Danda Rin ~ The Labour Standards Inspector Japanese drama Review Episode 1 : Not a good start!

Hello. This is a Korean in America. Today, I want to talk briefly about the new J-drama “Danda Rin ~ The Labour Standards Inspector”.

Danda Rin ~ The Labour Standards Inspector 

Japanese drama Review Episode 1 : Not a good start!

Danda Rin ~ The Labour Standards Inspector” is a J-drama in a long line of series that has an odd ball character that breaks through stagnate Japanese social practices for the betterment of people and etc. Examples are “Nasake no Onna”, “Haken No Hinkaku”. It is basically a sub-genre of J-drama at this stage.

Series setup 
In a way, it is an outgrowth of the “Transfer student” sub-genre in which you have a mysterious new student come into a stagnated and corrupted situation and cleaning up the place. When describing it, it is also an outgrowth of Westerns. A gunslinger comes into town riding a hourse…

“Danda Rin” uses the Labour Standards office as a backdrop in which a new Labour Standards Inspector, Rin Danda, transferring under some mysterious situation.

In the first episode, three weaknesses are evident.

List of Cons
First, the challenge of changing the Labour Standards office and other workers is not great! The others are portrayed as just goofy and nice people who just are unmotivated and lazy. As a result, motivating them to act is rather easy. Half of the fun of this genre is the internal struggle within the organization to act on the part of the protagonist. If it is easy,  where is the fun with that.

Second, as with procedurals  there is an objective in each episode such as capturing criminals. Another large portion of the fun comes from seeing the ingenuity in that process. The problem with the first episode is that the case was so low risk and low difficulty that, even when the protagonists bumble around like a comedy troop, the case was solved. While not all cases do not need to be high stakes, it should be difficult to solve the case rather than having them coast through it. That leads to the question of why no one was doing anything before if this is so easy.

Finally, the problem is with our main protagonist, Rin Danda. She is played by Yuko Takeuchi who stared in series such as “The Queen of Lunchtime Cuisine” and “Pride”. From her range of roles, you see that she is not much of a character actor or have comedic sensibility which this role requires. 
 In “Haken No Hinkaku”, Shinohara Ryoko played a similar role with perfection. Her resume is filled with many unique and comedic roles unlike Yuko Takeuchi

Seeing Yuko Takeuchi play Rin Danda, I’m not sure if she is mentally disabled, having a stroke, or just and weird character. It also does not help that, other than being odd and determined, Rin Danda does not show any other competencies. While people like to watch odd characters with abilities, no one likes a no it all that cannot back up his or her zeal. In the case of  Rin Danda, the latter seems more true. It does not help the series that none of the other supporting characters standout by either being good or bad characters. They are just there and no one is really funny either.

More seriously, Yuko Takeuchi does not have the screen presence to give the audience the cathartic finger to society that the audience expects from this type of series. The show has Danda Rin delivery a line which would make the point of the whole episode pertaining to employer and employee equality. This is the point of the episode and its falls flat because Yuko Takeuchi does not deliver the line properly. However, not all the blame can be put on Yuko Takeuchi since the line was underwritten. To be clear, the whole series is underwritten which is a shame!

At the end
So, at the end, “Danda Rin ~ The Labour Standards Inspector” is series like a bad comedian. It cannot even nail the punch line for a crappy joke even when the audience is drunk and ready to laugh.

Score: D

Streaming link: Good drama net


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