Eight years ago, Fukamachi Naoya got lost in the Blue Lantern Festival and strangely met his deceased grandfather. Naoya, who is now a college student, developed the ability to understand people's lies since the day of the festival. When a person tells a lie, his voice is distorted and sounds strange. Parents who noticed Naoya's ability kept Naoya away, and Naoya also lived without having close relationships with others. However, Naoya is interested in Takatsuki Akira, a handsome associate professor whose words carry no lies at all. (Source: Tokai TV YouTube) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Subarashii!That's the feeling I got when I binged this little drama. At a single glance, there really is nothing overtly fabulous or amazing about it. But, it had a strange captivating magic that weirdly reminded me of Harry Potter. Or maybe it's because of the soundtrack and Fukamachi Naoya-kun.
☆ The plot doesn't exist on the surface. Each episode consists of basic mysteries and legends that many of us might have heard in high schools. The two leading heroes and Reiko-senpai set out to mentally solve the troubles that arose and dispel the rumours. What did continue was Takatsuki-sensei's unsatiated search for an actual mystery.
☆ I really loved the leading character, but he might be one of the most boring male leads I've ever seen. But, there was something really realistic about the way he was portrayed. Fukamachi Naoya had accidentally stumbled across an event that was forbidden to be witnessed by the living when he was ten years old. What follows his later years is a punishment: to be a human lie detector. This causes him to isolate himself from literally everyone. By coincidence, he chooses to study Japanese Folklore, leading him directly into the arms of Takatsuki Akira, his young and vigilant professor. Taking an instant connection to him, his new sensei hires him as his assistant and they together unveil legends and solve mysteries. But, Naoya-san never really is able to let go of the negatives that his little "gift" brought along. I connected to him in several ways. There were moments I wished that he would become normal, then I'd wish that he was once again back to being a lie detector. I liked seeing his growth and loved his smile. The dude rarely smiled, but when he did, I would become happy too.
☆ J Doramas rarely disappoint in the acting department. This one doesn't either. (I'm surprised that both the lead actors are Jpop idols.) There were numerous interesting individuals that we got to meet and I looked forward to every new mystery or legend. Most of their performances were really convincing. When it came to Sewai University, there were only a few characters in the spotlight; thanks to his little gift, Naoya-san doesn't have a pack of friends following him. But, those whom he finds solace in are his Sensei and his perky assistant Reiko-chan and later, a lively Nambu-san. I loved their mystery solving though nothing about it was far from normal. EP6 and 7 in particular captured my heart.
The cottage core atmosphere of the drama helped quite a lot. It was calming and simultaneously thrilling to watch.
☆ The opening BGM was very Harry-Potteresque and the drama as a whole felt really magical. Though there was rarely any magic in it. The ending OST Gunjo Runaway by Hey!Say!Jump! grew on me eventually due to many reasons. It's a shame that Japanese songs do not have english lyrics coming along with them.
☆ Last, but not the least is Takatsuki Akira Sensei, the eponymous character of this show. Though we see the events through the eyes of Naoya-san, it is Sensei who is the scene stealer. I didn't know what to think about him. His actions left me ---and Naoya-san-- in a whirl of confusion and his over enthusiastic response to the woes of people made me suspect if he was possessed. Half of the time, I didn't know whether to trust him or pray that Naoya-san runs away from him. He was enigmatic, charismatic and eccentric all rolled into one and I was beyond curious to know about his intentions and plans. His friendship with Ken-Chan piqued my interest.
Not to mention his hyperthesemia, a condition that makes him remember each and everything he has ever come across.
☆And the Bromance! It was a delight seeing the closed off Naoya-san struggle with the very extraverted Sensei. Their interactions were one of my favorite parts of the show. What's more, their rapport was slowly built through trust, something that Naoya-san grappled with. Also, watching the friendship grow between him and Nambu-san was amusing.
☆ I appreciated how they dealt with the topic of the supernatural and the real world in a very neutral manner. It didn't cross the border, but neither did it completely deny its existence. I hope it stays the same way.
☆ The down side about it might be the format of the episodes. We don't focus much on the main characters, but learn some part about them through the experiences of others. This can come off as boring if we aren't interested in the mystery or just don't like episode after episode of a new mystery each. The cases/unsolved events themselves were nothing new; they involve folklore and urban legends that we might find similar to the stories we hear or had heard at school. (Dead ghost/haunted rooms, objects similar to ouja boards, etc.)
Also, if we don't find ourselves comfortable with the characters and their antics, then there is a high chance that the watching experience will be quite bitter.
Many thanks to the fansubbers who spent their time to make it available and understandable for us International viewers. This drama was completely satisfying. (I pleasantly surprised by the montage at the end of the final episode!) Definitely a binge-worthy gem.
I'm still uncertain about whether to watch the second season. As a saying goes, there are some mysteries that are better left unsolved.
A Nice Treat for Supernatural Lovers!To start off, the story is quite unique, it succeeds in mixing up the supernatural element with the modern world smartly. Thus giving it an interesting and enjoyable premise.All characters were well thought and written (Akira's character is not as deeply explored because it is going to be the main focus of the next season). There aren't any unnecessary characters and nowhere in the drama do you think that a scene was dragged out. The acting by all characters is satisfactory. I use the word 'satisfactory' because it is a matter of fact that the acting of few characters (not the main actors) was not amazing at certain times but it should not and it absolutely does not hinder viewers from reaping the maximum enjoyment from the drama. Leaving aside the acting, all char caters included have good dynamics and most importantly:
The chemistry between Akira and Naoya was absolutely mind-blowing!
Personally, I find folklore and myths interesting and maybe that's why this show was more appealing to me (and I could brush off the few loopholes).
But I strongly believe that this show could be enjoyable to those who usually put off supernatural genre dramas.
It's definitely worth a try and its only 8 episodes , so the first two episodes or actually even the first episode is enough for one to understand whether this show is for you or not.