First Impression: Juui DolittleOctober 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.
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.