My Score: 7.5/10
Genre: Psychological thriller
Summary: An honest and gullible girl named Nao mysteriously receives one hundred million yen at her doorstep. It turns out that it’s part of a game where each participant gets a large sum of money and they each have to trick each other to get the other player’s money. When the game ends, the winner gets the money and the losers owe the amount lost.
Knowing herself well enough, Nao seeks out Shinichi, who is an expert con-artist just getting out of jail. He eventually agrees to help her… which turns out to be a very good thing since this is only the first game out of many.
Review: Apparently this is based after a manga that I have yet to read. It became so popular that it had a sequel as well as two movies and a spin-off mini featuring an alternate character.
I found the drama really interesting, but I’m the type that loves solving mysteries and watching how puzzles are completed, (though I hate solving them myself, haha). It was fun to watch how Shinichi totally analyzed everything and came up with genius solutions. Though I think a lot of the problems were easy or predictable, not all of them were. It was fun and engaging either way.
The characters were just as interesting as any manga/anime characters. Very diverse and often colorful. It wasn’t a comedy drama, but some of the characters are so strange that it’s enough humor-wise. Shinichi was a kind of stoic genius-type character that made me feel excited when he explained things. Nao was cute, though almost annoying in how she was pretty much always really pure and innocent.
The acting was good. I saw Matsuda Shota in Hana Yori Dango, but didn’t notice him as much until he was the lead in this drama. Erika was really good acting as a sweet and likable character. There was no apparent romance, but there was enough there to interpret/imagine romantic interest between the main two characters if you wanted to.
For directing, there was sometimes a case of the crazies… characters went hysterical one way or another and the way it was portrayed was just… creepy. Sometimes I didn’t know whether to laugh or be freaked out by it. Anyway, it was entertaining.
People tend to compare this story to Death Note, but the only way they’re alike is that they’re both psychological/thriller-type genres. I do think there was a slight influence from the American horror series Saw in this drama… the bad guy uses a puppet like Jigsaw used and there’s a pretty eerie atmosphere at times. This drama did come out a bit after the first Saw movie, so maybe that was it? I haven’t read the manga so I wouldn’t know.
My Score: 7.5/10