River’s Edge Ookawabata Tanteisha: Eps 6-12 (Finale)
As you may have noticed, I ended up waiting ’til I finished the entire drama to write up my next (and last) review of River’s Edge. The drama starts out really strong with its own distinct feel, an interesting trio of main characters, and quirky episodes. Its cinematography and classy vibes remain strong throughout the entire show, and each story is told with ease. The thing that makes River’s Edge fun to watch is that it takes the seemingly mundane and turns it into something off the wall and interesting. The following episodes are the cases that stick out in my memory the most: (not including eps 1-5.)
- The boss’ case–One of my favorite episodes because we finally got to learn about the boss’ past!
- The super marathon runner–This was a really bizarre episode especially with its bleak ending. It piqued my interest in the drama once again.
- The ice-woman–This is another one of those guy-looking-for-woman-from-the-past episodes, but the ending was much more poignant.
- The scary-face contest–LOL WHAT?
But although there are some memorable episodes, I also felt that the drama started petering out towards the middle of the show once it started using similar scenarios. There is this one kind of story that River’s Edge tends to use–the type where the client is a lonely guy searching for a woman from his past. (Interestingly enough, the drama focuses more on lonely bachelors than on bachelorettes..which is an anomaly for a jdrama..) At the end of these stories, there’s always a big reveal at the end when the client finds out that the woman is drastically different from what he imagined. This scenario can be both funny and touching, but the problem is that the drama reuses it a few times! That being said, I think River’s Edge would’ve held my attention much better if only it had a greater variety of cases and clients, rather than focusing on the ‘lonely bachelor’ client so much.
At the beginning of the show, I noticed that we didn’t really know much about the main characters. I had hoped that the drama would gradually reveal the characters’ backgrounds & motivations…but by the time I got to the ending, I still knew close to nothing about them. There are so many unresolved questions, such as why Muraki has these premonitions in his dreams, where Megumi & the boss came from, etc. I really wish we could’ve gotten the answers to these questions, but at the same time, I think the drama leaves their pasts as a secret for a reason.
In the last episode, Megumi asks Muraki what he did before he came to the detective agency…but he remains silent. She goes on to say that he doesn’t have to answer since after all, she never told him and the boss about her background either. The answer here is clear–that we will never find out about their pasts because they simply don’t want to share it in the first place. Megumi, Muraki, and the boss all have the mutual understanding that they don’t have to know about each others’ lives. It’s not that they don’t want to know about each other..but it’s more that they respect each other’s wishes which is why they don’t ask. Perhaps this aspect of their friendship could be viewed as distant and cold…but I think they actually have a close bond in which their backgrounds don’t matter to each other.
^Megumi still cracks me up in every episode.
..BUT I have to say that even though I know we don’t have to know more about the main characters…I still want to know!! 😛 That’s part of why I love episode 12 (finale) so much–because we finally find out stuff about the boss! It turns out that the boss used to be with the government, and he was involved with major government cover-ups that involved some dirty work. O_O He later disentangled himself from his past by disappearing and even changing his name. Considering how interesting the boss’ past is, just imagine how much better it’d be if we knew Muraki & Megumi’s pasts too, darn it!!! Maybe I need to read the manga?? The other thing I love about ep12 is the ending because it sums up the threesome’s friendship perfectly. It pretty much goes unsaid that the three of them are willing to go through thick and thin together when the time comes. Megumi, Muraki, and the boss may seem like an unconventional trio at first, but by the ending it feels like they are all meant to be together! 😉
River’s Edge is a fun drama to watch because of its wry humor, eccentric cases, and the interactions between the 3 main characters. I can’t call it a total must watch because I think only some of the cases are must-watches, not all of them. In regards to whether it’s better than Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi, I think I found the episodic stories more interesting in Mahoro than in River’s Edge. However I also enjoyed the characters’ interactions equally in both dramas, and I think River’s Edge has a more humorous edge to it.