22 May 2013

Tantei Gakuen Q SP first impressions

I felt like I should do something special because it is my birthday today and decided that I would do a review I had been wanting to do for some time now.

I have always felt bad for never finding the time to watch this drama even though I have always meant to. I figure once I finish up with Sprout I will go ahead and watch the series. Since the SP aired first I figured there would be no harm in jumping things a bit and at least watch and review it. This is also a good example of a series that does not have a Johnny's as the lead actor but at least as a main supporting character, so I am willing to review it on this blog. Otherwise it would have only been reviewed on my other blog.

Tantei Gakuen Q is based off a shounen manga series of the same name. This series has also had an anime adaption. The special aired in the summer 2006, the series aired a year after but for the most part the cast remained unchanged.

The basic premise of the series is that there is a master detective named Dan Morihiko who runs a school for detectives. He has decided to recruit a new class which attracts a motley crew, mostly children, who pass his tests to become his students. This special covers those tests and show how they passed them.

While Yamada Ryosuke was the initial actor that sparked my interest in this drama looking at it now it has other young up and coming stars in its cast to be noted, mainly Kamiki Ryonosuke and Shida Mirai. From other dramas I recognize Kaname Jun, and since I liked him in those other dramas I am happy to see him in this one.

I though Kamiki did well for a young lead. Being shounen things are naturally a bit over the top with the dramatic aspects but he did those fine. I am not surprised at all that he has gone on to do well as an actor. And I appreciated that the character, Kyu, actually cared for the victims. With mystery series it is easy to not even try to connect with murder victims, as they are dead, and just focus on the living. So it was nice to see that changed up a bit here.

Yamada as Amakusa Ryu really did not have a lot to do in terms of acting. The character is the standard cool and aloof type, though over the course of the special he does show a kinder side and even smiles. I expect that the series will give him more to do as the special was mainly focusing on the lead and Shida Mirai's character, Minami Megumi.

One issue I had with the drama was probably just the fact that even though I knew this was a shounen series I was still not prepared to see usual shounen tropes being pulled out. This is mainly the fact that the mystery did not seem as developed as I would have liked, as not a lot of attention was put to trying to figure out who the culprit was or the motive. I guess the series is probably more Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys than the typical mystery novel, with how there are little side adventures thrown in. There is also extra emphasis on friendship and having unbridled passion for something which fall into the common shounen tropes territory.

I doubt this will bother me going forward now that I know that is how things are bound to play out for the series, it just took me out of things until I figured it out while watching this though.

Overall I liked it. I do not think it is going to be a favorite series but I am still glad that I am finally watching this series. I will look forward to watching dramas with the younger members of this cast afterwords to see how they have improved since.

And while the mysteries never went as in depth as I would have liked they made sense and the audience could figure them out along with the characters, two big pluses for any series that is about mysteries. And with the time more constrained in a weekly series, as this special was about an hour and a half, I am hoping things keep more focused on the main story of the episode than this special was.


Anonymous said...

For me back then in 2007 I saw the SP and Drama, the SP was for me a little bit of a let down. I was back then a fan of Tantei Gakuen Q and really wanted to see the serie. Wel when I saw the dramaserie, that wasn't a let down. It blew me away back then, its a lot more mature (I was a lot younger back then, but it give a more darker feeling than the SP) and I must say, back then I thought Yamada did a wonderful job at acting and I totally understand why everyone loved him so much more than the rest of the cast. I also thought that he kinda overshadowed the rest of the cast. I wasn't biased back then because back then I hadn't any clue that Johnny's excited or that Yamada was even a Johnny. Its because of this drama that I've serached more about Yamada and got to know Johnny's. And because of that I got to know that I watched so many drama's already with famous Johnny's in it lol. It took me some while until I completly understood how Johnny's worked, because at the beginning I just thought that Yamada was a popular rising child actor who also could dance and sing well lol. And because of that I just missed HSJ debut :( lol. Sorry, that I went a little of topic here.

Anonymous said...

I actually watched the main series of Tantei Gakuen Q and then went back to watch the special. I agree with the other commenter - the special was a letdown compared to the main series. I decided to give it a look because I had seen Kamiki-kun in the Great Yokai War movie. I knew nothing about Yamada-kun or Johnny's at the time, but because of Yamada-kun's performance in the drama, I decided to look him up. The trajectory was about the same as the other commenter's, except that I got into all of it in 2008.

So yeah, if you didn't dislike the special, I think you'll get a kick out of the main series. It's a huge step up.

Thennary Nak said...

It's good to know that the series is regarded as better than the SP. While I liked the SP I was not sure if I would enjoy watching an entire series like it. I look forward to being able to hopefully begin the series soon.

This series seems to be the true break out series for Yamada, as he seems to have picked up quite a few fans from it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first two commenters, thennary. the drama series is better than the special. and this drama series is the one that made me aware of and be a fan o jdramas, and of course johnny's. :)

enjoy watching the series. -ad