Friday, March 11, 2011

Keizoku 2: SPEC eps 9+10

 Zeizoku 2 has surpassed all my expectations. The chemistry between Toda Erika and Kase Ryo has been great. The villains that they faced have been interesting, they've done an excellent job of milking what limited money they have for the special effects and the writer has done a great job of pacing the series with cliffhangers, most notably the end of episode 9 which just had me going WTF and eagerly waiting for the subs for the final episode which luckily came quick.

The big elephant in the room was the brotherhood of evil mutants plotline which according to my experience with jdoramas, always turns out bad because in jdoramas, it is some unwritten law that villains of secret organisations have to laugh manically, posture a lot and monologue incoherent arguments more than necessary and for 9 episodes Keizoku has avoided all that. Despite my misgivings of the villain Ninomae being a kid, he has turned out to be a frightening villain because he does not act like a cartoon villain. I mean he cut of Saya's hand. How fucking cool was that and how much did we want to see Saya get her revenge? Plus the writer even took care of the evil brotherhood of mutants subplot by having Ninomae kill all of them.

It is awesome until we get the reveal of the true villain, someone who I think all the viewers suspected from the first episode. Guess what's the first thing the true villain does? Follows the rule of the cartoon villain and starts laughing while hopping like a rabbit before screaming at Sebumi. Why??????? Can jdorama writers not conceive of a villain that talks and acts normally? Is a villain a villain because he does evil things or because he hops like a rabbit while laughing at every opportunity? Are evil acts not enough or do villains have to distinguish themselves for the audience by behaving and talking like a retard?

Plus the motives of the true villain just don't make sense. He just wanted to pit brother against sister? How did he know Ninomae had powers in the first place? Was he working for the organisation? It seems like the writer just wanted to portray him as someone who does evil things because he can and frankly I don't give a shit because there is no transfer of my eagerness to see Saya and Sebumi defeat Ninomae to them defeating the true villain. He did what he did for no particular motives and now he is obsessed with Saya? So what? I just feel there's too big of a gap between the true villain and Ninomae.

I didn't really like the final battle that much. Was the tooth bullet suppose to be funny? What happened to the other Spec people who were supposed to be protecting him? Saya firing the gun with her reattached hand was cool but couldn't she have tried to pull the trigger with her right hand as well despite the fact that the true villain stepped on it. It was still pretty cool though and the slightly ambiguous ending is awesome. Clues to the true villain's motives have been planted throughout series but Keizoku 2 just fails to arouse any sort of anger or desire to see him defeated. I think someone said it best 'in real life, it doesn't have to make sense but in doramas it has to'. Despite my whinging over the last episode, I enjoyed Keizoku 2 and I would recommend it.


Anna said...

I really enjoyed this series, despite the WTF ending. I think they attempted to keep it light and random with Sebumi's tooth-bullet. I also think that Saya used her left hand, because it was the grand moment she was going to defeat the 'true villain,' with the hand he orchestrated Ninomae to cut off.

You are right though, the true villain doesn't really make sense.
Someone told me that they were leaving it open for a movie. I don't know who their sources were, but we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, totally frustrating ending IMO. What? Toma has a SPEC too? And what happened with Ninomae that made the guy back up against the wall in shock? And who is that Tsuda guy who refuses to die? So many questions. I do hope they make a movie though, that'd be awesome. Definitely didn't expect so many twists this late in the series.

Puupaa said...

Same thing here, brilliant series except for the finale episode. It has been great to see Toda Erika in a good jdrama, because most of her shows like Code Blue or Boss (which is getting a second season) are crap.

In some sense the series follows the original Keizoku, for not explaining everything and leaving the viewer with a big WTF-feeling. Particularly the drama special and the movie Keizoku - Beautiful dreamer were quite bizarre.

Mike Mai said...

@Anna It's funny Toda Erika basically said "NO MOVIE" in the extra scene. That was a funny bit.

Overall this is a great drama. The ADD editing reminds me of Ikebukuro West Gate Park and the random background characters reminds me of Trick. It is just filled with the director's style in every single frame. I really love his work.

hotaru said...

Can't wait for it's movie. I'm still butthurt about Toda not appearing in the latest Liar Game movie but i'm excited for SPEC. Personally i like the original ver. of Keizoku better than SPEC in term of storyline and the chemistry between Nakatani and Watabe are fabulous. But SPEC is a great drama too and i totally enjoy watching it =)