Monday, May 02, 2011

Freeter Ie wo Kau eps 1-4

Decided to check out Freeter when JC Supercop recommended it. I knew only one or two subbed episodes were on d-addicts and to my surprise freeter_ohno subs had done 4 episodes but not seeded eps 2-4 on d-addicts. According to the fansub wiki, Stormy has already finished subbing the series and its probably available for members of their website. Freeter's got Nino, the one actor in Arashi who can actually act and by default the only Johnny I like and of course Karina and Igawa Haruka so there's no reason for me not to check it out.

Nino plays Seiji, your typical apathetic youth who claims to live a live of mediocrity or soko soko and always quits his job within 3 months. He's got no direction in life and he has this overbearing dad who a broken records who likes to proclaim how he is the breadwinner of his family and everyone owes him their souls. Seiji's got a seemingly perfect housewife mom who is constantly being taken for granted by father and son. Finally, Igawa Haruka is the sister who married a hospital director and has to deal with a busybody mother-in-law.

First two episodes plays like on of those indy dysfunctional family movies and it is awesome. From the foreboding rocking of Seiji's mom everytime she is shouted at to Seiji's dad's rantings perhaps hiding some deep troubles, Freeter was a breath of fresh air from the usual set in mangaland doramas. The heart and soul of the story is Seiji and when he does one of the stupidest things ever which is quit his job before finding a new one, he is stuck in freeter hell because of his employment record.

Seiji's father keeps ranting and raving about Seiji's nochalant attitude but frankly I have no empathy for both of them. His father should kick him out of the house if he wants him to pick things up cause nothing motivates more than survival. I've done my share of temp jobs, getting calls early in the morning after an all night gaming session but when you have to pay your own rent and bills, any job will do. At the end of the first episode, something happens to Seiji's mom and I can't wait for the episode 2.

Example of horrible lighting. The house is suppose to be dark but their is this mysterious light pointing directly at only Seiji's mom and the open dining room beside the living room is completely dark. Notice unrealistic fuzzy feel. If the light is supposed to be from a lamp then its suppose to be a soft light that would illuminate the dining area as well.

Episode 2 deal with the indifferent Seiji struggling to work in a road works company and something begins to feel very off. Its not because the road works part with Karina feels so generic. Its because I start to notice how fucking horrible the lighting is. A lot of scenes, especially at Seiji's workplace have this fuzzy glare usually used only for flashback scenes. Its like there are way too many sources of light and it just completely pulls down the more realistic and dramatic tone of the first episode. This is probably the first time ever a lighting in a jmovie/dorama really put me off. The worst lighting I can remember is the Sundome and that was more because it had no budget and it was all natural light. Whoever is responsible for the lighting should be fired and an amateur photographer hired instead.

What Seiji is actually asking: I thought you were a tough tomboy construction chick and you're walking in the riverside in the middle of the night showing off your nice slim legs for the sole purpose of .......?

End of ep 3, we get to the introduction of the main story which is Seiji vowing to build a house by working as a freeter. Temping jobs can pay as well as regular ones except you don't get holidays so I wonder how Seiji will manage to pull it off. So far I find freeter an interesting show but the lighting issue and some elements which pull the show from serious family drama to generic idoru dorama like Karina's dress code in the above screencap get on my nerves. Freeter is better than generic, promises to be a watchable dorama with so many interesting story threads and has good actors but execution will determine whether it rises from watchable to good.

Example two of horrible lighting. Its suppose to be very bright outside and and they've got at least 3 fucking light tubes TURNED ON in the room in the background and it looks like they have at least the same number on above the foreground and maybe a skylight. Is this some alternate reality where having 2 fucking light sources in a room is not enough?

Gotta mention that guy on the left cannot fucking act at all which means he must be a Johnny.

Cleanest looking construction workers in the world wearing very new clothes. Its pretty obvious that the costume department has no budget to for dirt and water to put some wrinkles to the clothes.


Anna said...

Gotta mention that guy on the left cannot fucking act at all which means he must be a Johnny
LOL. He's actually not a Johnny. He gained popularity as the popular kid's hero "Kamen Rider Decade."

Johnnys' acting can be hit or miss.

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

I had forgotten all about the subs on D-A. I figured they were abandoned after the first episode. Where exactly are the rest of them? I'm mostly just curious, because I'll probably be sticking to the ones on JDrama Zone. Stormy isn't even worth mentioning since their fansubs are, for all intents and purposes, purely theoretical. The show's fansub situation is very odd considering the high ratings and popular actors.

I didn't notice the bad lighting because I don't expect much from the production design and cinematography of jdramas.

I'm waiting with bated breath to see if Freeter will eventually become a pile of cliches or if it'll stay the course.

Jung said...

I think I abandoned the show around ep 6-7, because I just couldn't care for Seiji's childish behavior.

This was a risky bet by the writer and I commend him/her for creating a lead role that is so unappealing on many level, yet so realistic. This is how normal people behave. We say things we don't mean, and sometimes treat our loved ones with apathy and aloofness that we wouldn't with total strangers. Deep down we care of course, and even though Seiji lashes out at his mother, he jumps through hoops to help her take medication on time.

Same thing goes for Seiji's sister. She the more likeable character in the show, but she is far from perfect. She treats her own father like a dysfunctional younger brother (thanks for the capture Mike), and she is in a loveless marriage with some rich guy.

I hate it when you do this. I abandon a lot of shows, but then you write about them with mild approval. That forces me to go back and continue where I left off. Sucks!

Akiramike said...

Kamen Rider???? I thought one would have to look like he could kick ass to be a Kamen Rider?

Jung, you've watched more episodes of this series. You are in a better position than me to judge whether Freeter is worth watching.