River’s Edge Ookawabata Tanteisha: Eps 6-12 (Finale)

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

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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.

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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.

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^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! 😉

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Overall

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.

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • I was wondering if you were still watching this. I kind of gave up on it mid-way through Ep3 myself. The style was really slick and funny (the slow motion scene in each episode was usually pretty riotous) but for some reason I didn’t find myself getting pulled into the world or caring about the characters. I can totally see how other people would like it though.

    • I started slowing down once I got past the mid-way mark in the drama. Some of the side characters (aka the clients and the people that were being investigated) were really interesting and easy to empathize with while others were not. I think it’s probably better to pick and choose which cases you think are interesting and watch the episodes based on that, instead of watching the entire thing.

      • Yeah seems about right. To be fair it’s tough to do a series like this and have every case be a winner. Even a 50% rate is actually pretty good. Ah what a disappointment 2014 turned out to be for JDrama! Instead we get yet ANOTHER GTO (ffs stop rehashing that thing, Japan) and the disaster that was MOZU’s second half/ Se2. That whole MOZU thing hurt me on a personal level, no joke. HERO Se2 seems to be in a position to redeem things at least. Leave it to king KimuTaku to swoop in and save the day. If all else fails maybe I’ll have to make the transition to T, C, and K Drama… scratch that, never gonna happen.

          • Yeah I guess you’re right. I was just so, so angry about how MOZU turned out. I had juts watched True Detective and MOZUE showed all the signs of being a Japanese equivalent of that masterpiece series. I will mourn, and in time, I will learn to love JDrama again…

  • I really enjoyed this drama, and coming from Mahoro I was a bit worried at first that it was not going to be as good. It turned out that it had a totally different feel — extremely stylish and classy in a very subtle way. I agree with you about the characters’ relationship. In the end they feel like a real family! 🙂

    • Agreed, I love the style of River’s Edge, especially the music. In terms of the music I’d have to say I liked River’s Edge OST better than Mahoro’s.

  • I have been browsing and reading about Mahoro and River’s Edge for quite some time and have been digging your blog for some time too.

    In regards of River’s Edge what make you seem calculated or hesitant to say its a great drama coming from the production Mahoro’s that everyone love so much.

    What is lacking and what is better in terms of those two.

    I hope to hear your feedbacks.

    Thanks

    • Hi thanks for commenting. 🙂 Hm for me, both River’s Edge & Mahoro are good dramas. But I felt that the episodic stories were more consistently interesting in Mahoro than they were in River’s Edge.

      • Thanks for the reply.

        I’m carving for a delicious love story Japanese drama right now. I missed the oldskol Japanese love story. Do you have any recommendation. And a great/excellent mystery drama that are both intense and have romance as well?

        • Actually I can’t think of a mystery x romance drama. Usually they don’t combine the two into one drama. Hm for a love story, the latest most popular rom-com jdrama is Itazura na Kiss.

          • Have you watch One millions stars falling from the Sky. Something similar like that and many oldskol j-dramas. That is my all time fav. I have already found my crack. Hirugao. Usually I stayed away from extramarital affairs drama but this one is different as they didnt make the affairs is legal or acceptable nor did they make it loathe. They featured it as sinful and effecting others and the bad consequences out of it.

            It highlight so many issues in marriage. For me who married for almost 7 years, affaris is sinful and before anything we should communicate and later if the marriage didnt work out talk about divorce before enter into another love.

            Thanks anyway.:)

            • Actually I haven’t seen that one, although I’ve heard of it a lot! Yeah there are a lot of dramas about affairs, but I don’t really like that topic. I do think it’s great when dramas show all sides of affairs though, not just the good or the bad.

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