TETSU NO HONE EP 3
We finally get to see this secret cartel of the six major Tokyo construction companies in action. Its interesting to note that the main reason the six companies are colluding is to ensure that government projects are spread equally among them in order that they all can survive. A slightly noble plan with the fact that the government will not accept proposals under their estimated budget so this prevents the 6 companies from having to undercut each other in order to win contracts. If this were Malaysia, all one had to do was to offer a huge kickback to the relevant Minister and have his family on your board of directors and your overpriced tender would be accepted on the basis that you are the most 'appropriate' company despite being a paper company with limited capital.
It seems that because of public pressure to stop bid rigging, there are plan behind the scenes to reduce the number of companies to 5. I don't think the puppeteers really want to stop this bid rigging with them backing an outside company that is somehow able to submit tenders at below minimum costs. Tetsu no Hone doesn't delve much into the pros and cons of bid rigging except with Heita starting to think that it may not be a bad thing. On the number of jobs equation there will always be the same number of jobs for construction workers but having less companies would mean less jobs available for admin and sales people.
I hope the show goes into the ethical questions of bid-rigging. However, they bid-rigging in Tetsu no Hone is different from what we usually associate with it. Usually we think of a group of companies banning together to keep prices high but in this case, they still have to meet the government's estimates and there has not been any direct kickbacks to Ministers. The twist at the end is awesome and really sets up a lot of questions. Is this part of the conspirators' plans are is the Prosecutor's Office acting on its own? I can't wait for the next episode to find out!
SCHOOL!! EP 6+7
I was reluctant to label the series as must watch in my review for eps 1-5 but now I'm glad I did. School!! is not Misaki no.1 digging up old tired cliches and putting a different glitter on it. Ep 6 and 7 does not we have not seen before but the best description I have for why I love it is that it has heart. It doesn't stray away from your typical renegade teacher formula and the kids' acting are nowhere as good as Jyoou no Kyoushitsu but it just knows what it is and it does it very well.
KITA NO KUNI KARA 11-17
My favourite character in this show is Hotaru. The daddy's girl who puts up with all the hardship and refuses to acknowledge her mother just because she pities her father. Its touching but so sad at the same time. Its quiet interesting that this show about a divorced family was made in 1983. It would be unthinkable for a family friendly show on say, American TV to be about separated parents back in 83. The fundamental right wingers and religious protesters would be up in arms about the destruction of family values etc. Only 7 more episodes to go to the end but I'm more excited about the specials. I'm looking forward to see how the characters grow up in the future.
AKUTOU EPS 3-4
Still waiting for it to be more than just your average jdorama cop show. Sure they bend the rules a bit but that's no reason to call this show Akutou/villain. Now if Togashi had actually pulled the trigger at the end of ep 4, that would have been worth it. One could argue that Togashi would have been done if the father had not asked him to stop but they show has not really lived up to its name yet. Bashing suspects, colluding with yakuza and concealing evidence just makes them everyday real life cops. The twist at the end was more WTF in that it didn't make any sense at all but we'll see. Its still a watchable series and I'm planning to stay until the end because there are too many hanging plotlines.