One of my most anticipated spring dramas this year is Kogure Shashinkan. For obvious reasons (see userpic) lol. And here I am again, writing something for a new drama when I haven't finished half of what was on my list last season. I'm in my lazy streak forgive me. I've been dying to write about Saikou no Rikon but I'm patiently waiting for the subs, though if I can't help it I'll just write a flailing post solely dedicated to the 7th and last episode of the drama. I haven't finished Tonbi yet! I saw a couple of episodes and had my eyes dried out from crying. I can't wait to finish it soon. I just need to refuel. XD
The drama started with the Hanabishi family moving in to the 50 year old Kogure Photo Studio without doing major renovations. On looking neighbors are whispering something as they were moving the things inside the old studio. They were helped out by Eiichi's best friend, Tenko (Tanako Tsutomu) - whom I can say really is a family member. *winks* When they were finally done bringing things inside, they all went out to greet the neighbors. An old lady hands them her camera hoping for the film to be processed as she thought that they will be continuing the business because they haven't pulled out the sign. Eiichi's father then explained the misunderstanding and after that the second son Pika (Hikaru) tells his father to never put down the sign. Later that night, the Hanabishis plus Tenko celebrate their move when the doorbell suddenly rang. Tenko volunteers to look outside and was shocked to see a female "ghost". The next day, Tenko sees the girl peeking at the Hanabishi's new home. He then contacts Eiichi to inform him that he met the "ghost" and asks for them to meet. As soon as Eiichi (aka Hana-chan) arrives at their meeting place, the "ghost" was really a female high school student who thought that Kogure Photo Studio is back in business. She brought out a photo that was processed by Kogure Photo Studio (based on it's envelope) which she found inserted in a notebook that she bought at the Flee Market. She claims that the photo is a ghost photo, believes it to be cursed then leaves it with Eiichi. A family can be seen in the photo with a head of a mysterious woman floating at the side. Eiichi gets Tenko, his family and the real estate office who sold the studio to the Hanabishis involved as he investigates the mystery behind the photo. Eiichi also then finds out that his parents bought the studio because of the rumors that the ghost of old man Kogure still hunts the studio.
I think this is my first NHK BS Premium drama and based on my previous experiences from watching NHK dramas, it could only mean high quality but since NHK BS Premium is a paid channel I thought that maybe it's quality would be higher (?) than the normal ones. [Question mark because I'm not really sure if "higher" is a word that I should use here. lol] For me, the pilot did not disappoint. I honestly felt like I was watching a simple yet beautiful film that was being aired on normal television. I guess, this was the same impression that I got from watching "Hatsukoi" that aired on NHK spring of last year and "Hitori Shizuka" that aired on Wowow late last year. The cinematography felt really nice because as I have said above, it feels like I was watching a movie and not a drama. I really like the warm lighting used in this drama specially for the scenes inside the Hanabishi's home. It fits the warm family setting that they are trying to accomplish. I also really like the natural lighting that they had used for most of the scenes. I mean, the scenes came out naturally and not too bright (from too much lighting--that's mostly found on regular dramas XD).
The pilot episode ran for about 1 hour and 28 minutes long but I didn't feel that it dragged even when I was watching it raw. I would say I enjoyed watching every minute of it and not because of bias reasons. By the way, I totally prepared myself that the drama won't be subbed and with my limited vocabulary I tried to guess a lot. lol Good thing, HEIWA FANSUBS picked this drama. I love you guys! (* ' 3 ' *)~<3 It was so much more interesting after seeing the subs. The drama was based on a fantasy novel of the same title written by popular fantasy novel author, Miyabe Miyuki and I found out that the drama was really faithful to the book, as per Japanese comments and reviews that I have seen around the web. Japanese fans really like it a lot. As for me, I was kept interested with the story and the mysteries behind the people in involved with the ghost photo. I even found some scenes to be really creepy.
The acting was really good. It was simple and the characters really have chemistry. I could really see Kamiki's improvement and growth as an adult actor. To be honest, I actually like his acting here more than in "Kirishima" though both Maeda and Hana-chan are totally different characters so I don't think comparing the two will be necessary. I also felt that he really was an older brother here than on "11 nin mo iru!" lol. Then again, "11 nin" was more in to the comedy of living in a large family which is very different from this one. So I can say, that this one is yet another character where he can show his versatility. I read that Kamiki said in an interview that this Hana-chan is closest to himself and that this was the first time he pulled himself out for a role. I guess, what makes Eiichi special is because bb finally showed a glimpse of himself here. :3
The relationship Eiichi had with Pika was really adorable. Trivia: The child actor who played Pika, Kabe Amon, was actually Kamiki's younger version in the NHK drama SP "Kokoro no Ito" in 2010. NHK did a really good job in the casting as the two as siblings as they do resemble each other a bit. Speaking of Kabe Amon, he was really adorable as Pika-chan. I'm looking forward to more of his stuff in the future. I hope he'd be bigger in the future.
Oh, and here he is on "Kokoro no Ito" (2010) :3
This was my first time watching Horii Arata of D-Boys in a drama so I had no really idea about his acting prior to this. In my opinion he did a really good job as Tenko. He had really good chemistry with Kamiki since they play childhood best friends. I really felt that they were able to play it well. Apparently, the two have gotten close that they now call each other "Ryuu-chan" and "Aratan". XD I really look forward to seeing more of Hana-chan & Tenko's scenes together.
This was my first time watching Narumi Riko in such a character, Kakimoto Junko. I usually see her in dramas as feisty and/or a cheerful girl. In my opinion, Junko is the most unpredictable character in the drama so I'm looking forward to her development.
Ishiguro Ken and Matsushita Yuki were able to portray good parents. They aren't perfect but they try to do the best that they can as they have previously learned from their mistakes. Sasano Takashi as the real estate office president is funny. lol I like that his character has a laid back personality and is very gentle and understanding.
I find the guest characters in this episode to be really suspicious. lol The way the scenes were presented made me tense for the protagonist specifically on a specific scene involving the last two screenshots. XD I think the reveal was also well executed it was simple and despite the long lines, I found it really engaging. The scenes cutting to the flashbacks were also done well, imo.
Again, I did not realize that I have written yet another long entry. I hope you guys weren't bored or anything. Sorry. XD
In conclusion, I think that the drama was really interesting. The pilot gave interesting twists and I felt that it was able to convey it's message successfully. It will only last four episodes but as early as now, I can say that it has the potential to be one of the best dramas this year so I recommend that you guys should watch it. ^^