Alice no Toge piqued my interest mainly because of Ueno Juri’s return to drama after 3 years. It’s also notable that she has never been given a professional job before in movie/drama, so this time, as a doctor, I’m more than excited. However, if you think this is a medical drama, it’s not. Don’t let the theme fool you.
This is a revenge drama. It’s filled with suspense and some thrilling moments. I have to admit that I’m more than impressed with the pilot episode. The pace, the plot, characters were just right. Perhaps, the pace was faster than I thought but that just adds to the unpredictable nature of this show, which is one of my favorite things about it.
In the first episode, we already saw Asumi took revenge on 2 people who were involved in her late father’s medical error. We also noticed that there’s a pattern – every person will shift the blame to another person, so this leads her to a number of people in the hospital.
With the pace, I’m intrigued to see how the plot will hold. I mean, in the first episode, she already took care of 2 people (one of whom I thought will last longer than an episode – yes, Date Sensei), but the screenwriter slapped me right there and then when they wrote her off at the end of it. She’s no longer featured in Ep2 as her character was forced to resign.
In this 2nd episode, Asumi targeted yet another person, Chihara sensei. In 2 episodes alone, 3 people were destroyed. God knows whether they’ll surface in the later episodes. So my question is – how many characters exactly were involved in her father’s case? With this kind of pace, by Ep5, I’m afraid it’d be over already lol…
but fear not…I suppose the screenwriters must have some kind of plot for the rest of this show.
As usual, we get an insight of Chihara’s habit. He’s a doctor focused on research and doesn’t care about the patients. In operating rooms, he usually just cuts the patient and leaves the rest to his assistants. Asumi noticed this and upon more observation, she realized he’s keeping a secret. He has some eye disorder and that makes him incapable of holding a scalpel, let alone, operate on someone.
We also see Asumi getting closer to Bandai’s son. He apparently also likes her for not making a fuss about his identity as the Professor’s son.
At the same time, Asumi’s actions are at a risk of being exposed when Nishikado suspects her. He has since then been trying to approach Asumi, advising her not to go any further, but to no avail.
I absolutely love all the scenes between Asumi and Nishikado. Ueno Juri and Joe Odagiri have so much screen chemistry! It’d never crossed my mind to have both appear on-screen together.
There are just so much tension going on between the two – Nishikado’s regret for not being on Asumi’s side 15 years ago and Asumi’s wall of deep hatred that Nishikado’s trying to break through.
There’s a good balance at least with some slice of life moments when Asumi returns home. Her daily interaction with her step-dad brings a breath of fresh air every once in a while especially when there’s so much tension.
Her next target will be the lawyer, we’ll see how this goes. Will Nishikado be able to stop her before she actually kills someone?
Bandai’s competitor, Arima has taken interest in Asumi. I think he’ll cooperate with her in the future to get rid of all those useless doctors under Bandai. This will of course be in favor of Asumi’s revenge.
Another thing I really have to give Ueno Juri props is her mad face glare!!! Her expression and subtle changes are amazing.
Actually, this kind of worries me a little. You know how there are some actors who lives the character just to get into the role in a more realistic way? They start living and thinking like the character they’re playing. I wonder if she uses the same style? We’ll never know but you have to watch Nodame Cantabile and then perhaps, Last Friends, you can skip Sunao ni Narenakute (even with Eita, the plot was just a disappointment). And then you watch this and realize the tremendous changes.
I’ve always been confident that she’s a great actress. Perhaps, not as amazing as Hikari Mitsushima who is at the top of my list. But given the right role and plot, I’m sure she can do it. I just hope the plot doesn’t falter and head for a strong end with good ratings.
NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW
Will she move towards the lawyer and how will she take revenge?