Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review of "Voice" - Winter 2009

Title: Voice~Inochi Naki Mono no Koe
O.A. Start: 12 Jan 09
O.A. End: 23 Mar 09
Number of episodes: 11
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Theme song: Setsuna by GReeeeN
Average rating: 14.56%
Cast: Eita, Ikuta Toma, Ishihara Satomi, Endo Yuuya, Sato Tomohito, Hamada Mari, Yamazaki Shigenori, Nadaka Tatsuo, Izumiya Shigeru, Yada Akiko and Tokito Saburo


Before this drama started its run, I expected it to be a refreshing look at pathology. I do not remember seeing many dramas on this genre except for "Kira Kira Hikaru" in 1998 (2 more SPs in 1999 and 2000) which starred Fukatsu Eri, Matsuyuki Yasuko, Yanagiba Toshiro, Shinohara Ryoko, Kobayashi Satomi and Suzuki Kyoka. That drama featured lady pathologists at work and also focused on the conversations among the 4 female leads i.e. Fukatsu, Matsuyuki, Kobayashi and Suzuki about their work and private lives. That drama left a very deep impression on me so I was hoping that this drama will match up to "Kira Kira Hikaru".

However, I was very disappointed with this drama and here are the reasons (by the way, if you really like this drama, maybe you would like to give the following a miss because you are not going to like what I pointed out):

1) I do not remember which character said this (could be Yada Akiko's Natsuikawa or somebody else) but there was this line which mentioned that as pathology students, their responsibility is not to find out the truth but rather extract facts or observations from the victim which helps the police do their investigation. That is why I got really annoyed at these 5 youngsters who take it upon themselves to investigate the truth. What they should be doing is to use the facts they derive and deduce why this happened. Like what Natsuikawa says, they should be spending time on analyzing the data and forming observations. They do not have to do the footwork which police detectives are supposed to be doing. Why are they running around all the time instead of spending more time on scientific research? I really wanted to tell them to mind their own business at certain points in the drama.

2) A lot of these so-called deductions are based on circumstantial evidence. Sometimes, I'm not too convinced with the explanations and find them really far-fetched. There is too much guesswork. I don't know how others feel about this but since this is a drama on the scientific theme of pathology, they should make it more credible and easier for people to believe. I feel as if these facts are being shoved down my throat and they are difficult to swallow.

3) The story is very predictable. Barring the so-called scientific deductions, the flow of the story is simply too easy to guess. Most of the cases presented have nothing to do with murder so there is no need to guess the identity of the "murderer". Frankly speaking, this decreases the intensity index of this drama. Everything just falls into place nicely without a glitch. And that is boring. Maybe it would have been better for the pathologists to work together with a central police character and solve the cases hand-in-hand rather than letting these students run amok with their rash enthusiasm.

4) Much as I admire Eita and Ikuta Toma's acting in some of their past works, I think the performance of the cast on the whole is quite disappointing. Every character doesn't get much room for development so the cast cannot fledge their acting muscles at all. Especially for Ikuta, I felt that his character Ryousuke should be beefed up and his interaction with Eita's character Daiki can be extended beyond the daily bickering. It does get stale after a few attempts. Other than Endo Yuuya and Sato Tomohito's combination which is refreshing and relates the feeling that their characters are seemingly close, the rest of them seem detached from one another.

I was disappointed time after time but I continued watching this in the hope that things will change for the better. However, this was not meant to be. As such, for people who want to watch this drama, please do not set your expectations too high. If Kira Kira Hikaru is a professional piece of work featuring the pros at work, Voice is simply an amateur project which tries to emulate the success of past works. If the producers had the intention of making these students grow up and learn over the course of the drama, they should have focused more on the scientific aspect rather than letting them play detective. That was a big mistake from the start.

And my ratings for this drama...
Story: 2 out of 10 (All the problems stated above)
Acting: 4 out of 10 (Bland and not appealing at all. I can't even name a favourite character)
Theme song: 5 out of 10 (At first listening, the song was catchy but somehow it didn't grow on me after that)
Visual effects / Scenery: 4 out of 10 (Most of the scenes were in the university so there were limited outdoor shots when the 5 students went out to investigate)
Teamwork / Chemistry: 3 out of 10 (Like what I said, the characters felt too detached from one another. Interaction was superficial. I simply don't buy the story of the 5 of them being buddies. They never gave me that feeling.)

Total: 18 out of 50


Anonymous said...

I agree with what you say! :D I really like to read this blog... hope you'll keep it up.

celine cute said...

couldn't agree more with your review.. :)

dephi said...

Bleh.. I really couldn't agree less. The only thing which kept me watch the show was the fact that Toma was there, though obviously, he didn't impress me as much as I wished he did. I had to overlook some things, well... I don't really imply that I'm an expert or something, but I'm currently studying dentistry (and used to study pharmacy), so well, the explanations given really disappoint me. There were some blank spots which they might purposely skip, in order not to make the drama to stressing or something, (or maybe they just didn't notice it). In any case, as I have pretty much decent knowledge on that field, I found it irritating whenever I accidentally spotted those blank spots. *sigh*
Even until now I can't believe why uh wait, there's someone who couldn't face corpse right? I mean, that's too weird... Alright, and I didn't memorize his name since I clearly couldn't bother doing so *sigh*

In any case, thanks for the great review! :)

Chiaki said...

Hi anonymous, celine and dephi, thank you for your comments.

By the way, the guy who couldn't tolerate looking at corpses is Hanei, who doesn't look like he's that weak on the surface.