Opened a new blog exclusively for Japanese drama reviews. From now on, I will post reviews there.
Ritsu no Dorama Land
NEWS UPDATE: Pilot viewership rating was 14.2% which is highest among two other dramas with high anticipation – Mozu and BORDER. Mozu had 13.3% while BORDER (Oguri Shun) garnered 9.7%. This is a great kickoff for Alice. I’m sure viewers were curious and anticipate Ueno Juri’s return to drama after 3 years of absence. Add that to the suspense and fast-paced episode. Let’s hope the screenwriter will be able to keep things fresh and unpredictable.
*I hope someone will pick this drama up for subbing. I watched the first episode without subs because I couldn’t wait. First of all, Ueno Juri is one of my fav J-actresses and it’s been ages since her last dorama. In fact, the last one she did was the taiga drama, Gou (2011). So it’s really nice to have her in a regular drama again.
Secondly, there’s Joe Odagiri. I don’t really watch his stuffs but from all of what I’ve seen, they seem to be pretty good. Hence, having both Joe and Juri in one drama, it’s hard not to give it a go!
This is just a brief review/recap of the episode, I won’t go into details but just what I think. Ueno Juri plays the lead named Asumi Mizuno whose father, a doctor in Seirin University Hospital, died during an operation 15 years ago. She then embarked on a journey to investigate the truth about his father’s death as she believes something was not right. Basically, she studied to become doctor and joined Seirin. She found two different records of her father’s operation report and obviously, someone changed it indicating medical error.
I love how this first episode went. I like the fact that her character was so dark and they didn’t wait till the end to show it. In fact, 10 minutes in, they already showed where she lives, the shabby studio-like apartment, and her secret den. She’s got all pictures of the suspects pinned up on one side of the wall. Tonnes of record files for each of the suspect.
The first suspect she went after was the guy above. I like the reference of Alice in Wonderland and the Humpty Dumpty lol…I bet they chose him just because he’s bald.
Didn’t take her long to move in to Humpty Dumpty.
She lured him up to the rooftop with multiple copies of the records one late night…
I wonder how long it took her to paste all these lol…
Guy tried to remove some on the side of the wall of the building, climbed down the rope ladder, giving her the perfect opportunity to threaten him.
She said it’s been 15 years since the father’s death…she changed her name, threw away everything else and focused on chasing down the culprits who killed her father.
Upon threatening Humpty Dumpty, he gave in and revealed everything. He promised to help her in her mission…so she got herself a spy within the society.
Next target is this Date sensei. Basically, she’s pushing this new technology called NOA. She found a perfect ‘mouse’ or patient for the system and despite Asumi’s doubt, she brushed her off saying ‘patients are meant to be mice for doctors’…that obviously, pissed Asumi lol.
Look at that death stare xD
Midway, we’re introduced to Joe Odagiri’s character, Nishikado ^^ He’s a journalist and met Asumi at the hospital grounds one day. He seems to have taken interest in her. I’m not sure what relationship he had with her in the past, but in the flashback scene, it looked like he could be someone she knew.
I love how they used slow-mo shots here. The uh…’bokehness’ as well. The cinematography for this drama is good!
He knew Asumi’s father because we saw in the flashback, they were sitting under the sakura tree, eating together.
It is revealed that Asumi has been adopted by another person, who owns a diner.
While having dinner one night at her stepdad’s place, she met Nishikado again.
She tried not to make much contact with him but he was making conversation with her.
Nishikado mentioned he came here a lot in the past with her younger sister. I wondered if Nishikado’s sister was once Asumi’s father’s patient, hence the flashback where they were sitting together.
Nishikado was surprised that the chef is Asumi’s father and said they’re not alike at all. So when her stepdad tried to explain to him and was pointing to the picture on the wall of Asumi and her real father…Asumi quickly pushed the wine glass onto the ground. That was a close call. She didn’t want Nishikado to know who her real father was.
But that didn’t stop Nishikado from suspecting something.
For some reason, Asumi tried to get close to this guy below. Oh wait, did a little research. He’s Gendai’s son. Gendai is a higher-up Prof I think.
Her next target as mentioned above.
Asumi planted a fake flower delivery to her, which released fake smoke at her apartment and when the fire department called, Date rushed home. Asumi then took the opportunity to explain to the patient she was trying to get for NOA system about the operation. She never mentioned anything about NOA to the patient so basically, the patient signed for the normal operation instead of NOA. This caused the Date to lose the patient for NOA.
However, due to the support from the higher ups, the Date still managed to push for the NOA tech. She needed to prove the system in order to become Professor.
I can’t understand in detail but it seemed like her father was framed for some crime after death. Young Nishikado (the guy below) showed her the newspaper clip at the funeral about her father.
This guy below, Gendai (higher up Professor who supports the NOA sensei) told her that her father is ‘kuzu’ or ‘society trash’ at the funeral. Wow…just wow…whatever it is, you don’t say stuffs like that during a funeral. That was hurtful even to me as a viewer, can you just imagine how that feels to a young girl?
Asumi trying to plot something against Date.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned that Chiaki Kuriyama is also in this drama. She was in Team Batista drama last season, have yet to watch the finale of that drama. Well, she plays a nurse here. Not much screentime yet but we’ll see how significant her role will be in the future.
Asumi went to the reception for Date’s wedding (with Humpty Dumpty’s help xD)
Asumi knew Date was tampering with the patient’s record so she tried to get data from her computer at home. After some ruckus with the fake cake delivery and some gas, the guests rushed out.
However, when she tried to transfer data from the computer, the Date’s fiance caught her in the office.
Now we’re thinking she’s gonna get exposed right?
Well…apparently, Date’s fiance acted like nothing happened afterwards and Asumi got away. At this point, we don’t know what occured between her and Date’s fiance.
During the conference for NOA patient, the records were different from those shown on slide and the handouts.
Everyone was shocked that Date said she can finish this operation within 3 hours. However the real record showed otherwise.
I like it when Asumi has this subtle smile whenever her plan goes as planned.
Date’s fiance appeared. So now we know that Asumi told him the truth about Date. He does not approve of Date’s doings.
Nishikado was there too for the press briefing.
Prof Gendai was pissed with Date and Asumi is winning at the moment.
Things are just getting started! Asumi’s probably screwed up a bit in her head lol…
She threatened Date next.
Date then confessed to the mistake but also blamed it on another doctor who was there. So I guess…we’ll see how Asumi goes for the others in the next episode.
Poor Date got her tummy tattooed with Asumi’s father’s name.
This is SUCH A GREAT FIRST EPISODE!
I am officially more than impressed. I didn’t expect Asumi’s character to be this dark and twisted. Ueno Juri does a very good job portraying Asumi so far and I can’t wait just to see what plans will she come up with next.
O_O looks like Nishikado found out her identity. He knew from the beginning when they met under the sakura tree. He asked her what’s her real plan in this hospital, until she changed her name? Is it to avenge her father’s death?
I think I’ll review this drama from now. At first, I thought of doing this just for the first epi since it’s been a while since I do drama reviews. But this exceeded my expectation. It seems to be quite exciting and filled with suspense.
Till the next epi!