Friday, 3 May 2013

Currently watching: SOIL

With nothing very interesting on Japanese TV at the moment, I've decided to go back through a few hard drives to find stuff that I downloaded but never got around to watching.

SOIL is a surreal murder mystery from 2010 which is still sadly unsubbed and was confusing enough that I thought I'd never be able to watch it. But then I found the English version of the manga online, so now I'm going through quite a complicated procedure. First, I watch an episode. Then I read the manga until I reach the same point in the story. Third, I watch the episode again.

The story begins with a disappearance of a family and a policeman in a clean suburban new town called Soil. Two inept detectives are on the case, and they try to piece together the clues while trusting no one. Not even each other.

The comedy is very broad and physical, and the scenario is very strange. It has a definite Twin Peaks/Atami no Sousakan feel to it, only much more peculiar. Hamster hearts on top of mountains of salt are the types of clues they have to deal with. But at least it's different and unpredictable and, in this sudden dry spell for J-dramas, that's very welcome.


  1. Since my Japanese is so sketchy, I finished the whole series of Mangas (French import) before starting to watch the drama. It was a relief that they didn't show the worst of the cruel violence (dropping one or two whole story lines helped with that.) The end (spoiler) came partway through the manga series, but I thought it worked for drama, even though different from the original. "different and unpredictable" for sure.

  2. I also want to see this series. A year back I started reading the manga, but somehow never finished it.
    Please let us know how this small experiment works. With my knowledge of Japanese, I could try watching it...but maybe I am being too optimistic.

  3. Well, it worked fine at first but then in episode four, the TV series and the manga differ quite a lot. Now, I'm watching it, and then a Japanese friend (who's seen it, too) is explaining what's going on. Even he admits that it's hard to know what's going on.