Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi eps 5-11

Its been a while since I saw this. I watched the final episode on my 5th day in Japan at bframe5's place. It was recorded from tv so it had ads/cms and I was like OMG its got ads! Watching downloaded doramas ads are always cut and when one is left in its like an exciting thing lol.

First half of Saigo Kara was immaculate. Somewhere down the line, its started unraveling. Main thing is that it stopped being funny save for Wahei and Chiaki fighting, a well that IMO, the writer drew too many times from. The Wahei mother and daughter story fizzled out. It had the potential to be very funny but it never went anywhere.

Chiaki and Asada Ryutaro's story was never going anywhere. It was boring after Asada's secret was revealed and so Uchida Yuki stepped into the brother's role. It was boring and her best role in the series was locking herself in so Chiaki could do the funny scene where she talks about her own troubles. Its like they gave Uchida Yuki more stuff to do because she's Uchida Yuki and the Chiaki needed someone else to play off before the end but it was just a waste of time. Ijima Naoko's internet dating story wasn't interesting, probably cause the show did not give me any reason to care for her character.

The first half of the show had a lot of the usual mid life crisis stuff to say and it did it with great humour. The only thing the second half had to say was that people who actually like each other should be able to fight all the time and not be super nice to each other all the time. Probably the worst mistake was not getting Asada and Tomomi fighting a lot earlier. Their relationship feels so tacked on like the usual 'let's put the two supporting characters who have done their part together'.

So it was a long wait for Wahei and Chiaki to get together and even then it was a sudden, anti-climatic finish. The one dorama I compare this to is KDO which had a great build up with a nice quiet ending that fit the show perfectly. Saigo Kara's finish is like more like a slow trek and by the time it got to the finish line, I didn't care about the race anymore.

Not to say that Saigo Kara sucks. First half is a blast and I just marveled at the writing and how well all the elements are put together. Second half was Wahei and Chiaki don't really have anything going for them when they are not together. Its a watchable dorama, just a shame it couldn't be what the first half promised to be. If you're after a really good Koizumi Kyoko dorama, watch Manhattan Love Story.


sensei991 said...

My take on Saigo kara is a bit different. I found the later episodes (episode 7 on) to be the most enjoyable ones. I particularly liked the conversations between Chiaki and Wahei where he goes into a serious rant about some topic, they agree about their situations and then Chiaki getting in a dig at Wahei’s pompous behavior. In episode 7, Wahei is protesting Chiaki’s reference to him as otokorashikunai (unmanly) upon which she asks him if he feels better now and then she gives him a jab using the same term when he is reluctant to call the omiai daughter.

I have the feeling that Saigo kara was written with the target audience being over 30, perhaps even middle-aged. Shoko, one of Chiaki’s forty-something girlfriends, says “Well, we who enjoy a romantic comedy with 45 year-old leads are in the minority, aren't we?” I count myself as being in the mature minority that found this dorama to be a delightfully amusing departure from the gritty crime and medical doramas so popular these days.

Sonnaaaaa~ said...

I agree with sensei991, I found the drama to be delightfully amusing! I thought of this as a weekly delight. My favorite thing in the entire drama probably happened after half way through... when Chiaki and Wahei had that looooong argument in front of the mother and daughter team. That was amazing, I have no idea how they memorized lines for that and kept that going on as long as they did.

I'm hoping that this season will have another delight like this!

Akiramike said...

I agree with the Wahei and Chiaki points but what about the side stories?

Data said...

Every drama these days seems to be a detective drama, probably because those get good ratings. I imagine Nibanme was a hard sell even more so than the days of Mada koi wa hajimaranai when people still believed in romance... haha. I enjoyed it very much.

Not sure how akiramike divides the two halves, but the parts I like are sprinkled throughout. The scene at the restaurant where they had that loud argument and in the end ordered the same thing. Wahei's birthday cake theory was excellent, but a bit forced - it was like Nakai Kiichi suddenly switched to "documentary narrator" mode. And of course the ending, the very last scene, was just perfect.

sensei991 said...

My sense is that the side stories (Chiaki/Shinpei and Wahei/omiai mother and daughter) were intended to establish the re-awaking of love in Chiaki and Wahei rather than being anything serious in themselves.

One criticism that others made was that the ending didn't seem conclusive. The same could be said of KDO - similar sorts of clashing pairs and also one of my all-time favorites. But I'm comfortable with the endings for both.