Mid-season write-up (Part Two)

Otaku cannot live on 2D bunny girls alone, so here’s a piping-hot mid-season helping of live action goodness.

A former biker gang boss and his sweet little imouto-chan raise Cain for each other in Yasuko to Kenji. The acting is generally unremarkable (though Matsuoka Masahiro does put in a fine performance) and the plot can be rather formulaic at times, but all that matters to me is that it’s pretty darned funny. If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward slice-of-life comedy then this series is worth considering.

Oh, and here’s the best bit: former biker gang boss-san draws shoujo manga for a living.

Former biker gang boss-san had better keep his hidden past under wraps if he doesn’t want the book thrown at him by baby-faced cop Shibatora. Actor-singer Koike Teppei plays the title role of a rookie detective who goes into undercover situations as a high-school kid to root out juvenile crime. Like Yasuko to Kenji, Shibatora is based on a comedy manga, although the latter touches on some pretty serious issues (including prostitution) and has a decidedly more dramatic tone.

The female lead is played by Oogo Suzuka, who is best known to Western audiences for playing the role of young Chiyo in the 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha.

I’m still ambivalent about this show’s long-term prospects (which is why I haven’t added it yet to my “Actively Following” list), but I give it a very good chance of holding my attention until the last episode. Excellent production values, decent performances and appealing characters all come together in this show to produce a good summer watch.

When Japan’s youth start dabbling in financial fraud, Detective Shibata will need the country’s best Kansahoujin on his team. Wakasugi Kenji (played by Tsukamoto Takashi – he’s the lad with the light blue tie above) is a young auditor with unbending principles who locks horns with the corporate bigwigs of Japan, Inc. over improper accounting practices.

Bored to death already? Hang in there. Subtitles aren’t available for this series yet – as one might expect for a late-night Saturday drama devoid of human eye candy – so I struggled to make sense of the first episode, but what little I could follow was enough to make me mark Kansahoujin as a must-see. Heck, even the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants has taken notice of this show. I’ve stopped at Episode 1 for now, pending the release of English subs (which may never come), but if subbers ever do decide to work on this series I’m picking it up faster than [insert speed metaphor of your choice here; I’m fresh out of ideas].

While waiting for a solid set of English subs to become available, you can dip your toes into the story via this excellent write-up on Stippy. Japanese subtitles (uploaded as srt files) are available here for those who know the language but need some help in following the dialogue (as well as anyone who might be interested in preparing English subs).

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4 Responses

  1. […] check out some live-action series in Part Two of this post. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)To Snitch, Or Not To Snitch (Part […]

  2. wow… i am really interested in watching Kansahoujin… Really waiting for the episodes with subs of course to come out… please will someone sub this one??!!

  3. @Diego: The way I see it, this show has a slim-to-none chance of being subbed – but there’s always room for hope. The Japanese srt subs should make the job a lot easier for anyone who decides to take on the project, given that the scripts have now been fully transcribed and properly timed to fit the raw video files.

  4. Oh yay! So, Kansahoujin is indeed about auditors? As in accounting auditors? Sweeeeet! Now, I must see this! It’s making me all tingly just imagining how this jdorama is gonna be. Hak hak hak.

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