drama: Butler Sho & Heiress Keiko

I don’t really watch individual dramas of Arashi members except my ichiban MatsuJun. I watched the last part of Riida’s Kaibutsu-kun because Matsujun was a guest and I’m quite curious about Sho-kun’s Quiz Show but I never got around to watching it.

So Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato De is the first non-Matsujun Arashi drama I am watching. I prefer calling it The After-Dinner Mysteries though because the Nihongo one is quite a mouthful.

Since I haven’t seen Sho-kun’s previous dramas except those with Arashi, I can’t really compare his performance. In this drama though, I wish he’d have more character as the butler, especially when he tells off his ojou-sama: “Milady, are you daft?” or “Milady, are you blind?” His delivery just lacks… chutzpah. I wish he’d inject more life into Kegayama.

The role of heiress who is a fledgling detective by day suits Kitagawa Keiko. I’ve always liked her and it’s no surprise that she’s the toast of Japan’s entertainment industry now with films and dramas. She’s pretty and lights up the screen. There’s no difference though between her acting here and in Tsuki no Koibito.

I’m amused though to hear this familiar line from episode 2:

“If apologies solved anything, we wouldn’t need the police.”

That’s one of the famous lines of Domyoiji-sama in Hana Yori Dango. I guess it’s a favorite line of the young upper class in Japanese mangas and dramas then?

What makes the drama far from boring is Kazamatsuri Kyoichiro, Hosho ojou-sama’s boss, who is a nouveau riche heir of an automaker company.  His baka-ness is not in Domyouji-level but he’s kind of hilarious just the same. At least he is more interesting than the butler.

I trust that Sho-kun’s character will be given more to do in the coming episodes. I know he’s a butler and it’s part of his job to select the wine for dinner, pour it for his young mistress and attend to her every need, but please, breathe more life into it. And yes, I like Sho-kun, I really do, in the same way I like all Arashi members.

The soundtrack is Sherlock Holmes-ish but the manga touch of some of the scenes is interesting. I just hope they also put more life into the soundtrack. Thank goodness there’s the usual sound of the crow’s cry–that’s like a fixture in Japanese dramas–to break the monotony sometimes.

Side note: There’s mention of the Pavlovian reflex in episode 2 and it brings to mind one of my psychology experiments back in university. Our professor wanted us to conduct a Pavlovian experiment and I chose a goldfish and conditioned it that whenever there is a flash of light (serving as the stimulus) on top of the fish bowl, it signals that food is about to follow. Eventually, whenever the light was flashed, the fish would start to exhibit excited behavior by swimming to the surface and occasionally jumping above the water (which it did when I did my presentation in front of the class). I got high marks for that experiment and episode 2 of The After-Dinner Mysteries just brought that back to mind.

The things we learn from dramas. Who says they’re a waste of time?

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