Ouroboros

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  • Score: 8.7 (scored by 3,497 users)
  • Ranked: #183
  • Popularity: #320
  • Watchers: 9,432

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Completed
japanesedrama
61 people found this review helpful
Apr 14, 2015
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5
Oguri Shun and Ikuta Toma together in a drama after 8 whole years? I was sure I'm gonna like this drama the moment I heard the news, but I had no idea that this drama was going to be SO good. It's the best jdrama I've seen in a long time. I couldn't wait for the next week's episode. I honestly can't think of a single thing I didn't like about it, but let's take a detailed look:

* Story:

Ryuzaki Ikuo and Danno Tatsuya are two orphans who grew up in an orphanage called Mahoroba. When they were there the woman who took care of them and was like a mother to them got killed by someone before Ikuo's eyes. The were threatended by the police not to reveal anything and the case was mysteriously covered up. Determinded to take revenge for her death, 20 years later, Ikuo has become a detective and Tatsuya has risen to the ranks of Yakuza, in order to find the truth and expose her murderer.
(Based on the manga series "Ouroboros" by Kanzaki Yuuya)
It may sound cheesy, but believe me it's a lot more complicated and unpredictable than what it's expected to be, keeping you on edge up to the very end.

* Acting/cast

the two protagonists: they were both very realistic and convincing. When it comes to Oguri, everytime I see him in a drama/movie, I'm blown away by his acting skills and talent and this time was not an exception. Ikuta on the other hand, did a fantastic job as well. I always liked his acting, but I think now he has matured as an actor and he was absolutely flawless.
the rest of the cast was excellent too, especially Ueno Juri, who supported her role really superbly. So were the two sweet kids who played litte Ikuo and Danno.

* Music

One word : fantastic. The main OST "no one" by ENA and Sakura by Arashi fit perfectly to the drama's atmosphere and to characters's psychology, linking harmonically to the plot

* Overall

a fantastic drama with a great bromance, much suspence, a little bit of romance and plot twists, leading to an unexpected climax as it is progressing, that will draw you in feels.

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Completed
purplenette
41 people found this review helpful
Apr 15, 2015
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Everything about this drama is what I like. The writing and directing with dark and light and other symbolism. I think there are some good twists and turns although I wouldn't say it isn't expected. There is suspense, action, and deep abiding love. It is just my kind of drama. The story isn't original, but it is well written and enjoyable. The ending is expected to me and satisfactory.

Ikuta Toma as Ryuzaki Ikuo and Oguri Shun as Danno Tatsuya are perfection. The emotions I felt from these actors are the reason why they have done so many dramas/movies. It makes me want to go back and watch all the dramas that I have missed. There are some other great characters in this drama played by some good actors.

I liked the music.

I may rewatch this some day.

I recommend this drama.

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Completed
PickyMcpickleton
11 people found this review helpful
Jan 12, 2016
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Ouroboringmess.

If you were to ask me what I liked about this drama, I would be brutally honest in saying, Oguri Shun's deep voice, Oguri Shun occasionally topless, Oguri Shun's terrible glasses that still make my heart flutter and lastly Oguri shun's double “kabe don” which is a word I just learned recently and he can double “kabe-don” me any time. Nothing else though because I'm not a creeper.

So what about the drama? This drama is a very mildly loveable mess that was borderline an annoyance at times. It gathers a really cool and quite decent cast and pretty much flings the dog shit that is the script at them. This script is so messy and at times just borderline stupid. It's got themes of cheesy speeches, saintly characters, feel good nonsense and the stereotypical Japanese and dorama cliches packaged into a rather nonsensical plot.

Supposedly intelligent characters behave in such irrational ways making me find them irrevocably stupid. There is very little intelligent planning and don't let the convoluted dialogue full you as the revelations are tame if not illogical and the end result from most sequences is often, very avoidable injuries. Suspense is developed in very soap opera like fashion and boy did that make me cringe.

This is one of the few scripts where the leads do not evade bullets because people are still clinging to that scarface theme but hold the applause, because they could hike mount kilimanjaro with bullet wounds in them. Did I mention they recover from bullet wounds quicker than the common cold. One minute Oguri Shun is limping, the next, you wouldn't even know he was shot in the leg. However, these little illogical inconsistencies were not what really brought this down.

The plot simply could not keep track of itself and there were random revelations that revealed plot holes that just made you question this. The whole vengeance theme is super loose and ultimately features numerous clichés that were hard to overlook such as:

A very inflexible female lead. Oh did I mention how absolutely annoying she is. She is the very definition of wishy washy and completely unrealistic especially for a detective!
Invincible leads who have been left alive for twenty years for reasons no one knows. Oh yeah, that's right, we need them to conveniently be skilled so we can have a plot. Expect very convenient situations.
A convoluted plot with a horrific yet totally nonsense revelation.
A rushed ending with soap opera like theatrics that made me roll my eyes.
Overall cheesy speeches and preceding dialogues and speeches when someone is about to kill someone. Seriously, I don't know why they have to give five minute speeches before they kill someone.
Oh yes, speeches before big revelations and someone eventually dies halfway during this speech leaving very little valuable information. I thought I was watching a telenovela. You know how when someone is about to reveal who the father is on their deathbed and they cough and wheeze for a good 10 minutes before dying by uttering one syllable. “It was am---” DEAD.
Cliche suspense music. The only way it could be worse is if they put the tom and jerry theme.
Oh, this drama also features terrible parents.


I do feel my rating is on the generous side although some may not agree but I halfway commented that this drama would be very lucky to get a five from me.

Overall, a convoluted and nonsensical mess that misuses its cast.

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Completed
femmedesneiges
15 people found this review helpful
Jun 26, 2016
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 2.0
Story 2.0
Acting/Cast 2.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
A melo-melo revenge drama, featuring a histrionic plot I've seen done better elsewhere. A good friend forewarned me of its pretentiousness, and pretentious it certainly turned out to be. The symbolism is half-hearted and doesn't quite seem to click into place, whether with the characters or the events of the story. The plot itself, and all of its twists, are sometimes illogical and sometimes just meandering. My overall impression is that of "making it up as you go along".

As for the characters, I'm an Oguri Shun anti-fan, so I was all geared up to hate Danno Tatsuya. To my utmost dismay, I hated Ikuta's character, Ikuo, instead. Danno might have been lacking in the expression department, but I'll take the sulkiness over Ikuo's countless "Tacchan~"s, with those big, teary, otome eyes. I suppose they were designed to "bounce off" one another, but in all honesty they were simply caricatures of two extremes.
Ueno's Hibino Mizuki had no personality beyond "female cop with daddy issues" and "Ikuo's moral support". Nothing much to say; characters like that are dime a dozen.

The acting ranges from a rather hammy and melodramatic Ikuta, to a monotonous Oguri, to poor Ueno Juri doing her bestest with a duff role.
Takito Kenichi has a good turn as a sarcastic yakuza-hunting cop, but it's hardly a stand out character. And what exactly was Yoshida Kotaro doing here? I suspected his character all the way through the drama, and now I feel short-changed. After putting up with all this boredom and dreariness, I can't believe I've been deprived of one of his stellar villainous performances.

Now... In conclusion. I'm tempted to say this about the whole drama, but... The last few episodes especially were spectacular as an exercise in bathos. I couldn't stop laughing out loud at all the ~revelations~. They kept coming at me like a goddamn tennis ball launching machine. For that reason I give it 2 points.

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Completed
sophie williams
3 people found this review helpful
Apr 15, 2015
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
AMAZING!!!!
I found the Ouroboros series because I have been reading the manga, not only that but I found out that my two favourite actors were also the main actors (Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun)

The story is incredible, the cast is amazing, the music I personally love. Everything I would want in a drama is in this series, I want to re-watch right now and I have just finished it!

The main story is very strong and even though there are a couple of mysteries along the way, the story never leans off the path. The relationship, friendships, enemies that you come across really make the story beautiful. I can not recommend this drama enough

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Completed
Imara
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 23, 2018
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
When I knew that Oguri Shun and Ikuta Toma will be together in this serie after Hanakimi, I knew I had to watch it. And I'm so happy, I loved the show so much!!!
The scenes they are together are awesome. The story wasn't at all what I was expecting and you are keeped on the edge cause you don't know what is going to happen just almost until the last minute.
The acting is very good. Perhaps I'm not really objective, cause both actors are among my favorite Japanese actors ever, but even at the end of this drama, I couldn't guess what Ryuzaki Ikuo (Ikuta Toma) was thinking to do. Ueno Juri's acting was good too.
If you aims to watch something with a good mistery, action and good actors, this is it!

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Completed
akisame
3 people found this review helpful
Dec 29, 2015
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This is a drama that I'm going to find difficult to review, because whilst I would love to sing praises for Ouroboros because it was an exciting and touching drama that kept me on the edge of my seat and always had my full attention, it did have its flaws. I don't really want to touch upon those flaws, so I could just inflate my score and only talk about what I loved. However, in order to maintain my impartiality and not mislead anyone, I must, as a good citizen of Dramaland, discuss those flaws.

Ouroboros' main problems lie within its unoriginal story and how said story is executed. I'm not saying that is a bad thing because plenty of stories are unoriginal, story writing thrives on borrowing elements and themes from one another, but its how these unoriginal stories are tackled that is what makes them original. Do I make sense? (I probably don't because I'm an insomniac, and my brain is muddled due to lack of sleep). I digress - my point was, Ouroboros doesn't do anything different with its story to make it original. Most of the major plot twists can be seen from a mile off and have been seen before. It makes the scriptwriting seem a bit lazy and contrived, because an intelligent viewer has already figured out something major before the characters had. There are also lot of plot holes. They aren't exactly massive, but they're important enough to be detrimental to the score of the drama. After you watch Ouroboros you'll probably be sitting there wondering why so and so's backstory wasn't properly explored before they popped on screen, or what happened to so and so after so and so was killed. The villain of the week type structure that the writers were trying to maintain for the first 4-5 episodes, whilst attempting an overarching storyline, is what contributed to the problems in plot. There's also a massive sense of inevitability from the outset of the drama.

However, despite my criticisms of the predictable nature of the drama, I do commend the writers for managing to keep the MAIN major plot twist unpredictable. I did really go WTF when the BIG big reveal was revealed, and when the drama ended. And as I said before, whilst there is a massive sense of inevitability from the beginning of the drama, the ending will genuinely have you sitting in shock for a couple of seconds (maybe more of you're a more sensitive viewer).

Whilst the story might not be particularly innovative, the characters sure are. Ryuuzaki and Danno are not your typical one-dimensional revenge drama male leads. Both believed they had gone off the righteous path a long time ago, when they were really still struggling between right and wrong. Ryuuzaki found it difficult to fight between his desire to avenge the only mother-figure he'd ever known or just forget his vengeance and move on with his life with a woman who cared for him. Danno - who just seemed like a ruthless, yet intelligent, yakuza - who didn't want anyone to see the real him and was still holding on to the love he had as a child and was willing to sacrifice himself for another's happiness. Whilst the two did do quite immoral things and sold themselves as dishonest men, the trajectory they went through for redemption - and eventual happiness - was befitting and highlighted their essentially child-like souls. I also think that the two had one of the sweetest and endearing bromances as well. The two characters were also played wonderfully with great nuanced performances by Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun - who had a great dynamic with each other.

Inspector Hibino was also a beautifully sincere and resilient character who learnt that forgiveness can be more important than justice when it comes to the people you hold near to you. Although she went through a lot of pain during Ouroboros' run, her trajectory made her grow as a person and see the world in a wider sense so you just knew that her scars will heal and she'll come back even better. Ueno Juri played her so wonderfully that I forgot she's the same actress who played Nodame - she really became Hibino Mizuki.

The supporting characters were also great and there wasn't a single character or performance I disliked. The villain, though, was a bit eh but otherwise the rest of the cast managed to hold their ground and deliver nuanced performances despite the three leads being at such a magnanimous level of talent.

At its heart, Ouroboros is essentially a character study which redeems the somewhat lacklustre plot since the characters in Ouroboros are so relateable and are backed up by an excellent cast. Don't watch Ouroboros if you're hoping for something that breaks the mould in the revenge genre, but watch it because you'll be moved by each characters trajectory and the realness of their suffering.

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Completed
Erin
3 people found this review helpful
May 2, 2016
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Definitely never saw the ending coming; never could I ever predict all the twists, turns, and mysteries that were in this amazing drama! This story is fascinating, sad, bittersweet, sickening, honest, lovely, and shows the true meaning of friends and family. It is a wonderful story and I definitely think the cast only adds to that!

The bit of Ikuta Toma being Arashi... that's just a bonus I think! (;

I definitely recommend this to many Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun fans; but, this cast has many spectacular supporters and main roles as well, so don't leave anyone out even if you watched for a specific person. I feel like this drama is what it honestly is: a DRAMA. There was so much to swallow that towards the end I was afraid I couldn't keep up, but the recaps helped and if you follow the subtitles closely it helps a lot too. Otherwise, you may get lost because there are some episodes that move fast. Also, prepare tissues...

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Completed
jegsliter
11 people found this review helpful
Apr 14, 2015
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 4.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
For me, this is the biggest disappointment not only this season, but in years. When I heard about who would star in Ouroboros I was really happy. There were enough big names to make this one a real classic, instead we got horrendous storytelling and waste of real acting talent.

Here are some of my complaints:

*The flashbacks. They added absolutely nothing to the story, and the horrendous background music that played every time a flashback appeared made them unbearable to watch. There were also way too many flashbacks, and they didn't make me care about their sensei at all.

*Nothing really happened the first 4-5 episodes. The drama could have been halved without any effect on the storyline whatsoever.

*The acting was subpar. You'd think with all the talented actors they had you'd get some amazing performances, but no. Every single character was unlikable or just plain boring, the acting was very very over the top and shounen manga like. Just last year Oguri Shun had one of his best performances ever in Borders and now in Ouroboros he seemed like he didn't even care about acting. The acting was so so mediocre, bordering on bad.

*The general story. I feel like the story went nowhere. For the first half of the drama the two brothers were just chasing a villain of the week without getting any closer to solving the mystery. When we finally get closer to the truth everything gets brushed aside like it didn't matter. Everything happened so quickly in the end, and it just couldn't engage me at all.

This was a massive, massive disappointment. Oguri Shun, Ikuta Touma, and Ueno Juri are just too talented to be wasted on a garbage show like this.

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Completed
Ophois
1 people found this review helpful
May 19, 2015
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
Well, since this drama is a manga adaptation so i feel like there is something missing but couldn't tell which part excatly. However, i would recommend this drama for anyone i think anyone can watch this easy to watch drama since it's more like mainstream drama for me with one suspence that start from beginning to the end. Maybe i feel some part is not strong enough for me but still i want rate this as 10 but i changed to 9.5 since it didn't fulfill my feeling much enough to rate it as 10. I think it just my own opinion that i want to see more about Tatsuya's yakuza side and the story on this side to and some more reasonable scene that make 2 police officers release him better than what it showed in this drama. Well overall, it's good enough for me to enjoy watching it until the end. I expected to be a little better but since it hasa manga version which i haven't read so the story probably need to follow the manga version as well, so it doesn't be like whati want to see. I have love the bromance between the 2 main leads as well, very nicely done and also the ending even though it was sad but it was ok for this drama since they said many times that they both have only one goal in their life is to revenge for Yuiko, so this ending is acceptable for me.

The acting was really good, without any dissapointment from all the stars in this drama. I would say Shun did better though, he suits this character so much.

The music was good enough for me even thought i'm not a fan of Arashi but the emotional scene has a verynice BG music, i like the slow BG one better theme song.

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Completed
Elle
1 people found this review helpful
Mar 1, 2017
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Ikuta Toma and Oguri Shun play childhood friends set on avenging the death of their beloved teacher. To this end, Ikuta becomes a detective while Oguri has risen through the ranks of organized crime. This drama was adapted from a dark, seinen manga. In its 10 episodes, it can not possibly grasp the complexity in the original work, I feel like this drama does a great job realizing the feel and tone of the original work. It is great to see Oguri Shun and Ikuta Toma working together again. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to see Ikuta in a more serious role. I would advise that this drama is fairly dark and has a very somber tone. I wouldn't suggest it for anyone looking for a happy ending. Ouroboros' OST is so good, featuring songs such as "No One" and Arashi's "Sakura." You should definitely give it a try!

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Completed
Pydron
2 people found this review helpful
Aug 22, 2015
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
This review may contain spoilers
Ouroboros is a good drama with an excellent story and decent acting but unable to reach its full potential due to some problems with regard to storytelling. Hopefully this spoiler less review can help you decide whether this drama is worthy of your time.

Story
A policeman and a gangster work together to find the killer of their beloved teacher at the orphanage they grew up. Based on a popular manga (that I didn’t read), the story is both the best and the worst part of this drama.
The main characters are interesting with regard to whether their personalities are ‘good’, ‘bad’ or something in between. The story uses good symbolism, raises some interesting questions with regard to justice and ‘doing what is right’ and the ending was above average. However, there are some problems to be found with regard to the way the story is told:
-The beginning of the drama doesn’t really contribute to the overall story, whereas the latter episodes feel rushed. They could have allocated the story better over the 10 episodes.
- There are a lot of characters that are named but not really explored until they are revealed to have some secret. These shocking revelations did not have the impact they were supposed to have, simply because I didn’t care for these characters I only knew from face.
- Some secondary characters do not act logically but do what’s best for the plot, which often makes no sense at all and can be considered to be lazy writing. For instance, character X absolutely hates character Y and swears revenge, but when X gets the opportunity to take revenge he lets Y go without any good reason. Character W is trapped somewhere, but when W is able to communicate with character Z , W does not tell W’s location but haves some dramatic dialogue instead, which made no sense in that moment. There is an abundance of out-of-character writing that harms the great core story
- The abundance of flashbacks. Seeing the same scenes over and over gets a bit tiresome. Moreover, sometimes there are flashbacks to scenes that happened only minutes before. The flashbacks were overdone and made the show a bit melodramatic (although I guess some people like this).

Acting
The show has two excellent main leads who gave a good performance. Especially Oguri Shun was able to convincingly portray the dark side of the gangster whilst still being a character to root for. Ikuta Toma is also a great actor, but in this role he sometimes tends to overact in the more emotional scenes. Ueno Juri played her character well in most scenes, but was also struggling in some of the emotional scenes. With regard to the large supporting cast I only found Hirosue Ryoko (the sensei) and the child actor portraying Tacchan noteworthy.

Music
Although it is normal for Japanese drama’s to use the same dramatic song in every episode, it was used to many times in this drama (sometimes three times in one episode…) and wasn’t that great to begin with. The ending song of each episode (Arashi – Sakura) fitted the theme quite well.

Rewatch Value
Because this is mainly a detective show, the rewatch value is low. Of course you could watch it again to look for clues you might have missed the first time, but many ‘subtle’ clues were hard to miss.

To summarize, if you are interested in detectives/crime/bromance/drama than this is a very nice drama to watch, because it tells a very good story. However, the way the story is told is flawed and prevents this show from becoming great. It is still a good drama, but if you have high standards with regard to storytelling, you might want to consider to watch a different drama ?

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