13 December 2013

Bad Boys J final impressions

It took me much longer to get through this drama than I had expected, partly because I did not have as much time and partly because it lost my interest. But I am done with it now and ready to see about starting off something new.

Would be better if the series was about this.
While there were fun little moments here and there overall the series frustrated me. I hate to compare it to Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou but it hard not to as they are both in the same genre, but BBJ seems to lack the focus of Bakaleya. With Bakaleya the story firmly centered around the conflict of the two schools being merged in contrast with BBJ which began as a fish out of water type character that accidentally becomes the head of a delinquent gang starts meandering once that is set up.

Perhaps if the series focused on Kiriki Tsukasa (Nakajima Kento) finding a reason to be leader while having to prove his worth to his group much more before even thinking of bringing in all the gang war plots it would have come out stronger. The way the group just accepted Kiriki as leader did not seem believable at all and the progression for Kiriki to become someone who could be a leader was sloppy and made little sense.

Again though the series did have its moments in each episode, just as a whole it failed to give a fully coherent story.

After it is all said and done I guess I am glad that Nakaken got his chance to be a lead in a drama. I just wish it could have been a much better one. I think he did his best, or at least followed what the director told him, for it, but an actor can only do so much with a bad character. Kiriki had his characterization all over the place at sometimes having to be a lovelorn wimp when the story called for it, having to play the badass when the story called for it and having to be the passionate shounen manga hero when the story called for it. And having the story dictate what a character should be is a good way to make a weak one.

At least he already has moved on to a lead movie role after this and hopefully it makes much better use of his acting skills than this.

I cannot say I was impressed with Nikaido Takashi's acting but I cannot say it was bad either. There was just way too little he had to work with in the role as the only emotions Danno Hidenori ever expressed where looking badass and angry.

Poor Hashimoto Ryosuke. While it has been nice to see him get acting jobs he seems to have a tendency to end up in bad dramas. First Sprout and now this. He is one of the highlights of both but I do not want to sit through another drama of those levels to see him act in something again.

I am glad to know that Iwamoto Hikaru is getting another chance of being in a drama with the upcoming SHARK being the 2014 winter season drama for this time slot. I really want to see him do more acting and I hope his next role will be something more interesting and demanding than Kawanaka Yoji.

Sato Erika (Triendl Reina) is easily my favorite character of this whole drama. If there is anything disappointing with her character it is the same for all the female characters in the series, that they are all underwritten. Also what is the point of having female members of the gangs if they are not going to do any fighting themselves? I think I have been spoiled by Western media when it comes to the treatment of women, even though even there things are far from perfect. But I do not see how it could have hurt of have the female gang members be more than arm candy for the male members. Erika got to do a bit more than that, which is probably why I loved her so much.

Talking about bad female characters, Yoshimoto Kumi (Hashimoto Nanami), has to be one of the most bland female leads I have seen in a drama. There is nothing to her outside of being nice and Kiriki's love interest. If a character has to be defined by their relationship to another character than that is a strong sign that you do not have much a character. Since she had no real agency of her own her choices in the drama never made a lot of sense when compared to actions she did before. It was just so hard to care for her or the relationship between her and Kiriki as it all felt so shallow.

This drama just makes me feel frustrated over all. There was promise with it when it was first starting out but instead of ironing out the issues those early episodes had they just expanded on them.

At least with Sprout I knew I was going to get something I would not enjoy and I could have some fun with it. With BBJ I thought I would be able to enjoy it but just ended up more and more frustrated with it as I had to search harder and harder for those little things that I did like.

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