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

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MONSTERS





2012 TBS 8-episode drama that starred Katori Shingo as Hiratsuka Heihachi, a detective who does things his own way, and in his own idiosyncratic style, and Yamashita Tomohisa as Saionji Kousuke, a young recruit overly anxious to make it to the investigation department but who must first pass a test given by a high ranking official.
That test is to follow Heihachi during work and report his mechanics to the official so that Heihachi can get fired - once and for all.
Heihachi's ways are unique and therefore annoying. He doesn't, exactly follow protocol but he always gets his man.
This wasn't a drama about that only, though.
This was more about murders (one per episode) and how Heihachi solves the cases using those techniques, none of which are ever reported by our upstanding, wealthy, and extremely observant Kousuke.

Once again (and as most recent JDo's go, I'm beginning to note) I had to watch this at the worst streaming site known to man - GoodDrama.net
If you aren't familiar, it is a website laced with spam, annoying ads and constant pop-ups that sometimes manage to play even when you turn them off. And, you have to seek them out every time you click on the next segment of each 15 minute split video, too.
Half naked women banners, distracting flashing banner ads, commercials at the beginning of each segment, and the scary, virus-laden pop-ups hidden everywhere that somehow manage to bypass my pop-up blocker.
So, while you're watching your video and start to get into a scene, suddenly you're hearing loud music and someone talking in Spanish, or there is a game suddenly playing and you can't find the OFF button or the X to shut it down, or worse, you can hear it, but you can't see or find it on the screen, which means you must refresh and then go through the same thing all over again before getting to watch the segment ... all over again.

The other thing that was annoying were the subs.

Just as an. example. Whoever did sub. Had no idea what a comma is. And so you had to read. This way. Throughout the eight episodes. Every pause. Was reason to create a new sentence. And even if you're not familiar with English. This can get annoying. Really quickly. If you know what I mean.


This was just hilarious and I wanted to show it off.
The Japanese pronunciation (kinda-sorta) was typed as opposed to doing a bit of research.
That would be Dvořák - as in  Antonín Dvořák - the composer, and the tune they kept referencing is Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World, Opus 95 - 4th movement, Allegro con fuoco.

The best part about this whole drama, though, was that they paired Tomo-kun with Yanagihara Kanako as Takano Emi


Kousuke's significant other


No one appreciates these types of twists more than I do.

She was cute without being puke cute, and she didn't do any of the stereotypical things overweight women are best known for doing in any other drama or movie you've ever seen - like being a stalker, a sumo wrestler, or a slob.

Tomo-kun, by the way, acted in a style I'm not familiar with seeing him do, too.
This was supposed to be a comedy, and while it was funny (sometimes) the stories themselves just sucked you in and everything else was insignificant, to include prat falls, slapstick, or anything Japanese comedy these days.

You weren't always cracking up, in other words, and not much was going on behind the main characters like there usually is in a Japanese comedy, to distract you purposely and make you laugh. 

Like watching a dragon cross behind them, or seeing someone slip and fall, or random acts of bizarre like something falling out of a window, or someone being struck by a bike.

Tomohisa managed to be funny when it was asked for, but he played a bumbling every man, he and Shingo wore the same outfit all eight episodes, and while Heihachi was weird, he managed to stay the course and keep his lead-lead role throughout so that Tomohisa never quite ended up stealing his thunder.

The only reason I gave this 3 out of 5 is because I likely will not ever watch this one again.
It wasn't as great as the others I've seen recently, but it wasn't a total waste of my time, either.

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