**I haven’t found a proper RAW for this so pls don’t mind the lower quality screencaps for now.
You’re probably like this if you’re a TRICK + SPEC + ATARU fan.
A show that doesn’t necessarily take itself seriously and may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
The synopsis itself sounds odd and I was absolutely puzzled when they first introduced this. Hence, I don’t really know what to expect. Synopsis goes… “Three people embark on a journey to find a mysterious geisha, Miyabi. Along the way, they encounter cases and the main character has a special ability to taste anything with his God tongue, which proves useful in solving them.”
It’s a character-driven mystery/comedy drama more than anything in my opinion. Seems like it’s going to be episodic as well with different side characters and cases. But the core is the three characters, who drive the show. I’m not putting much hope on the cases. So far, as an introductory episode, the pilot is quite enjoyable but nothing spectacular. We know Ranmaru’s (Mukai Osamu) background and why he’s so obsessed with Miyabi.
However, information is still scarce on Hikaru (Kimura Fumino) and especially Miyazawa’s (Sato Jiro) backgrounds which I hope they’ll explore in upcoming episodes. For example, how did they come together on this journey? What’s in it for them? For now, we only know Hikaru is obviously the most talkative, over-confident suspense mania, quick to jump into conclusions (when solving cases) and hopelessly in love/kataomoi with Ranmaru.
Miyazawa is the most sensible, he talks a lot too but only because he acts as the mediator and prevents both Ranmaru and Hikaru from doing stupid things. He’s protective towards Ranmaru and acts like a brother to him.
Ranmaru, Hikaru and Miyazawa are riding in an old van, searching for the next onsen and hints for Miyabi’s whereabouts. Ranmaru is determined to find Miyabi because apparently, she’s the only woman, whose kiss, doesn’t disgust Ranmaru. Remember he can taste things in molecular level with his tongue.
When he kisses other women, it turns him off immediately and even Hikaru’s kiss is said to taste like a bug (LOL).
When Hikaru sees signs promoting loquats (Japanese plums), she suggests they stop by for free tasting (since they’re kinda broke). Miyazawa points out they’re out of gas and when Ranmaru wakes up, he can sense there’s an onsen nearby. Arriving at the onsen, Ranmaru spotted another van leaving, with a glimpse of a traditional instrument, resembling the mysterious geisha, Miyabi’s, so Miyazawa and him go after it but run out of gas eventually.
In order to find out more about Miyabi, who happens to work at the onsen before she leaves, Miyazawa suggests they stay a night (for free) in exchange for Ranmaru’s special ability as well as his skills in the onsen (massaging?). The onsen owner remains reluctant.
Almost immediately, news break out that a body has been found near the river. So they rush over and Hikaru, being the most chatty and outspoken one, is quick to offer her assistance as a suspense mania. She quickly surmises that the man has been murdered and that the murderer is among the protestors.
However, this very remark causes all three of them seem extremely suspicious (as they’re basically newcomers arriving at the same time when a body is found) and the cops decide to detain them for further questioning.
The onsen owner then offers them to stay overnight. So that gives some time for Ranmaru and his gang (even though they don’t seem that concerned with the fact that they have just been suspected for murder, god knows why). Ranmaru happens to figure out the truth behind the case when he tastes the onsen water. After putting all the clues together, Ranmaru finds the real murderer and motive (which I’m not going to spoil). Case is closed and they’re off again on the road to search for Miyabi.
The comedy is actually quite entertaining throughout, largely thanks to the dynamic between Sato Jiro + Kimura Fumino. Both of their characters, Kanji Miyazawa and Hikaru Kamekanbo are like day and night but this comedy duo will feel something’s missing if one is not around. Their constant exchange filled with sarcasm and cynical remarks really lighten the mood up, making me laugh quite a bit, from start to finish.
Sato Jiro is brilliant as the straight-faced babysitter for Ranmaru and showing a not-so-obvious affection towards Hikaru. Poor guy’s trying to console her with a hug, only to be deemed disgusting and shoved away. Fumino’s character can be irritating at times. It’s a mix of hilarity and annoyance. It’s gonna take some time for me to adjust to her role here. The twin ponytails is a bonus since I’ve never seen her in one before.
As for Mukai, his portrayal of Ranmaru is good for the most part. His glasses is cute making him quite an attractive nerd lol It’s just for some reason, I still feel his character is lacking something, especially when he shares the screen with both Miyazawa and Hikaru. They seem to overshadow him, doesn’t help since he’s also pretty quiet and the other two are more talkative. So at times, you even forget he’s around, you know what I mean, like an absent character because Ranmaru’s the type who doesn’t want to stand out. Except when he gets to present his theory and that’s probably where he shines most.
Onsen trips mean we get to see countryside and actual locations, not studio settings. Thanks to that, we’re introduced to various onsens (I hope!) and the particular location’s attractions, which is already apparent in the first episode.
THE NOT SO GOOD
When comedy is mixed with mysteries, you don’t get the sense of urgency or thrill from it. Suspense is lacking for the most part and being a huge mystery/thriller fan, I crave for these things to fuel my interest. I’m usually not very keen with supernatural abilities + mystery type of shows. I belong to the old school camp where cops do questionings, interrogations, finding clues, forensics, basically the whole procedural thing. Since none of the three characters are cops, I’ll have to make do with Ranmaru’s God tongue to save the day. However, if you’re the type who doesn’t want heavy/dark mystery drama, then give this a try.
Overacting characters take some of the fun away. The local police and some villagers are too loud with excessive overacting. Let’s hope this doesn’t continue because I have low tolerance for these types of characters (unless it’s like Kuroki Haru’s in Juhan Shuttai, now that’s different). Also part of the reason why I need more time to get used to Fumino’s character. Luckily, she doesn’t shout every single time like the other local police. Her scenes can sometimes be funny instead of downright annoying.
Things I didn’t expect:
I’m not as disgusted as I thought I would be with Mukai sticking his tongue out everytime to taste stuffs. I actually laughed at him licking the tatami mat at one point XD
Sato Jiro is the gem in the pilot. Not sure whether this will change but so far, I find his role the most entertaining. He’s like the sensible part of our subconscious brain that blurts honest thoughts which makes for many hilarious scenes. I also didn’t expect his dynamic with Fumino to be this fun too. Their retorts to each other is one of the highlights.
Onsen means you’ll expect some onsen scenes right? I just didn’t expect them to make them so eroi. It’s like a fanservice, the kind you see in anime, literally, with the sound effects too. I’m not sure whether I’m comfy with that lol
Verdict: Continue watching for the characters and laughs.