Friday, 15 November 2013

Currently watching: Umi no Ue no Shinryojo

Due to various reasons, I’m a late starter on most dramas this season. This drama starts Matsuda Shota and Takei Emi, both of who have been in good stuff in the past but their presence is not necessarily the sign of a quality drama.

The story is based on a hospital ship that sails around the islands in Japan’s inland sea. A new doctor arives on board and, despite being an excellent doctor, he is somewhat eccentric as he falls in love very easily. Basically, it’s a cross between Dr Koto’s Clinic and Unubore Deka, but that’s no bad thing. Unless you hated those shows, of course. In which case, steer clear of this.

Matsuda Shota surprised me with an assured comedy performance. He’s quite unlike his previous appearances (he’s cut his hair, for a start) and now that he isn’t playing an enigmatic unemotional genius of some kind, he can do normal things like smile, laugh, or react like a normal human would.

Takei Emi, too, puts in the best performance I’ve seen. This time she’s not stuck in a role like a girl in a boys’ school or an eccentric weather forecaster who solves crime. She’s being a normal adult woman and is all the better for it.

The stories are simple and undemanding, and you can see the twist in the end a mile off, but that's not important. Just look at the pretty scenery and laugh at the jokes. All in all, it’s a quality piece of light viewing.

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