Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Magma eps 2-4

The good news is I am glad I did not give episode 1 a must watch although it was a very promising episode. The bad news is that me not giving episode 1 a must watch because all that promise was not realised. Magma is a dorama with no fucking direction and is so all over the place.

Nagami Taeko (Ono Machiko) is the main character but she doesn't do anything for 4 episodes. All she does is talk and talk and talk. Taeko's character arc is so fake and contrived including the sick kid giving her his large picture so she can cry over it.

Second problem is what they hell are they researching actually? Looking for hot dry rock? What are they monitoring for? Shouldn't there be research on how best to maximise energy generation from hot dry rock? What's the difference between hot dry rock and regular geothermal energy? All we get from 4 episodes are people saying they need to continue researching. The only interesting story is the revenge plotline which is very simple. I don't know about the novel it was based on but I'm pretty sure it could not have been from Taeko's point of view.

Can't be stuffed elaborating on my criticisms of Magma. Its been such a string of disappointing WOWOW doramas. Everything is good in Magma except the script and its such a bad one. Exciting music cannot make the viewer feel excited when nothing is going on. I would have been satisfied if Magma were half as good as Hagetaka.


Callighan said...

I think it's interesting that your review of Magma went from "promising" to "do not watch". While I do not share your final sentiment, I do agree with some of what you said.

For a dorama about business, it felt lacking in the business department. I think the story presented here is a story about Taeko's transformation from a cold, "I mean business" type of person into a more humane character. The story explicates this by linking the circumstances of the Geothermal project to Taeko's memory of her dad. Throughout the course of her involvement, she is propelled (quite fastly, if I may say so) to guard the gates of Ando's Geothermal Company. Thus, Taeko's involvement in the whole scheme of things dwindles into that of a mere gatekeeper.

While I'm not wholly privy to geothermal electricity generation, but I believe the research is mainly about finding the right spot to inject pressurised water through rocks that lead to a natural source of heat. The interaction is hoped to produce hot water which will be forced out through a pipe or hole which will then reach a steam turbine which will produce electricity. The thing about geothermal (or hydrothermal as it is the case in Magma) is that it doesn't produce as much Megawatt as Natural Gas, Nuclear or Coal power plants. Getting 10 Megawatts of electricity from Hot Dry Rock can be considered lucky. It's comparable to a small hydro power plant. The difference being, that in Hot Dry Rock, the electricity generation is arguably maintainable through constant pumping. While in small hydro, the electricity generation is limited during the dry season.

Because of this, the output from Hot Dry Rock pales in comparison to Nuclear power. Though, perhaps Japan's geology might have great Hot Dry Rock potential that can rival that of Nuclear power. If this is the case, then it is right for a Nuclear Powerplant company to be worried about Hot Dry Rock.

All this somehow has made me develop a kind of bias for Magma. Additionally, Machiko Ono is one attractive woman. Stern looking women are definitely my types! Haha... But I digress. New plot developments at the end of every episode keeps me on my toes. I kept wondering whether Yumiko Shaku's character will continue down the path of pawnhood under Ryuzaki or go the path of atonement towards Taeko. The stirrup within the fund company throughout the 4th episode is a bit entertaining. Though the way it's scripted out feels rather light if compared to Hagetaka. Though withstanding budget constrainst and whatnot, I can understand why it's shortened. All in all, I think Magma is a "must watch" dorama for those who are just starting out in the energy business and are looking for a bit of a mental pick-me-up.

Akiramike said...

Callighan, you've summed up the positives and negatives of Magma better than I did. The fact that she is a bystander should have precluded Taeko from being the emotional center of the series.