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First Impression: Juui Dolittle

October 31, 2010

Juui Dolittle (獣医ドリトル) immediately dropped under my radar after hearing that Oguri Shun, Narimiya Hiroki, and Inoue Mao were the lead cast members. This drama may also be known by its English title Veterinarian Dolittle. I haven’t read the manga, but I was certainly interested in its story and  the cast members. Narimiya Hiroki has been a favorite of mine since watching him on Orange Days, while Inoue and Oguri caught my fancy in Hana Yori Dango. I actually walked into this drama thinking it would be comedy and human drama. Well, I was wrong. Haaaa!  Juui Dolittle aired on October 17, 2010.

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Begin . . .

Tottori Kenichi (Oguri Shun, left) spews sarcasism and appears to be strict with money and pet owners. He has a reputation for being a competent, rogue veterianarian, despite those flaws he still wishes to save and heal animals and their owners. He is the director of his own animal hospital, Tottori Animal Hospital, and his nickname is Dolittle. Tajima Asuka (Inoue Mao, right) comes to see Dolittle after being recommended to Dolittle’s hospital by Professor Tomizawa. She wants Dolittle to treat her race horse, Asuka Mirai, who has a fracture.


I assured myself that Juui Dolittle would be a interesting drama for this season. I mean, they offer us Narimiya and  my two favorite people from Hana Yori Dango! However, I found myself becoming inattentive with episode one. It felt draggy, uninteresting, and did not appeal to me as I thought it would. The show was lacking the factor that engrosses me with the storyline. Also, the way that the characters were portrayed throughout the drama could’ve been better, I will admit.

Dolittle is a character that I like, but it was difficult to connect with him. He’s straight-forward, and can come off as harsh with that sarcasm of his, but he does truly care about the health of animals despite his cold exterior. The show could’ve displayed his vulnerabilities to animals in distress to show that he wasn’t a heartless jerk. I felt that Oguri’s portrayal of him was a bit to stiff for me and him playing a jerk wasn’t as excited as I thought it would be. It makes me questions if the Oguri can even pull off such a complex character such as Dolittle. I’m hoping that Oguri gains some leverage with the help of the writers as the show progresses. After all, it’s only the first episode, so maybe the writers were putting their pawns in place before getting the show in motion.

The dashing Narimiya Hiroki (as you can see I am biased) plays as Hanabishi Masaru (left), the director of the Hanabishi Animal Hospital and a popular and charismatic vet. He and Dolittle attended the same university and have a rivalry, which is not apparent in the first episode. Hanabishi did not appear as much throughout the show seeing as the focus was on the animals that Dolittle was taking care of. As for Tajima, she was likable. However, one thing did bother me. Just one. Mao’s parting….. was just terrible, it made her appear as if she had a bald spot!

Despite all these flaws, the show still has some good points to it. As pet owners complain about Dolittle’s outrages prices, he throws in if an animal life is equivalent to a human life. We assume that hospital fees for animals should be cheaper, however there are different type of species of animals and humans are one and the same. I can easily see how the same formula will be applied to future episodes, gosh it’s like a Gokusen. I just cannot stand repetitiveness in storyline nowadays.

Hit, miss, or somewhere in between: This drama did not turn out as great as I thought it would despite the awesome trio. I was quite disappointed with this episode, and I do not intend to watch the next. I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters and they weren’t exactly entertaining. Juui Dolittle has good actors, but the script fails to have them portray there abilities. The writer should have spent more time on the lacking plot and its characters. Through the shows many flaws the drama did earn a few good points. The drama sends a message to the audience and fellow pet owners that the life of an animal is equivalent to a human life. Nevertheless, I found this show a miss, not even the cute animals could persuade me otherwise.

Juui Dolittle is being hardsubbed and softsubbed by Heiwa FansubsOuji to Hime is also providing subbing.

4 comments

  1. I disagree on some parts of your review. Even though the series is quite sluggish but it isn’t bad. Oguri portrayal of his character I will admit is stiff, but if you watch episode two. You would have seen his character become a little more heart felt towards the dolphin and the trainer and also throw Inoue character in the dolphin tank(ha ha) there is a little humor also. Oh and be looking forward to future reviews from you ~ Peace


    • Sweet! Thanks for informing me it gets better, hopefully I can watch it sometime this weekend!😀


  2. I don’t think the drama is as bad as you reviewed. Maybe it takes a while to build up the characters and their relationship, but every episode I found it meaningful and in fact touching – between animals and human. The plot gets more intense, whereby each character has their own school of thoughts and different directions. This is ever more interesting that it could be.

    For me, I will love this drama from the start and will highly recommend to everyone.

    Cheers.


  3. I wasn’t to keen on the first episode either, as a a matter of fact, disappointed would be more like it and I figured I wouldn’t watch it.

    Then, after a while I tried again, since I didn’t really want to give up on it after only one episode and now it’s starting to grow on me. From ep 3 I was actually looking forward to the next.

    I do disagree with you on one thing though:
    I personally like the fact that Dolittle is not presented right away as the vet who’s a jerk to humans but a sweetheart to animals. His seeming coldheartedness/business attitude almost extends to the animals and this is what I found surprising and annoying at first, but very interesting after. It’s exactly the fact that he doesn’t lose his cool or gets upset openly over the hurt animals that I’m really interested in his character. I really want to get under his skin now and see what he’s made of, and why. He’s not made of stone and it will become evident. It’s just too soon to expect that in the first episode. It wouldn’t’ add complexity to show that contrast too soon or too blatant. It would instead, just make him dull, in my opinion.

    I’m also pleasantly surprised that Hanabishi and Tottori aren’t rivals so much as is presented in the synopsis. The real bad guys are the ones at the top of the chain and even in national politics. That, I did find more interesting than just a rival vet who he used to be friends with.



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