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Jodan Janai! Eps 1-11 (complete) July 14, 2007

Posted by ayasawada in Drama, TV.
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In short: Dorama based on a contrived plot? 冗談じゃないよ!

Thoughts: So, there’s this guy. He falls for a girl 20 years his junior. They get married, but it turns out she’s the daughter of his ex-girlfriend who mysteriously vanished years ago. Sounds like gimmicky rubbish? Don’t judge a dorama by its concept. Jodan Janai is actually a nice little comedy. Full of contrived plot and character gimmicks yes, but funny, entertaining and sweet all the same.

(Warning: some spoilers ahead)

Admittedly I started watching this for one reason only: Ueno Juri. But as much as I adore her, she turned out to be less of a draw than I expected. Her character, Eren, was one of the plainest in the cast, at the level of Mai, the Belle Famille waitresses and Hirose-papa. But maybe that’s because the others were cartoons. Eren is, however, a little annoying. She is frightfully selfish and spoilt for most of the series, and Juri-san really isn’t given much to do besides pout (though that’s no bad thing ^^).

The real stars for me were… well, almost everyone else. Oda Yuji was really, really good in the main role. The epitome of an intelligent man led to well-meaning idiocy through exasperation. I heard that this was his first comedy acting role. 冗談じゃない! He’s too good at this! I was also surprised to develop a soft spot for Rie, thanks largely to Ohtake Shinobu‘s playful performance. I liked most of the support characters too, like the Hirose daughters, but a mention has to go to Arai Kentaro as Akira. Child acting’s rarely great, but for some reason I found the bratty Akira really funny.

Story-wise it was okay. I thought it started off strong with Keita’s unfortunate situation, but the mooted Rie-Keita-Eren love triangle never really emerged. As much as they tried to insinuate, it was always going to be ErenXKeita, and maybe that was a missed opportunity for drama. The side plot about Keita’s career situation was also kind of lost in the relationship antics. I can’t decide whether I’m satisfied or not with the resolution to this. On the one hand, it’s kind of nice that Keita came to enjoy the service industry. On the other hand, as a science graduate I have to think, what the heck?! Restaurant manager over researcher?

Living in the UK, I don’t really get the Japanese Francophilia. So all the stuff about French-speaking Japanese, French proverbs and wineries were met with a ‘meh’ from me. The constant jetting of the Hirose family between France and Japan was also something you just had to ignore. I’m guessing carbon footprint means nothing to these people.

But these little imperfections that I enjoy in these ridiculous comedic doramas, and I like this one. 冗談じゃない?冗談じゃない。

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Comments»

1. Zettai Kareshi Ep 1-11 (complete) « Canned Memory - February 17, 2009

[…] Then again, this is a pretty commercially-oriented country we are talking about (and one which, in Joudan Janai, had a promising scientist instead become a bloody restaurant manager!). /end rant on scientists […]


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