[This has been sitting in my draft box, I only managed to edit today. I’ve been really busy.]
SHARK took-over “49‘s” time slot, a well received drama, despite having a bunch of Johnny’s juniors in the cast. I decided to recap and review this drama because it’s tiresome to see that SHARK have received a slew of criticisms as a remake of “Shut Up! Flower Boy Band“, a Korean drama of similar genre.
Before everything else, SHARK is not a remake, the news could have mentioned it or that SUFBB creators could have filed a plagiarism case if they think NTV copied their drama.
This is KinKan‘s Hirano Sho first lead drama, and despite the absence of his groupmates, he fared well for a first-timer.
Here is a quick recap of SHARK‘s episode 1…
SHARK is one the biggest bands in the underground music scene with Kitagawa Kazuki (Fuji Ryuusei) as the lead vocalist; and the group is on their way to make a major debut. However, Yoshimura Takahiro (Okada Kohki), the group’s producer, wants them to sing someone else’s song instead of the group’s own composition; it’s a huge bruise to the group’s pride that they’d rather not debut instead of singing someone else’s song.
Kitagawa pleads with Komatsu Ichika (Yamashita Rio) to wait and gives her a CD containing their original song-Keep Walking. Ichika loves it and so does Yoshimura. That night, instead of heading to the band’s hangout like she usually does, Ichika chooses to call and meet Kazuki somewhere, a move where Kazuki meets his untimely death. (and this is where SUFBB similarities end)
One year later, Yoshimura’s agency has debuted idols/lollies and SHARK’s planned debut has been long pushed back. Yoshimura doesn’t think that SHARK’s lead guitarist, Hagihara Kai (Hamada Takahiro) is charismatic enough to replace Kitagawa and lead SHARK. So, even in Jrock face value is important, boo!
The agency’s big bosses wants SHARK to be a money-generating band and unless SHARK could find a lead vocalist with Kitagawa’s charm, the debut plan will never pushed through. Err, what about the voice? Because it’s a band, you know.
Ichika heads to SHARK’s hangout where she invites Kai to sing at Okawa Miku‘s (Mano Erina) wedding, a co-worker of hers who represents idols/lollies. Ironically, Okawa thinks that Kai is charming enough to stand-in as a vocalist since the band she hired have lost their own vocalist. Kai agrees since it might help him to promote the band. Ichika looks on as she doesn’t have the heart to tell him that “you’re sacked, you’re not charming enough to be the vocalist”. Kai knows that something is amiss that when he brings Ichika home, she tells him the truth, which just breaks Kai’s heart saying, “am I not good enough?” Sobs.
At the other side of music town, Black Dog band decides to ditch their vocalist- Kurata Mizuki (Hirano Sho). An asshole who thinks that his band mates can’t handle his prodigal-like talent so they decided to go their own ways. But his guitarist argues that his personality is at fault so they decided to ditch him. However, Mizuki retaliated that Black Dog is his and his alone.
To prove that he can carry a show alone, Mizuki sets-up an impromptu solo concert in an open stage, shouting at the top of his lungs even though his only audience is a clueless kid and two high school girls finds him freaky. You gotta love this guy’s self-confidence to the point of narcissism. Despite the absence of audience, an agent approaches him asking if he is Black Dog’s lead vocalist. The said agent offers Mizuki a chance to debut. Mizuki gleefully brags to Konno Kaede (Kawaei Rina), his childhood friend, that once he debuts, Kaede can proudly tell anyone that they are friends. Kaede doesn’t take Mizuki’s statement seriously and tells him that he’d better start paying his tab. She also adds that Mizuki’s former bandmates passed-by and says that they are playing for a wedding.
Mizuki immediately bolts from the diner, he can’t let his former bandmates of his to use his band’s name without him.
At the wedding reception, Ichika said her good luck to Kai as Black Dog gets introduced. While Black Dog’s lead guitarist prepares to introduce Kai, Mizuki comes crashing-in and starts badmouthing his former guitarist saying that the band is his. To again prove his point, he starts singing the acapella of “Ka・ga・ya・ki ” and shouts “Shut-Up!” when everyone seems distracted with the turn of events.
After Mizuki shouted “Shut-Up!”, Kai had a flashback of SHARK’s final performance with Kitagawa as their vocalist. Soon, he finds himself strumming his guitar to the tune of “Ka・ga・ya・ki ” as Mizuki continues finds himself jamming with Kai. I actually find it weird that Kai’s electric guitar sounds so well when it’s not even attach to an amplifier.
As Mizuki and Kai plays on, Ichika finds herself dumbfounded and after their performance, she heads to the front exclaiming that she has found SHARK’s new vocalist.
As SHARK’s first episode ended, I find myself wishing it was longer. 20 mins. is too short NTV! SHARK wasn’t a solid show, and it certainly needs improvement but it has a certain charm that goes with listening to Jrock, or maybe it’s just me.
This is Hirano Sho’s first acting gig and while he has times of looking lost than a narcissistic vocalist; his voice blends well with rock despite being an idol in real life.The other SHARK members fell flat and can be easily forgotten but hey, this is just the first episode. I’m sure that there will be an episode allocated for each member so we can get to know them.
The ladies, Ichika and Kaede, fared well with their supporting roles and I hope they won’t be wasted at the sidelines by being “that girl cheering for the band”.
Despite the so-so acting, I’m hoping for a good story development that will focus more on their struggle in debuting and being a new band with a new and self-absorbed band vocalist. I’m also expecting future clashes between Mizuki and Kai because while SHARK is Kai’s; he can’t be the vocalist because it’s his fault for not being charming enough compared to Mizuki. Furthermore, Mizuki high-handed attitude will surely be the group’s object of frustration and anger.
As with SUFBB similarities, the end of episode 1 is so obvious that this drama won’t be threading SUFBB’s path. The story is clearly focus on SHARK’s debut and the group’s acceptance of the new vocalist who is basically an outsider. There won’t be a love angle either, maybe some MU’s (mutual understanding) but not a story that will revolve around love.
All in all, the first episode is good enough to get a follow-up and I’m hoping that the boys will find their own way to shine in succeeding episodes.
Images/GIFs taken from tumblr with the tumblr’s username in caption.