Kaibutsu-kun starring Arashi's Ohno Satoshi is currently airing and can be watched on NTV.
It goes without saying that wearing a pair of short pants on tights is like a batsu game* for a 30-year old person. Or at least that's what Fujio Fujiko A (creator of Kaibutsu-kun) said before the live action drama even started. A lot of people also commented that the drama is very much similar to Katori Shingo's "Kochi Kame" in terms of the lead's very high energy level that's almost embarrassing to watch. But Ohno continues to receive good comments from the viewers of the said drama. This project looks like it's going to test Ohno Satoshi's acting prowess.
Even though the live series version of Kaibutsu-kun closely resembles the anime version, the two are still completely 2 different entities. Bo-chan in the animated series has a body and a voice that of a kid. He is a selfish but charming brat. The live action Kaibutsu-kun played by Ohno (real age: late 20s - actually super late 20s? He's 29 right?), on the other hand, is ill-mannered and naive** and is wearing an almost constant frown.
The drama's writer says "The artist of Fujio Fujiko's Kaibutsu-kun is probably gravely disappointed with the difference. But I think that difference is going to be of great help to this drama. I didn't expect that it'd work out so well. The computer graphics is amazing, the other actors are also excellent choices but it all boils down to the excellent performance of Ohno-kun who's pulling this drama together."
After the airing of the 3rd episode, here are some of the viewers' comments:
"Ohno's acting is so good! The wide range of facial expressions he has is amazing!"
** Which reminds me... Ohno guested in Gurunai to promote Kaibutsu-kun. Hatori-san asked him if he bought something recently.
Ohno said yes and when asked by the other hosts what it was, he answered "A book with various facial expressions taken from different movies."
Taichi (TOKIO) asked him how much it was,
Ohno answered "1800 yen" (If I remember it right)
Then Taichi said "What are you talkin' about?!"
I think it was Okamura-san who asked "You love fishing right?"
Ohno said "Yeah."
Taichi said "That's what you're supposed to talk about!"
Ohno flared up and said "BUT YOU ASKED ME ABOUT SOMETHING I RECENTLY BOUGHT!!!"**
"When the fake Kaibutsu-kun changed back into his real body, Ohno's facial expression and voice made the moment hair-raising."
"It changed my image of a Jonny's Talent dramas"
"There's no other person who'd be perfect for the role besides Ohno-kun"
(I couldn't agree more.)
Some more thoughts about the drama:
"The drama can be enjoyed not only by children but also by adults."
"It's great coz the CG (computer graphics) is not cheap"
"The story has a lot of lessons that are easy to grasp and fun to watch. It's like "Gokusen"."
"It's fun to watch the 3 negotiate every time Kaibutsu-kun isn't in a good mood."
It's just sad to say that the 3rd episode was aired on the Golden Week so the viewership ratings dropped to 12.8%. But there are also die hard fans who never get tired of watching the episode...
*batsu game = pentalty game = punishment
** naive = tennen = I used this english word because if you're watching Kaibutsu-kun, he's not really an airhead and he's not stupid. I'd say he is rather ignorant and naive because he doesn't know anything about the human world. He didn't know what money was until he needed it... He didn't know what a friend was until he found one.
Here's my own opinion:
The review was great. I'm so proud of Ohno!
I have watched all 3 episodes and I agree with all the comments I read.
In my part, the first best thing about the drama is... They're using very basic Nihongo. lol. I guess the target audience of this drama is young people. So the words are pretty basic. I can watch it without interruptions (looking up unknown words in the dictionary). Of course a lot of words are still foreign to me but I can already get the meaning basing on the context.
Ohno's acting is excellent. I couldn't agree more with the one who said "There's no one else who'd be perfect for the role but Ohno." Even the other actors are perfect for the role. Is this a cast made in heaven? lol.
Plus it has a lot of lessons so I think it's really something that children should watch. Even us adults can still learn something from it. Like on episode 3, I liked the part where Hiroshi-kun said "You have nothing bad to say about someone you don't know." Made me think to myself... "You have a point there." ^_^
Haaa~h! It's a good start for Ohno. I have to say this... I'm a fan of Ohno. But when he did Maou, I thought there was something missing. It was like his lips were smiling but his face wasn't. I was a bit confused then and I didn't know if it's what he's supposed to do (smile a fake smile) or it was because he sucked at acting. But now! Look at him! He's perfect! All the emotions he lacked then are now springing out from him. I hope he gets more acting jobs in the future. I love his dramas!