Yokohama is the star [Rating: 8/10]
I'm halfway through this series. It was slow to start with and I couldn't really gel with the characters but it gets engaging. Food is a supporting cast but the biggest star has to be the sights and suburbs of Yokohama. It makes me want to visit this city in the shadow of Tokyo! Another thing I got from this series was the deep respect for food. Kuitan always begins his eating with a sincere heartful, thanks irregardless of whether it is sushi or a bun. I will never look at food in the same way again!
Kuitan Special DVD: Only for die-hard fans [Rating: 5/10]
I watched this Special DVD right after the Season 1 DVD. It was disappointing as the Kuitan character was vastly different from Season 1. It was as if Higashiyama Noriyuki forgot the essence of his original character: humbleness and humility.
Hong Kong is not a pretty backdrop for this series; the Cantonese food is uninspiring; and the Chinese actors/actresses could be better looking. Kuitan actually could be seen without eating food while walking.
All in, a clumsy effort to introduce a Hong Kong office of the Holmes Agency. I hope they don't try to export the format to other countries.
|Lunch no Joou [ランチの女王]|
Food is a supporting cast here [Rating: 8/10]
From a gourmet point of view, food is secondary here. The drama just happens to unfold in an old-school yoshoku restaurant. There are a few food and dish pointers along the way but nothing documentary or technical like Teppan Girl or Shota no Sushi. The focus is on the tight cast and characters.
However I think it is unbelieveable that 4 men who look nothing like each other, nor their dad, are cast as "brothers".
With this out of the way, just enjoy the story. It's addictive.
|Teppan Shoujo Akane [鉄板少女アカネ]|
Light-hearted but watchable [Rating: 7/10]
The main thing I got out of this drama was the catchy theme single "Sayonara" by Orange Range. Otherwise Akane Teppan Girl is perfectly watchable for the tight interaction between the likeable and campy characters.
Yes, treatment of the regional delicacies was shallow and they could have given a little more depth to the ingredients and "terroir" rather than have Akane drive somewhere far, "fight" and then return to Tokyo.
The final episode was not entirely satisfying and I felt the producers rushed the plot to squeeze it into 9 chapters. However, when it finally finished I wanted to see more of Akane and Shinta-san and their road trips.