Thursday, October 13, 2011

Suzuki Sensei ep 2

I just had to write about ep 2 after watching it. Problem is its hard to say why Suzuki sensei is such a good dorama besides great acting, writing etc. Its difficult to describe because while it is like your typical teacher dealing with school problems and students, its the execution that makes it interesting.

For the whole, complete 45 minutes, ep 2 had my complete attention. Even for something seemingly as mundane as something being taken off the lunch menu, I was hanging on every word, laughing at the appropriate moments and just being absorbed into the story. Even a teachers' meeting was very exciting.

Actually, if I had to come up with a description of Suzuki sensei, it would be a person narrative of a teacher, done in a way that is amusing and entertaining not because the teacher is a larger than life character or has personality quirks but because the writing allows you to get into his thought processes, it makes sense and you end up thinking along with him.

Examples of the humour in this dorama is when Suzuki sensei tries to convince himself of something but we know its not true, like when he runs into Ogawa Somi at school after his dream. The punchline is when he succumbs to her smell and he is sniffing the air like an idiot at the school gate. The joke continues during lunchtime when Suzuki sensei comments that he was glad it was curry because it would wipe out the shampoo smell. To me, its just hilarious and brilliantly funny.

Episode 2 had two storylines; the lunch menu story and the mystery of the disgusting behaviour. The execution of it was masterful. You get to see it from his point of view and share his stress as the time limit drew near. Its not a detective movie where you watch from afar as the detective declares he has solved the mystery and explains it at the end. The viewer stands in Suzuki sensei's shoes and tries to solve it along with him.

An anonymous commentator mentioned that the writer is Furusawa Ryoto who wrote Gaiji Keisatsu, probably the best police jdorama ever along with Gonzo. You can't click on his name on dramawiki and I had to go to the Japanese wiki to find his the list of his body of work. So he has done:

1) Always san chome movies which are pretty good feel good movies.

2) Aibou police series which I would occasionally see news of on Tokyohive, seems to be popular and has 9 seasons!

3) Gaiji Keisatsu.

4) Gonzo. Yes, he has written two of the best police jdoramas I have seen! I've never watched Aibo though.

5) Oishii gohan which is subbed and which I will definitely check out.

Can't read the rest of the list as my kanji is still shit but WTF??!! This guy is one of the gods of jdorama writing along with Nojima Shinji and Ozaki Masaya and he has no drama wiki entry? I am ashamed that I did not realise that the writer of Gaiji Keisatsu and Gonzo was the same person.

Hhmm, Vulcan 300 fansubs have subbed 2 eps of Aibou season but the last update was in March so its pretty much dead. Maybe I can find the HK English subbed dvds. JT also mentioned that the ratings are very bad, averaging about 2%. WTF???!! Its a 10pm dorama, not a midnight dorama! Has there ever been a non midnight dorama which was so good and has such horrible writing??!!!


jt said...

i think this site will explain what happened to the ratings -->

people are too tired watching the good ones after being bombarded with variety shows. although i was a victim downloading shows even though i dont understand what they are talking where nagasawa masami, yuriko yoshitaka as a guest, and still looking for miho kanno's previous weeks Tonneruzu no Minasan.

i know that it's too early to say this but Suzuki Sensei is my personal favourite this year.

Anonymous said...

He wrote Kisaragi?!! Dude, I'm impressed with Kisaragi. Watch that one. Kinda like 12 Angry Men, a bit, but it got your attention that you never realised the setting remains at one place. I can't remember where I see it, but I heard Kisaragi is the first script he wrote. The talent is here.

Mark said...

The first episode was great, but I couldn't really take episode 2 seriously.

How can you go from dealing with a 13 yr old banging a 9 yr old, trying to handle the kid's convoluted logic that it's OK to bang a prepubescent girl... to "let's not get rid of nostalgic lunch." Or "let's not be intolerant of bad table manners."

These issues are pretty trivial in comparison. It's such a huge difference from killing cats or raping little girls, I didn't care how Suzuki handled it. But if it gets subbed I'd watch it... I'm a sucker for 'Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete' type situations.

jt said...


Thanks for the Kisaragi recommendation. fun movie.

Akiramike said...

When you include Kisaragi, shouldn't he be one of the greatest writers in Japan? Can't believe I never wrote a review of the movie.

maiku said...

I was actually relieved that ep2 covered a lighter topic. If they set the precedent of trying to one-up the controversy each week the series would burn out fast. For me ep2 showed they could tell an intriguing tale without relying on shock value.