Saturday, February 1, 2014
UMI NO UE NO SHINRYOJO (海の上の診療所)
Umi No Ue No Shinryojo is about a young doctor named Kota Sezaki (Shota Matsuda) who is hired to practice on a boat clinic called the Kaishinmaru. The Kaishinmaru travels to rural islands located in the Seto Inland Sea due to the lack of medical resources in the area. Dr. Kota is talented and highly skilled, but his reasons for accepting the job is a mystery. What is immediately known by the staff of the Kaishinmaru is that Dr. Kota is single and falls for beautiful women a bit too quickly. Will he eventually find that special someone or will he be destined to sail on the Kaishinmaru empty handed?
Recommendation: I've seen Shota Matsuda in "Hana Yori Dango" and "Tsuki No Koibito". I wasn't a huge fan of his, but he showed some range in this drama as an eccentric young doctor. I enjoyed his acting, but despite his best efforts, the drama as a whole was a bit dull and slow. I think it was meant to be a bit on the slow side, in a way showcasing the calm and serene life of rural Japan. I did enjoy the beautiful shots of the ocean and mountains, but as a drama it didn't arouse much excitement in me.
If I could sum up the drama in just a few words, the story is really all about misunderstandings and miscommunication as Dr. Kota repetitively visits one island after the next and falls in love with the first beautiful woman he sets his eyes on, only to be dumped or realizing that said beautiful woman already has a lover. The first episode started out mysteriously, but all the mysteries and tense subplots ended up being nothing more than misunderstandings that were resolved easily. Also, every person or acquaintance of said person he encounters has an accident which is not only coincidental, but just too patterned for my taste. In the end, I had a hard time trying to figure out what exactly this drama was about. I thought the last two episodes were good, but it was a little too late. I really felt Emi Takei's character, Mako chan could have been utilized better. I would have added more scenes that develop the relationship between Dr. Kota and Mako chan like maybe adding more scenes of walking through the countryside and talking about a variety of issues. Their relationship just felt awkward to me and to have them come together in the end didn't feel realistic.
If you want to see a drama that's a bit slow with some subtle humor and you like Shota Matsuda then by no means, please watch this drama. Unfortunately, for me, it was a bit light in terms of story, character development and overall excitement. I think the Kaishinmaru can sail on without me.
Character Development: 0.5
Emotional Factor: 0.5
2.5 Out Of 5.0 Crowns