Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kenja no Ai Eps 1+2

There are many mysteries in the world; How were the pyramids actually built? Why do SMAP always appear on Kohaku when they can't even sing? Why is Goriki getting pushed like she has acting talent? How the hell does Nakayama Miho look the same as I saw her in Home & Away so many years ago? (No, not the Aussie soap and the answer is plastic surgery)

I know its way to freaking early but two episodes in, Kenja no Ai is contender not just for best show this season over Shizumanu Taiyo which is spending a lot of the second half with moustache twirling villains but might be best show this year.

Now why this proclamation so early when Kenja no Ai could easily fall apart? Because even if it did, the first two episodes of Kenja no Ai are still must watch for one simple reason; it does so many things better than most jdoramas.

I'm talking images, colours, camera and shockingly, score. It feels like someone is scoring this tv show instead of someone writing a couple of musical pieces and letting the editor insert the music here and there.

There's this scene in episode 2 where this character is walking up the stairs, the camera following her and there's this small piece of music which slowly helps build up the uneasiness and sense of dread. I was thinking this is the type of stuff that movies do but doramas don't even try to do.

Which brings me to the no.1 thing Kenja no Ai has; atmosphere. All the things I mentioned comes together to create this dark and uneasily atmosphere.

Up until now, I have not mentioned the plot. It starts off with Nakayama Miho with a very young man in a hotel. I'm thinking generic obasan fantasy dorama that doesn't lead anyway. Then we flashback to Nakayama Miho's childhood and her very demanding best friend.

I had no idea where the story was going but I could not tear away from the sumptuous visuals and lapped everything up.

When the dinner scene happened (which I won't spoil) then everything started to make sense. Wait til you see the big reveal in episode 2! OMFG. I need to do a spoiler review cause I love how the show never explains anything directly.

I am pretty confident the remaining episodes won't be a disaster because I can see how carefully each scene is crafted and the story has the balls to go dark, well figuratively since the two main characters are female and I forsee it taking the audience to some interesting places.

Kenja no Ai is available at many streaming sites as well as doramax265. Highly effing recommended and someone needs to sub this! WOWOW has done it again!


Buck said...

Found the synopsis disturbing but decided to take the plunge and I'm glad I did it. Like you said, easily best drama this year up to date. Now I want to get back my misspent youth watching meh Fuji shows.

Buck said...

Welp, I've realized that the Yuri child is also Shizuka in Hitorishizuka. What an interesting young actress.

Akiramike said...

Buck: Glad you enjoyed it despite knowing the story beforehand. I can't wait to see where this tale of vengeance and jealousy goes.