The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Orthros no Inu



オルトロスの犬


The Dog Orthros or Orthros the Dog

The mythological creature (Orthrus - Cerberus brother) with two heads whom Heracles slays eventually.

I'm a Greek Myth buff, but that isn't why I watched this drama, and the only relation between the Greek figure and this show is the title and a hazy implication of there being a tie between the two stories.

This is a MANGA turned live action from Japan, believe it or not, about two young men who possess the opposite powers in their hand. One can cure any illness while the other can take a life.

The brother who can cure all ills has a black heart, and the one with the power to kill has a heart of gold.

I'm always fascinated by the strange fact that countries like Japan, which is pretty much Buddha oriented can toss around the word g.o.d. like they mean it. Anyone with super-human anything is god. Well, God with a capital G, but I can't go there since it's nonsense.

Huge diff between Him and gods in general - like mythological creatures, statues, and anything else unrelated to the almighty.

Orthros is about these two super-humans who are brought together by a female cop. She's out to bust a bad kid who happens to be the son of a prominent business man - the owner of Bears Pharm (funny, like a play on words there ... Bayer becomes Bears) who sells drugs, stabs indiscriminately, and lets victims rot wherever he fells them.

Yaotome's Kumakiri Masaru is that bad guy, and the female cop wants him busted for putting a high school girl in the hospital. The high school girl moonlights as a party-girl hooker at a club when she overhears a nasty story about another dead girl lying up in the mountains, whom the story refers to as a 'skeleton girl' (translator?).

I figured out toward the end that maybe they meant she was left to die and by the time the authorities found her, she was that, far gone already. I don't know.

Anyway, the high school girl is a student of the Dark god, Nishikido Ryo's Aoi Ryosuke. She goes to him for advice, and after she ends up in the hospital, Aoi feels obligated to get involved out of guilt. He ends up at the same rave our female cop attends for the same reason - to take down the baddy, Masaru - when a gun is drawn, the female cop gets popped in the arm, and then Masaru hands the gun over to a buddy who wants to give it a try. Aoi arrives, using his power to 'subdue' the guy, which kills him in the process.

Everyone is mesmerized, but not for long.

Lady cop can't bust Aoi even if he does turn himself in as a murderer because there is no conclusive evidence of his crime. The sexy coroner can't pronounce the boy's death as anything other than what it is ... an act of g.o.d.

Lady cop discovers Aoi's supernatural talent and asks that he accompany her to a prison, where his opposite has been incarcerated for ten years after being accused of triple homicide and awaiting his death sentence.

The so-called good g.o.d. wants to meet the bad g.o.d. and the meeting takes place. Good hand asks bad hand to help him break free so that he can go out and save the world of all their ills by killing the guard, whom he promises to revive once he's set free.

After doing the wicked deed and setting the good hand free, the good hand turns around and tells the bad hand that he's unable to bring anyone back to life.

Bad hand cries and feels betrayed.


Good hand is played by Takizawa Hideaki (Ryuzaki Shinji) and Bad hand is Nishikido Ryo.

As mentioned earlier, Good hand possesses a bad mentality while Bad hand possesses the opposite. They both have known about their special ability since they were young, and they both look at it through different sets of eyes.

Good hand knows how powerful he can become and yet hesitates to help unless the victim offers something in return, and Bad hand knows he's evil and therefore tries not to intermingle in society - yet he chose to be a teacher at a girl's high school. 

Whatever.

Aoi is a sweetheart, but the girls in his homeroom don't behave the way you and I would expect (or behave) if we had a teacher this fine, right? I mean, c'mon. Girls? High School? Ryo? The combination spells certain disaster, and you know it.

Whatever.

The whole point of this manga turned live action is to make us believe that while there is a God (or gods) who has all the power, that it is what it is because if we mere mortals were to come in contact with anything like Good hand/Bad hand, that we would eventually kill ourselves off trying to get at said powers.

"Cure me" and "Make me wealthy" alongside "Kill this jerk" and "Take me away" would fill the air on a daily basis - because we're human and therefore weak. UN god-like.

A politician has a heart condition yet climbs her way to the top, Prime Minister stuff, when the Bear/Bayer guy suggests she meet with Good hand for a cure. She says no and is afraid of Shinji until she ends up on her back in a hospital bed (of sorts) and Shinji walks in, asking what she will give him in return before placing his shining hand on her.

He ends up being pardoned for the triple homicide and she is cured.

There is a legend in their hometown - which is now underwater after a dam is built - that goes every hundred years or so, a couple will give birth to these creatures, and that the first-born will possess the good hand, so the second-born will possess the bad hand.

Throughout the 9 episodes we get glimpses of that legend played out in the form of Anime/Manga scenes. How the boys ended up being separated, how they ended up being manipulated by adults and had their power abused.

How they came to hate, loathe, and detest society in general.

Well, the good hand anyway. Bad hand got lucky and ended up being adopted by a loving couple while good hand wasn't so fortunate.


Good hand continues to manipulate his victims while also trying to get bad hand to come over to his side and help him ... with what, we're never quite sure. Good hand just keeps telling bad hand to get a grip and open his eyes to reality. Bad hand continues to struggle with his affliction and won't listen.

A majority of this show was about Shinji and his talent, or his lack of empathy and unwillingness to use his talent. It's random and subjective to the point of resentment on my part when he keeps aiming to save and then backs off for one reason or another.

Right. I get it already. Wakatta. He knows his limits, and he understands the implications. Great. Save one and the other suffers, save another and what's the point? Do only the young deserve to be saved and not those in their prime because ... what ... they're older? Does any of it make sense? If it doesn't, then what is the point in ...

Whatever.

The point turned out to be that having a bad hand is better than having a good hand because killing people who don't deserve to live is much easier on everyone, including the conscience, than saving people who might turn out to be deserving of death.

Again with the manga-mentality what-if's about irrelevant notions that spring to mind after too much wine, too little sleep, or by allowing the imagination to run wild for any amount of time.

Still, I watched clean through because of the hot guys and their long hair, tight bods, and pretty faces.

I watched because of the two leading men.

I watched because ... I wanted to see how it all turned out in the end.

It was okay as a time filler, but nothing more.

I now know that corruption, greed, power, and influence are what destroy any good in the world.

Thank you, Mr. Manga writer for helping me to figure out something I already knew, felt, understood, and believed before you brought it all home in your bizarre Manga-World way.

Now for the good stuff ~ 

I mentioned before about Ryo's ability to dazzle the eye, but this particular habit is too obvious, slightly disturbing, and entirely questionable as to it's actuality.

I wasn't the only one to notice, let's put it that way, and I'm not ashamed to say after staring at it for quite some time, I came to the conclusion that the pants just crease in the strangest of all places. OR ... 


His funny-boy sidekick, Yamapi suggested he try getting away with stuffing a rolled up newspaper just to see what kind of a reaction he gets from the fan base.

I've seen this before, though, in other shows/dramas/ads ...

Bad Guy in Chonmage Purin


Hyun Bin posing for ... something


I mean, sometimes you just can't HELP but notice, right?




Like this scene here ... opening, actually, like the rod shot of Ryo walking down a crowded avenue on a rainy evening, this took place a few minutes later, when the lady cop shows up at the Rave.




Dude obviously has his hand (get it? HAND! it's a running theme in this show) in the wrong place.

The reason I know it's obvious is his eyes. Look at what he is looking at, and it says volumes about my being right.

I'm not able to capture running footage, but I will someday, I swear. I'm not able to catch live action stuff, but if you watch this scene, guy is runnin' that hand back and forth, copping his fair share of feel. And why? Because she's defenseless. He's got her by the arm, she's supposed to be drunk, and there ain't nothing she can do about it. I hope, afterwards, that she took this fella aside and beat him down a little.

Just a little.

The rest of the stuff I caught on film ...













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