So after a spate of brow-furrowed mystery shows, I now find myself watching lighter fare such as Densha Otoko and Dr Koto's Clinic. Honestly, I may as well be a girl.
Dr Koto's Clinic fits into that category of show, alongside Northern Exposure and Ballykissangel, where the location is as much a character in the story as anyone else. It's set in an island south of Japan, and features lingering wide shots of green fields and rugged terrain tumbling into crystal blue seas. The main character, Dr Koto, has a mop of floppy hair, puppy dog eyes and a measured, whispered way of speaking. It often looks like he's on the verge of bursting into tears, which I think is meant to convey what a caring doctor he is. Unfortunately, it's also what you'd expect from a small boy who'd just lost his penknife.
Perhaps I'm at a disadvantage since I'm coming in to this on series two, so I'm at a loss as to how the characters relate to each other. I only noticed it because it was noted on a blog that subs had just come out, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's strangely hypnotic - if the music isn't all pianos and string sections, then there's the omnipresent sound of the sea in the distance. Apart from the comedy fisherman (who are quite funny) everyone talks in a very delibrate formal way, while the storyline constantly tries to pull at your heart strings.
Aoi Yu features as the new nurse - hapless and rigid at first, it remains to be seen if she's accepted by the community in general (although I'm going to guess that she will) as a replacement for the old, played by Shibasaki Kou (Battle Royal, One Missed Call, Shaolin Girl) who has to go to Tokyo for a secret operation.
It's oddly enjoyable, although I'm only four episodes in. We'll see how long it keeps my interest.