Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Good Luck!! Review (2003)

Drama Rating: ****
Personal Rating: All time favourite!!

Shinkai works as a first officer at ANA with his sights set on becoming a full captain.  However, he seems to have gotten on the wrong side of Captain Koda, a cold and stern pilot from the flight audit department who seems dismissive of Shinkai's attitude towards rules and regulations.  Meanwhile, Ogawa, a tough-looking mechanic at the same company, seems to dread flying and appears to be carrying some tough, emotional baggage.  Can Shinkai get through to Ogawa and get back into Captain Koda's good books?

*Spoiler warning*

The script for this jdrama was superbly written.  Plots for each episode were very engaging, highly original and ingeniously written to make use of potential flight scenarios to further character development. A number of side stories were beautifully woven in the series including the complex relationship between Captain Koda and Ogawa as well as the tension between Shinkai and his father. In writing this series, care was obviously taken to make the plot captivating and entertaining without being tacky or cliche. I certainly applaud the screenwriters for creating such a professional and yet inspiring drama for us to enjoy.

This was one of the best casts I've seen assembled for a drama.  The storyline was rock solid but it was definitely the cast that brought it to life. Cool and at times a bit emotional, Kimura Takuya's Shinkai was very well balanced by Tsutsumi Shinichi's stern but always collected Captain Koda and Shibasaki Kou's tough Ogawa. Uchiyama Rina's impertinent Fukaura and the always reliable Chiefs Ota and Togashi kept the series running smoothly. Adding Takenaka Naoto's Jane Naitou to the mix gave the drama a bit of spice and seasoning. The wordless encounter between Captain Yamagami and Captain Koda was truly touching and heartfelt, remaining as one of the most memorable scenes of the entire series.  With a strong cast filming scenes like this, it was no wonder that this drama achieved overall viewership ratings over 30%.  The acting among the core and supporting cast was superb throughout and highly commendable.

The music was superbly done and blended well with the sound effects. I particularly liked the main theme that was used in various places, often keeping a very regal sound, conveying a sense of excitement to the audience but also that of resolution and hope. In other parts, the music was used very nicely to moderate the series as opposed to exaggerating emotions as in some other dramas. For example, the sad, sentimental sounds during which Ogawa told her story held a glimmer of hope before transitioning back into the main theme. That was followed by another transition into a calming section where we learn a little bit more about Fukaura's situation before shifting back into a much more hopeful sound as we come to a resolution of the issue. Overall, I really enjoyed the many differing atmospheres conveyed by the music and the sound effects as they complemented the scenes very nicely.

Truly inspirational! This series kept me highly entertained despite the more or less calm and professional nature of the characters. While there were some intense emotional moments in this drama, they were never over the top and conveyed to the audience the depth of emotion in the series. The storyline and acting were perfectly matched with the well-picked and well-timed musical selections and sound effects.  There were some slight weaknesses shown by the relatively inexperienced Uchiyama Rina but those were hardly noticeable.  All in all, an excellent drama well worth watching!

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