drama: Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (final)

Let’s save the reveal after dinner.

Or rather… dinner is finally over.

Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de is a breezy, enjoyable ride. That is if you’re not looking for anything meaningful, not even the killers, murderers or whatever characters that make an appearance through the 10 episodes of this drama. Because after all, the butler Kageyama will always be there to solve the mystery so we can all just sit back like a princess ala his mistress, Reiko, without having to suffer from Kageyama’s sharp tongue that is.

I am an Arashi fan but I don’t religiously watch their dramas. Only when something interests me or I have time in my hands. I am surprised myself that I watched Sho-kun’s drama till the end when I dropped my ichiban Matsujun’s Natsu no Niji halfway through.

Nazotoki wa Dinner is based on a famous mystery novel in Japan. Every episode has Reiko, an heiress who works as a detective by day (only happens in dramas of course), solving cases with the help of her butler Kageyama who likes his teatime.

Up to the end, nothing much is shown about Kageyama’s backstory. There are snippets here and there but they don’t really give you a clear picture about his background. In fact, even the Reiko character seems a mystery except for the fact that she is an heiress and we don’t see her parents, except her dad on the last episode, which was kind of a pointless appearance.

I suppose the backstories of Kageyama and Reiko are not as important compared to the stories behind the mysteries they have to solve. And obviously, the mysteries are suited for armchair detectives. This ain’t CSI. This is Japan’s version of an idol drama.

But it’s Shiina Kippei, who plays the chief detective who also comes from a wealthy (although nouveau riche who Reiko treats with disdain), who steals the show. His portrayal of an heir drowning in his own conceit and idiocy is so hilarious. Thanks to him, the drama does not become annoyingly predictable.

The final episode is set on Christmas so it ends with this scene with the ominous “see you soon”, whatever that means. (No, not a movie version please. I like Sho-kun and Kitagawa Keiko but a new material for a film would be perfect.)

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