It feels weird to write a first impressions post when we’re already halfway through the season, but I kind of couldn’t pass these up. That’s the problem with being a fangirl.
Sekai Ichi Muzukashii Koi
Starring: Ohno Satoshi, Haru, Koike Eiko, Kitamura Kazuki
What it’s About: While he’s the successful CEO of a hotel company, Samejima Reiji (Ohno Satoshi) hasn’t had a lot of luck in the love department, something his competitor Wada Hideo (Kitamura Kazuki) never fails to rub in his face. Determined to prove that he can win at both work and romance, Reiji tasks his secretary Muraoki (Koike Eiko) to help him find a date to bring to the Hotel Association party. At the same time, Shibayama Misaki (Haru) transfers to Reiji’s company and though he insists that she’s not his type, he can’t seem to stop thinking about her.
Episodes Watched: 4
Thoughts: If you’re looking for a romantic comedy that can be smart and funny, SekaMuzuKoi isn’t it. That isn’t to say that SekaMuzuKoi isn’t entertaining, but if you think too hard about the characters or the plot than everything kind of falls apart. Honestly I’ve only watched this far so I can see what dumb plan Reiji will come up with next to try and woo Misaki that will inevitably blow up in his face. In general, I can’t stand when Ohno has to play man-child characters (Kaibutsu-kun, Shinigami-kun, etc), and while Reiji starts off kind of annoying, he’s really just a big socially inept dork that’s just trying to get the girl he likes to notice him. Ohno is super hammy and over the top with the comedy, but it works and I get a good laugh out of watching Reiji fail time and again.
So yeah, SekaMuzuKoi works as a comedy, but the romance is, uh, questionable. If Ohno and Haru had chemistry, maybe I would want their characters to be together, but there’s not even a spark and their relationship so far has been very one-sided. Misaki feels less like a character and more of an object for Reiji to react to. We never get to see things from her perspective and the little we do know about her we’ve learned from other characters. With the fourth episode, the show’s been hinting that Misaki might have some feelings towards Reiji, but I don’t understand why. Though to be fair, Reiji fell in love with Misaki at first sight so this should probably just go under the part of the show I don’t think too hard about. *Sigh* Can’t the show just continue to be Reiji doing stupid things while Muraoki and Ishigami watch?
In short, SekaMuzuKoi is ridiculous with a paper thin plot and I’ll probably drop it whenever the romance decides to get serious, but I’m having too much fun with it right now.
99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi
Starring: Matsumoto Jun, Eikura Nana, Kagawa Teruyuki, Katagiri Jin
What it’s About: Being a criminal lawyer in Japan doesn’t pay much as 99.9% of cases end in conviction, but that doesn’t bother Miyama Hiroto (Matsumoto Jun). Miyama is more concerned about learning the truth than he is about winning cases, which catches the attention of a top-rated law firm that decides to recruit him into their new criminal division. Much to the chagrin of his supervisor Sada Atsuhiro (Kagawa Teruyuki) and co-worker Tachibana Ayano (Eikura Nana), Miyama has his own way of doing things that usually causes trouble for others…
Episodes Watched: 3
Thoughts: I was kind of worried going into this that Kagawa Teruyuki would eat MatsuJun alive, but Jun is actually holding his own. Granted it probably helps that Kagawa doesn’t have a lot of screen time, which is too bad since Sada and Miyama are fun to watch together. Sada’s a self-serving type of guy and though he’s the supervisor, he has no interest in criminal law and continues to hold onto his old clients. However, because of Miyama’s antics, which include blackmailing and becoming friends with his wife, he has no other choice but to get involved or risk getting fired. Naturally, they kind of hate each other, but they know when to put aside their differences and work together…most of the time.
As an episodic series, 99.9 doesn’t offer anything different or particularly complex with its cases and we’ve only gotten very vague hints about what the long story arc is, but the cast more than makes up for that. Miyama’s more than a little weird, carrying around a little case with his own homemade sauces and giving out candies because why not, I guess? He’s a little mean-spirited, usually making others do things that he doesn’t want to, as his poor assistant Akashi can attest, and he’s always bumming rides off Tachibana since he never has any money. But I think the most interesting thing about Miyama is that he’s sort of apathetic to his clients and their emotions. He goes through a lot of trouble to learn every last detail about the people he’s defending, but the only thing he’s concerned with is learning the truth. It makes me wonder how Miyama would defend someone that’s actually guilty, though I think 99.9 is going to keep playing it safe.
At first Eikura Nana didn’t have a lot to do as Tachibana. I do like that she’s the quirky wrestling fan that isn’t afraid to bust out moves to get the job done, but more often than not, she spends the episode getting dragged around and manipulated by Miyama. Thankfully, episode three finally gave her a chance to shine and show that she’s just as capable as Miyama and Sada.
The rest of the cast hasn’t been fleshed out, but they’re given enough personality to make me care about them, like the aforementioned Akashi (Katagiri Jin), who hasn’t given up on passing the bar exam though he’s failed a million times; Fujino, who’s always gushing about his twin daughters; and of course the big boss Madarame who knows way more than he lets on.
Overall, while 99.9 isn’t a show I’m jumping to watch every week, it’s pretty solid and the character interactions are fun, so I’ll keep it on my watch list for now.