28 January 2015

49 final impressions

Finally finished watching this drama and will happily move on to the next.

The drama seems to lose its way near the end and take a few odd turns. From breaking the fourth wall to a cameo for Golden Bomber. There is some set up that looked like it was meant to go somewhere but ended up being forgotten at the end and left things overall unsatisfying. Which is a bit frustrating as it also got stronger for a couple of episodes making this quite uneven. Also I despise suicide being used as a plot device, which this series does do, so that left a bitter taste for me.

It was nice to see Dan's father actually become more likable. Though it felt like it was at the expense of Dan as his plot did not go very far and still felt incomplete. But at least both became characters that could be sympathized with, as I felt there was not nearly as much of that in the first half of the series. And I really wanted to see much more of Dan than what we got and would have loved to have gotten to see more of him as he really felt undeveloped compared to his father. In any case Sato Shori at least did a great job playing the two roles as it was never confusing to tell who he was because of the different mannerisms he portrayed with them. It does make me interested in seeing what else he can do as an actor.

And talking about plots that felt underdeveloped the whole Chicken Basket sub-plot with connected plot with Dan's sister's deadbeat boyfriend are among those. But mostly because the conflicts and resolutions in the second half for them felt rather rushed and of course characters were not developed enough to really care much about what happened to them. Honestly these two sub-plots could have made for a drama on their own and it probably would have come off much stronger for it.

The love-triangle or whatever it was also felt lackluster. Takami Sachi (Yamamoto Maika) ended up coming off as rather cruel to how she treated Dan so I find it hard to believe she would be a good pairing for him. And Minaduki Mana (Nishino Nanase) really had little going for her outside of being a love interest. I feel sorry that the actresses were given such poorly written characters to work with.

Yasui Kentaro was the one who stole the series for me. Sure Shori did well with his acting which was impressive but every scene with Yasui in it he was the one I was fixed on. He just had a natural charisma with this character and truly impressed me. I would have loved to have seen the drama from the prospective of his character honestly. Perhaps some of the flaws would have been smoothed out that way.

Jinguji Yuta does not seem to be the acting type. With young and inexperienced actors you can give them some leeway as some of it will fall on the director but seeing how well Shori did, especially compared to how wooden he was in the drama he was in before this, I am willing to believe that Jinguji is just not good at acting. He was awkward in Sprout and in this, and neither in a good way. He may be able to get okay, as he at least has the fact that his character in this series was rather flat and the small story line he was given was fairly lackluster, but again I would have expected just a bit more.

In the end this drama did make me take notice of Shori's improvement as an actor and I have come to see Yasui as a Junior that genuinely interests me. So this was hardly a complete loss. And even then it was not a terrible drama, just not a great one, which still places it above at least a couple of other drama series from the NTV late night line up I have already watched. It just tried to do far too much without doing the right build up for it and should have kept things simpler.

With that though I am more than willing to move on and start up a new drama series.

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