Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Drama Review: Yukan Club

Sooo although I hadn’t heard much about this show, what I had heard wasn’t very good.. ^^; I have to admit, I was sort of drawn to check this out by Akanishi... (While I’m not obsessed, I am a bit of a fan XP) I still planned to watch this one casually, as it seemed like one of those shows where you could watch an episode every once in a while. I have to admit, though, that I did become more and more engrossed in the show and by the time I finished it I realized I was actually quite hooked and really enjoying it. If you’re looking for something to watch “casually” (or if you’re obsessed with Jin) this might actually be a pretty good choice.

Ok, plot… well there isn’t really much of one. This show is mostly centered around its characters, a group of six very different high school students that form the “Yukan Club.” Miroku (Akanishi Jin) is sort of your typical “cool” guy; he’s fairly passive about things, a good fighter and he loves his motorcycle. Noriko (Kashii Yu) comes from a rich and proper family and is very formal and traditional, although she can be really severe when it comes to men. Seishiro (Yokoyama Yu) is extremely intelligent, good at martial arts, and is overall quite poised; he is the planner of the group. Karen (Suzuki Emi) is the sexy, girly one who’s looking to marry into a rich family and is a bit on the prissy side. Bido (Taguchi Junnosuke) is the foreign-looking playboy who is feminine and skilled at flirting but tends to be easily frightened and wimpy. Finally is Yuri (Minami), a very tomboyish girl from a rich family who is athletic, obnoxious, and loves to eat. Somehow this motley cast forms a tight team with too much time to spare, and they go on various adventures and solve mysteries to pass that time.

I was pretty unimpressed when I first started watching this. Every episode has its own little plot, and I didn’t find the first episode’s story particularly innovative or entertaining. Parts that were supposed to be funny, such as the scenes with the Headmaster and Principal, I found irritating. I felt like almost everyone was overacting, especially the flashier characters like Bido and Yuri (although I think this was mostly due to character direction). Moreover, I found a few of the characters visually unappealing – Noriko’s haircut is terrible, and while Taguchi isn’t a bad-looking guy, I don’t think the blond hair was helping his case. Overall it just felt like the creators were trying too hard. I wasn’t really surprised by all the negative aspects, though, and I continued just watching and episode every once in a while like I had originally planned. That’s what was kind of nice about this show – you don’t really need to keep up with a continuous plot as every episode is a different little adventure you can enjoy on its own. All you had to do was remember who the characters are, which they kindly remind you of at the show’s opening (although the characters are so out there that it’s really not that difficult to remember them…) I watched other dramas more seriously and this was just a side one that I watched for the heck of it, and it worked just fine.

I have to admit though, about halfway through I started watching this a little more frequently, and ended up watching the last few episodes all in a row. I’m not really sure what got me hooked… I do think the stories get much, much better farther into the show, and I began to find things funny. Mostly, though, I was just starting to really care about the characters as a whole. While Yuri was over-the-top, eventually it became something to smile at and she became one of my favorite characters. Miroku, who was usually so “cool,” had a really soft side and moments where he got very emotional in a comedic manner, which brought some humor into his character that I appreciated. I think the winning factor, though, was the fact that, while it makes no sense that such different people could have such a close friendship, they somehow make it work. You start to see how the friendship holds and it actually becomes believable. After watching some behind-the -scenes and seeing how the actors interacted, I started to see where this chemistry comes from. The final episode has surprisingly serious moments, and the overall friendship theme was pretty endearing. I’m pretty easily entertained and I do have to recognize that I don’t think this is the highest-quality show, but I still ended up liking it a lot.

So there you have it. If you’re a Jin fan, you’ll probably like him in this. If you like very silly situations and crazy characters, you’ll probably enjoy the show. If you’re looking for a really good drama and are hesitating about this, I definitely think there are much better shows out there, but if you like friendship stories and are looking for something to watch at a casual pace, then you might want to take a look.


  1. I've tried to watch Yukan Club before but found it hard to get to grips with the characters the fact that Jin stars in it makes the show easier to watch

  2. Yeah, I had the same issue XD Don't worry, it's not an absolute must-see, but more of a watch-when-you-have-spare-time kind of thing. Maybe it'll grow on you like it did me. ^^