[Jdrama] Puzzle (2008)

July 19, 2008 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

Ishihara Satomi as Ayukawa Misako
Yamamoto Yusuke as Imamura Shinichi
Kimura Ryo as Kanzaki Akira
Nagayama Kento as Tsukamoto Yoshio
Iwata Sayuri as Matsuo Yuko
Sato Chiaki as Takamura Michiru
Asakura Aki as Wada Hitomi
Tsujimoto Hiromasa as Nagatsuka Kenichi
Kaneko Norihito as Daido Gorou
Shiomi Sansei as Kamata Torahiko

Puzzle stars Ishihara Satomi as Ayukawa Misako, an English teacher at a prestigious boys’ high school. At first sight, she seems to be a meek and humble teacher, but in reality, she’s arrogant, greedy, and terrible at English. Her students know this, but the rest of the world has yet to catch on. Each episode is done pretty much the same way. Three of her students find out about some competition where you have to solve puzzles and riddle and if you win, you get some big expensive prize. She finds out about it and comes with them, intent on winning and becoming rich. After they get there, it later turns into a murder mystery of sorts. Even though her English is atrocious, she’s actually very clever and can solve the riddles easily.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: mysteries series are pretty much all the same. What makes Puzzle entertaining is Ishihara’s character. Most times two-faced characters are a pain, but that’s usually because it’s in a drama context. In this mystery-comedy, it’s pure fun and, although it can be a little repetitive at times, it’s still quite entertaining. One thing that’s especially funny is Ayukawa’s English lesson. Because her English is actually quite poor, she teaches them vocabulary by giving mnemonic devices; Japanese phrases that sounds like the English word. Here’s my favorite: hesitate -> he shite ito? Which means “do I have to fart?” Ayukawa goes on to explain, no matter what context it’s in, in public you would always hesitate before farting.

The supporting three students were also pretty entertaining. There’s Yamamoto Yusuke and Kimura Ryo from the supporting Hana Kimi student cast and then there’s Nagayama Kento, who’s Eita’s younger brother. Since I’d consider myself an Eita fan, it became more obvious later on in the series that they’re brothers. Like, at some points, they look very much alike and sometimes, they even sound the same! But anyway, all three were enjoyable to watch, even if they weren’t given any depth. Well, none of the characters had any depth.

Generally, if you like mysteries or riddles, Puzzle is your drama. The comedy is pretty good, but there’s a little more gore than regular mystery dramas. So if you have a hard time with blood, this might be hard to watch at some points. Otherwise, it’s an entertaining watch.

Buy the boxset: Japan Version

Entry filed under: dramas. Tags: , , , .

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