Taiyo to Umi no Kyoshitsu

Posted by :: sixtwentyseven :: | Posted in | Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009

I would call this show a story of 2 halves. Seriously, if I didn't watch this show till the end, I'd have panned this serial a long time ago. Okay, I got to admit I started to watch this show due to the fact that Kitagawa Keiko is inside this show and I can't wait for each episode of Buzzer Beat on Monday. I thought this show would be a nice substitute. In the end, she's acting like a bimbo teacher. -_-''' So much for Keiko-chan.

Anyway, the story starts with a high school by a seaside town. As usual, japan's high school is a bit screwed up with emphasis on exams and little of anything else. However, the principal decided to hire a mysterious teacher who thinks differently and whose principles would slowly get into the student's heart and influence them. Sounds like any other high school drama? You're not far off actually.

The reason I said this drama is a story of halves is because the first 5 episodes is TOTALLY different from the last 5 episodes.The first 5 episodes is almost like GTO, with Oda Yuji as the caring teacher doing things that Onizuka-sensei would be proud of: tearing down a signboard, saving a student in distress etc. I mean, if I'd want something like this, I'd rather watch GTO seriously. Then suddenly in episode 5, the story becomes darker, with a student having suicidal thoughts and relationships become testing. You could just sense that somewhere along the way, the production team realizes that the story isn't enticing anyone anymore and they decided to sack the scriptwriter. Because, the last 5 episodes is superb and I felt that it saved the show from being GT0 2.

Surprisingly in this serial, the emphasis on the young cast is pretty strong. Besides, Oda Yuji and Kitagawa Keiko, other familiar faces in the high-school dramas include:
- Okada Masaki(Hana Kimi) as Negishi Hiroki
- Hamada Gaku(Proposal Daisakusen, Taiyou No Uta)
- Yoshitaka Yuriko(Love Shuffle, Ashita no Kita Yoshio)[No-panda @@]
- Tanimura Mitsuki(Mei-chan No Shitsuji, 14 Sai no Haha)
- Yamamoto Yusuke(Hana Kimi)
- Kurose Manami(Hana Kimi)
- Oomasa Aya(Mei-chan No Shitsuji)
- Kutsuna Shiori(Mei-chan No Shitsuji)[No matter how small your role is, you're still visible]

So, looking at the artists i could identify, you could say that high-school dramas are a pretty good way to introduce young actors and actresses into the drama scene, although I kinna sympathizes Hamada Gaku for acting having to act out the loser roles. But hey, at least he got the girl in Proposal Daisakusen(Eikura Nana) and in this serial(Yoshitaka Yuriko, DAMN IT).

And as this drama is a story of 2 halves, I shall give 2 ratings.

1st 5 episodes, 5.1/10
last 5 episodes, 8.5/10 (10 for Yuriko and Gaku!!!)


Posted by :: sixtwentyseven :: | Posted in | Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009

It's interesting actually.

Usually I'd give political dramas a miss, because they're usually kind of serious. Not to mention Japan politics is a bit foreign to me. Another interesting thing is that this serial was actually recommended by my sister! For a person who prefer American serial to Japanese ones, now that's really new.

The story basically starts with a politician and his son dying over the skies at Vietnam, and a by-election has to be held in a prefecture in Fukuoka. However, with no suitable candidate to run for the seat, Seiyu party, the main political party, decides to ask the dead politician's second son, Asakura Keita, to run for the seat. With no political experience and zero knowledge, he manages to win the seat by a razor-thin margin. With party secretary Kanbayashi thinking that Asakura is a perfect puppet for him, he pushes him to run for party chairman candidacy when the Prime Minister resigned. However, with his raw experience, Asakura proves his mettle as Prime Minister and Kanbayashi is forced to used other means to force him to resign as prime minister so that he can snatch the top post.

The reason that kept me riveted to the show isn't Takuya Kimura this time, but the storyline itself. For a political drama, this series is surprising refreshing, possibly due to comedy moments peppered into the show. However, what I feel that under this show is the underlying message regarding the current Japan political scenes. Issues like health care, declining childbirth, education reforms etc are all mentioned in the show. If you've watched enough Jap dramas, you'll understand these problems quite well enough. Also, they also highlighted the very problems of the current Japanese bureaucrats and parliamentarians.

Normally I wouldn't comment much of Takuya Kimura as I've always felt he's an accomplished actor, almost guaranteeing viewership success. However, the pairing of Takuya Kimura and Fukatsu Eri is one of my favourite pairngs, since Sora Kara Furu Ichioku no Hoshi.

An excellent drama all around, with a very strong cast and excellent acting all around. 8.5/10 for me.