill. Its like those profiling movies where a profiler is called upon because there is a distinct lack of evidence and the police need some angle or cornerstone from which to conduct their investigation. In short, they did not need the special squad in order to solve the 3 cases. If you ignore the special squad part, Honboshi is pretty watchable and definitely miles ahead of Lady and Control.


Enma said...

I agre on Keizoku2, I also enjoy the music.

bframe5 said...

Keizoku 2 was hands down my favorite show of the season. Got kind of frustrated with the later episodes, but in the end, it didn't matter. Much better than the nonsense that Toda Erika got cast for this season...

Jung said...

NOO~!!! I deleted Shukumei ep8 after getting fed up with ep1-7 full of nothing but family drama... >:-O

That's an awful picture of Toda! Change it now!

bframe5 said...

I agree with Jung! ^^;

Akiramike said...

Come on, Toda Erika's buck teeth can make for funny pictures!

hoki said...

agree, keizoku2 been surprisingly good, tot it would go sour after ep 2 LOL