I looks like Ataru will be the only spring 2012 drama I will be covering for now. I tried to watch Kazoku no Uta and after sixteen minutes in quit as I was bored. Mainly from unlikable or bland characters and being told things instead of shown. While Ataru's first episode had its own share of problems it kept me watching for the entire episode and left me wanting to watch the next.
Probably the saddest part though was the fact that this episode was just over an hour long so they actually had and extra fifteen minutes or so but the episode still felt like it tried to cram too much in it for someone to take in easily.
Though for all the criticism I have for the first episode I did like it. Sure it is far from my favorite first episode but I can see potential and some of the mysteries they seeded (Like who is Ataru? And about Maiko's mother.) in it are interesting enough to want to see what the answers are. Plus knowing that the ratings eventually rebounded near the end of the series gives me hope that they fixed some of the issues with later episodes that were in this first episode.
So while I am not thrilled with the first episode of this series there is enough in it to keep watching. Hopefully my mid-series impression will be a bit more positive.