11 October 2012

Beginners! mid-season impressions

So after getting through half the episodes of this series (honestly I began episode 5 but quit after only a minute in) I am dropping it. I will get into the reasons why in the review but this will be the end of my reviews for this drama.

If anything I fault the writing for how badly this drama came across. It relied so heavily on common tropes that the story just was not interesting. The characters rarely showed much beyond their descriptions and felt largely one dimensional with the main characters being the worst.

Shimura Teppei comes from a mold of male protagonists that while can be really good and successful at the same time can be complete failures depending on how well they are done. Teppei is definitely this character type done wrong and instead of being fun is annoying. His character is not one that can stand on his own outside of the plot, instead it is made to fit the plot. Because of this their is no character growth that can really be followed as he acts in whatever way needs to make the next plot point be reached.

For me characters should be what drives the plot, as if they are well rounded characters they should naturally be able to do so because of the kinds of actions they would do. This series does the opposite, especially with the main characters whose actions are dictated by the plot instead making them seem unnatural and unrelatable.

From what I saw of Kitayama Hiromitsu's character, Tachibana Danji, he did well enough. There was not much that I saw that had him do much but he played the aloof character well.

I do feel like I should have stuck with it a little longer to find out his story but I just was not that interested to sit through everything else to learn about it. It did make me wish he was the main character, or just about any character that was not Teppei or Momoe as I feel they would have lead to a more interesting series.

The romance in the series was a big let down. Probably because it all had Teppei involved and again I found myself apathetic to him. Since Momoe's character seemed to suffer from more or less the same thing as Teppei's I could care less what happened with her. And seeing that staying with the drama would mean I would have to watch the characters I cared for the least go through the usual tedious romantic tropes for dramas was a big factor for dropping it. Especially as they seem to work so much better as friends than lovers, but this drama does not seem to be original enough to want to break the main male character hooks up with the main female character because they happen to get the most screen time.

Honestly this drama is a mess, and unfortunately does not stray into "so bad it's funny" territory that would have been its only saving grace without having it completely revamped.

The actions of the head of the police academy made choices that baffled since the viewer was not given hints to why he was asking what he did when it came to members of S class or specifically Shimura Teppei. I was honestly finding myself wondering why he did not have a mustache to twirl or a short beard to stroke as he was a one dimensional as you could get. And if this was going to be the big bad of the series then you know you are trouble, as the villain is a vital part of what makes a hero.

Also for a series set around a police academy there was very little about it that really made it feel like a series that had to have that location or plot point be of much importance. It would not have been difficult to change the setting to an elite high school or university and have much that played out remain the same. And by the way some of the characters acted high school would have been the better setting for this.

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