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Friday, April 25, 2014

MONSTERS (2012)


Country: Japan
Format: drama in 8 episodes
Genre: suspense, comedy
Cast: Katori Shigo, Yamashita Tomohisa, Kenichi Endo, Yanagihara Kanako,Waranibo Tomoya, Kikuta Daisuke, Hino Tatsuya, Shiroishi Tomoya, Hinaka Yasukage, Otake Makoto,
Synopsis: Saionji Kosuke is a rookie detective whose first job is to find out his partner Hiratsuka Heihachi's  secrets behind quickly solving cases, for possible connection to the under-world. But the thing is that Hiratsuka is not like others - he is odd, mysterious, sometimes rude and most of the time very annoying. 
Rating: 4/5
I remember when “MONSTERS” first aired and how Yanne watched the whole first episode via KeyHole – for you to know first episode is 90 minutes long. While airing this drama did not get great viewer-ratings and people started to talk how Johnny’s cannot bring ratings anymore, but I just think that it is really underrated drama.

Hiratsuka Heihachi is one of a kind person. He is said to be wicked, he is a bit hated because he seems annoying, but the fact is that his mind works on totally different level. His intelligence is higher than anyone else’s, which makes him notice the little details that most people forget easily. He is not afraid to tell one or two lies to make criminal confess him-/herself when he does not have enough evidence. 
At the beginning of the drama Saionji asks the question “Aren’t the people who only do judging most evil?” hinting to Hiratsuka because he is able to play with criminal’s mind until they have no other possibility than to surrender. It is the first drama I see with Katori Shingo as lead. He is amazing actor and the facial expressions and those crazy eyes he is doing in the drama.. woah! I think now I cannot say “Oh/Ho!” without seeing Katori Shingo’s face in my mind and I have serious feeling of imitating his “Sonomama! Sonomama!” when I suddenly enter the room full of people.

It was refreshing to see Yamashita Tomohisa in a role where he is almost as a side-character, because he just did not get enough starlight in the drama, which in the end becomes genuine move by the scriptwriter. Saionji Kousuke is newbie at detective department, before he worked only with jurisdiction on the crime scene. At first he is blinded by peoples lies and likes to believe that most people are good by their nature, which with time will be changed as he sees that people who should protect their loved ones or stand for justice can commit cold-hearted murders. With every episode you can see how he matures in his field.

His girlfriend is Emi-chan, who is really cute, caring and helps Saionji to notice some important things with the case. If it was made public that Yanagihara Kanako will play the part of Emi-chan it made it into morning news, because well.. just look at Yamashita Tomohisa actor profile to see other “on-screen girlfriends”. But Emi-chan is one other characteristic that shows what kind of person Saionji is.

There is also Kaneda-san who should be the most important detective, but sadly he always searches from the wrong box. He does not like Hiratsuka, but at the same time he acknowledges the fact that he is a great detective. With he, there are always 6-pack – six young detectives who are exactly each other’s copies and try to imitate Kaneda-san. It seems like most of the time they do not have their own opinion, because they are just fulfilling Kaneda-san’s orders. Most of the time Kaneda-san is big a**-kisser and tries to please people higher than him, but all the time Hiratsuka stays himself and is many steps ahead of him. I really like Endo Kenichi, because I have seen him in several dramas and gotten used to seeing his face. His acting never disappoints me.

If there was something that annoyed me a little bit about the storyline, it was that you will understand really really easily who the criminal is. I know that it is something that they actually need to do to make it according to “movie-rules”, but I think they make it too obvious. Of course, you never know the reasons or exactly how they did it, which makes it again interesting.
I truly enjoyed the OST and sounds of the drama, because they were great and suitable. Katori Shingo and Yamashita Tomohisa made a duo MONSTER to sing the ending song “Monster” for the drama. Katori Shingo also made Yamashita Tomohisa do something that he promised never to do again – crossdressing. They performed on one show dressed as women, because thir single included also cover of Pink Lady's "Monsters".  Aaa one more thing, whether Yamashita Tomohisa plays piano in last episode himself or not, I am not sure – because I know he can play piano, but whether they used his ability or not, I do not know.
“Hoo..” (Just wanted to say it), I do not what else I should mention about the drama, so I think that is it. It is worth to watch just for characters, because they are really great.


SPOILER-review: I think the end of the drama was one of the best ones I have seen. As I mentioned about Saionji, with every episode you can see him improving, but it also means that he is coming more and more like Hiratsuka Heihachi, because he learned the most from him. The fact that Hiratsuka mysteriously left from work to study more, matches his personality. Actually, in the end he also says how he was able to solve most cases – knowing people’s weaknesses. It is easy to manipulate people when you know which button you must press.

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