Saturday, 4 April 2015

Just finished: Mondai no Aru Restaurant

Sorry about the lack of posts recently. Work and all that.

This was a pretty average series, all told. Each character has their own neuroses to work through, and they all get the chance to stand centre stage and solve them. The trouble is, the most difficult and debilitating problem (the chef who is a hikikomori) is solved first and in a very quick and convenient manner. I suppose they had to do that, otherwise the restaurant wouldn't have had a chef.

Anyway, I finally got around to watching the final episode of this series, and I found it very confusing.

I expected the final episode to be some sort of climax. A lot of J-dramas keep the last episode for the pivotal battle that the series has been building up to. But Mondai no Aru Restaurant didn't. Instead, the final storyline happened entirely off-screen. It was occasionally mentioned by a character, but we never actually saw any of the action. That's about it.

Instead of a tense final battle, we got something like an opening episode: a series of scenes designed to illustrate the different characters. Except it wasn't a case of introducing characters, but showing how they've changed. It was strange at first, but once I'd got used to the idea that episode ten wasn't going to be a dramatic showdown, I quite liked it.

At its best, Mondai no Aru Restaurant was pretty bland, feel-good TV, and at its worst it became one of those dramas where everyone whispers when they talk to show how sad they are. The best thing about the series (by far) was the performance of Takahata Mitsuki as the ditzy yet clearly intelligent waitress. She was far more fun than the others. Not enough fun to save the series, though.

Mind you, the restaurant did look nice.

1 comment:

  1. I thought the writer's could never decide on what story they wanted to tell. Each of the characters had very interesting backgrounds, but then the storyline kept jumping around. It seemed like 4 or 5 writers each writing a different story and each episode was from a different writer.

    I wanted to like it as the beginning seemed very promising but then it just kind of went limp.