Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Seinaru Kaibutsutachi eps 1 and 2

Seinaru Kaibutsutachi is similar to Saigo Kara in the sense that it fees like a hodgepodge of genres.Its your underdog medical drama with Okada Masaki as Shiba Kengo, your typical young, nice guy protagonist who is transferred to a rural hospital that is understaffed and in the red. There he meets head nurse Kasugai Yuka (Nakatani Miki), a very dedicated and intense person.

Seinaru Kaibutsutachi is also one of those rich people political dramas. Fuga Keiko (Kato Ai) is married to Suzuki sensei, the son and heir of a major group that runs a lot of schools. While Suzuki sensei is divorced, the daughter lives with him and the ex wife is still an important member of the organisation. Kato Ai suffers a miscarriage during the wedding and as a result is unable to have children. Basically normal daughter in law married to rich family and for some reason filthy rich people in doramas have to speak and act like aristocrats from the 17th century complete with sneering mother-in-law. Perhaps Japanese think people buried in money have lost all sense of normal conversation and only think in terms of duty to the company and family.

Finally Seinaru Kaibutsutachi is a mystery thriller with the first episode starting with a unknown pregnant woman dropped in front of a hospital and the young protagonist Shiba sensei proclaiming that it was all part of a plot. By the end of episode 2, we can pretty much guess who the mystery pregnant woman and the plot was, which is not a bad thing. The important thing is how well it is executed.

To be honest, Seinaru Kaibutsutachi feels very disjointed. The tone of the dorama is inconsistent. The way scenes from the three genres are shot are very different. I think they director made a mistake in not establishing a consistent look for all the scenes instead of playing with different tones for each scene depending on what is was about. For example, the scenes involving Suzuki sensei's aristocratic like family are so brightly lit like an afternoon soap opera. There is a surgery in episode 2 with the music trying to imitate Iryu. Shiba sensei's story with his patient feels like your generic feel good doctor story. Lastly, Nakatani Miki and Suzuki sensei's scenes in episode 2 were like from a realistic and serious dorama where the dialogue meant something.

First off, I have to say what is holding this dorama together is Nakatani Miki's Kasugai Yuka. She is so fucking awesome. She's like Koizumi Kyoko, able to play a character with depth that draws the viewers attention everytime she is on the screen. It also helps that her character Yuka gets more and more intriguing. Let's just say that the title is not called The Holy Monsters for nothing. I love characters that we can see thinking and know what they want and what they have to do.

Contrast with Kato Ai's acting. I know she's not playing the most well developed character in the show but its like she's playing a character in an overacting afternoon soap and Nakatani Miki is playing in a Wowow dorama. I probably should put more blame on the directing and the fact that there's probably some clause in Kato Ai's contract which states that every time she is on screen, warm fuzzy lighting must be used.

Anyway back to my two favourite scenes in the series and they are between Suzuki sensei and Nakatani Miki in episode 2. All I can say is wow.  Its like suddenly all the crappy generic dialogue disappears and we get two scenes where what was not said is as important as what was said. I love the smug way Suzuki sensei defends his actions. He knows that he does not have to appeal to Yuka emotionally. Yuka tries to use emotion but Suzuki sensei cuts her off by defending the difficulties and risks his actions pose to his position.

Yuka then plays on his battlefield of logic and asks some pertinent questions that Suzuki has no answer for before showing him how serious she is and how much she is willing to do for Kato Ai. The second scene is Yuka using the allegory of the sea to convince Suzuki that her plan can be done with little risk to his position and company. I just love how Nakatani Miki can put on a different mask for Yuka depending on the situation.

I hope Suzuki sensei's character gets to play a big role. I want to see him engaged in a battle of manipulations but I have a feeling he's going to be just along for the ride. Suzuki Anne shows up in episode 2 as a tool of Yuka's plan. Haven't seen her in ages but I expect good acting from her. Seinaru Kaibutsutachi has potential and Nakatani Miki is worth watching for.


Sonnaaaaa~ said...

I watched the first episode of this but I was uncertain as to whether I wanted to continue, I thought it would be nightmare-inducing creepy.

I see what you mean by it feels like three different dramas and yes, Nakatani Miki is doing an excellent job. She is amazing.

Kato Ai is seriously boring and sort of one sided. She reminds me a lot of old Kimura Tae dramas. Same sort of over-feminine whiny personality that I hate in dramas.

Anonymous said...

i thought this is another medical drama. i was wondering why nakatani miki picked a supporting role as a nurse. so after episode 1, i got the whole idea that it's not medical drama.

the general idea so far is good. i have to watch episode 2 to see why u were holding on to put MUST WATCH in it.

i dont usually mock pretty ladies in a drama because i think that i should be thankful for it. kato ai is really pwetty but i think she cant act. should i be thankful for it that she's in the drama? No. because with a good drama like this, she now becomes an eyesore.

Akiramike said...

I think Kimura Tae is better than Kato Ai. Kato Ai doesn't have the acting chops to make her character interesting.