Hanasaki Mai ga Damattenai ep 1-3 [impressions]


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I thought I’ll just post a brief impression on Hanasaki Mai ga Damattenai which is written by the same author as Hanzawa Naoki. As you all know, Hanzawa Naoki is one of the highest rating and mega-hit drama last year. When I read that this Hanasaki is referred to as the ‘woman version’ of Hanzawa Naoki, I was curious. All the more when the pilot’s rating reached 17. % which was very high compared to the other shows.

Hanasaki Mai ga Damatte Inai ep03 (848x480 x264).mkv_snapshot_10.18_[2014.05.12_11.28.15]

I was expecting all the tension, suspense and maybe even, over-acting but none of that was present. In fact, this is a more ‘calm’ and ‘composed’ version of Hanzawa? While there was barely any comic relief at all in Hanzawa, this is sprinkled with comedy once in a while throughout each episode, hence making it less heavy and dramatic.

Hanasaki Mai ga Damatte Inai ep03 (848x480 x264).mkv_snapshot_07.40_[2014.05.12_11.32.04]

Since my expectation soared a bit higher than I intended it too largely due to the high ratings it consistently achieved up till now, I have to say, I’m quite disappointed by the show. I was hoping for something special but nothing seems to grab my attention yet. If anything, it’s a mediocre show and follows a certain same pattern. Each episode will pose a case for both Hanasaki and her boss to solve.

As for the characters, Hanasaki is an efficient ex-cashier and loved her job very much. She is then transferred to the Assisting department where they will advise and help resolve any issues the branches have. Well, the interaction between her and the boss is quite fun to watch, the bickering and disagreements. I actually enjoy that more than when Hanasaki solves the cases in her own stubborn manner.

Hanasaki Mai ga Damatte Inai ep03 (848x480 x264).mkv_snapshot_16.35_[2014.05.12_11.30.01]

As Hanasaki, I think so far, Anne Watanabe does a good job, at least, she manages to portray a normal hard-working ex-cashier who has a strong sense of work morale and justice. But as for how challenging the role is, I have yet to be convinced. The cases are all quite predictable and by far, I thought ep 2 was kinda boring. I hope they pick up in later parts of the show.

Ratings:

First episode -17.2%

Second episode – 14.7%

Third episode – 15.4%

For now, it’s not a must-watch drama but if you’re interested in banks and curious because this is written by the same author as Hanzawa Naoki, then you should try it. Otherwise, it’s nothing like Hanzawa and I don’t think we’ll miss anything for not watching. To be honest, I’m baffled with the high ratings. I really don’t think this is anything special or exciting. Sometimes, I just don’t get what the Japanese viewers want or like. Or perhaps, they’re just interested because it is based on the novel by Hanzawa’s author.

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5 thoughts on “Hanasaki Mai ga Damattenai ep 1-3 [impressions]

  1. I must say that I’m also puzzled by the high rating that this show receives. I’ve watched until episode 5 so far, and it’s full of clichés, villains are really caricatured, and there is some underlying sexism and loads of overacting. The fact that the main character is always longing for her cashier job which is presented as a “feminine task” is also disturbing. I used to work in a bank, and I can tell that cashier is not really a rewarding job. Moreover, at least in Western countries, cashier is not an “exclusive female duty”. There are a lot of young men working as cashier. But everybody (male and female) is looking forward to getting a better/more interesting job, unlike in this drama…
    And as you said, each episode is soooo highly predictable… :/
    Meanwhile there are good shows around that receive very low rating. I don’t understand the viewership, to be honest. :/

  2. I actually dropped this already after ep5. I just don’t find it as appealing and the plot are predictable so it doesn’t really interest me. I don’t know why the Japanese seem to love this show though. They probably like female protagonist especially in a men’s world as portrayed and also the fact that this drama was from the same writer as Hanzawa. I just feel this drama is overrated.

    We’ll never know exactly what the viewers like sadly. We’ll see how this season ends. I suppose Hanasaki will top followed by Roosevelt Game which I feel has potential but I’ve yet to really watch it. But for now, it’s definitely Alice no Toge for me.

  3. I saw the ratings and am still hoping that Hanasaki will fall heavily…

    I haven’t tried to watch Roosevelt Game. I just saw the word “baseball team” and thought immediately that it wouldn’t be my cup of tea. Maybe I should give it a try.

    My very favorite drama this season is definitively BORDER, followed by Alice no Toge. 🙂

  4. I’ll never understand what the Japanese viewers like or hate lol…yea, as much as I hope the other dramas get the ratings they deserve, I think Hamasaki will continue to maintain its high rating. It’s overrated imo.

    Roosevelt Game also shared the same author as Hanzawa and Hamasaki, I’m thinking whether that might have caused the high ratings. But I feel Roosevelt Game is more similar to Hanzawa. I’m just up to ep3 and it’s okay I guess. I just didn’t feel the urge to watch it. but you may give it a try ^^

    My fav is definitely Alice no Toge followed by BORDER and MOZU.

  5. Yes, I guess that the fact that they share the same writer than Hanzawa may explain the ratings. I also think than Hanasaki is overrated.

    I may give Roosevelt Game a try, then. I’ll see when I’ll have more time.

    As for Mozu, I watched the 1st episode but didn’t like it that much, so I dropped it. And as it’s competing with BORDER, I’ll support BORDER blindly. 😉

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