If you guys follow my tumblr (you few loyal diehards! I love you all!!) then you’ll know that recently I finished watching the drama Rescue. I was recommended to watch it by the lovely Gollumisbeautiful, whose tumblr is just a thing of beauty (honestly check it out if you like Japanese guys!!) because she knows I have a mild obsession (ok, maybe not so MILD) with Yamamoto Yusuke. This obsession has in past led me to watching some of the most ridiculous shows on earth. Recently I started trying to watch Nankyoku Tairiku for him, and let’s face it, the only good thing about that drama is the dogs.
So, anyways, I finished the drama Rescue in about a week after downloading it, and I’ve decided to review it. I’ll try to keep this post as short and sweet as I can, but I have a tendency to air on the wordy side of short, so let’s see how well I keep to that!
Again, this is going to have some spoilers, though not too many, but if you don’t want to know some of the finer points of this show, finish watching it til you look at this!
The plot of this show is pretty basic and simple. There are a group of guys who are all firefighters, who want to enter the rescue team, and within the rescue team, the elite Super Ranger team in Yokohama. This team gets its own flashy uniforms, its own cool bus with SR tattooed on the side, and gets assigned all the extremely dangerous jobs that the other Rescue teams do not have the skills or tools to carry out. The show starts out with this group of guys entering a training camp, where only a few will be accepted onto the team. It’s an extremely strenuous camp, and guys drop like fleas as they’re expected to do hundreds of situps, then pull ups, then carry their hoses with weird smiles on their faces.
The main guys are Kat Tun’s Nakamaru Yuichi (depicted above) playing Kitajima Daichi, NEWS’ Masuda Takahisa, (my baby) Yamamoto Yusuke, Daito Shunsuke, Ishiguro Hideo, and Asari Yosuke. All of them are highly competitive men who have their own issues to deal with as they try to complete the training.
Of course within this group, Nakamaru Yuichi’s character has the biggest problems. As a child, he had been stranded in a landslide, and when he was being rescued, one of the men from the SR team was killed. Because of this, he has an idiotic and noble sense that his life has to be used in order to save even more people. This has left him with essentially no fear and a reckless desire to help people, so much so that he ignores orders to withdraw from dangerous situations and ends up endangering himself on multiple occasions. While this would normally lead him to getting dismissed, the boss firemen keep finding him an interesting case study, and like to banter around the philosophical question of “Whose life is more valuable, the rescuer or the one needing to be rescued.” They keep Yuichi around because they think he will be able to answer this question at some point in the future.
On the other side of the equation, Yamamoto Yusuke’s character shows no emotions except “intense and bitter,” and rather than running to peoples’ rescue intuitively, he pauses and uses his logic and extreme level of skills to save them. However, he admits often that he values his own life the most, and would not endanger himself for others.
This of course leads to lots of conflict between the main leads. Their points of view are polarized, which leads them to having competitions and the occasional fistfight (while staring broodily at each other).
However, eventually the two of them, plus Matsuda Takahisa’s character, are the selected few to be Super Rangers. Yusuke and Yuichi get over their problems and learn to help each other, and then they all face new troubles as Super Rangers. Many problems pop up, including the death of one of their team mates, which leads to the temporary disbandment of the SR team as well as the dismissal of Yuichi’s character. However, after they prove themselves once more in a very bad fire, and Yuichi finally matures enough to realize the answer to the question stated earlier, they are all re-appointed. Whose life is more valuable? Yuichi says both are equally valuable. Of course this comes as a huge epiphany for all parties involved. No one ever imagined that the answer could be both, because they were so hell bent on a black and white answer. *sigh, eye roll*. Anyways, after this, the characters continue to grow and become great Super Ranger fire-fighters.
The end. Whoopee! Who would have guessed?
Ok, laying aside my humor and negative opinions, I will say that I did enjoy this show for the most part. It was a mindless, very ridiculous show that I could watch and put my brain on hold. It’s full of eye candy and shirtless *even naked at times* pictures of Yusuke and other hot boys.
However, I’m not going to lie. There were parts of this drama I found very stupid. First of all, Nakamaru Yuichi is not a great actor. I know he’s been in other dramas since this show, and hopefully he’s gotten better, but as far as this show is concerned, he was seriously lacking. He has a tendency to look crazy and bug-eyed while emoting, which makes his emotional scenes air on the ridiculous rather than the touching. Likewise, all the scenes in the official headquarters where “VERY SERIOUS DECISIONS” had to be made, I found hilariously campy. They were obviously trying to be serious, but they seemed to be trying too hard and not acting well enough to make me believe it. Therefore, through a lot of Nakamaru’s scenes and the official scenes, I ended up fastforwarding, which is not a good sign.
Likewise, the philosophical question of “whose life is more valuable” is completely ridiculous. The very first time they asked that question, I was like, “Surely both are equally important, right?” Then they kept asking the question and I was like, “Oh, am I wrong, are they going to answer it differently?” However, then Nakamaru answered the question in the final episode with BOTH ARE VALUABLE. Everyone’s reactions were so shocked, but I just wanted to bang my head into a wall. The build-up was to answer a question that I had answered in the first episode! I was not happy, to say the least.
The friendship in the show was what saved it for the most part. I like shows about hot guys who have budding bromances. This show had that. Not as well as other shows like Tumbling or Gokusen, mind you, but it still was there. The guys didn’t roll around hugging each other or have semi homo-erotic scenes where they stared into each other’s eyes and professed their friendship til eternity. However, they did keep saving each other in fires, which has a tendency to create strong emotional bonds, so that’s definitely a good thing!
Likewise, Yusuke was perfect. His story arch was the most interesting. His acting was the best. He looked the sexiest. It’s like the director realized they had one good actor (I guess they didn’t realize how great Shunsuke is, other wise they could have brought in a great bromance a la Ouran High School/Tumbling) and they wanted to use him well. His story about running away and missing his family was interesting and well planned. Likewise it concluded nicely, which made me realize that if the director had chosen to do more stories like this and focused on the other characters a bit more, the drama could have been better. For example, if they had looked into the characters’ reasons for choosing to be super rangers, like Daito Shunsuke for example, the drama would have been able to use its talented cast and create a less frustrating, more touching drama that wasn’t riddled with ridiculous philosophical questions. Instead I was left feeling disconnected from a majority of characters because their backstories weren’t explored enough, and annoyed with Yuichi’s character because he was explored too much. I know Yuichi is an idol, and they were hoping to get interest for the drama because of that, but the show only had ratings in the 9% range, which is pretty low. I honestly believe if they had done more shirtless scenes, more character exploration, and less contrived deep emotional questions, this show would have been better and done much better.
But anyways, leaving behind my complaints, this drama was for the most part enjoyable. It had a good theme song (Rescue is one of my favorite Kat Tun songs, and while the fact that its named Rescue is a bit ridiculous and funny, I will ignore that because the song is good). It had a lot of eye candy. It was a good summer watch when I wasn’t really doing anything and wanted to spend some time day-dreaming about Yamamoto Yusuke. Would I recommend it to someone who’s interested in a good, emotionally deep, and well-written drama? Definitely not. However, if you like eye candy and have some time to spend, give this a look, just make sure to put your brain on hold, and maybe be prepared to fast forward some of the more ridiculous bits!
Also, here are some fanvids for Rescue that I like. The first one is by IambananaI and it is an AU about Miura Shohei and Yamamoto Yusuke in a rescue world. The second one is just a Yamamoto Yusuke appreciation vid for Rescue!