Sunday, 7 December 2014

Currently watching: Subete ga F ni naru

I really want to like this series. Really, I do. I’ll almost certainly keep watching until the end, but I might not enjoy it that much.

I’ll watch until the end because of the main story arc: about a woman who killed her parents in a motiveless attack some years ago. She’s only been seen on a TV screen so far, but she’s already the most interesting character in this series. By miles.

As for the rest, well, it’s made with care and attention and is full of things that I like about J-dramas, but they just don’t fit together. It contains:

i) Takei Emi acting like a real person, and not a cold emotionless genius. She jokes and laughs and generally seems likeable and sympathetic.
ii) Locked Room mysteries. I love these, they’re so mysterious and so much fun to work out, which brings us to...
iii) You’re given enough information and time to work out the solution yourself. At least, you were in the first mystery. Not so much in the second.

So what went wrong? For a start, there’s not a huge amount of chemistry between the two leads. Ayano Gou is the reluctant genius university professor drawn into these mysteries by his assistant. But, I can’t tell what their relationship is. Nishisono Moe (played by Takei Emi) flirts quite openly with him, but he barely reacts. He’s too good looking to be awkward around women, so it just looks strange.

Secondly, the stories are an odd length. They’re too short for one episode, they end up being stretched out to fill two. And, to be honest, the solutions aren’t really clever enough to need that much time, and they have some very convenient plot twists along the way.

Then there’s the usual problem with non-police/detectives solving crimes. They usually have to stumble upon these murders by chance, which never really looks convincing. Plus, they keep meeting the same policemen too, both of whom are quite stupid, allowing our heroes to save the day with their deductive skills.

It’s not bad, but it could easily be better which, somehow, makes it worse. I’m still interested in the main story arc, though. I want to know what happens there.

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