[Review] Gou: Himetachi no Sengoku ep 1-2

It’s my first Taiga drama to watch, so I’m not really very familiar with how NHK’s Taiga dramas work. Anyway, here’s my two-cents’ worth of comment.

The 50th NHK Taiga drama is Gou. The story focuses on the life of Gou, a wife of the second Tokugawa shogun Hidetada. Gou was the third daughter of the daimyo Azai Nagamasa, who was married to the sister of Oda Nobunaga. One of Gou’s older sisters was the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, while the other married the daimyo Kyogoku Takatsugu. –Tokyograph

I thought that the flashback was rather speedy. Well, it’s a good thing because everything was presented in the first episode, and an impatient person like me is offered the backbone of the story in the first give.  I don’t really know much about Japanese history, so I’m depending on what th script is saying (I later found out that the details were more or less fictional).

photo credit: Gou official website

What I loved about the first episode was, of course, the young Chaha – played by the genius young actress Ashida Mana. I’ve liked her since Mother so when she brought out the sword in threat to kill herself and her sister, I knew I liked her even more.  What I hated about it probably would be the first few scenes where the sisters were introduced.

I like Ueno Juri as an actress, mostly because of her portrayal of Nodame, but I guess that came to her disadvantage. I’ve read a few criticisms about her performance as nothing but a mirror of Nodame, and doing that in a Taiga is similar to a mortal sin. I also like Mizukawa Asami a lot, but I think in the first two episodes, she’s a bit behind of what an established actress should be.

Moving on, I like majority of the cast, if not all. I’ve seen about 10 of the main cast in different dramas, and they are all very veterans in terms of acting. As expected of a Taiga.

My main concern will probably be the fact that the drama will run for a whole year, and with a star-studded cast, it’s expected to be the number one drama of 2011. But with criticisms as early as it’s third month in running, I’m kind of not sure how well it will fare along the way. But then again, it’s my first Taiga, first among which I also tried to keep up with in the news. I am not exactly sure if the same thing happened to Ryomaden, but I’m definitely looking forward to a rewarding finish.

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