Posted by: sarah | February 4, 2009

New drama watch: Kami no Shizuku

Basics GIN, 6.49 It’s enough to turn you to drink. Before I could even write up my first thoughts about new season wine-based drama Kami no Shizuku, comes the news that it’s tanking. Going belly up. On the rocks (much like the much hyped Jacobs Creek rosé “over ice” promo much pushed in pubs of London over the summer). From the source:

According to Shukan Josei, a decision has been made to move up the ending of the drama as an excuse to hurry up and finish filming.

I’m kinda baffled – not because I think the drama is so good I have the desire to watch the rest of the episodes, but because the drama is no more or no less bad than anything from the past two seasons! Thematically we have manic pixie dream wine girl played by Naka Riisa as the sommelier-in-training sidekick – we can also think of her as a “supertaster” in training. Her “mentor” is Kanzaki Shizuku, played by Kamenashi Kazuya, who in a “only from manga” plot set-up, enters into a rivalry with wine ctitic Tomme Issei over his late wine-critic father’s 2.5mil wine collection.

Issei is another supertaster. But wait! Kanzaki loathes wine, but a mere sniff will send him into cut-scene revelations of flower-fields (rendered by someone’s Dreamcast they dug out of the attic).

So we have another two supertasters, one is the foreign-educated (French, natch) wine critic, whose taste is based on learnt art and high-falutin’ ways, and an “inherent” supertaster (or sniffer!), who derives his ability from bloodline, from fambleee, an authentic connection with the memory of, um… grapes…. whoa, it’s a whole SEA of supertasters, this must be the best drama ever, right?? (Never mind the part where Kame sings chevaliers de la table ronde in ropey French and does a little dance)…

Obviously not. On seeing one episode, there’s not so much to say about Kamenashi’s acting – it’s fairly bland, but same old, same old. The most obvious thing that I can think of that works against the drama is the world in which it’s set compared with the world in which it’s airing IE VIZ, Johnny, what’s the Japanese for “recession”? The overwhelming feel~~ of Kami no Shizuku is remarkably 1980s – there’s a large company paying it’s employees quite well, there’s a mansion. there’s an extensive wine collection, a cast who namedrop wines (and by the way, just when I feel pleased with myself that I can understand maybe about 20% of katakanized words – “Rothschild “from a Japanese tongue is a twister and a half) and order that cost a generous £300-600 per bottle. Even more painful when Kanzaki claims not to even want to drink the wine he orders! I’ll bloody drink it.

The air of yuppie is so overwhelming you almost expect Issei or Kanzaki to start twanging red braces. Issei himself is a pantomime evil restaurant-wine critic, complete with 3D evil glasses – all the better to sneer over, my dear – accompanied by a fur-wearing, nicely made-up, perfectly coiffeured and volumised female companion. If she pulled out a mobile phone the size of a brick from her handbag I wouldn’t be surprised.

It’s a world at odds with the mood of viewers who may well be desiring something more down to earth, everyday heroics yah de yah Japanese people are still awesome y’all. RESCUE, with Nakamaru (eee) and Massu is storming ahead – I’ve not seen an episode yet but I understand that they are heroic firefighters, the pride of Yokohama, hard-working men who endure strenuous physical and mental training in order to rescue kittens from trees (and more than a few ‘bath scenes’… apparently). Compare this to the indulged (I want to say ‘yuppies’ but this it a little unfair – their consumption is solely in hugely expensive wine, but look at where they GO to drink the wine! look at what they wear to drink the wine! look at where they live, you can’t have one w/o the other) world of Kami no Shizuku and the mists begin to clear.

I still think that a Yuukan Club, say, would fare averagely if it aired now. Yuukan Club wasn’t great (bosom-heavingly shexay appearances from Jin and Yoko aside – swoon, swoon), but the world the characters lived in was a blatant fantasy, filled with ridiculous gadgets and plain silly plots which can sustain the characters in their bubble. And if they didn’t perhaps Jin could just take his top off some more. (I really hope Kamenashi doesn’t resort to this – he should wear jumpers more. And eat about fifty sandwiches).

On saying that, it makes my heart feel sad that a wine-based programme isn’t getting any love. This wouldn’t have happened if they’d just given Kame a few bottles of Blossom Hill and got him to talk straight to camera for an hour. THAT I would love to see. Perhaps he could explain the reasons behind his cringesome solo song and dance number? My dears, I shuddered.

My suggestion for next season is to book Jin Akanishi in a show about GIN. It could be called Jin’s Gin. DO YOU SEE? DO YOU SEE??? DO IT NOW.

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Responses

  1. i’ve watch till ep.4
    and i don’t think,this is a good dorama
    i’ve watch this dorama,just because my friend prefer this drama 2 me..


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