Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dandarin eps 1-3

The many reasons why I loved the first two episodes of Dandarin:

1. Danda Rin is not an idealistic protagonist but rather an uncompromising labour standards inspector.

2. The show also talks about the negative repercussions of actions such as workers getting let go if they are identified as the whistle blower. Danda Rin is also aware of the possible effects but does it anyway.

3. Very socially relevant. I'm sure a lot of us have heard horror stories about working hours and restrictive leave conditions in Japan.

4. Danda Rin's colleague's don't hate her for no reason and are not inept but rather comfortable in the public service culture which the show makes fun of. Its not like without Danda Rin they would not be doing their jobs. Its just she's super proactive. The show doesn't ignore the fact that they already have their hands full without Danda Rin's special projects but it doesn't emphasize that as well.

5. Morning exercises are funny.... and probably true.

6. So many funny public servant lines such as 'the budget is our lifeline!'

7. Arguing about trivial issues in meetings.

8. Making fun of police doramas where the cast walk in a straight line trying to hard to look cool. That had me rofl.

9. Prosecution not wanting to take difficult cases and police not wanting to deal with minor white collar crimes and how Labour Standards people got them to help, lol. Not that you can blame them. Japan is a country where unpaid overtime and working weekends is normal.

10. Having to have an omiai with mothra to protect the chief's image.

11. John Romita Sr 70s style comic art intro to emphasis Danda Rin as a super hero and the old style marching woman woman.

12. Great cast. So happy to have a good Takeuchi Yuko show which Strawberry Night was not. Funny how the walking in straight line trying to look cool parody is exactly why Strawberry Night sucks.

Truer words have never been spoken.

13. The boss always says public servants shouldn't do this or that and a lot of it is true. Like if a teacher gets caught for drink driving, he can get fired etc.

14. Tied into what was previously mentioned, Danda Rin faces some difficult decisions like in ep 3 and I like that the show acknowledges both sides of the argument.


Not enthused the teacher from Gekiryuu is in this show as a lawyer who has Danda Rin pictures as her screensaver. However Gekiryuu made everyone in it look like a bad actor. The writer did School!, Dragon Zakura and Last Present. Hope the quality of the writing continues to be good.


Brilliant super hero cum parody dorama. As a public servant, I just find so many of the lines absolutely witty and hilarious.


Antspace said...

Only positives!? I'll be sure to give this a try : )

Akiramike said...

Yup, got no complaints from me.

4545 said...

Your continued efforts to review potential dramas every season saves folks like me a lot of time. Gonna give this one a try. Many thanks.

Jung said...

I like this show too. Takeuchi brings a lot to the table, but I also find it hilarious that Kitamura is playing such a petty manager, and he does it well. Even Shigeo Manabe manages to crack me up in this show.

It's too bad so much screen time is wasted on Tori Matsuzaka. His acting range lies somewhere in between that of stale tofu and Yamapi. I think he has some chop, so hopefully he shows some more dynamism.

This show will appeal to people who work in bureaucratic corporate environment, like those in their 30s who has lived through corporate life through thick and thin, but are still optimistic.

As Mike pointed out there's a lot to like. I also find the show's attention to detail charming. Like a day-old crustache on Dandarin's partner in episode 2. Also, there's a lot of humanizing moments and micro-character development for supporting roles, which helps us view the show through multiple angles, rather than just through our heroine.

So far so good!

Anonymous said...

Rootabega sez:
Akiramike, you've articulated why I like this show so very well here. Full disclosure: I was a civil servant for 10 years (think veterans instead of workers) and the depiction of Danda Rin's workplace is wickedly spot-on. You don't have to work for the "feds" to relish the many gags the ensemble expertly serves up. Jung mentions Matsuzaka Tori as a weak point, and I initially felt worried that he was going to serve as pretty (or petty) cardboard, but he is performing quite well, imo, and I feel he is a perfect reluctant partner and foil for our superhero. Casting Kitamura Kazuki as a surly manager was a stroke of genius. He is one of the most colourful supporting actors in Japan, so hearing the repeated "you're so boring" accusations from his family is totally LOOOOL. I mean, this dude can chew scenery by lifting an eyebrow. I love this actor.
P.S. Here's Kitamura's "boring" official website:

Ukev said...

I have to admit, I only started this drama because it was basically the first one of the season to start and I never thought that I'd enjoy it. But somehow this drama kind of intrigues me. Plus, Triendl Reina is a real cutie.

Btw, tk0xsubs on Livejournal released the first episode of Kurokouchi.

Mrmz said...

Well I'm enjoying watchiing it too!! The second episode even more than the first. I find it often that to truly know if a dorama is good or not is to atleast watch 2 episodes (although I liked this one from the start) cuz thats where you might or might not feel the connection with the characters.
My only complaint would be that the evil guys seem so cartoonish but its not really affecting my enjoyment of the show itself.

Anonymous said...

Rootabega here:
I've just watched the final episode of Danda Rin and all I can say is, damn, this was one fine dorama. I know you're pulling a ambitious review schedule on this blog, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the rest of this show, Mike.

Akiramike said...

I'm up to episode 10. Can't wait to watch the last one!