I’ve always been a fan of Japanese deka dramas so MONSTERS is definitely on my list (not the top one since that slot belongs to Aibu). I have high expectations from this one since the synopsis seems interesting enough; moreover, the pairing of Shingo Katori and Yamashita Tomohisa have caught my attention since I saw their MONSTERS live performance (plus I like the way they pronounced “monster”).
Episode 1 SUMMARY
It’s Saionji Kousuke (Yamapi) first day at work at Metropolitan Police District Crime Division 1. Eager to start being a detective, Saionji walked into the division chief’s office full of enthusiasm. There Saionji meets Hiratsuka Heihachi (Shingo Katori), who looks the typical police chief, until Hiratsuka greeted him with a huge grin and even offered him his favorite Havana cigars. However, being a rookie makes Saionji an easy target and soon he finds-out that the cigar he is smoking does not belong to Hiratsuka but to the “real” Division chief. After that, Saionji learned from another detective named Kaneda Hajime that his main job for the division is to “look-out” for Hiratsuka and makes sure that he does not gets into trouble. After that, Saionji finds himself thrusts into his first case-murder, and being Hiratsuka’s partner means that he has to endure his not-so-typical way of making investigations…
The plot is interesting enough, albeit the typical responsible senior meets scatter brain junior, or in their case, an eccentric-all-knowing-double-faced-bully-senior vs good-looking-rich-but-clueless-and-easily-fooled-rookie. It’s cute though most of it were touche. Nevertheless, Hiratsuka and Saionji were refreshing to look-at. I’m not sure if doing the deka drama with a touch of comedy was a wise choice. Yamapi’s 1st forray in comedy seem like a bad choice as he came-off as forcing himself to be funny and most of his punchlines turned-out flat. However, Yamapi’s take on comedy was annoying at first, but he gets adorable as the drama progresses. It’s a simple, “you’ll get used to it” effect. After all, he is Yamapi, with a face like his, he could get away with anything.
Shingo as Hiratsuka could be equally annoying, but he’s too smart to be ignored. In short, despite his oh-so-fake grin and empty-hearted apologies, you can’t help but be impressed with how Hiratsuka’s mind works. Up to the end of the episode, Hiratsuka’s character left a huge questions, what made him like THAT?
As with any deka dramas, it won’t be that interesting if they feed the audience cases that could equal to Scooby-Doo (not that Scooby-doo was awful). The murder case for the 1st episode was not that mind-boggling nor impressive, but were “meaty” enough for a detective drama. Finding or knowing the murderer’s identity was a yawner; nevertheless, the process that lead to conclusion was interesting but not heart-thumping or gave me a “eureka” moment. However, the motive for killing in episode 1 was like…”DUH?!You killed someone for that?” I just hope that the case for episode 2 would be more interesting and more thrilling than the 1st one.
BTW, the other detective that goes with the name of “Kindame Hajime”, I swear, he is ALWAYS casted as a member of the police force. He is almost in every deka dramas that I’ve seen like his looks was fitted for those types of roles.
Why does the Div 1 Chief wants Saionji to watch-over Hiratsuka? What has he done for his office to be transferred outside the fire-exit? It is still not clear on the 1st episode, but one thing is for sure, Hiratsuka is a handful for a rookie like Saionji to handle. Aside from that, the love story between Saionji and Emi-chan is too cute to pass-up. I particularly like the time when Yamapi smiled after receiving a text from Emi that they’ll be meeting that night. Moreover, I like that fluffy chain dangling from his cellphone. Oh well, I can’t wait for the time that Hiratsuka would meet Emi.
Shingo’s finger-tapping on his temple when he’s thinking or nearing a conclusion has got to go! That habit was so ATARU without autism.
I definitely recommend MONSTERS for some humor relief from the typical dark and heavy deka dramas. Moreover, Shingo and Yamapi are fun to watch once you “get used to them”. However, if you’re expecting cases that could rival CSI or something that came out of a James Patterson novel, you’ll be disappointed.
OVERALL RATING: 8/10