Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Salaryman Kintaro season 1

Before I begin talking about Kintaro, one of my favourite doramas of all time, I would like to say that I ended up rewatching Heaven Cannot Wait over the weekend. Once I started, I couldn't stop. Yes, its still good but I have to downgrade my rating from must watch to very watchable. Its still good and if it came out this season I would be singing its praises to no end but it does drag a bit towards the end. Still very fun and worth checking out, just not on a you must definitely watch this level.

Now, for a dorama I heartily recommend. A dvd-rip batch torrent was released for the first season by Avallac'h this year and arcticmoonrise has transcribed the subtitles from the old tv rips for the first two episodes. No new subs since July though and I am not sure whether the old tv rip torrents are still working.

Do I see a nipple? And I don't mean Kintaro's.

If you're after the best GTO clone, ie maverick former biker who challenges the system dorama, Salaryman Kintaro is it. If you consider the fact that Kintaro has 4 seasons and they are all pretty good, you can say Kintaro is better than GTO which got worse after the tv series ended. I had written about season 3 back in 2006 here and here and I loved how they managed to keep things fresh. Since I have not written about season 4 it might be because it felt a bit redundant though I don't remember much from it. Enough about Kintaro as a whole series, this is about season 1.

The premise is simple, former biker gang leader Kintaro who has a son becomes a salaryman. Since he is uneducated and your macho straight forward hero, he usually solves things with his fists and doing ridiculous feats like sharpening pencils with such skill that it becomes noticeable. Yes, plenty of outrageous stuff goes on in the series including the worst ever hacking attempts ever put on film but its all good because Kintaro is about embracing the absurd and making it a serious dorama.

What makes Kintaro stand out above the GTO clones is that Kintaro is a symbol. He is more than a Salaryman superhero. He is like the old samurai values trying to reconcile with the values of salaryman. Doing what's right versus following the company line. Its not preachy like Tokkan but the subtext is there.

The other great thing of course is that it is a harem dorama. Kintaro, the man among men attracts women like honey does the bees. Instead of the usual generic protagonist of today's harem or the Ikari Shinji wimpy protagonist, we have a main character all men want to be and women want to be with. Of course, he also has the secret weapon of a young son to sucker in the women and jealousy and fighting among them proves to be a great source of comedy.

This is Katsunori Takahashi's defining role. He plays Kintaro with a child like earnestness sort of like an idealistic protagonist but he doesn't whinge about the system, he knocks all obstacles down and somehow solves things by fighting. Praise must be given to Hosaka Naoki who plays Takatsukasa who is the best Vegeta character in the series. Its the best example of hero who only knows how to fight vs villain who uses his brains.

Hopefully articmoonrise can continue transcribing. If not there are still the vhs rip which hopefully are still being seeded. Very highly recommended. They don't make doramas like this anymore.

1 comment:

arcticmoonrise said...

Hi! Arcticmoonrise here! Just posted ep 3 in d-addicts. I'm downloading the vhs rip too that's why it's taking me a long time to release the subs. Just hang in there! XD