Thursday, December 01, 2011

Shinya Shokudo ep 4

It is pretty sad that season 2 of Shinya Shokudo is not only the best but probably the only decent subbed jdorama this season, besides Last Money. I really like ep 4. Its a cheesy story about a struggling bento-ya Masashi who meets this prostitute Ikumi (Ito Ayumi who I last saw in Solanin) but its executed in such a masterful way that I just have to tip my hat to the writer.

Episode is an exercise of telling a simple story effectively in 20 minutes. With a few lines out dialogue to the other customers, Masashi gets to introduce himself to the audience, tell us a bit about his history and this exposition is invisible because he does it in the process of complaining about his new colleague. The dialogue is natural and before the audience even blinks, they know who this character Masashi is and what he does.

I like the cameo from the kara-age girl.

Next, we have Ikumi coming into the diner and master telling the audience that Ikumi's choice of food is nikogori, which is hardened fish stock on rice. Masashi seems interested in Ikumi and then we get our romantic jdorama scene of Ikumi helping Masashi out at his bento shop. He buys her dinner as thanks, confesses and gets turned down because she already has a boyfriend. 

I won't list of every scene but basically every shot in episode 4 had a purpose or two. For example the scene establishing that Masashi can't forget Ikumi as he eats nikogori at the diner while Rumi talks to two other patrons about her confidence and strong sense of self worth while the two chide that her new love interest is only buttering her up. A short scene that establishes Masashi's turmoil after he learns the truth and Rumi chatter implies the issues that nag at Masahi and Ikumi's thoughts.

Gotta love that scene after Ikumi declares to the master that she is going to graduate and wonders whether she can return to her original self. We had Ikumi scrubbing down the inflatable bed with the awesome sad music playing in the background and no stupid sign telling the audience what a great metaphor it was. *cough* Renai Dekinai *cough*

The last scene I want to talk about is the scene where Ikumi was hesitant about Masashi's proposal and he reiterates that it would be ok as she has broken up with her boyfriend. I love Ikumi's slow look of realisation that Masashi might know what her boyfriend was and then he gives her a nod. Beauty in simplicity. No need to spell everything out to the audience. No time fillers and useless characters that are there to push an idoru. Simple story told magnificently.


Jung said...

don't forget the nikogori melting scene at 20:59 too, which was time-lapsed to make it dramatic. Beats the crap out of cutting your on shattered glass.

I guess this show's audience is predominately men. And I can almost see someone criticizing the show for being a bit too formulaic, with each episode starring a young heroine who struggles to find place in life. This becomes more apparent as you go past ep 4.

nonetheless, there's something magical about this show. Ep 4 too was very nice.. as was ep 2. And I like how the show rewards loyal viewers with references to previous episodes in subtle manner. (like highball cocktail in later ep... oops sorry spoiler. lol)

maiku said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maiku said...

Eps 2 and 4 were definitely my favorites so far. They felt more in line with the tone of the first season. I'm a sucker for the justice scenes, like when the comedy duo come on stage and find the club filled with Yakuza.

Ep3 was sort of a mess. Good to see Odagiri Joe back though.

Interesting point about the focus on heroines. Reminds me of the strong women in 'Onnatachi wa Nido Asobu'. (great film, BTW)

howtowsave said...

I searched in your blog but i couldn't find it so you probably didn't watch it. anyways Iwanted to recommend gyne sanfujinka no onnatachi.

It came out the same season a JIN and montser and mother. I personally was bored to death by monster and mother while plesantly surprised with this one.

anyways my review is on my blog. we may have similar tastes from the loooks of it?

Akiramike said...

Jung, I'll take formulaic but well done vs throwing the kitchen sink at characters to give them something to do.

The comedy yakuza scene was simple and funny.

Tried one episode of Gyne but didn't like it.

Jung said...

I enjoyed Gyne... but I don't think I finished it.

It had really awesome opening song though. Pure pop gold. Just latches onto the first time you listen to it.

Anonymous said...

I think Ito Yumi was in Gantz also.

About Gyne, i tried it but i don't see any reason to watch it after episode 1.

Anyway, about Shinya Shokodu episode 4.. again, well done.