Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ouroboros Ep 1

Ouroboros is our second revenge jdorama of the season. Oguri Shun and Ikuta Toma who grew up in an orphanage team up to avenge Hirosue Ryoko's death. Oguri Shun's desire for revenge may have something to do with Hirosue Ryoko assaulting him with her lips when he was a kid.

Oguri Shun joins the yakuza and Toma becomes a cop in order to find the policeman with the golden rolex who covered up the incident. I can't wait for the show to start throwing all the gold rolex wearing red herring cops and for cliffhanger dialogue like, "Does your father wear a golden rolex?". Beware the golden rolex organization!


+ The main characters actually kill and people actually die. Yeah!

+ The emphasis of the story is revenge and it doesn't get bogged down with peripheral stuff like Mondai no Aru.

+ The episode one story is a reflection of the two main characters' desire for revenge.

+ Ueno Juri! She's not that convincing as a cop but she's still miles better than Ueto Aya.


- They have to stop meeting up in public so often. I get the whole talk with backs to each other bit is suppose to be cool but Oguri Shun is a yakuza boss and is pretty recognisable. Neither of them must have watched Infernal Affairs.

- There was no one in near the alleyway at the end of the episode who heard the multiple gunshots? Why risk your secret alliance so you can stand together and try to look cool for the camera?

- The goddamn boy band theme song that does not fit a revenge dorama. No one has the balls to say maybe a haunting theme song like Odani Misako's Who from Gonzo would work better? The ending at the two characters reaffirming their desire for revenge and there's this teeny bopper happy song playing. WTF?!


Watchable first episode with better promise than Alice no Toge but I am afraid of the usual jdorama weakness of trying to look cool to the detriment of story may bring this series down. Oguri Shun should be doing Border 2.


Sonna~ said...

I thought this had hints of cheesiness in it (many of the things you touched on) but I'm going to stick with it for now. I love Toma's role and the fact that the other policeman doesn't seem to be blind to the fact that he's probably a criminal.

Anonymous said...

This review had me ROFL! Thought it was a pretty good ep, hope its quality will be sustained.

Bobo said...

I love Gonzo's theme song and still listen to it now and again. I really like Ouroboros' soundtrack besides the ending song. I get that Toma is a Johnny, but he really needs to distance himself from the boy idol persona if he wants to be seen as a legit actor. Having Arashi do the theme song does nothing for him or this drama.

Antspace said...

I kinda liked the first ep. It felt unbalanced though. Some actors doing really well, others like Takito Kenichi utterly in the overacting department. To my surprise Ueno Juri can't really handle this type of role, but Ikuta Toma does very well. The direction is shaky at points, like you pointed out, but the action scenes are pretty good. I liked Shimada Kyusaku as the bad cop. He usually feels very one dimensional, but showed that he really does have different expressions. Like you, i fear that the whole thing will derail into a mess of cliches.

A tip from me would be Dakara Koya. It has just started and has a great first ep. The directing and acting are top notch. Suzuki Kyoka proves again that she's one of Japans great actors.

Akiramike said...

Bobo: I don't think legit actors make as much money as boy idols.

Antspace: Unbalanced is the right adjective to describe episode 1. Ueno Juri's role is so underwritten anyway.

Will check out Dakara Koya. Thanks!

Sonna~ said...

Antspace: WOW with Dakara Koya. I really want to see where this one is heading.

Anonymous said...

I think Ueno Juri doing pretty well in her part. She look very natural without trying to look cool and cliche. Both Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun also stand up on their own part. I don't have feeling anyone outshine anyone here and of course Ikuta Toma have to work hard since Oguri Shun and Ueno Juri is well known as a strong actor in most of their drama. So far very good acting and cast.

HH said...

I'm kind of upset that there's not much in her role so far for Juri to act on; yes I gave up on Alice after 5 eps (the cheesy English stuff the victims got didn't help) but her expressions in there were simply sublime. Here her role is terribly useless so far, imagine taking Hibino out - ep 1 and 2 wouldn't have changed a thing.

Other than that the flashback scenes are extremely annoying. I thought the drama held a promising premise of the morality of revenge (or lack thereof) but I doubt the scriptwriter/ director can handle moral greyness (is that a word?) based on the first two eps. So far nothing intriguing has held me back and I might give up pretty soon if Juri's role doesn't become more important.

Anonymous said...

Rootabega sez:

Flashback scenes. Oh noooo.... I know they're as integral to J-doramas as plot advancement by cel phone, but I hate this device so much. In fact, I almost gave up on doramas right at the beginning because one of the first things I watched was "Kori no Sekai", which featured egregious flashback abuse. Thankfully, I stumbled upon IWGP soon after that, which saved my dorama-viewing career;)