Let me properly label this screed:
***IF YOU LIKED “JIN” THEN PLEASE LEAVE THE ROOM ALERT***
I just finished the drama yesterday and while it’s not the worst ending I’ve experienced in a J-drama, it’s definitely the one with the MOST unresolved plot angles every without a cliffhanger. Who the ‘eff do they think they’re fooling?
I was forewarned of a last episode with vague and unsatisfying undertones. Nothing, however, prepared me for this. I’m well aware of J-Drama Cliches 101, about moving forward and all. But come on, it’s an outright insult to not even address the Alien Bottle Baby since they ended with that silly image in EVERY episode!
I also thought that the show would interject some truly real-life elements of Edo-Jidai living but beyond the endless vomiting and Minakata “brushing” his teeth with some bamboo brush we saw nothing but blue skies, clean roads and no dysentery. Jeez how did Sakamoto Ryoma remain so clean shaven in those days. And you’d think Minakata would have grown his hair out long enough for a real chon-mage. Nah.
Yeah I was “supposed to know” that there’s a sequel on the way, probably theatrical. And I’m “supposed to know” that the manga is still being published so the teevee show be open-ended as well, right? As an old friend is so fond of expressing, Prrrffttt… Not ONE (1) dangling plot device was resolved. Even the kid’s mother’s (Toda Naho) murder was unsolved because, well, that’s life in ol’ Edo I guess. Even Ryoma’s vanishing was a kind of cheapsale device — I guess the secrets all remain with Jin sensei.
Oh well, I guess that which fulfills the most remains just as elusive. The opening notes of JIN gave me a rush of “Hoshi no Kinka” flashbacks: Osawa playing a doctor chasing Bandage Head falling down a flight of stairs, afflicted by “amnesia,” crying and getting emo a whole lot for his gender… The only thing missing was the handicapped girl and a cameo by Takenouchi Yutaka (the latter of which I was ASSURED wasn’t part of the itinerary). Even a parody of that 1990s drama classic would have been more bearable than… well, the absolute kiss-off I got after eleven (11) episodes of what turned out to be the series finale to “Quantum Leap.” (Google for the gruesome details.)
I guess movie sequel in 2011? I’ll consume the Cliff’s Notes version, thank you…
p.s. DramaWiki listed my fave bikini babe Tani Momoko as one of the prostitutes in Episode #5. Hmm…