Saturday, 2 August 2014

Recommended: River's Edge Okawabata Tanteisha

In terms of production, this is difficult to fault. The director, Hitoshi One (Moteki, Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi, Akihabara@Deep), has made a series that is great to look at. And now, with that filmography, I think he’s become one of my favourite directors. On top of this, the music is excellent and the acting, too, is top quality. The casting director did a great job of filling every role, no matter how minor, with memorable faces and performances.

Only the storylines in the later half of the series disappoint. It settles into a formula of “Can you find this person I knew twenty years ago,” with little variety in the cases. The writer tries to make each conclusion as unpredictable as possible, but there’s no denying the dip in originality towards the end. Especially episode ten, which seems to be two half-finished ideas pushed into one episode.

But, despite that, I think this is worth recommending. If the quality dipped, it never stopped being worth watching. The whole feel of the drama is just so nice, and the three lead roles are perfect: Odagiri Joe’s laid-back charm, Ishibashi Renji’s sense of a dark history, and Koizumi Maya’s flirty energy. Everything went together so perfectly that, even when the stories weren't so great, I still wanted to spend time in this world with these people.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed on that slump in the latter part of the series, but I wonder if mixing the order of episodes wouldn't solve that. Each of those episodes at fault here (7-10a) is good in it's own right, the problem with them only shows up since they're clumped together.

    As a whole, this series is excellent.