My internet chingu Mookie truly put it down best in her latest post.
When a dorama is in its distilled, minimalistic finest, it needs none of the tired trope filling delectable space where the characters live, feel and breathe. These characters are all charming simply because they are allowed to be human beings with their quirks and unique shortcomings and ordinary strengths. Charm is not quantified solely by how attractive it is romantically to the opposite sex, here it is fondness soul stirring between human beings nodding to a collective passion towards something as ‘trivial’ as manga publishing.
That there truly is the essence of a well made jdarama and the main reason I have so many I go back to every once in a while. Well, the length does help too. It’s way easier to re-watch ten 45min epis than a full length kdrama or tw-/c-drama.
Juhan Shuttai has been my happy pill this week. It’s a perfect drama to boost up your spirit and to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling only a lovely, heartwarming story can. 🙂 I started reading good things about Juhan Shuttai pretty soon after the first fiew epis had aired but lack of time prevented me from picking it up right then. Just as well, as it’s sort of perfect for a semi-marathon. I know there are quite a fiew people who are allergic to work place dramas but when done right the stories can be pretty engeaging. Especially if it’s about a bunch of people passonate about something they believe in. That sort of sentiment is kind of contagious.
Veteran actors in any country are the backbone of shows, imho and I love it when they are given more to do than just providing a background for the leads. Jdramas are generally quite good at this, so they tend to have older actors in prominent, supporting roles. I also think it’s pretty common to have only one, ‘real’ lead character, which is the case also with Juhan Shuttai. Unless it’s a romantic drama, jdramas don’t usually rely on romance to bring in the viewers, which leaves them room to tackle other topics. I don’t read manga, never have but I found the plot quite interesting. It’s a nice peek into the world of manga publishing and all the various people that are part of it – the editors, sales and marketing personel, bookshop employees and the mangakas themselves. Each episode has a theme centered around one or two of the characters and I loved how just about everyone got their spot in the limelight.
Haru Kuroki is adorable as the former judoka turned noob manga editor! I’ve liked her in everything I’ve seen her in so far. She may not be pretty in a conventional (plastic) way but I always find her really winning in her roles. Odagiri Joe’s roles on the other hand don’t always appeal to me, but he is sort of perfect here as the warm and smexy (how’s that mix even possible?^^) mentor. I really liked what Nagayama Kento (Eita’s younger brother btw) was doing as well. Haku could have easily been quite unlikeable but Kento got the nuances just right. The cast as a whole is great, even the bit parts are manned with people who bring something unique to the characters they play.
I was meaning to take just a fiew screen grabs but somehow I ended up with enough for a gallery, LOL!