Friday, July 26, 2013

Woman ep 4

Gah, D-addicts is down! Anyway spoilers ahead for those who haven't watched ep 4 of Woman yet. Just want to ask how come the kids are not bullied in school because their dad's a chikan? What happened to Japan hating on people who are related to alleged criminals? Episode 4 was a mixed bag of an episode for me.

That leukemia tease in the beginning of the episode had me thinking, please don't make this a fatal disease dorama.Still, the tease made me confident Woman wasn't going down that route although there have been lots of hints. It'll probably be something non-fatal.

Then we get to the obligatory crying porn part of the series with the story about Riku and the dog. Its expected padding when doing a 10 episode or so series. Its cool though since its about the teacher wanting Riku to do an intelligence test and us finding out he can memorise a whole lost dog advertisement. The crying part just felt unnecessary.

Then we get to the very pivotal Shiori and her mom in the karaoke scene. I've got to say, what the fuck is up with the floaty shaky camera in this scene??!! This is such an important scene and the camera's just swaying left and right distracting me the performance. To be fair, I don't think Nikaido Fumi (Shiori) is good enough to blow us away but I'd rather see her fail rather than get distracted by the camera.

What I feared true was revealed; Oguri Shun was not a chikan. Cue one million Oguri Shun fangirls sighing in relief.What was revealed though is equally exciting; that Shiori used to extort poor salaryman by crying chikan and she did it to poor Oguri Shun out of jealousy and insecurity. Oguri Shun got beat up by drunks and pushed to his death all because of Shiori.

For the revelation to come this early means that Shiori's guilt and her mom's desire to protect her will be the main story for the series. Maybe they should have called this series 'Mother 2'. Mother of two step-sister, one of which caused the death of the other sister's husband.

Having the revelation this early also asks the question how is Koharu going to find out? Are we going to have another confession scene by Shiori? Are we going to get more shaky camera work that will take me out of the moment? All I know is I'm staying far away from schoolgirls on trains next time I go Japan.

Then finally comes the awesome storybook scene about the monster Ugikuku who eats children's souls. That scene was awesome. The storybook voice over and selling of the news. Not a fan of fatal disease storylines though. We still don't know what the disease is anyway. Is the dorama going the way of a Shiori redemption storyline? I just want to see Koharu bitch-slap her step-sister when she finds out.


Anonymous said...

Seriously. What a waste of an episode.

Too much criticism to keep to myself!! So I'm sorry but I have to take the rant here.

Firstly, as an audience expecting the same quality as the previous episodes and its pace, I actually asked myself "must we watch 5 minutes of the family looking for a dog named Bun when the reveal scene wasn't even worthy of it?" Because like Mike said, there was unnecessary crying. The try-hard build-up that came along with it and just the scene itself wasn't riveting enough which made the recital of his IQ more more a "tell" than a "show". So he can read? BIG DEAL. I'm being serious and sarcastic at the same time. I wish they had used some other more emotionally engaging/clever scenario which would have made the reveal that much more poignant. A lost dog just screams too much metaphor and I'm not particularly against metaphors either. I watch jdramas for god sakes.

I didn't appreciate the overly conscious karaoke scene either because Shiori does not even come close to being a joaquin phoenix (when he was in gladiator). Not that anyone prescribed her to be that but she seriously can't pull off being a pitiful villain at ALL. I can just imagine a really talented actress actually making me feel so much pity for her that you'd end up like the mum just wanting to soothe her over exposed wound.

When she said she wanted to die I just felt given what she's done, she really should. I should have NOT been feeling that. And that's all because she doesn't have the quips to convey the feelings and emotional turmoil her character is supposed to have endured. She just comes across as her ex-classmate described "kimochi warui". And just plain spoilt with no redeeming qualities.

Oguri is not a chikan. That's gotta be the biggest disappointment, EVER. How's the drama going to be interesting now? It would have been much more awesome to witness Koharu trying to deal with the fact, the awkwardness with her sister, and further complicate the already conflicting emotions she has for her mother and also (technically) her step-father.

But instead we get a dead-end where Shiori's the perpentrator with no space for any interesting character/plot development.

I feel like I could write an entire essay on how bad ep 4 was. Even though ep3 was a tad slow at the start, it was worth all my time and concentration because we were completely compensated in the end. Rewarded I should say. So I kept thinking to myself somewhere/ something in this ep will make me believe that it's all worth it. Tolerate unnecessary lost dog searching, overlook writer/director-attempts to jerk tears out of us, use illness to inject manufacture-like drama, weak acting, the list could go on.

Now all I'm feeling is one thing. Ep 1 2 3 and just leave it there.

The only thing I liked in this ep was the doctor's hand getting all sweaty when he reveals his patients' test results because it shows us that he has a heart.
That's really the only thing I could think of.

The consistency guy must have been snoozing on this ep as it really solidified this drama as an 8 (could go lower), than a could have sooooo been a 9/10.

Antspace said...

This episode really shook me. Yes, it may be crying porn, but if it is this well done then I really don't mind. Many things fell into place and the story remained believable. It did not become a mangaesque thing about Oguri Shun becoming a chikan. That would have been rubbish after the careful build up. I really think this series should go back to a must watch status. I noticed the metafores and the shaky camera, but it all seemed to work for me! I was very happy with Nikaido Fumi's scene. How many cases of over-acting have I witnessed in Japanese Dorama. This was not one of them. She was slowly collapsing. The doctor stays a mystery in this. The smile on his face when he delivered the first diagnose/ verdict was very unsetling. The disturbed relationship with his assistant is a bad sign as well. I think he gives wrong diagnoses (We had a specialist doctor in Holland who did the same). It was amazing how Koharu came out smiling! The whole scene with Nozomi reading was really beautiful/ scary too! I really loved Mother as well (except for the terrible overacting by Ayano Go), so it might not surprise that I'm still loving this!

Anonymous said...

Great. And I was convinced that he could have possibly committed suicide because of a previous flashback. Soo disappointed!

Anonymous said...

rootabega sez:
On a tangent here, I completely agree with Antspace about Ayano Go. He's simply horrible. Brilliant direction and a superbly crafted script kept him from taking Saikou no Rikon down a notch.
I haven't watched past the first ep. yet, but I will marathon myself up to speed soon. I don't want to pre-judge, but it seems like Sakamoto is mining the same vein as in Mother. "Women's and children's simple travails aren't interesting emough on their own - I must amp things up to new gothic heights with luridly portrayed crimes!"