05 September 2012

The Quiz SP review

I figured I should go ahead and review this as I think it will be a while before subs are out for it. And there are some points in it that need at least some hint of what is being talked about to not feel completely lost. That being said there will be spoilers for this special so if you do not want to be spoiled stop reading and do not scroll down anymore than this.

For those who do not care to be spoiled here is the review.

Dead or Dream? Is it like Cake or Death?
We start off in the studio with the contestants as the show begins. Of course none suspect what lies before them. Though I would think the "Dead or Dream" there on the floor would at least creep someone out.

We get a quick introduction of the characters before seeing the title screen then this shot of everyone so you get a good look at everyone before they start getting killed off.

The announcer guy/MC, Fujio Kouhei, is only seen on the screen in front of them and there is no staff to be seen on the set with the contestants. Seriously, why does none of this set off some red flags with someone? It cannot be considered normal by any account.

The first question has everyone pick a colored bottle by trying to figure out which one does not belong of the ten there.

Lewis Jesse plays the main character Shota who is supposed to be a university student but really does not look like he should be anything older than a high school student. Iwamoto Hikaru is able to pull off being that age range though and his character's name is Riku who is a karate champion.

They then all have to drink what is in the bottle. With this we get our first casualty and the contestants know what is at stake. They try to exit but find all the doors locked and then Fujio tells them that the "water" they drank was actually poison that will kill them over time, but whoever wins the game will get the antidote.

Even though there are contestants that do not want to continue they eventually do when a couple of the others decide to go ahead and do so, including the genius Yuuta played by Hagiya Keigo.

And to finish looking at the Johnny's Hagiya is another that fails to look the age he is supposed to be, which is college age. He just looks like a high school student even though he does look quite different than how he normally looks.

As we go on to the next challenge the body is gone from the stage but there is a pool of blood left behind. No explanation to where the body went and because of later events I must assume that the other contestants must have moved it off somewhere out of sight in the room.

The next question is similar to the first where everyone has to pick one of something with one of the items not belonging and will bring their death to choose it. The item this time is a gun.

Though to bring out a plot hole here if one of the guns has live rounds in it just simply picking the guns up and finding the one that was the heaviest would be enough to figure out which one was loaded as bullets are not that light. Though perhaps there is an explanation to cover for this that I missed but if not it is a pretty major plot hole.

We get that there is something between Shota and Hina as Shota gives her a hint, trying his best to be secret about it, on what gun to pick to survive this round.

For this answer everyone had to give their gun to the person next to them then have them point it at their head. They then pull the triggers and we are one contestant down.

I have to say the answer was a bit interesting as it used the fact that Pluto was downgraded from a planet as the key to it. Though I guess it may be safe to assume the reason the contestant who got it wrong was because they either forgot about it or somehow did not hear about it.

I would just like to highlight Fujii Shuuka, who plays the character Sakura, right now as unfortunately she is reaching the end of her time in the drama. Shuuka is a member of the performance group Flower, the sister of 7WEST's Fujii Ryusei and like Jesse also in the NTV drama Sprout. Like all the Fujii siblings she has inherited goo looks and it was nice to see her in something else even if it was only for a short while.

This question I did not get, it had to deal with angles and circles. In any case though we get the first person to proactively thing the crowd of contestants with Hitomi playing dumb at first and making a big deal about a point about the problem. This of course lead a few contestants to pick the wrong answer and get eliminated, which sadly included Sakura.

For the next question everyone has to handcuff themselves to chains that have wires going down them. I can only assume that they would electrocute them if they got the answer wrong.

This is where having the question shown on the screen is a life saver as it is key to explain the dramatics. The question basically is who among them is in love with someone who is a cheater. After some talking among them Yuuta points out that Shota seems to know Hina as he helped her out earlier with the guns. Shota confesses that he does know her and is love with her.

With some pressure from the others Hina ends up confessing that she has been cheating on Shota with someone else. And with that everyone gets the answer right. But Shota shows that he knows how to show off a hurt puppy dog look when he learns his love is not as requited as he thought.

The next question is who among them has the blood type AB RH minus, or AB negative for a more simple way to say it. Hina says that is her blood type but everyone is unsure of trusting her now.

Yuuta uses the mistrust the others would have of Hina after her confession of cheating on Shota and claims to have AB RH minus blood himself. And he proves to be the evil genius type it was hinted at before with this move.

A shark impersonation gone wrong.
And thus Riku comes to his ends with a dagger in his back, et tu Yuuta? But I have to confess whatever what shooting the daggers must have had some force to them to get them embedded that far into their backs.

They then have to answer the question of who among them is superior. Well I think we can guess how some of these answers are going to go.

Shota though seems at a complete loss on how he is supposed to answer a question like that, which of course is understandable when you are a decent person. But he does figure out an answer to scribble down.

Yuuta then decides to screw the rules, he has moneygenius. So he pulls out a bloody knife and attacks Shota. I can assume at this point that the surviving contestants must have been dragging the dead bodies off the stage because I cannot think of any time Yuuta would have been able to pull one of those knives out of either Riku or Hitomi otherwise. Not to mention that Yuuta has to be stronger than he looks as pulling that knife out had to have taken some serious muscle considered how it was shot into their bodies in the first place. Perhaps it is said and I did not catch it but this is not explained and stands more like a plot hole than anything else.

Just as Yuuta goes for the killing lunge he is shot in the back by Hina. I think she must have picked it up after Sakura dropped it and she was comforting her for having been the one that had to shoot the loaded gun. So I guess in this case the plot hole is actually covered, even though it is not explained.

Shota is touched that Hina would save his life like that. Though personally I would probably be a bit worried about her hanging onto the gun and hiding it until now. But love is blind and all that and Shota seems to believe it is not the end for them.

Hina though has other ideas as she shoots him as well. And with some plot magic Shota does not die straight away from the bullet wound like Yuuta did. Instead he gets to pretty much lay back and chill with the red stain on his shirt until things are settled.

Fujio is disappoint.
Hina then becomes the hysterical killer trope often seen in these kinds of stories. She claims to have won but one look at Fujio on the screen tells a different story.

Fujio explains to Hina that Shota still wins because unlike her he was not a complete dick and was going to answer the both of them in hopes of having them both win.

And we get the big tip off to the big reveal of the story when Hina disappears as if she was a hologram or something of the like. Shota then lays himself down gently and "dies".

Fujio's voice can be heard then announcing the winner is Shota. Shota then wakes up and his bullet wound is gone and he is alone in the room.

Fujio shows up and Shota is wary of him for understandable reasons. Fujio has him take a seat and talks to him about Seagull, which seems to be a program that uses the mind. I know the word 'psy' is used a lot to explain it so I am assuming that this game show is some kind of virtual reality/dreamscape thing.

Fujio continues to talk and does confirm that the others are not actually dead. So Shota will probably have to officially break up with his cheating girlfriend that would kill him for a large sum of money. He should probably invest in a personal bodyguard or something with his winnings so said girlfriend does not kill him for real for that money. So, not exactly the happiest of endings for our hero here.

We then end with a flashback with Shota and Hina together after they received their letters telling them that they were accepted/invited to go on the show as the credits continue to roll.

Of course we also get to see in the credits that Johnny's produced this special. I guess it is no surprise then that the last remaining guys were the Juniors in the cast. But in the end the last shot is given to Hina as she goes to meet with the guy she is cheating on Shota with. I can really only assume this makes sense if you knew what exactly Fujio was telling Shota at the end as otherwise it just leaves you with a rather unpleasant feeling. Especially seeing Shota looking so happy and innocent just before that.

Over all it is a rather weak story. Definitely not something that could be used as a lead in to a drama series. But it does work in helping give the Juniors in it some experience and I would not be surprised to hear about Jesse getting a lead role in a drama at some point in the near future. I am not sure if he really is up to that level acting wise as he has yet to get a role that lets him really act but he did decently here, though he could probably use some work with making his expressions come off as more natural. I just hope they do not try to get him to pull off a university student again as he does not look that old in the slightest.

I am  also greatly amused that a Slipknot song was used throughout the special. I personally have never met anyone who was a fan of their music but have heard stories that their fans are a bit... unique.

But outside the issues already pointed out it is not a terrible way to waste about 45 minutes. And most of the cast is rather easy on the eyes at least. And it is pretty fun to to give it the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.


karmienakajima26 said...

thank you very much for this!! :D
i have finished watching the drama, but i don't quite get it!! hehe..

Thennary Nak said...

Not a problem. I could tell some would need a review like this until the subs came out as there were some parts that would be hard to follow without knowing what was being said at all.