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

Monday, January 27, 2014

PRICELESS Sono yōna koto wa arimasen!

2012 Fuji-TV 10-episode JDo that starred Kimura Takuya as Kindaichi Fumio, a quirky, fast-talking, and seemingly oblivious salary man who tends to ignore his surroundings while also remembering every, last thing that went on around him, including knowing everyone's name and what department they're from, when is their birthday, and pertinent yet irrelevant office info about things like sick family members currently recovering in a hospital.

At the start of this fast-paced, auctioneer-style dialogue drama, our Fumio is king of the hill, and then the next day he is falsely accused, fired, stripped of his credit/cash, and watches his apartment blow up before his very eyes - leaving him destitute.

Fumio spends the night in a park and meets new, interesting characters, treating them the very same way he had his co-workers and associates. He learns how to survive without money, meets two young boys who take him to their grandmother's house, and the old lady insists that Fumio can stay as long as he promises to make the 500y a day she asks for to cover his room/board.

It isn't long before his boss and a young woman from the accounting department end up in the same boat with Fumio and have to earn the same 500y to stay with Fumio in the tiny room he and now they rent.

Karina is Nikaido Saya, the genius accountant, and Nakai Kiichi as Moai Kengo, their boss - department head, actually, a man who disappears in a crowd and is overlooked by the people standing right next to him.

The real boss - wicked heir to the Miracle Thermos Company - is Fujiki Naohito as Oyashiki Toichiro.

Toichiro has a grudge against Fumio, and while we know episode after episode why he's angry, we aren't really allowed to know the truth of the matter until near the end. In realistic honesty, though, it is easy to figure out what the real deal is almost instantly, and it is our adorable Fumio who must be made to suffer right up to the bitter end before finding out just why it was he had to go through so much hell on account of the jealous and vengeful Toichiro.

This was a comedy start to finish, and a tension-based bit of romance between Fumio and Saya that needed 10 episodes to sputter and cough its way to practically nothing at the very end, but trust me when I say THAT WASN'T A SPOILER!

I also can't help thinking that their names are a play on their names.

Kimura Takuya as Kindaichi Fumio - Nakai Kiichi as Moai Kengo - Natsuki Mari as Marioka Ichirin - Renbutsu Misako as Hirose Yoko - Fujigaya Taisuke as Enomoto Kotaro - Masu Takeshi as Fujisawa Takeshi - Karina as Nikaido Saya - 
Fujiki Naohito as Oyashiki Toichiro - Maeda Oshiro as Marioka Kanta - 
Issey Ogata as Zaizen Osamu - Tanaka Kanau as Marioka Ryota - Nakamura Atsuo as Oyashiki Iwao

They are weird names even if it isn't obvious they are weird names, but as I kept looking at them, I began to notice a slight pattern and wonder if it is true or just another of my far-reaching and pointless self-imposed coincidental mind games giving me more grief than is actually necessary.

This is 10 episodes of funny meant to show us just how amazing Fumio is so that we can believe it when he eventually returns to the top of the manufacturing, friend-making, and trust-building heap he was tossed from in episode 1.

I appreciated the other-world qualities that were sprinkled throughout while keeping just enough of Tokyo around so that I became logically confused and easily transported to this other realm I knew had to be Tokyo and yet it wasn't, really ... or at least it didn't seem like it ... sometimes.

I rarely EVER mention soundtracks in my blogs because it isn't often that they impress me, or that I am even able to remember what the songs or running theme song was, but not with Priceless: No Such Thing.

They relied on both The Stones and Sato Naoki for background ambiance, and I appreciated it, thank you very much.

Each time the gang met at a local bar, a Rolling Stones song played quietly in the background, taking me down memory lane and making me smile.

They put the leads in that small, old television with rabbit ears, too, and had them portray each member of the Stones. It was original and cool.

And Kimura-kun continued to smirk every so often even when it wasn't necessary or no one said anything funny. I adore it, that quirky habit of his, and I hope he continues with it until he stops acting altogether.

I asked myself, too, again and again as I watched Priceless if it wasn't simply because of Kimura-kun that I enjoyed the story line, the characters, the rapid-fire dialogue, and even the ganbatte stuff littered throughout.

I attempted to put other actors in his place, and I tried to imagine myself reading the book instead, too. Maybe for some the only draw would be Kimura-kun or even Naohito-san that made them watch a to z, but not me. They were extra whipped cream with two cherries on top and nothing more, because I liked the story regardless.


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