Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jdrama Review: Bloody Monday (2008)

Bloody Monday, Season 1 

Here’s an anomaly. I profess to love Kdramas, and yet the first review I shall make here is of a Jdrama. Be not concerned; I haven’t abandoned my first love! I just haven’t completed an actual Kdrama in some time. (Watching Nice Guy as it airs has been truly unbearable – I’m much more of a marathon watcher.) 

I only began Bloody Monday because I was told by a dear friend that Miura Haruma was hot. And come on; look at the boy. He is a hottie. He also happens to be a damned good actor, of which I suspected but needed some time (about 2 episodes) to confirm. But there you have it. The reason why I watched a Japanese drama about a terrorist cell intent on destroying Tokyo with a deadly virus known as Bloody X was because of Miura Haruma. Our 18 year old lead star plays Takagi Fujimaro, aka Falcon – an internationally acclaimed master magician hacker who of course becomes unwittingly involved in… dun Dun DUN… saving the world. Or at least Tokyo. Because I would be sad if Tokyo was wiped off the map before I had a chance of becoming interested in this particular Asian capital that isn’t Seoul, South Korea. 

Needless to say is that Bloody Monday is an intense action-thriller that successfully kept my interest in its 11 episode run. Before I get down to knit-picking it, let me just say that for the most part I was pretty sure on how much I liked it. It was a staunch 8/10 from at least episode 3 onwards. Whether that was because Miura Haruma proved to be so efficient at portraying a genius high school boy/hacker whose world is thrown off balance by the intrusion of downright evil and plot-twist-worthy terrorists is a moot point. I try to be objective, but the only proof I have right now is to say that when he cried, I cried. No Kdrama heroine-esqe tears from this boy. I believed him! I was also impressed with the nearly endless series of plot twists, some of which I predicted from day 1 and some of which I never in my wildest dreams saw coming (and I seriously dream plot twist detection - it’s my one consolation before bed that at least my brain is smarter than Dramaland-ish plot twists). In the last five minutes, I hastily changed my 8 to a 9. I like a good emotional twist. So sue me. 

Here’s where I would normally drag a drama to pieces. I’ll tell you all the reasons why on a scale of 10, Bloody Monday ultimately loses a whole point. 

  • They speak Japanese, not Korean. 
  • This is a thriller, not a romantic comedy. 
  • The occasional computer-generated graphics in 2008 are just not refined enough— 

Oh, sorry... I got off topic. Here are some actual reasons: 

While Bloody Monday is an overall exciting watch with notable acting (even among the supporting cast), I’m just going to have to say that thrillers, even more than comedies, come under my scrutiny for gaping plot holes. For instance, I’m pretty sure I could hand in my current resume, and instantly get a job with the number one Japanese intelligence agency (in this drama, Third-i), because obviously my rationale for thinking out logical strategies is higher than half the plans created by the master spooks in Bloody Monday. I also know that when you’re gearing up for a gun-fight, you really shouldn't walk up to your intended target close enough to where your target can easily disarm you and aim that gun directly at your own head. But I digress. 

Did I mention there’s a Bloody Monday, Season 2? Yeah, I’ll get around to that someday. In the meantime, Season 1 was ultimately an exciting change of pace from my usual norm of Korean rom-coms and melodramas. And all plot holes aside, I really did have shivers most of the times I sat down to watch this drama unfold. Having genuine anxiety for fictional characters goes a long way in my book of Appreciating Entertainment 101.


  1. I am happy you got yourself convinced from you "dear friend" and oh wonder that´s actually me!!! :D
    In your plot holes...Actually I didn´t see them,was too mesmerized by the whole thing XD
    But I think a 9 is already great enough,especially since you haven´t really watched many J-Dramas before^^

    Your review is seriously great!
    I am impressed ^w^
    I couldn´t write good reviews like that*haha
    But since I love reading them~~~

    Thanks again for leaving some space here for him,I will take my leave now*checks skype*

    Yours Miri <3

    1. Miri, I am forever in your debt <3

  2. As someone who doesn't really like thrillers, I probably would only watch this for the hot guy. Which is clearly so, so wrong—he's 18. That wouldn't even be a noona would be an ajumma romance =X

    1. Haha, well I think he's 22 now.. That makes it a little bit better, right? Part of the reason why I enjoyed staring at him though is because he really does come across as a superb actor, and I really want to see him perform in some other roles.

  3. I'm not an action/thriller person either. Every now and then I'll watch one. I guess Arang kind of was one (except sageuk style), but it also had romance, plus I love supernatural stuff.

    1. I rarely watch thrillers too.. just the occasional movie that I get dragged out of my house and forced to watch by friends or relatives. Occasionally I enjoy them, especially if they're well done.. Like this one. But you won't turn around to find me suddenly watching back-to-back thrillers.. I just can't handle the intensity..