When it comes to Kudo Kankuro dramas or films, I always have high expectations, and it never fails to disappoint. Last fall, we were given another taste of KanKudo’s genius with the japanese drama Unubore Deka, starring equally great names in the JEntertainment world. JE talent Nagase Tomoya (TOKIO, My Boss, My Hero, Tiger and Dragon, IWGP, Utahime) stars as the titular character, Unubore (Unubore means conceited), who always falls in love with the wrong kind of women-they all turn out to be criminals. Blind sided by ‘love at first sight’, this conceited detective (unubore=conceited, deka=detective), goes about solving his cases, and once he finds out the truth confronts each woman with the same thing-an arrest warrant, and a marriage registration form, in the hopes that they would choose the latter. Unubore continues to search for his ideal woman as he was dumped by a long-timegirlfriend of his Rie (Mika Nakashima), who suddenly pops back into his life as the wife of his alcohol-intolerant partner, Saeki.
Adding to the mischief and mayhem are his friends from the Bar I am I-the Unubore 4 -a patisierre named Matsuoka (Kaname Jun), an unskilled actor named Honjo Sadame (Ikuta Toma), a gravure photographer named Anai Kichi (Yahagi Ken), and a reknowned love psychologist; the other officers at the police station Unubore works at, and Unubore’s dad (an ex-cop) who is an aspiring writer.
Not only does the Unubore 4 help Unubore with his cases, they also become bitten by the ‘love-bug’ that constantly plagues Unubore.
Things become even more hilarious when Unubore’s dad’s books, which are based on Unubore’s own misadventures, become best-sellers and later on becomes a hit TV show, starring no other than Honjo Sadame. (So now the show becomes a show within a show, and self references all the time, including hopes for a second season).
The roster of guest stars is also impressive, with household names such as Erika Toda, Kato Ai, Aoi Yuuand Koyuki playing roles on the other side of the law and therefore becoming potential love interests of Unubore and the gang.
It’s nice to see Kaname, Nagase and Ikuta in a comedic series, most especially Nagase and Ikuta, who act really well in this genre, which are plain to see in the many facial expressions of Unubore (My Boss, My Hero, anyone?) and Sadame….and I will probably never forget Kaname Jun’s character pretending to be Korean for a certain case.
Aside from the different stories that are featured each episode, there also is an overarching story that actually leaves subtle hints here and there throughout the drama.
It’s easy to fall in love with this drama as the scenes are hilarious, the cast ensemble awesome, and running gags that will be forever etched in your memory.
You may think that what I mentioned above is formulaic, as one could say the same about KanKudo’s other comedies, namely Kisarazu Cat’s Eye and Manhattan Love Story, but what is wonderful about it is that even if it is present in all three, he makes the comedy and the running gags refreshing, different and memorable.
As much as we loved Tenchou’s meddling in Manhattan Love Story, and the misadventures of Bussan and friends in Kisarazu Cat’s Eye, you will end up falling in love with the conceitedness of the characters and a whole slew of other things that they go through- Kaname Jun pretending to be Korean, Sadame trying sooo hard to land good roles, and of course, Nagase’s DANCING. (Which was epic.)
In the end, I guarantee that you are in for a ton of laughs, and an interesting ride, that only the geniusof KanKudo is capable of.
Overall rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Other dramas you might be interested in: Manhattan Love Story (KanKudo), Kisarazu Cat’s Eye (KanKudo),Ikebokuro West Gate Park(KanKudo, Koyuki, Nagase Tomoya), Hana Kimi (2007) (Ikuta Toma), My Boss, My Hero (NagaseTomoya), Himitsu no Hanazono (Kaname Jun), Tiger andDragon (KanKudo, Nagase Tomoya, Aoi Yuu), Ryusei no Kizuna (KanKudo, Erika Toda, Kaname Jun), Seaside Motel (Ikuta Toma)
If you want to see Ikuta Toma in more serious roles, try Maou (Ikuta Toma, Ohno Satoshi), Hanamizuki (Ikuta Toma, Aragaki Yui) or Ningen Shikaku.