The tale of Tiger & Dragon revolves around Rakugo, a traditional form of Japanese comedy that can look back on an impressive 400 year long history. Nagase portrays the Yakuza follower Toraji who goes to a Rakugo performer to collect debts, while Okada plays Ryuji a talented Rakugo player who wants to leave behind the old fashioned world of Rakugo for good. Shortly afterwards these two very different characters happen to cross paths through a girl named Megumi and that's when all the real trouble starts igniting... Add Synopsis In Portuguese
Cast & Credits
- Nagase TomoyaYamazaki Toraji / Hayashiyatei KotoraMain Role
- Okada JunichiYanaka Ryuji / Hayashiyatei KotatsuMain Role
- Nishida ToshiyukiYanaka Shokichi / Hayashiyatei DonbeiMain Role
- Shunputei ShotaHayashiyatei DonkichiSupport Role
- Matsumoto JunYoshikoSupport Role
- Ito MisakiMegumiSupport Role
First off, it's a brilliantly written comedy featuring badass YAKUZA. How does this NOT get butts in seats in anticipation to this show!? This show is freakin' hysterical; I think I considered rakugo as a profession for a while (it gives me an excuse to rewatch the show too). I questioned my own manliness as I saw Tora, the most loyal, manly yakuza this side of Shibuya, grace the screen. His glare of anger will strike fear into the most hard-boiled viewers; I thought his eyebrow-muscles were permanently altered to give off such glares. When I become a Yakuza boss (in my dreams), I WILL hire Tora at all costs. Even though he's part of a questionable organization, you realize he is a man of loyalty to a great faction in Yakuza.
The show mostly features Tora's (and Ryuji's) daily life once Tora learned of rakugo. Tora really sucks at rakugo (or just making anyone laugh, as his story-telling skills are the same as Buzz Kilington), but practices like a champ. For the most part, each episode features Tora describing how a real-life event is similar to the story his master told earlier; flashing back to the moments where the real-life action took place. The drum beat when they announce Tora's rakugo act is still second-nature to me; I still expect his stories. Tora even grew better as a storyteller as the story progresses, becoming a stage-favorite.
At the beginning, the blend of his rakugoka (traditional Japanese comedian) job at day, and debt-collecting Yakuza at night was comedic. However, Kudo-sensei couldn't just leave it at that. The Yakuza part of Tora's life is a major part of who he is as a person, and owes his life to his organization. As the story DEVELOPS (mature story development in a comedy!? OMIGERDZ!), you realize how Tora and his life isn't a comedy. I won't say much about the ending, but it was PERFECT. I'm sad that the ride ended, but it was one of the best. The post-drama haze is strong. It's been about a week, and I'm still wondering when I'll hear a story from Tora.
The cast consists of actors Kudo has worked with in the past, and in the future. Nagase is an excellent actor; the way he shows emotion with his whole face is a rare talent. It doesn't even need to be an over-the-top moment; you FEEL his character. I first saw him as the self-conceited detective from "Unubore Deka," but that disappear once he spoke. I admire actors with versatility in their roles. I can't praise his acting enough without turning this review into "Why I love Nagase Tomoya: his face." Junichi also acted as the easy-to-anger shopkeeper who is somewhat insecure about his clothes. News flash: he sucks as a designer; brace the bizarre fashion he thinks is "cool." Seriously, these actors from Johnny's are NOT just pretty faces; they have acting chops that are on par with non-idol actors.
The rest of the cast instantly grow as their characters. The show makes you feel like you're watching a family, not a group of actors. The show features visualizations Tora sees when he hears master's stories; the cast act as the characters in the rakugo stories extremely well. I LOVE versatility in actors! The actors/actresses in this show just makes you feel right. They feel natural in their roles; which is the best thing for viewers to be immersed in the story's universe.
Being a drama with Yakuza, they have some Yakuza music. My favorite song from the OST was "Tiger & Dragon" from the Crazy Ken Band. The song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rwW7Qx9z2E) describes the Yakuza vibe from Tora quite well. The ending theme was from V6, as most dramas featuring Johnny's HAVE to feature a Johnny's song SOMEWHERE. It was a bit out-of-place, being the idol song in a drama with a solid OST featuring the Crazy Ken Band, but the song grew on me. Your mileage may vary, as there are probably some people who aren't too keen on pop music, especially idol music.
This drama is another show to add to my shrine of Kudo-worship. It's funny, grows up with you, and is touching. Really, it's a show to watch if you have a sense of humor, love Yakuza, or want to learn about a great & original writer working in the industry right now.
Where to even begin? The feels! The freaking feels I get from this drama. Not only is it funny (seriously, it's impossible not to kneel over from laughter every episode), but it's so touching and heartfelt. The bonds each character has with one another is not easily forgotten, and it's hard to choose which interactions I enjoy the most. Honestly, I love all of them! That is probably a prime example why I prefer jdramas over all the other asian dramas. There is so much heart in this drama, it makes my own heart want to explode.
And can I just say again how funny this drama is. Honestly, it's one of the funniest dramas I've ever seen. Kotora, the main character, is yakuza but wants to do rakugo (a form of classical Japanese storytelling), and each episode he learns a different story and incorporates it into reality (whatever situation the characters happen to find themselves in that day) and performs it. It's really so funny, I seriously can't stress that enough. If you're going to watch this, be prepared to bust a gut.
Omg please watch this. Please? If you love jdramas and you've never seen this, you need to get on it. If you're new to the genre, WATCH IT. Just everyone should watch it. You really won't regret it.
Btw, Tiger & Dragon has THE PERFECT ENDING. Honestly, I was just so happy and giddy, and I was grinning from ear to ear. Just, everything comes together so nicely at the end. Outstanding drama!