28 May 2012

Kagi no Kakatta Heya mid-season impressions

Well I just finished up to episode six already with this drama, so I am now stuck having to wait every week for a new episode.

While the mysteries continue to be intriguing it is really the characters that shine in this drama. For a series like this if you do not have that connection to the characters to care about what happens to them then it looses a lot of appeal. But you do want Team Enomoto to succeed as it is easy to like them as they play off each other so well and are a joy to watch.

I would say there have been a couple of episodes where things seemed a bit off, like the answer to the mystery being something there was no way the audience could guess at or the motive not really feeling like it was all that sound. But thankfully with the character dynamics those can be overlooked.

It has also been nice that the episodes have broken off some of the more formulaic parts of the episodes from time to time so you cannot start counting on certain things always happening, or at least happening in a way you expect them to. Honestly whether or not this would be done was one of the make or break things for this drama as being too formulaic takes away a good deal of the suspense, and a mystery series with suspense just does not work very well.

With how stoic Enomoto is it is hard to say if Ohno Satoshi is doing a good job or not. I would say he is though with how he still manages to play off Toda Erika and Sato Koichi to great effect. And those two have done well to be the point of view characters for the drama as both seem to be on the same plan as the audience when it comes to solving the mysteries.

There seems to be two subplots that are tying the episodes together. Not only is there the main subplot of figuring out Enomoto's past but there seems to be a bit of a romance subplot between Junko and Enomoto. Thankfully though the romance subplot is very subdued and can be just seen as friendship at this point and does not seem to be the kind that will overtake other aspects of the series because of that. In fact I would not be surprised if it is just left as subtext, but we shall see.

Episode six gives us two Johnny's as guest stars with V6's Sakamoto Masayuki and Kansai Junior Kiriyama Akito. I will confess it was hearing that Akito would be in this episode was what made me decide to watch this drama first before any of the other dramas for this season. I think I made a good choice because of this as I have been loving the series. But I was quite happy to see Akito getting a role on a nationwide drama, even if it was only for an episode.

I think overall the series is still rather strong with a good idea of where it is going and how to keep a theme like a locked room interesting for the viewer. I really cannot wait to watch the rest, even though now I must since I have managed to catch up with it.

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