Freitag, 14. April 2017

Tiger & Dragon

タイガー&ドラゴン (Tiger & Dragon) is a Japanese drama series that aired on TBS from April 15th to June 24th 2005 and consists of 11 episodes. It also has a special episode that was aired on January 9th 2005.

Story: The story evolves around two different worlds, yakuza and rakugo, that become combined and entangled through family and friendship in this drama. Toraji Yamazaki is a yakuza and belongs to the Ryuseikai Shinjuku but dreams of becoming a rakugo story teller while Ryuji Yanaka is the son of a rakugo master and a fashion designer with a quite unique taste in fashion who quit rakugo a long time ago even though he has talent. As they both face difficulties and meet various people their bond of 'Tiger and Dragon' keeps intact most of the time.

Cast: In the very first place the acting in this drama was not supposed to be taken serious since it is a comedy so I can't say much about how well/realistic the actors can do their job. Tomoya Nagase as Tora was a character in this drama that I personally wanted to fulfill his dream. The acting made him literally seem like a tiger occasionally but that was one of the main points of the drama.
Junichi Okada as Ryuji was somehow a pitiful character I seriously couldn't get myself to like. The character was written a little bit too.. much from time to time. I remember scenes in which it just had me shaking my head.
Misaki Ito as Megumi certainly did have her part in this but her character was also some cliché kind of female. Pretty but not the smartest. I think she acted well in her part.
Toshiyuki Nishida as Shokichi Yanaka or Hayashiyatei Donbei (note that I left this order because turning the last name and given name around would sound weird in the case of such a long last name I think) was a fatherly figure that also did kinda well in his role. Takashi Tsukamoto as Ginjiro Nakatani is the clueless son of the leader of the Ryuseikai Shinjuku. As a character he was very likeable in his clumsy way at first and improved a lot, the acting also showed his change in character well in the end.
Other actors in this drama include Yu Aoi as Risa, Tsubaki Nekoze as Tsuruko Yanaka, Sadao Abe as Ryuhei Yanaka/Donta, Yosuke Asari as Susumu Murata/Udon, Gen Hoshino as Dontsuku and Yoshiyoshi Arakawa as Jumptei Jump.

Soundtrack: The opening song "Tiger & Dragon" was recorded by Crazy Ken Band. While I personally still don't really like the song I think the vocalist has a kind of voice that suits the song well.
The ending was "UTAO-UTAO" by V6. Personally I do like this song a lot more than the opening and I would occasionally listen to it just for fun, too, I think.

This drama gave me a hard time thinking about the rating. While I did like it somehow and didn't have a hard time finishing it - it failed as a comedy for me. Hence I rated it as 6/10 because it honestly didn't even make me laugh once. It wasn't bad though and as a kind of satirical drama about family, yakuza and friendship it would most likely get a better rating. However, if you want to watch it don't hesitate to do so. I think even though this drama might not be a comedy everyone likes there are aspects others might find interesting except for the jokes.

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