Fuben na Benriya: Eps 3-5 [Review]
Funny hijinks abound in episodes 3-5 of Fuben na Benriya!
Now that I’m five episodes into the drama, I feel like I’ve warmed up to Jun’s character a bit more. He’s still complaining about his series of unfortunate events from time to time, but it’s not as constant as before. The funny thing about Jun is that he always acts like he’s the only “normal” one in the town, when in fact..he fits right into the town’s weirdness. LOL. He is not all that normal, even though he believes he is. For instance, in both episode 2 AND 3, Jun’s imagination runs wild and as a result, he goes on 2 wild goose chases. In episode 3, Jun is convinced that the cosplay bar owner is gay (as a result of seeing the bar owner’s body building posters) and moreover, that the owner has a crush on him. Basically Jun makes WAAAY over-exaggerated speculations all the time. The sad thing is that Jun’s wild imagination sometimes hurts people’s feelings; for instance, he finds out that the bar owner actually isn’t gay–he is a former body-building champion. The owner came back to the town to start the bar and also to take care of his mother (who either has dementia or Alzheimer’s). Ouch. Jun realizes that he went way overboard and (with the prodding of Batsu-san) apologizes.
One thing I like about Jun’s character is how he dabbles in both reality and the imaginary world. He has a totally over-exaggerated imagination and believes really outlandish things. For instance, in ep2, he jumps to conclusions that Hideo & Batsu-san are going to kidnap someone. T_T” On the other hand, Jun is also a realist and declares that God and folklore legends like the Yeti, Bigfoot, and the “Snow Woman” (yuki onna) don’t exist. Jun explains that obviously a huge hairy guy (aka Bigfoot) or a Yeti wouldn’t exist. But when he’s asked how he can know for sure that the Yeti or Bigfoot are like that, he can’t answer. In this sense, Jun just reinforces the idea that these myths are images created by humans, and that he himself has bought into the idea to a certain degree. I also found it interesting that Jun actually believed in the Snow Woman for a while later in episode 5. It’s fun how the drama plays around with reality vs. imagination, and how ideas and beliefs can change so fluidly.
“People in the past made fantasy with mystery and mystique..but that fantasy was destroyed by a trifle called the physical verification, and all of folklore and superstitions were denied. The human imagination was denied by science one after another.” – Hideo
Hideo is also a dreamer that has really philosophical ideas about the world. For instance, he said the entire quote above and Batsu-san and Jun were just like “HUH?”. YUP. Love Hideo, he is such an understated character and yet he’s both funny and thoughtful at the same time. I also feel like he’s more grounded in reality than Jun is, even though he is such a dreamer heh. Oh, and I have to say that I enjoy Hideo & Batsu-san’s friendship. It cracks me up when I see them contrasted with each other–e.g. whenever they have to act out something, Hideo always tries really hard to portray his role while Batsu-san doesn’t even try..he just stands there with a deadpan expression on his face. On top of that, Batsu-san believes that his acting is GOOD. Ahaha!
Hideo is also quite perceptive; he realizes that Batsu-san was hiding Jun’s backpack so that Jun wouldn’t be able to leave the town! Batsu-san still believes that Jun is actually his son, which is why he wants to spend a bit more time with him to get to know him. AWW! So, the possibility that Batsu-san and Jun are actually father and son is still alive! I didn’t realize this until commenters mentioned this theory to me on my first post, oops! >_< Jun says that his dad is dead, but we don’t know the details..maybe Jun means figuratively, as in he has no associations with his father, or he doesn’t have any information on where his dad is? Or maybe Jun’s mom told him his dad is dead?
Lastly for Batsu-san, the one scene I HAVE to comment on is his scene in episode 3, when he’s trying to get it on with the Yeti woman. =_= Was I the only one feeling really uncomfortable there!?! I don’t know if the drama intended it to be funny or what, but it was way more uncomfortable than funny to me.
BTW I made a mistake in my first review–I said that Batsu-san owns the benriya, but I think Hideo is actually the owner. One thing I’m curious about is how and why Batsu-san and Hideo started their benriya. Hideo gave up on his dream of being a photographer, so maybe his starting the benriya was his back-up plan. We have no idea what Batsu-san did before becoming a benriya since he rarely ever talks about his past. There’s this one scene where Jun comments how all Hideo & Batsu-san do is clear the snow. Batsu-san takes offense and rants about how their job is really important to the town, because without them clearing the snow everyone would be snowed in within a day or two. Seems like Batsu-san feels really under appreciated as a benriya, even though much of his work is quite essential.
Favorite funny moments:
- When Jun freaks out and says that the Snow Woman exists, Batsu-san and Hideo (who had asserted that she exists this entire time) tell him “she obviously doesn’t exist”. LOL, talk about role reversal..
- When the three musketeers jump off of the roof, only to end up buried neck-deep into the snow..
- When the three musketeers try to act out a play about the Snow Woman..Batsu-san totally forgets his lines and just stands there. Hideo and Jun actually put in effort into their performances, but Batsu-san believes that he was the best actor. I was totally cracking up during this scene!
- When Jun dresses up like the Yeti (because his dyed hair is grey), OMG!
So, I have officially decided to stick with Fuben na Benriya! Overall, it hits all the right notes for me. It’s funny but also a bit introspective and thoughtful. I really enjoy the reality vs. imagination theme that runs throughout the episodes. The characters are always trying to verify something, whether it be Jun trying to piece together what he did when he was drunk the night before or Batsu-san trying to figure out whether Jun is his real son or not. I’m looking forward to what the future episodes will bring to the story!
Note: I realized I accidentally mixed up Batsu-san’s name (Soichi) with Hideo’s name in my first post. T_T” Oops.
Ending Theme Song – Yuki Kaze (Snow-bearing Wind) by Spitz
Quote translation credit: Monchi