Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Furueru Ushi

Furueru Ushi is last show on my list of jdoramas that should be subbed for last season. Took me a while to get around to it because its intimidating to watch corporate conspiracy doramas without any subs. The good news is that its more of a straight forward police investigation dorama than complicated corporate story. You can guess what the conspiracy is and its more of a procedural discovering the cover up done by a cop and reporter.

We've seen WOWOW do these type of shows before including police reluctance to investigate. Suspicious murder leads to famous chain supermarket and then to this meat processing company and the various parties trying to cover things up. The question is whether Furueru Ushi can keep the quality consistent? Last year was the year of WOWOW doramas starting strong and faltering with the exception of Hitori Shizuka. This year we've already had the incredible Lady Joker and I'm happy to say WOWOW have produced a solid show.

Furueru Ushi never reaches the excitement of Lady Joker but it never collapses under its own weight like Suitei Yuzai. It has to do with the audience knowing more than the characters and waiting for the characters to catch up to the audience's knowledge. However, once things get clearer, Furueru Ushi becomes more interesting as various parties start acting more in their interest.

There's a WTF twist near the end which would have been awesome if the mastermind had been more 'evil' because that would have explained some plot holes. Unfortunately someone grows a stupid conscience and snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Sigh. I like that the mastermind never went into anime gwahaha muahaha mode but it should have been his plan all along to get rid of the son and he never wanted to save him.

I really enjoyed the acting from the supporting characters in this one. Namakemono-san as the director of the supermarket made me double guess whether he was the same actor as the smiling Namakemono-san from Woman right The most impressive performance is Furuta Arata as the slimy and dangerous president of Meat Box. Seriously, they should have cast someone like Furuta Arata in that Kaibutsu dorama special instead of someone like Mukai Osamu. I guess Kaibutsu will always stick in my mind as a show that could have been great with the right casting.

While I won't rate Furueru Ushi a must watch, I'm happy with its consistency and that it didn't try to do too much or get too cliched. Not every dorama can be Lady Joker and most should not even try to do something so complicated and nuanced because they'll just fail miserably. We've already seen so many cover up doramas from WOWOW including Soratobu Taiya. I really want to see them excel in other genres. IMHO Furueru Ushi is better than the Pandora series for me but below must watch level.


Jung said...

how did this one fly under my radar?! Gonna check it out! thanks Mike!

(I wish it didn't have the Pandora guy though.. garr, something about him rubs me the wrong way. I think it's his Jinnai Takanori eyeballs.

Akiramike said...

He's not as bad has Jinnai Takanori though. He's never impressed me but he doesn't stink up the show.

Anonymous said...

Rootabega here:
"Seriously, they should have cast someone like Furuta Arata in that Kaibutsu dorama special instead of someone like Mukai Osamu."
DING DING DING! Love this actor, and he's perfectly capable of playing a lead, as the movie "Sidecar ni Inu" shows. Like another underused brilliant actor, Arakawa Yoshiyoshi (Tiger and Dragon, Unubore Deka), he spends most of his time treading the boards in the theatre.

Antspace said...

I would love to try Furueru Ushi, but my Japanese is seriously lacking : P
@Rootabega (and Akiramike for the quote)
You're so right! These actors are very funny, but can ,surprisingly, also be convincing in a serious role.
How do you like both actors in Amachan? I especially like Furuta Arata in that. Very convincing as the producer. He looks so much like Yasushi Akimoto (of akb48), that for a moment I thought it was really him : P
Furuta Arata is also really funny in Yuusha Yoshihiko trying to rob the heroes while being bossed around by his wife. I was rolling of the couch laughing : D
Arakawa Yoshiyoshi was excellent as the interpreter in Survive Style 5+.
I don't consider Mukai Osamu an actor though. He's so yawn-worthy : (
So it's not really a fair comparison...

Anonymous said...

Rootabega sez:
Antspace, Amachan is an abundance in riches in both male and female actors. It's one of the finest dorama ensembles I've ever seen, a combination of people who have a great film or theatrical pedigree. I totally forgot about Arakawa in Survive Style 5+, it's been so long.
When an "actor" like Mukai enters a scene, the room temperature goes down. Not to pick on him, though, as there are so many others like him;)