Japan and Korea's biggest names star in this big-scale drama. Nishijima Sho is a Japanese detective whose father was murdered in Korea when he was still a boy. In hopes of discovering the truth behind his father's death, Sho is working undercover in a huge secret organization. Choi Yuna is a Korean woman who visits Japan in search of her missing father. She opens a Korean restaurant with her younger sister, but soon faces the mercy of fate. The couple meets in a corner of Tokyo and fall in love. But what waits ahead of them. A "rondo" of fate, love, and history is about to begin.
Cast & Credits
I’ve been meaning to watch this drama long time ago but obviously I forget about it (I have no idea why) then I found its thread in MDL and decided to give it a chance.
Note: I agree with most points mentioned in the two reviews below but I had to state my opinion.
*Generally speaking this is a smartly written storyline that revolves around the world of crime while having romance as the center of many plot changes.
*Honestly speaking, twists are the most important part of the storyline since you can’t lose interest while watching; those unpredictable events are the reason that catches the audience attention (especially me).
--->Crime/Thriller: This is not a detective drama hence don’t be scared by the intensive police meddling into the storyline; it had some crime elements into it but they weren’t that deep to be fully considered as a “Crime drama”.
Thriller was simply astonishing here; it had many great suspense moments which prohibit you from predicting anything. There were a lot of mind-blowing events that you can’t see it coming therefore I have to give writers credit for many “What? When did that happen?” Scenes.
---->Romance: Though it was a little annoying when it comes to changing the spoken language, this was a well written Japanese-Korean romantic story; there were magnificent cultural interactions within the romantic story which made it more and more fascinating.
Other than that, romance had many charming and dangerous turns thus it will never make lose interest while you’re following its events and development.
*Even if there were some negative points, they didn’t ruin the story’s aspect; they’re acceptable overall.
*This is a Korean Japanese drama consequently there were actors from both sides which made it more interesting than any other Japanese drama cast.
*Takenouchi Yutaka was always a very respectable actor; he was brilliant as this drama’s lead male because the role matched him so well. As you watch his acting, you’d feel depth which makes you want to see more of him on screen.
I am not familiar with Choi Ji Woo but she made through; her acting was believable and full with feelings which made her completely fitting for this type of role.
The rest of actors were good but not too great; in general, they were up to standard.
*As for characters, Sho/Takumi wasn’t an unusual character (discovering the truth behind the death of his father) still it felt creative and very absorbing no matter what sort of events he went through; whether it was action, romance, suspense, the character conveyed many fascinating feelings.
Yuna was a typical character until unpredictable twists took over. On the whole, the character was appreciated mainly because it leaded an unusual path.
*Other characters were important for the story’s development; I couldn’t imagine this kind of story without their presence.
*Appreciated character: Kim Young Jae because he added a special taste to the storyline plus he was one of the most unpredictable characters out there: More mysterious, more fun!
--->Romance: One of the most charming chemistries that I’ve seen so far; it’s one of those romantic stories that you want to see more of it on screen but no matter how much you see it, you feel that it’s not enough. The lead actors had a mesmerizing relationship indeed because every scene they have together was absolutely attractive.
--->Sisterhood: I appreciated the relationship between Yuna and her sister; it felt natural and special in many ways.
It may have fallen into Japanese detective style endings but I haven’t seen it coming no matter how much I think about it, I was thrilled to find out the out-coming of the story.
The ending: 8.5/10.
*For me, this was a joy ride of pleasant events. I loved this drama simply because it was way too far from my predictable sense; it was really absorbing especially near the end.
*I’ve fallen in love with Yukata in this drama; aside from his astonishing look, I felt a great actor in here: I will definitely watch more of his dramas.
*I was bothered by the bilingual characters in here. Though, I stated that I liked the Korean Japanese interactions but I can’t say that I enjoyed changing the language because I watched this drama Raw which made me get a little lost when they spoke Korean, I can understand Japanese but Korean is just a no (My Korean lingual skills are far behind from my Japanese) but fortunately they translated some of them into Japanese.
*Is this drama memorable: Yes it is, simply because of its unpredictable twisty events that made me enjoy it to the extremes. Nonetheless, I don’t think this is the greatest drama out there since there are many others of the same genre that suppresses it.
My impression: 9/10.
*If you like crime Japanese dramas with many twists then you will enjoy this.
*If you like great romantic chemistries then you would like this.
*Rondo is a great drama that’s full of enjoyable twists and great actors who knows how to deliver amazing feelings.
Note: If you were already spoiled, don’t watch this because it makes you lose the taste of its suspense. Another point, I hope you can find subs for this drama because I heard that there weren’t any; it’s a shame that this amazing drama doesn’t get the appropriate attention.
Discovered by mere chance while following Takenouchi Yutaka's work, it soon proved to be one of my best drama findings. It wasn't even listed on MDL, nor have I ever read a review or a comment about it.
Rondo is a romance thriller. The two aspects are smoothly interwoven and so well balanced that I don't know if I should say it's a romance on the background of a major criminal plot, or a thriller with an undertone of romance.
But let me go in order.
Should you decide to watch this drama, don't be deterred by the complex police investigation at the beginning. Slowly but steadily, the jigsaw pieces find their right place and everything becomes clearer and more and more gripping. Never predictable though; on the contrary, there's a twist at every turn.
The love story is simply beautiful. I love the Japanese-Korean interaction between the main leads, it adds a lot of colour to the story and create some very sweet moments. The two characters are a beauty to watch together: both intense and believable, both incredibly good-looking.
Terrific performances by all. Takenouchi proved once again to be an outstanding, very expressive actor and, I can just as well admit it, sexy as hell. The only asian man beside Takeshi Kaneshiro who looks good with a moustache. Choi Ji Woo, whom I had never seen acting before, is wonderful. I loved their first encounter and, since I'm very partial to those, I can say it marked the moment I decided I liked this drama. On screen they share the kind of chemistry which is created by tension and suspicion.
I was impressed by Hayami Mokomichi's and Shin Hyun Joon's performances too.
This is a dark drama. So are the colours, the screenshots, the city views. Black and gray are the predominant hues. The overall photography and direction are spot-on and there were times when I thought I was watching a long movie, instead of a drama.
Wait... the option is not available. Pity, since the music is a blast, at least for my taste. There's an awesome instrumental piece in between ethnic and trip-hop which is so well used I was always longing for it to play. The music plays a major role in connection with the shooting. Very well chosen.
Re-watch value is obviously a little lower, as it always is with suspense dramas. Once the twists are known, a little of the thrill is gone. Which doesn't mean I won't rewatch this drama when a reasonable time will have passed.
There is only one sad note about this show: the quality of the streaming videos available. Subs: an atrocity. Although I marathoned through the drama, I must say it was an odyssey. The first episode, which is 90 minutes long, is impossible to find whole and in the right order. It almost made me give up the drama entirely, until I decided to find an alternative way... I'm glad I did. The rest of the 10 episodes has to be scraped together here and there. But if you have the patience, you won't regret it.