Friday, August 05, 2011

Yuusha Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro eps 1-4

Yuusha Yoshihiko is a low budget fantasy adventure story. However, it is not a sentai show with big name actors like Saiyuki was. Yuusha yoshihiko is brilliant parody/love letter to the DragonQuest series and JRPGs in general. The plotline is of course this village boy Yoshihiko (Yamada Takayuki) on his quest to save the world. Along for the ride is your chick fighter of the group played by Kinami Haruka who wants to avenge her father by killing Yoshihiko, and old fighter played by Shin Takuma and your compulsory wizard who can cast spells.

Hhhmm, this picture looks very familiar.

If there is one word to describe Yuusha Yoshihiko, it is FUN. This is the most fun to watch dorama to watch since... I can remember watching doramas. As the subber danburi says, you can really tell they are having great time making this dorama. We need a behind the scenes episode cause I can see them cracking up after most takes.

Fantasy comedy is something that we hardly see. There was a movie called Your Highness that had one of the funniest trailers ever but in the end the movie just relied on cursing and sex jokes without making use of the fantasy setting. Which is not to say, Yuusha Yoshihiko does not contain dick jokes and characters speaking in modern slang but rather at its heart, it is about taking fantasy/JRPG conventions and turning them upside down or asking some pertinent questions.

Abandoned set from 13 Assassins? Either that or Juji TV has an abandoned village set for anyone to use.

Yuusha Yoshihiko makes fun of those conventions but in a way that embraces them. I've watched a lot of B-grade Japanese movies and most of the time they're more throw stuff at the wall and hope everything sticks. Yuusha Yoshihiko has the feel of a carefully crafted story or rather the awesome gags just fit together in the spirit of JRPG conventions. I don't want to spoil the jokes cause they are all awesome but my favourite one so far has to be forging the soul sword.

They've really embraced the low budget setting and this has led to some decisions which I think turned out better than if they had the budget such as the magician Merebu's spells. Everytime he proclaims he has learned a new spell, you know you're going to be laughing. Or even using animation for a big monster fight which I think is a brilliant idea and just makes it all the more funnier.

I love how they've gotten rid of the wires on the Evil treasure chest by mosiacing (does this word even exist?) them.

Whoever the masterminds behind this dorama, my hats of to them and Takayuki Yamada for taking on this midnight dorama despite him being a major actor. I'm pretty sure he's not doing this for the money. One of the reasons why I continue watching jdoramas despite most of it being crap is that once in while, they come up with excellent shows like Yuusha Yoshihiko which you can't get anywhere else. Big thank you to danburi for his speedy subbing and I can't wait to watch the rest of series.


kamikaze612 said...

lol, I cant wait to feast my eyes on this. Sorta reminds me of some Chinese fantasy/wuxia dramas, but I'm sure it's more geared to the gamer-type setting like you said. Which means relatable nerdy humor of course.

Anonymous said...

When the notice: A low-budget action adventure appears at the intro, I know I should leave my brain at the door. And I wasn't disappointed.

This is a fun drama. The charm is definitely in its low-budget-ness. You can't wait to see what the producers have in mind to compensate the special effect, yet, made it relatable to all the RPG gamers out there. The koala attack had me stitches. And so does the exchange between Celestial Maiden and Yusha (added to the fact Yamada literally played it straight, >.<).

This is definitely a surprise drama for this summer.

maiku said...

Thanks for the recommendation. After this, Moteki, Quiz Show, and Shinya Shokudo I'm starting to think midnight dramas are really putting their prime time counterparts to shame.

Chuks said...

Your last paragraph was as if you were speaking my mind. Soredemo Ikiteiku and Yuusha are the only dramas I look forward to seeing the next episode this season. I almost subbed Soredemo but I can't fully enjoy it if I sub (like Mother), so I decided to let it go. I was going to sub Yuusha but somebody beat me to it. It's vary rare to have two dramas motivating me to sub on one season.

I like how Yamada Takayuki chooses his roles and how he's not full of himself. My favorite character is Merebu. His facial expressions, the way he deliver the lines, the words he chooses... Unlike the characters on Arakawa Under The Bridge, he's not forcing viewers to laugh. He's pretty good.