Saturday, 19 April 2014

Currently watching: Alice no Toge

Hmm, revenge dramas. I can take them or leave them, frankly, especially on TV which is usually too timid to be nasty or cruel. Watching this drama, I was reminded of Saki and Shokuzai. In Saki, the lead character killed people off one by one. Meanwhile, in Shokuzai the reason for the revenge wasn’t revealed until the final episode.

In episode one of Alice no Toge, nobody died and the viewer knows exactly the main character’s motive. This leaves me wondering exactly where the tension and suspense is going to come from.

The best bits of this series so far are Ueno Juri in the lead role, who is good as the emotionless doctor out to avenge the death of her father, and Odagiri Joe, who plays a journalist who has already worked out her plans.

On the down side, it starts with a woman walking in slow-motion while the sound of her high heels echo ominously. I’m getting a little tired of that cliché, and it did not make me think “this is going to be awesome”.

Other than that, I’m just waiting for the storyline to start.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Currently watching: Border

I have a friend who, like me, had a rest from watching J-dramas for a season and he told me that when he started watching them again, he liked pretty much everything. As such, I’ve been looking forward to this season of dramas. I feel like I’ve had enough time away that the old clichés might seem new again.

The first drama to be subbed this Spring is BORDER (thanks to Mister Jordau on d-addicts). In this series a detective wakes up from a coma after being shot on duty, with the new-found ability that he can see the recently dead. Using this new ability, he investigates murders and tries to helps the departed get the justice they desire.

When I first read the synopsis, I wondered how difficult it is to find a murderer when you have the victim helping you. Surely, I thought, you could just ask the victims who killed them. Then I thought, it must be more complicated than that, so I watched it to see how the story unfolded.

I was actually quite surprised when that’s exactly what happened: the detective asked the deceased who the killer was. And they told him. There wasn’t much actual police work, apart from some forensics and a bit of questioning. Maybe the lack of a real murder mystery was because it was the opening episode and they had to spend twenty minutes on explaining the story behind the detective’s ability.

Despite all that, I enjoyed it. Oguri Shun brings some decent acting to the drama and, although no one really smiles or shows any real emotion at all, most of the main characters are quite likeable. Assuming that every case won’t be solved as easily as this, I think this drama has promise. Not much, but enough to make me want to see the next couple of episodes at least.