Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Suzuki sensei eps 8-10
I tried watching Ep 7 of Suzuki sensei without subs but couldn't understand the discussion so I waited for the subs. I've been checking Chuk's blog everyday waiting for ep 8 subs and then decided to give it a go. Turns out the the files for the last three episodes had built in Japanese subs and that really helped me in understanding the dialogue. It also helps that there wasn't any complicated discussion in ep 8 and 9 and both episodes were story based episodes setting up the major 'trial'/discussion in ep 10.
My Japanese is pretty basic and I rely on catching verbs and nouns to understand what is being said. Having kanji on screen helps me catch some words when they are speaking fast and I had my kanji dictionary on hand to quickly search as I was atching. I never got 100% understanding of ep 8 and 9 but I think I got the jist of it. Ep 10 was a lot harder to understand but Suzuki sensei already voiced his stance on hinin (避妊)earlier so that healped a bit. If I had actually watched it with subs, I wouldn't have caught that word.
Episodes 8 and 9 basically sets up this huge discussion at ep 10 but the real star is Taruko sensei (Tomita Yasuko). She is such a fun villain to watch because she not a 2D cutout character. Yes she is scary and vindictive but also a person with wants, desires and dashed dreams as seen in ep 8. She is a source of comedy relief but at the same time I did feel for her, a bit and can see why she felt threatened. IMO, Tomita Yasuko deserves much credit for making her character work.
As mentioned, episode 10 is one huge discussion and frankly, its too big, unweildy and goes all over the place. Also, Suzuki sensei is reduced to mere spectator until the end. Clearly, ep 7 is the highpoint of the series yet I can't really fault the structure of ep 10 because it does bring a lot of issues throughout the series together and allows the rest of the class to show their acting skills or lack thereof.
I was kind of disappointed with Tantan's acting. She's the catalyst character for the trial. Her hysterical crying just looks forced and is no match for Kawabe's (Ono Karin). She is the only disappointed young actor with a significant role in this series and that's a remarkable thing cause everyone else has been spectacular. The young actors have more acting ability than most jdoramas.
While Suzuki sensei does not finish with a bang, I think its still a decent ending because it makes sense and I can't really think of better. We get more hints that Asami and Ogawa can read Suzuki's mind but its never stated clearly. Perhaps some things should be left unexplained though I would still like to know whether it was Suzuki fantasizing about Ogawa by himself or Ogawa projecting herself into Suzuki's fantasies. Oh well, gotta leave something for the movie. :)
So don't expect the ending to be brilliant but by the same token its still good. Its just that the quality of the series is of such high quality that the slight drop from fucking brilliant to good of is felt. Kudos to all those involved in making this dorama and Chuks for subbing it. Now I have to meditate on whether Suzuki sensei or Soredemo Ikite Yuku is the best dorama of 2011. Shame it only averaged a 2% rating.