Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Currently watching: Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi

In the weird version of Japanese showbusiness that I keep in my head, I like to pretend that when Kiruma Kaela is out making pop music, her husband, Eita, gets on the phone and invites his good friend Matsuda Ryuhei to his house where they drink beer, smoke cigarettes and talk about girls.

An image which is based almost entirely on this TV series. In this series, Eita and Matsuda Ryuhei play two slackers who run a company that does whatever work it can find. And it's the interplay between these two that make the show worthwhile.

Eita is rapidly turning into Mr Quality when it comes to dramas. His ability to change almost completely according to whatever the role demands is once again on show here. Meanwhile, Matsuda Ryuhei is the apathetic heart of the show. His slack-jawed disinterest and rudeness is pivotal to the stories.

He really does have a unique place in J-dramas. While many young actors are placed into roles that require them to be rude, surly or rebellious, they barely manage more than looking a bit pouty as if they've done quite badly on a spelling test. Ryuhei's apparent lack of effort in his acting is a rare sight on Japanese TV. The fact that he doesn't get acted off the screen by the more technical, exact style of Eita just shows how perfect his is for the role.

The series is a comedy. The format allows them to do a different job each week, so hopefully no chance of it becoming stale after a while, and it is pretty funny. Certainly, it's funny enough that I didn't realise at first that episode one actually has a sad ending. I'm very glad this is being subbed by earthcolours and danburi on d-addicts (who do an excellent job) so now I can rewatch the earlier episodes and know what's really going on.

1 comment:

  1. Just saw ep 2, and loved it! It's just the whole atmosphere of the series that does it. The stories are simple, but effective. Eita and Matsuda Ryuhei have real chemistry going. The carefree air of the series makes me happy : )