Gotham City Chain Smoker
Hello peeps, momma’s back again! And YES; now I can absolutely, literally, definitely saying that I had watched MOZU, as in the complete series. Yowza! Anyhoo, MOZU kicks off the second season by holding up to its consistent values of maintaining the awesome production and line of casts, which is an A-O-Great. But sometimes, those great packages cannot always wrapped up the ho-hum content that this drama serves, which is… (gasp!) the shambolic story line! O, em, geeee… Well, honestly I feel like a half tormented soul in watching Maboroshi no Tsubasa, cos it’s just so damn mind boggling, chaotic, and all over the place. But yet at the same time, it feels so effing wrong if I passed this up; not after putting all the effort to finish the first season. So as a result, I was dragging myself like two feet stuck in a deep puddle of mud for five episodes here. Gosh, I think I deserved a reward or something after this. Hahaharrr… *sarcastic laughter*(Spoilert: Unzipped and spilled. Same old, same old…)
In a nutshell: Kuraki is back; to tie up the loose end, and finish the unfinished business. Still riding solo with sporadic assists by his fellow justice league partners, Osugi and Akeboshi; this time Kuraki is on the hunt for the mysterious and formidable Russian spy, code name Ivan Tyler, who knows the truth of what really happened to Chihiro in her 72 hours of confidential custody that had led her in the end to depression and suicidal behaviour.To make it more practical and easier for me (to rant), and less verbose for you to read; Imma now tell you on points, couple reasons WHY Maboroshi no Tsubasa, errr, sucks:
01.) If we already watched how “packed” the first season is with 10 episodes, can you imagine what happen when they cramp it into half of the amount? Ayyyyyyy, mambo! It’s certainly a disasterrr! Moreover, Maboroshi suffers from great deal of choppiness and Swiss-cheese plot hole syndrome, which resulting to a confusing and abstruse execution that will make you want to scratch your head and then bang it on the desk for like, 1335665777 times.One moment there’s a killing scene with Shingai’s signature MO appear, and then all of sudden, this drama’s switching it with Shingai visiting his old school at night, and then the scenes were switched again to a mysterious caller with a chipmunk-disguised voice to Kuraki telling him the dirty lil secret of Morihara, the cabinet secretary, and then the scene were switching again, and I’m like Oyyy, cho matteyo! Gosh, this drama executed the episodes in a slapdash, it became awkward and jumpy. Not to mention there’s a new additional character as well, who is a freelance journalist, Nanami Shiori (Aoi Yu).
First, allow me to inform you that Aoi Yu here is just a darling, like always with her natural acting. But shittily, her role here is simply disposable and unneeded. At first, she may be on the map with her persistence in finding the facts about the airport bombing, and she has a bit of a knowledge about Kuraki’s targeted Russian dude, Ivan Tyler. But then, as the truth and her relationship with Shingai were revealed on the second episode, she’s just kinda lost the importance of her existence in the drama except being Shingai’s sidekick and platonic lover, with an exception that turns out *drum-roll* She also has her own baggage. Towards that chief police person with glasses whose name I forgot. O, why, Maboroshi, just whyyyy? Why adding another story line, as if this drama hasn’t packed enough with the excessive subplots already. Other than the baggage, Nanami is basically like Nakajima Ami all over again. Geez, if that’s the case, why don’t they just un-kill Nakajima instead and bring her back to the second season? Since I like Shingai and Nakajima better (OTP! OTP! Lulz…), and Aoi Yu’s acting didn’t need to be wasted away in this forgetable role.On the other hand, I also just cannot grab the concept of the necessity in Higashi doing a copycat killing with the ice pick? Why did ye do that for, dude? To revive the Shingai Hiromi killing spree? What’s the damn purpose??? To make him become an urban legend, he said. Yeah, rrrright; that reason is so dimwit and felt so forced, as if this drama just make up whatever reason to put Ikematsu back in dress and heavy make-up as a drag-psychopath; since as Shingai Kazuhiko, the Russian terrorist member, he’s just so damn dull and boring. Durrr…
But then wtf with Shingai’s finale, when he has to suffer a bungled repetitive ending like his twinsie had at the first season? Jimminy cricket, I feel like Shingai Kazuhiko’s storyline here is just a rehash version of Hiromi’s, which is sooooo unexciting and downright meh, as I assume that the writer was being too damn lazy to put a fricking effort in creating some sort of new twist. And don’t even lemme start with Tsuki’s ham-fisted stupidity in shooting Nanami. Just. Don’t. It will angst me off all over again. Ugh…This drama also never explain of how in the world Kuraki can find those Russian tugs, faster than the official PSB team of Akeboshi??? I mean, for pete’s sake, HOW the heck Kuraki can roll his fricken ass in action, since he’s a wanted criminal and unable to contact with anybody at the moment?! But then, all of sudden, we’re just being served with a scene of Kuraki speaking Russian, and torturing those baddies with gallonzzz of water, while asking them like a broken record, “WHERE’S IVAN TYLERRRR???” and I was like, “Geez, how would I know, maaaaan! I don’t even fricking know how you can abduct those tugs and get those plastic bottles!” Haha *facepalming* It was never explained either on how Osugi can easily find the wanted culprit Kuraki in the middle of the train track, while every police in Japan was probably tumbling and rumbling around like “Where the eff does this bast@rd cabinet secretary killer go???” But then, Lo! They also feel the need to put that freaking gun pointing scene! Aiyayayay! It was almost as if this drama tries to make a friendly reminder of that Double Face iconic rooftop scene. Well, it’s cool alright, but at the same time it feels unoriginal, and in contrast, leaves so many unanswered questions of what’s what and how’s how. I dunno, maybe this drama thinking that “Heck, it’s fine! Zenzen daijoyoubuyo~ Our viewers are so damn smart, they can put the two and two together by themselves!” Hah! There’s a difference between being analytical and illogical, MOZU-writer. On second thought, it’s possible that the novel readers are the only bunch of people who can connect the dots between the happening A and happening B, cos they had KNOWN the FULL story. While the rest average viewers (like me) has to settle with–as quoted from Kuraki–“the fragment of the truth” that this drama has lazily served, and dealing with the obfuscated mind while feeling secretly mocked by the production team as like “So, you don’t read the novel, eh? You’re doomed, suckers! Just enjoy what you got!!!” Haha. Turd.02.) Another debbie downer that I found from this season is also the lack of suspense. All that thrill from Sakebu Yoru is barely prominent here. Even the first meeting scene of Kuraki and Shingai Kazuhiko is not as intense as the dinner scene between Kuraki and Shingai Hiromi, despite both Shingais were played by the same actor. Well, to be honest, I was kinda expecting for Kuraki and the gang to do some sorta bad-ass action stunts, like that street chase scene they did in the first season’s episode five, or the airport scenes in the tenth, but in here, I just got a zonk. There were a couple action scenes though; like Kuraki fight the Russian dudes in the bar, or Kuraki and Osugi in the train track, etc. But it’s just not… um, exciting enough. Moreover, they were all shot in dimmed lights so you can’t clearly see wut da heck is goin’ on. I dunno why they did that though; Was it to make the scene appear cooler? Or to slightly conceal the lackluster in the martial art skill? Or it’s just a mere coincidence? Well, well, well, can’t blame them anyway, since we cannot be tooooo demanding as viewers, eh?! Beside, I actually quite tolerate if they don’t give us a highly energize scene of Kuraki running and chasing the baddies, since the second episode had blatantly proved on how Kuraki’s panting like eff and looked like he almost die in exhaustion upon only did a short jog and power walk in chasing that cracked-make up clown. Gahhh, all I gotta say is: Blame those coffin nails, people!!! Boo!!! 03.) It kinda annoys me on how they obviously feminize Akeboshi’s character to be more meek, weak, and girly. I seriously don’t know what in the fricken world is going on inside the writer’s head. Hehhh, he prolly modified Akeboshi cos he wanted to make her character appear more damsel-ish, in order to be looked more compatible with Kuraki, cos there are multiple scenes that show her doe eyes pining-ly gazing at her heavy smoker buddy, which obviously indicating that she’s holding a torch for the dude.
But then, if they really aim to do so; why can’t they make it as an additional trait, by still writing Akeboshi in her tough and girl power personality like the previous season? There’s always another deliverance to put the ren’ai part, y’know, like that tsundere thingy? Hobbity… watching incarnated Akeboshi 2.0 here makes me miss the Akeboshi 1.0 in Sakebu Yoru badly; Cos although she’s just another insipid character there, at least she still fight the baddies with pluck and spunk. But now in Maboroshi, she has slowly becoming a 100% dull shojo manga character. Waaa!!! Bring back the ol’Akeboshi, puh-leazzeee… *bawling* Moreover, her scene with that sleaze-ball Smolov is really kicking the gut of my feminist side. Gawttt, WTF. So, in order to get some information, every female agent must ‘sell’ themselves? Really? Do they’re not allowed to be ass kicking/gun pointing/acid pouring like their fellow male agents? And what’s worse is that, on the next sequence, Smolov was shown to be easily ‘persuaded’ to get talking by Kuraki and Osugi, since all they need is just to strip that pervert in his trunk, and showing him an unused set of chemical shits plus a pair of latex gloves. Heck, I don’t even understand what’s the effing need for Akeboshi to come to Smolov in the first place, since in the end, it seems that the disastrous rendezvous gives no meaningful outcome for her whatsoever. Oh, and they should fire whoever did Maki Youko’s hair on the gala scene, cos ffs, he/she had made her looked like a middle age spinster carrying a synthetic bird nest on the head.
04.) Somehow, I sense a very strong shabby vibe from this drama in its attempt to be some sort like Gotham City, by making a comical slash Marvel-ish villain like Higashi. But the problem is, Higashi comes out too artificial and caricature, he’s basically looked like a joke, and I can’t take him seriously nor taking his existence as dangerous and deadly for Kuraki. At first, in Sakebu Yoru, he might still appear as someone grounded and consequential, with evil hidden agenda in his pocket. And his metaphoric talk about Omelas is just really good and spot-on, it makes me even search and read online that short story after I watched that episode. Hahaha. But contrarily, on Maboroshi, Higashi is practically going nuts, and looney, in a baka way. Forferksake, he drives a giant bulldozer just to say hi to Kuraki in the middle of snowy mountain in Hokkaido, and then he goes home! As in “Ciao!” Aren’t that cray-zayyy to ya? Hah. I’m always LOL-ing every time I watched his scene, like seriously. Lulz…
Shingai could’ve been more acceptable as a counterbalance rival for Kuraki, if only he didn’t possess that supernatural-ish full-black eyes that looked like LL Cool J’s in that shark movie nor a bilocating ability nor flying around from the top of a building like he’s in a some kind of wuxia drama or sumthin… *sigh* 05.) This drama’s final revelation and conclusion are just sooo whateverrr to me. First, like I typed before, I don’t give a damn about Akeboshi’s daddy issue, not even on a fact that he ran over his own daughter (everybody say wut?!), cos the whole plot somehow felt boring and anti-climatic. And turns out, the whole Glarke Alpha mission is actually created just to get rid of him, like wtf. It’s utterly stupid. But what’s stupider, is the main reason of why Chihiro was going on breakdown and suicidal phase, until she died at the bombing incident. Which is as Ivan Tyler said: Because Chihiro wanted to protect Kuraki. WHATTTTT???!! the HELLLLLLLL???!! WTF??!!! So, basically I had spent ±12 hours of my life, watching this heavy-brain cell-digging-thriller/crime/conspiracy drama, in hopes to get a good twisty scholar conclusion, but instead I was just given this corny and sappy answer as the final closure? What the eff does this drama expect me to react? Bawling in melodramatic manner??? Gahhhhh!!! I am just so pissy pissy pissed!!! Not to mention that later on, everything is going down to the parade of the “Oh! So 90s!” ending, y’know, the “BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! This ship will self destruct in 3…2…1…” debacle. Ahahaha… blimey.Buuut, this drama should be grateful, for I am actually (sorta) a half-full glass viewer whatsoever. Because turns out, this super cheesy conclusion is not an all crap. In fact, we can really understand the meaning behind Kuraki’s statement on the first season’s fourth episode: “My wife loved me, to the extent that it was strange.” And this also makes the Chihiro’s suicide attempt scene, that happened on the fifth, leaves a deeper impression by the time we rewatch it again, cos now we can fully identify at how she really really meant with what she said to Kuraki at that time.And it too makes the ending comes out a lil bit sad in irony as well; cos Kuraki, after knowing the whole truth, somehow feels more jaded than before, when he’s still clueless and questioning things, and his face is simply showing “now what?” regarding to enter the ‘move on’ phase in his life. Also, at the final scene, when Kuraki’s watching Chihiro’s interrogation video, and he’s feeling that pang of sadness, and trying to go to sleep in brokenhearted afterward… Whoa man, seriously, that sequence kinda like, killed me on the inside a bit. Well, I guess the writer had managed to squish his lil pea brain out in writing a genuine depiction of sadness over losing, though it only happened at the final minutes. Heck, better super-duper late than never at all, eh? In the midst of the hate watching hours, there were couple times where my halfway syndrome had almost come out, and I thought about quitting Maboroshi halfway on the second episode. But hey, turns out I was able to finish this doodoo debacle anyway, for there are couple reasons. And surprisingly (not), these reasons are more to this drama’s facade rather than the innards; which are: 1.) I just really love the high budget exclusivity vibe of this drama. Seriously, this factor is what makes MOZU become something that was too good to be overlooked, cos this kind of film-like dorama is rare to be aired as a regular TVs nowadays; and, 2.) It’s of course, the Nishijima Hidetoshi himself. Well, honest to the maxes, both cinematography and Nishijima-san are so.. visually delectable here. Lulz… Especially at one particular scene on the fourth episode, which is Kuraki first encounter with Shingai Kazuhiko at the abandoned warehouse.If we can ignore the meandering convo and the absurdity of Shingai’s bilocating power; Ugh, man, that scene is soooo purty, and sooooo… artistically shot; with the ray lights shining through the wrecked roof, the dilapidated surrounding, the floating feathers (which elicit a quite important question of how many pillows do the staff-tachi need to get rip open? Lulz…); everything was aesthetically calculated, even with Kuraki’s and Shingai’s dark colored outfits that juxtaposed with the bright setting. It’s ‘dark’, somber, grunge, but yet very appealing to the eyes.And Kuraki… Ugh, dammit Kuraki-keibu!!! with his long black coat and stole… it’s just so freaking gor-jasss-sss-shhh! I really think that the production team is giving Kuraki this coat for a purpose, cos there are a couple scenes where he was shot running from behind, and the way his coattail got blown by the wind (in meta with Batman’s cape??? Lulz…) is really enhancing the cool-factor, which is so gyabooo! *fangirling mode* So, basically, I kept chewing my toenails in every scene of Kuraki in his friggin’ coat, which is like 99.9999% of the time, and also at the scene on the final episode, where he walks through the snow… Ugh my kokoro, I dunno why, but I found Nishijima so effing kakkoii there, even more kakkoii than his shirtless and muscle-pumping workout scenes combine. Hah! So in conclusion, by the time this drama ended, Nishijima and his black coat had left me with arrhythmia and toenail-less. Lulz… All in all, MOZU Season 2~Maboroshi no Tsubasa~ is a proof of how the franchise had deteriorated so much from the the first season; it ended up being a cool drama that was created just for the sake of being cool. MOZU Season 2~Maboroshi no Tsubasa~ acted like a million bucks, when in fact the plot execution not even worth a quarter pence. It’s kinda pathetic actually, to only have bunch of superficial reasons as motivation to keep watching. But as much as I want to join the hype and love this drama wholeheartedly, I just can’t bring myself to it. So… yeah, I’m kinda disappointed.
Final Score: 70/100
PS: The trailer for 劇場版MOZU (MOZU the Movie) looks really cool and promising, but judging from the way this drama had made me feeeel the way I feeeel, I’m just gonna keep myself in a berry berry low expectation instead. Heheh… #GomenKurakikeibu