First Impressions: Subete ga F ni Naru
It is on a the rare occasion where I express such an instant dislike to a drama. Having said that, I decided to be fair and give this fall drama a shot. I watched the first case and that was definitely more than enough to form an opinion against continuing to watch this drama. If you would like to give it a try and form your own opinion, you can watch it with English subtitles on DramaFever.
It kind of seems that Takei Emi really doesn’t take on that many diverse roles. In the past few years how many detective dramas has she starred in? From a weather girl who helped the cops solve crimes to a ME and now an architect student who is a sleuth in her spare time. She also has the innocent and naïve personality down pat along with the very cold role. But she doesn’t do too much in between. She’s not a bad actress, but she’s doing so many dramas and movies in a year that…it kind of gets tiring especially since it seems like the same set of roles and redundant plots over and over again. I love Ayano Go. He’s a great actor with lots of dramas and movies (more movies) under his belt. I think he gets more secondary roles than lead roles, so I really wanted to like this drama, but after the initial case which spanned two episodes I have no interest in continuing.
On a whole, after sitting through the first two episodes of the series, I’m just not feeling the drama and for some reason the premise seems absurd enough to not be able to believe just what is going on. I cannot even willing suspend my disbelief because I just find everything too unrealistic or too nonlinear to follow at all. I think the really weird opening probably did not help when Nishinosono Moe (Takei Emi) goes to interview a woman in white who is supposed to be a brilliant scientist who is locked up after killing her parents. Or something like that. I have no idea just what lead Moe to interview Magata Shiki (Hayami Akari), but I do know that will come into play by the end of the drama.
Moe is a 4th year architecture student whose parents died in a plane crash which she saw happen at the airport. She is in love with her father’s pupil Saikawa Kohei (Ayano Go). He seems to have some affection for Moe as well, but how much is kind of up in the air, but we do know that he cares deeply for her…we just aren’t 100% certain if he loves her as a man, though I’m sure he does. Both Moe and Kohei have odd personalities. As do the people surrounding them.
Anywho, pupil and student go to an arctic lab where tests are being done. Saikawa is interested in going as the study can also apply to architecture and Moe is just going because of a rumor about the study having problems. Saikawa tries to tell her the truth about the Spirited Away curse, but Moe doesn’t listen to him at all. Go figure. While there, a double homicide happens in an unnecessarily locked room. Moe decides to investigate the crime as she could not help her parents, but she might be able to do good in this case. Saikawa tries to warn her off, but, again, she doesn’t listen to him. It’s pointed out multiple times in this drama that Moe is constantly seeking Saikawa’s approval as he is the one person who just happens to be smarter than she is and thus why she works so hard to solve the case herself.
I really don’t think there is enough logical sense to follow within the episodes themselves as to how Moe and Saikawa figure out the entire case. It seems like leaps and bounds and lots of unnecessary things and then the “grand” ending where Saikawa and Moe explain how it all went down. I find this drama tedious without anything to really connect to for some reason. Moe’s character is somewhat annoying in her giggling schoolgirl antics and her constant baiting to rise Saikawa to be jealous. And for a girl who’s so smart, she does some very stupid things.
One of the worst scenes of the drama is where the killer comes into the arctic room after chasing Moe there. She climbs the ladder about the pool and has nowhere to go. The killer just stands and looks at her for awhile before pushing her into the pool and then Moe frantically swims to the other end and the killer just locks the door and turns the temperature down. That was so…unbelievable in its set up. It just was like a moment where your like what the heck just happened. Sure, maybe the killer was hesitating a little bit, but somehow I don’t think so especially when you learn the motive behind the whole crime…which in the end also feels very anticlimactic and not believable in its entirety. Part of this problem could lend itself from the red herrings strewn throughout which points at one or two people in particular and then when we learn who the true killers are, it still leaves me mystified even when the motive is explained.
I am a lover of a good mystery. I am not afraid to admit that I have really loved Mary Higgins Clark’s works. Not all of them, but most of them. I’ve also majored in English so I have also studied the elements of what makes a good mystery or at least the most common tropes that are typical to the genre. This drama suffers from an overabundance of certain mystery tropes but not enough substance or clues to help lead the audience along to help us reach the same conclusion. Sure, the shocking reveal can be fun if done right. We’ve gone through a book or movie or series and are left constantly guessing and processing. It keeps you invested and on the edge of your seat…this drama fails to do that. Sure, you get more and more mystified and more and more clues are pointing to Saikawa’s acquaintance. But, if something reminds me of Soul Survivor’s totally circuitous and nonsensical plot, I definitely cannot continue because I know it will go somewhere that maybe be unexpected, but definitely not in a good way at all.
There are one or two cute or funny moments, but most of those get lost in the droll and dry investigations and rather inane scenes between. This is based on a manga series and it makes me wonder if I would also find the manga boring and tedious and frustrating with the lack of concrete evidence that really brings the characters to their solving of a crime. Or…is this drama just suffering from a bad translation from the page to the screen? Difficult to say since I have not read the series. I am curious about the odd beginning, but not enough to torture myself to continue watching this drama. Not even for Ayano Go. The scenes for the next case don’t look any more interesting really than the first.
I must say that if the premise of the drama will continue in the vein of locked room murders, you are better off watching a different drama with the same theme. I rather enjoyed Ohno Satoshi’s Kagi no Kakatta Heya until the very end and then with the SP. I was just hoping his character wasn’t doing what they had him do by the end of the series. That being said, that was a cast with some good chemistry and there was lots of cute moments. There was enough to keep me invested and interested. I can’t say the same for this drama.
I don’t know exactly why I feel so strongly against this drama when I really did want to like it, but I really just can’t. I do like, for the most part, Ayano’s portrayal of Saikawa and his completely dry assistant or whatever she is that has the short hair and is completely dressed in black. Their interaction can be more interesting even with the woman’s dryness than Saikawa’s interactions with Moe. But again, not enough to keep me interested or watching this drama. What a bummer.