Friday, November 5, 2010

Drama Review- Yukan Club

Yukan Club is a popular shoujo manga and one of the best selling shoujos. It has not been liscenced but a drama adaptation was made. An anime was also created.
I started reading the manga but the illustrations are bad and all the chapters have not been scanned. Therefore, I decided to watch the drama.
The drama stars Kat tun's Akanishi Jin and Taguchi Junnosuke. Actresses Minami and Kashii Yu also act in the drama. Popular model Emi Suzuki of chinese origin acted in the drama too. It had around 12% ratings. Not too high. Akanishi Jin, Kashii Yu and Junnosuke Taguchi won awards for their performance in the drama.

The drama is about the life of six elites- son of the chief police inspector (Akanishi Jin), daughter of a single jewellery designer mother (Emi Suzuki), son of a hospital owner (Yokoyama Yu), daughtr of the Kenbishi corporarion's owner (Minami), son of the Swedish ambassador (Taguchi Junnosuke) and daughter of a popular artist and tea ceremony queen (Kashii Yu) who form a club to solve mysteries in the free time called Yukan Club (Leisure club).

Compared to dumb rich people like Tsukasa of HYD, these six are pretty smart. They solve complicated mysteries for killing time and sometimes to help people. Each have their own strenghts, weaknesses and motives.

The series incorporates supernatural elements with ghosts appearing in two episodes of the 10 episode drama. There is very little romance in the series and it is shallow. It is mainly a mystery series. The idea of six rich elites solving mysteries was unique. The mysteries are more of thrillers since they don't require much logic. Each character has a unique personality that somehow fits into mystery solving.

The mysteries are more realistic and do not seem to be cooked up just for the sake of the detectives solving them (unlike mystery mangas like Case closed, Kindaichi and Poirot). They are common issues like corruption, kidnapping, gambling etc. which are seen in society.

The members of the club with exception of one or two are generally bad at studying. They are the student council because they are popular in school. They have a private room with the sign 'Yukan Club' outside the door. The school somewhat looks like Trick heart castle from Atashinchi no danshi. The settings and backdrops were very beautiful and like Atashinchi no danshi. I think both dramas were shot in the same studio.

The script was decent and most characters acted well except Emi Suzuki who was stiff. The supporting characters were just as strong as the main characters. Chief inspector Tokimune and Kenbishi chairman Mansaku and his wife were among the most amusing side characters. The mysteries with the exception of the last one were not very serious and were there just to pass time.

Kat tun recorded the song 'Keep the faith' for the drama which became a #1 hit. The song plays only during the ending or some important scene. The series has a lot of comedy. It is light hearted.

Overall, a good drama for teens to watch. Good for light entertainment otherwise but nothing memorable. The series never gets serious. I want to read the manga. I hope it is liscenced soon. The story is a break from monotonous detectives, private eyes, love dramas and soap operas.

Acting- 4.3/5
Characters- 4.5/5


Unique Story


Nothing memorable
The theme song didn't fit well
Some actors were stiff
Worse than the manga (from what I heard)

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