Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Namonaki Doku eps 1-5

Aren't you playing another boring housewife character in another dorama this season?

Yes, I know I swore never to watch another dorama starring Fukada 'Can't Act' Kyoko but after Gekiryuu is so bad that it even her acting in this is better than anything in Gekiryuu. Plus, she actually looks even more pleasing to the eyes in Namonaki Doku than I can remember. The words 'tight clothing' and 'assets' come to mind.

I feel like she is going for a pose in this scene but didn't go through with it.

Anyway, Namonaki Doku is mystery dorama. Koizumi Kotaro once again playing the everyman who marries into a rich family and is tasked by his boss/father in law with dealing with the death of his father in law's driver's death by bicycle. Somehow this office worker gets involved doing police work trying to determine the father's cause of death and unlocking some skeletons in the closet.The story is pretty decent but the performances are nothing special. Still miles better than Gekiryuu though.

Is anything going on in her head?

The story is solved at the end of ep 5 and suddenly we jump into a different story involving random people getting poisoned. Namonaki Doku seems to be two separate stories with Koizumi's character getting involved in both. Problem is, his character is very boring.

Over concentrating deer in headlights look that only Fukada Kyoko can do.

Still can't muster any interest to continue watching although the main suspect is being played by Eguchi Noriko who can act rings around Fukada Kyoko. I'm guessing this is based on a series of novels featuring Koizumi's character. There has to be a hook to make his character interesting in the novels right? In the dorama, he's just a boring generic nice guy.

Pretty much nothing to see here except Fukada Kyoko making stupid faces. There are times where I thought her acting here is OK and then she pulls that stupid overacting deer in the headlights/ there's nothing on top face. Can some director tell her to please act normally. Its as if she's so aware of the camera and she interacting with it instead of being in the scene.

Didn't your father die in another dorama last season?

The 'my body is here but my brain is not' look.

The what ice-cream should I have for supper look.

Yes, I went through five episodes of bad acting to feast my eyes.


Vasisualiy Lohankin said...

>Fukada 'Can't Act' Kyoko

So much can't act that she received Blue Ribbon Award and Yokohama Film Festival prize, lol

Are you teen girl who shlicking at Johnny's idols? Why so much butthurt from Fukada?

moriman said...

I have nothing against Fukada but every time I see her in a new drama/movie, I see the actress and not the character that she's suppose to play. There are times when this works in her favor, though. In Second virgin, for example.

Sonnaaaaa~ said...

Ohhhh I still love FukadaKyon so much. Thirteen years and I still have a huge crush on her. Guess I'd better see this one.

She did a pretty good job at the end of Kamikaze girls. I wondered for a few moments whether that was her voice.

dgundam said...

heh became a fan of fukada kyoko after fugoh keiji. i admit she is not a great actress, but shes pretty on the eyes. it all depends on the role that she gets.

and yes namonaki doku is based on 2 novels hence the new mystery.

i got interested in this show because kuninaka ryoko and fukada kyoko was starring in it. plus u got koizumi who its rare to find in the main character role.

sadly kuninaka hasnt been getting main roles :(
i loved her ever since KDO

jt said...

oh, i thought it's akiho yoshizawa's drama role.

Akiramike said...

Vasisualiy Lohankin, using your argument would you say Aragaki Yui, Horikita Maki and Nagasawa Masami can act just cause they've won at the Yokohama Film festival?

Moriman, I haven't seen Kamikaze girls but I'm guessing its like her Ito Misaki role as Hermes in Densha.

dgundam, can't tell how good Kuninaka is since she's been shoehorned into all the same boring roles since KDO. She needs to do some challenging movie roles.

dgundam said...

yup i know what you mean. most of the movie and drama roles she has received since KDO days have been supporting/minor characters so not rly anything important.

ive already given up on the chance that she will ever get a main lead role since she is over 30 years old, and in japan, unless you are a really popular or good actress, you wont be getting any lead roles at over 30.

the only ones i know where she stars as main lead are the older dramas in her early days: churasan (which im currently trying to get) and Minna Mukashi wa Kodomo Datta.

but i have a feeling she is not a great actress :P

*sigh* times flying fast. plenty of the 20s actresses (from kuninaka, to kanjiya shiori to asami misukawa to ai kato and others) from 5-8 years ago that ive watched and followed have been hitting 30s and getting less and less roles and chances at a main role :/

i havent rly liked any of new/younger 20 something actresses that the entertainment industry have been pushing. so many of the actresses either cant act (takei emi) or look weird (Tabe Mikako is ugly and shidai mirai is short and still looks like a kid).

Vasisualiy Lohankin said...

>would you say Aragaki Yui, Horikita Maki and Nagasawa Masami can act just cause they've won

Wait... this means that you think that Aragaiki Yui and Masami Nagasawa can't act too? Maybe you just hate all pretty actresses? lol

And yes, I thik that Aragaki and Nagasawa very talented actresses. And film festivals jury think the same, so my opinion is closer to the truth than opposing opinions. Especially hysterical and irrational opinions based on personal dislike of those actresses.

Anonymous said...

rootabega sez
90% of the time, Japan's endless self-congratulatory awards industry acknowledges the undeserving. Fact. This is why hackery is the name of the game for most of the TV, film and music industries. I come to this website because its author has the ability to sift through all of the dreck and write honest, insightful commentaries on whatever he's viewing.
I just don't get it - the internet is awash with J-booster sites such as Tokyo Hive. Why does anyone need to hang around here simply to be a dick?

Anonymous said...

Grumpy Rootabega sez: Lord, why can't a piano fall on Mr. So-Nice-It's-Almost-Creepy? I mean, he's already been hit by a bicycle. If only the script were as finely moulded as the Fukada poupee. A late cameo from a dude who looks like Eita saves this dorama from being an official hot guy free zone. I don't really care how it ends.

alundiss2 said...

@ Vasis I don't think there's anyone who would have anything against pretty actresses unless (they are an insecure dog-ugly girl that has got nothing going for them) or, because someone thinks they actually can't act.

These opinions whether they are your's or mine, can just be observed as opinions. But they cannot be claimed as things such as the 'truth'. People are theo ones that make up the jury and just because all of them claim someone to be 'guilty', doesn't mean that that's the truth because they can all be wrong.

Likewise, awards are a majority of opinions, but that does not equate to a truth.

Anonymous said...

Rootabega here:
This show takes a serious detour into the bizarre and unexpected in the last third of episode eight. I'm amazed, because I had pretty much given up on decent entertainment by this point. What's annoying still remains (Mr. Helpful Idiot and not having a reason to care about the old coot, er victim), but these flaws are overwhelmed by the introduction of an element of genuine surprise and suspense. I really wasn't expecting this at all. It's like the show went all WOWOW on me.

Akiramike said...

Did someone say the magic WOWOW word? Now you got me intrigued.

lzyData said...

I think I said this here when Akiramike reviewed Tokyo Airport, but I'll say it again:

Leave Fukada Kyoko aloooone! She's trying her best!!!

This whole thing about who is a good actress or not is very subjective. Not totally subjective, because some people are really horrible, but very. Some actresses like Matsushima Nanako or Amami Yuki are popular, well-regarded and highly respected. Newcomers look up to them. And yet I'm sure you can find people who don't like their acting. I don't think any young actress today or in the past will say they aspire to be like Fukada Kyoko, but as this review proves, she can still catch people's attention.

Now for Namonaki Doku, which I really enjoyed. To me, dramas like this make it worth following Japanese dramas. I don't know how much detail I can or should go into here, because nobody is reading this, and because I will have to make lots of spoilers. So just some scattered thoughts.

I wonder whether Koizumi Kotaro's real-life background had a big part to play in him getting selected for the leading man, Mr. Nice Guy Sugimura Saburo, and how much he sees himself in the role. In case you guys don't know, Koizumi Kotaro is the eldest son of former prime minister Junichiro. He comes from a bloodline of politicians. But it was his younger brother Shinjiro who got into politics and has now "inherited" his father's old seat in Kanagawa, which is not uncommon in Japan. Kotaro chose to be an actor - not an especially popular or distinguished one, but he survives, he still gets on TV.

In Namonaki Doku Sugimura is naturally a "nice guy", always treating people in good faith, always concerned for the welfare of others, sometimes before his own, but he always thought that his own parents and siblings dislike and reject him. That was the first mention of the poison - doku - of this story, the poison that inadvertently spills out of people's hearts and spreads to others.

And now Sugimura marries into a rich and important family. Although he does not formally enter his wife's household, adopting her surname etc., he does move into her house, quit his job to work in his father-in-law's company, and throughout the show it is implied that they are financially dependent on his father-in-law. Now, whoever Sugimura meets, he has to be careful not to flaunt his supposed wealth and status. But no matter how careful he is, he still worries about whether they know who he is, who his wife is, what their intentions are, what they really think of him and so on. Coming from a family and background that Koizumi Kotaro does, I do wonder whether he identifies with Sugimura and his emotional struggles and tensions.

Because of all these ugly and poisonous aspects of humans such as jealousy, resentment, pride, suspicion, he becomes terribly lonely and closed off from others, even more than before. And yet he still tries to find ways to help people and do the right thing. He was grateful to that driver as the first guy who sincerely wished him well in his marriage, even though he probably didn't even remember saying it!

His whole motivation was, I have to go all out and help his daughters to repay his kindness. He went to all that trouble for them, even got injured, and in the end he hurt both and neither even thanked him. He didn't even tell Satomi the whole story about the "kidnapping," because he wanted to spare her feelings! But he's the kind of guy who would do it all again even if he knew exactly what he was in for. I guess some cynics will laugh at him, but I find him quite inspiring.

If doing the right thing was easy or rewarding, everyone would do the right thing. But it's not, and that's why such people are rare and precious. My takeaway from the first part: when Satomi says to Sugimura he's a good person, and Sugimura says "No. People tell me that, but I'm probably not." She replies, when you think that, that's where you are a good person.

Akiramike said...

Nice write up Izydata. Sugimura not flaunting thing was something that I ignored and lumped together with his Mr Too Nice Guy persona but it connects with the poison concept.

I guess you could see him as the representative of the very Japanese attitude of being overly concerned of what others thought of him.

Interesting way to correlate his real life position with his character.

Matsushima Nanako and Amami Yuki have screen presence. How good their acting actually is, is up to debate. (hhmm, something to write about one day)

Akiramike said...

Forgot to mention I just can't help myself everytime I see Fukuda Kyoko's acting as evidenced from the screencaps.

lzyData said...

I was rewatching episode 5, the conclusion of the first part. See the sisters' very last scene, when Satomi tells Riko what she has decided about the marriage, and tells her to do whatever she wants too. Riko says "Sis! (long pause) ... I don't think I've lost, OK!?" and storms off.

Satomi's expression after that is meant to convey a thousand words. Shock. Exasperation. Sorrow. Pride. Pity. Self-pity. Amusement, even, at how their relationship got to this point. It was only about 10 seconds, but it could have made or broken the show. This sort of scene is why they get paid the "big" bucks.

Maybe somebody else could have done it better, but I think Fukada Kyoko gave a good effort. It could have been far worse. At least I get the sense that she gets this character, she gets all the facets of the story and the relationship, and she's able to bring it to life. Even if Akiramike doesn't like her teary bulging eyes, haha.

Anonymous said...

"Satomi's expression after that is meant to convey a thousand words. Shock. Exasperation. Sorrow. Pride. Pity. Self-pity. Amusement, even, at how their relationship got to this point."

Just finished episode 5. I know nothing about Fukada and thought she was generally rather meh in Namonaki Doku, but I felt that her final reaction to Riko kind of redeemed her entire performance. It was also, for me, a really economical, unsentimental way of concluding the story of the sisters' relationship. (At any rate it was far more dignified than what I would have done to that little bitch Riko, had I been in Satomi's shoes LOL.)