Posted in Drama Series, Review

[Drama] Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (NazoDi)

I find it hard to rate an episodic drama series, which seems to be the commonly used pattern in J-doramas. Especially in police-crime/detective dramas, which also happens to be the prevailing genre in J-doramas. Or so I believe since there are so many of them produced every year, or counting how many of them I’ve watched in recent years.

Plus, they rarely take it too seriously as they often opt to be more comedic. There will always be a character or two who’s being baka, boke, airheaded, or peculiar enough to thaw the tone of supposedly dark serious series. Well, handling murder case after case cannot really be light, can it?

That being said, this drama is no different. You still get to see regular crime scenes and police personnel clumping the area hoarding up data, probing for clues, and falconing evidences and alibis. And casual doses of imbecility and flummoxing deduces as the team isn’t really made up of credible personas. Sometimes I do wonder what makes them qualified for their respective position with such poor braincells to put two and two together.

So, NazoDi sets in yet another police department solving cases, headed by a pinhead Inspector, Kazamatsuri (Shiina Kippei). Below him is a heedless police officer, Housho Reiko (Kitagawa Keiko). That’s her dayjob despite being an Ojousama. Having a stalled case, she asks her butler Kageyama (Sakurai Sho) for help, who happens to possess a more polished case-solving skills than she does. But he refuses to chip in his two cents on a particular case before his Lady finishes her dinner -– thus the title.

There’s nothing special in the cases or the deductions as we viewers can never make a correct hypothesis on our own. What’s interesting is that Kageyama manages to solve a case just by listening to information collected and provided by his Lady. Or how NazoDi presents Kageyama’s explanation in a way that third parties seem to witness past events which lead to an epiphany.

But what really attracts me is how this professional interaction moves into a more personal space. The epilogue is always intriguing with Kageyama verbalizing advices which shall not be forgotten by his Lady. DoS Butler vs. flippant Lady who is so slow on the uptake. [Somewhat spoilerish] I’m not complaining that the near, indirect, ambagious ‘confession’ (Eeee!!) is brought in early since I thought it’d take time to develop, but… it gets nowhere eventually. Gee… My heart went doki-doki for her everytime and what did I get in the end…? Sigh.

Back to the beginning, the downside of an episodic series is each episode stands on its own so that we could skip interposing episodes and still manage to follow the drama cushily. (Eh, then maybe it’s a good thing). Character development is nearly nonexistent so what you bring home at the end of the day hinges on own interpretation. For me, it corroborates my weariness on (comedic) police/detective dramas. I’ve had enough for now.

Another thing is that I think I’ve seen enough of Sho’s performances to conclude that acting is not his cup of tea. I don’t know what happens but his acting front was better during his younger days (V no Arashi, Life is Hard…, or even Honey and Clover). Whereas his more recent works didn’t live up to expectations. And I’m referring to a lot: Kiiroi Namida, Quiz Show 2, Yamada Taro, Saigo no Yakusoku, Tokujo Kabachi, Yatterman, Kobe Shimbun, and now this. He wasn’t that bad in some of them, but his stiffness was apparent; it feels that he’s trying too hard… and fail. Anyway, just my two cents *grin*.

Rating: 2.5/5
Production: 2011
Cast: Sakurai Sho, Kitagawa Keiko, Shiina Kippei
Genre: J-Dorama, Comedy, Police-detective drama (10 Episodes)



I blog sometimes, gush ofttimes, snark all the time.

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