Rakuen ep5-6 finale [review]

You can get subtitles here.

I’ll start with non-spoiler review and move on to the spoiler one but I’ll put up a WARNING so you can safely read the first part.

NON-SPOILER REVIEW

If you like crime/mystery, give this a try. This show does need a little patience as it may be slow for some. Personally, I think it’d have been better paced if they made it a 5-episode drama instead of 6. Bear in mind that this is not a police drama. Instead you have an investigative journalist struggling with a past case gone awry who starts digging around a new case after the death of a child. On the surface, there are two ongoing cases and audience will be wondering whether both of them are connected or not. You’ll be in for further surprises especially in the finale. Accompanied with some provoking scenes (attempted rape, beating) there’s no space for any humor at all, in fact, I’d say it’s very grim throughout. I thought the scenes with that young girl was very well done in particular due to its disturbing atmosphere. The cast are great and though Nakama Yukie is the main here (needless to say, she shines) I’m more captivated by Kobayashi Kaoru whose every move and facial expression is so magnetic, I truly felt for his character from beginning to end.

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As for the case itself, it’s not plothole free. I found myself questioning several actions and scenes throughout the show, hence, do not expect a perfect crime show. For example, the neighbors not calling the cops despite hearing screams originating from a known ex-convict’s house is terribly questionable. Bottom line is the show is watchable, can be quite slow but utterly tense at times, great acting, good cinematography (love those vibrant night scenes!) but not without its flaws.

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Rakuen ep2-4 [review]

You can get subtitles here.

Like many staple WOWOW dramas, Rakuen caters to crime suspense lovers. The drama features Nakama Yukie, Shigeko Maehata, who works as an investigative journalist. The pilot starts with a shocking revelation when a couple admitted that they murdered their daughter and buried her underneath their house after a fire broke out. That had kept me going because besides being intrigued by how the two seemingly unrelated simultaneous cases have in common, I also want to see the process of Shigeko’s investigative work. Investigative journalists as depicted in this show seem to get a lot of flak for being nosy and ruining people’s lives. For Shigeko, a wrong report regarding an old case caused a young woman to commit suicide. That has haunted her ever since and we see her struggle to come to terms with that.

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First Impressions – Winter 2017 Dramas

HAPPY belated NEW YEAR!!!

I didn’t whip up a Best of 2016 partly because I’m lazy (if you’ve read my Best of 2015, you’d know how much time I spent on that lmao) and also cos I don’t think I’ve watched enough to really judge or be thorough. So I’ll leave that behind and since it’s New Year, it means Winter 2017 drama season has started. There are still a few not aired yet, so I’ll just keep this brief for what I’ve watched so far.

Not in particular ranking/order:

Rakuen
(WOWOW – Nakama Yukie, Kobayashi Kaoru, Kaho)

One of the earliest dramas to air this season and also one of the best so far. I’ve only watched 1st episode to be honest but I’m sold by the end of the pilot. I thought the buildup is a bit slow but just stay with it because the end will definitely make you drop your jaw (or at least I did for a bit). I wouldn’t expect any less from WOWOW anyway and this already looks like a MUST WATCH of the season.

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First impression: Grim, grim, grim. It’s bleak and dark with a tinge of supernatural. It also has a strong cast and I especially like seeing Nakama Yukie, Kobayashi Kaoru and Kaho. Even the brief scene with Ito Sairi is great. Good news is it’s already being subbed. Give it a shot if you like mystery suspense!

Grab the subtitle here and thanks to natka!

More first impressions after the break!

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