11 February 2015

SHARK first episode impressions

Start the next NTV late night drama and have to wonder when the next good one is.

So basically the set up is that an indie band called SHARK was all set to have their major debut but then their vocalist tragically died right before. A year later they have another shot at major debut but only if they find a new vocalist, which looks to be a vocalist who was kicked out of his group for basically being a douchebag. And everyone of course is super serious about everything.

Kurata Mizuki (Hirano Sho) at this point is just a really annoying character. There is so little about him that you can consider to be likable as he is completely full of himself and basically acts like a little kid. I can only hope that he starts his character growth early on and moves on past that. Not much that I can say about Sho's acting ability in this as the character is not written well enough in the episode to expect good acting from a newcomer with.

On the other hand Hagiwara Kai (Hamada Takahiro) is easily one of the most likable characters. Of course he is also the most down on his luck with having the guy he clearly admired, Kitagawa Kazuki, die then having the band fall in popularity hard when he took over as vocalist. Then of course he is told that he is not good enough in that role and if SHARK is to have a major debut then they need to find someone else to be vocalist. Yet despite all that he does not seem to get too down about it, as he seems completely focused on making SHARK into the band Kazuki was aiming for. Hamada has the perfect feel of a rock band member in this though and I think that is what really helps sell this character.

I'm on the fence about Komatsu Ichika (Yamashita Rio)She certainly is in the position that she is meant to be the character the audience is to see the events through but I could not get myself to care for her at all. Which is bad seeing as she was the girlfriend of Kazuki and is the main player to get SHARK that second chance of debut. She also has the greatest emotional range of all the characters so far but most of it is moping or being in complete awe. If she is to remain a focal character I hope she gets developed more so

For a character set to die so early on Kitagawa Kazuki (Fujii Ryusei) gets a decent amount of screen time in this episode. Though it does make sense in the narrative as his character needs to be built up to be this amazing vocalist that just no one can replace. Of course his character brings in the whole "change the world with music" theme to the series, which is so pretentious for the characters to be spouting on about, but they are all so serious about it.

The other band members Ryuzaki Ayumu (Matsumura Hokuto), Adachi Teppei (Kamiyama Tomohiro) and Satomi Kenzo (Iwamoto Hikaru)have little presence in this episode so there is very little to be said about them. In fact I even forgot Hikaru was even in this between the time I watched the episode and writing this up. I do hope that Hokuto gets the chance to be more than a background character in this as he has already proven to be decent actor and this is a character that looks to break him out of the "too cool to care" character type he has been given in the past to portray.

Near the end I began to think that maybe this is the kind of drama that can be enjoyed in a "it's so bad it's good" kind of way, but the jury is still out on that. But I think this drama could potentially pull it off as it is not a boring bad so far, just a bad bad. But definitely at the level that it could still be fun to watch, though much of that hinges on how much they will play up on the arrogance of Mizuki.

Overall still not completely decided on this but there are some potential bright spots and this could be fun, though not in the way it was probably intended to be.

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