Friday, October 14, 2011

Hunter [ep 1]


Ryoko Yonekura stars in this detective/comedy drama together with a bunch of other misfits. Rei Isaka (Ryoko) is an ex-flight attendant who loses her job after 13 years being one, all because she has to pay her younger sister’s debt. In the beginning of the episode, she is shown in her workplace, airport when she stumbles into a robber. She then tackles him with her luggage, robber trips and owner comes running claiming the duffle bag. However, as the police tries to stop him for police report, it turns out that the said owner is a long wanted villain – Rei and her best friend aka. Colleague, Jun Motomura are then gifted with a total of 1 million yen as a reward from the police.
When Rei’s sister, Akane goes missing without any notice, Rei visits her eating shop and finds out that her disappearance is really suspicious. She files a report and meets Gondo, an officer in charge of the Community Department who doesn’t take her laments seriously as there are according to him, approximately 80 000 missing people every single year. Without much success at the police station, Jun then suggests that she moves to Akane’s place since she can’t afford the apartment anymore upon paying off the debt and quitting her job for the supplementary money. This will allow her to have more time searching for Akane and looking after her daughter, Haru. At the shop, they also make friends with a part-timer who sends bento – Kazumi whose first appearance with her dysfunctional bicycle is totally one of my favourite scenes in the first episode. And then, the mysterious customer of Akane’s – Machiko Suzuki who’s running away from her DV husband are added to the group consisting of – Rei, Jun and Kazumi to search for this wanted guy, last seen together with Akane before she disappears.


They agree to work together to look for him, a wanted murderer, and try to get the reward. Well, Rei is really in to search for her sister, while the rest are after the money, especially Kazumi while Machiko just wants to be part of the gang. But when they finally find him, he tells them that he has nothing to do with Akane’s disappearance and he’s actually waiting for her to return. Seems that Akane has been advising him to turn himself to the police. Rei is totally disappointed with the fact that after all the chasing and risk of losing her life, turns out that Akane’s disappearance is still a mystery. However, the rest are definitely happy since they get the reward money and despite Rei’s reluctance, they want to continue as Bounty Hunters – search wanted suspects by the police who are under the Reward System for the money of course. Lol…

I’m not familiar with Ryoko’s previous works, I may have seen her in dramas before, maybe not, so I can’t really compare her past shows with this. Nevertheless, she does fit the leading role as someone who’s thrown into these circumstances whereby she has no choice but to clean up her sister’s mess. But to tell the truth, from the poster of the drama, I actually thought she’s playing somebody really tough, like a real bounty hunter, or a hired badass assassin. On the contrary, the show turns out to be a light comedy with a bit of drama/mystery. I wasn’t expecting that really. Coz Rei is not this badass girl who hunts down criminals, instead she’s an ex-flight attendant and she is definitely timid lol..she’s still human, basically. Still, I find myself rather amused by the overall characters. Actually I really enjoy Kazumi a lot! I last saw her in Zettai Reido 2 as a cold villain, and here she’s totally hilarious, a true example of your next-door housewife. And her brake-less bicycle…epic! It’s great to her in a more comic character and I definitely hope to see her more in this show. And Shosuke Tanihara as Gondo! So good to see him in dramas again, but too bad, he’s got so little screentime and overshadowed by the other female characters. Well, let’s face it, he’s just a minor character so that’s to be expected. Oh and is it just me or it’s really weird that Jun has the TIME to actually join in their investigation. I mean, doesn’t she have to WORK? I know she cancelled her flight that day still…it got me thinking. Finally, Akane played by Sayaka Yamaguchi (Zettai Reido 2), so LITTLE SCREENTIME! So, overall, the first episode is really just for introduction, not much action, but comedy is pretty good. We’ll see how Akane’s arc progresses as they venture into different cases in each episode.

Rating: 7.5/10

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