Shitamachi Rocket ep1 [first impression]

First episode is SO GOOD.

If you like Hanzawa Naoki or maybe Roosevelt Game, then this is right up your alley. It’s similar to Hanzawa Naoki without over-reacting characters. I think one of the reasons why some people didn’t like Hanzawa Naoki is because of the excessive overreacting in the show which I think is true but that aside, Hanzawa definitely deserved the high ratings it got. Still waiting for Season 2 to be honest and I need Masato Sakai to reprise his role.

Shitamachi Rocket ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_01.26.02_[2015.11.01_23.54.06]

I’m aware that there was a previous WOWOW production of this show, which I haven’t got the chance to watch. Maybe in the near future, if I can get my hands on it. While I think most WOWOW production shouldn’t disappoint, this TBS remake is quite impressive too imo. I finally have the time to sit down for the 1hr 30 mins pilot and some scenes just sent chills down my spine as well as almost making me shed tears as I shared frustration, anger and disappointment with Abe Hiroshi’s character.

Shitamachi Rocket ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_01.18.53_[2015.11.01_23.16.46]

I don’t have the time to recap in detail but give the first episode a try if you like serious dramas like Hanzawa Naoki that deals with the harsh environment of keeping companies alive mixed with passion for technology.

Abe Hiroshi is perfectly cast for this drama. His character, Tsukuda Kohei is seen taking the responsibility for a rocket launch failure in the beginning of the drama and later on resigns. He then takes over his father’s manufacturing company but is struggling to stay afloat. Despite how dire the state is, he still believes in the benefits of R&D and refuses to close that section down which is using most of their money.

Things get tougher when his company is sued by another bigger company for patent infringement. The said company, Nakashima is obviously copying their technology and knows how to manipulate small companies like Tsukuda’s. Their real intention is to push them into a corner and force them to agree to an acquisition.

So Tsukuda needs to find 300 million yen in 3 week’s time if they don’t want to let Nakashima take over their company. He then makes the hard decision to close down the R&D department.

This scene is just…I mean, a company President kneeling down to apologize to a worker T_T

Shitamachi Rocket ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_01.06.09_[2015.11.01_23.19.57]Shitamachi Rocket ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_01.06.18_[2015.11.01_23.20.09]

The speech he gives at the end in front of his 200 employees is inspiring and so moving.

Shitamachi Rocket ep01 (848x480 x264).mp4_snapshot_01.30.31_[2015.11.02_00.20.20]

Why this drama works for me:
1. Main lead is the kind you want to support and the casting is great too because I can’t find fault with Abe Hiroshi.

  1. Not as much overacting as Hanzawa Naoki. Business-like and no-nonsense kind of environment.
  2. Inspiring moments are delivered well. The counter-attack during desperate moments is also very interesting and unnerving.

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